Tech Tips and Help for Staff
Staff: In anticipation of SY21-22, we are transitioning some of these items over to the Knowledge Base in IncidentIQ. Please check the contents at https://csdecatur.incidentiq.com/requestor/kb for additional guidelines and tips.
How can I improve the performance of Meet?
Close unnecessary tabs, windows, and programs.
Restart your computer at the next opportunity.
When sharing your display
Avoid sharing the Meet window itself.
When possible, use the option to share an individual Chrome tab. If you need to switch to sharing another tabs, move to that tab and click the Share this tab instead button to shift focus.
CSD has configured Meet to try to adjust video and sound quality based on your network conditions. However, you can proactively downgrade video and/or sound. Before clicking the Join button to open a Meet, you can proactively downgrade the quality of video sent and received. Here is a demonstration.
Uninstall Chrome extensions. Here is written guidance. Chrome extensions that purport to enhance Meet are prone to break and sometimes even even break Meet.
Some other factors might be beyond your control, such as the quality of the network connection you're using (beyond even your home Wi-Fi). From the three-dot overflow menu in the bottom-right corner of Meet, there is a Troubleshooting option that indicates network and processor load and suggestions to improve performance.
Some of my students randomly get kicked out of or can't join a Meet. Any ideas?
We've seen this sporadically reported. An immediate "I'm in the middle of class!" fix seems to be to explicitly add them as invitees to the Meet.
From the People panel at the top right of the active Meet, click Add people.
Enter the student's name or email address and select them from the list.
Click Send email. Although lower elementary students usually do not have email turned on, that's okay: they're still on the "invited" list and should now be able to access the Meet.
As soon as feasible afterward, reset the Classroom banner Meet link:
Go to the Classroom.
Click the Settings icon at the top right .
Next to the Meet link, click the Down arrow and click Reset.
Another recurring issue with students unable to get into a Meet stems from their use a family-owned device and being logged into a browser with multiple Google accounts (e.g. their personal account, a parents, etc). Logging out of all Google accounts except for the CSD account is often the fix for students' inability to access a Meet.
How do I ensure I am (not) always the moderator in Meet?
Some tools, such as control over breakout rooms and muting participants, are limited to a single Meet moderator.
If a Meet is created via a Calendar appointment (e.g. the event creator clicked the Add video conferencing button), the event organizer will be the moderator.
For instructional purposes, moderator control generally goes to the first educator to access a Meet. But this is tricky: it is not necessarily the first person in the Meet itself (where you see and hear from other people), but rather the first educator to access the Meet at all, including the "waiting room" page (where you see your camera picture and are presented with the Join button).
To better ensure moderation controls go to the intended party, the intended moderator should be the first person to access the Meet link. Consider this scenario (and/or watch this video):
Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 are co-educators.
Teacher 1 clicks the Classroom banner Meet link first but does not click the Join button to enter the Meet.
Teacher 2 clicks the Classroom banner Meet link second and does click the Join button to enter the Meet.
Teacher 1 will have moderator controls because the accessed the Meet "space" first.
A student has asked if they can change how their name appears in Meet. How can I help them?
If the name change is a nickname, e.g. Wesley wants to appear as Wes:
Ask the student or parent/guardian to contact the counselor or front office staff to have a nickname added.
Counselor or front office staff: Submit a tech support ticket requesting the new nickname be added to G Suite.
If the name change is related to identity or a legal name change (e.g. due to adoption or gender transition):
Ask the student or parent/guardian to contact the counselor or front office staff to have a nickname added.
Counselor or front office staff: Follow the appropriate process. Reach out to the district registrar, Equity & Student Support staff, or other Wilson Center supports as necessary.
I opted into the Meet Early Access Program. How do I use the new features?
If you opted into the Meet Early Access Program (EAP), you have access to some new tools during a trial period. Currently, there are no major features out for testing in the EAP; when that changes, we will post a link to support documentation here.
How can I submit feedback regarding Meet?
After clicking the red "End Meet" button, you'll go to a page with a link to Submit feedback.
How can I get better insight into my students' participation with material in Classroom?
You can log into Schoolytics with your CSD G Suite account and use their teacher dashboard to surface additional insights into students' grades and submission rates, along with other info. This tool offers a bit more flexibility and has more filters than the standards Classroom interface permits.
A parent asked me to change the email to which they receive Classroom guardian notifications. Can I?
Guardian notification are set to go to the primary email address of anyone set as a guardian in Infinite Campus.
Guardian relationships are indicated by the word "guardian" appearing after e.g. "mother" or "grandfather" in a student's Infinite Campus household information.
Some parents have additional email addresses to which they would want guardian notifications sent. If that second email address is recorded in Infinite Campus, teachers may add that additional notification address in Classroom.
Do not send guardian invites to any family contact who is not identified as a guardian in Infinite Campus. Families can submit guardianship updates via the Parent Portal.
A parent says they never received their Classroom guardian invite. How do I resend it?
Open the student's Classroom, click People, and find the student's listing.
