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Google Play for Education in the UK

I've just enabled Google Play for Education on our domain. To do this you need to have either ChromeOS or Android management licences (or both). This will then give your teachers a really simple way to first out Android Apps, Chrome Apps and Books to individual students or groups.

So this is a brief look at what it looks like:


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Delete a specific email using GAM

If a user send an inappropriate email to a loads of people or get stung by some sort of email exploit you can quickly delete the email from all of the recipients using a GAM command.
Step 1 - get the email header Go into Google Vault and search for the offending user or someone known to have got the message.
Click show details and grab the email ID. This will be a long string of characters followed by
Step 2 - find out who has the email Go into Google Vault and find the original message sent by the offending user. Look at the details to see who got it. Copy the list and dump it into a spreadsheet. Clean up to just a list of emails with a column header 'mail'. Save as a csv file.
Step 3 - delete messages with GAM Put your CSV file in your GAM folder - this e.g. assumes its called mail.csv
gam csv mail.csv gam user ~mail delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEIDHERE doit

The alternative nuke option is:
gam all users delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEI…

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 do vertical text in Google Spreadsheet

After many years of waiting, this is now a feature of sheets - so this little hack is no longer needed. Options now are:

One limitation of Google Spreadsheets is the lack of a vertical text option - handy if you have very wordy headings to columns. This is being worked on - but a little work around for now is the use of the following formula:

=ARRAYFORMULA(CONCATENATE((MID( "English Lit"; ROW(INDIRECT("YY1:YY"&LEN( "English Lit" ))); 1)&CHAR(10))))

Don't worry how it works - just copy and paste - change both english lit's to whatever you want.