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Ken Yeh
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Is there any way to add an email alias to current users using User Gopher? We want to keep their primary address the same, merely add an alias for forwarding purposes. Or should I resort to GAM for this function?

Is there a USB Wifi adapter that works on a chromebook? One of our students damaged the wifi card slot on the motherboard (somehow a LOT of lotion got squeezed inside the device). We were able to get the chromebook to power on, but the wifi slot appears shot (swapping with working wifi cards did not fix). I would like to suggest using a USB wifi adapter, but a search on Amazon didn't locate any that stated that they would run on Chrome OS w/o a driver install, unlike the USB Ethernet adapters that are natively compatible with the Chrome OS kernel.

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This is one of the most even-handed articles I have read on the battle for the education market between Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Well-researched and balanced presentation of the past history and recent news.
https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/27/as-chromebook-sales-soar-in-schools-apple-and-microsoft-fight-back/

Yesterday I used the direct Export report to email address for the first time. Certainly speeds up the process when we need to send reports to admin or parents! I noticed that the time stamp for each item in the emailed reports is set for Greenwich Mean Time. I would suggest a way for the time stamps in these reports to match the time zone for reports downloaded directly from the Admin Dashboard, which do match the time zone of our school.

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There's been quite a media circus in the wake of the recent decision by Congress to cancel the "broadband privacy rules". However, I'm concerned that many consumers are being misinformed by the exaggerations in some of the articles I've read, and that the recommendations being given may actually backfire and cause more people to expose their personal information to unscrupulous companies and individuals. Here's my post stating some of these concerns.
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The NY Times published an article recently called "Apple’s Devices Lose Luster in American Classrooms." The content was nothing new to me, having followed the astounding trajectory of Chrome OS devices as they went from less than 1% to over 58% of the education market in just 5 years. Someone then referred me to a macdailynews blog post trying to spin the NY Times article (http://macdailynews.com/2017/03/02/apple-is-losing-its-grip-on-american-classrooms-to-cheap-chromebooks/). This post really illustrates to me why Apple continues to lose in the education market.

What the Apple blogger--and perhaps several Apple execs--continue to miss is that the point of technology in schools isn't to have the most "premium product". The point is to enable students to learn better, and if that can be accomplished at 1/3 of the cost of an Apple product, then schools have every reason to use "cheap Chrome junk" for this purpose.

IMO, Apple's goal continues to be to get people to buy more Apple products and lock them into the Apple ecosystem. The statement in the NY Times article by Susan Prescott, Apple's VP of product marketing, captures this perfectly: "We’re incredibly passionate about education and new programs like Apple Teacher,” a site for teachers who want to learn how to more creatively use Apple tools with their students. Every edtech conference workshop featuring an Apple product that I've attended seems to involve the the presenter talking about this, that, and another (usually expensive) Apple product in every other line. Yes, Apple makes some good products, but that's predominantly all that Apple wants you to use. Again, the mantra of "only premium products for premium users."

In contrast, Google chromebooks are about getting people on the web as simply as possible, to use whatever online tool and resource they please that will enable them to do what they want. There's a stark difference here. Google doesn't make any money directly from Chromebook sales (other than the Pixel line, but they just announced that there will be no more Pixel chromebooks). Chrome OS is given to manufacturers for free; there are no licensing costs. Google Apps for Education has always been and will remain free. Again, Google isn't about promoting Google products to students, it is about giving them easy and affordable access to the web, with all the power that this entails. You attend an edtech seminar featuring a Google tool and it's all about the different web tools and resources out there (usually free, to boot).

That last line from the blog post cracks me up: "There is no easy answer for a company dedicated to quality to compete in a market that’s hellbent on shortsightedly wasting taxpayers’ money on cheap, shitty junk."

Tell that to all the taxpayers who saw millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of instructional time wasted by LA Unified's iPad fiasco.

Whereas the schools that have gone with chromebooks have for the most part been very happy with the educational progress that their students have achieved with the cheap junk that they bought.

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The NY Times published an article recently called "Apple’s Devices Lose Luster in American Classrooms." The content was nothing new to me, having followed the astounding trajectory of Chrome OS devices as they went from less than 1% to over 58% of the education market in just 5 years. Someone then referred me to a macdailynews blog post trying to spin the NY Times article (http://macdailynews.com/2017/03/02/apple-is-losing-its-grip-on-american-classrooms-to-cheap-chromebooks/). This post really illustrates to me why Apple continues to lose in the education market.

