This week I’m sharing a Gmail productivity tip with you. Did you know that you can save time by creating emails from a template? Templates are very useful when you are sending a similar response or email many times. Rather than having to go to an old email and copy the info to paste in your new email, you can send that common information with a few simple clicks and a template.
Tools & Tips Tuesdays
More March is Reading Month Resources
This week I’m sharing more March is Reading month resources with you.
- Unite for Literacy has a fantastic collection of picture books that can be narrated in other languages.
- Levar Burton Reads is a podcast for listening to short fiction read alouds.
- Michigan eLibrary Kids also has many resources for reading. A few of my favorites are PebbleGo, eBook K-8 collection, and Britannica.
- Epic is another great platform for students 12 and under to foster the love of reading.
- Breakout EDU has some reading-themed digital games and women’s history games featured this month. If you are interested in doing a digital Breakout EDU activity with your students, let me know and I can help you plan and get you the links that you need to play with your students!
March is Reading Month & National Day of Unplugging
It’s March is reading month! This week I’m sharing several books with you. Happy Reading!
- Here are some great picture books that go along with digital citizenship and STEM that would be great for your students.
- Digital citizenship books for middle and high school.
- Here are some great reads for professional learning. This list is always growing.
Don’t forget that Discovery Education has a channel for audiobooks, too!
National day of unplugging is March 5-6. This is a great time to promote reading! Check out these 50+ things to do on the National Day of Unplugging. Share out your celebrations of unplugging using #nationaldayofunplugging #digcit #technologywellness on social media!
Google Classroom Video Series & Google for Education Product Training Series
There is a new Google Classroom Video Series, as well as a link to register for any of the upcoming Google for Education Product Training Series.
The Google Classroom Video Series is a collection of videos to help educators how to solve key teaching and learning challenges with Google Classroom. This collection was designed to help educators solve key teaching and learning challenges with Google Classroom (not how-to tutorials!). There are 60 videos in 9 languages & they’ll continue to add.
The Google for Education Product Training Series is a 21 part series that covers a range of topics across G Suite. Join live or watch on-demand. See the full schedule & register on the series website.
“Meet with” feature in Google Calendar
The technology tip I have to share with you this week is about Google Calendar. You can save time scheduling meetings with fellow coworkers by utilizing the “Meet with…” feature of Google Calendar. Just type in the names of the people with who you want to schedule a meeting, then create an event at a common time that works for all of you.
You can also set your working hours in the settings of Google Calendar so that your colleagues don’t schedule an event outside of your work hours. To do this, go to the Google Calendar Settings, select General, and choose Working Hours.
Choice Board Template
The technology tool I have to share with you this week is a template for creating choice boards. Choice Boards provide a space for student voice and choice, they work well in remote, hybrid, concurrent, and in-person settings. This template is just one example of what a choice board might look like. There are many other templates and ways that you can structure a choice board for your students.
Editing the Master Slide in Google Slides
The technology tip I have to share with you this week is how to edit the master slide in Google Slides. This can be especially helpful when you want to change the font on all of your slides quickly. When you are working on a slide deck, click on Slide, select Edit master, and make your changes accordingly. Other ways you can leverage this feature of Google Slides include adding a common hyperlink to each slide, adding a common image to each slide, altering the colors/theme, or customizing a particular layout.
GEG Michigan Tech Challenge
The professional learning opportunity I have to share with you this week is from the Google Educator Group of Michigan. If you haven’t heard of GEG MI, learn more about the group at bit.ly/gegmichigan. GEG MI is hosting a Tech Challenge for educators to learn a bunch of easy and quick tech tidbits. The 10-week challenge begins on January 11th. The deadline to sign up is this Friday, January 8th.
Futureme.org allows you to schedule an email to be sent to yourself in the future. Do you have specific goals or a new year resolution in mind for when you return to work in 2021? This is a great activity for reflection and creating your own personal time capsule.
Google Wellbeing and Common Sense Media text alerts
The resource I have to share with you this week is Wellbeing.Google. Finding a healthy balance with technology is a very important piece of well-being. Great technology should improve life, not distract from it. I challenge you to reflect on your habits and relationship with technology both at work and at home. Understanding your technology habits is the first step to fine-tuning them. What are your technology goals for 2021 both personally and professionally? This resource also has information on digital well-being during COVID-19. This is a good resource to share with families!
If you are the parent of a 3-8-year-old child (or if you have students in that age group) you can sign up for Common Sense Media’s text alerts for tips to help practice media balance at home. This is a good resource to share with families, too.