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Back to School with FlashPanel: Preparing Your Google Apps for Education Domain


August 27, 2014

2 minute read

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With thousands of Google Apps enabled schools starting back soon, faculty and staff members are busy preparing for students’ return. Welcoming a new class means creating additional user accounts–sometimes hundreds or thousands–cleaning up old accounts, documents and files, and much more.

In order to assist IT during this often tedious process, we came up with a list of common back to school tasks and ways that BetterCloud can help.

Provision New Student Accounts in Bulk

With the start of a school year comes a lot of turnover–one class of students has just graduated and another is preparing to start–not to mention any staff or personnel changes. From an account management perspective, the work is two-fold, deprovisioning inactive users and creating new accounts.

BetterCloud allows you to shave hours off of this process by making bulk directory changes; using a spreadsheet, you’re able to enter basic user information–a first and last name, email address, and password–to quickly provision new user accounts, or, to make more extensive updates, fully fill out a user’s profile, set group memberships, upload a profile photo, and even customize the account welcome message so it’s uniquely from your school.

Update Groups and Org. Units by Class

Similar to making bulk changes to user accounts, BetterCloud also enables you to make several edits to group and Org. Unit memberships. Since Org. Units are useful for assigning user permissions and access, you may create “Students” and “Faculty” Org. Units, then use groups to narrow the scope by grade level or class.

Groups see a lot of turnover each year but making those updates doesn’t have to be tedious–use BetterCloud’s Group Directory spreadsheet to easily transition all students from one grade level group to another.

Implement Drive Sharing Policies

Google Drive facilitates valuable collaboration between students and teachers in the classroom, but the scope of sharing permissions can also pose external sharing risks. BetterCloud enables you to set granular Drive sharing policies for individual users or Org. Units, allowing you to set different document sharing parameters for students and faculty.

Determine an Appropriate Use Policy for Third Party Applications

There are thousands of applications and Google Apps add-ons available for Google Apps users to install, from productivity tools to teaching aids to games. While ordinarily these apps offer helpful functionality, within a school environment they may pose a distraction.

Use BetterCloud’s Apps Explorer feature to audit and revoke apps already installed on your domain. Then, implement policies to limit which types of applications students can install going forward–maybe the faculty Org. Unit can install third party apps of any kind, but lower grades are more restricted.

While students are busy back to school shopping, feel confident that they have the tools to work and collaborate successfully, and you have the controls in place to keep them productive and safe.