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Showing posts from November, 2014

Couple of options for working with Office Files directly from Google Drive

I've posted about how you access and edit MS Office files directly from Google Drive in the past. This is just a slight update to those posts. The two methods shown below work on ChromeOS and on a PC. Crucially you don't need to install the Google Drive app on a PC to use these methods. While the Google Drive PC app is convenient on a PC, its not well suited to a multiuser environment. Of course - the answer is to ditch Office and have an easy life. However, there are odd occasions you still need to work with these files - so these two approaches may be of help.

Using Hangouts for remote lesson observations

We have equipped our new Asus Chromeboxes in classrooms with HD webcams for recording snippets of lessons, presentations or demonstrations for review later (all using Screencastify's 'cam' option). However, you can also use them to remotely observe lessons. So you can observe a lesson without the potential distraction of having an observer physically in the room. There are two basic approaches to this. Method 1 - Hangouts + Screencastify The observer in their office (or wherever) invites the person being observed to a video hangout. You can simply start and respond to these within your mail. The observe needs to mute their mic (unless you are going to use a bluetooth headset with the teacher and do real time coaching perhaps...). Use the KeepOn app to ensure the classroom device does not go to sleep. The person being observed minimises the hangout window and gets on with the lesson. Some options To record the lesson the observer simply starts Screencastify with t

Backing up with an unlimited Google Drive account.

It occurred to me when the unlimited Google Drive accounts for Education were announced a while back that I could use a 'backup' account to cloud backup my local server infrastructure. So I've just set this up now that we have unlimited accounts. Below are the basic steps I've taken. Create an account specifically for backups - call it whatever you want. Install the Google Drive Sync Tool on a local server (one that you perhaps use for backups anyways). Sign into the Sync Tool with the backup users account. Go to advanced settings: Select 'Only sync some folders on the computer' - so you are only going to sync folders with things you want to backup. You could create a specific Google Drive folder and turn this into a network share so that other servers can copy backups into it (which is what I've done). On other servers - if you run Windows Server Backup - you could send the backup to this network share. This will mean backups as synced to the