Thursday, January 23, 2020

G Suite Admin 3 of 20 Search Drive for Shared Files

Quick Sharing Check Users Can Do to Audit Google Drive

Technology administrators are often focused on what they can configure at the admin level to protect or limit users from dangers that lurk in our ever connected world.  One thing, often overlooked, is the need for the actual 'user' to take steps to protect themselves and others.  For schools using G Suite, there is often gaps in training or protocols to ensure that users are sharing responsibly to protect themselves and others, especially the privacy of students.  Schools and districts that are lucky enough to work with security consultants, like RTM Communications, are provided guidance in this area as part of conducting a technology audit.

One thing that everyone can do today, is have users conduct a quick sharing check to ensure they are not sharing things to the public or with everyone in the 'domain' that are best set to private or shared only with specific and authorized viewers.    Key things to be on the lookout for are any item that would reveal private information about a student such as special education services or discipline referrals, for example.

These are the steps to follow to evaluate your shared files:
  1. Open Drive (
  2. Select the dropdown in the search field at the top to set specific search criteria.
  3. Under 'Owner' select 'Owned by Me'
  4. Under 'Location,' select 'Visible in 'mydomain'
  5. Select 'Search'

Here is a video that goes a bit further to explain how to modify the share settings should you need instructions for that.

If you have questions or want to inquire about bringing G Suite training to your organization, please feel free to DM me on Twitter or email me.    For security audit and network support, contact RTM Communications.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

G Suite Admin 2 of 20: Turn On 2 Step Verification for Users

Privacy and security are at the top of the list of concerns for any technology admin no matter what organization they manage.  The G Suite Admin panel has many security options available to help keep data and users protected from phishing, malware and more.  

One security option that is becoming increasingly popular to deploy is two step verification (2SV).  Many people already have used 2SV in their daily lives to reset passwords for bank and other personal accounts and may want to have the option to turn it on for their G Suite account.  It adds an extra layer of security to your user accounts managed via the Google Admin Control Panel by making users enter a verification code (in addition to user name and password when they sign in to their account).   Many tech experts recommend that you require it for all users but that is entirely your choice.  I'll share with you how to configure it in the G Suite Admin panel.  

'Allow Users' to Turn On 2 Step Verification in the G Suite Admin Panel

1.  Sign into & select the Security option.

2.  Under Basic Settings, select 'Allow Users to Turn on 2 Step' & select Save.

How Users Turn On 2 Step Verification (Individual Accounts)

1.  Users select 'manage account' from the 'Google Account' menu (top right corner)

2.  Select Security & then 2 Step Verification to Turn it on.

Once the user gets that far, it is pretty intuitive.    In the Admin Panel you can modify it, there are several options.  If you are looking to make it 'available' to users without 'forcing' it upon them, these steps will do the trick.  

For more information, check out the support article from Google, 'Protect your Business with 2 Step Verification.'    If you have been using this, you might want to check out the update they posted in March 2019.  

Friday, January 10, 2020

Doodle for Google Contest 2020

It's that time of year again!

Each year Google launches a Doodle for Google contest. I encourage you to share the information with your students but also send home to families so parents are aware as well.  

What is a Doodle for Google?

It's a contest with great prizes!

Doodle for Google is an annual contest for students in grades K-12 to enter a Google doodle for a chance to have it go 'live' on Google as well as win a variety of other great prizes.

There are grade level categories with state/territory winners, national finalists and 1 national 'winner.' All the winning finalists will get some great Googly swag and have their Doodle Entry featured in the gallery. The 4 national finalists (1 from each grade group) also earn a $5000 college scholarship & a trip to Googleplex in Mountain View (I've been there and it is AMAZING!). The national grand prize winner will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology award to his/her school of choice (incentive for you to encourage your budding artists ;)

2020 Doodle Theme 'I show kindness by...'

This year's theme, 'I show kindness by...' allow entries to address any way one can show kindness whether it be helping someone on the playground, pitching in at home, paying compliments, etc. 

Classroom & Educator Resources

There are new educator resources with videos that accompany lesson plans aligned with national art standards.
Share through Libraries, Extended Learning Programs, Classrooms

Encourage your creative, artistic students who may scribble and sketch as their hobby and possess great talent! Send a note, email, add to your site or blog! Share with your art instructors who can possibly incorporate into already required curriculum standards. This is an authentic project with a pretty impressive audience! 

