Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. And its great that you are using it with your team.
Yes I plan to bring (almost) all the plugins up to 3.5 with support for the new privacy API. About the popup. Well the sticking point is that having thought about it a bit, the best situation is not buttons or pulldowns as much as an attractive chooser with more guidance for the user than now, much like the wordpress shortcodes often have.
Each template should have a panel with its name, icon, and a description. The user should be able to scroll through a list of them before choosing. And on the next page, the fields where users specify variable values should be laid out better with label + description/instruction.
If you can find a better icon, just send it to me. Generico atto plugin allows you to choose the icon, so its actually possible to do that too. I wonder which is the better way ...
About confusing students ... Snippet has a capability declared 'atto/snippet:visible.' So you could just remove that capability from the student role. Then they won't see the icon and won't know what they are missing. Perhaps that helps?