Showing posts with label Google Workspace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Workspace. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

How to Create Task Reminders in Gmail and Google Keep

 As the new school year approaches we'll all, teachers and students, have goals to do something better this year. If one of those goals is to do a better job of keeping track of homework assignments and other tasks, Google Keep and Gmail have some built-in tools that can help you reach that goal.

Add to Tasks in Gmail makes it easy to quickly add an item to your Tasks list and keep the context of the email connected to the task. The Task will appear in the sidebar of Gmail as well as on your personal Google Calendar. I find the combination of those two things to be tremendously useful in keeping track of tasks that are related emails that I send and receive.

How to Manage Tasks in Gmail


Adding an item to a Tasks list in Gmail can be a good way for students to set reminders for themselves about upcoming assignment due dates. While Google Classroom does provide an option to see assignments on their Google Calendars, some students might prefer to set reminders or advance the due date for themselves. Tasks makes it easy for students to create those reminders.

Google Keep task reminders
In Google Keep you can create task reminders that are time-based and location-based. I use the location based reminders to remember to ask my daughters' preschool teachers questions when I drop them off at school because sometimes I'm a bit rushed and will forget to ask if the alert doesn't pop-up on my phone. The time-based reminders are great for things that aren't location dependent like remembering to write a blog post about using Google Keep reminders. Both Google Keep reminder features are demonstrated in the videos below.

Create Bookmarks & Reminders in Google Keep


Create Location-Based Reminders in Google Keep

Monday, August 9, 2021

How to Use Google Drive to Create a B-Roll Gallery for Your Classroom

The best way to have students avoid accidentally using copyrighted images or videos in their own projects is to use media that they've created themselves. One of the strategies that I frequently recommend to teachers as a way to help students avoid any copyright issues in their work is to use media from a classroom b-roll gallery. You can build this gallery by having students contribute pictures, video clips, and sounds to a shared Google Drive folder. In the video below I demonstrate how to create a shared Google Drive folder.



Even if you do create a b-roll gallery for your classroom, there will still be times that you and or your students need to search the web for images and videos to re-use. In this short video I provide an overview of a few good ways to do that.

Three Time-saving Email Tips for Teachers

Like most people I have a love-hate relationship with my email inbox. Over the years I've tried all kinds of tricks and tools to try to handle my inbox more efficiently. What I've found is that those tricks and tools only work if I also use a time-blocking strategy to decide to clear my inbox (something I only started doing after reading Cal Newport's Deep Work for the second time). Once I have my time block in place then the following tools help me work through my inbox in a relatively efficient manner. 

Message Templates/ Canned Responses
Gmail and Outlook will let you create message templates that you can quickly use as responses to emails or as the basis of an entirely new email. This video will show you how to use Canned Responses in Gmail. Outlook users can create canned responses to use to answer frequently asked questions in your inbox. Here’s a good video overview of how to create and use canned responses in Outlook.

Email Filtering
Not every email needs an immediate response. Not every email needs to be stored in your primary inbox where it clutters and distracts from the task at hand. Create email filters to organize and prioritize the messages landing in your inbox. This video and this video will show you show how to create filters in Gmail and other Google Workspace email accounts. Outlook users, this video is a good place for you to start to learn about using filters and folders.

Schedule Outgoing Email
Let's say it's Thursday evening and you're working on a list of reminders to send to students and or parents for the following week. If you send it that evening, you'll be getting replies all weekend which you can either reply to or ignore until Monday morning. There's a better option. That option is to schedule those reminder emails to not be sent until Sunday night or Monday morning. Here's my video about how to do that.



Outlook users can also schedule emails to be sent at a later date. Here's a great tutorial on how to do that.

Friday, August 6, 2021

How to Find the New Autosave Feature in Google Forms

Earlier this week Google announced the launch of a new autosave feature in Google Forms. As I wrote on Tuesday, teachers and students have been asking for this feature for years. That's why I haven't been surprised by the number of emails that I've gotten this week from teachers asking if they need to do anything to enable autosave and or when the autosave feature will be available. 

