Friday, September 22, 2017

Newsletters Using Google Slides

Communication is important. One of the easiest ways to keep parents informed is to send out weekly newsletters. Although it is easy to create fancy newsletters (especially with all the templates available in MS Office) those of us who live in a Google World have often been left in the cold without all the formatting options (text boxes, image placement, etc.). There is an easy workaround that also includes all the benefits of a Google file (collaboration, ease of online availability), as well as the ability to see all previous editions.

Create a Newsletter:
  1. Create a new Google Slide.
  2. Change the page format:
  • Click “File” then “Page Setup”.

  • Click on and choose “Custom” and then type in 8.5 by 11 and click “OK”.

  1. Create your newsletter format with text boxes, images, and links as you want.

Share Your Newsletter:
  1. Click “File” then “Publish to the web…”.

  1. Click “Publish”. I would suggest leaving all the boxes unchecked so it doesn’t autorun.

  1. Click “Ok” on the popup that asks if you are sure you want to publish.

  1. Copy and share the link or use the embed code to embed on your class website.

Create the next week’s Newsletter:
  1. Click on the top newsletter slide.
  2. Either Control+D to duplicate or click “Slide” then “Duplicate Slide”.
  3. Edit the top slide to be the current week. This will allow parents to see previous newsletters that may have important information for them.

By keeping the most current newsletter at the top, it allows parents to just click the link to see the one they want to see. If they want to see previous all they have to do is move through the slide deck.

If you want these steps in a Document click HERE!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Alternating Row Colors in Sheets

One of my favorite Google tools is Sheets. I use it for much more than just data spreadsheets. There are many tweaks that make Sheets extra cool. Conditional formatting, charts, cell formatting, and more. One of the things that is easy to do but can be labor intensive is alternating row colors for a whole sheet. The good news is that there is a quick and easy way to do this with just a couple of click! Follow the steps below to alternate colors for rows in an entire spreadsheet.

  1. In Google Sheets, click on “Format” and then click on “Alternating Colors.

  1. You can select a range in the “Apply to range” field if you only want part of the sheet to have this formatting or leave it as the whole spreadsheet.

  1. If your sheet has a header or footer select them in the options to make them bolder by default.

  1. You can use the default color options if they work for you, or you can make custom color options below.

  1. Click “Done” when finished!

  1. If you change your mind you can click “Remove alternating colors”.

Open up a Google Sheets and give it a try!

If you want these steps in a Document click Here!

Monday, August 21, 2017

TEAM Drive: Getting Started

We all collaborate with Google Drive, but many of us have been stung by losing access to files when a collaborator/owner leaves the district.​ No worries, TEAM Drive to the rescue! TEAM Drive allows you and your teaching team to collaborate like superheroes. This is a separate Drive within your Google Drive that you can share with select individuals or groups. The best part, no one who works in the Drive owns the files...meaning if they leave the files do not go with them, they remain in the TEAM Drive! Dig in and see what TEAM drive can do for you and your grade level, department, building, or other teaching teams.

Create a TEAM Drive:
  1. Open Google Drive and click on “Team Drives” to the left.

  1. Either right click in the Drive screen or click the blue “New” button.
  2. Name your new Team Drive.

Add Members:
  1. Click on “+Add Members” at the top.

  1. Enter in the members’ names (or Domain Group name). Choose what level of access each member (or group) should have.

  1. Here is a breakdown of the sharing options:

  1. Click “Send”.

Edit Theme:
  1. Click your TEAM Drive name in the top.

  1. On the drop-down choose “Change Theme”. You will have the choice to choose a template or upload your own (1280 X 144).

Add Content to Your TEAM Drive:
  1. Drag content from your Drive into the TEAM Drive.
  2. Things to keep in mind:
    • Anything put in TEAM Drive will belong to the TEAM Drive.
    • It will be removed from your Drive.
    • If the file is shared with others, that sharing is kept. You can edit these in the “Manage Members” option.
    • You can not drag folders into the TEAM Drive (Domain Admins can).
    • You can not put anything in the TEAM Drive that you are not the owner of.
    • Use the keystroke Shift + Z to add a copy of something from your Drive into a Team Drive.

Dig in and see what TEAM drive can do for you and your grade level, department, building, or other teaching teams.

If you want these steps in a Document, Click HERE!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Using Google Cast for Education

One of the greatest things about having student devices is the ability for students to share their learning. Google Cast for Education is the perfect tool to help students share their work with others through the teacher’s computer screen. This extension allows students to project their computer screen to the teacher’s computer. While this computer is attached to the projection unit the student’s screen to be seen by the whole class. This is an easy way to have students share, teach, and collaborate with others. Follow the steps below to get set up and casting.

Teacher Set Up and Launch:
  1. Install the Google Cast for Education Extension from the Chrome Web Store.

  1. Click the Cast icon in Chrome to set up the extension.

  1. Choose a name for your device.

  1. The main landing page of the extension looks like this:

  1. You can click the “Settings” icon to rename your device. You can click the “Share” icon to select who to allow casting to your device.
  2. Choose who can cast to your screen. (Keep in mind that these must be from within your own domain.)

  • You can just click the box and all your Google Classroom groups will appear to select which you want to allow.

  • You can type in any group created in your domain contacts.

  • You can enter a specific email address to allow sharing

  1. You can also set up how they access:
  • Can request: Teacher will be notified that a student is requesting access
  • Can Cast: Student can cast with no assistance from teacher

Once the extension is installed all you need to do is click on it to allow students access. It needs to be running in order to allow students to cast to your screen.

Student Casting:
  1. Students will click on the 3 dots in Chrome and click on “Cast”.

  1. In the popup screen they will choose the device to cast to.

  1. Their screen will now be displayed on the teacher screen.
  2. When they are done they click the blue casting icon in the top of Chrome.

  1. Click “Stop”.

If you want these steps in a document, click Here!