As a yearbook advisor, I worry about the best place to store images. My school creates our softbound 100-page full-color yearbook in Google Slides for less than $10. Despite the cost savings, I still worry about FERPA and storing yearbook images online even though parents complete a photo/video release form.

At first, it appears that we have only two choices for storing yearbook images:

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We can use Google Photos with editing and facial recognition capabilities. Photos can be organized in albums. Students can write comments (or captions) on individual pictures. Sadly, we sacrifice student privacy with its non-existent school-level sharing permissions. Google sharing permissions are on or off. No advanced settings exists at this time. Please note that as of August 1, 2017, non-core apps like Google Photos will be turned off. Please talk to your district school domain administrator to have it manually turned on.

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Or we can use Google Drive with its site-level folder sharing permissions and the option to prevent editors from changing access and adding new people. Google Drive is a Core Service and, therefore, FERPA compliant. At the same time, we sacrifice photo editing and facial recognition capabilities.

Photos Organization Sharing Chart
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Step 1 - Google Photos

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Step 2 - Google Drive

  • Go to
  • Open Settings -> Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive.
  • Open the new folder and select the folder labeled by year
  • Select Share -> Get shareable link (Anyone with a link can view)

Step 3 - Google Classroom

  • Go to your yearbook Google Classroom.
  • Return to STREAM and add Assignment with the Shareable link.
    • Students must open this folder before they can insert these images.
    • Students will go to Insert -> Image -> Google Drive -> Shared with me.
  • Go to ABOUT and add the student editors as co-teachers.
  • When a student un-enrolls, she no longer has access to the Photos.

Next Steps...

How does Classroom work with SlidesYearbook? Let's find out!