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.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Canva Just Keeps Getting Better

Most people know I love Canva.  It's a fantastic tool for those of us that lack graphic design skills.  Canva just keeps getting better.  Today, they have released some updates for the iOS app store that you need to check out.  Here are some of the great enhancements.

iPad Pro + Apple Pencil functionality

  • sketch your own layout and have it snap into a tidy grid
  • pick a color from your design by using the Apple Pencil while the color wheel is open
  • high resolution graphics for the iPad Pro
Other functionality for all of us
  • portrait and landscape modes
  • split view multitasking
  • collapsible sidebar
Here is a quick creation I made from a recent college trip with my oldest daughter.  If you have never checked out Canva, today should be the day.  I would love to see one of your creations.