Starting in the fall of 2011, SchoolZone will provide access to your Share (Google) Apps within EPS.  This section of the help site will include instructions and videos for how to use some of the features, and will highlight how these changes effect how you may have done things in the past in my.epsb.ca.  
As with all other pages on this site, all pages are editable and you can add your suggestions or comments or strategies by clicking on "New Post" below.



Recent posts

  • SchoolZone Class Group Settings FAQ Create Google Groups using SchoolZone to take advantage of these features.What are the default settings for class Groups?The default settings for SchoolZone auto-created Groups allow for any ...
    Posted Oct 2, 2013, 7:51 AM by Terry Korte
  • Linking to a Discovery Education Resource in SchoolZone Teachers can now create a link in a homework posting that will direct students straight to a Discovery Education video without prompting them to log into Discovery Education. Video instructions ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2013, 10:43 AM by Craig Schneider
  • Accessing and using your SZ Groups in Share Accessing and using your GroupsIf this isn't your first year using Google Groups...The process described below puts the Google Group address for each of your classes into ...
    Posted Sep 5, 2013, 9:32 AM by Terry Korte
  • Using the Hand-in Box to manage docs shared by students This video shows teachers how to create a Hand-In Box in SchoolZone for students to share their Google Docs or files. 
    Posted Oct 31, 2013, 10:48 AM by Terry Korte
  • Embed a video in SchoolZone Embed a Google Drive VideoIf you're wanting to put a Docs video in a Google (Share) site, then just go to "Insert...Video...Google Drive video" and you ...
    Posted Oct 24, 2014, 11:00 AM by Terry Korte
  • How to work in the cloud from SchoolZone - a step-by-step guide
    Posted Oct 12, 2011, 7:43 AM by Terry Korte
  • Making a Google Doc available for students and parents in SchoolZone
    Posted Oct 12, 2011, 7:44 AM by Terry Korte
  • Create a School Calendar in Google that can be viewed in SchoolZone Create a Google calendar and give it your school’s name , then:Go into settings Choose the School Calendar .Go to Share This Calendar and make it a ‘public’ calendar ...
    Posted Oct 31, 2013, 12:45 PM by Terry Korte
  • Create a Class Calendar in Google that can be viewed in SchoolZone Create a Class Calendar in Google that can be viewed in SchoolZoneCreate a Google calendar and give it your Class name Go into settings Choose the Class Calendar .Go ...
    Posted Aug 15, 2011, 1:27 PM by Terry Korte
  • Creating Google Groups in SchoolZone With the integration of Google Docs in SchoolZone, there is very little need for this feature any longer.  We created Google Groups based on SchoolZone class lists in the past ...
    Posted Jul 10, 2014, 12:37 PM by Terry Korte
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 13. View more »
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SchoolZone Class Group Settings FAQ

posted Sep 11, 2013, 1:13 PM by Terry Korte   [ updated Oct 2, 2013, 7:51 AM ]

Create Google Groups using SchoolZone to take advantage of these features.

What are the default settings for class Groups?
The default settings for SchoolZone auto-created Groups allow for any member of the Group to email the group.  This is handy if you want students to easily be able to share something with the whole class, for example.  Group members can also send a message to everyone in the group.

Can the settings be changed?
Teachers are owners (managers) of the group, and can change any of these settings. Do this under the "Manage" section when in the group by changing the setting of "Who can post messages".

What's the best way to easily have access to my SchoolZone (Class) Groups in Google Apps?
Go to Groups, click on a class group, then click "Manage" (on the right side).  From the left-hand menu, click Information...General information - and copy the group email address for each of your classes, and then make a personal contact with an easy-to-remember name, like Period 1 Social.
We re-create the Groups each year with a slightly different name. We also will delete the previous years' groups. We cannot "reach into" your Contacts (in your "My Contacts" in Google) and remove or modify them, so yes, staff would have to change the email address associated with that class if they are teaching the same class.

Do I need to create these contacts every year?
Yes. Keep in mind that I'm not aware of any other districts who auto-create class lists as Google Groups, so in EPSB teachers need to change the email address for "Science 9 - per 1" every year (if they don't want to just use SchoolZone for sharing), while other districts' teachers create and maintain class groups manually.

What if new students join the class?  Do they have access to everything I've shared? 
Sharing with that email address is dynamic. If students are added to that group, they then have access to docs, videos, sites shared with that Group. If they are removed, they lose access. Of course, Google isn't going to go back in and re-send every sharing notification with them, but if you have the links to the resources posted in SchoolZone or on a site, they'll have access.

