Author: Joe Smysor

Protect Your Institution’s Data with Google Workspace for Education Plus

Is Your Organization’s Data as Safe as it can be?

Cybersecurity incidents targeting schools and universities are on the rise again. Over 950 schools and colleges were hit with ransomware in 2021. These attacks impacted nearly a million students and cost schools over $3.5 billion in downtime alone. Ransoms demanded ranged from $100,000 to over $40 million and on average schools faced four days of downtime and almost a month of recovery time after attacks. A recent survey by Sophos found that nearly half of the K12 institutions surveyed had been targeted by ransomware, facing more than $1.5 million on average to recover. 

Lincoln College, a school of about 600 students in Illinois, was struggling financially after COVID when they were struck by a ransomware attack last spring. The attack locked them out of their enrollment, recruitment, and fundraising data. The university paid the $100,000 ransom but still was not able to recover all of its data. Unfortunately, the school was forced to permanently close its doors in April 2022 due to the impact of the ransomware attack and the pandemic.

So, how do you protect your institution’s data and keep your name and your superintendent’s name out of these types of headlines?

A Couple of Steps Could Make All the Difference

Two friends are hiking in the woods when they come across a bear. The bear charges the friends, and they turn and try to run away from it. The first friend asks, “How are we going to outrun the bear?” The other replies, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.” The same is true when trying to prevent ransomware attacks. You don’t necessarily have to spend millions of dollars to keep your institution secure. Hackers and other cyber threats are looking for the easiest targets and the lowest hanging fruit. With that in mind, just doing a few small things can help keep your organization secure.

Setting up two-step verification (2FA) may be the single biggest step you can take to prevent cybersecurity attacks. Two-step verification is an added layer of security that will help keep your users safe. Your users would sign in with something they know (their password) and something they have (typically a verification code sent to one of their devices). Even if a user’s password is compromised, the account is still secure as the attacker would have to have both the password and the 2FA code to login. Super administrators can enforce 2FA in the Admin Console. Check out our upcoming webinar to learn more about deploying two-step verification within your organization.

Attackers are also looking for easy accounts to log into. It’s critical that your organization change default passwords in your network, firewall, and security tools. Additionally, it’s important to set up password policies in the Admin Console. You can set a minimum password length, password complexity, prevent users from reusing old passwords, and configure password expiration policies. Getting ready to create password policies? Check out these Password Tips from Google to share with your users.

Upgrade Your Security with Google Workspace for Education

Are you ready to upgrade the security of your organization? Google Workspace for Education Plus is the ultimate Google Workspace edition. Education Plus gives you additional storage for your domain, teaching and learning tools like originality reports, premium features in Google Meet, and advanced security features like the Security Investigation Tool, Context-Aware Access, and Target Audiences.

Investigation Tool

The Security Investigation Tool allows you to quickly and easily identify, triage, and take action on security and privacy issues in your Google Domain. With the Investigation Tool you can monitor file sharing, conduct organization-wide searches within multiple sources, investigate devices, and pivot your investigation across multiple sources and data sets.

Does your organization ever need to delete phishing emails or emails sent by mistake? If you don’t have the Investigation Tool, the only way to search and delete emails is with the command-line tool GAM. The GAM option requires you to be fluent in Linux and looks at emails one inbox at a time. So, if you have a large organization it may take five or six hours for GAM to delete your emails. During this time your users are still reading their emails, opening links, and forwarding the threat to other users. With the Investigation Tool, however, you can find and delete threats in moments.

Context-Aware Access

Context-Aware Access gives you the ability to control access to apps based on a user’s location, device, and IP address. Using Context-Aware Access, you can create granular access control policies for apps based on attributes such as user identity, location, device security status, and IP address.

With Context-Aware Access you have the ability to block logins from specific countries and IPs. You can also use Context-Aware Access to prevent users from outside of the country from signing into your domain’s Admin Console.

Target Audiences

Target Audiences are groups of people—such as departments or teams—that you can recommend for users to share their items with on a more controlled basis. You can add them to users’ sharing settings in a Google service, such as Google Drive or Chat, to encourage users to share items with a more specific or limited audience rather than your entire organization.

