Tag Archives: google drive

G-Suite Learning Center is Better than Ever!

I am regularly helping people become more acclimated with Google tools. Recently, I went back over to the G-Suite Learning Center and was amazed at its complete overhaul, robust features, and ease of access and use. The new learning center focuses not only on teaching users about its tools, but helping them to migrate from common platforms such as Exchange. Information is organized in a variety of ways: tool, tips and tricks, switching from Microsoft, and (my favorite) use at work.

g suite work

If you’re responsible for training people on G-Suite, this is a great resource for you. For example, if you want to do a training on GMail, select the “GMail” option under “Learn by Product.” You will find a variety of useful instructions, including the “Cheat Sheet” which includes instructions for performing basic functions in GMail.

Perhaps the best feature of these resources is that it updates when Google Updates. No more scrambling to create new training resources after the release of a new feature or, worse yet, an updated look! Everything you need is in G-Suite Training.

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How to email a Google Doc (Without Leaving Google Docs)

The best feature of Google Docs is the ability to collaborate with others. Sometimes, you need to send a copy of a Google Doc to someone who doesscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-08-10-am not work in the Google atmosphere. You can easily email a Google Doc as an attachment to someone right within the document! To do this, click on File –> email as an attachment.

Next, in the pop up window, select the form you would like (PDF, MS Word, Rich Text Format, HTML, Plain Text, Open Document, or just paste it into the email itself! Enter the email address, include a message, and your email is sent! This is a feature that works even if your domain does not have gmail enabled (although you should tick “send a copy to myself” if you would like a confirmation of the email).

This is a great way to send off finished drafts or to share material with individuals who do not work within the Google platform.

Free Interactive & Directed GAFE Training Tool

Synergise has been a long popular training tool for Google Apps. It provided interactive training and walkthroughs for organizations at a nominal fee. Last Spring, Google acquired Synergise in order to offer this support to a broader audience – for free. Now, your institution (Google Apps for Education/Work/Non-Profits) can roll-out this in house training system for free under the rebranded “Training for Google Apps.” It’s a great resources for your users and allows them to expand and self-direct their training.

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Courtesy of Google Chrome Store

To use this feature, your Google Apps administrator will have to install it using Google’s Marketplace Apps. Next, they can either force-install it as a Chrome Extension for the institution, or direct users to install this tool via the Google Chrome webstore. Training for Google Apps also allows you to shape your organization’s support system by recommending lessons, adding your own content, and running reports. This is a great way for you to provide scaled and relevant support for your school or workforce.

5 Uses for Google Forms in Schools

Over the last year, Google has showered Forms with a lot of attention and, as a result, has enjoyed numerous, productive updates for educators. I use Google Forms regularly in my school and now more than ever, it’s become instrumental for both my academic as well as administrative duties. Here are five ways that you can use Google Forms in your school.

Bell Ringer/Exit Ticket

I’m a fan of bell ringers and exit tickets. Bell ringers are a great tool to check for understanding and to get my students in the mind-set of the class. Exit tickets are a great way to check for understanding at the end of a lesson. With Forms, you can post an assignment for students to complete when they walk in the door or a quick quiz to assess them at the end of a lesson. If your students are in a 1:1 environment, you can email the form to them. You can also distribute the form with a shortened URL (using a tool like Google’s URL shortener, goog.gl) or even post a QR code for students to scan with their smart phones. New Forms now includes a “quiz” options so that students can be assessed once they hit “submit.” To activate this feature, click on settings (the gear icon) and select the “quiz” option. You can then select whether or not students get feedback right away, what answers they see, and more.

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Collect Emergency Contact Information

If you take field trips or want to keep an emergency packet, Google Forms can be a great way to collect emergency contact information from parents and guardians. Simply create a Google Form that asks for names, phone numbers, and email addresses. As Google Forms collects this data into an aggregated spreadsheet, you have access to all of the information in one place. If you have teaching assistants, parent volunteers, or chaperones, you can share out this information using “view only” mode in preparation for field trips or emergency planning.  A nice feature here is that phone numbers collected in spreadsheets serve as a “hot-link” on phones; click the number and it will auto-dial!

Collecting Feedback

Feedback is an important tool for both students and teachers. If you are trying out a new lesson or project, wanting to hear how students feel they are learning, or otherwise collect feedback, Google Forms is a great way to do this. Using Forms, you can make the feedback anonymous or collect user data, give open ended options or scale responses to a list or a grid. I periodically collect feedback just to take the pulse of my classroom and to improve on my teaching methods.

Sign up for Project Topics

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.30.11 AMI love to make students teach in my class! Often, I will break down a large subject into various, smaller topics. Using Google Forms and the add-on Choice Eliminator, I can not only ensure that my students sign up for a project, but that they each select a unique topic. To use this feature, be sure that you have the add on Choice Eliminator (you can access it in the Chrome Web Store). Choice Eliminator will remove question options (check box and multiple choice) once a user has selected it. To access your add-ons, click on the Add-On button (it looks like a puzzle piece) and select “Choice Eliminator.” Select “configure” and then choose the questions you want use Choice Eliminator on. If you need a little extra help, check out the Choice Eliminator tutorial below.

