Draftback Extension is Magical…

During a Google APPS workshop I tend to point out the “Revision History” Tool. Often stating how it allows the teacher to view a students work in ways they never imagined possible. Revision history permits the educator to see every step a student takes to complete a writing masterpiece. It is the closet an educator may come to understanding a student’s thought process. What makes this even easier to do is the Draftback Chrome Extension by J. Somers.

The Draftback Chrome Extension attaches to a Google Doc.  It allows the user to create a animation of the authors writing process. Like magic draftback displays every edit created up to the very last Google Doc sentence. This lets an educator view the writing process in ways they were never able to before. It allows the teacher to provide authentic proactive feedback to assist the student author with improving upon writing skills.

Draftback.gif

Of Course you Can Label Diagrams in a Google Doc Worksheet!!!

Recently I was asked if there was a way to label images in a Google Doc? The answer is Yes! All you have to do is think a “little out of the box”. What do I mean? You can’t add the image as “Insert Image” however if you choose “Insert a Drawing” it will allow you to insert an image where text boxes may be added for  labeling.  This is the easiest way for a teacher to create Google Docs worksheets where students can practice labeling diagrams along with writing a research summary or answering questions.

How to Insert an Image for Labeling

 

Using Vocaroo to Share Voice Comments

Vocaroo is an easy way to create and download voice recordings and when its smashed with Google Drive it can become one power tool!!! When using Vocaroo as a voice recorder I prefer to download the sound files into Google Drive. Vocaroo allows the user to download voice recording as MP3, Ogg, FLAC, or WAV files. The files may be shared with individual people or by URL’s pasted into a document’s comment area.

This can unlock doors for both the teacher and students. A teacher correcting a Google Doc may link a Vocaroo voice Recording from their Google Drive into the comment area of a Google Doc. A student with small motor issues or limited writing skills may express their content knowledge via a Vocaroo MP3 file shared with their teacher. It is an easy way to integrate technology for supporting many different needs. Please watch the following YouTube Tutorial to learn more about smashing Vocaroo with Google Drive and Docs.

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

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