Google Trips & Google Translate

This week I am sharing Google Trips with you. This tool helps you plan your next trip. While this is a tool that many of us can utilize in our personal lives outside of school, it is also a tool that can be applied in the classroom setting. Skills to plan a trip are very realistic and often involve research, math, science and more. Where are you going to go? When is the best time to go? What will this trip cost? What is the weather like? What should you pack? What is the language spoken? Cuisine? History? Culture? Currency? Transportation? Things to see? You can learn a lot when planning for a trip.

Google applied digital skills has several activities and lessons that help develop technology skills needed for real-world application like this. One example that supplements the idea of travel is an activity to help organize data to create an area guide.

Google Tip: Google Translate

Google Translate is a tool that has the ability to translate text or voice. You can save most needed translations for your trip also.  To do this, look up a word or phrase in the app, tap the star icon to save it to your phrasebook.


Google Photos & Mimic Flipgrid

This week I am sharing Google Photos with you. This app allows you to store photos for free and save space on your phone so that you always have room for another photo. Once photos/videos have been backed up to the app, tap the menu and choose to Free up space. The app will sense what photos from your camera roll are already backed up to the app and remove them from your phone’s photo storage. I also love using Google Photos because I can access my photos anywhere on any device.

Google Tip: How to mimic Flipgrid with G Suite

I have been hosting optional drop-in PD Google Lunch & Learn sessions throughout the district.  One trick I demonstrated at yesterday’s Lunch & Learn at Roosevelt is how to mimic Flipgrid with G Suite.  I attached some slides walking you through a couple options for curating student video responses surrounding a specific topic.

Flippity & Creating Digital Sign-In Sheets

This week I am sharing Flippity with you. This add-on is an easy way to transform a Google Sheet into an assortment of teaching materials to match your content such as flashcards, practice typing tests, random name generators, crossword puzzles, etc. To get the add-on, open a google sheet, go to the add-ons tab, click Get add-ons, search for Flippity, and add it. If you prefer to skip that process, visit this link.

Google Tip:  Create Digital Sign-in Sheets for Events

How do you do this? Open Google Drive, click New, create a new Google Sheet, create headers in the top row (ie: Name, Email, Signed in Y/N).  On the day of the event, open this sheet up on a computer that guests can enter their information as they enter.  Another option would be to share the link to the sign-in sheet.  A great way to deliver that link would be to include it on the agenda for the day or project it on the board right at the beginning of the event.  This can also be done using Google Forms.

Treat every day like World Password Day.  Protect yourself and prevent identity theft by using strong multi-factor authentication.  Take the pledge and #LayerUp!

Day of Design, Screen-Free Week, and Keeping Google Chrome Updated

This week I am sharing a couple upcoming events with you. The Global Day of Design is on May 4th. There are several free resources linked to the event website, as well as a free design thinking toolkit.

Screen-Free Week is also next week from April 30th-May 6th. Take time to unplug (at school and at home)!

Google Tip:  Keep hackers out by updating your chrome browser

It is important that you keep your google chrome browser up to date, especially to make sure that you have the latest safety features.  Google Chrome automatically updates to the latest version every time you start it up. That is why it is important to fully power down your Chromebook every day rather than just closing the lid. To double check and see if you are up to date, open Google Chrome and click on the ⋮ menu icon.  Click on Help and then About Google Chrome in the menu.  You will find the current version number there.  When you do this, Chrome will also check for updates. Click Relaunch to apply any update.

Aviary & Syncing webpages from your computer to your phone

This week I am sharing Aviary with you. This is a free online photo editor. This web tool also allows you to turn a photo into a meme. Click here for 5 ways to use memes with your students.

Google Tip:  Sync webpages from your computer to your phone

Any open tabs you have on your computer can easily be synced to your phone.  This is one of the many advantages of signing into the chrome browser on your computer.  To sync webpages from your computer to your phone, double check that you are signed into Chrome on your computer.  Then in the chrome app on your phone, click on the  ⋮ menu icon. Lastly, tap on “Recent tabs” to view them.

Poetry & Setting an Expiration Date

This week I am sharing Springtime Poetry with you from @EricCurts. This is a fantastic example of a simple activity you can create using Google Drawings.

Google Tip:  Set an Expiration Date

You can set an expiration date on access to any file shared in Google Drive.  Once the file is shared, hover of the person’s name and click on set expiration.  This icon looks like a stopwatch next to the area where you can change editing rights.  You can also click on the drop-down to change editing rights and pick Set Expiration. Choose when you want it to expire, and hit save.

Podcasts & Spreadsheet Notifications

This week I am sharing some podcasts with you:

Cult of Pedagogy

Hack Learning

Google Teacher Tribe

House of EdTech

TED Radio Hour


Why podcasts?  It can be tough to stay up to date in an ever-changing world of education.  Finding time to do so can also be a challenge.  Podcasts make it a little more doable because you can listen on the go!  If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, use the stock Podcast app (iOS) or Stitcher (Android). Search for education podcasts or any other topic that may interest you.  Add them to your library/playlist and listen away.

Google Tip:  Spreadsheet Notifications

You can turn on notifications to find out when other people have changed your Google sheets, and see what they’ve modified.  Open the spreadsheet you’d like to receive notifications about.  Click Tools, then Notification rules.  Choose when you want to receive notifications.  Lastly, choose how often you want to receive notifications and click save.

Similarly, you can turn on notifications with Google Forms.  Open the Google form you’d like to receive notifications from.  Click Responses, click MoreMore icon, and choose Get email notifications for new responses.

Social Media Apps & Hiding Google Chrome Extensions

This week I am sharing a presentation handout from MACUL with you. Leslie Fisher did a session on Social Media Apps You Probably Are Not Using, But Your Students Are. As we continually try to work with students on digital citizenship, it can be tricky because of the new tool or app that becomes a fad. I encourage you to skim through these to build awareness of what students are using. Be in the know!

For those of you who could not attend, I wanted to bring MACUL to you. I used Piktochart to make an infographic that has takeaways, trends in educational technology and other information from West Bloomfield’s MACUL experience.

Google Tip: Hide Extensions

Sometimes, you get to the point where you have so many google chrome extensions that you are no longer able to view the entire URL that you enter into the omnibox.  There is a fix for that! If you right click (or two finger click on a trackpad) on the extension icon, you will see an option to Hide in Chrome Menu.  When you choose that option, the icon for the extension is removed from the bar but can still be found when you click on the “snowman” (the three vertical dots in the upper righthand corner of your browser). 

Eric Curts & Assigning Action Items

This week I am sharing a Discovering Pi Activity with you from Eric Curts. But Rachelle, I don’t teach math…That’s okay! I encourage everyone to check out his blog and follow him on Twitter. Eric has a wealth of information to share and he highlights many creative applications of other G Suite tools in several subject areas.

Google Tip: Assigning Action Items

When you add a comment in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, you can assign action items to certain people collaborating on the file. First, add a comment.  In the comment type + and the email address of the person you wish to assign an action item.  This will send them an email to let them know that they’ve been assigned an action item and they can mark it as resolved once completed.