How to use labels and filters in GMail | Tips and Tricks Episode 19

Do more with your GMail and begin using filters and Labels to achieve inbox 0. No more missed messages, confusing groups or endless searches for an email. Using labels makes organising your email easy, visual and quick. 

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How To Secure Your Gmail Account

By Jane Vestil

Your Gmail account allows you to access all of Google. Therefore, it is very important that your email account stays safe. This article outlines some security measures you can follow.

1. Make sure that you have a strong password.

The challenge here is to create a password that is easy to remember but hard for others to guess.

There are a lot of suggestions available but most websites use the below best practices:
  • Choose a password that is at least 8 character long.
  • Your password should contain at least one of the following: lower case letter, upper case letter, numeric value, and a special character.
  • Avoid using names or nicknames of family members, friends, and even pets.
  • Avoid using information about yourself such as name, nickname, username, birth date, phone number, address, plate number and many others.
  • Avoid sequential numbers and letters.
Additional recommendations we should be mindful of are:
  • Don't use dictionary words or any word from any language.
  • Don't use only 1 password for several accounts.
  • Update your passwords every 3 to 6 months.
  • Never write your passwords down.
  • Don't share your password to anyone.
  • Never send your password to anyone via email, SMS, or instant messaging apps.
  • Refrain from using public computers especially when trying to access highly sensitive websites such as online banking.
  • Change your password immediately if you feel that it is compromised.
  • Don't use the browser's "Remember password" option if you are sharing a computer with someone.
  • Don't type your password when someone is watching behind or beside you.
The article from Webroot, How Do I Create a Strong Password?, illustrates very clever examples on how you can create passwords that are hard to guess but easy for you to remember.

There are the four key elements mentioned in the said article
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The Insider's Guide to Gmail (Part Two) - Using Labels to manage your inbox

Back in October 2018, Allison shared with us some great ways to use the different types of inboxes and the tabbed features to manage a mass of emails in our inboxes. These tools are great and an integral part of managing a busy inbox. In this week's post, we are going to look at labels in Gmail, and how we can use labels to further organise and segment our email.

Labels are great for:

  • anyone receiving more than a handful of emails a day (ie any educator!)
  • anyone dealing with different groups of people (for example, students and parents)
  • anyone who frequently loses that meeting agenda email!
  • ...basically, labels are great for any teacher wanting to better manage their email!

What is a label?

Labels are Gmail's alternative to folders. An email can have multiple labels - you can, therefore, add multiple categories to an email.

An email message with labels will look similar to the above message, this message has two labels (notice the colour of the labels). Once a label has been applied to a message you can quickly access it by using the left-hand menu underneath the Compose button.

Clicking on any of these labels will filter your email and show you only those emails that have been labelled that way.

How Do I Make A Label?
There are several ways to create a label ():

1. Select one or more messages with the checkbox, click and hit 'Create new'

2. From within any message click the labels button as above

3. Go to Settings (Gear Icon) >> Settings >> Labels >> 'Create new label'

4. Scroll to the bottom of the labels list on the left and 'Create new label'

How Do I Add A Label To A Message?

You can now go ahead and add labels to your messages manually, select the message, click the label button and then choose the label you wish to add. But....adding labels can be even easier...

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'The Kids Are Waiting'

It was great to have Dale Plotzki again for our second run of the AppsEvents Peru Google for Education Summit hosted this year at the Davy College in Lima, Peru.

Dale Plotzki is a Canadian international educator, Google Certified Trainer & Innovator who likes to push education towards the future through specialized teaching, professional development workshops, coaching and co-teaching and always with engagement, passion and relevance at the heart of it all! He loves poodles, cold-water surfing and Google Maps!

In this keynote speech, Dale discusses exemplars of students independently filling in the gaps in their education with the modern skills and attitudes, why this is happening and what schools can do to correct this.

Connect with Dale on Twitter at @dale_rickardo

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The Hidden Helper: Chromebook Reset or Powerwash | Tips and Tricks Episode 18

Chromebooks are amazing devices and very powerful indeed! Sharing these devices is made super easy with different user accounts and the trick shown in this video will reset your device to look brand new.

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Getting Started With Locked Mode for Quizzes on Chromebooks

Way back in the Summer of 2018 Google announced an amazing new feature...Locked mode for Google Forms quizzes on Chromebooks. This promised to be a very powerful feature enabling teachers to give quizzes and trust that students were not accessing any external resources.

In a class of 10 or 15 students it is possible to administer quizzes on devices by monitoring the screens...but this is far from optimal! There are also some software solutions that help with this but they are often expensive and require IT admin to initiate the testing.

Beginning January 2019, Google began rolling out access to its beta version of 'Locked Mode for Google Forms'. Any school that has managed Chromebooks will soon be able to deliver quizzes to students in a secure environment.

Our school received access to the feature a few weeks ago, and so far it has worked exactly how it was designed.

Getting Setup - Initiating Locked Mode

Assuming you have your quiz setup already, applying locked mode is as easy as turning a Form into a Quiz. The new mode works with any of your old Forms, or you can go ahead and create a new quiz. And remember, you can use the new Quiz assignment from within Google Classroom to create your classes too!

From the Settings menu, click on Quizzes, hit 'Make this a quiz' and the Locked Mode option will become available.

Important: as soon as locked mode is enabled, only students with managed Chromebooks running Chrome OS68 or newer will be able to access the quiz

Once locked mode is available, the settings for collect email address, restrict to one submission and restrict to your domain or automatically selected.

Not everything is blocked...

Google have thought this through and not everything is blocked.  Accessibility tools are still available via keyboard shortcut:
  • ChromeVox (text-to-speech extension)
  • High contrast mode
  • Fullscreen magnifier
  • Docked magnifier

What if we don't have Chromebooks?

Unfortunately in this case you wont be able to use Locked Mode, anyone accessing the quiz without a managed Chromebook running OS68 or later will not be able to proceed past the initial screen:

What did we think?

We received access to this feature and announced it to teachers the same day without much more than a short tutorial by email. Within a couple of hours I had received emails from happy teachers who had successfully launched locked mode on quizzes that day on our managed Acer Spin 11 Chromebooks. Success! Students were locked to the quiz, and if any did leave the quiz halfway before submitting, the teacher receives a warning:

During a Locked mode quiz, the Form is shown in full screen view and students are unable to open another tab, switch tabs, copy and paste text or access Chrome extensions.

It is important to note that students are restricted to one response each - this may not suit every style of assessment.

One quick troubleshooting note, if you are trying this on managed Chromebooks and students cannot access the quiz, just make sure the Chromebook has been updated to the latest OS version (68 or higher).

And the big question...can students hack locked mode?

As much as I trust that Google engineers have tested every possible iteration to try to 'break' the quiz mode....Google have nothing on a class of grade 8 students! So far it has been a success, but probably a little too early to tell if any students have found a workaround....stay tuned for updates!

How do I get access for myself and my teachers?

Listed below are the key links you need that explain how to get setup and request access to the ongoing Beta testing:
Has your school been testing locked mode? Have you found anything you think other users should be aware of? Please share with us in the comments!

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