Showing posts from 2015

Using Your Own Google Drawings as Images in a Google Doc

From time to time, we all have wanted to include an image or picture of something in a Google Document. Google has made it very easy to make this happen.

Drag and drop an image anywhere on the Google DocumentInsert an image by URLSearch 'free to use' images from Life and Stock Images databases There are three ways to include a Google Drawing you have made in your Google Document. The most obvious method is just taking a screen shot of the final version of the Google Drawing and inserting it in the Google Document. The only disadvantage of this would be if an edit was made to the drawing after the screenshot was taken. An updated screenshot would then have to be inserted on the Google Document.

Below are two different ways an 'always current' Google Drawing can be included in a Google Document.
Inserting a 'Non-Existing' Google Drawing
STEP 1: Place your curser where you would like to create your Google Drawing. Then select Drawing under the Insert menu.
STEP 2: A …

Polling Students through Google Slides

Receiving formative feedback can be very helpful. There are many tools out there that help get that feedback, whether you use Kahoot!, Quizizz, Socrative, or Peardeck (to name a few).

Just recently, Poll Everywhere came out with a Chrome extension that allows Google Slide users the ability to embed Poll Everywhere questions right in a presentation.

I can see this being very useful when you know you want to ask your students a very quick question but don't want to spend the time to add the presentation in a Peardeck or Kahoot! Poll Everywhere does have a free educator account (which is great) but only limits you to 40 responses per question. So, those of you who have class sizes higher than that would not be able to use this tool.

So the next time you have that moment of 'I want to quickly add a question or two to a google slide presentation' give Poll Everywhere a try.

Get the Poll Everywhere Chrome extension. The actual official title of this Chrome extension is:

QR Codes: Way to Get Students Moving Around with Chromebooks

Looking to do something different with students and have them moving around in your class? How about creating QR codes for students to scan with their chromebooks to complete tasks. This can be a great way of changing things up, besides playing Kahoot! games, pushing an assignment through Google Classroom, or having students fill out an exit ticket.

Examples of Implementation:
At times, I see teachers having students complete tasks in groups with the use of stations. The groups work on that particular task and once time is over, groups are instructed to move to the next station to solve another task.

Mrs. Cooney and Mrs. Hatzidakis did this for their roots classes this week and the activity proved to be successful. They had several stations where students needed to visit. One student from each group would have a chromebook and would scan the code to access the content needed for that station. The group then worked together to accomplish the task. Some codes opened up articles from data…

Have You Shared with Classroom Yet?

Google has created a Chrome extension that allows teachers to be able to share information easily to students that are enrolled in their Google Classroom without having to log into The name of the extension is Share to Classroom.

In order to effectively use the power behind this extension, your students will need to have this extension in their account as well. (This Chrome Extension will be pushed to all BHS students in the very near future as this will work nicely with chromebooks.)

What You Can Do...
Push a website, article, video, document to students right on the spot without making an assignment/announcementPush an assignment to the classMake an announcement to the classPush Content I am a big fan of this feature. Everyday, we make spontaneous decisions based on where discussions are leading us. This extension helps support information you want students to access right on the spot. By using this chrome extension, you can send all students who have their devic…

Calendar Integration with Google Classroom

It is finally here! Google Calendar has been integrated with Google Classroom.

Two Big Advantages:

Students are able to see all of their assignments for all of their classes in one view right in Google Classroom
Teachers are able to embed the calendar on their Teacher Website for parents without having to post content in both places. HUGE time saver!

Hiding Morning and Night Times in Google Calendar

The default to Google Calendar is for the entire day (24 hours) to show. There is a way however to set a particular range of time - times that you work or times that make most sense to you. You must enable a Google Calendar lab called Hide Morning and Night. The following screencast will walk you through the steps.

Customize Your Feedback in Google Docs

Earlier this year, I provided a blog post on how you can create shortcuts in Google Documents so that you are not wasting time when providing valuable feedback to your students. To read this previous post, click HERE.

Last week, Mr. Geddes, came to Kerri Lunn and I asking how he can mimic a way of providing feedback he has done in the past by hand. He wanted a way to provide a check mark, like he would have with his pen as a means of agreeing with the statement the student shared. At first, we did not think it was possible until we looked further.

This is what we came up with:

Find a check and an x that you will want to use to insert in a Google Document. To do this, open up a blank Google Document. Then choose Special Characters - found under the Insert Menu.

Use the draw symbol box on the right hand side to find what you are looking for. You will notice that we drew in a check mark. Then, choose the green check mark so that it can be seen easily in a student's pap…

How Technology Can Be Used During Open House

Lots of us have open house coming up in the very near future. Why not have technology help you with the process...below are some ideas.