By default, when your users share documents in Google Drive they are prompted to share with everyone in the organization or everyone with a link. With Target Audiences you suggest the perfect audience for your users to share documents.  Using the example of a high school teacher, you are able to create target audiences for all staff at that building, all students at that building, teachers in the teacher’s department, and all staff at the district office. With target audiences, your users can quickly and easily find the perfect group of users for file sharing. In addition, your district is infinitely more secure as the documents are shared with the right audience rather than posted publicly on the internet.

Additional Security Features in Google Workspace for Education Plus

Security Center

Security Center provides advanced analytics and security dashboards so you can monitor security events in your organization. The dashboards display information related to file exposure, email security, logins, file sharing, suspicious activities and more. You can even use the Security Investigation Tool to create custom charts for the information causing you the most concern.

Security Health

Is your organization as secure as it can be? Have you configured all of the security features available in Google Workspace? The Security Health page gives you the ability to conduct your own security audit and compare your settings against Google’s best practices. Recommendations found on the Security Health page will explain why you should consider the recommendation and step-by-step guides that will walk you through how to implement the changes.

Security Sandbox

Your organization receives thousands of emails a day. Security Sandbox in Google Workspace for Education Plus allows you to automatically scan incoming email attachments for malware, ransomware, viruses, zero day threats, and other cybersecurity threats.

Dynamic Groups

Create Google Groups that automatically update so your groups are always accurate. Dynamic Groups creates groups based on job titles, departments, buildings, organizational units, 2-step verification status, and more.

Now’s The Time to Get More Secure

Google Workspace for Education Plus is the edition that gives you the security features, tools, and analytics you need to make your institution as secure as it can be.  Want to try out Google Workspace for Education Plus in your own environment? Sign up for a free 60 day trial!

Kincaid IT is here to help you get the most out of your investment in Google Workspace and we’d love to help you better secure your domain. We offer Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses, security audits, and a free security ebook. Looking for more help? Check out an upcoming webinar or sign up for an upcoming security summit.

Google Workspace Solution | Workflow+

Automating Your Google Workspace with Workflow+

What would you do if you had an extra person to help manage Google Workspace at your organization? Or, if you could automate your most frequent or time-consuming tasks, what could you accomplish with your extra time? You could start planning your summer projects, clean up your groups, or you could get your domain’s storage under control. With Workflow+ you can automate or schedule tasks in Google Workspace so you can save time, get organized, and stay informed.

What is KIT Central Workflow+?

KIT Central™ Workflow+™ automation software from Kincaid IT both simplifies and supercharges your Google Workspace environment through the power of automation. Do you wish you could automate user onboarding, OU changes, password resets by OU, drive permissions, or storage notifications? All this is easy with Workflow+.

How do I start workflows?

Workflows all begin with a trigger. Workflow+ supports the following triggers:

  • Schedule
    • Schedule a recurring trigger so your workflow runs daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.  With a scheduled trigger, for example, you could schedule weekly or monthly storage reports or Chromebook inventory reports.
  • Specific Dates
    • Set a specific day and time for your automated workflow to start. With a specific date as your trigger you could set your end-of-the-year workflow to start automatically on a certain day and have it promote your students to new OUs, reset passwords, clean up groups, and more.
  • Subscription
    • With subscription triggers you can start your workflow anytime a specific event occurs in your Google Workspace. For example, you could run a workflow every time a new user is created or a Google Form is submitted. 

What can I do with Workflow+?

With Workflow+ you can:

  • Automate Onboarding
    • Simplify onboarding by automatically sending a welcome email, adding users to Google Groups, sharing files, or adding Google licenses  every time a new user is created. This can be configured across your organization or for specific organizational units.
  • Schedule Storage Reports  (Storage+ required)
    • When integrated with Storage+, you can schedule storage reports so you can receive a daily or weekly report detailing users who are over a specific limit in storage. Then automatically email the users in the report or flag them for excessive storage.
  • Manage Your Domain’s Storage (Storage+ required)
    • Imagine the power in the data if you could set up a task to run that polls users over a certain storage size and takes that data into a file while also automatically emailing it to the appropriate person. Let’s take this a step further. That email could show all teachers in a particular building that are over the district storage threshold and notify the principal in that building or notify individual teachers to ask them to begin cleaning up their Drive proactively before the district implements a hard quota.
  • Take Control of Your Chromebooks
    • Ensuring that the Chromebook stays in the proper OU can be a difficult task to do manually, but imagine if you could set an automated task that triggers from the new login and moves that Chromebook to the appropriate OU to match the user.  Or, schedule Chromebook reports with Workflow+ and stay informed of device locations, update version, users, and even the auto update expiration date (AUE).
  • Simplify Summer Tasks
    • Schedule a summer tasks workflow and you can automatically reset student passwords and update OU membership all at once at a time that works best for your organization. Or, would it be nice at the end of the school year to have a task scheduled that automatically moves the seniors out of their current OU and into a suspended OU for you?
  • Email Signatures – (coming soon)
    • Does your District struggle getting new staff members to implement the required District email signature? Wouldn’t it be nice to have this automated so when they open up their email the signature of the district is already included?

