Generating Easy GSuiteEdu Login Cards

One of the biggest fears that teachers often have to overcome is teaching students how to log into their Google GSuiteEdu account. There upper case letters, lowercase letters, shift key presses, funny characters, and let’s not forget about the infamous @ symbol. It strikes terror in their hearts and they can not get pass that point. Yet logging into their Chromebooks with time and practice will literally become second nature. I know it is painful but so listening to Dr. Seuss being read by a 15 first grader in blending mode. Loved my firsties.

One of the easiest ways that I have found to help students learn to login and be consistent at it is to provide a clear login card that is visually simple and easy to read. Using Google Docs a template, a simple add-on  and a Sheets database, you can easy whip out colorful login cards for all of your students.

To get started, you need to create a Google Sheets database with the following column headers: First Name, Last Name, Google Email, and Google PasswordScreenshot 2017-09-02 at 9.06.16 AM

Once you populate your students’ information into the Google Sheet,  you will need to go download the Avery Label Merge Google Docs Add-on

 

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To get started Click Add-Ons, Avery Label Merge, New Merge.

Select your size of label that you would prefer. I really like using the Name Badges, 8395 Series with the 8 labels per sheet with separation because it makes it easier to cut out and you can more cards on a page.

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You will select your desired Spreadsheet from Drive and then it will return to Avery label merge. Make sure that you have the correct Spreadsheet listed. If you are working in a large database, you can select amongst Sheets and also decide which rows need to be generated in case you have that new student.

To get started, simply place your cursor where you want a field to be inserted and then click on the column headers on the right side. Once you have placement, you can customize with fonts, sizing, and spacing. Be mindful about long username and passwords.

I’ve included my Google Login Card template for easy login card creation but fill free to make your own. With playing with the template that is provided, try not to make the text box bigger than is provided or formatting when the cards are generating will not turn out like you want. It does take some trial and error especially with font size and inserted artwork. (I really wish you could overlay images in Google Docs). Screenshot 2017-09-02 at 9.19.02 AM

Once you are satisfied with your template, click the blue Merge button on the bottom and Avery Label Merge will run it’s magic. It isn’t the fastest Add-On so it takes a few moments but once it is ready, it will popup a link to the new Google Doc with your beautiful new Google login Cards.

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Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions on how you generate login cards for your students. How do your students manage them in their desk for safe keeping.

If you are interested in learning more about getting your students logged in easily and without tears, go check out my friend Christine Pinto’s blog at Christine Pinto- Colored Tape She uses some neat conditional formatting and colored tape to really make Chromebooks accessible for littles.

Next week, I will show how to generate a single page sign on sheet for all of your student’s logins. One page to rule them all!

Cheers

-Shawn

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TheClassroomQ- Asking For Help Has Never Been Easier

When teachers incorporate technology into their classroom using 1:1 Chromebooks, iPads, or a computer lab, often times the greatest challenge is provide assistance and help to each student without the cacophony of student’s chirping your name “MR REED MR REED MR REED!” asking for help at the exact same time. TheClassroomQ helps solves that problem by providing a virtual handraising tool where students can line up online and wait patiently while you are helping other students all from their own desk.

Screenshot 2017-08-27 at 3.47.55 PMScreenshot 2017-08-27 at 4.01.20 PMClassroomq.com  was founded by a pair of teachers who experienced a problem and decided to solve it which is AWESOME! They decided to create a website where you can create a virtual help queue where students will be able to ask for help with a click of a BIG RED button,

The teacher will have an updated list on their computer or smart phone of students who need help in the order that they clicked the Big Red BUTTON! Students can also add a “comment” note which can be read by the teacher when helping each ticket.

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Once the teacher assists the student, they can click off their name on the teacher portal and move on to the next student in the list. Oftentimes, it is the simplest digital tools that can make the biggest impact in the classroom.

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TheClassroomQ is a free service with a Pro upgrade available.

In the free version, number of students able to join a queue is 10 (Pro version is unlimited queue)

  • Pro version can be upgraded for $19.99 for one year and offers the following:
    •  The ability to see who has joined your class session in a list to the right as participants.
    • Provides how many times a student has asked for help
    • At end of the session, you can download a csv file of the data from the session.
  • School Version also offers the ability to set up multiple teachers on one account.

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Kyle, one of the cofounders offered a special 50% promo code for a year upgrade to the PRO account. This reduces the price down to $9.99 for the year. Once you sign into your free account, click on Account tab and upgrade your account. Enter the promo code “mrreedteach” for a 50% discount for the year PRO membership.

