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Setting up Google's G Suite for Education for your school

This information will help you to set up Google's G Suite for Education in your school. G Suite was previously known as Google Apps for Education (GAFE).

It is intended to provide a step-by-step overview of the one-off process. It should be able to be followed by people with a reasonable amount of technical ability.

The whole process typically takes a few weeks.

There is no cost for state and state integrated schools to use G Suite.

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Before you start

Your school will need its own domain, for example, your.school.nz.

Purchase a domain if you don’t have one from a Registrar .

You will need access to manage the domain’s DNS records – this is quite technical so you should be prepared to get some technical help for part 2.

Part 1 – Sign up for G-Suite for Education

Start at the G Suite for Education sign up page .

Complete the information required. Find your school’s details on Education Counts and use the data to help support your application.

The account that you make will be a Super-Admin account capable of doing anything to your G Suite account including deleting it.

Your password should be a strong one. You can change it later and enforce better levels of protection using two-step verification .

Google may want to verify your identity. If Google does need to verify your identity, the easiest method is via a text message to your cellphone. Google may also call you with a voice message. But, do not use the automated voice method if your phone line is answered by an automated system.

Part 2 – Verifying your domain

This part is more technical and if your domain is not verified within a week or so the application will lapse and you will need to start again.

Once you have signed up you will be able to log-in to admin.google.com using the account that you created. You must then verify that you own the domain. There is a time limit on verification.

When you click "Start Set-up" you will have to verify your domain. Seek assistance from someone who understands DNS if you are at all unsure. You will need login access to your domain name servers to verify the domain. Or send the details to someone who does have access.

We recommend you use the Add a domain host record (TXT or CNAME) method to verify your domain.

See the Verify your Domain Name support page for more help.

Part 3 – Configuring your admin console settings

There are a variety of simple things that you should do when setting up G Suite that will make things easier for users and easier to transition services such as email from other systems.

Steps to take when setting up G suite

Define your language, time zone, and logo
  1. Open the admin console at admin.google.com .
  2. Click on Company Profile.
  3. Set Language (US English gives "trash" whereas UK English gives "bin").
  4. Set Time Zone to Auckland.
  5. Upload your school logo so that it appears on everyone's Google Apps pages.
Set up default calendar visibility rules

By default, all information on calendars is visible to all users. We suggest that this is not usually required as it means, for example, that the Principal’s appointments can be seen by students.

  1. Open the admin console at admin.google.com .
  2. Click on Apps icon.
  3. Click on G Suite icon.
  4. Click on Calendar icon.
  5. Select Sharing Settings.

We recommend that you consider changing the sharing settings as follows:

  • Outside Your School: Share all information but outsiders cannot change calendars.
  • Within Your School: Only free/busy information is shown by default.
Set up contact sharing

Contact sharing has to be enabled in order for users’ names to automatically appear when sharing documents or sending emails. 

  1. Open the admin console at admin.google.com .
  2. Click on Apps icon.
  3. Click on G Suite icon.
  4. Click on Directory icon.
  5. Select Sharing Settings.
  6. Select Enable Contact Sharing.
  7. Select to "only show email addresses on the user’s primary domain" and "show only domain profiles".
Configure Google+

Google+ can be useful for collaboration. However, as it is only allowed for people 13+ years old, you should only enable it for students over the age of 13. See the Turn Google+ on or off for users support article.

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