I published my first ”app” to the chrome web store today (I use the term app loosely). When installed, it allows the user one-click access to the Cary-Grove High School web page. Your first question may be “Why?”.
It provides another avenue to your users for accessing important services. Bookmarks are effective for some users, others prefer to have Chrome open to a predefined set of URLs. Alternatively, providing a Chrome app allows one-click access from the new tab page for those who want that option.
Apps can be easily pushed out using the Google Apps Control Panel. While I’m unlikely to force this specific application on my users, this can be useful in several other scenarios. For example, if I’m a Google Apps for Business customer and my accounting department are all heavy users of a cloud-based accounting system, I could pre-install an app to their Google account that links directly to that service. From the first time they log into Chrome, the app will be at the ready on their new tab page.
Google has several good tutorials for creating apps for the Chrome Web Store; I used this one. A few things to know before if you want to make an app similar to mine:
You’ll need to verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools. Verifying a site proves that you have ownership of the site. There are several options for site verification (I used a meta tag). More information on site verification can be found here.
You need to use the same Google account to verify your site that you are going to be using to publish your application.
If this is your first app, you’ll need to pay a $5 fee to become a registered developer.
You have up to 16,000 characters available for a detailed description.
You’ll need to provide some graphic elements (full details). At minimum you’ll need:
one 128x128px icon (your app icon)
one 1280x800px (preferred) or 640x400px screenshot
one 440x280px promotional image
The process was very straightforward. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below. Good luck on making your first app!
I recently had a user complain that their computer randomly restarted to do updates. What likely happened is that they didn’t notice the popup warning them what was about to happen (as seen below).
Your computer needs to be rebooted after certain updates, but the way Microsoft goes about making that happen isn’t very user friendly. If you are a person who shuts down or reboots your computer every day, I’d suggest revoking Windows Update’s ability to restart your computer.
Warning – This procedure involves modifying group policy. The procedure itself is quite simple, but you can cause some serious issues “playing around” with group policies if you don’t know what you are doing. Proceed at your own risk!
Click the start button, type “gpedit.msc” (into the search box), then hit the enter key on the keyboard.
The “Local Group Policy Editor” should now be open. Use the left column to navigate to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update (as seen below).
Double-click the No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations item in the right column.
Click the Enabled radio button then click Apply, then click OK (as seen below).
Close the “Local Group Policy Editor”
Your computer should no longer prompt you to reboot in order to apply updates. The updates will still be applied the next time your computer is (re)booted, but you are no longer at the mercy of the “Postpone” button. Free at last!
In their most basic form, URL shorteners provide a simple web interface where the user can paste any cumbersome URL into a text box, click a button, and be returned a much shorter URL. The user then can share the short URL with the intended audience. Any users visiting the shortened URL will be redirected to the original URL.
If you want more information on the concept of URL shortening, check out this Wikipedia article. OK, on to the good stuff.
Why should you use them?
Are you providing a link on any printed material where a user would be expected to manually type the URL? If so, a shortened link is often times easier to type. Using a shortened URL is also less visually distracting, producing a smaller break in the flow of a paragraph.
Tip: Provide a QR code as well for any printed links. QR codes and smartphones are becoming increasingly popular and are the easiest way to connect the reader of your printer material to the intended online content.
Are you sharing on social media? Using my example above, the full Google+ link is 61 characters in length, while the shortened version is only 19 characters. Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet; shorter link URLs mean more space for your accompanying message.
Do you want to track clicks? Most URL shorteners keep a log of some basic information about those who clicked your link and can provide you with a report containing that data.
An example of this data (from goo.gl) is provided to the right (click to enlarge). Number of total clicks, a graph of clicks over time, browser and platform breakdown, even a breakdown by country of origin is provided.
How to use them?
While the overall feature set provided by these services are not identical, their core functionality is consistent. For the purposes of this post, I’m going demonstrate the goo.gl service. I use goo.gl as my URL shortener of choice because I’m a Google Apps user; the goo.gl service can store information in my Google account without having to set up yet another account. Check out the video below to see the goo.gl service in action.
