Showing posts from 2017

Day 12 of Google: Creating Your own GIF with AutoDraw, Photos, and Slides

For day twelve of Google, we are going to look at how AutoDraw, Google Photos and Google Slides can be used to help create your own GIF for a presentation.

GIF files and bitmojis have appeared in text messages/group chats for awhile now. I am noticing that more and more people are including these in presentations now. In most cases, gifs that are used are ones that have been found online. Well, with the help of three applications, you can create your own GIF. What makes this process even easier is the fact that Google Photos is now an option for inserting images into a Google Slide presentation.

Below is an example of something that was created in AutoDraw, uploaded into Google Photos to create a 'GIF'. This file can then be inserted into any location that allows for images. Below will walk you through the process...

Step 1: AutoDraw
I have written an earlier blog post on Google AutoDraw. AutoDraw is a great way for students to create their own visual with the help of artifici…

Day 11: Change Default Text in Google Docs

On day eleven of Google, we are going to look at how you can change your default text in Google Docs. To be honest, I didn't know that you could actually change the default setting to Google Doc until recently. I always manually changed the text to what I wanted it to be. Never thought that I could tell Google what I want it to be when I open up a document.

Google has determined that Arial size 11 font is the default font and size. For some people, this does not necessary work. For instance, if you are required to use MLA format, I believe the text has to be size 12. Students would then have to manually go to the top and change the font to 12.

If you find that you want to change the default of the font text and size, follow these steps: (NOTE: this will change the default to all Google Docs that you create moving forward. If you find that you don't like the default that you set, you can make the change again.)

Changing Default Setting
Determine what font you want to make defaul…

Day 10 of Google: equatIO for Math and Science classes

On day ten of Google, we will take a look at equatIO. Over the past year, I have watching how equatIO is evolving and transforming their product to help make math digital. I am impressed with what I have seen so far.

Let's face it, showcasing math work electronic can take a bit of time and energy to get your point across. Text help is trying to help solve this with their product equatIO. I can see both math and science teachers embracing this chrome extension.

EquatIO has a chrome extension that you download from the Chromestore (free for teachers). Once downloaded and activated, you are able to

type your mathspeak your thought process/mathhandwrite your work You are able to use this extension when you are using G-Suite. (While Google has its own 'math type' most do not find it user friendly. EquatIO can be a great solution to getting math equations, expressions and thought process down in a Google product.) When you want to activate it, you select the chrome extension and …

Day 9 of Google: Google Keep Features

On the ninth day of Google, we will explore with Google Keep.

For those of you who have not explored around with Google Keep yet, you are missing out. This tool is now an official G-Suite app and can be found in the waffle icon. Google Keep ( is a tool to help keep you organized.

But, did you know that Keep has a mobile app as well? You can access all of your 'to do lists' and reminders on your mobile phone. You can create lists as well as reminders right on your mobile device. Two amazing things that can be done with the help of the mobile device - creating audio files as well as taking pictures to extract text (through the help of OCR).

Audio Recording:
It is very easy to provide an audio recording. Have something on your mind that you don't want to forget? Find it easier to speak your thoughts? This might be the tool for you.
Open up Google Keep on your mobile device (make sure you are logged into your School Google account)Select the microphone iconRecor…

Day 8 of Google: Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

On the eighth day of Google, we will take a look at how to use Chrome more efficiently. Are you someone that uses keyboard shortcuts? I have found that fewer and fewer students actually use a mouse when using chromebooks/computers and knowing basic keyboard shortcuts could help make the user of the device more efficient.

Chrome Shortcuts:
Reopen a Closed Tab
We have all experienced it at some point where we have accidentally closed a tab that we didn't want to close. Well, did you know that you can get that tab back open with the help of a few key strokes?

Refresh a Page
I find myself using the refresh button from time to time. Rather than using the trackpad or a mouse to move the curser to the refresh arrow next to the omni box (search box), there is a shortcut:

Open and Close a Tab
Yes, there are also keyboard shortcuts to managing your tabs in chrome.

In order to make the shift to using keyboard shortcuts, this is something where you will have to 'force' yourself into doin…

Day 7 of Google: Google Classroom - Creating to Accessing Student Work

On the seventh day of Google, we will take a look at Google Classroom.

To think that teachers once collected student work via a shared document embedded in an email every time they completed something OR by filling out a Google Form to submit work. Google Classroom has been great for being that one central place where students and teachers can easily find necessary documents. But, do you know the following...

Students 'Turning In' Work
You probably already know that there are two ways that you can create an assignment for students to complete through Google Classroom:

1. Provide a 'template' for student and choosing the 'Make a Copy for Each Student' - this method is great so that student get their own electronic copy of a task you want them to complete. This method will automatically name the file for them (with their name in the title). Google Classroom will also provide a 'Turn In' button on the top right corner of the Google Doc, Slide, etc for when…

Day 6 of Google: Google Drive - Location of Files

Google Drive ( is the hub of where all your documents live. You are able to create folders and have documents be located in those folders. You are also able to share these files very easily with other colleagues to streamline collaboration. 
Sure you might have been using this product for some time, but did you know the following:

File 'Living' in Multiple Folders You do have the ability for files to live in multiple places in your Google Drive. However, note that by using this feature you are not 'making a copy' of a document. Instead you are allowing Google to place a file in two different spots. This will mean that if you make a change to the file from one folder, it will make the change in both places.
To place the file in two different locations,  Select the file that you want to be located in two different places (only click once - don't double click)Hit the keys "Shift" and "z"Pop up window will then ask you to determine w…

Day 5 of Google: Providing Feedback in Google Docs

On the fifth day of Google, we will explore around with feedback in Google Docs.

