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Can a school have a centralised school owned Google Drive?

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Started by Carmen Marshall 13 Aug 2015 10:42am () Replies (19)

Hi there
As a school we have many docs which we would like to have saved in a school owned Google Drive, not in a staff members drive. 

As most schools we have teachers/admin staff coming and going and getting copies or changing the ownership of docs can be a pain. So what we would like to do is set up a drive everyone can have access to. Is this possible?

Thanks Carmen Marshall


  • Rob Gunn (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2015 8:43pm ()

    Another thing to consider is backing up your "whole staff" account or all of your staff accounts. 

    Reason being that if everyone has edit rights then the doc/folder can be deleted (as far as I believe) and there is no way to back it up. Even if you run google drive and it syncs to local storage it will not be recoverable because of the sync and often the deletion is detected to late to recover out of the bin.

    Spanning Backup is an external service that (amazon I think) that backs up all files and makes them recoverable if deleted.

    Just an extra thought

  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2015 3:19pm ()

    Thanks Hamish.

    I am sharing folders rather than individual files. My main concern is with the couple of teachers who will just go ahead and make changes to a file before making a copy.

    I am now thinking that since all files are word files, and anyone I've shared the folder/s with will have to download or make a copy, that this won't be an issue and that I can everyone editing rights to all the files within each folder rather than just viewing rights. Am I right?

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2015 3:37pm ()

    As they are word files, as soon as someone opens it to make changes, drive will create a new file in its own doc format.  So you original will still be there in word format.

    Have a go.  Open a file, and you'll see that drive creates a file with the exact same file name, but its in doc format.   This only happens when its a format drive can't edit.  It wont happen when someone opens an existing drive file.  

  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 15 Aug 2015 5:37pm ()

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions. Just a few more questions - there may be easy obvious answers to these which my tired brain can't quite get to grips with at present.

    Most of our folders contain Word files which I have now uploaded to the main account. If I share these with editing rights (we want teachers to be able to make their own changes to many of the files) will any changes they make affect everyone's files? Or is it easier to share via the link so that they have to then add the folder to their drive? Or does somebody have another suggestions?



  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2015 2:27pm ()

    Hi Lynne,

    Once you open a word file in docs, google creates its own version thats editable via docs.  So you will have two files.    .docx  and then the google doc file.

    What I would do, is share the docs file with the user, then they can make their own copy and rename it, and make changes.  So then they have their own copy of the file.  

  • Warren Grieve (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 12:45pm ()

    Here is a quick pic of our setup:

    GDocs snap


  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 12:43pm ()

    Thanks Hamish - yes it does make sense. We already have an office account so creating a Curriculum account should work the same for us. I already have administration rights for Google apps, so this should not be a problem to create(I'm hoping)!

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 12:58pm ()

    I wouldn't create a curriculum account, just create a folder.  Creating an account will also create an email, then that account would get all domain emails.  Plus any sharing settings within this account will need to be adjusted by the owner.  So the curriculum account will need to be access to do this.  

  • Lynne Crowe (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 11:51am ()

    I have been following this discussion with interest. We are a Google apps school but have all our curriculum folders etc still on our school server. I am thinking what a great idea it would be have them all in Google apps environment. Hamish, how do I go about creating an admin type account to be the main store for these OR do we need to use our office admin account? Could we create a Curriculum account? How?


    Lynne Crowe


  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 12:00pm ()

    Hi Lynne,

    Our school changed all of our 'server' files over to google drive 4 years ago.  We now only the the school server for about 1% of the time, and this is to look back at files pre-2010.

    The admin account is applied to a teacher account, at the moment for my school its me.   From here I can set authority and add or freeze accounts.  We have 14 teachers and 6 teacher aids with accounts, along with 360 students, and around 290 of the students have accounts.  (From Y4-8 we are 1:1 so each students has their own chromebook)

    What I would suggest is creating an account called 'office@___.school.nz' and this account can be the author of all administrative files.   This way when an office staff member leaves, the email account will still be the same.   This office account can then be an administrator, but always important to give your IT guy/gal 'super administrator' privileges.  So can fix any issues to the office account.

    If the office creates folders, and places docs into them, then can set sharing settings based on who they want to give access.  Teachers and normal accounts can also do this.  Then anyone can place files into the folders and it will apply the sharing settings based on the folders info. 

    Does that make sense?

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 11:34am ()

    Hi Carmen,

    From what I have read, it sounds like you'll need to take a step back and go to the google apps for education website, and request to be a GAFE school  (not that there is an approval, but a technician will need to apply changes and support your transition).   From here you will have to make some setting changes to enable your emails to be changed over.  (or perhaps this has already happened)

    Once your school has a domain i.e.  @bohally.school.nz you can then access and create accounts and the domain will be the owner of all docs.  Each teacher can create folders, docs... but more importantly you (admin) can set authority of students and teachers.   Its important you do this if you have not already otherwise the schools IP (intellectual property) is open to anyone.

    Here is an image of what the admin console looks like for a school google domain.

    Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.30.17 am.png

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 11:36am ()

    Then, the problems you spoke about previously will be addressed, as the admin can transfer ownership of anyones files to another staff member, or to the domain itself.  

  • Jacinda Panther (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 11:30am ()


  • Jacinda Panther (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 11:29am ()

    Ill try and attach a screen shot to show you what I have done. We have an admin account. In the admin account drive there is a folder called whole school. This folder is shared with all current staff. 

    Within this folder are all the other folders that teachers may need. eg assessment masters, te reo resources, ICT, etc etc. Anything put in the Whole school folder is automatically shared with all the staff it is shared with.

  • Carmen Marshall (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2015 11:23am ()

    Hmm yes I see what you mean!
    So when you say set up a Whole School account what do you mean? As there are lots of different folders we would want made up ie: Transition, Planning, Sports, Notices etc

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