Safer students. Better learning.

9 Tips to Safely Get the Most from Google Apps for Education

Rob Yoegel Rob Yoegel May 26, 2016


If your school has made the switch to Google Apps for Education or Google Classroom, it’s important to promote the value they will bring to teachers, parents, and students.

Mastering the basics is a great start, but be sure to focus on other areas, including new ways to enhance curriculum and engage students. Though most important, creating a safe online learning environment can be overlooked when implementing Google Apps for Education or Google Classroom.

Below are nine ways to help safely adopt Google Apps into your school.

  1. Become a Student Again

Before rolling out Google Classroom to students, consider making teachers members of a class, so they can share Docs, submit Forms and see Calendar events from the student perspective.

  1. Set Milestones

Goal setting is critical when implementing any new technology. Don’t set aspirations too high. An excellent way to create milestones is to answer what, when and why?

  1. Remove Obstacles

Don’t give yourself—or students—excuses not to use the productivity tools provided for classroom collaboration. Ensure Google Apps is configured correctly, delegate admin rights and more.

  1. Understand Safety Risks

In the Google Apps Admin Console, you can create your own ‘Objectionable Content Policies’ by creating blocked words lists and assigning multiple users (administrators) to be notified. With Gaggle Safety Management for Google Apps, controls are already set—and regularly updated—to filter text and images. Safety Representatives also monitor content so teachers can focus on instruction.

To further understand the safety risks when students use Google Apps for Education and to make that your schools are doing everything possible to improve the safety and security of students, take this Google Apps for Education Safety Audit.

  1. Lead by Example

Don't take everyday activities for granted, such as referencing files in Drive rather than sending email attachments, or using your Calendar to stay up to date accurate.

  1. Provide Proper Training

It’s important to remember that technology integration is often like grabbing a bin of manipulatives from a kindergarten classroom and building a tower: a strong foundation is key. Start by training on the basics and follow-up with advanced features to increase knowledge and make the tower higher.

  1. Integrate Into Your Curriculum

Come up with new activities that are based on Google Apps. For example, every teacher gives evaluations to, or collects information from, students. Use Google Forms instead of paper and pencil. Google Forms also are perfect for student information sheets, surveys, post-reading questions, quizzes, and tests.

  1. Leverage Account Provisioning and Single Sign-On

A student information system, gradebook, notification service and more should connect to your current school and class rosters through automated account provisioning. Along with better organization and management realized through automated account provisioning, all student activity in Google Apps can be safely logged and searched.

  1. Track Usage

You might see within your Admin Console—or hear from a technology facilitator—that within only a few months there’s been massive Drive adoption, but the move to Forms has been slower than expected. That’s okay. Celebrate and publicize specific milestones.

Get the eBook, created by Gaggle and Amplified IT, "12 Ways to Safely Adopt Google Apps into Your School,” and learn more about these and other ideas.

Topics: Safety

Written by Rob Yoegel

Rob Yoegel is the Vice President of Marketing for Gaggle, which provides safe online learning products, solutions and services to the K-12 schools. Gaggle focuses on student safety so educators can have the confidence to allow learners to take advantage of current technology for communication, collaboration and productivity.

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