Showing posts with label workflow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workflow. Show all posts

Sunday, August 7, 2022

How to Quickly Broadcast Your Screen to Your Students' Screens

A few months ago I published an overview of DisplayNote Broadcast. It's a tool that you can use to broadcast your screen to your students' laptop or tablet screens. Shortly after I published my initial overview DisplayNote Broadcast added a Google Slides and Classroom integration. The latest update is a Chrome extension that you can use to share your screen with just a couple of clicks

In the short video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to broadcast your screen to your students' screens by using the Display Note Broadcast Chrome extension. 

Applications for Education
DisplayNote Broadcast is the type of tool that is great for getting all of your students to look at the same thing on your computer at the same time. I found this to be particularly useful when giving coding demonstrations to students as they could see things in more detail than just looking up at a projector screen.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

One Simple Tool Streamlined My Appointment Scheduling Process

For as long as it has been available I've used appointment slots in Google Calendar when scheduling meetings with colleagues and or students. That works very well when everyone is in the same Google Workspace domain, but it gets a little quirky when you try to use it with people who are outside of your domain. 

Earlier this month I started to experience the shortcomings of Google Calendar appointment slots when I was scheduling a bunch of meetings with companies who will be announcing new things during the ISTE conference in June. The solution to my problems was to start using Calendly

In Calendly I was able to create a calendar of my meeting availability and let people click on it to book meetings with me. People can book meetings with any email account they want to use. I connected my Zoom account to my Calendly account so that a Zoom meeting is automatically created and scheduled when someone books a meeting. Additionally, I linked Calendly to Google Calendar so that all meetings appear on my Google Calendar as well as in my Calendly calendar. (Calendly can also be used with Outlook and Teams). 

I'm using Calendly's free plan (shocker, I know). There are paid plans that give you more features like the ability to create multiple meeting types, but that would probably just add confusion back into my scheduling process. 

Applications for Education
Appointment slots in Google Calendar is great if you only need to schedule appointments with colleagues and students who are within your Google Workspace domain. But if you need an appointment scheduling tool to use with people who aren't a part of your domain, Calendly is a great tool for that.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Try Quick Key's Gridded Response Format for Your Next Math Assessment

Quick Key is a free app that I have liked and written about since my friend Mike Morrell showed it to me almost five years ago. Every year since then Quick Key has improved by adding new features that teachers want. The latest feature added to Quick Key is a gridded response format.

Quick Key's gridded response format will let you create math questions that your students can answer on paper or online. If your students respond on paper, you can use the Quick Key mobile app to scan the paper and have your students' responses quickly graded. If your students answer online, their responses are automatically graded upon submission.

Quick Key's gridded response format was made for math assessments. The gridded response sheets can be used to answer math questions with digits, decimal points, negative signs, and division symbols. Check out the complete description and tutorial here.

Applications for Education
For those who are not familiar with Quick Key, the basic idea is that your students respond to questions on a bubble sheet and then you use your mobile phone to scan those sheets and have the scores uploaded to your online Quick Key account. Last year Quick Key introduced a complementary product called Quick Key 1:1 that allows you to give the same quiz online that you give on paper. With Quick Key 1:1 you can have students who prefer to work on paper complete their assessments that way and students who prefer to complete an assessment online can choose that option.

Disclosure: Quick Key is an advertiser on

Friday, December 8, 2017

Zapier - Connect Your Favorite Tools

Zapier is a fantastic tool for improving your workflow between the services that you use the most. For example, let's say that you're a devoted Evernote user and a devoted Dropbox user. Zapier will let you connect the two so that you can send your Dropbox files to Evernote. Or maybe you use Twitter all the time and you want to save some Tweets in an Evernote notebook, Zapier can help you do that too.

I recently used Zapier to create an automation between Google Forms and Google Calendar. By using Zapier I was able to automatically add Google Forms submissions to events on Google Calendar. I did this so that I can create a Form that people use to register for an event and then have their email addresses added to the event on my Google Calendar. That way I can send a quick reminder to everyone who signs up for my event.

Applications for Education
Zapier supports more than 750 tools that you can connect through "zaps" in Zapier. With support for that many tools, there is probably a "zap" that can help you improve your workflow. Perhaps you use Office 365 and you need a way to quickly add parents' and students' email addresses to your contacts, Zapier offers a zap that will automatically add submissions to Google Forms to your 365 contacts. That zap might be helpful for managing things like extracurricular club rosters.

How to connect the disconnected pieces of G Suite for Education is one of the modules in my G Suite for Teachers course. Detailed directions on using Zapier are included in that module. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tabs Scissors & Tab Glue

Tab Scissors and Tab Glue are two Chrome extensions that will make your life a lot easier when you find are toggling between two different tabs. Tab Scissors works by splitting your Chrome browser into two perfectly sized windows at the selected tab. Tab glue will join the tabs together again. You can do the same thing by dragging tabs apart and resizing them, but this method is tedious and can be frustrating. Tab Scissors and Tab Glue make this task so much easier.