Click the three vertical dots next to the student's name, then click Remove guardians.
Check the box next to the "stuck" or missing invitee's email address, then click Remove.
If the parent's email address is not there, then probably 1) the person is either not identified as a guardian in Infinite Campus or the email address is not their primary address, 2) the desired email address is not listed in Infinite Campus, or 3) the requested email address is a secondary address.
If the person is not a guardian in IC, refer them to the Parent Portal to update their family's guardian information.
If they are a guardian in IC but the email address is not listed with them in IC, refer them to the Parent Portal to update/add their email address.
If the person is a guardian in IC and the email address appears (and in all likelihood the email address is a secondary address), continue with the steps below.
Click the three vertical dots next to the student's name, then click Add guardians.
Enter the guardian's email address. Ensure the email address being input is listed as an email contact for this person in Infinite Campus and that the person is listed as a guardian.
Chrome and Chromebooks
How do I turn on "data sync" to ensure I'm receiving the CSD extension and settings?
We push extensions and other settings to users logged into Chrome with data sync on. Here are directions on turning on sync. Or, to save you a click:
In Chrome, click your account picture or initials at the top-right on the same line as the address bar.
You'll see a blue button labeled Turn on sync... - click it!
Log in with your CSD G Suite credentials
If prompted, click Link Data
When prompted, click Yes, I'm in! -- this last one is what actually turns on sync.
Now, when you click again on your account picture/initials, instead of the blue button you'll see a green icon and Sync is on.
How do I get the webcam to work on my Chromebook or in the Chrome browser?
Restart the Chromebook or computer. This almost always resolves the issue. If that doesn’t work...
In Chrome, to the left of the web address, click the Lock icon.
On the menu that appears, check that the setting next to Camera says Allow.
What extensions are installed for me, which ones are approved for opt-in, and where can I find them?
You can access the list of approved extensions here. You must be logged into your CSD G Suite account for the list of extensions specific to CSD to appear. Note that we recommend exercising extreme caution installing any extension that purports to enhance Meet: Meet is being updated rapidly, and some extensions struggle to keep up. Some Meet-related extensions might break, and some might even break Meet.
Force-installed extensions will be deployed for staff who have logged into Chrome and turned sync on. See this item further up the page for information on turning sync on. Currently, we force-install two extensions for staff: ClassLink OneClick to support an upcoming project, and (starting January 2021), we will also force-install Relay, which supports CSD's content filter.
How do I get Flash to work on my Chromebook or in the Chrome browser?
If a website isn’t working, you might need to change your settings to allow Flash.
To the left of the web address, click the Lock icon.
Click Site Settings.
In the new tab, to the right of Flash, click the down arrow then Allow.
Go back to the site and reload the page.
Note: Beginning early 2021, Flash will no longer be supported. Website content creators will need to update their websites to eliminate their reliance on Flash.
G Suite Miscellaneous
How do I change my name in Meet and email?
Contact Staff Support. Nickname additions/changes and more significant name changes (like a last name change) begin with the official data in the employee database.
Can I access my Google Drive contents through my computer's desktop/Finder?
Yes. New MacBook Airs have Drive File Stream (DFS) installed, as do most of our older devices. (If it isn't installed, submit a support ticket to request assistance setting it up.) DFS replicates your Google Drive structure, creating shortcuts to your Docs, Sheets, and Slides. PDFs and other legacy files will be cached or downloaded on demand for you to access.
After you log into DFS, it will create a Google Drive shortcut on your desktop, and under that you will see folders for My Drive and your Shared Drives. Information on using DFS is available here.
I'm logged into G Suite, but when I access single sign-on tools like Blackboard Messenger or Padlet, I can't get in.
It's common for folks to be signed into multiple Google accounts in a single browser profile, and some tools have trouble telling who's "knocking at the door" for access. Try this:
Log out of all Google accounts in the browser.
Log back in to only your CSD G Suite account.
How do I markup or sign a PDF?
How do I edit files in a legacy format, like Word or Excel?
I'm new to using a Mac. How do I get started?
Can I make a phone call without using my personal phone?
You can create a Google Meet and then add/invite a participant via telephone - scroll to/expand the section labeled Add a phone participant to a meeting. The parent does NOT need a computer or even to install the app: their phone will ring, they will hear a brief message from Google (and "Google Meet" shows up as the caller ID), and you can converse.
I want to use a cool new website or add-on with my students. How do I get approval for that?
Please check in with your colleagues, instructional coach, and media specialist before looking to bring in a new service or software tool. It's quite possible we've already licensed or evaluated one that fits your needs!
If that's not the case, please check this Doc (also available via the CSD Staff Forms and Referents shared drive) for steps to request a software/service evaluation. The evaluation process focuses on privacy and system compatibility and does not render judgment on pedagogical appropriateness.
My CSD Padlet account lists me as a student. How do I get assigned teacher access?
Student and teacher permissions are the same, with the major exception that anyone with "teacher" access can delete other users. To avoid potential errors, we're keeping all staff at the "student" level.