The new Google Forms autosave feature is available now in some Google accounts. One of my four accounts has the feature right now. I keep checking my other three accounts in the hopes that they'll soon have autosave as well. The way that I'm checking is by simply creating a new Google Form quiz then looking at the presentation settings for that quiz. If the account has the new autosave feature, there will be a "restrictions" menu that appears in the presentation settings for the quiz. See my screenshot and my video below for more details. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

A New Google Forms Feature Teachers Have Requested for Years!

This week Google finally added a feature to Google Forms that teachers and students have requested for years. You can now save your work in progress when answering questions in Google Forms!

Google Forms will now save students' work in progress when they are completing a quiz or any other Google Form that you give to them through Google Classroom. The only thing that students have to do to have their work saved in progress is make sure that they are signed into their Google accounts. That shouldn't be too hard to remember if the students have accessed the form through Google Classroom. Students' work will be saved in progress for thirty days from the time that they first open the form. 

Teachers do not need to take any action to enable the new save-in-progress feature (officially called Autosave) of Google Forms. It will be on by default starting today for some Google Workspace domains and will be on by default for all Google Workspace domains by September 15th. Teachers can disable autosave by opening the settings menu in Google Forms then choosing "presentation" followed by "restrictions."   

Autosave in Google Forms is available now in some Google Workspace domains and will be available in all Google Workspace domains by September 15th. 

Applications for Education
Saving Google Forms responses in progress has been a feature that teachers have requested for as long as I can remember (and I've been teaching with Google Forms longer than most middle school students have been alive). Students will no longer have to start over if they get disconnected from the Internet or the bell rings to end class before they've finished answering all of the questions on a Google Form.

There are some situations in which you may not want students to be able to come back to a Google Form to finish it after they've started. For example, a student intentionally taking a long time to answer quiz questions so that he/she can return to it later after looking up answers. In that case you can disable the autosave option on that particular form.

Google Forms Tutorials



Friday, July 30, 2021

My Most Popular Tutorials in July

In July my YouTube my YouTube channel passed the 37,000 subscriber mark. In July I published twenty-three new tutorials including some in-depth guides to getting started with Google Workspace for Education. On my YouTube you'll also find tutorials on a wide variety of topics including making your own Android apps, video creation tips, Microsoft Forms tutorials, podcasting tips, and many other topics suggested by readers and viewers like you. Below are the ten videos on my YouTube channel that were watched the most in July. 

How to Create a Video With Canva


The Basics of Creating a Quiz in Google Forms


How to Add a Timer to Your PowerPoint Slides


Wheel of Names - A Random Name Picker and More


How to Draw on Your Screen in Google Meet


How to Create Your Own Online Board Game


How to print a Google Form or save it as PDF


How to Find and Use the Embed Code for YouTube Videos



How to Import and Copy Questions One Google Form to Another



How to Annotate PDFs in OneNote

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

How to Give Partial Credit in Google Forms

Google Forms provides an easy way for teachers to create self-grading quizzes. The current version of Google Forms lets you create self-grading quizzes that contain multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and even multiple selection questions. The one problem that some teachers run into when using self-grading Google Forms is how to give partial credit to students for answers that aren't 100% correct but also aren't 100% incorrect. 

A reader recently asked me how to award partial credit for answers to questions in Google Forms so I made this short video explanation. In the video you'll see how to award partial credit for answers to short answer questions and multiple selection questions. 


To learn more about how to create quizzes in Google Forms and how to add quiz scores to Google Classroom, please see this selection of videos that I published earlier this month. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Collect Chat - Turn a Google Form Into a Chatbot

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about how to create your own chatbot with a free tool called Acquainted. This morning I discovered another tool for creating your own chatbots. 

Collect Chat is a free Google Forms add-on that you can use to turn a Google Form into a chatbot. I gave it a try and found that it is very easy to use. With the add-on installed you simply have to open a Google Form then open Collect Chat and choose to convert the form into a chatbot. You can choose to use the chatbot on its own stand-alone page or you can embed it into an existing webpage that you own. Either way, visitors viewing your chatbot will see the same questions as they would if they viewed the Google Form directly. The difference is that the questions appear one at a time and look as though they were typed by a live person. 

Take a look at this little exit ticket chatbot that I made with Collect Chat to see how it works. (Update: on Friday I disabled the exit ticket because it had received a flood of responses and I'd exceeded the limits of Collect Chat's free plan). 