Can I email classes that I don't teach?
Groups are auto-created by SchoolZone (and synchronized with PowerSchool data nightly). Groups include all students as "members" and the teacher as the "owner". The only way in Google to let a teacher email other class Groups would be to include every teacher in every school Group, which wouldn't be good ( think of how many notifications you'd get). The other way would be to allow "anyone in the domain" to email any group, and we are not comfortable with that. If school admin wants to send a message to all students, a list can be generated through PowerSchool which can then be used to send emails through gmail (there are sending limits though - only an issue for large schools).

What's the easiest way to share a site, doc, or email a class?
Since students need to go through Schoolzone to get to Google Apps (except on Chromebooks), I'd recommend using the District systems we have in place. To share websites, put the link on Class news or school news, to email a whole class (or classes and their parents) use the email feature in SchoolZone (it auto-generates an email with all recipients in the BCC field) and use the paperclip (attach) feature in SchoolZone (for homework). We've put a lot of work into automating the sharing for teachers sharing to their classes. While some like to stay inside the Google world because of the consistent look, the way we tie things together means that it's likely the least amount of hassle to use SchoolZone.


Linking to a Discovery Education Resource in SchoolZone

posted Feb 7, 2013, 10:29 AM by Craig Schneider   [ updated Feb 7, 2013, 10:43 AM ]

Teachers can now create a link in a homework posting that will direct students straight to a Discovery Education video without prompting them to log into Discovery Education. Video instructions are here and written instructions are here.

Accessing and using your SZ Groups in Share

posted Apr 24, 2012, 7:54 AM by Terry Korte   [ updated Sep 5, 2013, 9:32 AM ]

Accessing and using your Groups

If this isn't your first year using Google Groups...

The process described below puts the Google Group address for each of your classes into your "Contacts" for ease of use.  While we remove all old Groups we don't remove them from your Contacts, you will want to do that.

To remove them, just go to your "Contacts" and search for SZ, then select and delete.


#EPSB #SchoolZone update:  Google Groups created from SchoolZone


If you have ever clicked on the "Google Groups" button (see image below), we'll automatically create your SchoolZone class groups in Google for you forever ...or at least until you retire!  You can use this group to share Docs, sites, or any Googly things with your classes and they are dynamic - so if a student gets added to your class, they get access to the shared material.

To streamline things we have removed all old SchoolZone groups from years past from Google Groups - this will clean up things for those staff who have been taking advantage of Google Groups for sharing with students.

We've had a couple of hiccups creating the new groups this year, and with the popularity of this feature, it's a long process for it all to happen.  Groups that were created a few weeks ago have had to be removed and recreated - a process that is happening right now.  All SchoolZone Google Groups should be created by Monday Sept 9th.

To see your Google Groups for each of your classes (on Monday) - just click on the Groups button on the black navigation bar when in Google Mail, Drive or Calendar.

 To see your Groups and who's in them, use the "Groups" link under "More..." at the top of any of the Share (Google) Apps pages.



From then on, when you want to share something with these Groups, start typing the class name and it will auto-fill.


Using the Hand-in Box to manage docs shared by students

posted Dec 6, 2011, 8:12 AM by Wendy Johnson   [ updated Oct 31, 2013, 10:48 AM by Terry Korte ]

This video shows teachers how to create a Hand-In Box in SchoolZone for students to share their Google Docs or files. 


Embed a video in SchoolZone

posted Nov 30, 2011, 11:52 AM by Terry Korte   [ updated Oct 24, 2014, 11:00 AM ]

Embed a Google Drive Video

If you're wanting to put a Docs video in a Google (Share) site, then just go to "Insert...Video...Google Drive video" and you'll be able to choose from all videos that you've uploaded to Drive, or those shared with you.  

If you want to embed your video in SchoolZone or any other website, be sure you've shared the video with "Anyone with the link" , then just use the steps below:


  1. Upload your video to Google Drive


  1. Right-click the video and choose "Share...”


  1. Make sure sharing is set to "Anyone who has the link can view”


  1. Copy the "Link to share” from the box at the top of the dialog


  1. Click "Done”


  1. Paste and open the link in a new tab or browser


  1. At the top of the screen, click the icon with three vertical dots and choose "Embed item...”


  1. Copy the embed code


  1. In SchoolZone, open (or create) a "School News" or "Class News" item.


  1. In the editor, open the HTML editor (<>)


  1. Paste the embed code where you want your video to appear.  


  1. You may want to change the size of the video - Google's default is 640x480, which is a lot of screen real estate on most devices.  Your users will be able to make it full screen if they wish.


