Friday, June 1, 2018

TEC Refresh and Google Drive File Stream

Let's start with the FACTS!
  • Your U Drive is here to STAY! (No worries about that tool going anywhere)
  • Some buildings will get a TEC Refresh (Your Building Techs will let you know if that's you)
  • Google Drive provides UNLIMITED storage space (No file too large!)
  • You have a NEW storage drive on your Windows Desktop or Laptop... the Y Drive!
All of these facts are very important to you! Why? Well, our files are precious. We invest enormous amounts of time into developing documents for educating our students and for managing our day to day operations at each of our schools. Files are important.

Read on to learn about your NEW Y Drive and the TEC Refresh (at the end of this post)...

To start, Jessica sent an email out titled "Google Drive is now a Drive on your Computer". (You can search your inbox here if you wish to read it.) That email discusses your NEW Y Drive. Officially, Google calls this new service the Google Drive File Stream. We have already installed this service on all staff machines. However, to see it and to begin using it you will need to activate that service with your PPS Google account. Just know this, with Drive Stream your...

Y Drive = Google Drive

What does that mean? Through some pretty sweet digital vudu, you now have UNLIMITED storage on your desktop and laptop computers. Woot! That means a couple of things, 1) you can store any file type there and as you are connected to the network or wifi it will be backed up safely, and 2) you may work with your Word and Pointpoint files on your TEC through MS Office, and still have them stored in Google Drive. Yay!

Follow these directions to get connected. (From your TEC or Teacher Desktop*)

STEP 1) Click on the Start Menu, then choose All Programs

STEP 2) Choose Drive File Stream from the menu (additionally, you may search for File Stream in the search bar at the bottom of the menu)

STEP 3) A Google login screen will appear, enter your email address and network password there

STEP 4) A welcome window will appear, you may either close it or click through its information and click the "open windows explorer menu"

STEP 5) If you closed the window after login, open My Computer or click Windows Explorer

After either STEP 4 or STEP 5, you should now see added to your list of computer drives the Google Drive File Stream (Y:). In that drive, you will see your Google Drive My Drive and Team Drives folder. Moving files there will allow them to live on both your Windows machine and in Google Drive. LET THE SYNC MAGIC HAPPEN!

* Remember, once your teacher station becomes obsolete it will not be replaced. You WILL always have your TEC and your Teacher Chromebook.

TEC Refresh

A couple of our Portage buildings are receiving upgrades to aging TEC Desktops. Your Building Tech will inform you as to who you are. (If you hear nothing, IT'S NOT YOU! haha)

In order to prepare your computer for the upgrade, we HIGHLY recommend you move ALL your files from your desktop (and My Documents for those who store your files there) to either your U Drive or your Google Drive, perhaps using your new Y DRIVE (if you've taken the time to set up that option).

Below is a series of steps you might use to begin this move. (Feel free to do this in the manner that best suits you.)
  1. Create a New Folder titled "TEC Backup, Spring 2018" or "Desktop Backup 2017-2018" (Use whichever naming convention you wish)
  2. Drag-n-drop all the files and folders you wish to keep into this ONE FOLDER
  3. Open either My Computer (Windows Explorer) or Google Drive
  4. Drag-n-drop your new backup folder to My Drive (either on Google Drive or your Y Drive... or if you have space, your U Drive)
  5. Wait for all files to upload or sync to their new location
    1. We recommend doing this earlier in the day to allow time for your files to move
    2. Depending on the number and size of your files, this process could take a few minutes to several. Be prepared to wait for the process to complete, accordingly.
  6. Optionally, you may store your files on a flash drive as well if this suits you better.
Use whatever system you like to backup your files; the point is to BACK THEM UP. We do not wish to see any of you lose the great work that you have put so much time into creating.

Should you find that you require assistance, please reach out to your building tech or the helpdesk promptly.

Good luck!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Graduating? Retiring? What it means to leave PPS and Google

It's the end of yet another school year...

So many happy moments! Our seniors are graduating. Our retirees, who have given us so much, are preparing to leave. Each person leaving Portage Public Schools is stepping into a new adventure.