Volunteer sign up

Do you need to find volunteers for prom, to count votes for an election, or chaperone the class volunteer trip? Google Forms is a way to collect volunteer information, have them sign up for shifts, or indicate that they can volunteer to carpool. The flexibility of Forms and add-ons make it a great tool to wrangle in your volunteers. For example, if Prom is a particularly popular volunteer activity, you can use the add-on formLimiter to stop accepting sign-ups after you have hit your maximum. If you want to divide the form into shifts, you can combine formLimiter and Choice Eliminator. The flexibility of Google Forms make this a great tool for wrangling your volunteers, collecting contact information, and organizing them effectively.

Google Forms is one of the most flexible tools within the Google platform. Not only is it useful as a classroom tool, but for administrative tasks as well. These are only five options, however I encourage you to play with this and find ways that it can make your life easier. Post your suggestions below!

10 Google Docs Hacks Every Teacher Should Know

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

Google-Apps

Google Docs is a popular word processing tool because it allows ready access to your documents and files from any internet connected device. It permits users to readily share documents and easily collaborate on materials. If you are already familiar with Google Docs, try out these 10 hacks to up your Google game!

CONVERT A WORD DOC TO GOOGLE DOCS

Microsoft Word is still the most popular word processor in the business, educational, and private world. Even if you have fully jumped on the Google Docs bandwagon, undoubtedly you encounter a Word document on a regular basis or perhaps you have a repository of older Word Docs. You can readily import and convert Word documents into Google Docs. There are two ways to accomplish this. First, you can set your Google account to convert files automatically to Google Docs. Select the gear icon → settings → general and tick the box “convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format.” Second, if you prefer to convert files manually (to keep a copy in Word), leave this box unticked and upload a Word document as is. Next, right click on the word document within Google Drive → Open with → Google Docs. Your document will open as a Google Doc; it will keep your Word document intact.

Convert uploaded files to docs editor

OFFLINE EDITING

You may believe that Google Docs is solely available online. However, by enabling offline editing on your devices, you can access and edit your documents even when you are away from the internet. The next time that you connect to the server, it will sync your changes. For offline editing to work, however, you must enable it on your devices. On your computer or Chromebook, open the Chrome browser (note that this will only work within Chrome) open Drive → gear icon → tick the box next to “Offline” to enable syncing of your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings for offline editing.

If you would like to access your files offline on an iOS device (iPad or iPhone), it’s a little different. You will need to enable offline editing for specific files you would like to access. If you haven’t already, download the iOS Google Docs App. Open up Google Docs and locate the file you would like to use offline. Click the three dot menu next to the file and click on “Download & keep in sync.” Your device will then download the file and make it available for offline editing.

If you use an Android device (Smartphone or Tablet), open the Docs app → tap and hold the document name for two seconds. When the pop-up box appears, touch the white pushpin icon, when the icon appears a solid black, the file is available for offline use.

RESTORE AN EARLIER VERSION OF A DOCUMENT

One of the great features of Google Docs is how readily you can collaborate on a document. However, sometimes a participant makes changes that don’t quite work. Revision history is a handy tool to not only keep track of changes made and by whom, but it readily allows you to revert to an earlier version of your Google Doc. To access revision history, click on File → See revision history. A revision history will pop up on the right-hand side, listing when changes were made and by whom. You will note that each participant has a color assigned to them. Any text or formatting changes they made on the document will match that color. If a document has numerous changes, Google Docs will provide a condensed record. You can access a more detailed account by clicking on “Show more detailed revisions.” Once you locate the version you would like to restore, click on “Restore this revision.” This change will also be recorded in the revision history so you can always undo it! Google has also added a “See new changes” pop-up that will alert you to recent edits on a document. This is a great feature when you are actively revising a document in real time.

email as attachmentEMAIL A GOOGLE DOC AS AN ATTACHMENT

Not everyone you work with will be a Google Doc user, or perhaps you want to send a finished file to a client or a publisher. You can email your Google Doc as an attachment within Google Docs and Drive! To do this, go to File → Email as attachment. In the pop-up window that appears, enter the email address of the recipient, a subject, as well as a message. You can also tick the box to send a copy to yourself. Next, select how you would like to attach the document from the dropdown menu; you can send your document as a PDF, Word Document, Rich Text, HTML, Plain Text, Open Document, or paste the full document into the email itself. Click “send” and your document is off!

TYPE WITH YOUR VOICE

One of the newest features Google has added to Docs is Voice Typing. Now, you can type hands-free (a great tool when nursing an injury or for a student who struggles with motor skills). To enable Voice Typing, open your document and go to Tools → Voice Typing. A pop-up window with a microphone icon will appear, click on it to speak (you may need to grant permission to Google Docs to access your Microphone). You can add punctuation and even correct typos using Voice Typing. To learn how to navigate the system more effectively, check out this tutorial from Google.

