Monday, August 19, 2019

How to Add New Fonts to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets

Last week Google announced the addition of a new series of fonts that you can add to Google Docs, Slides, Sheets. The new fonts are called Lexend fonts. They are designed to improve reading speed by avoiding the visual crowding that is associated with some font styles and types. You can read more about the development of Lexend fonts here.

Adding Lexend fonts to Google Documents is done the same way as adding any other font to Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets. To do this you simply open the fonts drop-down menu in Docs, Slides, or Sheets and then choose "even more" to search for the Lexend fonts and add them to your document, slide, or spreadsheet. Once you've added the Lexend font in Docs, it will stay in your fonts drop-down menu in all future Google Documents, Slides, and Sheets that you create. Watch my short video that is embedded below for a tutorial on how to add fonts to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.

On a related note, in a couple of weeks I'm launching an on-demand version of my popular Getting Going With G Suite course. Sign-up here to be notified when it is available. 

Truth or Lie Comics - A Lesson Plan

Pixton is a service that teachers and students can use to create comic strips by selecting customizable drawings and adding them into comic frames. This enables even those of us who don't have any drawing skills to make comics that look great. Pixton provides an online classroom in which you can view all of your students' work and give them assignments. For back-to-school season Pixton has a free activity for teachers and students. That activity is called Truth or Lie.

Truth or Lie is an activity designed as an ice-breaker or familiarization activity for your class. In the activity students create a short comic strip in which they create frames that represent either a truth or a lie. They then share those comics with classmates who have to guess if the comic represents a truth or a lie.

You can create a free Pixton account and log-in by using your G Suite credentials, Microsoft credentials, or by using a standard email address then setting a password.

Disclosure: Pixton is currently an advertiser on this blog.

64 Years of Presidential Campaign Commercials - A Lesson Plan

In a little more than one year from now we'll be casting ballots for President of the United States. That means for the next year we'll see campaign commercials online and on television. Campaign commercials have changed a lot in the last 60+ years. That's evident in a C-SPAN Classroom lesson plan titled Evaluating Historical Presidential Campaign Ads.

Evaluating Historical Campaign Ads includes fourteen videos of campaign commercials that were broadcast beginning in 1952 through 2016. A fifteenth video features two campaign consultants (one Republican, one Democrat) talking about what makes an effective campaign commercial. All of the videos can be shared individually, embedded into classroom websites, or clipped by using the clipping tools provided by C-SPAN.

Applications for Education
The focus of the lesson plan is on having students identify what makes a campaign commercial effective. An extension to the lesson would be to have students compare the issues of concern over the last 60+ years. Another lesson extension would be to have students analyze changes in tone and rhetoric over time.

Book Creator's Autodraw Feature Now Works on iPads

Back in June Book Creator added an autodraw feature to the Chrome version of their popular multimedia ebook creation service. Autodraw enables you to attempt to draw something and have Book Creator try to interpret what that drawing is. As you draw Book Creator will display a menu of completed drawings based on what you're attempting to draw. Choose from the menu of suggestions and Book Creator will automatically complete the drawing for you. See this video for an example.

This morning Book Creator announced that the autodraw feature is now available to use on iPads. Run the update for the app and autodraw will appear when you start drawing on a blank page in the Book Creator book editor. Get the updated Book Creator app here.

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