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Showing posts from April, 2014

Using Screencastify to record spoken feedback on work.

We have Screencastify deployed to all our PCs at WPS. One of the many uses of this screencasting tool is to give student spoken feedback on their work - alongside the normal written stuff.

Open the students work up (from Teacher Dashboard), click the Screencastify icon, click record, talk through the work, change the video name and upload to drive. Share with the student. It's a very quick way of giving lots of detailed feedback.

Brief demo ....

Auto Sorting Google Form Responces

I often find it useful to have the most recent Google Form responses at the top and need this to happen as the responses are submitted. You can use the 'sort' function to do this in another sheet quite easily.

Brief demo below:

ChromeOS 34 - some important changes

Over the next few weeks the school Chromebooks and boxes will update to version 34. This brings a few important changes to how they work. Below is a brief video of some of the key changes:

Dell Chromebook

I received a Dell Chromebook today to have a look at and have been doing a bit of testing with it.

I first net the device at BETT 2014 in London and was quite impressed and was keen to get my hands on one. Its taken until today to get one!

Performance Comparison
I ran Octane and Peacekeeper benchmarks on the Dell, Samsung Series 3 and a Google Pixel. These test JavaScript and HTML5 capabilities and performance.

Octane Peacekeeper Dell **Samsung **Pixel ** The Dell results are fairly typical of the newer Intel based Chromebooks. They are not that much behind the Pixel and to use, feel just as fast. These results are all from ChroemOS 34 stable channel.

It's interesting to note that Samsung are claiming that their Chromebook 2 will be 125% faster than the Series 3 benchmarked here. That would give it in Octane 7413 and Peacekeeper 2283, based on these benchmarks - still well behind the Dell and the other Intel based Chromebooks. Now I have tried the Samsung Chromebook 2 - but only on the …

How to force deployment of Chrome Apps and Extensions to Windows PCs by Group Policy

In a Google Apps domain you can easily deploy apps and extensions to users via the management console. These apps deploy when a user signs into a Chromebook or actively signs into Chrome on a PC. If you want to make the Apps appear automatically on a PC you can either employ a single sign-in solution or push the apps out via Group Policy to the end users.

To push them out via Group Policy you will need the following:

PCs in a domain environment - so connected to a domain controller.The Chrome ADM added to group policy on your domain controller. See my blog post on this. The ID of the app   ID of the App Install the extension you want in Chrome and then go to 'Tools' 'Extensions' in Chrome:

You need to enable 'Developer mode' for this to work. The ID you need is the long string of characters.
Enable the Policy Navigate to your Chrome Policy in Group Policy Management:

Open up this policy:

As shown above - enable the policy. Click 'Show' and add each app o… - add notes to videos. is a app that you can link to your Google Drive. It allows you to create notes that sit alongside a video. You can then save and share those notes in your Drive.

Very useful for making annotations next to tutorials, lesson observations or whatever you want.

Brief demo below:

How to add an auto-playing YouTube video to Google Sites

Adding YouTube videos to Google Sites is very easy. Adding an auto-playing one is slightly less obvious. You might think adding the normal ?autoplay=1 to the embed code and just putting it in as html would do the trick - but this did not work for me. You have to use the 'Embed Gadget'. Brief demo of how to do it below (note - its not this video that auto-plays..):