The possibilities are limitless with Workflow+. 

Interested in learning more about Workflow+? Check out an upcoming webinar or contact us today and get started with a demo.

Using Google’s New Storage Features

Last week Google released new storage features that will help schools obtain an overview into their organization’s storage use. As we’ve previously discussed in this blog, unlimited storage is ending in Google Workspace for Education and most organizations will be capped at 100 TB of pooled storage. Pooled storage includes data from all users (suspended and active) across Google Workspace (including Google Drive, Gmail, Google Photos and more). According to Google, “Admins can use these new tools to see how much storage is being used across their organization and view how close their organization is to reaching their storage limit.”

Super administrators can find these new features inside the Google Admin Console by clicking either the Storage card on their home page or selecting Storage from the menu.

New storage features in Google Workspace

These new features allow your Google super administrators to quickly and easily:

  • Use the storage usage summary to view a storage summary for your entire organization
  • View storage used in your domain by specific apps like Google Drive, Gmail, or Google Photos
  • Find the users in your domain that are using the most storage
  • Find the shared drives in your domain that are using the most storage
  • Find and delete shared drives
  • Configure storage limits for your users by OU and Groups.

In Storage Settings (Admin Console > Storage > Storage Settings) you can set up storage limits for your users. These limits included storage from all apps in Google Workspace and can be set by organizational units and groups. So, for example, you could set a storage limit of 5 GBs for your staff. 

Additionally, admins can apply different storage policies using groups. Your organization may have journalism teachers, communications specialists, and videographers who create and use more storage. You can give these users additional storage by adding them to groups and then giving those groups more storage inside of storage settings. 

A word of caution. If you set a storage limit for your users and some users are already over the limit, they will not be able to add content to Google Drive, edit their documents or create new documents in Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets until they are under the storage limit. Additionally, if these users are the owners of shared files those shared files cannot be copied and forms cannot be submitted.

So, if you set up a storage limit of 5 GBs for your staff and one of your teachers has 7 GBs of storage their account will be limited when you enforce your policy. This means they will not be able to upload new files or create new files.

How KIT Central’s Storage+ Can Help

While these new features can help super administrators get a glimpse into their storage situation they don’t let super administrators take actions and take control of their organization’s Google Drive. Storage+ can help.

With Storage+ you’re able to:

  • Find the largest files in your organization
    Find the largest files in your school district and then take action with Storage+.
  • Delete drive content
    With Storage+ you can move files to the trash, schedule them to go to the trash, or delete them instantly all with just a couple of clicks.
  • Find and fix duplicate content
    Do you have duplicate files on your Google Drive taking up storage space? Storage+ allows you to quickly find duplicate files and then delete the additional copies all while maintaining access and editing rights.
  • Move files to Google Cloud Storage
    Have files that you need to archive? In only a couple of clicks you can move files from Google Drive to Google Cloud Storage, freeing up space in drive and providing a spot for storing and archiving your data.
  • Transfer Files
    While the Google Admin Console allows you to transfer the entire contents of a user’s Google Drive, Storage+ lets you select and transfer only the relevant files. Imagine that you need to transfer the files of a recently retired counselor to the school’s new counselor. Besides the files in question, the user’s Google Drive may also include personal photos, tax return information (and social security numbers), employee evaluations and more. With Storage+ you can share only the appropriate information and prevent accidentally sharing personally identifiable information (PII).

Want to learn more?

Check out our webinar, Using Google’s New Storage Features.

To help with the new storage changes coming this summer to schools using Google Workspace for Education, Google has introduced new storage features. This webinar will help you get to know the new features so you can take control of the storage in your organization.

