Monday, September 24, 2018

4 Troubleshooting Tips You Can Do

If you use Chromebooks &/or GSuite, you may have noticed a few odd glitches this past week. This has inspired today's post where I want to share a few very easy troubleshooting tips. Teachers CAN do these ... students can do some, too ... and knowing how can empower you to solve a vast majority of your tech glitches. 

In my district, we are 1:1 with Chromebooks in grades 1 -12. I split my time between our two elementaries, grades preK-4. I frequently have students sent to me because something isn't working right on their Chromebook. The most common irritant is that the trackpad isn't working "right". Another common issue is the students' password isn't working. And finally, another common issue is the student can't access the program their teacher is directing them to use.

How do you handle this? What can you do? 
Here are 4 tips that you CAN do ↬

1 ↬ Sign out, then sign back in

This is the very first thing I suggest ... and it will solve about 90% of the troubles. Chrome is a browser that can and will update itself, if you completely close it down and restart it. I know it's far easier to just close your chromebook (or laptop) so you can pick up where you left off, and that's ok for a day or two. 

*** BEST TIP: sign out at the end of the day so that you start fresh tomorrow.

↬ Delete the profile(s) and sign back in

Deleting the student's profile (along with any others on the device) can help solve quite a few problems. Recently, we've had a number of students who are being told their is an issue with their password. There's no rhyme or reason, but we've found deleting their profile and adding it back does the trick! I would try doing this before going through the extra steps of contacting the correct people to do a password reset - that may ultimately need to happen, but if you can troubleshoot and fix it, that is a huge timesaver! Plus, it doesn't hurt anything. All of the student's bookmarks, files, and passwords are in the cloud, so log back in & you are in business.

*** BEST TIP: if you are 1:1, keep to this - assign one device to each student - build ownership. Don't let the students randomly use the devices. It's very difficult to make sense of what is actually going on with a device the more students who use it. If you are NOT 1:1, I still recommend assigning the devices. 

↬ Check your wifi network

Have any of your students told you they can't access a particular site or activity you want them on? Yet, most everyone else is working just fine? While there can be bigger issues here, if a student tells me this, 99% of the time, I can resolve this by ensuring they are on the correct wifi network. Don't ask me how it happens, but our chromebooks have sometimes jumped to our Guest network. We have that one restricted far more than our usual one.

*** BEST TIP: if this happens frequently, TEACH your students - even younger ones - to check their network connection. They can easily switch it back to the proper one.

↬ Clear your cache and cookies

This last tip is best done by the teacher with the younger students. I'd say around 5th grade, a majority of students can handle doing this. Your cache & cookies help make your Chrome browser work faster, but sometimes, it gets a little jumbled and you need to 'reset' it. You can do this by clearing it out and starting over. If you decide to do this, choose the option that indicates "all time". 

To do this, go to your settings. I "cheat" and just type "cache" in the search bar at the top and it will pop you right to where you need to be. You can, but don't have to, clear your browsing history.

*** BEST TIP: ask to watch someone else do this before you tackle it your first time out. For no other reason, messing with settings you aren't super familiar with can lead to mistakes. Better to be sure you know what you are doing than to explain the mistakes you made. 

I hope these 4 tips are helpful. I would encourage you try one of these the next time one of your students brings their device and says it's not working. If you did find this helpful, I encourage you to subscribe via email. I try to post once a week & it can be delivered directly to your inbox. I'd also appreciate it if you passed this along to a friend or colleague.

Do you have additional questions? Please reach out. I'd be happy to help. You can comment below or find me on Twitter @kiefersj or Google+ +SarahKiefer .

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