Last week kicked off our second week of the Google Apps Bus Tour adventure! The Google decorated school bus pulled into The Commons at Vanderbilt University early Thursday morning and prepared for a fun day with the Vandy students. It proved to be the perfect spot to catch students in between classes or on their way to lunch for a quick demo and chat with them about how to use Google Apps.
Vanderbilt is one of the thousands of universities providing its students with Google Apps accounts, so our role on campus was to show students ways to take advantage of all the tools available to them.
Many students, despite having Gmail accounts, were not yet aware of all the cool products they now had at their fingertips, such as Docs and Spreadsheets and Google Sites. We were able to give students quick overviews of the applications and new tips and tricks they could use daily. One fan favorite was looking up public calendars in Google Calendar. For example, we were able to look up the schedule for the Tennessee Titans and simply add it to their personal calendars so they always know when their favorite team was playing again. More helpful tips like this one can be found at the Google Apps student site.
Throughout the day, we were able to interact with faculty, students and staff, and not only demo our products, but also hear their personal experiences and feedback on Google Apps. Here's a video that sums up our visit:
This week the bus hits up UNC Greensboro, University of Virginia, and George Washington University as we continue to head cross-country spreading the word about Google Apps. Make sure to check back for our updates and pictures from the road.
Representing the Google Docs team, Jen and I were particularly excited to show students some of our favorite Docs tips and tricks. For example, did you know that you could share a Google document with your classmates so that they can view and edit it online with you at the same time? That means no more messy email attachments! Need to do a survey for research in class? Check out the forms feature in Google Docs to create easy, free surveys that you can send out to anyone. (We've got many more of these nifty tips at our Apps for Students website.)
Blogs are a great way to share information (just like this one) and creating your blog takes just a few easy steps. Blogger has a simple-to-use interface so that you can start posting right away. And when you create your blog, you can host it for free on Blog*Spot. To find out more about what you can do with Blogger, check out the features page.
In addition, Blogger has recently made it easier for your friends and family to follow your blog. You can add a Followers gadget to your blog’s sidebar and then all they would have to do is click the “Follow This Blog” link. Now they’ll be able to see your posts in their Blogger Dashboard or in Google Reader and tell the world that they’re a fan of your blog. We’ve also added a Followers gadget to this blog to make it easier for you to keep updated on what’s happening here.
Larry and Sergey then developed an approach to fulfilling this mission that started in a dorm room, expanded to a Menlo Park garage, and eventually became the global campus it is today.
Staying true to our roots, we have always focused heavily on academia. The next way we're attempting to do this is by launching this blog, especially geared towards students like you. Here we will provide you with useful information like product tips and tricks, and give you an inside look into the people and culture behind Google technology. This will also be the best spot to find out about student programs like Code Jam, the Google Online Marketing Challenge, Google Summer of Code™, and our Scholarship Programs and career opportunities.
In addition to this blog, we've also created an email alias where you can reach us directly. This is a way to get in touch with us and let us know what you want to hear about from us. And if you have something to share on this blog -- maybe a cool story about how you used a Google product on or off campus; or an experience from your days as an intern here -- please let us know, and we'd love to help you share it.
We look forward to hearing from you and keeping you up-to-date on all things Google as they relate to you.