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Google Apps for Education gives us a lot of control over how our users use and interact with each individual application. As the administrator of Google Apps, you have the ability to restrict as well as add certain functionality that all of your users can then benefit from. In this video we are going to go ahead and dive into understanding Gmail, the Gmail settings and how Gmail can be used within your organization. If you are following along with the step by step setup guide that Google offered, you may or may not have already configured your Gmail application inside of that process. Here I'm going to show you how you can always access and change those settings.
Lets go and start by clicking on Google apps. Let's select Gmail from the service list. And then under the Gmail menu let's go and click on User settings. The Gmail user settings, are a long list of all things that you can change. Don't worry, we're not going to go through each item one by one. I'm going to go ahead and point out a few things that are important for schools to know, as you guys start using Gmail instead of your institution. The first thing, if you set up custom URLs, you can see that URL here. You can also choose to go in and change the URL from this menu. If you've not set up your MX records so that your e-mail can flow through Google, it also gives you the information you need to have those records flow through.
If you have not set up your MX records, you would be able to see so here. It's telling me that my current MX records for Orange Valley School are pointing to Google. If you see that you have an MX record that's pointing to some place that's not Google, and you want Google to handle all of your mail then you need to make sure that you make those changes at the domain registrar. As we scroll down the page we can start to see that there's a variety of options that we have to change. As I look at individual options I can either make a change directly in the bar, or if I get to certain options and I hover on them I'll have the option to configure them. For example, if I scroll down here to block senders and I hover above this bar I can see on the right hand side a configuration button has shown up.
So just because you don't see a check box or something in each individual area, does not mean you cannot make changes there. Let's go scroll back up to the top and take al ook at a few of these features. A couple spaces below our MX record, we have the ability to uninstall this service. If you're using Google Apps for education but you want to use it mostly for its file storing, its calendar, as well as its sites, and you don't want your users access to email, you can go ahead and uninstall Gmail. That means that they won't be able to actually send and receive email messages inside of their Google apps account. Users also have the ability to set up themes for their Gmail, this is where the users can choose to change the look of their individual account for example they can add backgrounds and images.
If you don't want your users the ability to do this, then you can go ahead and uncheck Let Users Choose Their Own Theme. I'm going to go ahead and leave it checked. As I continue scrolling down, we also come to things such as, Mail Delegation. If you have situations, where maybe a staff member's going to be out, but you'd like someone else on their team to be able to check their email, then you might want to turn this on. This is going to allow them to assign delegates who have access to their email box. This way you can make sure you never get in a situation where a teacher is gone and someone is saying well, the information we need is inside of their account. Directly below mail delegation is also some formatting you can choose.
Such as whether it's first name. Last name or last name comma first name. By default, Google always puts first name last. In a school, however, since most people are known by their last name, I might recommend changing this to last name comma first. You notice when I make that change, it's now kind of an orange color behind this box. That's telling me that I have a change that has not yet been saved. I can make multiple changes, but you want to be sure that you always hit the Save button before you navigate away from this page. You can also see that some of these changes are only applied locally. That means that it's only going to impact people that are actually logged in to the Orange Valley School Google App for Educator.
If you have a user and they choose to have their name appear differently in their email. They will still be allowed to have their name show up that way. The next thing I'd like to point out is POP and IMAPP access. This is the ability for your users to use something like a cellphone or a mail client to access their mail. I highly recommend leaving this available for your users, that way they can sync their Google Apps for Education account to their iPhone. They can set up their email account in Apple Mail or Microsoft's Outlook. As we continue to scroll down you can see there's a lot of different ways in which Google apps can be configured. Once again, I'm only pointing out the things that I feel are pertinent to educators.
Here we have the ability to whitelist certain email IP addresses. What this means is that we have the ability to say that emails from this IP address are always good and should never be sent to the junk mail folder. Often, when a company sends out a mass email, sometimes Google will recognize that as spam mail, and so they want to take it and put it into a junk mail folder as opposed to the user's inbox. While this feature's a great feature to have, there are some times that mail that's intended for our inbox goes to our junk mail folder. For example if you're an educational institution and you work with a curriculum company, and that curriculum company commonly emails everyone on your staff.
Because they're sending out a mass email, they might accidentally be flagged as spam and be sent to your junk box. However, if I find the email address of the emails that they're sending and I put it into this box. I can make sure that all of the emails from that particular curriculum company will always go to the inbox and not flagged as spam. As I continue to scroll down, we now come to the Compliance Area. Compliance's one of those areas that I want to bring your attention to. Here is the administrator, we have some abilities to choose how exactly compliance with email retention is going to work. By default google has it set to do not delete email messages automatically.
I recommend leaving it here. If we chose to have automatic deletion, there might be e-mail messages that a teacher accidentally sent to the trash, and after 30 days it might be deleted when they try to go back and find it. Also I highly encourage staff members to never delete emails. Never send them to the trash, but to use the archiving functions built into Google Apps for Educators. The archiving is going to allow us to always keep a copy of that email available, in case we're ever going to need to reference it later. Without ever having to delete it, even though this means you might use up space on your server quicker because you're storing every single email. You'll definitely be glad you did this, when get to that situation where you really need to find an email that a parent sent or a principal sent or something else.
The next compliance thing is the ability to apend a footer. What this means, is you can add some text to the bottom of every single email that every single user sends inside of your organization. So for example, if you had some information that said, this email is intended only for the use of this school system, then that's going to protect you in case an email gets sent some place that it's not supposed to. I highly recommend taking the time to look at some compliance text that's commonly used in the bottom of email footers. And you can click the Configure button here to add that. You can also choose to Restrict Delivery. Restrict delivery's going to allow us to choose exactly who our users can send emails to.
For example, if you're using Google Apps for educators with students, and you only want students to be able to communicate with other students and their teacher, then you can choose to setup. Do a main restriction. That'll mean that they can only email people with an orangevalleyschools.com domain. That's going to keep them from emailing outside the school. It's going to keep them from using this email account to setup other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. However, if you're only using this with your staff, and your staff regularly communicates outside of the district, then I recommend leaving these settings set to their default and not making any changes.
If server space is a concern because you have a really large staff, you can also go into the attachment compliance. Here, limiting the size of a file attachment and forcing users to use their Google Drive can help save space. When someone just attaches a file to an email. Then both the sender as well as the receiver, are now storing that file on the same server. The files essentially doubled. However, if you force your users to attach a Google doc, and then send someone the link to that Google drive, you're only going to have the file stored once. So I highly recommend reducing the size of attachments the users can use.
That'll help you save space in the server. As we continue to scroll down you can see there is a variety of other things that we can chose to configure. At this point we've discussed the main things that are going to impact educators, however I highly recommend taking the time to read through each category and determine what's right for your institution. Also remember that whenever you're done making any configurations or any changes. It's crucial that you click Save Changes. Without clicking Save Changes, if you navigate away from this page, then all of your changes will be lost.
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