Thursday, July 21, 2011

Taking Your Data With You When You Leave a School

When you leave a school, your Google Account will sooner or later be deleted. All of those assignments and communications will be deleted as well, unless you "liberate" your data.

The easiest way to download your files is export them. Select the files you want, click Download... on the right hand side, choose a format for each file type, and then click the Download button. Your browser will then download a zip file containing those documents.

If you want to keep your email, you'll need to need to set up a program (or another online email account) to download your messages via POP. If you want to save copies of your contacts and filters, there are also tools for that on the related Data Liberation page.

Again, has a tool for "Escaping from Google Sites".

The best way to save your blog posts is to invite yourself as a collaborator, using a regular Gmail account (that you can create for free if you don't already have one). From the basic settings page of your blog, click Add authors and type your address (or the address of whichever Google account you will be able to use after you leave the school).

You can also follow the steps here to export your blog content.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Posting Marks Online Without the PowerSchool Portal

Since the PowerSchool parent and student portal will not be available this summer, here is a way that you can post marks online for parents and students.

1. In the gradebook on the Reports tab, choose Scoresheet and set the Output Type to Export (CSV) and the Student Field to Student Number.

2. Click Run Report at the bottom right and then click OK to open the report in Excel.

3. You will then have a spreadsheet in Excel containing student marks organized by student number. This should be anonymized for FOIP purposes.

4. You can print this (after you adjust the formatting) or paste it into an online spreadsheet. I recommend Google Docs for online spreadsheets. To set up a Google Doc that your students can access, sign into your Gmail account at (or school Google Apps account, e.g. and Create a new Spreadsheet.

5. Click on Unsaved spreadsheet to rename the spreadsheet, then click on Private only to me to change it to be a public spreadsheet (or to invite your students' email addresses as viewers).

6. Copy the data from your Excel spreadsheet into your new Google Docs spreadsheet, and your students will now be able to see the marks that you exported from PowerSchool.

7. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 6 when you have updated marks in PowerSchool.

Another possibility is to use Engrade, a free online gradebook, but then you need to be maintaining your marks in two different places.