Thursday, November 16, 2017

Document Studio Google Sheets Add-on

Document Studio is a new Google Sheets add-on that allows you to create certificates, personalized letters, purchase orders and other types of documents. This add-on allows you to take information from a spreadsheet and merge it into a template (Docs or Slides) that you have created. This is a fast and easy way to create customized and visually appealing documents without having to do much work.

The process is a little complicated because there are several steps involved, but the creator of the add-on made a wonderful video that walks you through the entire process.

Autocrat is another document merge tool. I would recommend giving both add-ons a try to see which one fits your particular needs.

Remind Introduces a New Way to Share Resources

Remind, the popular service for sending text messages to students and parents, has introduced a new feature for sharing resources with students and their parents. Remind has partnered with a dozen other popular educational content producers to offer "Share to Remind."

Share to Remind will let you quickly share resources from sites like PBS Learning, Front Row, and Newsela with your students and their parents. Share to Remind can also be used to share links to activities on popular services including FlipGrid, Quizlet, and Quizziz.

You will find the Share to Remind button on the sites that support it. It works just like the sharing buttons you might already be using to share resources to Google Classroom or to a social media website. Click here to read more about how it work.

Applications for Education
I can see the Share to Remind button being helpful in quickly directing students to activities that you want them to complete on Quizziz or FlipGrid. It will also be useful to share news articles and similar reference materials with students and their parents. Doing that will enable you to make sure that parents get a link to the same article that you want their children to read for your class.

Recording - 7 Ways to Help Kids Discover & Analyze New Information

Last month I hosted a free webinar titled 7 Ways to Help Kids Discover & Analyze New Information. The recording of the webinar, sponsored by Kids Discover Online, can now be viewed on my YouTube channel or as embedded below.

The seven points covered in the webinar:

  • Developing search terms and phrases.
  • Charting and tracking search patterns.
  • Reading & watching in multiple formats.
  • Planning for analysis.
  • Looking for keywords and reading for context.
  • Saving, Sharing, Revisiting
  • The importance of guiding feedback.

Intro to Teaching With Video

Last week Keith HughesTom Richey, and I hosted Introduction to Teaching With Video. If you missed it, you can now view it on my YouTube channel or as embedded below. In the video we share some of our favorite tips for teachers who are new to creating instructional videos. You'll also get hear us share our thoughts on the equipment that you do and don't need to get started.

11 days from now Keith, Tom, and I will be hosting a three night course titled How to Teach With Video. Register here to join on November 27th.

Update to Copy Options in Google Docs

Until recently, when you made a copy of a Google Doc, you could only make a copy of the document itself. If was not possible to move any comments over to a copy of the doc. Until now! Google just released an update that allows you to not only copy the document, but include the comments and suggestions as well. You will see this option when you go to file then make a copy. Just tick the box to include the comments on the copy of the document.

There are times when it will be most helpful for the comments to be copied with a document. Imagine this scenario. You have a document with several paragraphs of text that you want students to read. You have inserted a couple of questions for each paragraph using the comments feature. Now each student can get a copy of the doc with the comments and they can reply directly to the comments to answer the questions.

The ability to make a copy of the comments applies to Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings might seems like a minor change, but it is going to provide us with some additional ways to interact on Google documents.

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