But I want it to be even easier!
No problem. If you are using Google Chrome as your browser of choice (if not maybe it is time to make the switch), go get the aptly named “goo.gl URL Shortener” extension from the Chrome Web Store. Here is a direct link: http://goo.gl/GPNfL. For a quick walk through, check out the following video:
You may not haven heard much about Google Glass, but that is about to change. Google first announced the product in June of 2012 at their developer conference, Google I/O. Google took an interesting approach to building demand for the product. Instead of listing off all the internally developed planned features and uses, they allowed attendees (like myself, #1511) to sign up to be part of the “Glass Explorers” program. They have recently expanded this group to include other users via their #ifihadglass campaign. Their plan is to put the device in the hands of users and developers, and let the need and potential uses for the device to grow organically. The Glass Explorer Edition has yet to be made available to the group members. However, with Google I/O ’13 (hope to see you there!) coming up in a few weeks, I’d expect that delivery of the devices may be right around the corner.
Looking to discuss potential uses for Glass, I came across and joined the Google Glass Explorers community on Google+. It is great to connect with such a diverse group, but what I really want to do is talk about Glass with other educators. I know there are others like me, so I did what any good nerd would do, created a new community – Google Glass in Education.
If you are in the education sector and want to talk about Glass, I’d love for you to join us there – just click the image above. If you just want to know more about Glass, I’d suggest starting with this great write-up Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) of The Verge did a while back.
QR Codes are everywhere these days. You may not know what they are, but I’d bet you’ve seen them in one form of advertising or another. They look like this:
When scanned by a code reader app, this QR code will take you to my website. As more and more technology becomes available to students, QR Codes can be a really handy tool for educators. I’ve found that most teachers are aware of the existence of QR codes, however very few of them understand what they are, how they work, or how easily they can leverage their power. In this post, I’ll show you just how easy it is to use QR codes to connect with your students.
What is a QR Code?
QR stands for “Quick Response”. They are essentially 2D barcodes. Originally designed to be used in the manufacturing industry, they have become popular with advertising firms to connect their potential customers to online content. You’ll frequently see QR codes captioned with statements like “Scan to find out more…”.
For your purposes as an educator, what you need to know about them is very minimal. When you see a QR code, essentially what has happened is that someone has used a utility to encode some (usually alphanumeric) data into an image using a common standard. That image is a QR code. In my example above, the text that is encoded in that image is “http://blatti.net”.
So how do you read them?
There are software applications available on smartphones and tablets, commonly known as “QR Code Readers”. These applications essentially perform the opposite function of the encoding utility I mentioned in the previous section. These applications can read the image using the camera on the device, decode the data using that same common standard, and return it to its original form. There are many of these applications available for iOS and Android devices, just search the App or Play store (respectively).
As in my example above, QR codes are most commonly used to encode web addresses (URLs). When a QR code containing a URL is scanned, QR code reading applications will direct the browser on the device they are scanned from to that URL. Pretty simple right?
And how is that useful?
Today’s students are completely immersed in technology. They are connected to their smartphones in a way that older generations sometimes find difficult to relate to. By using QR codes to direct your students to websites, you are presenting them information in a way that is convenient and relevant to them. QR codes work because they lower the barrier to entry. They can be directed to exactly where you want them to go without typing a URL, then navigating to your “home page”, then clicking one of your links.
So how do I make one?
The beauty of this is how dead simple it is to implement. I’ve included a 1 minute video below that shows how I made the QR code above. I use Google Chrome as my browser of choice. One of the awesome features of Chrome is your ability to use apps form the Chrome Web Store. I used the QR Creator application to make my code, however there are several options available for generating QR codes. Happy coding!
Embedding images into forms is a feature that would really enhance the power of Google Forms. Unfortunately, Google has yet (as of 3/1/2013) to include this feature. James Eichmiller created a script that allows users to embed images stored in Google Drive into their Google forms very easily however. Instructions can be found here.
