Google Chat vs Google Groups vs Brightspace org to Communicate with Others

This KB Article References: Brightspace for Instructors, Google Chat, Google Groups, Brightspace for Students
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Last Updated: January 22, 2024
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This article will explain ways to communicate with audiences that are faculty/staff/students as well as people external to the Stony Brook Unversity ( domain.

Brightspace Orgs

These are Brightspace sites that you can request to communicate with current students of the declared major or minor.  Students are automatically added and removed based on their officially declared major and minor.  You can use all the functions of Brightspace to communicate with these students like a discussion board, Quizzes/Surveys, Announcements, and make important files available.

Google Chat Spaces

These are spaces that you can create yourself from Google Mail.  Any Gmail email address can be added regardless of whether they are external to the university.  Note some Google Mail addresses do not end with similar to the way university mail works and they can be added too!  In Google Chat spaces there is a Files and Tasks section to keep your audience engaged in any activity or deadline.  

Note: non-Google mail addresses can use Google Chat as long as they create a Google Account with their existing non-Google email (e.g. yahoo, hotmail, etc).  These Google accounts won't have email capability, just Google Chat and can log into the chat here:

Google Groups

You can request a Google Group by creating a service ticket at and add any email addresses as members.  They do not have to be affiliated with Stony Brook.  This is a great way to communicate with people outside of the institution.




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