Additional Resources

Preparing for the End of Unlimited Storage

Have you read about the changes coming soon to Google Workspace? Unlimited Storage in Google Workspace for Education is ending July 1, 2022. School districts with less than 20,000 students will be capped at 100 TBS of pooled storage if they are on the Google Workspace for Education Fundamental edition.

What counts towards your pooled storage? All of your users (active and suspended) and all of their data (including but not necessarily limited to data from Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail). Schools will not be able to purchase additional storage. Schools needing more storage will have to delete files and users to reduce their storage footprint and get under their pooled storage limit or purchase Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses or the Teaching and Learning upgrade.

The changes are coming. Is your district ready?

Start Planning NOW

Find Out How Much Storage You’re Using

You can start to get a sense for how your district will be impacted by taking a look at how much storage you’re using right now. Begin by using reports in the Google Admin Console and the Google Workspace Storage Calculator to find out exactly how much storage you’re currently using. Once you determine your usage across your entire domain, you can also determine which users in your district are using the most storage. This report can be found in the Admin Console or in GAM.

These reports help you see how much storage you’re using, who’s using it, and how far away you are from the 100 TB pooled storage limit. In addition, you can even start to forecast how fast your storage is growing and when you may need to take action.

Do You Have Enough Storage for the 2022-2023 School Year?

Do you have enough storage for the upcoming school year? Use these reports to get a sense for how much data you’re using while also forecasting how your storage needs may grow in the next year. On first glance your district may appear to be well below the 100 TB limit, but beginning May 1 all newly created or modified files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Jamboard files will begin counting towards the storage limit. This will be roughly 100 MBs of new storage per user per month that was not counted in the past. So, if you have 18,000 users in your domain, this could be almost 22 TBs of new content created in the next year.

Consider Education Plus Licenses to Increase Storage

The only way your district can get additional storage is by purchasing either Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses or The Teaching and Learning upgrades. Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses include an additional 20 GBs of storage for each license, and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade comes with 100 GBs of additional storage for each upgrade.

Does your district currently pay for Zoom or Webex licenses? With Google Workspace for Education Plus you get the same advanced video conferencing features in Google Meet as well as additional storage, advanced security features, teaching and learning tools, and originality reports – all for roughly the same price you’re already paying for just video conferencing.

Consider Tools like Kincaid IT’s Storage+ to Help You Manage Your Storage

KIT Central Storage+ allows you to manage your organization’s storage needs with precision and flexibility. Simple dashboards provide a quick overview of storage usage for your entire domain and on a per-user basis. This allows you to quickly identify which files are taking up the most room in your domain and how to optimize for this usage. Additionally, KIT Central Storage+ helps you understand what unused files in your domain can be moved into Google Cloud Storage Buckets to free up space. These insights make a big difference in managing your organization’s storage needs.

Start Messages To Your Users

There are only a couple months before teachers and students leave for the summer. Start drafting and sending messages to your users now. Not sure where to start? Google has created templates that you can customize and send to your users.

Start Reducing Your Storage 

Review Retention Policies

How long do you have to hang on to files and emails in your district? These policies are often determined by your policy makers, pending legal situations, and other compliance reasons. Partner with the leadership in your district to review your data retention policies so you can determine when data is no longer being used and when it can be deleted.

Control Shared Drives

Do students in your district have the ability to create Shared Drives? Do teachers? Should they? Kincaid IT recommends turning off Shared Drive creation for students. We also encourage districts to consider turning off Shared Drive creation for Staff. These users could still use Shared Drives but they would be prevented from creating their own.

If students are creating Shared Drives on their own, odds are they will use the drives as a space to chat with their friends, they will do it without the supervision of educators, and these spaces will likely be forgotten about after they graduate. The likely result is that this storage just sits in your domain taking up space.

Control who can create Shared Drives by opening the Google Admin Console > Apps > Google Workspace > Docs and Drive > Sharing Settings. These settings can be configured based on OUs, so you can apply different settings for staff and students.

Evaluate Alumni Account and Exited Staff Account Practices

How long do you retain student accounts after they graduate? How long do you retain staff accounts after they leave the district? Maybe it makes sense to hold on to student accounts for 12 months to allow them to access their documents as they apply for college or create portfolios. At the same time, perhaps it makes sense to delete staff accounts 30 days after they’ve left the district. Again, partner with decision-makers to determine how long to retain these accounts. 

Kincaid IT Can Help

How Much Storage is Your District Using?