Embedded below is a video made by Bryan Weinert that shows the script in action. He uses it for inserting exported graphic versions of equations made with Daum Equation Editor.*
Google Groups is an integral part of the Google Apps For Education Suite. Groups are most commonly used as a mailing list for sending emails to multiple users, but can also be utilized to create web-based forums or to facilitate Q&A sessions between a specific group of users.
In this post, I’ll be outlining how to use Google Groups to create a mailing-list style group that will allow you both send email and assign access in Google Drive using a single email address.
I’ve created a brief instructional video that outlines the process that is explained in detail below. I’d suggest watching it before diving into the details.
Remember those details I mentioned? Here they are…
If you aren’t signed in to Google already (your email address will show up near the top right corner), sign in.
Click Groups on the black navigation bar (across the top of the page).
Click the red CREATE GROUP button to create a new group.
Give your group a name.
Names should be granular enough to accurately specify the audience.
Group names must be unique within the organization, so you’ll need to put some thought into the name. In our organization there are 4 high schools. Calling the group “1st Period Art” wouldn’t be specific enough; that name could easily apply to a class at each of the 4 different buildings within the organization.
While blank spaces are allowed in the “Group name” field, they will be replaced by dashes in the “Group email address”. I’d suggest using dashes or underscores to separate items in your group name, allowing the group name and email prefix to be identical.
For this example, I’ll be making a group containing all the students for my 1st period Biology class at Cary-Grove High School. I’m going to use “CG-Blatti-1st for my group name. It is easily identifiable as my 1st period class. You’ll notice that I didn’t use “Biology” as part of the name. Because I teach different classes, I may not be teaching Biology during 1st period next semester. With the name I chose, I’ll be able to reuse this group with my 1st period class next semester regardless of which subject I’m teaching.
The “Group email address” will be automatically populated based on the group name that I provided. Make a mental note of this address; it is what you’ll be using to send emails and apply rights in Google Drive later on.
In this example, I’m creating a mailing list that will only be used by myself as the teacher. We can leave the group description blank; it isn’t needed for this model.
Set the group’s primary language.
“Group type” should be set to the default, “Email list”. To learn about the other options available, click here.
In the “Basic permissions” section, you’ll find three drop-down boxes.
“View Topics” – This specifies who is able to view topics in the group. Because I am setting up communication between myself (the teacher) and the list members (a specific set of students), I’ll uncheck “All organization members”. You’ll notice that to the right of the drop-down is a check-mark followed by “All members of the group”. This is an overall summary of who has access.
“Post” – because I’m creating one-way communication to my students, I should be the only user with the ability to post. I’ll uncheck all options except for “Owners of the group”, which in this case is just me.
“Join the Group” – Since this group will be a static set of known individuals, I’ll set this to “Only invited users”. For complete details on basic permissions, click here.
Double-check all of your settings. If everything looks good, click the CREATE button at the top of the screen.
Assuming everything went well during the creation process, you’ll receive a confirmation message that the group has been created.
Click the My groups link in the left column to return to your groups list.
Section 2: Invite Members to the Group
Now that my group has been created, it is time to add members to the group. If you have been following along, you should currently be viewing the “My groups” page, listing your newly created group (as well as any other groups you own or are a member of). If you’d like to access this list (and manage your groups) at another time, just go to https://groups.google.com (or click the Groups link on the black bar), then click the “My groups” link in the left column (as seen below).
Tip: If you already have the email addresses corresponding to the students in your class in a comma delimited email list (see my previous post on exporting rosters from Skyward), you could just paste that information into the “Enter email addresses of people to invite” text field instead of adding the members individually as instructed below.
In the right column, Click the link matching the name of the group you’d like to work with. For my example, I’ll click CG-Blatti-1st.
Click the Manage button near the top right corner.
Click the Invite members link in the left column.
Click in the “Enter email addresses of people to invite” text field and begin typing the name or email address of a user you’d like to add to the group. You can either click his or her name when it appears in the displayed list, or continue to type until there is only one name in the list, then press the Tab or Enter on the keyboard to add that name to the list.
Repeat the previous step until all users that you would like to invite are listed.
An invitation message is required, so type an applicable message in the “Write an invitation message” text field.
Click Send invites to invite the listed users to the group.