Applications for Education
While Collect Chat itself is easy to use, it would take a bit of planning to make an effective chatbot via Google Forms. If you want your chatbot to actually interact with user input you would need to create a fairly long Google Form that accounts for a variety of responses from users. That said, I can see the potential to create a chatbot to walk users through troubleshooting problems with their computers or to help parents locate important school information in a guided manner. There's also potential to create a chatbot that serves as an interactive test practice. 

To learn more about Google Forms take a look at this collection of Google Forms tutorials that I published last week. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Getting Started With Google Classroom - Teacher and Student Perspectives

This week I have been publishing a series of videos designed to help teachers who are new to Google Workspace learn what they need to know to use Google Drive, Docs, Forms, and Slides in their classrooms. Continuing in that series I've just published a new video titled Getting Started With Google Classroom

In Getting Started With Google Classroom I explain and demonstrate everything a teacher needs to know to start using Google Classroom. The video includes a student perspective of Google Classroom so that teachers can see how students access and complete assignments in Google Classroom. All of the points covered in the video are listed below. 

➡How to create a Google Classroom.
➡How to invite students to a Google Classroom
➡How to invite a co-teacher to Google Classroom
➡Student settings in Google Classroom
➡How to create assignments in Google Classroom
➡How students complete assignments in Google Classroom
➡How to view students' work in Google Classroom




The other videos in this series are listed below:
Getting Started With Google Forms

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Getting Started With Google Forms - The Basics and More

All week I've been releasing new video tutorials designed to help new Google Workspace users get started with the basics and a little more. The first installments in the series covered Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Slides. You can see those tutorials here and here. This morning I published a tutorial on Google Forms for beginners. 

How to Create and Give Quizzes via Google Forms covers everything you need to know to create your first quiz, share it with your students, and review your students' responses. The video also shows a student's perspective of taking a quiz via Google Forms and Classroom. 



Once you've got a handle on the basics of using Google Forms to create a quiz, you'll probably want to learn more. Here are some additional Google Forms tutorials to help you.

Score Quizzes That Have More Than One Correct Answer



How to Require Complete Sentences



How to Combine Google Forms



How to Create QR Codes for Google Forms

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Getting Started With Google Slides - The Basics and More

This week I'm releasing a series of videos intended to help new Google Workspace users. Yesterday, I published videos on getting started with Google Drive and Google Docs. Today's videos are all about Google Slides. 

Google Slides for Beginners shows viewers eight key aspects of Google Slides that they need to know. Those aspects are outlined below:

➡Three ways to access Google Slides
➡How to alter slide layouts.
➡How to add and edit images
➡How to add and edit videos
➡How to add and edit audio
➡Using speaker notes
➡Adding captions to presentations
➡How to publish slides



Once you've learned the basics of using Google Slides you'll probably want to know more about how to use it. That's why I created Ten Things You Need to Know About Using Video in Google Slides and Five Things You Need to Know About Using Audio in Google Slides. Both videos are embedded below.



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Getting Started With Google Drive and Google Docs - Everything You Need to Know

This week I'm releasing a series of videos designed for new Google Workspace users. All of the videos will be published on my YouTube channel throughout this week and next week. 

The first videos in the series is Getting Started With Google Drive - Settings and Uploads. This video explains how to adjust the display of your Google Drive dashboard, how to upload files into your Google Drive, and how to convert Word files into Google Docs format. 



Creating and Sharing Google Drive Folders is the follow-up to the first video in the series. In this video you'll learn how to create folders, how to share folders, how to import folders, how to add and remove files from your folders, and how to organize folders in Google Drive.



After setting up Google Drive you're ready to start creating Google Documents. In the third video in the series you'll learn everything you need to know to create your first Google Documents. The video covers all of the following points:

➡Three ways to access Google Documents.
➡How to change Google Documents fonts.
➡How to add images to Google Docs.
➡To to conduct a Google search within Google Docs.
➡An easy way to create footnotes in Google Documents.
➡How to share Google Documents.
➡How to publish Google Documents.
➡How to download Google Documents.



