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Showing posts from August, 2014

How to push bookmarks to users in Chrome via the management console

With the release of Chrome and ChomeOS 37 an update to the management console has arrived that allows you to push bookmarks to users.

Under Device Management > Chrome > User Settings > User Experience you will now find the option to add managed bookmarks.

In the example above, the bookmarks are applied to the sub-OU of 'students' - so all our students will get these bookmarks. Simply add your url and the bookmark name, click the + and save. These will appear in a folder called 'yourdomain bookmarks' - see below:

Be aware that to get these bookmarks applied on a Windows/OS-X device the user must be signed into Chrome. Update: if you install the latest group policy template you can push the bookmarks via policy on PCs - details are given here.
Video Guide:

How to Populate Students GAFE Profile Photos using GAM

With a couple of free tools you can populate your students profile photos automatically. Below is a guide on how to do this if you are running with Capita SIMS as an MIS as many UK schools do.

To do this, you will first have to setup GAM - Google Apps Management Tool. A fantastic guide on how to do this can be found here. You can download GAM here.

To extract the photos from you will need the photoextractor utililiy which can be found here. To use this you need access to your SIMS server - might be an issue if you don't locally host it... update - actually I think you can run it on any workstation with installed.

It looks a bit complicated - but once you have done it a couple of times it does not take long. You can do essentially the same thing for staff photos as well. We use Teacher Dashboard and the forthcoming version has the students profile picture on the homescreen for each class - so having real pictures will be rather helpful for staff.

ASUS Chromebox in school

I've just got hold of an Asus Chromebox for a short trial in school. I've been waiting a while for these devices to become available in the UK and they are finally starting to get here.

A few pictures and a brief video of the test setup:

Now I'm not too sure how many people have displayports on their monitors - but I'm guessing most people will need an adaptor or two. In this setup I'm using a displayport-to-dvi adaptor and direct HDMI to monitor (luckily this monitor supports HDMI). However, it does have a vesa mount to put it on the back of a monitor - something the cheaper HP Chromebox does not.

Performance wise it feels great to use - but does score a bit lower in Octane than the Chromebases do:

This score is with several extensions and two monitors (1920x1080 and 1280x1024) - so this probably has some impact.
So it looks like a promising desktop replacement. I'll see how it stacks up against the HP model when I get hold of one of those.