One of the biggest challenges when introducing a new application, such as Google Apps or Global2, is setting up the new accounts. Although programs often make it easy enough to create the accounts in bulk, the challenge is communicating this to students. My answer has been to merge cards for the students using Microsoft Publisher. This involves three steps:
Making a Spreadsheet
The first thing to do is to make a spreadsheet in which you collect all the information required. I find that it is always good to have a document with all this sort of information in one place. I use a few ‘concatenating‘ tricks in Google Sheets that I picked up via Alice Keeler to help combine different pieces of information and then download as a CSV to turn formulas into text and numbers. It is important to use clear headings for each of the columns.
Create a Template
The next step is to create a template. For this step, I use Microsoft Publisher. I begin by choosing a business card template and then enter all the appropriate information. This can include name, website, username and temporary passwords etc …
Produce the Merge
Once I have something that looks like a finished product, I click on the Mailings tab and work through the Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard. This includes selecting the appropriate spreadsheet (choosing comma), inserting the various fields and checking through the previews. Once satisfied, I then print the merge.
Although I have come to use Google Apps for for many things and could possibly use Autocrat, this is still one thing that I still find easiest to do with Microsoft.
So what about you? What steps do you take to support students with new programs? Feel free to share below.