Let me know how you use TheClassroomQ in your classroom, computer lab, or workplace. I think this website has a lot of the potential for future updates, development, and would making an outstanding Apple Watch app for teachers (Something that is completely missing as of right now)

Student Password Generator With Google Forms- GSuiteEdu Made Easy

 

As teachers get settled into the beginning of their school year, there are many different things that are stacked onto a teachers plate. Assessments, baselines, behaviors, procedures, and even instruction. One thing that gets over looked is how we teach technology specifically the process of signing inuser name and password management. One of the most important edtech skills we can teach students is password management but often times we are ordained from on high a password scheme that is either exactly the same for each student or quite difficult to memorize, it also doesn’t give any relevance to the student.

With many other trends in education, student choice is becoming key to an engaging all of our students.  I believe that giving students choice in their learning including the use of educational technology promotes personal ownership in the process. While getting ready for bed, I got a brilliant idea to help make student;s passwords personalized. (Mrs. Reed didn’t appreciate this excitement at 11:15pm at night) To provide students with a personal choice password, I set up a Google Form that is simply two questions for them to fill out.

Gsuite Password Generator-Blog

(There is no way to share a Google Form that I know of so I attached the Google Form which you can recreate easily. Let me know if there is a nifty hack to share a copy of a Google Form)

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  1. Choose an animal name with a choice of 6 different animals with pictures. (I included a picture as well to allow students of all levels to access.
  2. Type in a four digit number (You can set Response Validation to Length-Minimum Character Count-4 to make sure that they have at least four digits.

You can gather the student’s emails in the Google Forms settings which listed in the response form. From the two cells from the two answers of the animal name and the number, you can combine the two cells using the following formula

=CONCATENATE(C2,D2) for example C2= Elephant D2=8831 E2 would combine to equal Elephant8831.

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From here you can collect your student’s password and paste them into the Google Sheet you use to maintain user names/passwords and reset your student’s password on admin.google.com if you have access to this. You can adjust the animals to whatever options you want including PBIS vocabulary, scientific terms, or High Frequency Words. Let me know how you set up passwords for your students including best practices for digital citizenship.

I hope this helps and makes your Google Apps experience with the littles an experience full of creation, collaboration, and creativity.

Up next for this series on getting started with Google Apps in the new year is a post how to easily create Login cards for Google Apps with a simple extension and a Google Sheet. 

Update: Thanks to the awesome reference by Christine Pinto who pointed at an Alice Keeler article on how to share Google Forms 5 Steps to Share a Copy of a Google Form

Update 2: If you are just starting with your class on Google before initial login onto Chromebook, have a open Google Form on a laptop open for students to fill out. I would add a short form input field to collect student names which will let you update their passwords before first login.

Be mindful if your Gsuite Edu domain have a default password for first login and a setting enabled to change password after first login. This will negate customizing your student’s password on first login. I manually logged in any new Gsuite users to customize their password with this method.

RocketSpelling.com – A spelling practice website

Screenshot 2017-08-07 at 8.30.31 PMThis week’s new edtech tool is a website called Rocket Spelling. Rocket Spelling www.rocketspelling.com was designed to provide K-5 students with a different way to practice their spelling words in a digital format. I found this site on r/edtech on Reddit and was enticed by the concept of digital spelling practice.

Rocket Spelling provides digital practice of over 1200 words in a variety of vowel patterns including short and long vowel. The student’s game play involves practice of a specific skill with multiple choices given looking for the student to choose the best one. One feature that I really like is that the audio read aloud of the word which also includes the word in the sentence. This will be especially helpful for my ELL students in their literacy rotation blocks. The lessons are self guided and provide repeated feedback for words that students spell or choose incorrectly.

Rocket Spelling is currently providing a free one year trial for 2017-2018 school year for teachers who sign up on www.rocketspelling.com and use the promo code “rocketlaunch”. The benefits of an upgraded account will allow you to create a class of students with individual usernames and passwords in order to monitor individual student usage, progress, and trackable data to guide future small group or individual instruction. Rocket Spelling will allow you to differentiate spelling practice for students at different ELA levels.    Rocket Spelling also maintains student’s interest through their excellent graphics,  points, awards and badges system which provides incentives within the game play.

I am personally going to use it as a part of our ELA rotational blocks for students who want to work on their spelling or phonics skills rather than a worksheet or word sort. Also this site can be given out to students to use at home for “homework” practice.

Once again you can sign up for a free one year trial at www.rocketspelling.com and use the promo code “rocketlaunch”.

