Control Your Extensions…

I love the “Power” extensions and add-ons provide to a browser. Extensions provide a quick way to access helpful pieces of programs. A perfect example of a useful extension is “Save to Drive” this allows the user to save images of websites directly to the “Web Browser” Version of Google Drive. This is a helpful tool for students and researchers to use especially if they have limited internet connections because it allows them to save websites as images. Unfortunately sometimes third-party extensions can cause glitches to happen when interacting with other extensions and programs on the device. This is why I like using the Chrome Browser because it makes it easy to “Control Extensions”.

How to Control Chrome Extensions

It is easy to access Extensions from within the settings area of the Chrome Browser. This will allow you turn the extensions on and off as needed. I like leaving most of my extensions off except a few which might be used on a regular basis. When glitches occur it I can turn off the extensions one at a time to figure out which one has gone erratic.

Just follow these simple steps to turn extensions on and off:

  1. Click the Chrome Browser’s Settings 
  2. Scroll Down to More Tools
  3. Click Extensions
  4. Scroll Down List of Extensions
    • Check “Enable” to Turn On
    • Uncheck “Enable” to Turn Off
    • Click “Trash Can” to Uninstall

Chrome Extensions.gif

NOTE: When the Extensions appear grayed out it is due to being disabled.

It is really easy to maintain and control ones extension through the Chrome Browser. This will help with preventing some of those unexpended glitches such as:

  • My page doesn’t load
  • I can’t see the button to…
  • Nothing works when I click…

Sure hope this helps you resolve some of those unexpected future glitches.

Tips for Creating Doc’s & Slides Worksheets

This is a compilation of a few tips for alleviating stress when using Google Docs and Slides as worksheets. First let me state I feel traditional worksheets aren’t always the best method for supporting learning, but if a teacher is going to digitize a traditional looking worksheet. “Why make it frustrating?”

When it comes to using technology there are many different factors which can slow a person down filling in a digitized worksheet. If one has small motor issues or are challenged by eye to hand coordination typing digital answers may be challenging. Keep in mind frustration doesn’t only set in due to physical issues, it could be as simple as the accidental deletion of text.  This can change the whole layout of the worksheet making it difficult to find where the answer belongs. Below are a couple of other scenarios to support the above statements:

  • Imagine if you have difficulties highlighting and were told to highlight the line followed by typing the answer. Wouldn’t this frustrate you if the teacher moved on and you were still typing the answer?  Highlighting is a skill which even slows down the experienced adult user when typing and editing a document.
  • What if the answer was long and changed the format of the worksheet? When you looked up at the interactive whiteboard to copy down the next bit of information everything looks different!

If the worksheets were setup differently this could prevent undue challenges while typing traditional notes and answers into a worksheet.

Make It Easy for Students to Use

When using a Google Doc Type the questions and place a single cell table for the answer. This will provide the student with a clickable area to type the answer. If you color fill the cell this would make it even easier for the student to find where they left off.

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 2.39.31 PM.png

Click here to make a copy of the template

How to Insert One Cell as Answer Placeholder

  1. Open a Google Doc
  2. In the Tool Bar Click Table
  3. Select Insert Table 1×1
  4. Click More
  5. Select Paint Bucket Tool
  6. Choose a light color
  7. Repeat Steps 4 to 7 
    • Click Custom and adjust color shade

Insert Table.gif

Alleviate Errors Due to Deletions

Google Slides offers a magical tool called, “View Master” this allows you to customize layouts by locking down graphics and text. When using this tool it lessens the chances of students deleting worksheet information while typing. This is because the words and images you edit in “View Master” are locked into the background of the slides template.

Please Click Here to Make a Copy of the Template

How to Edit Google Slides View Master

This demonstration is going to use the George Washington Worksheet represented in the above Google Doc.Open a Google Slides

  1. Select Page Setup

    • Next to Screen size
      • Click Downarrow
    • Choose Custom
    • Type 8.5 x 11
    • Click Done

Slides Custom Page Setup (2).png

  1. Click View
  2. Select Master
  3. Delete Slides
  4. Edit Master
    • Insert
      • image, shapes,
      • placeholders or text
  5. Click Slide Deck

Slides Edit View Master.png

On No! My Dog Ruined My Homework!!!

dog

Last week a students said, “Hey Ms. Drasby can you help me?” “My dog was sitting on my lap and deleted some of the words from several questions.” It was a simple but time consuming fix to use the Revision History to fix and maintain the integrity of the students answers. I had to copy and paste the correct info from several different restoration time periods. While doing this it dawned on me how to prevent this from happening again by using a Google Slide to create the worksheet.

