Question: Google Apps for Education Contact Lists

WhyMy school is using Google Apps for Education.

We are looking for a solution to a problem that is proving rather sticky. We have several contact lists that we maintain. For example, we have lists for all 9th grade parents, all 10th grade parents, and so on. All of the students, faculty and staff have email addresses in our domain, and they appear automatically in our contact, but we can easily make groups or contact lists from those emails. The parents do not appear in our domain as they are not given addresses on our school’s domain.

Does anyone know of a solution that allows Google Apps for Education users to create contact lists that could be updated globally so that each user in the system would not have to update every single change? We are trying to minimize the number of people who make global changes (such as when we add a transfer student’s parental emails or when a parent changes their email). CSV files are proving to be rather cumbersome, and they also do not allow for quick global changes.

Right now, we don’t know of a way for a single user to add a contact and share it with everyone on our domain using native Google Apps tools, which means we would have to continue to load CSV files or keep some separate list. This solution is not ideal mainly because of the support we would need to provide faculty and staff as well as the increased opportunity for errors to creep in.

If you have a solution, can you brief me on it in the comments and provide any relevant links as well as personal experience with the tool(s)?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tintin44 – Sylvain Masson

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8 thoughts on “Question: Google Apps for Education Contact Lists

    • No, that wouldn't work. We want a global address book similar to the kind you can have in Outlook. I don't think a spreadsheet will do it.

  1. The best solution we have found is to use Google Groups rather than the contacts app. I still wish there was a global address list but it's the next best thing. Let me know if you have questions about how to set up groups.

    • Stacy, we have that set up already. It doesn't enable us to import the contacts from outside our domain. For instance, we wouldn't want to email the parents of all 9th graders for an issue that affects five, but unless we import the contacts in some sort of global address book, not all of us will have access to those contacts.

  2. Couldn't you just create a spreadsheet in docs that anyone with the link can edit? Have a field for the student's grade, then you can sort by grade when you only want to e-mail a specific year…

    • Chris, I'm not sure we could import a spreadsheet with email without a lot of copying/pasting, which would introduce some potential error. We are looking for a global address book solution that only a few administrative users can edit.

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