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Alice Keeler

Google Classroom: Work with Other Schools – Whitelist a Domain

Google Classroom: Work with Other Schools – Whitelist a Domain

Whitelist domains

Google Classroom participants are restricted to the domain. This means that in order to use Google Classroom you must be signed in with your school Google Apps for Education (GAfE) account and anyone in your class has to have the same GAfE account. For example, my domain is @fresnoteach.org. Others who have the @fresnoteach.org email address are able to join my Google Classroom classes.


You can use Google Classroom with others who have a GAfE account so long as the Google Apps domain manager whitelists the other schools domain.  When I go to a school to do Google Classroom training, I ask them to please whitelist my domain so their teachers can use my Google Classroom.


Whitelisting must be a mutual agreement between the schools. Each school must whitelist the domain of the other school. If you had your school whitelist my domain @fresnoteach.org you would still not be able to access my Google Classroom training class. We would have to essentially “shake hands” where I add your domain to my list of approved domains.


In order to whitelist a domain you have to have access to the Google Apps admin console.


From the admin console, click on “Apps.”
admin console apps


Click on “Google Apps.”
google apps


Choose the “Classroom” app.
Google Classroom app

Whitelisted Domains

Click on “Whitelisted domains.”
whitelisted domains


There are 2 checkboxes that must be checked.
“Your organization’s users can join classes in whitelisted domains.”
“Whitelisted domain users can join classes in your organization.”


Under “View configured whitelisted domains” click the “Edit” link.


Type in the domain you wish to whitelist at the bottom. Click on “ADD.”


Make sure you click SAVE!

My experience is that the updates take place instantly. It is possible it could take up to 24 hours for the changes to take place. When whitelisting does not seem to work it is usually because the checkboxes were not checked or the domain was misspelled.

Note: You can NOT whitelist a Gmail account. Whitelisting is only available for GAfE accounts.

5 thoughts on “Google Classroom: Work with Other Schools – Whitelist a Domain

  1. Another great post Alice. Thank you. You probably already know that there is another benefit of whitelisting domains. It allows your google forms to “auto-collect” identities and turn authentication on across domains. We do a lot across schools and even across catholic dioceses. Whitelisting has been a huge enabler. The problem is that Google gives you no indication that this functionality exists. When you turn authentication on for your own domain, it actually turns it on for all whitelisted domains. Very neat…

    1. Our GAfE accounts authenticate via Office360, are you saying that if we whitelisted our domain with another, users on the other domain would be met with this authentication requirement as well?

  2. Just had to do this for a Regional Governor’s School which has students from several different divisions and it worked well. Don’t forget to make sure your Drive settings are configured so sharing can occur outside of domain…

    After you add a whitelisted domain to the settings for Classroom, you must also configure your Drive settings to ensure that users in your domain can share files with users in the whitelisted domain. Without this step, turning in assignments in Classroom will not work.

    Set file sharing permissions

    Sign in to the Google Admin console
    Click Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings.
    In the left panel, select the desired organizational unit.
    Under Sharing outside of organization, click the circle at Whitelisted Domains.
    Now, users in the specified organizational unit can invite people in whitelisted domains to view, comment on, and edit their files. They can also receive files from whitelisted domains.

    Note: This is the minimum level of sharing required. You may also choose more permissive settings. For details about other settings, see Set file sharing permissions.

    (Optional) Check the For files owned by users in organization, warn when sharing with users in whitelisted domains box.
    Click Save Changes.
    Note: If you change the Drive settings after users join classes, you may prevent users from completing tasks. For example, a student may be unable to turn in an assignment or a teacher may be unable to return work to a student.

  3. Thanks for this information, Alice. Once two domains are joined in whitelisted harmony, what kind of access permissions do individuals on ether domain have on the other? Do they differ at all?

    The way classroom works within a single domain, students either have to be invited to a class or given a class code right? So I would imagine this would be similar for basic level accounts across domains. But what about administrative level accounts? How much content is accessible? What kind of security is given up when we remove the walls essentially?

    Not having admin rights on my own GAfE means I ask this question solely based on what I find in online tutorials. I’m interested because I’d like to communicate this information to my colleagues. It seems like the most logical way of collaborating with our partner schools, having them access a Google Classroom class on our domain. High level of repeat-ability that way.

    Anyways… thanks for any light you might be able to shine!

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