Invitees will receive an email that looks similar to the one below.
They will need to click the accept link in the email to join the group. I’d suggest informing the members that they will be receiving this email and what to do with it (click the accept link) before sending the invitations. After clicking the accept link, the members will receive a confirmation message, similar to the one seen below. (sidenote: Google – please fix the CSS for this page, seriously.)
As the group owner, you can see and manage a list of all the group members and their roles at any time by clicking All members from the left column of the groups interface. Now that we’ve done all the setup legwork, now let’s discuss the easy part – using it.
Section 3: Email the Group
When I created the group above (section 1, step 6), an email address was automatically generated and assigned to the group. In my example, that address was “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Simply send an email to the group email address, and the email will be delivered to all the members of the group. You should be able to use Gmail or any other email client (in my case, Outlook). I previously setup the group so that only the group owner (myself) has the ability to email the group; only email sent from my account will be delivered to the group.
Section 4: Assign Access to the Group for Items in Google Drive
Assigning access to folders or individual items in Google Drive is just as easy.
Open Google Drive in your web browser (http://drive.google.com), or click the Drive link in the black bar at the top.
Right-click the item or folder you want to share, hover over the Share… menu with your cursor, then left-click Share… from the resulting contextual sub-menu.
Click in the Add people text field, then begin typing the group name or email address.
Click on the desired group when it appears, or continue to type until it is the only option in the list, then hit the enter (or tab) key on the keyboard.
Select the appropriate permission level by clicking the Can edit link to the right of the the group name.
Apply your desired notification options, then click the Share & save button to complete the action.
Section 5: Manage the Group
You can access and manage all of your groups at any time from the Groups web page.
Open Google Groups in your web browser (http://groups.google.com), or click the Groups link in the top black bar from any other Google page.
Click My groups, then in the right column, click the link to the group you’d like to manage.
Click the manage button, then the applicable section in the left column.
You can change settings, permissions, and manage membership from this single location. Detailed information about all of the management options is available on Google’s Groups support page.
If you have any questions or comments about this post, please leave a reply below.
Several people have inquired about the ability to export their class rosters from Skyward in order to:
create distribution lists in Outlook for emailing their students
apply rights to files and folders with Google Drive
In this guide, I’ll show you how to export a class roster and convert student email addresses from that roster into copy-and-paste friendly lists for both Google Apps and Microsoft Outlook.
While this guide outlines specific processes for manipulating class roster data exported from Skyward, the ability to take text and reformat it to suit your needs is the core skill you should take away from this. That ability is useful in many scenarios outside the scope of this guide.
Open your gradebook (below, left), then click the Gradebook link that corresponds to the class you want a roster for (below, right). In this example, I’ll select the link corresponding to my 1st period Biology class.
Click the Reports menu, then click Class Roster (as seen below).
Select template “900 Student Name & Student Info” then click the Export to Excel button (as seen below).
The report will be queued by the server. Once the report is completed, click Display Report (below, left). This will download an Excel file containing the data to your default download location (usually your desktop or your “Downloads folder”). The file will have a seemingly random alphanumeric string for a name (in my example “SKR9098944U7R8N9Y1181434”, below, right)
Open up the Excel file by double-clicking it. You may be prompted with a dialog box informing you that the file you are trying to open is in a different format than specified by the file extension. If you get this error (as seen below), click Yes.
Your roster data should now be open in Microsoft Excel (as seen below).
Rows 1-2 contain information about the report.
Rows 4-5 contain information about the class (teacher, course, section, room, etc.).
Row 7 is the column header row, containing the titles for each of the columns of student data.
Rows 8-n (depending on the number of students) contain columns of various student data (depending on the report template).
At this point, I’d recommend saving the data in the standard Excel format, with a more applicable title than it has currently. In this example I’m using Office 2012; the process in earlier versions should be very similar, but may vary slightly.
Click File then click Save As (as seen below).
Select an applicable save location (in my example I’m using the desktop) and give the file an appropriate name by typing it into the ”File name” text box (here I’m calling the file “Bio_Roster_P1″).