For more Google Docs tips visit 21 Docs Features You Need to Know.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

21 Google Docs Features You Should Know How to Use

This week I'm releasing a new series of videos covering everything a new Google Workspace user needs to know. The videos will be released throughout the week on my YouTube channel. I actually teased the series a little bit on Friday when I published two videos detailing twenty-one features of Google Docs that all users should know how to use. The two videos were Ten Google Docs Editing Features You Should Know How to Use and Ten More Google Docs Features You Should Know How to Use. But since I didn't count correctly, the first video actually covers eleven features. Both videos are embedded below. The list of features covered in the videos is listed directly above them. 

➡Smart Compose & Automatic Substitution
➡Personal Dictionary
➡Voice Typing
➡Headers & Footers
➡Page Orientation and Margin Settings
➡Custom Line Spacing
➡Grids & Columns
➡Special Characters
➡Find & Replace
➡Version History



➡Prevent unintentional sharing of documents.
➡Publishing vs. Sharing Google Documents.
➡Adding more fonts to Google Docs.
➡Applying borders to sections of documents.
➡Applying borders to images
➡Adding text to images
➡Creating dynamic lists
➡Creating and inserting drawings
➡Creating and inserting charts
➡Using integrated web search.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What Was Watched in June - My Most Popular Tutorials

In June I published a new video every other day on my YouTube channel. There are now more than 36,000 people subscribed to get notified as soon as I publish a new video. My channel contains more than 1,000 tutorial videos covering everything from fundamental aspects of Google Workspaces to making your own Android apps to making videos and many other topics suggested by readers and viewers like you. Below are the ten videos on my YouTube channel that were watched the most in June. 

1. The Basics of Creating a Quiz in Google Forms


2. How to Add a Timer to Your PowerPoint Slides


3. Wheel of Names - A Random Name Picker and More


4. How to Draw on Your Screen in Google Meet


5. How to create shared Google Drive folders


6. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game


7. How to print a Google Form or save it as PDF


8. How to Use Adobe Spark to Create a Video


9. How to Share Videos Through Google Drive


10. How to Create Comic Strips in Google Slides


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Feature graphic created by Richard Byrne using Canva. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

How to Create Interactive Checklists in Google Docs

This week Google announced more than a dozen updates to Google Workspace products. Included in those updates is a new text box feature in Google Documents. The new text box option can be used to create interactive checklists. Those checklists, just like any other Google Document, can be shared with colleagues and students who can then cross off items as they're completed. 

In this short video I demonstrate how you can create interactive checklists in Google Documents. One of the neat things that you'll see in the video is that you can adjust the size and style of the checkboxes by using the font menus in Google Docs.  



Applications for Education
My first thought when seeing the new checklist option in Google Docs was that it could be great for students to use when planning group projects. The group can have their to-do list and all of the details of their plans on the same document instead of having to use a separate task management tool or having to write/re-write comments when a task is completed.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Feature image created by Richard Byrne using Canva. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

15 Updates Coming to Google Workspace for Education

This week Google announced a bunch of updates that will be coming soon to Google Workspace for Education products. If you missed them, as I did earlier this week, here's a short summary of the key updates to note.

File / Video Security Updates
  • Some shared files in your Google Drive will require using a URL that contains a resource key. This change will impact users who haven't previously viewed a file that you're sharing. As an end-user, this shouldn't change anything for you other than the link that you initially share if you use the "anyone with the link" option to share a file. This change will be implement beginning in late July with full implementation in September. Google Workspace administrators may want to read more about this update on this Google Workspaces Admin Help page.
  • Videos in your YouTube account that were uploaded prior to January 1, 2017 and were marked as "unlisted" will be changed to "private" on July 23rd. You can revert them back to "unlisted" after the 23rd. Read more about this change here. This update doesn't affect videos uploaded after January 1, 2017.


Google Classroom Updates Coming Later This Summer/ Fall
  • Schedule assignments to multiple classes at once. 

  • Offline mode for the Google Classroom Android app. 

  • Student activity view. This will let you see when a student was last active in your Google Classroom. Activity can include accessing assignments and commenting on posts.
All three features listed above will be available in all versions of Google Workspace for Education. The following Google Classroom features will only be available to those using one of the various paid Google Workspace for Education plans. 
  • Roster import via Clever. This will let IT administrators create classes based on classroom rosters as written in Clever. (While great in theory, I wonder if this will impact how much control teachers get over their own Google Classroom rosters. I'd hate to see this turn into a situation where a teacher has to submit an IT help ticket whenever a student needs to be added or removed from a Google Classroom. That could be a nightmare during add/drop periods). 

