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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to Import an RSS Feed Into Google Sites

One of the questions that frequently comes up in my workshops about Google Apps is about importing RSS feeds into Google Sites. Yes, you can import a blog's RSS feed into a page on a Google Site. To do this you will open the "insert menu" while editing a page in your Google Site, select "more gadgets," choose "RSS Feed," then enter the address of the blog that you want displayed in your Google Site. In the video embedded below I demonstrate the process for importing and RSS feed into Google Sites.

Explore the Tour de France in Google Earth

Last week I shared a small collection of resources related to the Tour de France. Last night I fell asleep watching a replay of the day's stage. This morning I explored the Google Earth file of the 2015 Tour de France route created by Velowire.com. Velowire's Google Earth map of the 2015 Tour de France includes not only the start and end points of each stage but also the intermediate hill climbs and sprints of most of the stages. Elevation profiles for each stage are also included in the file.


To find the Google Earth file about the Tour de France visit Velowire's page then scroll to the bottom and stop just before you reach the comments section.

H/T to The Google Earth Blog.

Realtime Board Offers Collaborative Brainstorming Tools on Your Laptop and Tablet

Realtime Board is a platform for hosting online, collaborative brainstorming sessions. I've been using it off and on since it launched a few years ago. Recently, Realtime Board shifted to using HTML5 which means that it now works equally well on your laptop and on your iPad or Android tablet.

Realtime Board provides a blank canvas on which you can type, draw, and post pictures. You can connect elements on your boards through a simple linking tool. The boards that you create on Realtime Board can be shared publicly or privately. To help you communicate with your collaborators Realtime Board has a chat function built into every board.

Applications for Education
Realtime Board's switch to using HTML5 makes it a good platform for hosting online collaborative brainstorming sessions in classrooms that have BYOD programs or any classroom that has a mix of tablets, Chromebooks, and laptops.

Realtime Board grants teachers and students access to all premium features for free. In order to get the premium features for free you do need to complete the form here.

Try the Office Compatibility Extension to Open & Edit Files in Chrome

Let's say you're a devoted Google Docs user like me, but some of your colleagues are wedded to Microsoft Office products. To work with the files those colleagues send to you, you can either install Office yourself or try using Google's Office Compatibility Extension.

Google's Office Compatibility Extension enables you to drag Office files into Chrome, open them in Gmail, and open them in Google Drive (provided you are using the latest version of Google Drive). Once the file is opened you can edit it and save it in your Google Drive and or download it as an Office file to send to people who prefer Office files.

Office Compatibility is being rolled out to all Google Apps for Edu domains in the next few days. You can read more about that on the Google Apps Updates blog.