Below the “File name” text box is a drop-down menu titled “Save as Type”. The file you exported from Skyward will be in the “XML Spreadsheet 2003 (*.xml)” version. Click this box and select Excel Woorkbook (*.xlsx) to save the file using the standard Excel file format (as seen below).
Click Save to save the data in the new file name and type.
Now that you have the data with the desired name and format, I’d suggest closing Excel and deleting the original file that you exported from Skyward (in this case “SKR9098944U7R8N9Y1181434.xls”). This will avoid confusion later and eliminate duplicate data.
Creating “Copy-and-Paste” Student Lists
You have your class list in a spreadsheet. This format is great for keeping the data organized, but if you want to send an email to or assign roles in Google Drive for your students, you’ll need a single line, delimited list of student email addresses.
Google uses comma delimited lists. If your organization is fully immersed in Google Apps, a comma delimited list is all you’ll need. If you are using Outlook for staff email however (as we are at District 155), you’ll also need to keep a semicolon delimited list (Outlook doesn’t recognize the comma as a separator).
The one I’m going to use in this example is textmechanic.com; specifically the Add-Remove Line Breaks function. This page allows you to paste the email address data fields from Excel (which will be line break delimited), perform a function to replace the line breaks with commas (and/or semicolons), and copy the resulting single-line list to be pasted back into your Excel file. It might sound complicated, but it is just a few mouse clicks.
Open your Excel roster (in this example, “Bio_Roster_P1.xlsx”) and drag a box to highlight only the email address column for only the rows that contain your student data (as seen below). Once highlighted, right-click the data then left-click Copy from the contextual menu (as seen below).
Leave your excel window open, we’ll use it to paste our reformatted data into shortly. Open your web browser (you are probably already in it if you are reading this) and go to the Add-Remove Line Breaks page mentioned above.
Clear all the text in all fields by clicking the C button above the input box (above, A).
Paste the student emails that you just copied from Excel into the input box (above, B). Note: You may find the cursor on a blank line at the bottom of your data. If so, hit the Backspace key on the keyboard to remove it. The cursor should be at the end of the bottom email address before proceeding.
Enter “, ” (comma followed by a single blank space) in the top-right field (above, C). In this box, you are specifying the delimiter to be used in between data (replacing the current delimiter, the line break).
Click the Remove All Line Breaks button (above, D).
The output box will contain a single line of every email address you provided, separated by commas (above, E).
Click the S button to highlight the output text (above, F).
Right-click the text, then left click Copy from the contextual menu (above, G).
You now have all the email addresses from your class (separated by commas) in your clipboard. You’ll need to put that information in an appropriate and easy to access location. In this example, I’m going to put it right back into my existing Excel document.
If you still have your Excel from step 1, switch back over to Excel. Leave your web browser open to the textmechanic web page (don’t clear out your data from the form; we’re going to use it again). If you closed Excel, reopen your file at this time.
Enter “Google List” into column A on an available row below your class list. In my example, I left a blank line to separate my lists from the exported data.
Paste the data from your clipboard into column B of the same row (as seen below).
Save your changes (Remember this is Excel not Google Sheets. You still need to tell it to save changes).
If you are intending to send email using Outlook or Outlook Web Access, you’ll need the same list separated by semicolons instead of commas.
Go back to your the textmechanic “Remove Line Breaks” page in your web browser (it should still have your data in it).
Repeat steps 2C through 2G above, instead using “; ” (semicolon followed by a single blank space) for step 2C.
Repeat steps 3A through 3D, using the next available row, entering “Outlook List” (instead of “Google List”) in Column A of step 3B (as seen above).
You now have lists you can easily copy and paste when sharing items with your class using Google Drive, or when sending an email using Outlook (if needed). Just click the appropriate cell (containing the list), copy it, and paste it into the appropriate location. Repeat the above process for the rest of your classes. If you are storing your class-related files in Google Drive, you could upload and convert this roster to Google Sheet, then file it in an applicable location in your drive; you could have access to your roster from anywhere!
If you have any questions or comments about this process, please leave a reply below or as always just stop by and see me.