Going to be Absent to Your Own Class?
Whether you are a teacher who cannot attend Open House yourself OR you want to be able to reach all of your parents (even those that could not attend), why not create a quick screencast of your presentation? Making screencasts are very easy to do now. You could record yourself talking through the presentation OR you could just turn on your webcam and talk to the computer.

If this is the route that you want to go, I would recommend using the Chrome Extension Screencastify. Below are instructions on how to use the tool if you have never used it before.

Worried about privacy and YouTube? No worries, just save your screencast to your Google Drive account with 'anyone with the link' sharing permission. When it is time to share, provide a link or QR code on your door if you are going to be absent. You can also em…

Embedding a YouTube Playlist in Google Sites

A colleague of mine, Ms. Mac, shared a fun fact that I was unaware of. Rather than linking a YouTube playlist to a Google Site, she shared with me how you can actually have the YouTube playlist be embedded on a page in a Google Site.

The Process
The video below will walk you through step by step on how you can embed a YouTube playlist on a page in Google Sites.

Why I prefer this approach?
Now I know the end result is the same no matter which approach you use, whether you embed a YouTube Playlist or provide a link to the Playlist. However, when it comes to YouTube Playlist, I like...
how the user stays on your website to view the important contentthe ability of viewing the other videos by clicking on the icon on the top left cornerthat the website is not full of individual embedded videosthat the user can find the videos easily (instead of searching for a link somewhere on the page to click on)
If you would like help on how to make a YouTube playlist, let me know and I can assist.

How to Make Your Own GIF File

A couple of people have asked me how I have been creating GIF files. It is rather quite simple. For those of you who might be scratching your head as to what a GIF file is, a sample is provided below.

Basically, a GIF file is an animated graphics file (most just think of it as a 'video' file). This file extension just plays on repeat. It is great for showcasing a simple task that you want people to follow - but might be easier to explain through animating steps rather than writing the steps out.

In order to begin, you will need to use the Chrome browser and download Techsmith Snagit (if you don't already have it). Once it has been downloaded, the Chrome extension will show up on the top right corner of the browser.

Good to Note

There are a couple of things to note with this extension:

In order to use this Chrome extension, it will ask you to log into Chrome, if you are not already signed into the browser. This extension is not just for creating GIF files - you can annotate i…

Creating "Fill In" Responses in Google Docs

Why not have Google Docs work for can turn a Google Document into a 'fillable form' by making questionnaires, investigations, worksheets, etc. I know that Google Forms exist and you can ask questions for people to fill out but sometimes, you just do not want your responses to be located in one big Google Sheet.

Where I see this method work great is for investigations or worksheets that students might typically have done with paper and pencil in the past. That is right, students can do the same work electronically, allowing them to 'turn it in' through Google Classroom or other electronic collection means.

Examples Below are some examples of how I see this working out:
1. Questionnaire or Form - wanting to collect basic information from people but need the information separate from others in a document.

2. Investigation or Worksheet - students completing their work electronically in a document - getting away from the traditional paper and pencil method.


Finding Key Words

We all are in situations from time to time where we are either reading a multi-page Google Document or article on a website and all you want to do is find a particular part. Sometimes skimming takes longer than it would have taken if you just read the article to begin with.

The trick you ask? By using shortcut keys, you can have a search window pop up to locate the word or words that you are looking for.

Shortcut Keys

Mac Users: 
command key and f keyChromebook Users:
control key and f key

No matter if you are on the web browsing a website or in a Google Product, a similar window will show up (in the image above) for you to type in the key word you are looking for. In my particular example, the key word Wellness showed up 11 times in this particular Google Sheet. With the help of the arrows next to the key word, you are able to quickly jump through the page to locate the exact thing you are trying to find.

So You Want to Create Columns in Google Documents?

I would say that the number one complaint that I get about Google Documents is the unability to create columns. Some think that this is a common task that people use and wonder why it has not been implemented. There is however a work around to getting columns to show up on a Google Document - done by using a table. Below is an example of how a table can actually be made to look like two column section in a Google Document (check out the red text in the Google Document).

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Unlike traditional columns, you have to determine when you want to start typing into the second column on the Google Document. For those people used to using columns in Word, you know what I am talking about. Word automatically starts typing into the next column when it gets to the bottom of a page. In this instance, since we are not using a traditional column setting, you have to tell Google Documents that you are done typing in one cell of a table and want to type in the second cell of the table.