Adventures in Google Classroomland: The First Assignment. Oh My.

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To refresh your memory:  Adventures in Google Classroom Land: The Beginning

And now…

11:53am, 9.24.15

As I write this, I’m sitting in my 5th period class, frustrated.  Not because the assignment is falling apart, but because the students can’t get to the assignment so I can watch it fall apart.

Week 2 of the great Classroom adventure!  I decided to use Versal as my flipped classroom platform and posted a nice lesson on Forests and Fisheries for my students to begin working on over the weekend.  I’ve decided to make the lessons available on Thursdays, so those without access to the internet can begin working on them Thursday and Friday and still be ahead of the game for Monday’s discussions.  I put it all on Classroom Wednesday morning. Then all hell broke loose.

It all started like this…

8:46am, 9.23.15

I asked one of the students to click on the link to Versal to make sure the link was working.  They did.  They received a message that they had not been invited to the class yet.  I poked around Versal and discovered I needed to add learners to my class.  I started loading email addresses into the nice little box and pushed send. I got a window that went on and on about not being able to send the emails.  I banged my head on the desk.  The children said woo woo woo.

I sent an email to the district’s resident Google genius who immediately called me and said (and I quote)

Yeah, ummm, you might have to do this through a dummy Gmail account or set up a contact group through Outlook.

(our district opted out of adding Gmail as the email client.  We use Outlook)

So, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided to set up a contact list in Outlook, sent out 103 email invitations to join my lesson on Versal, had 24 bounce back for various reasons, and when the kids clicked the link in their emails, all get a 403 message.  The kids using their phones giggled happily as they completed the lesson.  I let the Google genius know the situation, sent him a screen print of various issues; he called, had me explain it all in real time and said, “I need to play with this.”  I told him to have a great afternoon playing.  He laughed and hung up on me.

Back to the here and now. 12:00, 9.24.15

I sent another email to the genius, who, in genius like manner suggested I invite him to the lesson.  I haven’t heard from him since.  His invitation is “pending” (as is mine) on Versal.  One student managed to get enrolled… and STILL can’t access the lesson from her Chromebook. The bell is ringing.  I’m going out in the hall now to get some air.

The assignment looks great on Classroom though.  I even managed to remember to send each student their own copy of the Google Doc they need to answer the questions after doing the work they can’t get to. (grrr)

If I can’t use Versal on Classroom (or our Chromebooks, which the scientist in me who has been eliminating issues methodically, believes is the real problem), should I kill myself? (just kidding people)

More if and when we get this to work.

Next time: We can do this, yes we can!