2019 Winning Doodle

Winning the Doodle for Google Contest

All K12 are eligible to win!   In 2018, second grader, Sarah Gomez-Lane of VA won the 'What inspires me' contest and  2019, high school senior, Arantza Peña Popo of GA was the national winner for the 'When I grow up theme.'  Check out more winner highlights from the USA & around the world.

This year's theme 'I show kindness by' will be  judged based on artistic merit, creativity and theme communication.

The deadline is March 13, 2020 / 5pm EST. Everything you need can be found on the Doodle for Google site ~

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Libary Catalog Ninja ~ An 100% Guaranteed Online Scavenger Hunt with Google Forms

I was recently talking with a colleague who has been a librarian for years and is pretty tech savvy but I discovered they were still using PAPER and PENCIL for their library orientation activities so I shared this idea to use Google Forms, Data Validation & Quiz Mode.   Basically, I set up a form with a series of questions and turned on 'Data Validation' for each answer so that the student have to enter the correct answer for each question in order to submit the form.  It reduces apathy and they all win!  They all are guaranteed a 100%.   

You can do this as an online (catalog and library website) search, physical library space or a combination of both.  This concept can be applied to ANY curriculum area, age level, audience, etc.   Leverage the tools you already have! Forms has these great features built in and Response Validation and Sections are underutilized by teachers!  

The 'Library Catalog Ninja' (shown below) is broken into sections so the actual questions do not appear until the students have signed in.  This is where you can add a 'password' to get into the hunt and change it for each class to keep the questions more secure.  However, this is so much fun and not high stakes that students rarely feel compelled to 'share.' 

Section / Page 1 to enter Name & Passcode (when applicable)

Google Form Quiz example for library
Page/Section 2 with all of the required questions.

How to Create Your 100% Guaranteed Quiz

1.  Go to to create a new Form.

2.  Add your questions.  I suggest you ask name, add a passcode question (if applicable) first and then insert a section and add all the quiz questions in section 2.  This keeps them from appearing on the main page until the student enters the quiz code.  

3.  Turn on Quiz (in settings)

4.  For each question, select the drodown in the bottom right corner and turn on Response Validation.  Then add the criteria such as 'is equal to 311.12'  Be sure to put 'something' in the hint or the hint will tell the student the correct answer!  

5.  Edit your answer key and enter the correct answers.  

6.  Try it out yourself until it works seamlessly, it's easy to make small mistakes.

7.  The best way to share this is through Google Classroom.  In fact, you can save a lot of time and steps if you create it IN Google Classroom in the first place.  Just open your class and go to the Classwork page.  Then, add a Quiz assignment.  The form will be linked right there you can open and edit.  You will not have to turn on th quiz feature as it will already be enabled for you.  

Monday, January 6, 2020

G Suite Admin 1 of 20: Set Confidentiality Disclaimer Footer

Privacy is one of the biggest concerns for any technology admin no matter what the organization.  Increasingly, I am asked basic questions about configuring the G Suite Admin panel and so I've decided to start a series of G Suite Admin 'micro' posts starting with one of the most basic and popular email 'security' settings.  

Today's topic is an easy fix that many admin's already have well established, but for those of you with it on your 'to do' list, I will share with you how to set up that footer for all organizational emails called the 'Confidentiality Disclaimer.' These disclaimers often read something like this:

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE -- This email is intended only for the person(s) named in the message header. Unless otherwise indicated, it contains information that is confidential, privileged and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender of the error and delete the message. Thank you.
The Right-To-Know Law provides that most e-mail communications, to or from SAU XYZ employees regarding the business of the School District, are government records available to the public upon request. Therefore, this e-mail communication may be subject to public disclosure. This e-mail is intended solely for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. Any review, dissemination, copying, printing, or other use of this e-mail by persons or entities other than the addressee is strictly prohibited. If you receive this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the material from any computer. For information about SAU#XYZ, visit
This is a practice that has been considered 'best' for years yet you can always find a debate on whether or not has any legal weight, if it is effective or essentially ridiculous.  For most of us, we see that is as simple as due diligence or an effort to protect privacy.  It's also easy.  I'll just show you simply how to add it.  

Before you begin, make sure you have your email disclaimer drafted and approved by administration.  Use the boiler plate above or you can find resources like these by doing a simple search. 

1.  Sign into your Admin Panel

2.  Select Apps from the Dashboard

3.  Select G Suite 

4.  Select GMail

4.  Select Advanced Settings

5.  Select the OU

6.  Scroll to the 'Append Footer' section, hover and select 'Configure'

Tip:  Whenever I have trouble finding what I am looking for on a page in the admin panel, I use CTRL + F to search for the term.  It works like a charm!

