Norse Apps

ITS has implemented Google Apps for Education at Luther under the name Norse Apps. This online productivity suite includes Luther-branded versions of Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Documents, and Google Sites.

This ITS Training document is meant to help point you to the training resources that are offered. Contact the Technology Help Desk at x1000 or [email protected] with questions.

For an overview, see 7 things you should know about…Google Apps which is part of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s (ELI’s) series providing concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices.

Advantages of Norse Apps

ITS piloted use of these services since mid-2007 and, based upon our review, some significant benefits to Luther to implementing these services are:

  • Better Quality of Service – By partnering with an international leader in online collaborative services, we can offer a state-of-the-art suite of online tools locally.
  • Improved Reliability – By hosting these services with an international leader, we gain reliability, redundancy, and scalability, beyond what is feasible for Luther to provide individually.
  • Emergency Preparedness – With offsite hosting of email, and easy access from any web-enabled computer or telephone, this critical communication tool will be much more likely to be functional during a significant emergency on campus.
  • Cost Savings – We estimate that Luther can save approximately $30,000 annually in hardware costs, service costs, and staff time after full implementation.
  • Lifelong Email for Alumni – Alumni now have the choice of keeping the Luther Norse Apps account active or forwarding their Luther email elsewhere.
  • Campus-Wide Integrated Calendaring – All members of the Luther community have access to calendaring, a significant expansion of our current service.
  • Integrated Portal – The suite of services includes a brandable portal that integrates with other online tools more easily (and cheaply) than other options.
  • User-Provisioned Document Collaboration Tools – Students in particular will benefit from document sharing and collaboration features.

Norse Apps Components

The core Norse Apps components are fully supported by ITS and may be accessed through a Luther URL (e.g. They include Norse Mail, Norse Chat, Norse Calendar, Norse Docs, Norse Groups, Norse Sites, Norse Start Page, and Norse Wave. Additional Google services (from AdSense to YouTube and many in-between) became part of Norse Apps on January 5th, 2011. More information follows.

Norse Mail (Gmail) –

Gmail is Google’s email service. With Google Apps, mail quotas are currently greater than 25GB per user (and growing) and all accounts include built-in Google search technology to quickly navigate through all of your mail. Gmail also helps you manage large quantities of mail by automatically grouping related messages, so you see a whole series of related replies all at once.

Gmail integrates instant messaging into the mail browser window, so you can see when your contacts are online and connect with them in real-time. Your IM conversations can be saved and searched within Gmail, just like your email conversations.

Google Calendar features are also built right into Gmail. When someone else sends you a calendar event invitation, Gmail displays a summary of your agenda for the day so you can reply to the invitation in a single click. When you receive a regular email message that mentions an event, Gmail understands that the message might contain something that belongs on your calendar and helps you quickly add the event to your agenda.

Also included with Gmail are powerful virus and spam filtering, POP and IMAP capabilities, free forwarding, mobile access, wide support across web browsers, and native support for more than 35 languages. For more information visit

Norse Chat (Google Talk) –

Google Talk helps you communicate more effectively and efficiently by providing a simple and free way to speak with and exchange instant messages with your contacts. With Google Apps, Luther’s IM network is automatically connected to the whole Google Talk, AIM, and AOL networks, so you can instantly connect with the Luther community as well as millions of other users.

All you need to make free calls around the world is an Internet connection, a microphone, and a speaker (which are built-in to most computers these days). Google Talk also offers file transfers so you can quickly send attachments while you’re instant messaging, and voicemail so you can leave a message when your contacts aren’t online. Voice functions are available from Microsoft Windows-based PCs. For more information visit

Norse Calendar (Google Calendar) –

With Google Calendar, sharing events and meetings with others is simple. You can coordinate schedules with people in several ways:

  • Send out meeting and event invitations, and track people’s responses whether or not they use Google Calendar.
  • Share your calendar (or just some of your information) with people you know.
  • Create a shared calendar for your organization, team or group that everyone can view and edit.
  • Create a public calendar that anyone can subscribe to.
  • Display your calendar on your website.

Google Calendar also brings you useful innovations, like the “Quick Add” feature, which lets you add new events to your calendar by just typing a short description of the event in plain language. Rather than hassling with form fields, you can simply enter a single phrase like “meeting with Matt at 1:30pm next Tuesday.” Google Calendar will figure out what you mean and add the appointment to your agenda in the right spot. Other helpful additions include SMS access for when you’re away from your computer, calendar printing, and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

Google Calendar and Gmail are integrated to make using Google Calendar even easier. Your calendar draws from the same contact list as your email account, so inviting others to events and meetings is fast and easy. Google Calendar is standards based, and offers data APIs for integration with other applications, unlike our current calendaring solution.

For more information visit

Norse Docs (Google Docs) –

Google Docs is a web-based word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation program that makes collaboration more efficient. It lets you keep a document online that others in our organization can edit and update simultaneously right from their browsers, so you don’t need to keep track of attachments and who has the latest version of a file. Multiple people can make changes at once, and see other people’s edits as they happen in real-time. And each revision is automatically saved for you, so you can see who changed what, when, and revert to an older version at any point.

It’s easy to get files into and out of Google Docs. To start from an existing file saved on your computer, simply upload the document and pick up where you left off. To work on documents offline or distribute them as attachments, simply save a copy of your Google file to your computer in the format that works best for you. Whether you upload or download, all of your formatting will be preserved.

You can also use Google Docs to create an online web form that can be emailed to recipients. Once they have received the form, entered and submitted their responses (all through email), the information is automatically put into a Google Docs spreadsheet for you. No paper and no re-keying of the information are needed.

The Google Docs suite is not intended as a full replacement for workstations-based tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. But it does offer a powerful suite of complementary functions to be used alongside more full-featured software. For more information visit

Norse Groups (Google Groups) –

Norse Groups is a quick and easy way for groups of people with a common interest to facilitate discussions. For more information visit

Norse Sites (Google Sites) –

Norse Sites makes creating a team web site as easy as editing a document. You can quickly gather a variety of information in one place — including videos, calendars, presentations, attachments, and gadgets — and easily share it for viewing or editing with a small group, your entire organization, or the world. For more information visit

More Apps for Norse Apps

On January 5th, 2011, there were changes to our Norse Apps account infrastructure that allow access to other Google services beyond the core suite of messaging and collaboration apps. This change lets users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice, Maps ,YouTube, SketchUp, and Picasa Web Albums from their Norse Apps account. For a detailed list, see More Google applications for your school.

Norse Apps Policies

Credentials issued by Luther are property of Luther, and all data contained in and accessed by Norse Key accounts issued by Luther are subject to Luther’s policies on intellectual property ownership, and in many cases are property of the College. For students and alumni, the College now grants perpetual use of Norse Keys which includes use of our suite of Norse Apps provided by Google. For employees, Norse Keys will no longer be valid after an individual leaves their employment with the College. Therefore, Google services accessed using a Norse Key should only be used for Luther business. Employees wanting to use Google services for personal reasons should create and maintain a separate personal account with Google. This will ensure access to account information after employment ends at Luther.

ITS Training Classes

ITS offers demonstrations, training sessions, and workshops on Norse Apps upon request. Classes are available to faculty, staff, and students. Watch the Tuesday for more information as well as the list of training and instruction currently available. You can also contact the Technology Help Desk to request a session for yourself or your department.