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CTL’s Top 5 Professional Development Webinars of 2017

CTL’s Top 5 Professional Development Webinars of 2017

2017 has been a great year for us at CTL, and our Education Partners have only served to make it even better. One of our favorite things here at CTL is the connections and learning we derive from our Professional Development Webinars. Many of these webinars highlight awesome new Google for Education apps, educational software for students and classroom management, and all around awesome solutions for making your life as a teacher, IT professional, or educational administrator even easier.

We know that our education professionals have a busy schedule and finding the time to attend our webinars can be tricky, so we always make every past webinar available on our webinar site: http://ctl.info/webinars/.

As a little wrap-up for 2017, we’ve compiled the most popular webinars from the past year. You can watch these webinars at your leisure. Note that several of these webinars have an accompanying blog so we went ahead and listed those as well.

Top 5 Webinars of 2017

Increasing Student Engagement and Improving Assessment with G Suite 
Presented by Dani Kennis

How can Google Apps be used to assess learning? In this one-hour webinar, educators will learn how to use Google Sites, Google Forms, and Google Docs/Presentations for diagnostic assessment (before learning), formative assessment (during learning) and summative assessment (after learning).

Watch this Webinar
Read the Blog

YouTube Authoring Tips & Tricks for Educators 
Presented by Katherine Livick

In this webinar, Katherine Livick of ESD 112 demonstrates how to use YouTube's Creator Studio and how you can apply its effects to your videos, captioning, and more!

Watch this Webinar
Read the Blog

Introduction to NetOp Vision 
Presented by Dean Johnson and Pam Judge of Netop

Netop Vision for Chromebooks helps you manage the digital classroom, providing visibility into all student activities, right from the teacher's desktop. Learn why NetOp Vision is the worldwide leader in classroom management software, connecting more than six million teachers and students in 105 countries.

Watch this Webinar

Chromebook Tips and Classroom Management (May 17)
Presented by Katherine Livick

You’ve got a classroom full of Chromebooks…now what? Learn some basics and secrets of the Chromebook, as well as some tips for handling and managing the devices in your classroom.

Watch this Webinar
Read the Blog

Google Admin Best Practices & Insights (Mar 29)
Presented by Tom Woods with Amplified IT

Have you configured your G Suite Admin Console with educational best practices in mind? Guest presenter Tom Woods, authorized Google Education Trainer for Amplified IT (an education-focused Google for Education Consultancy), covers key best practice settings and approaches to G Suite Domain management.

Watch this Webinar

View Upcoming Professional Development Webinar

You can find all these and more at http://ctl.info/webinars/ where we routinely add webinars. So stay tuned to our Education Newsletter or check the site for updates.

Here you can also register for upcoming webinars:

  • NCLab Demo (Jan 24)engaging students in a fun way to learn coding, 3D modeling, and STEM
  • Kajeet Education Broadband (Feb 21)giving students safe mobile broadband at home or on the bus
  • DiSTRiBU-Q (Apr 11)the cloud-based solution to help manage 1-to-1 laptop deployment

We look forward to your participation in our 2018 webinars and would love to hear from you about any topics that you’d like to dive into for the new year. You can make suggestions via the form on the webinars page.

The Google Admin Console: Planning For A Smooth School Year

The Google Admin Console: Planning For A Smooth School Year

By Katherine Livick

The Google Apps Admin Console gives administrators hundreds of options to control their users’ experience with G Suite for Education. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices--what can you do, and what should you do, to make Google Apps useful for students and teachers?

What Can I Do?
Using the Google Apps Admin Console, you can create and manage users, set permissions for access to different Google services, manage Chromebooks and other mobile devices, and even configure mail routing. If you’re a sysadmin already, you’ll be familiar with some of the controls you encounter, though they may not be where you expect them to be.

Basic Setup and User Management
You can create users in the console directly or upload them in bulk from a .csv file. If you’ve already got a user organization structure in Active Directory, you can use Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) to sync your AD user orgs to Google Apps. As a best practice, you’ll want to create sub-organizations for different groups within your userbase, rather than dumping all users into a single user organization. You can set this up in a variety of ways, depending upon what works for your district or organization, but at minimum, you will want to have teachers and students in separate organizations.  See Google Apps for Education: Domain Best Practices for an in-depth discussion of this idea, or check out my “cheat sheet” for recommendations. Google has a lot of resources for migration to and deployment of Google services - take a look at their migration guide.

Wrangling Google Apps
Once your domain is set up, you’ll want to enable different apps and services for different users. For instance, many school districts choose to disable email for younger students or create a “walled garden” for students to have internal email only. You can (and should) turn off Google+ for students while enabling it for staff to use in their professional learning communities, or manage YouTube and Hangouts for certain groups of students. If you’ve already organized your users, this is pretty simple - just be sure you’ve selected the correct user organization before changing a setting. Many settings can be changed only for certain user organizations, but some apply globally to your entire organization. If a setting can be changed for particular organizations, your list of user orgs will show up at left when you select the setting. 