How Much Storage is Your District Using?

Unlimited Storage in Google Workspace for Education is ending July 1, 2022. Are you ready for the changes? Most districts will be capped at 100 TBS of pooled storage if they are not using any premium licenses or upgrades and are using the Google Workspace for Educational Fundamentals edition. All of your users (active and suspended) and all of their data (including but not necessarily limited to data from Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail) will count toward your storage limit. Additionally, schools will not be able to purchase additional storage. Schools that need more storage will have to delete files and users to reduce their storage footprint and get under their pooled storage limit or purchase Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses or the Teaching and Learning upgrade.

The changes are coming. Do you know how much storage you’re using right now?

Find Out How Much Storage Your District Is Using Google Admin Console

Apps Reports

The reports within Google Admin Console can help you get a sense for how your school district will be impacted by these upcoming changes. To access the reports, go to the Google Admin Console > Reporting > Apps Reports > Accounts. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can see your total storage used as well as how much your storage has changed over time.

Finding Your Largest Users

You can also use the reports in the Google Admin Console to find users  with the highest storage usage. This report is found by opening the Google Admin Console > Reporting > User Reports > Apps Usage. You can add filters to this report based on “Total Storage used (MB).” So, if you filtered based on “Total Storage used (MB) greater than 10,000,” you could find anyone using more than 10 GBs of storage. This data can also be exported to Google Sheets, so you can better query and manage the data.

This was somewhat surprising to us in my former district. We noticed we were getting about 20 GBs away from the quota. To address this we deleted 15,000 old users. We found that deleting these 15,000 users only freed up about 300 GBs worth of data because 50% had never actually used their account before. When we ran this report, however, we found that one of our journalism teachers was using 15 TBs of storage. So, this one teacher was using 15% of a shared storage pool meant to be shared with 18,000 users.

GAM

Google Apps Manager, better known as GAM, is a free, open-source command line tool that helps Google Workspace Super Administrators manage their domain. Not familiar with GAM? Check out our upcoming webinar, Take Command with GAM, to see how you can install, configure, and use GAM in your domain.

Already use GAM? Here are a few commands you can use to help gain insight into how much storage you’re using. 

Find Non-Suspended Users with More than 15 GBs Worth of Files in Their Google Drive

gam config csv_output_row_filter "accounts.*used_quota_in_mb:count>=15000" redirect csv ./BigUsers.csv report users fields accounts:drive_used_quota_in_mb,accounts:used_quota_in_mb

Find Google Drive Usage Data

gam report usage customer parameters drive:num_collaborators,drive:num_consumers,drive:num_creators start_date 2020-01-01 todrive

Are You Ready for the 2022-2023 School Year?

Do you have enough storage for the next 3 school year? Use the reports to get a sense for how much data you’re using and also forecast how much your storage may grow in the next year. If we look at the chart above, we see that Roosevelt Public Schools is using roughly 60 TBs of data and growing by roughly 16 TBs a year. At first glance they appear to be well below the 100 TB limit, but beginning May 1 all newly created or modified files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Jamboard will begin counting toward the storage limit. This will be roughly 100 MBs of new storage per user per month that was not counted in the past. 

Roosevelt Public Schools’  15,000 users would be 18 TBs of new data created in the next year.  Combining that with our 60 TBs of existing storage and the 16 TBs of growth we were already anticipating puts the district at 94 TBs of storage. Right up against the storage limits.

Additional Resources

Storage+

KIT Central Storage+ allows you to manage your organization’s storage needs with precision and flexibility. Simple dashboards give you a quick overview of storage usage for your entire domain and on a per-user basis. This allows you to quickly identify what files are taking up the most room in your domain and how to optimize for this usage. Additionally, KIT Central Storage+ helps you understand what unused files in your domain can be moved into Google Cloud Storage Buckets to free up space. These insights make a significant difference in managing your organization’s storage needs.

Free Webinar

Yikes! The End of Unlimited Storage!

Sign up for our webinar and learn about Google Workspace for Education domain storage changes and the impact it will have on your domain. Utilize tools for more insights into what is being stored in your Google environment to reduce overall storage.

