Wednesday, October 14, 2020

An Obvious Fix

desk with computer

I got the Google extensions so I could see all the students on screen and so I could track whether they stayed in class all period. I was all set. Not so fast. . .

The prior week I included the attendance files in my email to the teachers. I thought the files went through. Now I know differently. 

Last week I covered a French class for four days. (The teacher's father passed away.) Because it wasn't a one-day thing, I wanted to save the attendance files and send them all at once. 

Upon attempting to save the files, I discovered a small, teeny issue--I couldn't retrieve the actual data in the saved file. 

After trying every trick I knew, I admitted defeat. And that's when I had the bright idea to take a screenshot. Not ideal, but it gets the job done. 

The attendance extension is really cool. It gives a graphic that looks like this: 

sideways bar graph with green bars

I cropped this to cut out all identifying information. The pink row is an absent student. Green means they were "in class". You can see who came late and who left early at a glance. There's even a student in the middle who left and returned. (He let me know it was a wifi issue upon his return.) 

Alas, those green bars did not make the transition when I emailed this to the teachers. And those green bars are kind of the whole point.

To get a bit technical, this thing saves as an .html file. But to save to Google Drive, it opens as a .doc file. I could not find a way to get it to open as an .html (the extension I tried wouldn't work on the school Chromebook), and if I tried to save it as a PDF, the green bars didn't save. 

And then two days later, I noticed a little note at the bottom of the screen. "If you want a printed copy of this report, make sure that the More Settings --> Background Graphics checkbox is checked in the Print dialog". 

The easiest way to save stuff as a PDF is to go as if to print the screen, but rather than selecting a printer, select "Save as PDF". No converter or extension necessary. 

At that moment, I realized I was an idiot. All I had to do was save the file via the print option as a PDF, and voila. The checkbox was very easy to find. 

Well, at least Thursday's and Friday's files were easily saved. And from now on, I can save those files as PDFs and email them to the teachers. 

I'm learning. Slowly.


  1. There's going t o be a learning curve for this stuff :)

  2. The attendance extension is definitely cool. Glad you got it figured out :)

  3. I think a lot of online/virtual teachers are slowly learning :)


  4. I knew you would figure it out. Like the graph..interesting

    1. It's very informative, especially the students who slip away and never return. I don't think they realize I'm paying attention.

  5. I mean, it's simple now that you know, but not an obvious thing!

    1. Perhaps not. It just seems like I should have seen that sooner.

  6. This was so interesting for reading. Thank you for sharing.

    New Post -

  7. I came across the pdf option in printing by accident, once upon a time. You're on the cutting edge, Liz, with the distance learning. Very cool!

  8. Had any of the teachers questioned it? Sounds like they hadn't so hopefully it won't matter there were a few hinky days!


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