Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Save Grades from Google Classroom to Sheets

A brand new feature was just added to Google Classroom.  You can now export your grades directly to Google Sheets.  Check it out.

  1. Open an assignment you have given.
  2. Click the Settings icon.
  3. Click Copy all grades to Google Sheets.

  4. Generate a new Google Sheet with your grades.

Learn more here.

Google Tip of the Day: Use PowerTools with Sheets

If you have been a regular user of Microsoft Excel and just made the transition to Google Sheets, this tip may help you.  Sheets can be used along with several Add-ons that make life easier when working with spreadsheets.  One such Add-on is called Power Tools.

This tool can be used for those daily tasks such as splitting cells, removing duplicates, changing cases, removing duplicates, etc.

  1. Click the Add-on menu in Sheets and the Get Add-ons.

  2. Once it's installed, click Add-ons>Power Tools>Start.
  3. Choose a type of action such as Split.

Friday, December 11, 2015

How Can We Help Close the Digital Use Divide?

Recently the United States Office of Educational Technology published the National Education Technology Plan.  You can view the entire plan at http://tech.ed.gov/netp/

There is certainly many topics to ponder from reading this plan.  One that really struck me today was about the new digital divide.

..the disparity between students who use technology to create, design, build, explore, and collaborate and those who simply use technology to consume media passively

Though there is still much to be done to provide connectivity and devices in schools and communities, a more important challenge is to close the digital use divide.  Too often those students that have adequate connectivity and digital devices are merely consuming media such as through Youtube, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and the such.  Students need some time for entertainment but how can we help them find a balance between being entertained and being creative, productive, life-long learners?  How can we move them from simply being passive to active in their use of learning with technology?

Here are the examples of active use from the report.  I've included some tools that come to mind that might help you in this endeavor with students.

  1. Coding
  2. Immersive Simulation
  3. Media Production
  4. Interaction with Experts
  5. Global Connections
  6. Design
  7. Peer Collaboration

What do you think?  How can we help students become active learners while taking advantage of the powerful tools that are available?

Learn more by visiting the section named Closing the Digital Use Divide from the National Educational Technology Plan. http://tech.ed.gov/netp/learning/

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Searching Google Drive

Is your Google Drive filling up so fast you can't keep up?  Sure you can do a simple search for a file using this box, but guess what?  It just got better.

Google has an advanced search feature.  Just click the drop down feature and search away.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Managing Folders

It can get a bit crazy trying to manage all your folders in Google Drive.  Here are a few tips that may be helpful.

  1. Color-code Your Folders
    • Right-click a folder
    • Select Change color.

  2. Move your folder into sub folders if necessary.
    • Right-click a folder
    • Select Move to

  3. Rename your folders to be more specific
    • Right-click a folder
    • Click Rename

  4. Sort your folders
    • Click the AZ icon
    • Select a method of sorting

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Automate Grading with Flubaroo

Teachers are a busy bunch so take advantage of any tools that can help you automate every day processes.  There is a great Add-on you can use with Google apps called Flubaroo.  This tool enables you to quickly grade all of your students responses to quizzes you create in Google Forms.  Here are the step-by-step instructions.

Create a quiz in Google Forms.

  1. Navigate to Google Drive.
  2. Click New>More>Google Forms.
  3. Add a title to the form.
  4. Click the + sign to add questions.
  5. Click the drop-down to change to various types of questions.

  6. Change settings as needed.

  7. Click the Send button.
  8. Complete the form and click Send or click the Link icon to copy a link to share.

    *Tip- Complete the form yourself with the correct answers first.  (Use as answer key.)

Grade a Quiz in Google Sheets
  1. Once students take the quiz, a Google Sheet is automatically created with results.
  2. Open the Google Sheet with responses.

  3. Setup the Flubaroo Add-on by going to Add-ons>Get add-ons.
  4. Search for Flubaroo and click the Free button to install it.
  5. Click Add-ons>Flubaroo>Enable Flubaroo in this sheet.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Add-ons>Flubaroo>Grade Assignments.
  8. Select the grading options and points and click Continue.

  9. Select the submission that should be used as the key and click Continue.
  10. This will generate a new sheet called Grades. (located at the bottom)

Share Grades with Students

  1. Click Add-ons>Flubaroo>Share Grades
  2. You should be able to use their Username since it's the same as their email address. 
  3. Decide how you want to share their grades.
  4. Decide to list questions and answers or not.
  5. Type a message and click Continue.

Student View Grades

Student can now see information in an email along with a Google Doc saved in their Google Drive.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Using Google Forms for Interest-based Activities

If you haven't used Google Forms yet you should.  It makes life easier in the classroom for multiple reasons.  One way that it can be used is to provide students choice in their learning.  Since it's CS Week and we are asking you to join in efforts for #hourofcode this might be a great way to share the information with students.

Here are some steps on how you can create a Google form and have your students pick which coding project they want to do based on their interest.

  1. Navigate to Google Drive.
  2. Click New>More>Google Forms.
  3. Name your form.  (ex. Choose Your Coding Project)
  4. Type a multiple choose question by clicking the plus sign.
  5. Then click the section icon.

  6. Add your sections and content for that section (ex. Star Wars, Minecraft, Frozen)

  7. Return to your first question and click the 3 dots icon in the bottom right corner.
  8. Select Go to section based on answer.
  9. Select the section you want students to visit based on their answers.

Here is the example form I created.  Choose Your Coding Project

Friday, December 4, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Create a Custom Map

  1. Login to your Google Drive account at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive.
  1. Click New>More>Google My Maps.