Yikes! The End of Unlimited Storage Series

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The End of Unlimited Storage

The End of Unlimited Storage

Well. This is it. Here we are. You and your school district have created hundreds of thousands of files and years of work in Google Drive and suddenly you’ve reached the end of unlimited storage in Google Drive. Over the last few years Google Drive has been one of your best tools as your district moved to the cloud, collaborated in real-time anywhere and on any device, endured cybersecurity threats, and supported remote learning through a pandemic. It includes everything from assignments and projects to employee evaluations and contracts. Now, after all of that work, unlimited storage in Google Workspace is going away.

Starting this summer, all Google Workspace for Education domains will have a finite amount of pooled storage for their entire domain. Pooled storage is storage used by all of your users (both active and suspended users) for everything in their accounts, including – but not limited to – files from Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.

School districts with less than 20,000 enrolled students will be capped at 100 TBs of pooled storage. Districts get additional storage if they have premium Google Workspace licenses. Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses include an additional 20 GBs of storage for each license, and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade comes with 100 GBs of additional storage for each upgrade.

Base Storage Workspace for EDU Edition Additional Storage
Minimum 100 TB Pooled Storage Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals (FREE)

None

Minimum 100 TB Pooled Storage Google Workspace for Education Plus

+20 GB for each Education Plus License

Minimum 100 TB Pooled Storage The Teaching and Learning Upgrade for Google Workspace

+100 GB for each Teaching and Learning Upgrade

So, for example, if a district of 12,000 users purchased 300 licenses and Teaching and Learning Upgrades they would have 130 TBs of pooled storage (100 TBs of Base Storage and 300 Teaching and Learning Upgrades at 100 GBs each). If that same district with 12,000 users had Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses they would have 340 TBs of storage (100 TBs of Base Storage and 12,000 licenses with 20 GBs each).

Storage Changes Timeline

February 2021 – Google Announces Storage Changes in Google Workspace

Last year Google announced the upcoming storage changes in Google Workspace and encouraged districts to evaluate their storage needs and consider purchasing premium licenses to add to their limit.

June 1, 2021 – High-quality Photos Begin Counting Toward Storage Limit

Photos and videos backed up in High quality (now named Storage saver) or Express quality after June 1, 2021, begin counting in your storage limits Any photos or videos backed up in High quality or Express quality before June 1, 2021, will not count toward your Google Account storage.

May 1, 2022 – Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Jamboard now Count Toward Storage Limit

All Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms and Jamboard files created or modified after May 1 will now count toward the storage limit. This will be roughly 100 MB per user per month of additional storage.

If you’re looking at the storage your district currently uses, you may assume you’re in a good position. This could change after May 1. Imagine a district of 15,000  using 60 TBs of pooled storage and currently growing at 16 TBs each year. On first glance, it appears they will not have any issues managing storage. When Google begins counting new documents created in Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Jamboard in May this will result in 18 TBs of documents in the next year that were not previously counted toward their storage limit. With these changes, this district could forecast usage of 94 TBs a year from now, pushing the organization up against the 100 TB limit.

July 1, 2022 – The End of Unlimited Storage

The day everything changes. July 1 is the end of unlimited storage in Google Workspace, and all school districts will have a capped amount of pooled storage. If districts are over their pooled storage limit, the organization’s Super Administrators will receive emails and notifications from Google warning them that they are out of compliance. If the warnings are ignored, Google may prevent you from creating or uploading new content until your district is under the limit and back in compliance. 

How do I get more storage?

The only way to get additional storage is to purchase either Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses or the Teaching and Learning Upgrades for your district. 

How can Kincaid IT Help me with My Storage?

  • Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses and the Teaching and Learning Upgrades
    The Google Workspace for Education Plus licenses and the Teaching and Learning Upgrades offer additional storage as well as premium tools for security, teaching and learning, and video conferencing.
    Want to learn more about premium licenses or request a quote? Contact Us! We’d love to help.
  • Take Control of Your Storage with Kincaid IT’s KIT Central Storage+
    KIT Central Storage+ allows you to manage your organization’s storage needs with precision and flexibility. Simple dashboards give you a quick overview of storage usage for your entire domain and on a per-user basis. This allows you to quickly identify what files are taking up the most room in your domain and how to optimize for this usage. Additionally, KIT Central Storage+ helps you understand what unused files in your domain can be moved into Google Cloud Storage Buckets to free up space. These insights will make a significant difference in managing your organization’s storage needs.
  • Check out a free webinar
    Yikes! The End of Unlimited Storage!
    Learn about Google Workspace for Education domain storage changes and the impact it will have on your domain. Utilize tools for more insight into what is being stored in your Google environment to reduce overall storage.

