Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager

Manage Read&Write for Google Chrome Features with Data Desk

One of the most common requests we’ve gotten from Read&Write for Google Chrome users has been the ability for teachers to easily manage student access to features.

Data Desk Blog Header

This is important during testing scenarios, for example, when teachers don’t want students in one class 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.

That’s where Data Desk, a feature 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

And this is just the beginning. In the future, Data Desk will be able to display student usage analytics and provide a way for administrators to get a better view of usage for the entire district.

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 and follow the instructions provided. Note that 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.

Do you want to learn even more about Data Desk and all of the other recent updates we've made to Read&Write for Google Chrome? Access our pre-recorded Back to School webinar, hosted by myself and Julie Bassett, the AT Intervention Specialist from Cincinnati Public Schools.

join us for a webinar

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


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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