Skip to main content


How to quickly setup a online meeting using "Meet" with your class

I'm posting this on a rare day in Oxfordshire when it's actually snowing. On the off chance of a snow day, wherever you may be, you could always use "Google Meet" to have a virtual lesson.

Recent posts

Remote for Google Slides

Quick demo of the new Remote for Google Slides Extension.

This allows you to use pretty much any device as a remote control for a Google Slides presentation.

Automate Securly Guardians upload from SIMS

Securly has recently allowed automated uploads of guardian contact details. This requires getting your guardians details into a csv file in a specific format. This is easy to do manually - but takes a little work to do automatically. This is the procedure that I use to extract the data from Capita SIMS and sync it to Securly on a daily basis. You can see the basic Securly guide here - but don't believe the bit about the columns being in any order - I've found they have to be in the order specified!
SIMS Report The field I use are:
Note - you have to edit the names of the fields to the ones Securly want.
I run this on a daily schedule and output the result to a csv file on a virtual machine that I use for lots of automated tasks.
"C:\Program Files\SIMS\SIMS .net\commandreporter" /user:xxxxxxx /password:xxxxxxx /report:"securlyreport" /OUTPUT:\\Win10man\gam\parents.csv /QUIET
Modifying the output to meet the Securly requirements  SIMS outputs csv files with do… data to Sheets on a schedule

Below is an approach that I use to sync data from (our MIS) to a Google Sheet. We do this for a fair number of things now to keep stuff up to date automatically.

The script I use to pull csv data into a sheet:

function copyfromcsv() {

  var file = DriveApp.getFilesByName("yourcsvfile.csv").next();
  var csvData = Utilities.parseCsv(file.getBlob().getDataAsString());
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
  var sh2 = ss.getSheetByName("sheettoimportto");

  sh2.getRange(1, 1, csvData.length, csvData[0].length).setValues(csvData);


My favorite GAM commands - well a few of them at least!

Where would be without GAM? Paying for expensive syncing tools or doing tedious manual tasks in the admin console. GAM can automate most things you might want to do in G Suite. So these are a few of my favourite commands - one I use either as part of a batch file - or just standalone. There are loads more - but these are ones that are used daily.
Classroom Create a spreadsheet of all your domains classes - gam print courses todrive

Create a spreadsheet of a teacher's classes: gam print courses teacher todrive

Bulk create classes:
gam csv classes.csv gam create course alias ~alias name ~alias section ~subject teacher ~teacher status ACTIVE

where classes.csv is a list of classes you want to make.

Add teachers:
gam csv teachers.csv gam course ~alias add teacher ~teacher

Add students:
gam csv students.csv gam course ~alias add teacher ~student

Sync Students (in this example to a group - but could be an ou/csv file)
gam csv groups.csv gam course ~groupmail sync students g…

Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook

The Lenovo Yoga N23 is the latest touch/flip Chromebook that I've got my hands on. This device competes with the Acer R11 (4Gb/32Gb/N3060 variant) in terms of its price point. Unlike the more expensive HP 360 and Acer Spin, this does not have a stylus or second camera.
Some key features
Drop resistant from table height.Water resistant.4Gb RAM32 Gb SSDQuad core Mediatek processor - same as found in the Acer R13 - scores about 1000 points more than the N3060 and runs some Android Apps much faster.11" IPS touch display360 hinge - so laptop to tablet.USB C ChargingSupport for PlayStore Apps on the Stable Channel
We are considering this device instead of the Acer R11 (which we have been deploying) for a future deployment to our new intake. Compared to the very familiar R11, the Lenovo is a little bit faster, especially using Android Apps and feels more rugged. Its also a little bit cheaper to buy.
Keyboard and touchpad are very similar to other Chromebooks of this price point and t…

How to provision Google Classroom using GAM and sync to Capita SIMS

This is a guide (or documentation for my own use!) to the provisioning of Google Classrooms across a large domain and how to achieve ongoing sync of student members. The advantages of doing this are:

Teachers don't have to do anything - all their classes are just there.You can add multiple teachers to classrooms. No inviting a secondary teacher.Students have all their classes at the start of the term.Students are automatically in the correct classes.Classes have totally consistent names.You can do it for FREE - however, there are paid for options if you don't want to go the DIY approach. The following requires you to have the student, staff and optionally, guardian emails on SIMS.

Step 1 - Setup up GAM - you need this to do command line processing on your domain. It's a very powerful tool to do batch commands.

Step 2 - Export a list of current Classrooms and archive any you don't want. I'd recommend this as it means users will only see the ones for the current academi…