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Kincaid IT highlights new cloud-based management suite toaddress Google’s upcoming storage changes at FETC conference

Kincaid IT highlights new cloud-based management suite to address Google’s upcoming storage changes at FETC conference

KIT Central Storage+ developed to help technology administrators better manage storage and save money

As organizations grapple with the impact of Google’s upcoming changes to storage limits, Kincaid Information Technology recently launched a cloud-based SaaS designed to help educational institutions meet this challenge while saving both money and staff time. 

Kincaid IT Storage+, which is featured at the Future of Education Technology conference during January 2022, is an all-in-one cloud management suite that supports Google Workspace. Tools available within KIT Central will help technology administrators manage their organizations’ storage with user-friendly dashboards, reporting and options to eliminate excess storage usage.

“We are currently the only company offering a web-based product that gives organizations the resources they need to efficiently monitor and manage their Google storage,” said Dr. Amy Bailey, Kincaid IT chief innovation officer. “As institutions  prepare for Google’s 2022 storage changes, Kincaid IT is ready to help organizations make informed decisions and thus effectively manage and take action on data within the domain before they face the new limits.”

While developing the management tools, Kincaid IT (KIT) piloted KIT Central in collaboration with several schools with a variety of enrollments and storage needs. KIT Central launched during spring 2021 and has received positive feedback from a number of organizations.

Google’s decision to change its storage limits, with enforcement beginning in July 2022, makes managing storage at the admin level increasingly important. 

Although Google offers a handful of tools to help administrators determine storage, KIT Central provides additional features and insights, all via a web-based dashboard. Examples include:

  • Allowing admins to see top storage users and the files they are storing
  • Searching an organization’s drive files with filters
  • Notifying individuals whose storage usage is not in line with policies and limits 
  • Scheduling files for deletion
  • Allowing the deletion of files instantly
  • Managing user memberships from a single pane
  • Resetting user passwords with granular delegations.

Based on Google’s 2022 storage changes, it is estimated that KIT Central’s Storage+ application could save a mid-sized school district thousands of dollars while universities — with their employee, student and alumni accounts — could see savings totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. These cost savings are based on an organization’s ability to reduce the need to purchase additional Google storage and licenses by better managing storage. KIT Central was also created with technology department staff members in mind, offering tools specifically designed to save time for an organization’s admins.

For more information about Kincaid IT Central, to schedule a demo and learn more about Google storage changes, visit this webpage. Pricing is based on the number of users within an organization. 

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Kincaid IT launches free KIT Merge Google Workspace Add-on to help users generate custom documents and enhance organization of files

Kincaid IT launches free KIT Merge Google Workspace Add-on to help users generate custom documents and enhance organization of files

KIT Merge makes it easy for teachers to customize feedback and help personalize instruction 

Kincaid Information Technology (Kincaid IT) is launching a free Google Workspace Add-on developed to help users easily generate custom files while enhancing organization. The new Add-on – known as KIT Merge – premieres within the Google Workplace Marketplace in January 2022 and is being featured at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) conference this same month. 

This convenient utility provides any Google user with the tools needed to create unlimited personalized certificates, charts, reports and other documents based on data from a Google Form or Google Sheet. Since most educators already use Google Forms, Sheets, Doc and Slides, using KIT Merge is an added benefit to provide this instant feedback to individual students or parents. These personalized PDFs, Google Slides or Google Docs can be automatically or manually sent to specified email addresses based on information included in the Form or Sheet. 

“We believe KIT Merge provides instructors with a simple solution to better customize feedback from their students,” said Dr. Amy Bailey, Kincaid IT Chief Innovation Officer. “This new Google Workspace Add-on seeks to meet specific needs we’ve heard from numerous classroom teachers by helping them personalize learning and ultimately improve student engagement and achievement, all while helping them stay organized.” 

KIT Merge gives teachers the means to address tasks and engage students such as providing customized certificates for students meeting their goals or personalized story starters for writing a narrative. For example, a teacher can create a certificate on a Google Slides, and use KIT Merge to award it to students based on data submitted from a Google Form or personalize an assignment to enhance instruction by using one of the many templates in KIT Merge. 

