Q: What is Google Chat?
A: Google Chat is a chat gadget that is built into Gmail that allows you to send and receive instant messages with other faculty and staff at Simmons, as well as students.
Q: How can departments or teams use Chat to interact with each other and students?
A: Google Chat is a great tool to easily and quickly communicate with colleagues you typically email or call often. Google Chat also keeps a record of your chats and stores them in Gmail’s inbox, so you can always refer back to a chat conversation if you need to. If you don’t want Google to keep a record of your chats, select the “More” drop-down window from within an active chat and the select “Go off the record” option.
Q: How do I use Google Chat?
A: Before you can begin chatting with someone, you must first invite them to chat. From within the Chat gadget, you can search for a person to chat with. From the window that pops up, find their name and then select the “Invite to chat” option. The other person will receive a notification that you have invited them to chat, and can click “Yes” or “No”. Once they have accepted your invitation, their name will appear in your Chat gadget and you can click on their name to begin a chat session. When open, active chat windows are docked along the lower right-hand side of the Gmail screen.
Q: I can’t find the Chat gadget.
A: At the bottom left-hand corner of the Gmail home screen, there is a small speech box icon . Clicking this icon will hide and unhide the chat window. The Chat gadget can also be resized vertically by hovering over the very top edge of the gadget and dragging to resize.
Q: How do I remove someone from my Chat list?
A: To remove a contact from your Chat list, hover over their name, select the upside-down triangle from the bottom-right of the window that pops up, and check either “Auto”, “Always show”, “Never show”, or “Block”. If you select the “Auto” option, Gmail will organize your chat list based on who you contact most frequently.
Q: How do I chat with someone outside of Simmons?
A: By default, Google Chat is set to only allow you to chat with people who also have Simmons Google Apps accounts. To chat with someone outside of the Simmons domain, you will need to download and install the standalone Google Talk client (PC only).