10 Awesome G Suite for Ed Tips & Tricks

It has taken me a long time to understand the benefits of Keyboard Shortcuts, G Suite APPS “Hidden Tools” and Hacks. After using these tools on a more regular basis I’ve discovered they have the ability to provide precious time back within our daily lives.

Common everyday tech tools have the ability to pack a powerful punch for our students. Especially during times of research or designing projects. One common complaint often heard is, “How do we provide the time for our students to be creative?” There is a possiblitiy this could be remedied by providing students with the knowledge to effectively and efficiently use the technology tools at hand. Now-a-day students may be raised with a touchscreen in their hands. However this doesn’t mean they understand how to use technology in beneficial and effective ways.

Below is a Slide presentation which offers 10 timesaving tips to support both teachers and students. Before the Google Slide Presentation I am including an extra hack to start you off with understanding how Timesaving tips and tricks can be “Timesavers”.

Easy Peazy Timesaver Hack

Instead of scrolling through the many layers or steps of a Google Files Toolbar try to “Click Help” and type what you are trying to do in the search window. If done correctly a pop-up window open with the tool.

EXAMPLE:  Type “Make a Copy” in the Help Window.

10 Awesome Tips & Tricks Prezo

7 Fav Tips Using New Google Calendar

According to the October 2017 G Suite Blog post the transition from the “Classic Google Calendar” UI to the  “New Google Calendar” UI will be completed by February 28, 2018. After G Suite made the announcement about the updated interface I decided to switch and explore the New Google Calendar. Everyday I use Google Calendar to communicate and collaborate sharing classroom information with both teachers, teacher aides and teaching assistant. Following are are a few of my favorite tips for effectively using the New Google Calendar UI.

1- Expanded or Condensed View

Clicking the Main Menu Icon (3 horizontal bars)

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 6.53.20 PM
expands or condenses the calendar view.

Calendar expand & Contract

NOTES:
As a bifocal wearer I find the expanded view easier to read.

2- Show Weekdays Only

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings

Select Settings

  • Scroll to “View Options” Section
  • Uncheck “Show Weekends”
  • Changes are Automatically Saved

Uncheck Show weekends

NOTES:
I push into classrooms to assist students and take supplemental notes.
Having my calendar in week view no weekends provides me quick access to the information needed for supporting my students.

3- Add Lists to Events

  • Add or Open an Event
  • Type Agenda Style List
  • Highlight Text
  • Click numbered or Bulleted List

Calendar List

 

NOTES:
Lists are quick & easy to create. I use lists to share classroom information with SPED Teacher, Teaching Assistance and Teacher Aids.

4- Use Bold Face Text

  • Add or Open an Event
  • In Event Composer Click B (Bold)
  • Type word or sentence
  • Click B again to unbold

Cal Bold Text

NOTES:
I like to add bold title to separate my list sections. Examples: Homework, Classroom Activities, Other & etc…

5- Hide Calendars from Listing

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings
  • Left Sidebar Scroll to Calendar Lists
  • Wave Cursor (Pointer) Right of Calendar Name
  • Click Preview Icon (Looks like Eyeball)
    • A / appears through Preview Icon
    • Calendar no-longer seen in listing

Hide Calendar.gif

NOTES:
If you belong to a handful of Google Classrooms the other calendar list may have grown. I’m a visual learner and find the listing becomes overwhelming when too many calendars are listed. The calendars are important so I don’t want to delete them but hide from the list.

6-Duplicate an Event

  • Click Event
  • Click Options Settings Icon (3 vertical dots)
  • Select Duplicate
  • Click Date Field & Select New Date
  • Edit Information
  • Click Save

Duplicate Event.gif

NOTES:
Duplicating an event is a “Big Timesaver” for me. It saves time adding a new event, typing a title, details and sometime adding new attachments. It is easier and quicker to edit an event already formatted in an easy to read communication style.

7- Dim Color for Past Events

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings

Select Settings

  • Scroll to “View Options” Section
  • Check “Reduce the brightness of past events”

Dim Events

NOTES:
Once more as a visual learner this supports my finding the daily event with ease.

