G Suite (Formerly Google Apps for Education)
The School District of Philadelphia

Training Slides and Resources


Chromebook Enroll and Recover

This page is for everyone in the School District who is using or wants to use G Suite for Education!  

On the left hand side you have buttons that take you to a Google Admin page, a resources page with the training slides our office uses during Google PDs and a link to information about our online virtual office hours.  


Chrome OS image
Chromebooks - 78
Mac/Pc Desktops/Laptops - 80
as of 11/28/2018


Mobile Device Setup

Google Hangouts Meet - Joining from Calendar invite or URL

posted Mar 13, 2020, 11:54 AM by Mark Willis

Below is a link to the stepper on how to Join a Google Hangouts Meet from a Calendar invite or a URL 

If you have any issues or questions please email GAFE@PHILASD.ORG

Google Hangouts Meet - Create, Record and Live Stream as the Presenter

posted Mar 13, 2020, 11:46 AM by Mark Willis   [ updated Mar 13, 2020, 11:51 AM ]

Below is the link to the stepper to Google Hangouts Meet for the Presenter to create, record, live stream and add a link to the hangouts meet to Google Class assignment. 


Any issues or questions please email GAFE@PHILASD.ORG

"MADE FOR KIDS" YouTube Setting

posted Jan 21, 2020, 7:13 AM by Mark Willis

YouTube Setting

Google has announced that starting January 7th, 2020. Google will no longer serve personalized ads or support features such as comments, stories, live chat, notification bell, and others on videos designated made for kids.  This is a setting that can be set for your youtube channel or by each video that is upload on your youtube account. This link https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ws2MJSkgtAbq5SOZeL0hLWY_J8vRySX-YXb2SaHBrq0/edit?usp=sharing is a stepper that shows how to set your channel to be “MADE FOR KIDS” or by each video that you upload.   

WELCOME BACK! - Chrome OS Version Update

posted Aug 22, 2019, 12:05 PM by Mark Willis

“Welcome back!  We’re really excited to jump into the new school year!  We have some great things coming in the Google G-Suite for the 19-20 school year.”

Please remember as you get your classrooms ready, it is very important that you make sure that your Chromebooks are running the latest approved version of the Chrome OS, which is version 75.   Also, your Macs and PCs should be running Chrome OS 76. As you take the Chromebooks out of storage, turn them on and let them connect to WiFi, wait about 5 mins or so, check the bottom right-hand corner for a notification that the Chromebook has received an update, then restart the Chromebook.   If you do not receive a notification then you will need to manually update the Chromebooks. The stepper can be found at https://gafe.philasd.org under resources.   If you have any questions contact the IT Help Desk or email gafe@philasd.org.   

Preparing Chromebooks for Summer Storage

posted May 10, 2019, 5:29 AM by Mark Willis

Storing Chromebooks long term

When the school year ends, you might wonder what to do with your Chromebooks. Here are some best practices to help ensure your devices work as expected when you return for next year’s class.


Battery tips

  • Do not let the Chromebook battery fully discharge over the summer. Even when a Chromebook is off, its battery continues to slowly lose charge. If left long enough, the batteries might no longer function and can’t be recharged.

  • At the same time, you shouldn’t keep Chromebooks plugged into a cart or charger while in storage for months. This can reduce battery life and lead to other issues. If you’re storing Chromebooks for a long time, charge them to at least 80% and unplug them from a battery source, following the instructions below.

Storage tips

If you plan to store Chromebooks for an extended period, follow these long-term storage steps:

  • Do not stack more than 7 devices on top of one another, because the weight of several Chromebooks can damage screens. Place the Chromebooks in a secure location, such as a cabinet or cart where they won’t be accidentally knocked over.

  • Store your Chromebooks in a cool, dry area, near  78°F (25°C). Be sure they avoid direct sunlight.

Prepare Chromebooks for long-term storage

  1. Charge your Chromebooks so that the battery is at least 80% full.
    This ensures that even when the battery discharges while unplugged over the summer, it won’t fully run out of power.

  2. To slow the discharge rate during storage, do not physically remove the battery from the Chromebook for storage. Instead, take the following steps:

    • Connect the device to a charger and turn it on.