All one has to do is use the master editing mode when designing the worksheet in Google Slides. This hidden treasure will help protect the integrity of a worksheet from accidental erasure. It also limits the layouts if students need to add a slide to complete the work.

How to Edit the Slide’s Master

  1. Open Google Slides
  2. Click View, followed by Selecting Master
  3. Edit Name, Click Rename
  4. Click Done
  5. Change Page Size
  6. Delete Slides
  7. Edit Blank Slide by Adding Image and Text
  8. Click Outer Slide Deck to Finish

google-slides-editing-view-master

The Advantage of Creating a Worksheet by Editing the  View Master It Prevents the Student from Easily Changing Worksheet Information 

Set an Expiration Date & Poof Files Disappears

There may be times a teacher may want to limit the sharing of a Google Docs, Slides, Drawings, or Sheets.  This is when the expiration setting comes in handy. Set a date and “poof” the file magically disappears from the student’s drive.

How to Set Google File Expiration Time

  1. Open Google Drive
  2. Click the Doc
  3. Select Share
  4. Click Advanced
  5. Click Dropdown Arrow next to file settings
  6. Select Set Expiration
  7. Choose 7 days, 30 Days or Custom Range
  8. Click Save Changes
  9. Click  Done  button

Google Slides set Expiration and Poof.gif

When Might this Tool be Used?

  1. To close out a Google Document or Slides Assessment
  2. Projects used for Finals
  3. Special Assessment

 

 

Insert Google Forms Chart into a Google Slide

Recently this question was asked in the Google Doc Help Forum, “Can I insert a Chart from Google Forms into a Google Slides Presentation?” I started thinking about this question realized both students and teachers could benefit from the below directions. Adding data to a student project or classroom presentation makes it more engaging to the audience.

There are several steps to follow for inserting a Google Forms Graph into a Google Slides Presentation. It isn’t hard to do and the benefits are well worth it!

How to Insert Google Forms Chart into a Google Slides

First please link the Google Forms to a Spreadsheet:
  1. Open a form in Google Forms.
  2. At the top, click RESPONSES.
  3. Below, click More More.
  4. Select Response Destination
  5. Choose Create New Spreadsheet
Next insert the type of chart you want from the data collected into the spreadsheet
  1. Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Select the cells with data you want to include in your chart. Note: To make labels on your chart, add a header row or column to your data.
  3. Click Insert > Chart.
  4. In the “Recommendations” tab, choose a chart style. For more options, click Chart types.
  5. To edit your chart, click Customization.
  6. To create the chart, click Insert.
Or use the explore tool to drag a chart into the spreadsheet
  1. Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click the Column with Data
  3. Click Explore Lower right corner
  4. Drag the Chart to the Sheet
  5. Click the Chart’s Down arrow to Move to a new sheet in the spreadsheet

Last Step: Insert Chart into Google Slide Presentation

  1. Open a  Google Slides Presentation
  2. Select Layout choose blank
  3. Go to Insert and Select Chart
  4. Click from Sheets
  5. Choose Sheet and Click Select
  6. Select the Chart 
  7. Click Import

Students Whiteboarding w/Google Keep

Thanks to the “Winter Holiday Season” I finally had some downtime to explore more Google Products.  I have used Google Keep to create shopping lists and share quick synchronized notes. However I will confess underestimating the “Power” of the Google Keep APP to provide an interactive white boarding experience for students. Have you ever though about using Google Keep for screen-casting?

Screen-casting can be used to assess students knowledge of content. This is how this Googlicious idea works. The student will use the Google Keep’s Drawing Feature  to explain content while being recorded with a Chrome Browser Screencast extension such as Screencastify. The Screencastify is a perfect extension to combined with Google Keep. Screencastify allows the user to save the video right to Google Drive. I love when two powerful tools can be smashed together to provide one awesome learning experience.

 

Learning Vocabulary w/Google Drawings

How do you get students to internalize learning vocabulary words? This was a discussion I had with a colleague. Sometimes the simplest activity with a “techno twist” can be the one which engages students with active learning. My colleague came up with the idea of having students create a crossword puzzle and sharing this with their friends as a vocabulary study tool. This idea inspired the use of a Google Drawing  in conjunction with  the Discover Education Criss Cross Puzzlemaker.