Go to Google, type in your search terms and click “Google Search”. How many times a day do you rely on this process to learn about new things (or remind yourself of things you’ve forgotten)?
The internet is an ever expanding beast, continually fed an incomprehensible amount of information. Every single day, over 2 million blog posts (like this one) are written (check out the “A Day In the Internet” infographic). Teaching your students (and yourself) how effectively and efficiently use Google Search is a skill that is not only useful now, but also a skill that will exponentially increase in value moving forward throughout their careers.
Google has created a site dedicated to “search education” to assist you in this effort – Google Search Education. They offer pre-made lesson plans on a variety of topics for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The site also has webinar-style instructional videos. View these concepts in action in the video below.
gClassFolders is a template and set of scripts created by Bjorn Behrendt that works with Google Drive. It provides teachers with the ability to automatically generate folders to publish information to their students using a “View” folder, as well as collect information from their students using “Dropboxes”. It is easy to setup, provides built-in organization for your class related files, and eliminates the need for teachers and students to “share” individual items with each other to distribute or turn in assignments.
Before continuing with the instructions below, I’d suggest reviewing the 3 minute video below, created by Dee Lanier from edutechserve.com. It shows the process in action.
Running the gClassFolders Scripts
Go to your Google Drive.
Click then From template… as seen below.
Make sure you are in the “Public Templates” tab (“A” below) of the template gallery (if you aren’t, click Public Templates) and search for “gClassFolders” (“B” below), then click Use this template (“C” below).
A new Google spreadsheet will open containing the following columns:
Student Fname – student’s first name.
Student Lname – student’s last name.
Student Email – student’s D155 email address.
Class Name – the name of your class.
Period (Optional) – the period of the class. Note: I’d suggest using this to provide easier organization. If you are using periods, you’ll have sets of student dropboxes organized by period, but a single “Class Edit” and “Class View” folder. This way you can place items you want to distribute in a single “Class View” folder, and all periods of a given class will have access to those items. If you want each period of the same class to have different “Class View” and “Class Edit” folders, then you should create a different class name for each period (e.g. “Bio 1st Period”, “Bio 3rd Period”, etc.). In that scenario, you wouldn’t use the “Period (Optional)” column.
Teacher Email or blank if you – assuming you are completing this process for yourself and are logged into your D155 account, you should leave this blank.
Enter one row of information for each of your students. (as seen below) Note 1: Because there are columns for class name and period, you can run this process one time for all of your classes.. Note 2: In the future, I will be creating a post on how to export your student names and email addresses from Skyward. That will save you the time of entering them manually. Alternatively, you could use a Google form to collect first name, last name and period from your students. Assuming that form is set to collect their email automatically, you would then have all the data you need for this process in a Google spreadsheet, which you could then copy and paste into this spreadsheet.
When you have all your student information in the spreadsheet, click the gClassFolders menu, then click Sort Sheet. (as seen below)
You will be prompted to verify your intent to run the script (as seen below). Click OK to continue. Note: This is a 3rd party script (not made by Google) and requires you to grant it access to make folders in your drive. This window is making sure you understand that. I have run this script several times and it is widely used by teachers across the county. I feel comfortable running this script personally, but you should read this and make sure you feel comfortable before proceeding.
You will receive a message stating “Now you can run the script” (as seen below). Click Close.
Because the script wasn’t authorized when you clicked “Sort Sheet” the first time, the original action never completed. Now that the script has been authorized to run, once again click the gClassFolders menu, then click Sort Sheet.
A small yellow banner will show up near the top of the screen to inform you that the script is running, then again when the script has finished (as seen below).
Now that the information has been sorted (if any sorting was necessary), click the gClassFolders menu, then click Create Folders and Shares (as seen below).
You should see another yellow banner informing you that the script is running (as seen below). Note: This step will take longer than the sort script.
When complete, you should see a popup box (as seen below) informing you that the folders are now shared with your students. Click OK.
You’ll then see a final banner notifying you that the script is complete (as seen below).
That’s it! You’ve successfully set up “Share” and “Edit” folders for each class you specified, as well as student dropboxes for each student, separated by period.