What the Apple blogger--and perhaps several Apple execs--continue to miss is that the point of technology in schools isn't to have the most "premium product". The point is to enable students to learn better, and if that can be accomplished at 1/3 of the cost of an Apple product, then schools have every reason to use "cheap Chrome junk" for this purpose.

IMO, Apple's goal continues to be to get people to buy more Apple products and lock them into the Apple ecosystem. The statement in the NY Times article by Susan Prescott, Apple's VP of product marketing, captures this perfectly: "We’re incredibly passionate about education and new programs like Apple Teacher,” a site for teachers who want to learn how to more creatively use Apple tools with their students. Every edtech conference workshop featuring an Apple product that I've attended seems to involve the the presenter talking about this, that, and another (usually expensive) Apple product in every other line. Yes, Apple makes some good products, but that's predominantly all that Apple wants you to use. Again, the mantra of "only premium products for premium users."

In contrast, Google chromebooks are about getting people on the web as simply as possible, to use whatever online tool and resource they please that will enable them to do what they want. There's a stark difference here. Google doesn't make any money directly from Chromebook sales (other than the Pixel line, but they just announced that there will be no more Pixel chromebooks). Chrome OS is given to manufacturers for free; there are no licensing costs. Google Apps for Education has always been and will remain free. Again, Google isn't about promoting Google products to students, it is about giving them easy and affordable access to the web, with all the power that this entails. You attend an edtech seminar featuring a Google tool and it's all about the different web tools and resources out there (usually free, to boot).

That last line from the blog post cracks me up: "There is no easy answer for a company dedicated to quality to compete in a market that’s hellbent on shortsightedly wasting taxpayers’ money on cheap, shitty junk."

Tell that to all the taxpayers who saw millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of instructional time wasted by LA Unified's iPad fiasco.

Whereas the schools that have gone with chromebooks have for the most part been very happy with the educational progress that their students have achieved with the cheap junk that they bought.
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I took advantage of the current Best Buy promo and traded in a few ancient laptops, then used the GC and $50 coupon to purchase a new Samsung Chromebook Plus. Some initial impressions after the first day:
1. The keyboard feel is better than I was expecting, possibly one of the best among the dozen plus chromebooks that I've gotten my hands on. Key travel is noticeably greater than the Dell CB13, and I daresay it feels better than my 1st gen Pixel, which had flat keys and always felt just a bit stiff. The other top contender is the keyboard on the Lenovo 11e series (I've not tried the Thinkpad 13 yet).
2. However, the excellent keyboard feel is compromised by the fact that the keys on the left and right sides are cut down in width due to the smaller width of this device. I'm constantly missing the backspace and tab keys in particular. Definitely a nuisance when touch typing.
3. Performance is a bit compromised even compared to the Celeron CPU in the Lenovo 11e series, and certainly compared to the Intel i3 in the Dell CB13. There is noticeable lag on various websites, and even typing right now in G+ there is a slight delay between keypress and response on the screen. This is also noticeable when scrolling. Others have reported (+John Baer) that Octane scores have gone up with each new update, so I’m hopeful that as things get optimized for this ARM processor that the smoothness associated with other chromebooks will be regained.
4. The screen is brilliant and gorgeous, and certainly rivals the Pixel. The key draw of the Samsung for me was the 3:2 ratio and resolution, and Samsung has not disappointed.

I haven’t had the opportunity to test Android apps yet, but that will be next! Let's see how Vainglory runs on this thing! ;)
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Many teachers and staff at our school are reporting GDrive issues (across two campuses, so likely not a local network issue). Getting the generic "The server encountered an error. Please try again later."

GSuite status check isn't showing anything yet, so wanted to check with other admins first.

UPDATE: Looks like Google is well aware of the issue, per response from support here: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/apps/y0XSAUgnX1Q;context-place=forum/apps

For years I've been griping about the inefficient and tedious way to manage Chrome apps via the Admin console (and yes, I've submitted feedback to Google). Even something as basic as exporting a spreadsheet of currently allowed/blocked Chrome apps is still not implemented. I'm wondering if there are any 3rd party tools to help manage/track Chrome apps for our students?

With Android apps coming soon to more chromebooks, the importance of being able to effectively manage allowed/installed apps will only be magnified, and it doesn't seem that Google has any viable solution as of yet.
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