The free Add-on includes embedded step-by-step instructions, making it easy for users to create and send their personalized certificates, charts, diagrams and other documents in just a few minutes. In addition, KIT Merge creates a folder within your Google Drive to store and manage all KIT Merge projects. 

This new Google Workspace Add-on officially launches at the FETC conference, scheduled for Jan. 25-28 in Orlando, Florida.  

KIT Merge, developed by the Kincaid IT team, is the latest Google Drive Add-on created by the company.  Kincaid IT also developed KIT Central, a comprehensive cloud-based management suite designed to address Google’s 2022 storage changes.

For more information about KIT Merge, visit this link. Google users will be able to participate in a product demo after Jan. 25. After the launch date, the new Add-on will also be found in Google Workplace Marketplace by searching for KIT Merge.

Kincaid Information Technology specializes in assisting schools, governments and businesses with their technological challenges through consulting, technical services and professional development. 

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Migrating Classic Google Sites to the new Google Sites

Migrating Classic Google Sites to the new Google Sites

Five years ago Google introduced an updated version of Google Sites which is a rebuilt version of what is now known as Classic Google Sites. The New Google Sites is now the default for website creation in Google Workspace. in 2020 as Google began to phase out the Classic Google Sites. Recently Google updated the timeline for migrating from the old Classic Google Sites to the new Google Sites.

The most recent timeline for migration is:

  • Starting June 1, 2022, users will no longer be able to edit any remaining classic Sites in your domain.
  • Starting July 1, 2022, users will no longer be able to view classic Sites unless they are converted to the new Google Sites. Furthermore, users will no longer be able to use the Classic Sites Manager, the bulk site conversion tool.

Kincaid IT recommends notifying your end-users as soon as possible  about migrating any Sites they still have using Classic Sites Manager. All users need to transition to new Sites by July 1, 2022. Learn more about converting classic Sites at Google’s Help Center.

It is also recommended that users adhere to the following best practices when migrating their sites: In preparing for this migration, the following best practices are recommended: 

  • Create an archive of the classic Google Sites using the Classic Sites Manager. This will allow users to refer to their site at a later date,  if needed.
  • After you’ve converted a classic Google Site into a new Google Site, double check the sharing settings to make sure the correct people still have access.
  • check your audience settings before you publish your new Site to make sure the appropriate audience has access.
  • Decide whether collaborators can share your site with other users or publish the site in sharing settings in your new Google Site.

Migrating from the classic Google Sites to the new Google Sites was a topic on this month’s edition of The Admin Briefing webinar. Google frequently releases new features and changes policies and settings inside of Google Workspace. The Admin Briefing is a monthly webinar that discusses how these changes may impact your school or organization. Watch this month’s webinar or subscribe to The Briefing on our events page.

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Create Meeting Notes in Google Calendar

Create Meeting Notes in Google Calendar

Collaborative Agendas and Meeting Notes are one of the most popular uses of Google Docs.  This month Google Workspace released a new Google Calendar feature that lets hosts quickly start and share meeting notes or agendas.  

Create Meeting Notes Before the Meeting

Want to create an agenda before your meeting and quickly and easily share it with everyone participating? When you use Meeting Notes, Google Calendar will automatically create Notes for you in Google Docs, populate the document with event information, share the document with everyone invited to the meeting, and create a shortcut in the event in Google Calendar.

To get started:

  1. Create or edit an event in Google Calendar.
  2. Click “Add description or attachments.”
  3. Select “Create meeting notes.”

The Meeting Notes document will be created when you save your calendar event.

Creating Meeting Notes During the Meeting

You can also use Meeting Notes to record meeting notes after the event has started.  If you organized the meeting, a pop-up menu will ask you to share and attach the document to your event.  Just click “Share & attach” when you’re ready to share it with everyone in the meeting.

More Information About Meeting Notes

  • Want to use an existing document for your meeting notes? You can use the meeting notes template in any Google Doc by typing “@“ in the doc and using the drop-down menu to select “Meeting notes” and then selecting the event.
  • If you use Meeting Notes you will still be able to add additional Google Docs and attachments to the meeting event.
  • Meeting Notes are automatically saved in “My Drive”.

Want to stay up to date with the latest changes and improvements in Google Workspace and how they might impact your school or organization?  Check out our monthly webinar, “The Admin Briefing,” on our events page.  

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23889 West 40th Street
Shawnee, Kansas 66226
(913) 228-3061

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