Understanding What You’ve Created
In your drive, you’ll find a folder named after each class. Using my example, I have one folder called “Google Drive”. Each folder will contain three sub-folders:
Student Dropboxes – this folder will contain a sub-folder for each period you specified (if used). Each period will contain a folder named after each student. Students will be able to put items into this folder on their drive, and you’ll be able to see and edit those items when you access this folder from your drive.
(class name) – View – All members of the class will have view level permissions to this folder. This where you would place your syllabus and “hand out” type materials. Anything you move into this folder (or create in this folder) will be instantly viewable by all the students in your class. Note: Remember, if you elected to separate your classes using periods, all students from all periods of a given class have access to this folder.
(class name) – Edit – Anything in this folder will be editable by all members of the class. This folder was created to facilitate group work, however I would recommend avoiding the use of it in our setting. Every student in your class (or all your periods of the same class if you are using periods) will be able to edit any item in this folder. If you don’t foresee a need for this folder, you can simply delete it. It will no longer show up in your students’ drives. To delete it, drag it to the trash as seen below. Note: If you don’t see “Trash” as one of the options on the left side of your drive, click the More link at the bottom. This will expand the items in this column to include the trash.
Tip: I’d suggest using these folders to facilitate your own organization of your information for each class. In my example, I could put all my items related to my “Google Drive” class in my “Google Drive” folder. I could even make additional folders to organize my things (handout folder, assignment folder, etc.). As long as the information isn’t in one of sub-folders created by gClassFolders, the items will be private to you. You can take a file from this parent directory and move it into the “View” folder for that class on as-needed basis. The students will instantly have access to the information. Then move the item back to your private folder when you don’t want them to have access to it anymore. You can update the files as necessary, using the same process to “hand out” the information the following semester. This allows you to stay organized in a per-class manner without having to maintain two separate folder structures for your classes.
Training Your Students
Students will automatically have access to their dropbox folder, as well as the “View” and “Edit” (if you decided to keep it) folders for the class to which they are assigned. These items will show up under “Shared with me” in their Google Drive automatically.
To allow for easy access to these items, I suggest instructing your students to do the following:
Go to their Google Drive.
Create a new folder by clicking the CREATE button, then clicking Folder (as seen below).
Type a name for the folder, then click Create (as seen below). In my example, I’ll use “Google Drive” since that is what the class is called.
Note: Have them name this folder in a way that is most easily identifiable with this class for them. This could be by subject, period, teacher name; every student could use something different – this name only serves their own organization of their drive.
Click Shared With Me (in the left column of the drive interface). This will display items that have been shared with them (like the folders you made for your class) in the right column of the drive interface (as seen below). Note: On the left side of the drive interface, they may need to expand the “My Drive” item. If expanded, the small arrow to the left of “My Drive” will be pointing downward and the folder they just created will be listed. If not expanded, they should click the arrow expand their drive (as seen above).
They should then drag and drop each of the folders that were created by you using gClassFolders (their dropbox, the class “Edit” folder, and the class “View” folder if you elected to use it) from the right side of the drive interface, onto the folder they just created on the left side of the interface (as seen below).
Each student will now have a folder that corresponds to your class located directly in their drive. They won’t need to scroll through “Shared with me” each time to access these items. In addition, they can put their work for your class in the folder they created themselves (the one they dragged the other folders into), applying the same organizational tip to their work that I provided above to you. You, as the teacher, won’t be able to access any of their items unless they put them in the dropbox; they have an organized space to store their work for your class until it is ready to be submitted, and to archive it after it is complete.
Finally you’ll need to lay out your expectations of them. They’ll need to know that when you say “I put it in the view folder” that they can simply log onto their drive from any device and view the item or items you’ve put there. In the scenario where they are handing things into you, you’ll need to give them the expectation that they need to have their submission in their dropbox by a certain date and time. You can then easily traverse the dropboxes by class, then by period, then by student to evaluate and grade their submissions.
That’s it for gClassFolders! Please leave a reply below or stop by and see me if you have questions or need clarification with any of the concepts discussed here.