Tech Tips and Help for Staff

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 the 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.

How do I stay up-to-date on updates to Meet, Drive, and other G Suite tools?

We created a G Suite Updates pages for this!

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.

  1. From the People panel at the top right of the active Meet, click Add people.

  2. Enter the student's name or email address and select them from the list.

  3. 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:

  1. Go to the Classroom.

  2. Click the Settings icon at the top right .

  3. 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.

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.

Using Chrome's support for multiple browser profiles can help avoid this issue. This video (and this one, too) shows how to add a second+ user to Chrome, and here are written directions.

I've heard some extensions or bookmarks might be pushed out to me, but I don't see them. What's going on?

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.

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.

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.

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.

How do I markup or sign a PDF?

You have several options.

  • Teachers and other staff issued a macOS device can markup and even sign PDFs using the built-in Preview app.

  • Kami, a web-based PDF editor, as available for all CSD staff and students. You can install a Chrome extension via the Chrome Web Store or directly access the service here (use your CSD G Suite credentials to make an account). The first time you log in, you'll need to answer some basic questions identifying yourself as a teacher. Staff not assigned to one of the listed CSD schools can select any site. A Kami guide is available here.

  • Adobe Reader has increasingly added previously paid-for features to the free Reader tool. If Preview or Kami are not sufficient for what you need, and if Reader is not yet installed on your device, please submit a support ticket to request Reader be installed.

How do I edit files in a legacy format, like Word or Excel?

You have several options:

  • New staff laptops come with LibreOffice installed. LibreOffice is an open-source office suite with significant feature parity and a similar interface to Office products. If LibreOffice is not installed, please submit a support ticket.

  • Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets have become better at editing files in Office formats. Information on editing these types of files is available here.

    • In previous years, users might have installed a Chrome extension to support editing Office files in Drive. That extension interferes with better features now built into Docs, Sheets, and Slides. If you have difficulty editing Office files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you might have the old extension still installed. To remove it, go here and click Remove from Chrome.

  • Most new staff laptops come with Apple's iLife products (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) installed, and they can edit Office formats. However, we advise caution with using iLife tools: their native file formats do not sync well with Google Drive, and content saved in the native iLife format will not easily be accessible to users not working on a Mac.

I'm new to using a Mac. How do I get started?

Can I make a phone call without using my personal phone?

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.

  1. To the left of the web address, click the Lock icon.

  2. Click Site Settings.

  3. In the new tab, to the right of Flash, click the down arrow then Allow.

  4. Go back to the site and reload the page.

See this page for more detailed directions with pictures

How do I get the webcam to work on my Chromebook or in the Chrome browser?

  1. Restart the Chromebook or computer. This almost always resolves the issue. If that doesn’t work...

  2. In Chrome, to the left of the web address, click the Lock icon.

  3. On the menu that appears, check that the setting next to Camera says Allow.

See this page for more detailed directions.

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.

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, the only extension we force-install for staff is ClassLink OneClick to support an upcoming project.

What extensions are installed and available for students?

We answer that question on the slightly-more-public facing Tech Help page in this item.

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.

I opted into the Meet Early Access Program. How do I use the new features?

If you opted into the Meet Early Access Program, you have access to some new tools during a trial period. Currently, Handraising is available via the EAP, and tips and guidance for handraising is available here (this item is only visible to CSD Meet EAP participants).