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Like this article? We recommend Customize Google Apps for Your School

Customize Google Apps for Your School

Only the Google Apps Administrator for a school can edit the school domain's settings. The dashboard interface is where the administrator will see the status of services, users, email activity graphs, and other management settings. Services in the Google Apps Suite include mail, calendar, chat, docs, sites, and mobile access. Each of these services can be enabled, configured, and secured only by the Google Apps Administrator. Here's a quick overview of what you can do as the Google Apps Administrator and what you'll likely see on this examination.

The Google Apps Administrator can edit each of the following services for the entire school domain:

  • Mail—the name format, voice and video chat, mobile support, and POP/IMAP support
  • Calendar—sharing calendars internally and with external users, free/busy sharing, and connectors for Microsoft Exchange
  • Chat—enable chat, retain chat history, or set defaults to make chats "Off the record"
  • Docs—sharing options for internal domain users or external users, adding and editing templates, and allowing users to save their own templates for others to use
  • Sites—creating, sharing, and accessing sites for the school domain only or for the entire world
  • Video—defining who can upload videos within the school domain and recommending video tags

One of the most involved customizations for the Google Apps Suite will be the settings for Gmail. The Google Apps Administrator will need to configure message security through an add-on product, Postini Message Security. This product, which was free until December 31, 2010, is now offered to schools for a 66 percent discount.

Postini Message Security is useful for setting up email policies, blocking external mail for school clients, limiting the types of messages students can send, restricting attachments, and of course, filtering spam messages.

The Google Apps Administrator will also need to know how to create and secure email groups for the school. Imagine a group for all the teachers, staff, parents, students in each classroom, and so on.

Groups are useful for organizing communications in email, but are also handy for securing other items in the Google Apps Suite environment—such as videos, calendars, and documents.

Finally, with today's mobile usage, students, teachers, and parents may demand some mobility services for the Google Apps Suite and communication. The Google Apps Administrator can configure mobility for Blackberry devices, mobile browsers, and even interoperability with Microsoft Outlook.

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