Tag Archives: server

Setting Group Policies to Work with SkyDrive

Are your students unable to print or download files from SkyDrive at your school? Ask your system administrator to adjust your group policy settings by adding several URLs as a trusted source.

Please note, these instructions are written for Server 2003 (Yes, I know that’s OLD). If you have a newer server the instructions might be somewhat different, however the URLs will be the same.

NOTE: THIS SHOULD BE DONE BY YOUR SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR.

You can open your Active Directory Users and Computers’ control panel by navigating to it on your Start menu by going to Program Files > Administrative Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers.

That will open a console that looks something like this:

active-directory

If you want the policy to apply to your entire domain, right click at the top of the console. The domain is specified by an icon of three computers. If you want to apply the policy to another group or organizational unit right click on that instead.

Choose Properties from the context menu and then you will see the screen below:

properties

Click on the Group Policy tab and then click the Open button. This is called the Group Policy Management tool. The organizational unit you previously selected will already be highlighted.

Right click on it and choose Create and Link a GPO Here

group management policy

That will take you to the place where you can name the policy. Name it something that will make it easily identifiable. Then click OK.

trusted sites

You have just created your policy. Now you need to define the settings that you want to trickle down to your clients. Locate your policy in the right pane and right click on it. Choose Edit to get started.

edit

Now you need to drill down to the settings that you want to set. In the left pane, click the + sign to expand each group as follows: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Internet Control Panel > Security Page and then double click Site to Zone Assignment List in the right pane as you can see below.

zone assignment

After you double click on Site to Zone Assignment List you will see a window to enable the settings and configure it. Click enabled. Then click Show. On the Show Contents screen, click Add. By clicking add, you add URLs and specify what zone you want them to be placed in. You can also add wildcards to factor in variations of the URL.

Add the following URLs (one at a time) to allow your students to be able to view their SkyDrive documents as a PDF file, print the PDF, and download the Word file to their computer.

https://*.livefilestore.com/storageservice/passport/auth.aspx/* (this address uses wildcards * to include multiple portions of the url) (NOTE: This URL allows a file to be downloaded)

https://d.docs.live.net (NOTE: This URL allows a file to be downloaded)

https://word-view.officeapps.live.com/wv/WordViewer/request.pdf (NOTE: This URL permits printing)

add item

The number 2 denotes the number of the zone. In this case it is the trusted zone. Microsoft breaks down the settings as follows:

  1. Intranet zone – sites on your local network.
  2. Trusted Sites zone – sites that have been added to your trusted sites.
  3. Internet zone – sites that are on the Internet.
  4. Restricted Sites zone – sites that have been specifically added to your restricted sites.

After clicking OK you can wait for the 15 minute default refresh of Group Policy or you can run gpupdate.exe from the Run command on any workstation to see if it worked. Optionally you can also restart the workstations to force the update.

Your students will receive a series of prompts when they log into Skydrive and open a file. They must click Yes to be able to print and download.

TEACHERS! It Is Time to Junk Out Your Files on the Server!

Organize Files


Follow these tips to stay organized!

We do a daily backup of information for staff and students using an offsite backup utility. It was generously donated to us with a 250GB storage limit.
However, I just received a backup error to say that we are over our limit!

I started to look through the directory to locate the source of the problem. Volume for teacher folders is rather large.

They are jam packed full of stuff!

I notice there are the essential files such as templates, lesson plans, worksheets, and assessment tools. Those cannot be deleted. However, there is a large portion of outdated files that can likely be removed from the server. On closer examination, I discover the biggest contributor to the storage capacity issue is PHOTOS! Since most photos are taken in a hi-resolution format they eat up space quite quickly.

Teachers are BUSY people. They barely have enough time to create a file, never mind take the time to delete outdated ones. It is a good idea to clean out your folder at the end of the school year. However, IF you ignored this request last year, it is a good time to do it now!

I know you don’t want to part with anything, because “you might need it”. However, there are definitely some files you can delete.

For example, do you really need the Pizza Day announcement from five years ago? The event is over.

What about the photos from the school trip in 2002? Those children have graduated and left the school.

Here are some suggestions to get and STAY organized:

Sort Files by Date: Open your folder and sort the files by date. Just because the files are OLD does not mean they are unnecessary. Take the time to open up your old files. If they are not necessary then delete them. If you want to keep them, organize them into folders so that you can find them easily in the future.

