BC faculty, staff, and students can access their documents, email, calendar, and more through Google Workspace—a web-based suite of communication and collaboration tools by Google. This includes Google Drive.
BC faculty, staff, and students can also use the Microsoft Office Suite, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Google Workspace and Accessibility
Boston College is committed to ensuring all members of the community, including individuals with disabilities, are able to engage with University technological resources. Guided by that principle, the Student Email Committee determined Google Workspace for Education would provide an improved email experience for all students.
Google has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring Google Workspace for Education is accessible to the visually impaired, and is developing and improving its products accordingly. The Boston College Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Advisory Committee and Task Force has been working with Google to ensure this commitment continues.
What You Need to Know
When using BC Google Workspace for Education, we ask you to be mindful of the following:
- Use of Gmail and Google Workspace for Education is not required.
- Students may access their BC Email account using the Gmail web interface or a client like Outlook or Apple Mail, which may offer greater interoperability with assistive technology.
Suggested Guidelines for the Visually Impaired
Google Workspace offers a number of accessibility features, including keyboard shortcuts and screen reader support. Google products, including accessibility-related features, are updated and enhanced regularly. For the most up-to-date information regarding the use of screen readers and keyboard shortcuts with Google Workspace for Edu, consult Google's resources. Please note: Configuring a third-party application for Gmail (e.g., Outlook or Apple Mail) and Calendar (e.g., Outlook or iCal) may provide the best experience for visually impaired users.
For More Support
- Disability Services Office: 617-552-3470
- BC Technology Help Center: 617-552-HELP (4357)
BC Google Workspace End User Agreement
BC Google Workspace is provided by the University to students, faculty and staff, and University policies apply to these services. You will be prompted to acknowledge these policies when you create your Password or Secondary Password in Agora Portal:
As a BC student, faculty, or staff member using Google Workspace for Education, I understand and agree to the following:
- My use of email and other applications offered by Boston College through Google is governed by applicable Boston College policies, including the Technological and Information Resources Use Agreement and the Data Security Policy. I understand that Google has delegated administrative access to the account to Boston College.
- Google’s applicable policies also apply to my use of these applications. I agree to the terms of service for Google Workspace for Education, as stated in the Google Workspace Acceptable Use Policy. I understand that if I violate these terms, Boston College or Google may suspend or terminate my account, whether or not I am in good standing with Boston College.
- I understand that the above Google Workspace for Education terms of service, and the negotiated terms of BC’s agreement with Google, do not apply to any other account that I may maintain through Google independently of Boston College. These generally available services, as well as any non-Google Workspace apps that I may access through Google, may be governed by additional terms of service. My behavior using these independent services, however, may be governed by Boston College policy.
- I acknowledge that Boston College does not back up data stored on Google Workspace for Education or any independent applications, and that Boston College cannot restore or recover any data or documents that are deleted from these applications.
- I may not and will not send or store certain confidential or restricted information, as defined in the Boston College Data Security Policy via Google Workspace (including Gmail), namely, any data controlled under export control laws, personal health information protected under HIPAA, and any “personal information” defined by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93H to mean a person’s name associated with: a social security number; driver’s license number or similar state identification number; or a financial account number, credit card, or debit card number.
The Google Terms of Service may change without notification. Users should check this document periodically to ensure they remain in compliance.
Google Workspace Age-Based Restrictions
Starting 9/1/2021, users under the age of 18 get an age-restricted experience for some Google services when they're signed into their BC Google Workspace for Education account.
Google services with age restrictions include: YouTube, Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps, and Google Photos.
Additionally, some Google services aren't available to users under the age of 18.
Security & Privacy
Turn on Google 2-Step Verification
ITS recommends you turn on 2-Step Verification for your BC Google accounts. As part of setup, be sure to follow the prompts to obtain backup codes so you never get locked out of your account.
Google Shared Drives
Google Shared Drives are shared online storage spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device. Shared Drives is a great tool for projects, committees, departments, or other team-related purposes.
Unlike files in My Drive, files in Shared Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave BC, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.
If you’ve ever used Google Drive before, you’ll find working with Shared Drives is very similar.
- Management: Shared Drives must initially identify a Shared Drive “Organizer” who will be given “Full access.” This will allow that person to add new members or groups, and correctly manage files and folders (creating, deleting).
- Ownership: Shared Drives are owned by the domain (Boston College) rather than individuals.
- Access: Folders and documents stored in a Shared Drive can be accessed by all members of that Shared Drive. Non-team members can be added to individuals files (not folders, at this time).
- Security: Shared Drives follow the same security guidelines as your BC Google Drive account, and should not be used to store certain confidential data. Consult the Regulated Data Chart to learn what data can be stored in Google Drive.
Google Workspace FAQ
Microsoft Office Suites & Add-Ons
BC students may install one copy of Office for personal use. BC faculty & staff may only install Office on BC-owned computers. You can also use Office 365 Education, which is a collection of services that allows you to collaborate and share your work online.
Microsoft Teams @ BC
BC does not support Microsoft Teams, which means you cannot create Teams with your BC account. However, you can join Microsoft Team meetings that are created by people outside of BC, as long as they send you a meeting invite link.
BC students may install one copy of Office for personal use. BC faculty & staff may only install Office on BC-owned computers. Do not duplicate or replicate downloaded software.
Do you use Project or Visio? The Office 2019 installer will uninstall Office 2016, which includes uninstalling Project & Visio. Note that Project & Visio are not part of Office 2019.
Windows Install Note:
- If you have a trial version of Office installed on your new computer, you must uninstall this trial version before installing the full Office version.
Mac Install Notes:
- If you get a message stating that the software is from an unidentified developer, right-click (control-click) on the installer file and select "Open" to continue with the install.
- If you get a “System Extension Blocked” message, do the following within 30 minutes after installing the software: Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy. On the General tab, click “Allow” next to "System software from developer 'software_name' was blocked from loading.
Office 365 Education
Office 365 Education is a collection of services that allows you to collaborate and share your work online. The service includes Microsoft Office Online (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote) and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage.
Office 365 Education is not a required tool at Boston College, but BC faculty, staff, and students can use these services for free on Mac or Windows computers and/or mobile devices.
Security & Confidential Data
Office 365 Education data is saved to OneDrive, which is Microsoft's cloud storage service. OneDrive is off-campus and owned by Microsoft (not BC), and thus restricted & confidential data must not be stored on OneDrive.
When sharing confidential data electronically it is important to ensure it is secure. We strongly recommend you review the Regulated Data Chart to help you decide where to store confidential data.
think-cell is a Microsoft Office add-in that integrates seamlessly with PowerPoint and helps you visualize complex charts in minutes. Create 40+ chart types including waterfall, Gantt, and Marimekko in just 2-3 minutes each. Free licenses of think-cell are available for Boston College students, researchers, and staff for educational or non-commercial purposes only.
To download & install think-cell (Mac & Windows):
- Use your BC email address to download think-cell software.
- Get the think-cell license key. You will be prompted for your license key with the next start of Microsoft PowerPoint. Note: This is the license key for all of Boston College; do not share it with anyone.