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I think it has lots of potential in the classroom as well as at home use. How are you going to use it in your classroom? Do you have any ideas to improve engagement and mastery while using the site? Comment below.

ClassDojo Tool Kit

Today ClassDojo launched a new set of in-app features called the Tool Kit. The tool kit is multiple features that are designed to make your classroom run smoother The features can be controlled from your phone and displayed from your computer screen through DojoCast. Below are the screenshots from the updated app and the different tools in the tool kit.

Happy Dojo’ing!


I am very pleased with the new features to the app and it makes it so much more meaty than assigning points and updating our Class Story which I love doing btw. I feel like this Tool Kit allows teachers to really make a more meaningful use of their time when they pick up a cell phone in the classroom.

Let’s start the discussion. What features are you most excited for in the Tool Kit? Any tools you feel should be added to make this the ultimate app.

-Shawn

Native Printing in Chromebook

It appears with update 59 of ChromeOS for Chromebooks, you can now add printers manually to a Chromebook just like you would an network printer to Windows. No longer do you have invoke the ancient scrolls of CUPS extension and perform a ritual sacrifice in order print something from your HP 14 or Acer R11. Google Cloud Print just doesn’t work all the time and is a pain to deploy across a school or group of users.

To access the print features simply go Chromebook Settings-Printer-Add Printer. Presto! Connect your classroom printers through local network configuration or USB to your hearts desire.

https://chromereleases.googleblog.com/2017/06/stable-channel-update-for-chrome-os.html

Another great option if you wanna throw in your bag of tricks is a great Chrome extension IPPS/CUPS printer extension for Chrome which is a simple UI that allows you to connect to a wifi enabled printer. There is also a Google Admin version for mass deployment.

Forward to your CTO and you might even get an extra mouseball or RAM stick in your Christmas stocking.

How do you manage your printers in class or at your school?

Cheers

Chromebook Gestures

 

Today’s blog post is a request from Carol McLaughlin who asked if there was an easy list for Chromebook gestures. I am a huge fan of shortcuts, gestures, and hit keys that make using computers, laptops, and tech hardware easier to use with less clicks per task.

Chromebooks generally have a single touchpad which is different than Windows PCs who have a touchpad and two physical buttons that are synonymous with a physical mouse. One of the great things that Chromebooks have done is incorporated gestures into the ChromeOS to navigate native apps and Chrome browser. Google released a nice list of gestures for Chromebooks found here. Chromebook Gestures List

 

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Getting used to gestures and incorporating them into your work flow make tasks more efficient, less time consuming, and sometimes even seem like magic. One of my favorite gestures I discovered in accident as a secondary feature to the 3 finger tap. The three finger tap is magical when using it correctly. The primary feature of the 3 finger tap to open up a hyperlink in a new tab. As a teacher, every morning I open my Chrome browser on my Chromebook to access the 5-7 apps and websites that I need on a daily basis for my lessons. This was a time consuming task when so I had so many other things things to do in the morning before students walk through that door. I managed the bookmarks by keeping them in a Bookmark folder called “Daily” on the bookmark bar which I clicked each individual link with ctrl+click. This took time and was extremely annoying.

While listening to Google Teacher Tribe, Math Miller stated his favorite hack was a OSX feature that allow you to open up all bookmarks in a folder in one shortcut but there was no Chromebook gesture or shortcut. There had to be a better way for the sake of Chromebooks. One day I realized through an accident triple tap that all of my links opened in tabs and this became my new favorite gesture.

As I am teaching my students best practices with technology, I love to teach shortcuts and gestures that will make their workflow on a laptop or computer easy and efficient. My students find shortcuts with Chromebooks like a magical spells that I have bestowed upon them from Hogwarts. First graders and second graders are completely capable of using shortcuts and gestures on a Chromebook to navigate. This generation is a touchscreen generation so gestures are second nature when utilizing a Chromebook. Heck, my students love to show me new and faster ways to complete tasks on a Chromebook. In our classroom, we celebrate this new light bulb moments and make them the expert of that hack. This is all apart of our growth mindset classroom culture.

“Too easy Mr. Reed. Too EASY!”

For more info on Chromebook shortcuts, check out out one of my favorite blogs on Google Apps for Education, ChristinePinto.com who had an awesome guest post on this topic including teaching how to use a trackpad to littles.

Go #gafe4littles and #2ndchat

Let me know what is your favorite gesture on a Chromebook is and what useful ways do you use the 3 finger tap gesture to open up Bookmarks.

Thanks for reading..Shawn