Monday, May 18, 2020

Screen Recording on your Chromebook

Hi all,

It's been a while since I posted, but I wanted you all to know about some websites that are awesome for creating videos and capturing you talking, or you talking over your screen.  Two really great products are available to you and easy to use, edit, and share.

Let's start with Screencastify. will allow you to record your screen, or part of your screen and also put your video face as an overlay.  This is great from providing voice-over to a presentation or document and connect with your audience.  The video will save into your Google Drive and be accessible anytime.  You'll be able to share the video, or download the video to upload other places. icon

Screencastify has a Chrome extension that allows you to access it with just one click.

image of extension for Screencastify

Screencastify also has a pretty nice editor, so you can trim videos, to get them just right.  Editing can be done from the editor after you record.

image of the link to open in editor

You can share your videos to many locations.  You can place it directly in Google Classroom, or even download for later.

menu for sharing Screencastify video

But, one of's restrictions on the free version is that it restricts you to 5 minutes of video.  It is a nice product and easy to use, but 5 minutes means you have to record in parts, or find another product...

The other product you might want to explore is icon

Loom provides educators with unlimited recording.  Loom also provides a Chrome extension.  When you go to you need to create an account using your school email address.  Once you have an account built with Loom, you need to get an upgrade.  Go to this link and request an upgrade, and they are giving educators one for free.  Click on the blue button and get your account verified.

Get your account verified here.

Loom videos are stored on their website in your account.  You can edit your videos on the website, or you can share with the link.  You can also download the video to use somewhere else.  The nice thing about Loom is that it allows you more than 5 minutes.  You can make them public or control by requiring the link.

menu for sharing video

So, as you start to think about teaching with video lessons, whether is is online teaching or blended opportunities, you might want to consider one of these two options.  Both of them are Google friendly and easy for teachers and students to use.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Google Adds Capitalization Formatting

Google recently added a new formatting tool into Docs.  You can now change the format of the text in your document.  You can change to "all caps", "all lower case", and "Title Case."  This is a nice new feature.  It is in the Format menu.  Check it out.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Team Drives is Coming in GAFE Account

Why would you need a Team Drive if you can share folders?  What does it do for us?

Well, here you go.  Have you ever been part of a committee and the person that runs the group has shared a folder with you, then leaves to take another job.  Who has access?  Who owns the materials?  A Team Drive will allow you to work with a drive that others can manage.  This could be quite beneficial to groups and PLNs.  Here is what a Team Drive Looks like.  I created a Team Drive called Playing Around and shared it with my other GAFE account and a few friends (outside the domain).

You can invite other users.


You can control permissions.

Notice the different choices you can give your colleagues and friends.  Full access seems to give them  "joint ownership" permissions.  They can even delete files from the folder.  This is pretty powerful.

I have just started to play around with the drive.  I feel it will make sharing with your groups, classes, PLNs a little easier and more reliable for long-term projects.  Look for it soon in your Google Apps accounts.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What is New in Google Apps

Here are a few highlights of what is new with Google Apps for Education (g Suite).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Improvements Coming for Google Forms

Google Forms are rolling out some nice improvements.  Google is leveraging the fact that thousands of users are creating questions in Google Forms and using that information to provide Forms users with suggestions about question types and suggested answers.

Here is an example of a question as simple as "What is your name?" and Forms suggests a Short answer question type.  It saves just a few seconds, but that all adds up.

Another is "What day of the week will you be attending?" and it suggests Multiple choice as the question type.  Forms also suggests the answer choices - see all of the days of the week that you can just click and use.  You can also see the shirt size example.  It is pretty helpful.

You will even see that Rating questions will suggest using a Linear scale to collect the data.

In early November, Google Forms will also provide users with the question type that will allow for Forms takers to turn in files from their computer.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  It is supposed to create a folder that will collect all of the submissions.  Teachers may be able to use a Google Form to collect homework from students.  This seems like a nice addition.

It is great to see Google recognize Forms as a very powerful tool for users and continue to make improvements.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Google Docs - Two Column Layout

One of the great things about Google Apps for Education is that new features come around all of the time.  It is sometimes difficult to keep up with all of the new features that come out.  How about this one?  Google Docs now has a multiple-column layout available.  You can now layout in two or three columns to create those flyers, newsletters, handouts, etc. that you would have to leave Google to do. Now you can enjoy the power of collaborative work and create those communications with multiple column layouts.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Google Training with Synergyse for GAFE

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Gmail or Google Drive?  Ever wanted some quick tips about Google Calendars?  Well, you now have an easy way to get those quick tips.  Synergyse Google Apps Training is now available in your Google Apps for Education account.  You'll want to install it in your Chrome Browser through the Chrome Web Store.  Synergyse is an extension that installs and appears in each of your Google Apps in the upper right corner near the settings gear.

While in one of your Google Apps, like gmail, calendars, docs, or others, you can click the circular logo to open training videos and tips.  Check them out.  They are a great resource and easy way to keep up with what is new with Google Apps for Education.