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.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

FETC Part 3 - The Sessions

This is the last of the installments of FETC 2016.  This will be the last summary of sessions and a few quick take-aways.  As I mentioned in my previous posts, this might have been one of the best conferences I've attended.  The sessions were informative, thought provoking, and full of real-life experiences.  It was also nice to be attending the conference with 3 others from my district, which provided all of us the ability to process what we had heard.

My first session of the last day was Schools That Work for Kids, with Eric Sheninger (@e_sheninger).  He shared about the process he went through to change his school into a school students wanted to attend.  He wanted his school to work for the students, because most schools work for the teachers and ignore what the students want or need.  He talked about what changes needed to occur and that those ideas came from having conversations with the students.  It was important to make it "their school."  He created awesome learning spaces and allowed the students to design them.  He shares his presentation with everyone here - .  You need to answer a few questions, but then you have some great resources.  He mentioned that you really need to work the hard to inspire the ones that don't want to change.

I also attended another of Eric's sessions later in the day, Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times.  He shared how technology is changing the educational landscape and that we need to adapt and anticipate those changes.  He stressed the need to embrace social media to tell your story.  You also need to create a brand to represent your school and make sure your messages always support the brand.  Focus on improving public relations and continue learning like never before.  His experiences are well documented and he was sure to point out that there were failures along the way.  It wasn't easy, but the benefits were great.  Here are some resources that he shared -

One of the most fun sessions I attended was facilitated by Leslie Fisher (@lesliefisher). She had a great time sharing cool apps and websites with the teachers in attendance. Teachers from the audience were invited to come up and share some cool application. Some of them were:

iBrainstorm App for iPad
Starlogo Nova a search engine for kids
Sign Easy App for iPad
Permission Click for collecting permissions
YT Full Fill - a Chrome extension for viewing YouTube

There were a few more fun ones, but I am going to save those to use with my friends. Maybe a future post will give them away.

Conference Take-aways

If you ever get the chance to attend FETC, do it.  What a chance to learn and connect with some outstanding educators and leaders.  Mark your calendars for 2017 - Jan. 24-27.