Adding Emoticons to Google Slides Comments

Emoticons in Google Comments

Sometimes young and adolescent students respond best to visuals along with simple text. This is why adding emoticons may be useful when making helpful comments on students Google Slides, Docs, Drawings and etc… It is amazing the difference a simple thumbs up or smiley face may make when a student views a comment from a teacher or teaching assistant. Using “Chatspeak” or “Text-Speak” are two different methods young people of today use when digitally communicating with each other. It is this reason why using an emoticons or text-speak for a comment makes sense. You might find a young person may respond to this form of communicating much faster than a long windy comment.

Please note the following tips for adding emoticons to a comment on a Google Doc, Slides, Drawings, or etc… In a Google Doc, Slide, Drawings, Sheet Comment  you can’t just string together characters to form emoticons. What I do is use one of two following workarounds to add emoticons to comments. First one is to use Google’s insert character tool from within the doc, slide or etc.. Insert an emotion into the text area followed by copying and pasting into a comment. The second work-around I use is copying and pasting emoticons from the following website “Twitter Symbols”. Both methods are very easy to use and well worth the positive response you may receive from the students.


Backing Up Keep Notes it’s a Breeze…

Teachers and students who use Google Keep to maintain notes and organized to-do list do not have to worry about losing this information. Recently I had a user ask this question in the Google Docs Forum. The user wanted a way to backup a group of  Keep Notes easily on a regular basis. What I suggested was using the “Copy to Doc” tool as a work-around.  This allows the user to select all the notes in one label or on the opening page.

Directions for Backing Up Keep Notes

  • Open Google Keep
  • Click and Drag until all Notes are Selected

Keep Select and Drag.gif

  • Click More More
  • Select Copy to Google Docs


  • Click Open Doc

Click Open Doc


  • This creates a Google Doc with all the list notes, Images, drawings and etc…
  • There are a variety of applications for using the Copy to Google Docs setting
  • This is not the only way to copy a Keep Note to a Doc

Well as you may guess this small little post just may lead into more future tiny tip posts!


Spice Up your Classroom w/Bitmoji

Happy New Year

Bitmoji is a an easy Chrome Extension to use for creating a profile avatar and other characters. The Bitmoji lends itself to many different users within a classroom setting. First and foremost it is one way for supporting good digital citizenship skills by having students under the age of 13 create an avatar for use in social media. Following is a list of ideas of how you might use Bitmoji to spice up the classroom.

How Can Bitmoji be Used?

  • Create a Bitmoji Avatar for Blog’s “About Me Page”
  • Use Bitmoji in classroom Google Slide Presentations
  • Have students create cartoons strips smashing Bitmoji with Google Drawings or a Google Slide Presentation
  • Add Bitmoji Characters to classroom signs and digital anchor charts
  • Have students add a Bitmoji character to a writing project to assist with expressing Character Emotion
  • Create a stop motion Google Slide Presentation using Bitmoji Characters
  • Students may dress up a game board they created with a Bitmoji
  • Add a Bitmoji to a worksheet or assessment
  • Create Bitmoji badges for the Gamified Classroom

Using Bitmoji Chrome Extension

Bitmoji Add to Chrome

  • In Pop-up Window Select “Add Extension”

Add Extension

  • Click “Get Started” (allows user to sign into Bitmoji Account)

bit get started.gif

  • After signing into the account
    • Extension is Ready to use
  • Click Bitmoji Extension Favicon (symbol)
  • Search a Topic such as hello, sports & watch the avatar magic occur

copy or save bit image

  • NOTE: User may Choose to “Right Click Copy” or “Right Click Save As”  to use images

Now you’re ready to rock n’ roll with Bitmoji

Research Projects Made Easier…

When it comes to research projects why should students struggle due to reading levels of resources found on the internet? What would teachers say if a search engine could be focused upon research content appropriate for younger students and lower readers? It is my belief these tools benefit students with becoming independent learners. When children feel successful with completing tasks they start to internalize the value of “Research”. Once students understand the value of research it is easier to build and introduce more advanced search skills. Next time one plans a research project why not set the students up for success by sharing a search engine scaffold to their needs.

How to Create a Custom Google Search Engine

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 1.37.36 PM

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 1.43.48 PM.png

  • Click Create a custom search engine or New search engine

New search engine

  • In Sites to search box, type the sites you want to include for the search results
  • In Name Search Engine Box,  type the name for the new search engine
  • Finish by Clicking the Blue Create Button

Type Website URL

  • Copy embed code or public link for sharing

NOTE: Embed Code will allow you to place the search box on your website or in a blog.


Translate w/Ease TY @Google

We live in a global society where people are collaborating and conversing more than ever. Thanks to the “Internet World of Things” people may find themselves communicating with colleagues, relatives or friends located in a foreign country speaking  a foreign language. In our modern society it is becoming commonplace to use various translating methods to effectively communicate with someone who speaks a different language. Through both machine intelligence and various tools Google is helping to minimalize the language barrier.

In schools this may be an extremely helpful tool for multiple community stakeholders. Bilingual communication is one of those areas which should no longer enable teachers, parents or students. There is no reason why a language barrier exists when using email as a correspondence tool. Gmail makes it very easy to translate an email from a foreign language into the everyday language used by the user. Google Docs also offers a translate tool! One special feature I like about the docs tool is when it converts the document to a language of choice it makes a copy of the original document. This provides the user with both a copy in their native language and the foreign one for their records.

Of course if you don’t have either one of the aforementioned tools “No need to worry” as long as there is an Internet connection. One may copy and paste the information into the Google Translate website to convert the text to a different language.  The Google Translate Website even makes it easy for the user to copy the text. An extra bonus is one may listen to the text in both their native language & the foreign one too! I’m thankful for these tools which strengthen our ability to communicate globally.

Translate using GMAIL

  1. Open GMAIL Inbox
  2. Select the Foreign Language email
  3. Click Drop down Arrow (upper right corner across from user name)
  4. Select Translate Message
  5. May need to Select Language
    • Click Dropdown Arrow Next to “Detect Language”
    • Select Language
  6. Boom Email is Translated!

Gmail Translate

Translate using Google Doc

  1. Open Google Doc
  2. Create a New Doc, Click Blue +
  3. Give Doc a Title
  4. Click Doc to Start Typing Content
  5. Select Tools
  6. Click Translate Document
  7. Choose a Language
  8. Click Blue Translate Button

Docs Translate

NOTE: A new document will open with the language translation

Using Google Translate Website

  1. Type “Google Translate” in Chrome Omnibox (search window) or use the following link:
  2. Type or paste text into first text box
  3. Choose a Language in the Second Text Box
    • Click drop down arrow next to Spanish
    • Select language
  4. Click Blue Translate Button
  5. Copy Text to Paste into another program
  6. Or Click Speaker to Listen (may support speaking face to face)