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Melissa Benson
life's a beach
life's a beach

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Anyone interested in auto creation of Google Classrooms? And auto syncing from your SIS? Rosters included? Join our early access program to try out Little SIS! #gafe #gsuite 
Amplified Labs' Little SIS for Classroom early access program is now in full swing and accepting applications. Little SIS is a robust, fully automatable SIS sync tool that lets districts take their Google Classroom adoption to the next level by connecting Classroom to rosters. Please consider applying from the page linked in this post!

We've learned a bunch from our pilot schools, but we wanted to share some key drivers behind why districts are finding value from Little SIS:

Mid-semester adoption is no problem: Because Little SIS can be linked to existing teacher courses, we're not finding that launching at the start of the year, or start of the semester is a critical factor.

Data privacy matters: Little SIS ensures roster data never leaves the district's custody. So far everyone we've spoken with is very appreciative of this, and would have problems adopting it if that weren't the case.

Perception of need for this tool is based on awareness: As part of setup, Little SIS inspects the domain for all Classroom classes. Even districts that claim to have “high Classroom adoption” are typically only seeing about 30% real teacher adoption via teacher-led rostering. Once IT leaders become aware of actual adoption levels, SIS integration really feels like an important next move in their Classroom adoption drive.

Teacher expectations are in favor of roster integration: Districts are often using a large number of digital learning products, most of which have some form of roster integration, so teacher expectations are that the district will help provide this for Classroom too. Little SIS helps IT departments meet teacher expectations and provide a higher level of service to students.

The impact of Little SIS on student learning is real: Many active classes, even for teachers who are avid Classroom users, appear to be missing 5 to 15% of students from the SIS when we first get rolling with a school. Usually this is explained by the student having been added late to the class, or the student having poor attendance. This implies that teacher-led rostering is leaving late-arrivals or students with poor attendance even further behind instructionally. Little SIS is an equity tool in this regard.

Little SIS can be part of a “burst” change strategy: Some districts are very new to offering student Google accounts, and Little SIS is being used as part of a "burst" training strategy where they can tip large numbers of teachers into using G Suite with kids, roll out Classroom in workshops, and hit the ground running.

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These are game changers!! #gafe #gsuite #Chromebooks 
Chrome Gopher keeps getting better

It’s been about 6 weeks since Chrome Gopher was released, and we’ve seen encouraging uptake and gotten great feedback from Amplified IT customers like you -- especially our G Suite Technical Collaborative members. Based on this feedback, Amplified Labs is proud to announce we’ve just released some major new features that you will definitely want to try out!

If you feel inspired, please let us know what you think, or better yet yell it from the rooftops by rating Chrome Gopher in the Chrome Store:

Quick find and update panel

There are times when you’re looking to quickly discover information and make modifications to a single device at a time. For example, when distributing / assigning machines to students in a 1-to-1 program, or when tracking down a lost and found Chromebook. The quick find and update panel makes it possible to search for devices by Serial Number, Annotated Asset ID, or Annotated User, and pulls up a friendly single-device editing view. Because it’s part of your Google spreadsheet, this panel will update the device on the domain, and can optionally drop the updated device into the Devices tab, allowing you to keep track of all changes as you work.

Import devices from CSV files and barcode scanners

Many districts maintain an inventory or asset management system where a lot of useful information about their Chromebooks lives. This information can include Asset ID, Annotated User, Annotated Location, and Notes, which ideally you’d like to keep updated in Google’s Chrome Management console. Since most asset management systems will export a CSV dump of data, we decided to make it easier to bring your asset management data into Chrome Gopher’s Device tab. No more hairy VLOOKUP() and INDEX(MATCH()) formulas -- just make sure you CSV has the device serial number and any required header values and whammo: your CSV contents will populate the Devices tab, with all your new CSV metadata merged into the correct fields, right alongside the additional reporting metadata from Google.

It’s also frequently the case that school IT staff can use barcode scanners to quickly enter serial numbers and asset IDs into an interface while working in the field. Need to check that this set of 35 devices are in the correct cart? Need to move these 100 newly-unboxed machines into the correct org unit? Now Chrome Gopher lets you barcode scan a list of devices directly into the sidebar and import them into the Devices tab, along with all their current Google reporting metadata.