Embed a YouTube video:

First you'll need to get the "EMBED CODE", so for:
  • YouTube video already online - 
    • click the "Share" button under the video, then "Embed" and copy the text that pops up.
        

YouTube Embed Code

Embedding a Calendar

How to work in the cloud from SchoolZone - a step-by-step guide

posted Sep 8, 2011, 10:14 AM by Terry Korte   [ updated Oct 12, 2011, 7:43 AM ]




Plain and simple - this would just be a reminder to folks that they can access GA through SZ

Making a Google Doc available for students and parents in SchoolZone

posted Aug 23, 2011, 2:57 PM by Terry Korte   [ updated Oct 12, 2011, 7:44 AM ]



Create a School Calendar in Google that can be viewed in SchoolZone

posted Aug 15, 2011, 1:32 PM by Terry Korte   [ updated Oct 31, 2013, 12:45 PM ]


Create a Google calendar and give it your school’s name , then:
  1. Go into settings

  1. Choose the School Calendar

.
  1. Go to Share This Calendar and make it a ‘public’ calendar

  1. Go back to Calendar Details and change width to 400 and height to 300, then copy the embed code (ctrl c):




  2. on SchoolZone go to the School News Admin tab
  3. Click insert
  4. Click the ‘source’ button:



  5. Inside the window, click paste (ctrl v)
  6. Find the URL of the calendar and change the http to https.
    For example:

    <iframe src="http://www.google.com/calendar/e...
    becomes:

    <iframe src="https://www.google.com/calendar/e...
  7. Change the dates, give it a title, etc.
  8. Save and Back to Menu
  9. Click on the News tab and you’ll see the calendar in the School News:

Create a Class Calendar in Google that can be viewed in SchoolZone

posted Aug 15, 2011, 1:23 PM by Terry Korte

Create a Class Calendar in Google that can be viewed in SchoolZone
  1. Create a Google calendar and give it your Class name
  1. Go into settings

  1. Choose the Class Calendar

.
  1. Go to Share This Calendar and make it a ‘public’ calendar

  1. Go back to Calendar Details and change http to https, width to 400 and height to 300, then copy the embed code (ctrl c):



  2. in SchoolZone go to Planner tab
  3. select Events
  4. Click Add
  5. Click the ‘source’ button:


  6. Inside the window, click paste (ctrl v)
  7. Choose the class that should see the calendar, change the dates, etc.
  8. Save & Close
  9. .Click on the News tab and you’ll see the Google calendar in the Events section of Class News:


Anytime you make changes to your class calendar it will automatically be updated in SchoolZone.

Creating Google Groups in SchoolZone

posted Aug 11, 2011, 10:32 AM by Terry Korte   [ updated Jul 10, 2014, 12:37 PM ]

With the integration of Google Docs in SchoolZone, there is very little need for this feature any longer.  We created Google Groups based on SchoolZone class lists in the past in order to make it easier for teachers to share documents, sites, and calendars with their classes.  Now that you can share Google Docs directly through SchoolZone, you might only need this feature for things like keeping a site restricted to one class, or having a discussion group for a class.

You can create Google Groups for each of your classes through SchoolZone. Hit the “Google Groups” button on the “Planner" tab in SZ. Just click the button once, the groups are created and updated each night as your class lists change. Your class data has to have been uploaded by the front office staff. (If you think about it, if class data hasn't been uploaded Google has no group info to use...)

You only need to do this ONE TIME. From then on, every semester and every year, Google Groups will be automatically created for you when SIS classes are uploaded. (Click to enlarge)



When you click the "Google Groups" button, the following dialog will appear asking for confirmation of the request: (Click to enlarge)



If the user selects “OK”, the following screen will appear: (Click to enlarge)


The Process

The synchronization requests are placed in a queue and are processed in the order they were received. Although the groups are created throughout the day, the initial creation is quite slow and it might take a day or more before a teacher’s groups are available in Google. However, the synchronization of existing groups with SIS class lists is MUCH faster, and I’m hopeful that once the groups have been created, we’ll be able to keep them synchronized on a daily basis. This means that as students move in and out of classes, the Google Groups will automatically reflect the changes by the next day.

Why does it take several hours to create these groups? Well, it's a safeguard (we think) that Google has put in place to prevent it from being attacked and overwhelmed with requests. Their servers basically require a few seconds to transpire between transactions, and when you multiply this by thousands of students in hundreds of classes, you get a delay.


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