Students are out and now is when the magic really happens. Whether it’s processing a year full of Google for Education updates or implementing new initiatives that improve processes for fall: Summer is the time to Get. Things. Done. Let’s kick off the summer in the Admin Console of your Google Domain.
What kind of tasks should you do with your Google Domain during the summer?
Departing staff accounts
We spend a lot of time thinking about our student roll-over every year, but one thing we often forget is: what do we do with our staff accounts? The best option is to move all of your departing staff into a folder called 2019, underneath your Suspended User OU. That way, in the future, you can easily find accounts that are ready to be deleted once your retention policy allows.
In fact, we’d highly recommend doing this even if you are not deleting accounts currently! Save future you some headaches by giving yourself this option now. Even better, set up an automation to do this for you saving you the time and hassle. Learn more about optimizing your OU Structure.
Clean your Classroom
Take this time to clean up your Google Classrooms. Archive classes for your teachers so that when they return they will have a fresh canvas. Don’t worry, this does not delete the classes, and teachers will be able to unarchive them if they wish to reuse some content.
There are a couple of ways to accomplish this; if you are comfortable with an open source command line tool, you could use GAM. Alternatively you could do this individually in the Classroom API Explorer or in bulk with Little SIS for Classroom. In addition to its Google Classroom insight features, Little SIS for Classroom can be used to perform critical cleanup tasks like identifying and bulk-archiving old, unneeded classes so they don’t clutter up the student and teacher experience.
Another summertime item to think about is transitioning to Hangouts. Summer is a great time to lay the groundwork for converting your users to use Hangouts Chat. As a reminder, Google Hangouts (Classic Hangouts) is going away this October and we are going to be left with two products that replace it. The first is Hangouts Chat, this is going to be the chat replacement, which offers plenty of improvements, such as chat rooms, bot integrations and improved group messaging. The other is Hangouts Meet, this is the new and improved video and web conferencing solution, which is a pretty powerful tool to use and is also free.
You may also recall that Google recently updated how group permissions are defined. The change happened late in the year, so it’s possible that your groups may have been affected. This is very important to review if you utilized any custom roles in your groups as a lot of the settings have been removed or merged into new or existing settings. If you were only utilizing the standard groups such as Owner, Manager or Member, you likely do not have to make changes but it’s still worth a review.
Have a great summer!
No matter what projects, tasks, or reviews you need to do during the summer, don’t forget your Google Environment. The best and worst thing about Google is that it just works. So it’s important to make sure it’s set up to EDU best practices to ensure your Students’ and Staff’s success.
Andrew Giggey is a Google for Education Consultant for Amplified IT, an education-focused consultancy that brings a unique blend of technical skills and knowledge to the K-12 market to enable and empower IT staff to leverage the innovation of Google for Education and Google Cloud.