Saturday, December 12, 2015

Four Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed This Week

Even for someone like me who spends many hours working in Google Apps every week, it can be hard to keep up with all of the updates that Google pushes. If you feel the same way, here's a quick round-up of updates to services available within your Google account.

1. Improved search in Google Drive.
The updated search tool in Google Drive will give you direct access to advanced search features. The advanced search features will let you refine your search by file type, date of file modification, who the file was shared with, and according to who shared a file with you. You can even search by email address to find a file that was shared with you.

2. New ways to add reminders to Google Calendar.
If you have updated the Google Calendar app on your iOS or Android device, you should now see a red "+" button. Tap that button to add a reminder to your calendar.

3. Drag and drop pictures into Blogger posts.

4. Collaborate on photo albums in Google Photos.
To collaborate on an album simply create your album then share the link to your album much like you would do with a Google Document.

The Week in Review - Where I Caught the Teaching Bug

Good morning from the Wichita airport where I am waiting for a flight. Yesterday, I had a great day at the Infinitec Conference. As luck of fate would have it, my room was directly across the street from a FedEx terminal. It was while working at FedEx Ground (still known as RPS at the time) that I caught my teaching bug. One of my jobs at FedEx Ground included hiring and training new employees. Conducting those training sessions taught me that I enjoyed teaching and wanted to make a career switch. I'm glad I did.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. A Short Overview of 12 Tools for Creating Flipped Classroom Lessons
2. 5 Great Things You Can Do With Google Sheets
3. 11 Apps and Sites for Learning to Code
4. 5 Things We Can do to Prepare Students to Work Independently
5. YouTube - It's Not Just Cats & Khan Academy
6. A Couple of Ways to Add Reminders to Google Calendar
7. What's an Algorithm? What Does an Algorithm Do?

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers. 
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

Collaboratively Create Photo Albums on Google Photos

Back in September Google announced that soon we would be able to create shared photo albums on Google Photos. This week that became true. Now you can collaboratively create photo and video albums through Google Photos. To collaborate on an album simply create your album then share the link to your album much like you would do with a Google Document.

Applications for Education
For years I have recommended that teachers create a shared Google Drive folder that students can access to find pictures that they can re-use in multimedia projects. Using the new Google Photos shared albums feature could be a great way to have students contribute pictures they've taken to a shared album for classmates to access to find images to re-use in projects.

Flubaroo Offers a New Extra Credit Grading Option

Last week Flubaroo added new options for sending grades to students and new options for printing grade reports. This week Flubaroo added a new option for grading extra credit questions and a new option for giving partial credit on questions.

Now when you're setting your grading scale in Flubaroo you can choose to mark questions as extra credit. Extra credit is not enabled by default. To utilize the extra credit option you must first enable it in Flubaroo's advanced menu. Complete directions can be found here.

Awarding partial credit for answers is now available in Flubaroo. The partial credit option only works when you're grading responses on questions formatted with the check box option found in Google Forms. Formatting a question with the check box option allows you to create a question in which students can respond by selecting multiple answer choices. With the partial credit option you can award points if students pick only one of two or three correct choices. A complete set of directions for using the partial credit option can be found here.

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