Apps are organized into three major categories - Google Apps (the 11 services governed by the Google Apps agreement you signed when you registered), Additional Google Services (other Google-branded apps and services not covered by the agreement, such as Blogger and Youtube), and Marketplace Apps (third-party apps that you can add to your domain and push out to users). There’s also a category for SAML apps that you may wish users to sign into using SSO.  Most of your frequently used services are included in the first Google Apps pane: Drive, Docs, Gmail, Classroom, Calendar, and more. Options for each service vary, so it’s best to just take a tour through each app’s settings and see what you can do with it.

Managing devices
Things can get a little confusing in the Device Management pane. Within are three sub-panes: Mobile Devices, Chrome Devices and Chrome Devices for Meetings. The sidebar in Device Management has options for Network and for Chrome Management. Once you have enrolled devices in your domain for management, they’ll show up in the Mobile or Chrome Devices panes; you can view serial numbers, move devices between user organizations, and disable devices from there. Settings that affect what users can do on a Chrome device (or with Chrome itself while logged in as a user in your domain) are available in Chrome Management in the sidebar. This is also where you determine settings for public sessions and kiosk mode. You’ll want to organize your devices in a way that allows you to determine different settings for different groups of devices--whether enforcing age-appropriate restrictions for certain grade levels, or locking down Chromebooks for secure state testing.

General best practices
If you’re just starting out, begin with the end in mind. Get your user organizations sorted out from the beginning so you have control. Don't operate in an IT vacuum when establishing policy as far as what services you want to enable. Communicate with instructional staff to be sure you understand how they are using the tools. Your understanding of the use of these tools (especially around security and why teachers and students need various functions) is different than what a teacher deals with day-to-day. Get into a classroom periodically if you can--you and teachers need to understand each other.

Consider security. Have you made two-step authentication available to your users? What about your admins? If you’re thinking of making it mandatory, be sure you don’t enforce this policy on users until they’ve opted in, or people will lose access. Do you have a backup Super Admin? Do you have limited admin roles to delegate tasks, while keeping higher-level functions more secure?

Above all--go with the flow. Google changes stuff CONSTANTLY. Often it's for the better. Use the help and search functions in the Admin console, and find a community of other admins for your personal learning (check out the GSFE Admins Group on Google+).  There's a lot of stuff to read through, but contextual help in the Admin panel is continually improving, and there are a lot of minor caveats that can make a big difference.  Keep learning and roll with it!

Katherine will be presenting this topic during our Professional Development Webinar on December 6th at 9am. This webinar will be recorded and available for viewing at http://ctl.info/webinars/

CTL’s Amazon Store: Get It in Time with Amazon Prime

CTL’s Amazon Store: Get It in Time with Amazon Prime

Did you know that many of your favorite CTL products are available in our Amazon Store? That’s right, everything from monitors to our line of ruggedized Chromebooks. Now, this holiday season you can get your CTL products just in time through Amazon Prime. We wanted to run down the top 4 selling products available on Amazon Prime.


CTL J5 Chromebook

The J5 Convertible Chromebook for education features sturdy 360-degree hinges which allow this unit to be rotated from laptop mode to tablet mode. The 11.6” HD Touch Screen can be used in any mode. This is also one of CTL’s rugged Chromebooks, making it tougher than others with a water-resistant keyboard and drop resistant design. Another great feature is the 10-hour battery life which keeps you working all day without a charger. (You can also buy the J5 Chromebook directly from CTL here).


CTL NL61 Chromebook

The NL61 Chromebook is a great option for students of all ages. This rugged Chromebook lasts up to 12.5 hours allowing students to make it all the way through homework and still have enough battery to catch up on their favorite Netflix shows. The 180-degree rotating camera is perfect for the aspiring video director or scientist with the optional microscope lens. This tough unit has a water-resistant keyboard and drop resistant design. The unit also features a unique retractable carry handle and non-slip texture to help prevent drops. (You can also buy the NL61 Chromebook directly from CTL here).


CTL NL61T Chromebook

Like the NL61, the NL61T Touchscreen Chromebook features an IPS Touchscreen with a rugged design and up to 12.5 hours of battery life. We do mean rugged as this Chromebook features a water-resistant keyboard and is drop tested to 70cm. Like the NL61, this unit also has a 180-degree rotating camera and retractable carry handle. (You can also buy the NL61T Chromebook directly from CTL here).


CTL IP2380S 24" ADS Monitor

You’ll love seeing your work in a whole new way with the 24” LED monitor from CTL. Ideal for photographers, graphic designers, engineers, and other professional work that requires high resolutions. This monitor also contains stereo speakers, headphone jacks, and HDMI/DisplayPort/VGA input. The product is warrantied through CTL for 3 years. So stop fighting limited screen space on small laptop monitors and enjoy the freedom to have a sweeping overview of your projects on this 24” monitor. (You can also buy the IP2380S directly from CTL here).


All these products and tons more are available on Amazon Prime, so order now and have them for the holidays. Visit our Amazon Store to find all available CTL Prime products.