This week I am sharing Suggestion Mode in Google Docs with you. This is an underused tool in Google Docs and one of the features that heightens collaboration. It is great for peer editing. When you are in a Google Doc, in the top right corner, click on Editing and change it to Suggesting. When you edit the document, you will see your suggestion in a new color and anything deleted will have a strikethrough. The owner of the file can now review your suggestions and choose to keep what they have or to accept your suggestions.
Google Tip: Set a timer
Did you know you can tell Google to set a timer for you? Just type in “set a timer for 5 minutes” and it will start the timer. This is a nice tool to keep students in check on time constraints. Choose the full-screen mode and project it onto your board. You can also reverse this and use Google as a stopwatch.
This week I am sharing GooseChase EDU with you. This is a tool that allows you to facilitate educational scavenger hunts. This is great for blended and flipped learning. The affordance of this tool is that you can curate learning. Imagine having your students participate in a scavenger hunt during a lesson, on a field trip, or even for homework. Have them document real-world examples of their learning.
Google Tip: Version History
One of the affordances of using G Suite tools is that you never lose work. You can always restore a different version. To do so, on your computer, open a doc, sheet, or slides presentation. At the top, click File, click Version history, click See version history. On the right-hand side, you will see timestamps of earlier versions of your file. You can also see the people who edited the file and the changes they made in the color next to their name. If you want to restore a version, click Restore this version, and click Restore. If you do not want to restore a previous version and would rather return to the current version, go to the top left and click Back arrow.
This week I am sharing Insert Learning with you. This is a tool that allows you to insert learning onto any webpage. This is great for blended and flipped learning. The affordance of this tool is that you can create an interactive lesson on a web page that you’ve assigned to your student to read or look over. This interactivity piece can help with accountability and more student engagement. Add the extension and you can sign up for a free account using your Google account.
Google Tip: Attach from Google Drive in Gmail
You can attach any file from Google Drive to an email you compose in Gmail. To do so, open Gmail, click Compose, click the Google Drive icon, select the file you want to attach, decide how you want to send the file (drive link or attachment), click insert.
This week I am sharing GoConqr with you. This is a tool that fosters personalized learning while reviewing content. This is great for mindmaps, flashcards, quizzes, flowcharts, and notes. Similar to Quizlet, you can search the curated content already developed on their site or you can create your own study materials. The best way to study for some subjects may not be through flashcards or quizzes which is why I think the mind map and flowchart features set this tool apart from Quizlet. You and your students can sign up for a free account using your Google account.
Google Tip: Spreadsheet Notifications
If you have a Google Sheet created and shared with multiple people, you can turn on notifications and you will get a notice when others make changes to the file. To enable notifications, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets, at the top click Tools, and click Notification rules. Next, choose when and how often you want to receive notifications. Then, click Save.
This week I am sharing Moment with you. This tool allows you to track the amount of time you spend on your device. It is so important for us to be mindful of screentime both in and out of the workplace and find a healthy balance for technology use. The app also offers a free course that challenges you to make a small change to your daily habits.
Google Tip: Cropping Photos
Try using the cropping tool. While resizing can change the aspect ratio, or size of a photo, cropping can chop off areas of the photo. The crop tool looks like and can be accessed in Google Docs, Google Slides, or Google Drawings. When you click on the photo, the crop tool appears in the toolbar.
Teacher Innovator Awards
The Henry Ford would like to recognize America’s most innovative teachers. Nominations for this award will be accepted through February 28th. Nominate an innovative teacher today.
Happy New Year! This week I am sharing Doodle for Google with you. It is the 10 year anniversary of this contest put on by Google. The question for the contest this year is “What inspires you?”. The contest awards winners with college scholarships and tech packages. For more on the history of Google Doodles visit https://www.google.com/doodles/about.
Google Calendar Tip: Attach files to your events
Where was that agenda you made for this meeting? What is it called? Eliminate the need for these questions by attaching files to events in Google Calendar. When you create the calendar event, in the Add Description Section, click Attach, select a file from your Google Drive or Upload a file, click Save.
The Michigan Department of Education has released the Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students (MITECS). For more information visit http://www.techplan.org/mitecs/.
The 2018 MACUL Conference is fast approaching! This year’s conference will be in Grand Rapids March 7th-9th. See you there!
At Future Ready Schools Detroit, Tom Murray gave us time to reflect on why we do what we do. This really resonated with me and I enjoyed being able to have time dedicated to reflection. At years end, I make sure to set aside time to reflect every year. I usually write a long list of accomplishments in my career. This year, I’ve decided not to share my list. I decided to share my why. My Why is the drive and reason behind my list. It trumps the list entirely.
When you travel, you take in the world around you. You wonder, you ask questions, you figure things out, you problem solve, you try, you fail, you succeed, you learn, you research. There is no way you can run out of things to do in this world and there is so much to learn; not in a classroom but just from experiencing, living, being immersed, feeling and reacting to different emotions, seeking understanding. It’a all a path leading to the next path to the next. Set goals, stay curious, and love learning because life is a giant field trip and that is a beautiful thing. And aren’t field trips fun and exciting?
I wish you all a restful and safe holiday break! This week I am sharing Futureme.org with you. This tool allows you to schedule an email to be sent to yourself in the future. Do you have specific goals or a resolution in mind for when we return in 2018? Send yourself an email reminder for when you return from break. You could have your students write a motivational message to themselves, too.
Gmail Tip: Task Lists & Google Keep
Stay organized and tackle your to-do list with Google Task Lists. In Gmail or Google Calendar, you can keep a list and organize tasks. Your task list is identical in Gmail and Google Calendar. When you add items to your list, you can give them due dates that automatically throw the task on your calendar. You can also add notes to any given task. My personal favorite is the ability to link a related email to an item on your task list. To do this, when you are reading an email, click the More button, click Add to Tasks, and change the description of the task to best meet your needs. Then, when you find the time to address that task, you can click on “related email” under that item in your list and get down to business, rather than sifting through your email. To access tasks in Gmail, click the Mail drop down menu and click on Tasks. To access tasks in Google Calendar, under My Calendars, click on Tasks. If you don’t see Tasks, but see Reminders, click on Reminders to toggle to Tasks.
Looking for a place to jot down quick notes? Google Keep is a great tool for organizing your notes, lists, photos, and audio. I also love that Google Keep can now talk to other G Suite tools and you can pull your notes into a Google Doc or Google Slides.
This week I am sharing Classhook and EdPuzzle with you. Classhook is a great place to look for videos on a specific topic that you are teaching. Whether you are launching a lesson or reinforcing a concept, video can be a powerful tool. EdPuzzle is a great tool to create interactive videos that support blended learning. It makes your students participate during a video lesson and allows you to track their understanding.
Hour of Code
Happy Computer Science Education Week! If you haven’t noticed the Google Doodle yet, check it out. I’ve shared many resources and activities to get your students coding. As you participate in Computer Science Education week, please share your learning on Twitter using the following hashtags: #CSEdWeek #HourOfCode #wbsdpln
REMC Virtual Courses
To learn more about emerging trends to integrate in your classroom, REMC offers virtual PD. Click here to register for one of the upcoming courses. These three week courses are free to Michigan educators and can be taken just to learn or earn SCECHs.
Gmail Tip: Undo Send
Did you know there is a way to unsend an email? Click on the gear in the upper right hand corner of Gmail, click Settings, in the General tab check the box that says Enable Undo Send. You can set the cancellation period for a maximum of 30 seconds. This means that if you realize in the moment that you accidentally didn’t mean to hit send, you will get a quick message at the top that allows you to click Undo.