EMBED A GOOGLE DOC TO A WEB PAGE

You can embed a Google Doc directly into your website or blog. This is a great way to share resources (such as a syllabus or a newsletter) or even engage in discussion. To get the embed code, go to file → Publish to the web. Once you click on publish, the document will create an embed code that you can use. If you would like to make the document editable by others, edit your share settings to “anyone on the web can edit.”

USE RESEARCH TOOLS TO UP YOUR GAME

Google has built-in research tools that allow you to do a number of neat things. For example, you can define words and even look up synonyms within Google Docs. To access the Thesaurus, right click (2-finger tap on a Chromebook) on the word that you would like to change and select “Define.” A research pane will pop up on the right-hand side with a full definition, including synonyms; you can click on a synonym for a definition of the word, ensuring an accurate usage of text.

You can also easily do advanced research on the go within Google docs. Go to Tools → Research. A research pane will pop up on the right-hand side. You can then engage a search using Google, Google Image Search, Google Scholar, Google Quotes, your personal documents, and data tables. You can access any content that the research pane pulls up by clicking on it. If you would like to cite it in your document, set your citation format to MLA, Chicago, or APA. Next, select “Cite as footnote” or insert (to insert the full citation text).

Table of ContentsCREATE AND ORGANIZE A TABLE OF CONTENTS

Google Docs will create and organize a table of contents for you automatically! Go to the beginning of your document and place your cursor at the very beginning. Next, select Insert → Table of Contents. Each time you add a new Heading, Google will insert a new section in your Table of Contents with a live link; when users click on this link, they will be directed to the specific location within your document. I was able to quickly create one for this article! This is a handy feature to facilitate users navigating a lengthy document.

EQUATION TOOLBAR

Math and Science teachers now have a handy tool to allow them to draft equations within a Google Doc. To access and enable the equation toolbar and editor, click View → Show equation Toolbar. Next, click “New equation” and enter your equation using the accompanying tools. If you would like a quick tutorial, check out this support document from Google or check out this tutorial:

TRANSLATE A DOCUMENT INTO ANOTHER LANGUAGE

If you have a multilingual community, students whose parents speak another language at home, or want to engage with an audience in another country, then translate your documents into another language using Google Doc’s “Translate Document” tool. To access this feature, go to Tools → Translate document. You can then select from a list of languages and Google will convert your document into a new copy in your chosen language.

Google Docs has a lot of great features that can help you be more productive. By learning these hacks, you can master all of the features that Google has to offer, beyond word processing!

Leave Voice Comments in Google Docs with Kaizena

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

kaizena

I recently returned from the 2015 annual ISTE Conference in Philadelphia. It’s always exciting to learn about the new tools and features that are available to educators and students. One of my favorite tools on the market is Kaizena, a tool that you can use to give audio feedback to students in addition to coordinating your feedback with rubrics and learning tools. You can learn more about the advanced features of Kaizena, here. While at ISTE, I learned that Kaizena launched a new tool that will allow teachers to add voice comments far more easily and much faster! Kaizena has recently introduced their “Kaizena Mini” add-on that will allow you to leave voice comments and written notes on students’ documents within Google Docs itself. This way, you do not have to launch a third party tool to apply these features.

HOW TO LEAVE VOICE COMMENTS IN GOOGLE DOCS

AddOnsInstall Kaizena Mini Add-On

While inside of the document you would like to annotate with voice comments, simply go to Menu → Add-ons → Get Add-ons. When the Add-On window launches, simply search for “Kaizena.” Next, click on the “+ FREE” next to the Kaizena Mini Add-on, and follow the instructions to install the software on your account.

KaizenaOpen Kaizena Mini

With the software installed, simply go to Add-ons → Kaizena Mini → Open Kaizena Mini. This will launch the mini recorder on the right hand side. You should select that you are “giving feedback” and then choose the person receiving feedback from the menu (or add someone not listed), and then click continue. To leave feedback, highlight a portion of the text and click “+ New Feedback.” You can then select a voice comment, text comment, or even insert a link.

Leave voice omments

Once you have finished adding voice comments, the user will see the highlights on the document and be directed to open Kaizena Mini in order to hear the corresponding feedback. This is a great way to leave not just text but also audio feedback on student work while never having to leave Google Docs! Voice comments are a great way to provide in-depth and individualized feedback and, using the Kaizena mini recorder, you can do so faster than ever.

EdTechTeacher leads Google Workshops throughout the Summer and a few Google Jamborees during the School Year. However, you can always connect with us on twitter via #ettgoogle or learn more on ourGoogle Apps for Education Resources page.

Ideas for using Peardeck & Google Drive in Your Classroom

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers

As more schools go 1:1, teachers often feel challenged to make their traditional lessons and activities more interactive. One of my favorite tools is Pear Deck because it allows a teacher to take a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF and incorporate various student activities to check for understanding and engagement. Pear Deck is free for students and teachers (with a higher end, paid premium model) and it fully integrates with Google Apps for Education.

When you sign in to your Pear Deck account, create a new interactive lesson by selecting “New Deck.” You can then create a slideshow from scratch or import a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF…

You can the complete article here.