Friday, December 3, 2010

Google Apps Education Road Blocks

I am running into some road blocks with google apps.  Our school just switched this year.  Teachers and students have accounts.  I believe we have just the basic applications for education (mail, calendar, documents, sites, groups).  In talking to others I seem to be one of the first trying out some applications so it appears I am the only one experience the road blocks I am running into.

I am using blended instruction with my stats classes.  Moodle is our "home base" online.  Whether the students are doing something during the school day or at home, I would like to make it so we go to moodle and from there complete our lessons/activities.

An example, students roll some dice and enter their results into a spreadsheet (post coming soon on this lab).  Or I might have them take a survey using google form or collaborate on a google document.

In all of those cases I want to make it easy for myself by having the link to those documents in Moodle instead of having to use the share feature and type in everyone's email address.  The way I want to share those documents is by forcing students to have to log into their google account.  In all of those documents I have tried checking the box that says something like "People at xxxxxxxx.xx.xx.xx with the link" or "Require xxxxxxxx.xx.xx.xx sign-in to view this form."  The reason I want to require the sign in is so I can see or have record of who made changes to a document in case a student ever has a bad day and decides to take it out on our shared document.  For forms, to automatically collect their user info when filling out a form instead of having a question on the form asking for their name.

Where I am running into a road block is when a student clicks on a link they are asked to sign in when they already have.  It also is sending them to a sign in page that does not work for students.  It sends them to the teacher log in page.  I've tried workarounds by having them sign into Google first then click on the shared link. I've tried to email them directly the shared link.  I've tried to share directly with them the document.  All fail.  Students are also unable to join a Google group that I set up.

I think what is happening is the way our accounts have been set up.  Students look like: jmfrankenburry11@stu.xxxxxxxx.xx.xx.xx while teachers look like: jpmorganister@xxxxxxxx.xx.xx.xx.  Where a teacher logs in vs a student is also different.

Is that the issue and is there something we need to set up so that students and teachers can interact with each other?  Otherwise this kinda defeats the purpose of being able to lock things down to just your domain.

For now I can make it so students are not required to log into their Google account to get to our documents.  I then just cross my fingers and hope I have created a classroom environment where it wouldn't cross a student's mind to mess up our shared docs.  I am also able to use the private share feature.  I just have to type in all their email addresses.  To make that easier I'm going to have them fill out a form with their email so I can just copy paste that column.

Thoughts?  Thank you to any and all who can give suggestions.


  1. Our school is in the same boat, and we have the same issue. Have you tried creating a generic teacher acct in the student domain? If this acct makes the spreadsheet, then you probably can require a login from that domain.
    Good luck, Dan

  2. @Dan
    Thanks for the tip. I had a student create a document to test the share link but require login feature. A student sees the same thing a teacher does. It also says require @clarkston instead of @stu.clarkston. We tried it anyway but ended with the same result. No students could get to it using the link.

    So, I had to create a google form to have students submit their school email to me. I then just copy and paste it into the share box instead. This will work for know but the point is I just want to put the link in our class moodle instead of having to share every document.

    We are currently moving to an updated google apps for education. It looks like education version will now include almost all the google apps and you can sign in from a regular gmail page. I will try again using the link to share after winter break when we are updated to see if it makes any difference.