2 Ways to Resize Sheets Columns

When using different technology tools I always look for the quickest and most efficient way to complete a task. Sometime the “Simplest” features are the ones which pack the most powerful punch. Today I’m going to share how to resize the width of several columns at once. There are two different approaches a teacher or student may take for resizing a sheets column. The following steps may be added to ones “Timesaving Tips Bags of Tricks.”

First Approach for Resizing Columns

I find this approach to be the quickest and easiest to use.

  • Highlight and Drag the columns

Drag columns

Second Approach for Resizing Columns

If you are better with converting size into number this approach is for you.

  • Highlight the Columns
  • Click down arrow or right click
  • Select Reset Columns a to ?
  • Enter cell size number or fit to data

Change cell sizes.gif

Drawings Add Texture to Shapes

Google Slide Tutorial

Adding Texture to Shapes

Please click here if you would like a copy of this tutorial.

If you haven’t guessed, “My Passion is for Creating”. My parents use to joke how I was born with a crayon in my hand. It is this passion which energizes me to create with Google Tools. It is my belief Artists are “Abstract Thinkers” and as such naturally use both “Critical Thinking” and “Problem Solving” skills without applying much thought. Whether an artist is painting, drawing, sculpting or using digital tools they focus on making the design fit in a restricted space. This is one reason why I support the “Maker Space Movement” and believe the Arts” (both music & art) belong in school programs.

You might be asking yourself, “What does this all have to do with Drawings add texture to shapes?” As an artist I tend to like drawing by hand with pen & ink. However I find basic shapes and solids to be boring. My drawings tend to have quite a bit of texture and patterns. This is why I looked to incorporate texture into Google Drawings’ shapes.

I do think it is important to let students explore and create. When students share discoveries with educators and peers they are using communication skills. The communication skills the students are using support writing and the ability to restate facts along with providing details. So my simple artistic enjoyment for wanting to add texture to a Google Drawings touched upon some powerful skills educators look to build within a lesson. In conclusion “Let’s All Work Together Supporting Students as Creators!” for this encourages students to use both critical thinking and communication skills.

Harmony

Harmony by Barbra Drasby

Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 6.40.14 AM

Earlier this summer I started creating a workshop entitled “Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter”.  While preparing for this workshop I realized the New Google Sites was more than the average website builder. When first starting to build with the New Google Sites I missed the flexibility of selecting my own fonts and embedding gadgets and etc… via html. Now I’m thankful for the new site builder! Once I started constructing the workshop prezo as a Google Site the potentials for using the new site builder dawned on me! I discovered the New Google Sites is more than the average website builder!

One of the first things I noticed was the share settings and the ability to add collaborators. Immediately I started exploring different projects based on collaboration. Using the new sites started to become a challenge for me to discover more exciting features and a variety of uses for the educational community. Yes! I did exactly this and discovered the New Google Sites was not only intuitive to use but a tool which offers a vast amount of usages. When one considers the integration of all the core Google for Education APPs along with the New Google Sites it delivers one powerful punch as an educational tool!

 Some Google Sites Ideas

  1. Share a Digital Break Out Edu Adventure with Students
    • Use critical thinking skills to solve the mystery
  2. Use to deliver daily objectives
    • Supports students with doing independent work
  3. Share a Community Ice Breaker
    • Strengthens communication
  4. Go Paperless Create an Anchor Chart Site
    • Provides students with 24/7 resources
  5. Student Created Collaborative Weekly or Monthly Newsletter
    • Supports collaboration, and communication
  6. Classroom Created Collaborative Notes
    • Created & Curated via Sites
    • Immediate scaffolding for students
      • Students understand other students explainations
    • Let students have fun with this!
      • Insert videos
      • Insert audio links
      • Share interactive websites
  7. Student Portfolios
    • Building Digital Resumes Practice
    • Reinforces Digital Citizenship Skills
  8. Share Infographic Projects
    • One page per student
      • Student builds info graphic by using sites
  9. Use as a Student built Wiki
    • Students share tech support
    • Share Math Problem Solving ideas
  10. Curate Student Artwork, Poetry and etc…
  11. and ?
    • Share your idea in the comment area
      • It just may be added to this list 😃

Teachers Helping Teachers