Pre-filled Google Forms for verifying student/demographic information

Our school’s PowerSchool data is jacked. Student names that should be separated with first, middle and last names are all inconsistent and we don’t have one field for preferred or “English” name. Parent email addresses and phone numbers change over time and our data has not been updated regularly.

To address this, we will send a pre-populated Google Form out to parents asking them to verify and update the data in our system. Once we’ve received the updates, we’ll upload changes into PowerSchool.

To create the prepopulated forms, we first export our current student and parent information into a spreadsheet. Then we create a Google Form with questions that match up with the various fields from the export. In the Form Responses spreadsheet, we paste the information from our data export and add a custom script (evenBeterBuildUrls()) taken from this stackoverflow question from user Mogstad. The script is also posted here.

This script creates a new column in the Form Responses spreadsheet with a link to a prepopulated version of the form containing our current demographic information (student & parent names, email addresses, street addresses, phone numbers, etc.). The link to the prepopulated form then gets emailed to parents using a mail merge on that spreadsheet.

Parent responses get appended to the spreadsheet and I use a Conditional formatting rule to highlight information that has changed. Changes are pulled into another sheet which we massage a bit before uploading again to PowerSchool.

Once completed, we’ll have correct, current information necessary for communicating with our community. This process will be repeated each fall to ensure that we’re working with accurate, current data.

Android File Manager: Marshmallow/P

To connect my Pixel XL running Android P on my iMac running High Sierra I go into Developer Options, click on Default USB configuration and select File Transfer.

On Marshmallow (7.11) I go into Settings > Developer Options > Select USB Configuration and select the MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) option.

Developer Options   Select MTP Mode


Macfusion allows you to mount a folder on an ftp server as a local drive. Files can be read, edited and written to the remote folder just as if they were on the local drive.
I set this up because I am taking a programming class from Udemy and use different computers in different locations when I’ve got time to spare and I want my files to be where I want them when I want them.
Macfusion has been problematic with Sierra, but luckily there are some fellers who worked things out. I used ElDeveloper’s Sierra Pre-Release 3 version and the most recent version of OSX Fuse.

Then there are just a few things to set up. On your Mac, you need to create a folder accessible to Macfusion. I created a Volumes folder under my user account: /Users/paulericksen/Volumes/

Then in the Macfusion app, I configure things as follows.

  1. Add an SSHFS connection using the [+v] dropdown menu.
  2. In the SSH tab, enter your host, ftp username, password and path to the folder you’d like to use.
  3. In the Macfusion tab, enter the folder name you’ll use during the session. In my case it was /Users/paulericksen/Volumes/fs  NOTE: Notice above, when I created the “Volumes” folder in my user folder, it did not include the “fs” folder I just entered. My understanding is that this is a temporary folder that Macfusion creates during the connected session. It is there when the ftp share is mounted, but it disappears once it is unmounted.   
  4. If all goes to plan, when you click the mount button, Macfusion will do its thing and you’ll end up with a folder that shows the contents of the ftp folder. Opening, editing and saving works as it would on your local machine.


GAM – Google Apps Manager

GAMADV-xtd3 is a command-line tool for managing Google domains and it works very well for many things. This is a list of some tasks I use from time-to-time.

  1. Put users into an OU. The target OU in this case is iPads – Pangyo, a subgroup of our Organizational Emails OU. I put a list of usernames into a text file (ipads.txt) saved in my GAM folder and ran the following in Terminal:
    gam update org "Organizational Emails/iPads - Pangyo" add file ipads.txt
  2. Suspend Google accounts of departed faculty: create a one-column file departed.csv with header Email containing departed faculty email addresses.
    gam csv gam update user ~Email suspended true
  3. Find all groups with suspended users: We notice that suspended users still show up in mail groups. In order to identify and remove them, the following will list all groups followed by the number (and emails) of suspended accounts still appearing in each group. In the latter list, if one sees something like:,2,,

    this means that sususer01 & 02 are suspended accounts that are still members of the group groupname.