  2. Name your map. (ex. Places to Visit in Austin)
  3. Name the layer of the map.  (restaurants, museums, etc)
  4. Do a search for your first location. (ex. Stubb's BBQ)
  5. Click the location and then Add to map. (repeat as needed)
  6. Click Add layer. (ex. Museums)
  7. Search for a museum, click the location, click Add to map.
  8. Click the Share button to share this map with others.  Keep in mind that this map is saved in your Google Drive.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Here are some great resources for class photo books or sharing photos with your family and friends.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Digital Storytelling Resources for Students

Are you trying to help your students become better storytellers?  These resources may be helpful to you.

  1. Storyboard That- http://www.storyboardthat.com/
  2. PowToon- http://www.powtoon.com/
  3. Bubbl.us- https://bubbl.us/
  4. Printable Storyboard Templates- http://www.printablepaper.net/category/storyboard
  5. Haiku Deck- https://www.haikudeck.com/

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Suggestion Feature in Docs

Do you ever need others to take a look at documents you create and make suggestions?  Too often I see people send an email with a Microsoft Word document attached.  The person receives the email, prints it out, writes their suggestions and then hands it back to the sender.  Then the sender reflects on the suggestions and has to revise their Word document.  There is a better way!  Try these tips the next time you want suggestions from others on a document.

  1. Create a Google Doc.
  2. Share the Doc with someone by clicking the Share button.

  3. Type the email address of the user, type a message, and click Send.

  4. The person will receive an email with a link to the Doc.
  5. They should click the Editing button and change it to Suggesting.

  6. The recipient should make the appropriate suggestions.
  7. As the suggestions are being made, a comment will be added on the right side of the Doc.
  8. The owner of the Doc can then click the Check mark to accept the suggestion or click the X to reject the suggestion.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Out of Office Settings

The holidays are quickly approaching, so this might be a great time to setup your out of office messages.  Here is how to do that in Gmail.

  1. Click the Settings icon and then Settings.

  2. Scroll down the screen until you get to the Vacation Responder section.

  3. Select the various settings you prefer including a message.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tips for Backing Up Files

Backing up your files is important if you don't want to lose your data from a failed hard drive.  There are a number of ways to back up your files.  Here are just a few.

  • Save to a network drive.
  • Save to a thumb drive.
  • Save to CD.
  • Save to a service like Dropbox, Box, iDrive, etc
  • Save to Google Drive
We recommend all employees and students use Google Drive to backup their files.  Here are some of the advantages of using Google Drive.
  • unlimited space
  • automatically backed up
  • easy access to files on multiple devices
  • easy to share files with others
  • if you delete your files in Google Drive, you still have 30 days to recover them

As you make plans to move from backing up your files on your H: drives, (network drives) here are some tips that may help you either save to a thumb drive or Google Drive.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Quick & Easy Photo Album

There seems to be hundreds of tools for creating photo albums but not all of them are easy to share or have multiple people contribute.  Here is an idea worth considering.

Start a Google Slides presentation and share it with anyone you like.  Have them help build the online album. (Required Google account.) Here are my suggested steps.

  1. Go to the App Launcher and select Slides.
  2. Select the more button and locate the Photo Album template.

  3. Modify a few slides to meet your needs including any directions you want to provide.
  4. Click the Share button within the Google Slide presentation.

  5. Type the email addresses of those for which you want to share.

  6. Change the permission to Can edit.
  7. Add a note.
  8. Click Send.
  9. Encourage those that are part of the event to add a few of their favorite photos to the slideshow.
  10. Once all the pictures are uploaded, add some text, transitions, music and whatever else you like.
  11. Share the final product and enjoy the show!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Restore Calendar Events

Did you know that Google recently implemented the ability to restore events that you may have deleted?  Here is the process.
  1. Navigate to your calendar by clicking the App Launcher.

  2. Click the dropdown menu to the right of the specific calendar and click Trash.

  3. Select the event you want to restore by checking the box.  Then click Restore selected events.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why Not Use Google Classroom?

Exchanging digital files with students is easy using Google Classroom.  Have you tried it yet?  Here are the 5 reasons you should try Google Classroom today.

  1. Announcements- You can type an announcement and attach local files, files from Google Drive, Youtube videos, and a link to web pages.

  2. Assignments- Create assignments with a due date by attaching all kinds of files, Google files, Youtube videos, and links.  You can set permissions for viewing and editing files.  Files will be organized automatically in folders for each of your students in their Google Drives.

  3. Google Calendar Integration- Students can keep track of assignments because they are automatically added to the integrated Google Calendar.  They can see the calendar on Google Classroom or in their Gmail account.

  4. Share to Classroom- If you find something great to share in your classroom, simply install the Share to Classroom Chrome extension.  When you find an online resource just click the icon and publish it on your Google Classroom site.

  5. Grading/ Feedback- Giving quick feedback is made easy by adding grades and comments to assignments student turn in.  Once they receive an assignment.  They can use Docs, Slides, Sheets, or Drawings to complete the task.  Docs includes a turn in feature that can be used for all kinds of assignments such as a link to other online resources.  You can keep grades recorded in Classroom.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Google Tip of the Day: Gmail Inbox Types

Is your inbox so full you can't keep up?  Did you know you can have your emails automatically sorted in a variety of ways.  One example may be that you star all your critical emails and want them to alway show at the top of the list.  You can also set your email to be listed based on being marked important or unread.  If you really have a large list of emails you might like to use the priority feature.  Here are the steps.

  1. Select Settings.  (gear icon)

  2. Click the Inbox tab.

  3. Select the type of sorting your want in the Inbox type section. (ex. Starred First)
  4. Click Save Changes.
  5. When you return to your inbox it should look like this.  As you star items they will automatically be moved to the top of the list after refreshing your browser.