7.  Name, add, edit & save.

8.  Edit or Copy to Another OU

Any thoughts, advice or a sample compliance footer you would like to share?   Do you use a different footer for students vs. teachers? Just add to the comments below.  


Adam, et al. “Company-Wide Automatic Email Signatures in G Suite (Google Apps).” Mail, 15 May 2017,
Anderson, Ryan. “A Confidential Talk About Those Email Disclaimers: Filevine Blog.” Filevine, 28 June 2019,
Cenkus, Brett. “Email Confidentiality Disclaimers: Annoying But Are They Legally Binding?” Cenkus Law, 1 Dec. 2017,
Woodruff, Steve, et al. “Ridiculous Email Disclaimers.” Without Bullshit, 16 Oct. 2015,

Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy 2020 G Suite for Education News!

2020 is upon us, a new year to set new goals and create a vision for our professional development.  As a G Suite for Education training provider, I'd like to share some resources that you might find helpful for 'keeping up with Google' or to help you achieve your goals. Certifications and graduate programs are the most popular as they are usually applicable toward educator recertification regardless of the content are you are certified in.  

Get Certified!

As a Google Cloud Parter with AppsEvents we can bring a dynamic, up to date, Google Educator L1, L2, and Trainer 'bootcamps' to your school.  These are perfect for inservice days but are also often scheduled on weekends, breaks and throughout the summer.   We promise a highly qualified and experience Google Certified Trainer will facilitate this targeted program.  Each particicpant will receive an exam voucher and hands on instructions for preparing for a successful examination.  Email me for more information!

Get Graduate Credit for becoming a Google Certified Educator!

By bridging partnerships between AppsEvents and EdTechnologySpecialists, we can now offer an extended graduate credit option for all that attend an AppsEvents bootcamp.  Each participant registers director with EdTechnologySpecialists for and extention course earning 1 Graduate Credit by completing a capstone project.  If you have EVER attended an AppsEvents training you are eligible to participate!   See website for all details.

Google Cloud Certification for Students

Student have access to the Google Cloud Certification and schools can become 'test centers' making it possible to teach 21st century skills and provide the industry certification exam.  Students can complete online lessons to learn how to use G Suite independently or facilitated by an instructor in a formal class setting.  The school can complete a process to deliver testing via a designated facilitator.  There are a variety of resources, steps and requirements to put it all together which are outlined at the Applied Digital Skill site.  In partnership with AppsEvents, we can offer you a FREE workshop with the booking of any other training such as a bootcamp or summit.  In this Google Cloud Certification training you and your staff will learn everything about student skills & resources, setting up classes, establishing your school as a test center and facilitating and validating exams.  

FREE PD via AppsEvents with the purchase of Chromebooks 

As a Google Cloud PD Partner, you can get FREE AppsEvents training with your Chromebook purchase.   With smaller increments (under 1000 units) you will earn free online access for staff to the Level 1 or Level 2 bootcamp with free exam vouchers.  For purchases of 1000 or more, you can earn free onsite training that can be certification bootcamps or summits.  Learn more via  

Google Level 1 and Level 2 Bootcamps in White River, WA

In Washington State?  Get Certified in March 13 & 14, 2020!  Join @TECHTOSA and I for the Google Educator Bootcamps at White River Schools District in March. L1 is Friday, L2 is Sat and both will include your testing vouchers. Looking forward to fast and furious fun #GooglePD via @AppsEvents1  Register here:

Monday, January 21, 2019

G Suite Professional Development Events USA 2019

Early bird deals are AMAZING!

Teachers and education professionals love AppsEvents Summits featuring G Suite & EdTech Tools. These events are 1 - 3 days (typically two day Summits) with kickoff keynotes & concurrent sessions delivered by highly qualified Google Certified Trainers, Teachers & Innovators. 

Topics are applicable to teaching, management, clerical so everyone who works in an organization using G Suite will learn how to leverage the tools for success. 

You can find all of our event information, registration, and a link to submit session proposals at

Schools have sponsorship opportunities for edtech vendors. Some 2019 USA Events to look forward to: 

  • White Mountains NH Summit, April 27 
  • Valdosta City Schools, Georgia Summit, June 18-19 
  • New Hampshire Seacoast Summit, July 24-25 
  • Maine Seacoast Summit, August 7-8 Seattle (Monroe) Summit, August 22-23 
  • Central Washington Summit, September 28 
If you don't see an event near you, consider hosting at your school. Email me if you are interested!