Google Chat

Google Chat iconWhat is Google Chat? Chat is an instant messaging tool for communicating with SFUSD colleagues and sometimes with SFUSD students.

Start arrow New to this Google tool?

Check out our "Basics" section for resources to get you started off on the right foot.

Compass Ready to learn more about this Google tool and go further?

Take a look at our "Tips & Tricks" section to get ideas and suggestions.

Open padlock Not sure if your students have access to this Google tool?

The "Who can use" section outlines which grade levels have access to this tool.

Rocket taking off Wondering how this Google tool ties into Deeper Learning?

You've come to the right place! Scroll down to our Deeper Learning section for ideas and resources.

Google Chat basics

You can access Google Chat from:

  • Chat homepage
  • Bottom left sidebar in Gmail
  • Google Apps Launcher (waffle)
    Google Apps Launcher icon

What's so exciting about Chat?

Chat is a collaborative space, where you can send & share files create new shared files, start video calls with everyone in the group, and keep track of action items with Tasks, all directly within your group’s Chat space.

Who can use Google Chat?

Google Chat access and permissions

Google Chat is an instant messaging tool, and it is available for use by SFUSD staff, high school students (grades 9-12), and students in grades 3-8 at sites where administrators have requested its access for students.

If you have any questions, please submit a Help Desk ticket.

Deeper Learning has 4 core instructional priorities

Person looking at some images and text while thinking Inquiry

The thinking and questioning of students is the focal point. Students build connections to prior learning and experiences, and are independent learners who make their thinking visible.

Three students working together Collaboration

Students interact in meaningful ways through conversation, or participation in collaborative structures. The educator serves as facilitator and a collectivist or communal approach is used.

Three people linked with a dotted line to an image of a book Equitable Access & Demand

Curricula is designed and instruction is delivered to ensure access for all and cognitive demand for “each and every” student, supporting independence, not dependence.

Two people talking or communicating Assessment for Learning

Students are provided with time, space and support to set goals, assess learning, track progress and present their growth. Students are seen as co-designers of their assessment, owning and sharing their learning.

To learn more about Deeper Learning in SFUSD, visit the Deeper Learning Towards the Graduate Profile website.


Group conversations

Google Chat can be great for group conversations and organization. It's important to set students up for success by facilitating the co-creation of norms and expectations. We also recommend our Chat & Students resource** for teachers interested in teaching students how to collaborate with Google Chat.

**If you do not have an SFUSD account, please view this external version of the Chat & Students resource instead - it's the same resource, just with a sample video removed that was created by SFUSD students.

Equitable Access & Demand

Preparing students for Chat

Different students will need different supports as they learn to use Chat appropriately. It is completely age-appropriate and normal for students to test boundaries and test out different things as they explore a new tool. 

Before introducing students to Chat, we highly recommend looking over our Chat & Students resource**, which is a guide for administrators and teachers about student access to Chat and includes digital agency resources. We also recommend looking around SFUSD's Digital Agency website for additional resources and support.

**If you do not have an SFUSD account, please view this external version of the Chat & Students resource instead - it's the same resource, just with a sample video removed that was created by SFUSD students.

This page was last updated on October 16, 2023