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One of the great features about Google Apps for Education, is its ability to create a single sign in for users to access their email, their online file storage and even to communicate with other staff members. As education institutions however, there's a lot of software applications that we interact with on a daily basis. This can be really frustrating for teachers, because it's a lot of passwords and user names to remember. As an administrator of Google Apps, you have the ability to link to some of these third party applications, and bring them under the umbrella of your Google Apps for Education account. If you'd like to find out if an app that you work with is available to be linked to Google Apps for Education, you can access this from the Apps Marketplace.
You can get to the Apps Marketplace by logging in to your Google Apps account and navigating to your Admin Console. I'm going to go and click on the Apps Marketplace. If you've purchased any apps, they would show up at this point and you'd have the opportunity to turn them on or off for your members. If you'd like to search for apps, you can click on the Add Marketplace Apps icon in the upper right hand corner. Here you have the ability to search through hundreds of applications that you can integrate seemlessly with your Google Apps for Education account. In order to speed up your searching, Google has actually broken out EDU apps or educational apps on the left hand side.
By clicking on this, you'll only view applications that are appropriate to the education environment. One app that's commonly used, is Engrade. Teachers can use Engrade as a digital electronic gradebook as well was a learning management system. If your teachers use Engrade, you can turn this on and make it available underneath their Google Apps for Education login. To do that, simply click on Engrade and then click Add it now. Google Apps might confirm that you are indeed the administrator by asking you to log in, and then they're going to go through and walk you through the process of setting up Engrade. Now Engrade is a free service and also free to integrate with Google Apps.
Some services do however cost money. If you agree to the terms of service, that it's okay for the third party to communicate with you Google Apps account, you can go in and click I agree and continue. It's also going to to tell you that Engrade is asking access to the calender, to docs, as well as spreadsheets. This is going to allow your teachers to schedule events inside of Engrade and they'll automatically appear on their Google Apps for Education calendars. They can automatically create docs from inside of Engrade and they can even run reports inside of Engrade and have them automatically saved to Google Spreadsheets. If you're okay with this level of access, you can go ahead and click Grant Data Access.
So at this point, Engrade has been officially installed for all users of your Google Apps for Education account. Any configurable settings will also be available on this particular screen. To take a look at any applications you have installed, we can go ahead and head back to our Apps Marketplace. Here, I can see that Engrade's installed, and that it's currently on for everyone. If at any time, you'd like to turn the service off, you can simply select it, and choose to Turn it off. This will not delete Engrade, it'll just pause the service from being accessed by the rest of your staff members. When it comes to accessing Engrade, you'll notice that there's not a link for it in the top navigation.
Your staff members will need to go to More. And then under More they will find Engrade down with the additional applications. This is a great way for you to extend your Google Apps for Education to the needs of your particular school. Please take the time to search for the web applications and web services that your users use all the time, to see if you can give them a better experience by bringing it under the umbrella of Google Apps for Education.
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