Sunday, October 20, 2013

Google Help Outs - Take 2

After the aborted attempt at signing up for Google Help outs a couple of weeks ago (blog post here), I have been meaning to phone them up and sort it out. Meaning to..... meaning I keep forgetting to....
So, they contacted me via email, which resulted in me having a phone conversation with a very nice lady who sorted me out with a sign up code for my personal email address.
They were very quick in getting back to me, and this morning I received the email regarding booking in for the "New Provider Introductory Session" hangout. There was one available an hour later, so I booked myself in. An hour of fussing about, shower, hair.....sigh... anyway...I was ready.
I clicked join hangout when the call came through and was promptly told I had to install a plugin for hangouts. Of course I had forgotten that this is my new laptop. So after clicking install and praying it wouldn't take too long, I was ready.
A couple of connection issues later and I was talking to Dillon in America. He asked me a few questions about what I was planning on offering and I asked him loads of  "how do I do this..... " type questions.
This was my first experience of a Google hangout. I am bad enough on Skype with my family, I can't look at myself on the screen. Talking to a complete stranger on video this morning, all I could focus on was the bit of hair that was sticking out from my head.
Note to self when I start ( if I get the OK ), don't look at yourself on the screen, concentrate on the problem in hand.

Here is a link to my Help Out. 
I don't know whether the link will work for others to see as it is "pending review".

They are not sure of a start up date yet. I presume they want to sign up a minimum number of people to offer Help Outs. It won't be long though, so I have to practice with some one on hangouts, sharing screens, sending files, etc, so I don't look like a complete spoon if they sign me up.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Help Sessions are all go...

We kicked off the term with a help session this afternoon. I decided to keep the first one a bit free and easy, so people could come in and get help with what they wanted, rather than it be a structured topic.
So we did a bit of Class Dojo, which was fun, putting our classes in and deciding what they would get awards for.  We then covered a bit of using images for the front page of a site as buttons to other site pages. This then lead on to a bit of what I have planned for next week which is making your own site header using Pic Monkey.  I have a How To on one way to do this here.
It is interesting to hear from staff what they want to cover and it made for an interesting session that went over very quickly..
Gummy bears with the chocolate biscuits today certainly helped.

Here is the rest of the plan for this term.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Using Google Analytics

I have been working on the "How To" site over these holidays. Every time I have put something new on there, I have emailed the whole staff, so they are probably a bit sick of my emails this holiday and I suspect that I have been put in a few "special" lists. I have also been posting them up in the GAFE Google Plus community. I felt that this was only fair, as I am always going in there getting tips and advice from others. As a result of this, I have had a lot of overseas interest in my How To site, so being a nosy type, I decided to use Google Analytics to track how many visitors i get on that site.

I have been using Google Analytics for a while to be nosey on my class site and the Digital Footprints site. ( links in the side bar ).
You can have as many sites to track that you like, as you can see here on the analytics dashboard, I now have 3.

It is easy to set up, you just have to put a couple of pieces of key information in specific places.
You start in the manage site section on your site, and part way down you will see this box to tick. It will not have a code in at that point, click on the part that says "learn more"

This take you to this, where you need to click the second option, for configuring.

This configuring page takes you through all the steps you need to do to set up your site.

You need 2 things, the code to put in the box and some html that you put onto the pages you want it to track.

I only did this the other day for the How To site, and I am already surprised by the traffic that has come through the site. It gives the information in nice handy little graphs, and breaks it down into where they are from, browsers used and all sorts of other stuff that I really don't care about, BUT, you can never have too much information!!!....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Google Help Outs

I was  all ready this morning for my Google Help Outs interview. I had been very excited to receive the email with the invite code, so I went straight on and put in the details for my proposed Help Out. I am aiming to do help with GAFE stuff, as that is what I do anyway!!
They got back to me with possibilities for the interview and I was scheduled in for 10.15 this morning.

So.... hair done, looking semi respectable (for a Sunday morning!), I was ready when the reminder ping went for the hangout.
Then it all hit the fan.

The school domain doesn't support hangouts. (It is set to on in the admin dashboard, but I think the hangouts thing is set higher up.)
I couldn't use my personal gmail account as the invite code is non transferrable.
I couldn't get in contact with the guy on the other end.

I was looking at the "waiting" indicator on the hangout notification.
Then I had to click the cancel button for it. I felt so rude to the person sat on the other end!!
You can't email them, you have to phone. On weekdays.
So tomorrow, the plan is to phone them to see if they will extend the invite to my personal account.

I have just come in from the garden, taking out my frustration on the weeds.