Transform Documents into Reusable Templates: There are likely parent letters, newsletters, or other publications you created that are reusable. Create a Template folder. Place the “master” files into the template folder and apply a read-only property. Now you can use the file over and over again.

Organize your Files into Folders by School Year: I understand that you want to keep files for the school year in case you need to refer to them at a later time. For example, school calendars or school trip forms might be something you want to store for the year. To stay organized, create a folder that includes the school year as the first label in the name, such as 2012 2013 School Calendar or 2012 2013 School Trip Forms. Store suitable files for the school year in those folders. At the end of the school year, you can quickly sort the folders by name and then delete all of the unwanted folders for that school year or move them to an external storage device.

Zip Old Photos: Today, digital cameras take photos at such a high resolution that the file size for just one image can be quite large. Combine that with all the photos taken over the course of a school year with the photos saved from previous years and your folder can easily reach capacity. If you are storing photos from a few years ago, but you have no immediate use for them, you can compress them. To do this, place the photos into a clearly labeled folder. Right click the mouse and select Send to and then Compressed (zipped) folder. A new zippered folder will appear with all your pictures. You can now delete the original folder.

Use an Image Resizer to Reduce File Size: An Image Resizer is software that will compress your images to make them a smaller file size. The Windows PowerToy and Image Resizer for Windows offer the unique advantage of small file size paired with scalability. Photos can be scaled to fill an entire Microsoft Word page or PowerPoint slide without losing their sharpness. Instructions for how to use these tools to resize batches of photos is explained in the blog, Resizing Images Without Losing Quality.

Archive your Photos to DVD: You are proud of the work you and your students have created. Deleting it can be difficult. A good idea is to archive the files instead. You can transfer the materials such as the school year book from four years ago to a DVD and clearly label the content. Place it in a safe place. Now you can access the files in the future if necessary.

Delete Photos as you Go: Preview the photos while they are still on the camera. Delete immediately any photos that are blurry or have a person’s head cut off. You aren’t going to use them, so get rid of them right away.

Be Selective of the Photos you Keep: Digital cameras let us take many picture of the same subject matter, so that we can be sure we have the “perfect” shot. This means often there are six photos of the same girl smiling. It is a good idea, that once those photos are transferred from the camera onto the computer to identify the perfect photo and immediately delete all the photos you did not like. Then take a few minutes to resize the photos you want to keep. This will keep the storage problem to a minimum and save you time in the future!

Create a Shared Student Folder on your Server

Teachers need to be flexible! They must adjust their lessons based on their students’ needs. In addition, they need to capitalize on their students’ unique interests. To do this, they need a shared student folder on the server.

What is a shared student folder?

Many schools have a server that is used for file management. Typically, teachers and students have folders on the server where they save their work. Permissions are used to control who can view or change the contents of the folders. In most cases, students can only access their own folder, whereas teachers can access folders for students in their class or sometimes the entire school.

folder with documents

Have your IT Specialist create a shared student folder on your server.

For teachers to share files with students, they often have to copy and paste a document into EACH student folder. This can be VERY time consuming and is often not feasible if the teacher has multiple classes. The solution is to have a shared student folder.

A shared student folder is a location on the server where teachers can place files. All the students in a particular class or sometimes the entire student body can “read” or open the files in this folder. The files are then viewed or resaved by students into their own folder.

Do you need a shared student folder?

Of course you do!
Not everything can be PLANNED at the beginning of the school year. Spontaneity is part of teaching!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever stumbled across an informative website you know would be perfect for a particular group of students working on a research project? Can you easily share a bookmark?
  • Have you ever realized that some of your students are struggling to complete a task? Are you able to easily share a template that will help them complete their work?
  • Have you ever noticed that some of your students are not paying attention or require a review? Are you able to develop a “pop quiz” that can be easily accessed by everyone in the class?
  • Have you ever noted that some of your students are struggling with learning a concept? Are you able to create a sample file or instructional video that can easily be viewed by all students?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you need a shared student folder on the server.

What can you do with a shared student folder?

There are many types of files you might want to share:

  • bookmark to a website or online educational video
  • template that offers a starting point for completing a task
  • digital assessment tools such as a checklist, review, or quiz
  • sample of a completed project that students can review to get ideas
  • instructional video that demonstrates the steps to complete a task

Be flexible! Be spontaneous! Improve student learning!

If you don’t have a shared student folder you should request that your IT Specialist create one for you. It is easy for the technician to do and will make a huge difference when you are teaching.