Using a crossword generator makes this project easier for the students to learn how to design a crossword puzzle. The students simply input the vocabulary words and the definitions into the crossword generator. Once the crossword puzzle is created a screenshot of the puzzle is captured and inserted into a Google Drawing. This provides the skeleton for creating an interactive crossword classmates can try solving. The crossword project supports critical thinking skills, using creativity, and basic technology skills.

Steps for Creating the Crossword Puzzle

  1. Click for Discover Education Criss Cross Puzzlemaker
  2. Enter a Title for the Crossword puzzle
  3. Enter the Words and Definitions
  4. Click Create Puzzle

crossword-1

 Insert Crossword into Google Drawings

  1. Open Google Drawings
  2. Click Insert Image
  3. Choose image to Upload
  4. Click Select
  5. Crop & resize image
  6. Insert Table

insert Crossword 3.gif

Simple Tip for Resizing Google Forms Video

Resizing a Google Forms Video is as simple as “boiling water”.  “Fill the pot and turn on the heat and watch the magic happen.” Now place a students in front of a Google Forms with an enlarged video and surprises just may occur!

I like the idea of inserting videos for supporting answer mastery when using a Google Forms worksheet. The larger the video the more it stands out and better probability for student to click and watch. Try enlarging your next Google Forms Video and watch the “Magic Happen.”

HOW to Resize Google Forms Video

You will be happy to hear this it is still possible to resize a video in a Google Forms.
Please follow these steps:
  1. Open Google Forms
  2. Click Video symbol
  3. Select a YouTube video
  4. Click the Video (blue box lines appear)
  5. Click and Drag box corner outwards to make it larger

dec-28-2016-7-17-am-edited

 

Use the Pixlr Editor Magic Wand…

Have you ever inserted an image into a presentation only to discover the solid white background of the image clashes with the design layout. Did you know  it is possible to remove the white background from the image? I like using the Pixlr Editor Chrome APP for removing the background and saving the image as a png. A png image allows the background to remain as a transparency.

 

Please follow these steps to remove an images’ background using the Pixlr Editor.
  1. Open https://pixlr.com/editor/
  2. Click Create a New Image
  3. Type a File Name
  4. Check Transparent
  5. Clicl File
  6. Select Open Image URL
  7. Paste Image URL in Space
  8. Click OK
  9. Use Select Tool
  10. Drag to Select Entire Image
  11. Click Edit
  12. Select Copy
  13. Click the Birds File
  14. Click Edit
  15. Select Paste
  16. Click Edit
  17. Select Free Transform
  18. Drag Image to Size
  19. Click Yes to Apply Changes
  20. Select the Magic Wand (Transparency Tool)
  21. Click the White Background
  22. Select Edit
  23. Click Cut
  24. Select File
  25. Click Save
  26. Under Format Use Dropdown Arrow to Select PNG
  27. Select My Computer
  28. Click OK
  29. Select a File Location
  30. Click Save

Appointment Slots Practical Teacher Tool

The due to my support in the Google Help Forum I’ve learned quite a bit about fellow educator’s needs. Recently an educator asked, “Can I keep Appointment Slots Confidential”. The concern was if they share Google Calendar Appointment Slots publicly will other parents see when a parent signs up for a meeting. The teacher became excited about using appointment slots after learning the appointments remain private between the appointment setter and teacher.

Once a parent chooses an appointment slot and fills in their details the slot disappears from the public calendar. The appointment is then scheduled on the parents personal Google Calendar as an event. Bonus is the teacher can view who registered for which appointment slot on the appointment slot calendar. One more timesaving tool provided by Google for Educators to use.

How to Create an Appointment Slot Calendar

TIP: I find it beneficial and easier to maintain by creating a new calendar for sharing the Appointment Slots.

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. Select Week view or any Day view.
  3. Click to open the event box
    1. Select Appointment slots.
  4. Enter the details
  5. You can have appointment Slots repeat  by creating recurring events

If you would like to learn more about Google Calendar appointment slots please read the following Google Calendar Help Center Article: Use Google Calendar Appointment Slots

Please NOTE: Appointment slots are a feature offered in both GSuite Education and Work Accounts.