Reports on Aggregate Device Activity by Org Unit

Knowing where your devices are being used, and how often, can inform everything from device allocation to support strategy and can give key stakeholders a window into the returns on a district’s Chromebook investment.

Chrome Gopher now offers 3 new columns - Recent Sessions, Sessions in Last 15 Days, and Active Minutes in Last 15 Days - at the single device level, as well as aggregate activity report for all Organization Units, that enables you to quantify average activity per device within each OU. This is really quite powerful, and not information you can get anywhere else!
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New #GAFE Adventures!
Well, it's been exactly 1 year since I moved on from the Bloomington Public School District and started work at Amplified IT . Oh, by the way I now work at Amplified IT as a Google Apps Consultant - woops, I probably should have mentioned that a year ago! :...

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Exciting stuff coming! Sign up to get alerted when there's news! #GAFE #EdTech #GoogleEDU
For the last few months, I've been a part of an amazing team of developers at +Amplified IT , working on some cool stuff that's coming up. You may have seen a preview of the new Logo for Amplified Labs, a project led by +Andrew Stillman . I'm happy to post that the website is now live - head over to to check it out.

We're working to develop tools that will assist educators and administrators to use their time effectively. The less time we spend on menial tasks, the more time we've got to do the meaningful work we've dedicated our careers to.

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Welcome to the team!
I've been holding off making this announcement for several reasons, which I'll get into shortly, but I need to let users know that as of last Monday I no longer work for +New Visions for Public Schools, and as a result (at least for now) I no longer have the necessary access to be able to maintain or support any of the published Add-ons or scripts that users have come to rely upon.

Where have I gone? I've decided to take a job as Chief Product Officer for +Amplified IT , where I'll be leading a team of developers focused on the creation of a suite of tools (Add-ons, Extensions, etc.) that can benefit from the full supports made possible through the marketplace.  Beyond the fantastic professional growth opportunity this represents for me, I believe that the larger community of users I want to serve is likely better off with a tool development and support model that they can pay for, than one that must rely on a mission-bound, grant-funded non-profit organization to survive.

What about all the free Add-ons I've built thus far?  I have agonized greatly over this in my departure, and the team at Amplified has been hugely supportive in helping me pursue a proposed solution with New Visions, as I very much want to see the suite of Add-ons I developed continue to provide value to users under a more sustainable and better-supported model.

Unfortunately these conversations take time, and so at the moment I cannot provide any details about the future direction of this work. Know that I have been actively reaching out to New Visions to identify a plan for the continued support role for the CloudLab Add-ons, and I am hopeful a resolution will be reached in the coming weeks.  I will communicate whatever I learn as the situation permits.

Unfortunately,  in the meantime, pending word from New Visions, this means that the CloudLab Add-ons are not supported at all, as I no longer have access to the account that published them and no-one else has been identified to assist with them.  Reaching out to me directly to fix something won't change this fact.  

If you feel moved to reach out to New Visions directly, you can try using the contact information available here, though it is clearly not the appropriate channel:

Thanks for your understanding!  It's been a true pleasure serving the community these past years.

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Hey guys, just thought I'd share this.. our team is working on  Personal Growth Plan for our students for next year and one of my colleagues found this nifty tool for a resume builder. Maybe you all know about it but it was new to me!

Any reason why I wouldn't be able to select a deprovisioned device in the console and then move it back to provisioned?

I use to be able to log in as a student and go into their account and look for "recent activity" (or something like that). This would tell me: times the  user logged in, OS platform and IP address. It was very useful when trying to figure out if a student's account may have been compromised.

I can't find that anymore - ever since the new material design look in my "account". I can only see connected devices which does no good.

Am I just missing it?

In case it hasn't been noticed, "reports" for chromebooks are back. via reports or chrome management.

I also noticed a google+ report, not sure if I remember seeing that before!

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Welcome back #Chromebook reports!
Maybe I missed this earlier but there is now a "Reports" section under Device Management>Chrome management You can also get to it via the main Reports page. Some reports are: 7-day active Chrome device release channels Chrome device boot modes Chrome device...
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