Thursday, February 10, 2022

Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features for Students and Teachers

As Google Docs has improved and added more features over the years some of those features get forgotten or just plain overlooked. Just because those features don't jump out, doesn't mean they're not helpful to students and teachers. In this new video I highlight ten of my favorite "overlooked" Google Docs features for students and teachers. 

Tables.
  • These are great for organizing group notes.
Special Characters.
  • These provide an easy way to add accent marks, math symbols, arrows, and emojis to documents.
Checklists.
Task lists.
  • These are different from checklists and are accessible regardless of which Google Doc you're currently viewing in your account.
Changing Default Text.
  • Tired of the standard 11 point Arial font? Change the default font to anything you like.
Table of Contents.
  • This is a great way to link and jump to sections of long documents. The table of contents works even if you export the document to PDF.
Substitutions.
  • Change the default substitution settings so your name is never misspelled again. Or change the settings to disable some of the automatic features in Google Docs.
Dictionary
  • Teach kids where this is so they can find definitions and synonyms without leaving Google Docs.
Camera
  • Students can use the built-in camera option to add pictures of handwritten work to their Google Docs.
Watermarks
  • Mark a document as confidential or draft.

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.

Blurred Backgrounds and More Microsoft Teams Updates

I'm not a daily user of Microsoft Teams so I rely on Mike Tholfsen's excellent YouTube channel to stay abreast of the latest features added to Microsoft Teams. It was through his recent video Top 5 New Features in Microsoft Teams that I learned about blurring backgrounds in Teams. I had assumed that the web version of Microsoft Teams already had that feature and I was bit surprised to find that it's just now been added to the web version of Teams. 

The other new features highlighted in the video include hiding your own video when speaking, hitting the spacebar to temporarily mute or unmute, changing the hand raise order, and using OneNote chiclets in Teams. Watch the video to learn how all of these features work and why they might be helpful to yo when teaching online.