Google Apps Planning & Deployment Best Practices

courtesy of wikimedia commons

courtesy of wikimedia commons

The next session I am attending is “Google Apps Planning & Deployment Best Practices” by Tim Lee. You can find his presentation here.

Tim highlights the need for laying a proper foundation. This includes:


  • Have a written plan that is unique to your institution’s needs.
  • Identify use cases across the school.
  • Showcase these tools to get buy-in from faculty, staff, parents, and students!

Set Realistic Goals

  • Determine and define stages of your adoption; be flexible, things can and will change!
  • Do this project in bite sized chunks. Prioritize.
  • Highlight measurable success and celebrate it.

Keep Up to Date

  • Update software and apps as needed.
  • Spread the word about what is possible and new material that is added.
  • Share a “tip of the week”
  • Revise your adoption plan as tools, needs, culture, change

The next focus after your plan should be professional development, which is probably the most important step in success.

Google Certified Trainers

Join the Conversation

Google Apps Training on Demand

  • Check out Synergyse & Boost eLearning to provide ongoing training for yourself and your staff on demand.
  • Differential costs, focus on task skills, and flexible tools

Next consider how you want to setup and manage google apps


  • Create administration roles carefully
  • Delegate access (e.g. can reset passwords, manage sites at different schools or divisions).
courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Organize Users Wisley

  • Create appropriate organization units and determine why.
  • Only enable appropriate services (e.g. do you want students to have access to Google Voice?).
  • Establish channels of communication so that teachers and admin can request additional services.

Track Usage with Reports

  • Keep track of activity (how many people are creating docs? How are people collaborating?).
  • Consider paying for additional security services like Cloudlock.
  • Be sure to audit the log to check out what other admin are doing.

Learn to use Google Apps Script and/or API’s

Next Consider Student Management/Compliance

Walled Garden

  • For elementary aged students you may not want to let them send emails outside or receive outside emails.

Consider Filtering Options

  • Whatever you choose to filter, it should change as students get older or as needs change.
  • Establish delegation rules, perhaps a generic mailbox for school groups. You may also want to turn off the features to prevent student shenanigans.


  • Check out Google Vault for email.
  • Make sure you have tools to know what’s going on in email and drive and how you want to monitor content.
  • Consider your backup needs and find an appropriate tool (e.g. Backupify).

In addition to usage professional development, it’s also important to plan how teacher’s can use these tools in the classroom.

Google Sites

  • Class/Teacher Sites
  • Library & Technology Sites
  • Student digital portfolios or project sites

Google Groups

  • Online discussions
  • Take the classroom outside of the room

Explore the Marketplace

Take Google Apps to the Next Level!

  • Consider single user logon
  • Consider syncing existing LDAP (GADS) or SIS
Hapara Teacher Dashboard via Hapara

Hapara Teacher Dashboard via Hapara

Top  Issues Challenging GAFE: Admin & Teacher Workload, Administrative Tools, and Online Safety

  • Explore options like Teacher Dashboard by Hapara or provide professional development that will help manage work flow.
  • Explore monitoring/management options.
  • Be mindful of training and requirements!

Whenever considering adoption, make sure that you customize GAFE to meet your needs, plan for PD, and simplify student and teacher interactions as much as possible!

For additional info, check out the GAFE Audit and the Best Practices Document! Take what Google gives you with a grain of salt and modify to meet your school’s needs.

4 thoughts on “Google Apps Planning & Deployment Best Practices

  1. Pingback: Google Apps Planning & Deployment Best Prac...

  2. Pingback: Student Media Team Update 1 | Things Teachers Do:

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