    • Hold Refresh Refresh and Power Power at the same time.

    • While holding these keys, remove the power cable from device and then release the keys.

    • The device should shut down and remain off.

    • Confirm the battery disconnect worked by pressing the power button.

    • The device should not power on, despite having a battery charge. The Chromebook won’t power on by touching the power button or opening the lid, until you plug the device back to a power source.

    • If the unit powers on, you should repeat the powering down steps.

    • Once you have confirmed that the Chromebook is off store it in a cool, dry place, and near 78°F (25°C).

This is the ideal way to store devices. It reduces battery discharge to a minimum, prevents constant charge and discharge from reducing the battery life, and keeps the Chromebook in a stable, powered-off state.

Note: If you can’t put your model of Chromebook into the battery disconnect state described above, charge the battery to at least 80%. Then, turn off the Chromebook, unplug it from a power source, and store it in a cool, dry place.

Get your Chromebooks ready for school

A week before classes resume, get the Chromebooks ready for students.

  1. Connect the Chromebooks to a charger and a power source.
    This will get them out of the battery disconnect state.

  2. Power up your devices.

  3. Connect your Chromebooks to Wi-Fi and update them to the latest Chrome OS release.
    This can take time, as multiple Chrome OS versions might have been released since the last time the device was updated.

Note: Failure to follow these steps could cause your batteries to reach a critically low charge when the Chromebook is stored for long periods of time and could result in permanent failure of the battery.   


Dell provides a standard one year warranty on batteries. Batteries are a consumable item. All batteries degrade with time and use.

Updating ChromeOS on Chromebooks

posted Oct 19, 2018, 6:36 AM by Mark Willis

Updating ChromeOS on Chromebooks

Chromebooks will automatically try to download updates to the ChromeOS, and then install those updates when the Chromebook is restarted.  But sometimes devices will not update correctly and must be manually updated to bring them up to the current version.

If a Chromebook is not running the latest ChromeOS, these are some problems you might see:

  1. When trying to use the TestNav Kiosk App, the screen starts to load and never completes

  2. When trying to use Lexia Core5 or Lexia PowerUp, you receive a message that the device is running the incorrect version

  3. When attempting to Login to the Chromebook, you are returned to the Login screen with no error

  4. The Chromebook will not connect to the District’s Wifi network

To find out the current tested version of ChromeOS for your Chromebooks, or versions of the Chrome browser for Mac and Windows systems, please visit https://gafe.philasd.org.

To quickly check the version of ChromeOS on a Chromebook:

  1. Turn the Chromebook on

  2. Browse as Guest

  3. Go to the address bar and type “chrome://version”

  4. In the 1st line after “Google Chrome,” you will see the version listed

How can you check to see what version the Chromebook is currently using

  1. Turn Chromebook on

  2. Select Browse as Guest

  3. Click on the icon bottom-right hand corner

  4. Click on the Gear icon

  5. Click on the three bars in the top left-hand corner

  6. Click on About Chrome OS

  7. In the middle of the screen, you will the current version.

  8. At this point, you can click on check for updates.

  9. If there is an update it will day and asked you to reboot.

  10. If there are no updates it will let you know that the Chromebook is up to date.

If the Chromebook is saying it up-to-date but the version is not the current version or lower, we need to get the Chromebook updated to the latest version.

  1. Open the Chrome browser

  2. In the address bar type chrome://policy

  3. Click on the button to refresh policy.

  4. Close the browser

  5. Click on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner

Google Expeditions, Chromecast, Apple TV, or other media devices NOT SUPPORTED on PhilaSD network

posted Jan 5, 2018, 8:57 AM by Mark Willis   [ updated Jan 31, 2018, 7:57 AM ]

Use of Products using Chromecast or Multicast

Many schools and offices have inquired about adding certain devices to the School District’s network to stream or broadcast media.  Many of these devices use a technology known as “Multicast” to broadcast media to many other computers at the same time.  Multicast is great for personal home networks, but can easily overwhelm a large enterprise network, especially where WiFi is used heavily.  In addition, anyone can easily take control of these devices without using passwords, because they are not designed for a secure network.  As a result, in order to ensure reliable and secure Internet access for all users, Multicast is not supported on either the District’s wireless or wired networks.

