Thursday, April 26, 2018

How to Convert Old Google Sites to New Google Sites

Google Sites users who want to switch to the new version of Google Sites have two options. The first option is to create an entirely new site in the new version of Google Sites and then copy and past content from your old site. The second option, and the more efficient option, is to use the Sites conversion tool that has started to appear in some Google accounts. Using the Sites conversion tool has the added benefits of being able to keep your original site address and being able to move all site contributors to the updated version at the same time. Watch my video to see how to convert your Google Site from the old version to the new version.

After you convert your site to the new version, check out these five features that every user should know how to access.

Caring for Comics - And Other Ideas for Video Projects

Earlier this week the Library of Congress Twitter account posted a link to the LOC's reference page about the deterioration of paper. From that page I stumbled into the library's Collections Care reference pages. Those pages are full of information about how to care for and preserve a variety of physical media including newspapers and comic books.

The Collections Care reference pages are full of great information, but they were definitely not created with middle school or high school students in mind. The font is small, the text is crowded, and their is not anything interactive on the pages. But that doesn't mean there isn't value in those pages for middle school and high school students.

Applications for Education
The value that I find in the LOC's Collections Care pages is ideas for student video projects. In particular, I think that students who enjoy comic books would enjoy producing a video about how to care for and preserve comic books. Another section of the Collections Care page is about preserving photographs, that's another topic that some students would enjoy producing a video about. Videos on those topics are a good fit for publication on Next Vista for Learning.

If you're interested in learning how to create and complete classroom video projects, I'm launching a new course for you in May. The Complete Guide to Classroom Video Projects will be available on May 7th. 

Google Tasks - A Very Simple Task Management App

On Wednesday Google announced a bunch of updates to Gmail. That story was covered by every blog under the sun and garnered lots of commentary on social media. What didn't get nearly as much attention was Google's launch of a new task management app called Google Tasks.

Google Tasks is a free app that is basically a stripped-down version of Google Keep. At its most basic level Google Tasks lets you create lists of tasks that you need to do and check them off as you complete them. Dig a little deeper into the app and you will find that you can create multiple lists for different projects or goals. Within each list you can create tasks and sub-tasks. The integrated calendar lets you set due dates for each task and task list.

What Google Tasks doesn't appear to have at this time is an option to share task lists with other G Suite users. So if sharing task lists is an important feature for you, you'll want to stick with Google Keep which does support sharing of task lists.

Google Tasks is being added to G Suite which means a few things of note. First, it supports accessing multiple accounts much like Gmail mobile app. In other words you can create and access task lists in your personal G Suite account and your professional G Suite account from the same place. Second, your tasks will sync with your G Suite account for access via the web browser on your laptop. Go to to access your tasks in your browser. Finally, as TechCrunch pointed-out, Google considers this app to be a part of G Suite which means it's not a 20% project or some other beta project that will get scrapped in a few months. Although, we once thought the same thing about Google Reader and iGoogle.

Get the Google Tasks Android app here and get the Google Tasks iOS app here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Quick Guide to OneNote

Over the last few months I have come to appreciate all of the things that OneNote does that my trusty old Google Keep can't do. Whenever a product has as many features layered into it as OneNote does, it can take some time to understand how all of those features work individually and can work together. If  you're a devoted Google Keep or Evernote user who has never tried OneNote, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Mircosoft has excellent guides to help you start using OneNote. Take a look at this Sway page for a quick overview of how to use OneNote. For a more detailed guidance, take a look at these pages that include detailed step-by-step directions.

These OneNote tutorials are part of a larger collection of MS Office quick start guides that are available to view and or download right here.

One of my favorite uses of OneNote is Tom Grissom's Notestreaming technique. It's a great concept that, when applied correctly, could be very helpful in providing students with video content to supplement course instruction. Watch Tom's video as embedded below or jump to his OneNote notebook of resources which includes this introductory video.

How to Embed Flipgrid Topics Into Google Sites

One of the good things about the new version of Google Sites is that Google has made it much easier to embed content from third party services. Flipgrid is one of the popular ed tech tools that you might want to add to your Google Site. By embedding a fully functional Flipgrid topic into your Google Site your students can record their video replies to your topics while they're viewing your Google Site. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate how you can include Flipgrid in your Google Site.

Applications for Education
By embedding Flipgrid into a page on your Google Site you are essentially creating a video blog on your Google Site. In a social studies course you might have students post weekly responses to news stories. You could also use it as a place for students to simply share weekly reflections on what they learned in your classroom.