This resource will tell you everything you need to get going.
Ready, set, go....
Step 1: I began by simply having the students go to Google and sign in with their rscloud account, which has been set up by the Board. Student logins are the first 4 letters of their last name, followed by the last 4 digits of their student number.
Example: Sam Jones would be firstname.lastname@example.org
The password was set by the administrator, which in our case, is the principal.
So far, so good. After a few false starts, most students were in.
Step 2: The next thing that I had students do was click on the apps button.
It is the 3X3 array.
This will bring up the Google apps for them to use.
Step 3: Students went to My calendars and then clicked the drop down arrow. Click "Create new calendar" and then they put in the name "School". They then explored the calendar and some added the date of an upcoming deadline for permission forms.
Glitches? Just a couple.
The first glitch was that several students tried to write @rscloud.com - nope, it is @rscloud.ca.
Then, I did have two students who attempted to sign into Google+ without realizing what they were doing. Since they were not yet 13 years of age, when they signed in with their DOB, their accounts were immediately frozen. I was perplexed as to what happened, but after "googling" it, I discovered that this is a security feature of Google.
An administrator will now need to unblock them.
Since my students already know how to use email, I didn't bother with using the Mail feature yet. I have a small group already collaborating on writing a script in Google docs, so they are up and running with that. Now that the students are "in", I am anticipating that they will be able to manage without difficulty. IF I keep them from being overwhelmed.
I think that the biggest takeaway that I have from my use of technology in the classroom this year is to take baby steps. Whenever the students start to feel overwhelmed, I get major pushback. When I dole it out in small amounts, they seem to manage it and then many go beyond the small, simple tasks on their own.