The following products are not supported and can not be used on the School District’s network:

Apple TV

Google ChromeCast

Google Expeditions **

Roku Media Player

Amazon FireTV


Google Home



** The Office of Information Technology is currently working on a way to support the Google Expeditions product on the District’s network.  Please watch for further information before purchasing Google Expeditions hardware.

As always, please contact the Technology Help Desk before purchasing or attempting to use any type of media streaming devices on the District’s network - helpdesk@philasd.org or 215-400-5555.

End of Support for Adobe Flash - June 30, 2018

posted Jan 5, 2018, 8:54 AM by Mark Willis

Web-based Content using Adobe Flash Plug-in not working in the Chrome Browser

In August 2017, Adobe announced that the Flash Plug-in, used to provide content in web browsers for over 20 years, is being phased out completely.  The developers of the major web browsers have been working to remove Flash support over the last 2 years and we’re already seeing certain websites that are no longer functioning correctly.    Expect that all major web browsers will eliminate Flash Support within the next year.

Google has released its FINAL temporary fix to allow web based content to use the Flash plug-in. Google has confirmed that this will be the last fix.  By July 2018, the Flash Player Plug-in in Google Chrome will no longer work AT ALL. This includes the Chromebook Kiosk apps.  Once Google removes Flash from the Chrome browser, there will be nothing that can be done to restore it.   

Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla are expected to follow suit within the next year.

The Office of Information Technology began warning the District’s key vendors and partners nearly two years ago, applying pressure to replace Flash in their products.  If you use any other web-based resources that still rely on Flash, please let those providers know that if they do not move to HTML5 by June 2018, you will not be able to use their products anymore.

After July 2018, the Office of Information Technology will not be able to provide support for any software, services or issues related to Flash-based web content.  

Transferring Gmail & Drive to Another Google Account upon Graduating/Withdrawing/Retiring/Resigning

posted Jun 16, 2017, 8:59 AM by Mark Willis

Transferring Gmail and Drive to Another Google Account


Google provides an easy way to transfer your Gmail and Drive contents to another Google Account.   It could take up to one WEEK for the transfer to finish.  RESTRICTED content will not be transferred. Remember that your District Google Account has unlimited storage where as your personal Google account does not, you might need to purchase additional storage or delete some of your documents before transferring your files.  


To Transfer your district Gmail and Drive to another Google account follow the following steps:


  1. Log into your District Google Account

  2. Click on the circle with your initial or pic in it - located on the far right side of the screen


3. Click on MY ACCOUNT. It is in the blue box




4. Click on Control Your Content - located in the middle of the screen under the heading Personal Information & Privacy


5. Scroll down to the box labeled Transfer Your Content and click Start Transfer









6. Enter the Google account you want to transfer the files too or create a new account

7. Click on Send Code


8. Open the inbox for the account you are transferring the files too. You will have an email about verifying your account.  Open the email.


9. Click on “Get Confirmation Code.”







10. Copy and Paste the Code into the line for ENTER CODE



11. Click on VERIFY


12. Select which product you want to transfer by sliding the button to the left to select the product.










13. Click Start Transfer



You will receive an email in both accounts letting you know the transfer has started and another one once it has been completed.   It could take up to a WEEK for the transfer to finish.  RESTRICTED content will not be transferred.

Chromebook Enrollment

posted May 3, 2017, 8:31 AM by Mark Willis

When enrolling Chromebooks, the MAC address and other information from your Chromebook is captured.  Currently, in some cases, this information is not being captured.   The MAC address is used to register the Chromebook into the Wireless database so you will not need to authenticate to the wireless network each time you turn the Chromebook on.  

To make sure that Google has captured this information, please do the following AFTER ENROLLING and receiving the Successfully Enrolled screen:

  1. Log into the Chromebook  -  any philasd account can do this (make sure you have enrolled the device first)

  2. Open the web browser

  3. Go to any website

  4. Wait for 5 to 10 mins

  5. Now you can logoff and shutdown

If your time is limited and this cannot be performed at the time of enrollment it will happen the next time the Chromebook is turn on and used.  You will need to authenticate to the wireless network again and then log on to the Chromebook and open a web page for 5 to 10 minutes.

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