One of the hardest parts with teachers transitioning to online work can be providing feedback electronically. I can see the point. It is really easy to write over text, underline, cross out, etc using paper and pencil. Edtechteam is trying to help teachers with the transition with a Chrome extension called CheckMark.

This extension has pre-determined, common remarks that teachers would be apt to include in a comment to a student. Rather than having the teacher taking the time to type the comment out, with the click of a button, a teacher is able to provide that same feedback without all of the extra clicks/keyboard hits necessary to make it happen.

How it Works:

Get the chrome extension HEREOpen up a Google Document you want to provide feedbackSelect the extension (it will turn green) indicating you want to use its features while in the documentWhen you want to provide feedback, double click on a word, phr…

Day 4 of Google: Google Calendar

On the fourth day of Google, we will look at Google Calendar.

Google Calendar (web version) has recently received an upgrade to mimic the mobile version of Google Calendar. Don't have the new Google Calendar? Select the blue icon on top right that says Use New Calendar. I am a big fan of the refreshed look.

One change, is that you are able to gain more real-estate on the screen. By selecting the hamburger icon on the top left corner, you can determine whether or not you want the small month calendar and list of calendars you follow to appear or disappear.

Keyboard Shortcuts
In the change, I stumbled upon shortcuts that pertain to Google Calendar. I don't believe that these shortcuts are now, just never thought to look them up to use.

For instance, with the click of a number between 1-4 you are able to switch between different views of the calendar on your screen. You can also use d for day view, w for week view and m for month view.

Other Keyboard shortcuts of potential intere…

Day 3 of Google: Exploring with Google Trends

On the third day of Google, we will explore Google Trends...

Google Trends ( is relatively new to me and I have not explored all of its capabilities yet, however I do see the value with this tool. I feel as though Google Trends could be applied to different curriculum.

Once you get to the website, you will notice that Google provides featured items as well as stories that are trending on that particular day. As I write this blog post (Thursday, Dec 7, 2017), I am seeing Alabama Senate seat info, Holiday shopping, Grammy Awards, and National Pear Harbor Remembrance Day.

When we first explored with Google Trends, the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, we were diving deep into Thanksgiving. This is what we discovered, Thanksgiving 2017. It was cool to see things like:
top searched pies by statetop searched Thanksgiving recipestop searched Thanksgiving questioningsearches for Friendsgiving (on the rise) You can either look at what is trending or you can search your for specif…

Day 2 of Google: The Many 'Different Views' of Google Slides

On the second day of Google...

We are going to take a look at some view features of Google Slides.

Forcing Present Mode
Let's face it, if you are using G-Suite you have shared a link to document in your Drive. Assuming sharing permissions have already been handled so that those that can view are able to view (anyone with the link), you can actually force present mode on a Google Slide presentation. Sometimes, you might not want people to be able to see the slides along the left side of your Google Slides. The traditional way many people would share a link outside of Google Classroom is to copy the link from the omni box (the search box in Chrome). Then share out the link via email etc.

Instead, you have the ability to share the presentation so that they only see the final slides and not the edited side of Google Slides. How might you ask? Go to the omni box - where the link is for the presentation. Follow these steps:
Move your cursor all the way to the right until you see the word…

Day 1 of Google: YouTube Tips

On the first day of Google....

We are going to take a look at YouTube. Hard to find someone out there now a days who has not used YouTube, either for their own enjoyment, or to share ideas/content in a lesson with students.

But, did you know the following:

Autoplay of YouTube Videos
1. The default to YouTube is for related videos to automatically play for you after your last video finishes. In some instances, you might want this. I am sure many can relate to watching a video that a friend has shared with you or posted on a social media outlet, you start to watch the video and then get hooked and end up watching other videos that are related to the same topic. Then 30 minutes later, you wonder where the time went!

However, in a school setting, you might not want a new video to start automatically - especially if you haven't had a chance to view the next video prior to students seeing it. There is a very easy way to stop autoplay.

Search for a videoTop right, above the suggested "…

12 Days of Google

In the spirit of the season and the inspiration from Eric Lawson and Eric Curts, I have decided to run my own '12 Days' of tech tips and ideas. For the next 12 work days, I will provide a Google Tip/Trick that might help take your Google knowledge to the next level.

In the embedded Google Drawing below, I will link up each tip or idea each working day moving forward. (You might have to open up the Google Drawing in order for the icons to actually provide the Google Tip of the Day). You will also notice below the Google Drawing, I will have each day linked up.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!

And that is my Spiel...

Day 1 of Google: YouTube Tips
Day 2 of Google: The Many 'Different Views' to Google Slides
Day 3 of Google: Exploring with Google Trends
Day 4 of Google: Google Calendar
Day 5 of Google: Providing Feedback in Google Docs
Day 6 of Google: Google Drive - Location of Files
Day 7 of Google: Google Classroom - Creating to Accessing Student Wor…

Curate Images with DriveSlides

DriveSlides is a chrome extension that was created by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler to help get images into one place, more specifically into a Slides presentation. Below, I have provided an explanation of how the extension works as well as given a couple of examples in how this tool can be implemented.

How the extension works:

Curate all images into a folder in your DriveBe sure to open said folder showing the list of all imagesSelect the chrome extension DriveSlidesAutomatically, the extension will curate all of the images in the folder and place each one on its own slide in one Google Slide presentation. You will notice that the Slide presentation is located in the same folder as the images for further access.
You really cannot ask for a simpler process in getting images into one place. Alice Keeler is all about helping educators (and students) be more efficient with their time.
DriveSlides Examples
Curating Pics for Staff Slideshow On our first staff day for the school year, it is tra…