  • Classroom add-ons. This will let IT administrators add third-party services into Google Classroom. Some of Google's preferred vendors for this include Adobe, Kahoot, and Nearpod. Students will use those tools inside of Google Classroom.  
Google Forms
  • Twenty new font choices are being added to Google Forms. 

  • The settings menu is going to be revamped to "simplify" the application of settings. (I'm not sure what there is to simplify in Google Forms settings, it's pretty simple now). 
Google Docs
  • Create interactive checklists in Google Docs. There's a new checkbox option that you can add in place of bullet points in Google Docs. This is available now. See my screenshot below for an example. 

Google Meet
Hopefully, we can all use Google Meet and Zoom a lot less next year. That said, Google is making some updates to Google Meet for those who are hosting virtual class meetings. 
  • When launching a meeting from Google Classroom teachers and co-teachers will automatically be assigned the roles of host. 

  • Students who are on the Google Classroom roster will automatically be admitted but will be placed in a waiting room until the teacher is ready to admit them. 

  • Anyone not on the Google Classroom roster will have to ask to join and can only be admitted by the teacher or co-teacher. 

  • Hosts can turn off all webcams at once with a "video lock" setting. 

  • New viewing options will let you control how much of a presentation you see compared to how much space is allotted for viewing your students' cameras or profile icons. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

How to Share Google Slides Without Sharing Speaker Notes

Earlier this week I answered an email from a reader who was looking for a way to share his Google Slides with his students without them being able to see his speaker notes. Unfortunately, there isn't an add-on or extension that will do that for you. Instead you have to make a copy of your original slides then remove your speaker notes from the copy before sharing or publishing it. How that is done is outlined in this short video



Applications for Education
I often give search challenges to students in the form of visual prompts and written prompts displayed on slides. I keep some notes for myself in the speaker notes section. The slides that I give to kids don't have my speaker notes so that they don't have any extra hints unless I choose to give them.

On a related note, take a look at my on-demand webinar titled Search Strategies Students Need to Know to learn more about teaching search strategies.

Monday, June 21, 2021

A Short Overview of Google Sites Publishing and Sharing Settings

During a webinar that I hosted earlier today the topic of Google Sites access settings came up. That topic usually does come up whenever I talk about using Google Sites with students. It comes up because just as there is a difference between publishing and sharing Google Documents there is a difference between publishing and sharing Google Sites. 

The difference between sharing and publishing Google Sites:

  • Publishing a Google Site means to make it available to view on the web. 
    • A published site can be restricted to a small audience. A published Google Site is essentially view-only. 
  • Sharing a Google Site means to invite other people to collaborate on editing the site with you. 
    • You can invite people to be collaborators via email or via a sharing link. 
In this short video I provide an overview of sharing and publishing settings in Google Sites. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Icons8 - Easily Add Icons to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets

Icons8 is a new Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets add-on that offers a large gallery of free icons that you can easily insert into your documents, slides, and spreadsheets. Within the Icons8 gallery you'll find thirty-five categories of icons. All of the icons are available in a variety of sizes from as small as 50x50 pixels to as large as 500x500 pixels. And once you've added an icon to your document or slide you can still use Google's built-in image editing tools to further alter the size and transparency of the icon. 

To use Icons8 simply install the add-on from the Google Workspace Marketplace. Once it is installed you'll find it listed in the add-ons drop-down menu in Docs, Slides, and Sheets. Open it from the drop-down menu and the gallery of icons will appear on the righthand side of your document, slide, or spreadsheet. From there you just need to click on an icon for it to appear in your document, slide, or spreadsheet. It should be noted that the icon will appear wherever your cursor is in your document at the time that you select an icon. Of course, you can always move the icon by just clicking and dragging it to a new part of your document. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Icons8 in Google Documents. 



Applications for Education
Icons8 provides an easy way for teachers to add icons to documents. Those icons can be useful in creating activities that utilize visual prompts for students to respond to. For example, I might use the house icon in a document in which I want students to spell the words "house" and "home." Icons8 could also be handy for students who are looking to add some "hand-drawn" images to Google Slides presentations.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image created by Richard Byrne using Canva.