Frequently Asked Questions
What is EdSpread?
EdSpread is part of the suite of tools by xSoTec that can be downloaded as an add-on for Google sheets. It provides educators with an out-of-the-box working, yet completely customizable spreadsheet-based gradebook and student dashboard system.
How do I install it?
- Use this link to install the add-on
- Select “Add-ons” in the spreadsheet menu bar, then “xSuite by xSoTec”, and then select “Setup xSuite by xSotec menu for the first time”
- Select “Add-ons” in the spreadsheet menu bar again, then “xSuite by xSoTec”, and then “select EdSpread for this spreadsheet”
How do I use it?
After installing EdSpread, the spreadsheet will display two spreadsheet sheets. The first of these sheets is labeled “Student AdminConsole”. This sheet is used to easily create and replicate spreadsheet-based student dashboards. The second of these sheets is labeled “EdSpread Gradebook” and should look familiar to most educators and is used as a normal gradebook would be. That is, the sheet labeled “EdSpread Gradebook” is used to enter student grades (using scores, competency levels, or any grading system).
Part I: Creating the student dashboards for the first time
- Enter two or three lines of “students” into the sheet named “Student AdminConsole” (don’t do them all yet, you will probably want to do some customization first before creating all of your students). Enter information in the columns “uniqueID”, “First Name”, “Last Name”, and “viewerEmails”. Don’t worry about the other columns for now.
- Go to the “Add-ons” menu and select “xSuite by xSoTec”, then “adminConsole”, then “Quick Add New Users”
- The spreadsheet should turn column “A” (uniqueID) green in “Students AdminConsole” to show that it is working and the scriptMessage column should say “processing…” as it creates each student dashboard.
- The students now have a dashboard but it is not shared with them. Again see the “Add-ons” menu to select “xSuite by xSoTec”, then “adminConsole”, and then “Share with editor(s) or viewer(s)” to share the new dashboard with the students.
Part II: Entering grades into the EdSpread Gradebook
- Enter the uniqueIDs of the students exactly as you entered them in Students AdminConsole. Notice that the formula in cell C5 automatically fills in columns C through F.
- Now start using your gradebook. Any cells with a white background are for you to enter information. Feel free to enter a period in cell C2 and a class name in cell F2. To add a new assignment, fill out the date, assignment name, and skill name (if applicable).
- To add student grades, simply enter grades using whatever system you currently use. Some schools use a traditional grading system (percentages out of 100) and others use a competency-based system with grade levels (i.e., 8.5 or 11.0 for the grade achievement level).
- When you are ready to send the grades to the student dashboards, simply press “Post This Sheet” from within the “xSuite by xSoTec” menu.
Renaming the EdSpread Gradebook sheet or Student AdminConsole sheet
You can rename the EdSpread Gradebook Sheet and/or the Student AdminConsole sheet at any time and it won’t affect the operation of EdSpread.
Adding a second Class or Period
Adding a second class or period is easy. Simply duplicate the sheet, rename it and start using it
Changing the name of the student templates
You can change the name of the student templates by changing the line in the note in cell A1 in “Student AdminConsole” that starts with “nameExt”. The default name is #uniqueID# Dashboard. This setting produces a template with the uniqueID followed by the word “Dashboard”. If you change the line to read nameExt:My Dashboard #viewerEmails# 2019, you will create dashboards that would be named something like “My Dashboard email@example.com 2019” if the student had the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org in the column labeled “viewerEmails”.
Changing the column names in “Student AdminConsole”
You cannot change the names of the default columns or any of the columns that are added when adding students, but you can add as many of your own columns as you like. Just make sure that you don’t skip any columns. Skipping columns will confuse the student dashboard creation function and possibly add a column in the wrong place.
Changing the gradebook
Everything about the gradebook is customizable by fully understanding the xSuite by xSoTec tool called copyScripts. This powerful tool is actually the engine that drives the entire EdSpread posting system. In fact, the EdSpread posting system is probably one of the simplest uses for copyScripts which has the power to drive entire schools and not just the gradebook and dashboards for one teacher and his/her students.
But without any understanding of copyScripts at all, there is still a great deal of flexibility in the EdSpread Gradebook.
- Change any formatting in the sheet
- Change any of the words (or add words) in the blue background. This includes how you are using, the rows 2,3,4 and the labels in J.
- Change how Missing, In Revision, Assigned and Overall Grade is calculated (requires knowlege of formulas)
- add or remove rows
- Add or remove columns
- Change words with the black background
- Change the location of any white background
Do you meet data privacy compliance (e.g. FERPA, COPPA, GDPR)?
By working entirely within the G Suite infrastructure, we maintain the same compliance as Google. More information on Google data privacy compliance can be found here.
As an additional precaution, clients can set up an xSoTec developers account under their GAFE domain to be deleted at project completion. This allows our developers to do all custom work within the system but keeps all control of data access within the client GAFE domain.
Is it really free? It sounds too good to be true!
It's true, making this awesome add-on free doesn't seem to make sense. But we believe that all students have the right to their academic information, which means that our tool has to be accessible to everyone regardless of financial resources.
However, we do support ourselves by providing detailed trainings, school-wide set-up, and SIS customization. If this is something you are interested in, contact us here. Thanks!