    gam print groups members suspended
  4. Remove Suspended Users from all groups: Along with the previous tip, to remove a user from all groups, just use:
    gam user delete groups
  5. Using GAM with Multiple Domains: I use GAMADV-XTD3 with two Google domains. Once one is set up, the other can be added by editing the gam.cfg file to have the following lines at the end:
    domain = 
    customer_id = facultyDomainCustomerID# 
    config_dir = faculty 
    domain = 
    customer_id = studentDomainCustomer# 
    config_dir = students

    Then create sub-folders faculty and students. In each folder, place the respective client_secrets.json and oauth2service.json files. Then use the following to switch from faculty domain to students domain:

    gam select students save
  6. Add Events to Users’ Calendars: To add an event to users’ calendars, use the command below.
    – The +09:00 shifts GMT to South Korea Time
    – The “accepted” tag forces the attendees to accept the event. This can be
    excluded if not needed
    gam calendar create event start 2022-05-16T17:00:00+09:00 end 2022-05-16T17:00:05+09:00 selectattendees accepted users, summary "Event Title - Summary"
  7. Delete an email: If someone inadvertently sends an email to the wrong people or with unfortunate content, we can delete it with GAM. In the Google Admin panel, find the Message ID and drop it right after the “rfc822msgid:”

    Note that “doit” at the end instructs gam to actually delete the messages. Without “doit” gam will search for messages and identify those addresses which would be affected, but without actually deleting the message.

    gam all users delete messages query doit
  8. Delete spam email messages: If some ne’er-do-well with address spammer@hotmail .com sends a mass email, you can delete them with:
    gam all users delete messages query "" doit
    ...or by subject:
    gam all users delete messages query "subject:Click this harmless link" doit
  9. Bulk Create Google Classrooms: Create ClassroomCreation.csv with columns alias, course, section, teacher and run the following.
    gam csv ClassroomCreation.csv gam create course alias "~alias" name "~course" section "~section" teacher "~teacher" status ACTIVE
  10. Bulk Add Co-Teachers to Classrooms: Create BulkAddTeachers.csv with columns email, alias and run the following.
    gam csv BulkAddTeachers.csv gam user "~email" create classroominvitation course "~alias" role teacher
  11. Find the owner of a Google Doc: It’s the simps if you know the file ID:
    gam show ownership 1SYWGvYIRAt6Q6vfC3BgtlRBNLOU0tSYgLycw4bKOkY
  12. Bulk Add Calendars to Users: Create BulkAddCalendars.csv with columns email, calAddress and run the following (calAddress is the calendar’s address, a bunch of random-looking characters followed by Note the options:
    Selected true: “Selects” the calendar to be visible by default. backgroundcolor and foreground um, well, set the background and foreground colors for the calendar.
    gam csv BulkAddCalendars.csv gam user "~email" add calendar "~calAddress" selected true backgroundcolor '#009900' foregroundcolor '#FFFFFF'
  13. Print Users to Drive: You can run this with “…fields allfields todrive” to get all available fields. But when we’re running an audit, it’s much neater for us to get just the fields we need.
    gam print users fields primaryEmail orgUnitPath suspended creationTime lastLoginTime familyName fullName givenName includeInGlobalAddressList isEnforcedIn2Sv isEnrolledIn2Sv todrive

Banning Google Group Members from Receiving Email

At KIS, we assign our school-owned iPads Google accounts. But since they’re in our staff domain, they’re automatically added to our allstaff email group and receive all the email sent to that group. We don’t want these emails to show up in the iPad mail app and needed a way to remove those addresses from the group mail list. This is the method we use:

First access Google Groups Service for the allstaff group by selecting the group in the Google Admin Control Panel, clicking “Manage users in allstaff” and clicking “View in Groups service”.  On the next screen, click on the Manage link.

On the left-hand menu, select Direct add members.

Add the accounts you wish to eliminate from the list.


Select those recently added members and from the Actions menu select Ban.