Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager

Manage Features and View Analytics with the New Data Desk!

Updated April 2019

Two of the most common requests we’ve gotten from Read&Write for Google Chrome users has been 1) an easy way to manage which features students can access, and 2) the ability to view usage data. 

Why have these requests been in such high demand? Read on to find out.

Data Desk Blog Header

Feature management is important during testing scenarios, for example, when teachers don’t want students to use a dictionary or other support feature while they’re taking a test. Historically, it has been difficult to turn a Read&Write feature on or off for just that one class or group of students without impacting students in other classrooms. 

And usage data is important in helping teachers and administrators better understand how much Read&Write is being used. For students that are required to have access, it has been difficult to know if, when, and how they are actually using the tool.

That’s where Data Desk, a feature and data management tool for Read&Write for Google Chrome, comes in. With Data Desk, teachers using Google Classroom can simply pick a class, select individual (or all) students in that class, and choose which features should or should not be available to those students. Teachers can even set a time limit for how long they’d like the new feature set to be active. 

Data Desk Dashboard

Similarly, teachers can choose the analytics tab, followed by a class or students, to view usage data over a specific time period. Once selected, click the “Get Data” button. Depending on the time period and number of students selected this could take a couple of minutes to generate.

Data is available from February 15th, 2019 onward. 

Screenshot of Data Desk Analytics

Data Desk is currently available to customers with Group or Unlimited licenses that use Google Classroom. If you don’t have Google Classroom yet, it is available for free to all G Suite for Education customers. All you have to do is log in with your school account, and you’re good to go.

From there, you can set up Data Desk. To get started, teachers will need to visit datadesk.texthelp.com and sign in with their Google ID. A Google Classroom permission request will appear. Accepting the permissions will allow Data Desk to display the teachers’ classes, along with the list of students in those classes.*

Once the classes are imported, the teachers simply select which class or individual students they want to modify features for or collect usage data on and follow the instructions provided. Note that for feature management, unless a timer is set, all features that are unchecked will remain unavailable to selected students until they are changed back by an educator.

For more information, check out this short video demonstrating how Data Desk works.

*Because of the integration with Google Classroom, Texthelp will not see the names of the students or collect any personal data about the students.


Deena Kimmel 5/23/2019 3:39:02 PM
Hi Vanessa! At this time, admins cannot get the analytics. However, they can always create a class in Google Classroom with any specific students they want to track. We're also working on an admin report for later next year. Thanks, Deena

Vanessa Waxman 5/18/2019 1:12:58 AM
Can we get the analytics as an admin if we don't have classes assigned to us?

Sally Garza 4/12/2019 2:18:37 PM
Just tried the Data Desk Analytics and I am in love!! Thanks so much for making this available. Can't wait to start to monitor tool use.

Kristen Wells 11/12/2018 7:26:19 PM
When will the rest of the administrative tools be available, as indicated in the webinar? Where it keeps track of data of how often kids are using each tool?

Deena Kimmel 11/12/2018 8:19:36 PM
Hi Kristen. Thanks for your question. We are planning on having some of those features available in early 2019. As we get closer to the end of the year, we should have a more concrete time frame for you. Thanks, Deena

Wendy Graff 11/8/2018 2:18:24 PM
What happens if a student is in more than one class? Can each teacher have that student in a class and customize their features?

Deena Kimmel 11/8/2018 6:24:04 PM
Hi Wendy! Data Desk doesn't hold the status of a student's features. So if a teacher logs in and turns off features, those features will immediately turn off for the student(s) until the time expires, or the teacher goes back in and turns them on again (which would entail choosing students, double checking that all features are checked, then clicking "set").

If a teacher disables features and the student leaves and goes to a different class, the student will still not have those features unless:
a.) The teacher set a time limit
b.) The teacher turned them back on
c.) The new teacher logs in and turns them on

So there is no "master teacher" that can set features and override other teachers. For example, if I turned features off for Will, then you logged in 5 minutes later and turned them on, he would have them. So the recommended use case would be for testing scenarios, or to just instruct teachers to only use at the beginning of class and set back to default at end (or set a timer).

Let us know if you have any additional questions. Thanks!




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