For many of you who will depart from our ranks, it will be important that you are able to take with you some, or all, of the products you have created. Most of these items live in the Google-sphere and you need to know how to pack 'em up and ship 'em out.

So... today's post is about How to Take Your Files Stored in Google With You When You Leave.

Quickly, let's mention your U Drive files. Simply grab a flash drive or log into your favorite cloud storage service and drag-n-drop or upload those files. Done.

DISTRICT EMPLOYEES: Make sure you work with your supervisor to transfer ownership of any files critical to the success of your team. See how to transfer ownership in this article.

With Google, there are three ways to transfer content to another Google account.

  • Share and Copy (My Drive, a few files at a time)
  • Direct Transfer (Gmail and My Drive)
  • Download Your Data (take it all, recommended minimum)*

* Note you can only take files of which you are the owner.

Share and Copy

If you happen to be old enough to own (13+), and have created, a personal Gmail account, you may share those files you wish to keep with that account and make copies of those files from within the personal account. By making a copy of those files in Google Drive, your personal account will then become the owner of those copies. The instructions below will tell you how to share and make copies of your files.
  • How to Share (with another account)
  • How to copy a file
    • Locate the file in Google Drive
    • Select the file
    • Right-click and “Make a copy”
    • You now own the copy

Note you may share an entire folder and make copies of multiple files with that folder at one time; however, you cannot make copies of folders.

Direct Transfer

An easier way to copy your files from your School Google account to another Google account is by using Google's Transfer Service. Google's Support Document details what you can copy and how to use the service. 

This service will transfer gmail (not contacts, chats, or tasks) and Google Drive files you own (not Google Photos stored in Drive). Files shared with you can be copied to your new account but must be added to your My Drive first and will not affect the owners of those files.
  1. Make sure you have created (or have access to) another Google account
  2. Go to Transfer your content
  3. Follow the instructions on the Transfer page
Gmail messages are added to a label in Gmail stating the account name and transfer date. Drive files are placed into a folder named similarly.

Note that in order to transfer selected files, you must have enough storage space available in your new account to store transferred files. A personal Gmail account only has 15GB of storage. This amount of space is sufficient for most users. However, you may need to be selective.

Download Your Data (Recommended Minimum)

Google offers a service for G Suite for Education users that allows users to download an archive of all owned files and data. This service, once called Google Takeout, allows you to export all or any portion of your Google Apps Services (files, emails, videos, etc.) to a compressed file. This compressed file, typically a .Zip file, can then be uploaded to another online cloud storage service or saved onto a USB flash storage device (flash drive, usb stick, etc.).

Read the Google Support on how to Download Your Data.

A couple of helpful tips!

1) Services with an arrow next to the selection slider at the right, will allow you to choose how you would like your data downloaded. As with Contacts in the image below, you might wish to choose a CSV file, so that you could easily import your contacts into a spreadsheet.
2) Once you have selected your desired services and clicked next, one of the options available to you is the Delivery Method. The default is a link in your email, but since you are leaving a Google environment, maybe you might choose a direct download to Dropbox instead.

Note that depending on how much information you are exporting the zip file could be quite large and could be split into multiple zip files.) Additionally, all Google files are converted to their Microsoft Office equivalent (i.e. Docs = Word, Slides = PowerPoint, Sheets = Excel, etc.)

Thank you for your time with Portage Public Schools!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Adobe Spark for EDU is now available for Portage teachers and Students

Image result for adobe spark logoMany teachers over the last year have used Adobe Spark with their students to create great projects to demonstrate learning.  Now Spark has made it even easier for teachers and students to create amazing projects with Spark for EDU. Portage students and teachers now all have Spark for EDU accounts.  Help your students create professional looking graphics, web pages, and videos in minutes with this simple but powerful creativity, presentation, and storytelling tool!  If you’re looking to create narrated videos, printed materials, graphics, or writing assignments that students can quickly and easily turn in, you want Spark.

Learn how to get your students logged in and creating with this getting started guide.