Monday, June 1, 2015

Multiple Google Accounts in One Chrome Browser?

For years now, we've suggested making life more simple by using one browser on your computer for your personal Gmail and a different browser for a work Google account.  With changes made this year in Austin ISD, we're finally able to use the power behind the Chrome browser and manage multiple accounts.

The Issue:
Forgetting to log out of my personal gmail, I may have problems being able to edit School District-only Google Docs.  This occurs most often when teachers are sharing documents and the receiving party doesn't see the docs in their Shared with me folder.

This is a user's personal Gmail account logged into Google.

Clicking the icon shows that this is an AISD Google account. 

Students can quickly see if they are in the student AISD domain.

One Possible Solution:
Described very well for all devices in this Google Support Link,  the Google Chrome browser does a fantastic job of managing different Google IDs within one browser.  The trick is to log more than one user into Chrome.

Click the User button at the top right of the Chrome browser and then click Switch Person.  You can follow the prompts to add your personal Gmail account as a new user in your Chrome browser.

Each user will have their own set of bookmarks, apps, extensions in this browser and the same set will automatically be available on any other computer where the user logs into their Google Chrome user account.

This power is quickly experienced when a user logs into a Chromebook and sees all Chrome apps, bookmarks and extensions already available to them.

With more than one account installed, you can work in your school Google Drive in one window and continue to have your personal Google Gmail and Hangouts running in a different window at the same time.

You can use the People menu to switch back and forth or right-click the name button at the top right of the browser window.

Mobile Devices?
The same Google Support Link above has directions for different computer platforms and devices, including Android, Chromebook and iOS devices.  Learning to manage multiple Google accounts within the Chrome Browser will be a great time-saver and productivity enhancer.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Automagic Copy Command With Google Apps

One reason Google Apps are great for the classroom is because how easy it is to share documents with students.  Teachers sharing documents for students to edit have a few ways to give edit rights. One way shared online by Trevor Beck provides a nice shortcut that works well in some situations.

A Google Draw document I want to share with my students has been shared using the URL:

Notice the word edit near the end of the URL.  Copy the entire URL, but replace the word edit with the word copy.    The new URL:

Now, when you share this new URL with students, the first thing they see is:

Students have no choice but to make a copy of the shared document and the teacher does not have to worry about students remembering to make a copy first.  Keep in mind, students must be logged into their Google Drive accounts before the copy will take place.

This tip is much less important if the teacher is using Google Classroom, uses group addressing to share or trained students already about File-Make a copy in Google Apps. Still, it's a neat trick.