Pima Community College

woman using a tablet computer

Google Apps for Education

green and yellow squares

As a member of the PCC community you have the ability to use a variety of free, web-based Google tools and services — in fact, you already have an account! In addition to your school email (Gmail), you also have access to the following:

Icon for the Google Calendar AppGoogle Calendar: A comprehensive personal calendar that can be shared with others that is separate from the Course/Group calendars provided in MyPima.

Icon for the Google Hangouts App

Google Hangouts:  An instant messaging and video chat tool which can also be set up in Gmail to integrate with Google+.

Icon for Google DriveGoogle Drive: An online file storage and data synchronization service which can be linked to your local computer to keep important files updated and secure. Google Drive also integrates seamlessly with a suite of useful productivity applications (or "apps"), which includes the following:

Icon for the Google Docs AppGoogle Docs: A word-processing program.

Icon for the Google Sheets AppGoogle Sheets: A program for creating and editing spreadsheets.

Icon for the Google Slides AppGoogle Slides: A program for creating and editing presentations.

Icon for the Google Forms AppGoogle Forms: A program for creating and managing forms and surveys.

Note: All files created through Google Apps can be managed collaboratively with others, as well as saved and printed in common formats (including as a PDF) and opened in comparable programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so on.

Google Guides

Google offers many excellent tutorials in the Drive Help Center and the Docs Editors Help Center, some of which may include video walk-throughs of available features and functions. Below is a collection of links to some of the most pertinent tutorials related to the work of students and faculty at Pima Community College. For additional information regarding the use of these applications at Pima, please see the Gmail@PCC page.

Specific PCC Instructions for Working with Google Apps

Accessing Google Drive from MyPima

  1. Log into MyPima and do one of the following:
    1. Select the Icon for Student Docs in MyPimaStudent Docs icon or Icon for Employee Docs in MyPimaEmployee Docs icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Note: if you are a student it will read "Student Docs" and if you are an instructor or staff member it will read "Employee Docs."
    2. Select the Icon for Student Email in MyPimaStudent Email icon or Icon for Employee Email in MyPimaEmployee Email icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Note: If you are a student it will read "Student Email" and if you are an instructor or staff member it will read "Employee Email". Then select Drive from the Google Icon for Google Apps LauncherApps Launcher.
the process for accessing Google Drive via the Apps Launcher in Gmail
  1. You will now see the main Google Drive Welcome Page.
the Main Welcome Page for Google Drive

Uploading a File from Your Drive to D2L

Any of the Google Docs items in your Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, etc.) can be downloaded and then uploaded into D2L; the instructions below are specifically for a Doc but the only difference for a Sheet or Slide is your choice of file type when you download the item. Details on acceptable Brightspace file types for the other items are listed at the bottom of this page to help guide you on that step.

Follow these steps to upload a Google Document into D2L:

  1. Select the document from your Google Drive account (it will be highlighted blue),
  2. Select the Icon for the More Actions button on Google DriveMore Actions icon on the top menu.
  3. Select Download from the dropdown list. (Google Drive will automatically convert your files into its corresponding Microsoft Office format—Docs become Word files, Slides become PowerPoint presentations, Sheets become Excel files, and so on).
the process for downloading a document from Google Drive's Main Welcome Page
  1. Alternatively, if you wish to download into a file format that isn't Microsoft Office, you can open the file itself in its corresponding app homepage.
  2. Select the File menu.
  3. Select Download as.
  4. Then choose the file type you to which you would like to convert your Google Doc. You can select from Open Document (.odt), Rich Text Format (.rtf), PDF Document (.pdf), Plain Text (.txt), and Web Page (HTML, zipped).

    Recommended: File types .doc or .docx are preferred for uploading to D2L's assignments.
the process for downloading a document from the homepage of a Google App
  1. Once the download is complete, open the document and save it to your computer.
  2. Log into Brightspace and upload your assignment from your computer to the Assignments Tool as normal. If you are not sure how to do this, see Submitting Assignments on this site for details.

Google File Conversion

The above steps cover the file types available for converting a Google Document, but there are many other file types that Google can convert to if you are working with a Google Presentation/Slides, Spreadsheet, etc. See the table below for a list of available file types for each type available in Google Docs.

Warning! Keep in mind that not all of the file types listed below are compatible with D2L's assignments tool. The types listed in bold are the preferred format for turning in assignments in Brightspace, though your instructor may request others.

Google Document Type File Conversion Types


MS Word (.docx, .doc), OpenDocument Format (.odt), Rich Text Format (.rtf), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Plain text (.txt), Web (.htm, .html)


MS PowerPoint (.pptx, .ppt, .pps)Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg), PNG image (.png), JPEG image (.jpg, .jpeg), Plain text (.txt)


Microsoft Excel (.xlsx), OpenDocument Format (.ods), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Comma Separated Values (.csv, current sheet), Plain text (.txt, current sheet), Web (.htm, .html, current sheet)


A live form cannot be converted, but the form's response data can be converted to the same file types as a Spreadsheet (see row above)


Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg), PNG image (.png), JPEG image (.jpg, .jpeg)


For information about accessibility of Google products, see Google's page on Using Google products: How to use accessibility features.

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