Applications for Education
Tab Scissors is useful when grading assignments. You can have the assignment open in one window and your grade book open in another. Students will find it useful when they are doing things like reading and answering questions or researching and taking notes. Tab Scissors and Tab Glue are almost as good as having dual monitors.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Short Overview of Workflow in Google Classroom

This week I wrapped up a series of workshops that I facilitated for a local school district that is transitioning to Google Apps for Education. To synthesize how everything in Google Apps for Education, particularly Google Classroom, can work together I created a short workflow list. The Google Classroom workflow list has three sections covering the workflows for homework/ long-term assignments, polls and quizzes, and posting announcements. Grab the Google Docs version of this workflow and you can print it has a handy reference guide.

Workflow for homework/ long-term assignments:
1. Create your assignment descriptor/ template in Google Docs or Slides.

2. Post assignment in Google Classroom.

3. Check “done/ not done” status of assignments in your Classroom stream.

4. Review completed assignments. Add comments to students’ work in Google Docs or Slides (if that is how they completed assignment).

5. If you’re using the Google Classroom gradebook, enter grades.

Workflow for polls/ quizzes:
1. To create a poll that will not be graded, select “create question” then write your question. You can create short answer or multiple choice questions.

1. To create a quiz that will be graded, first create your quiz in Google Forms. Directions for creating quizzes in Google Forms are available in this video playlist

2. Post your Google Form as an announcement in Google Classroom.

3. To grade the responses to your quiz, use the Flubaroo Add-on for Google Sheets. Directions in this video

Workflow for distributing announcements/ assignment reminders:
1. Post announcement/ assignment in Google Classroom for students to see. Students who have the Google Classroom mobile app installed will receive a push notification (provided they have notifications enabled).

2. To share the announcement/ assignment reminder with parents you will need to email or text message them directly. To send email reminders in bulk use the “Add reminders” Add-on for Google Sheets
Directions available here

Try Remind to send text message reminders
Remind tutorials

Topics like this one and many others are covered in-depth during the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp and in my online course Getting Going With GAFE.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Classkick Introduces Viewer Mode - Parents Can View Students' Work on Any Device

Classkick is a free service for creating, distributing, and assessing students' work. Originally, the service was only available on iPads. It is now available to use on any device that has an updated web browser. The latest update to Classkick brings a feature called Classkick Viewer.

Classkick Viewer allows parents, teachers, and students to view assignments through any device connected to the web. The neat thing about Classkick Viewer is that parents and teachers can view their students' work in real-time and or when it is completed. Learn more about Classkick Viewer in the video embedded below.

Through Classkick you can create an online classroom through which you distribute assignments to students. Students join your class by enter the class code into the Classkick app on their iPads or on the Classkick Viewer site. Once they've joined your classroom you can start distributing assignments.

The assignments that you create in Classkick can be based on screenshots, imported images, drawings, text, or voice recordings. Classkick lets you see what your students are working on within the app or in Classkick Viewr. Students can ask you for help while working in the app. You can also give feedback to students directly through Classkick.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Handle Your Email More Efficiently With These Tools

Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with my email inbox. As soon as it gets close to empty, it fills up again. I'm sure you can relate.

While I'm still not the best at handling my email efficiently, I do have a few tools that have helped me become a little more efficient. 

Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome is a convenient Chrome extension that I've recently started using. The extension enables me to create keyboard shortcuts for words and phrases that I frequently use in emails. In the video embedded below I provide a short overview of how this helpful Chrome extension works.

Add Reminders is a Google Sheets add-on that enables you to send emails from a spreadsheet. The add-on will format your spreadsheet so that you simply enter reminder messages and email addresses then specify a date on which you want your reminders sent. The Add Reminders Add-on allows you to send the same reminder to everyone in your email list or you can send individualized reminders to everyone in your email list. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use the Add Reminders Google Sheets Add-on.

The Add Reminders add-on for Google Sheets is great if you just need to send reminder emails. However, ff you want to create custom, personalized emails then you're going to need a slightly different spreadsheet script. Doing this requires adding a script to a Google Spreadsheet containing email addresses. It might sound complicated, but it really isn't. Watch the short video below from the Google Developers team to learn the process.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Skaffl - Distribute, Collect, and Grade Assignments on Your iPad

Skaffl is a free iPad app that is designed to help you distribute, collect, and grade assignments on your iPad. Like similar apps, on Skaffl you can create classrooms that your students join through a class code. Once your classroom is created you can distribute assignments and hand-outs to your students. Assignments can be created in the app or you can attach items created outside of the Skaffl app. Your students can submit work through the app. You can grade your students’ assignments directly within the app. Assignments that aren’t going to be graded (a rough draft of an essay, for example) can be annotated by you to provide students with ungraded feedback.

Applications for Education
Skaffl could be a good solution for teachers who want a simple way to distribute and collect assignments without wading through a myriad of extra features that they won’t use.

If you're looking for a similar app that does a little bit more than Skaffl, take a look at Otus, GoClass, or Nearpod.

Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Share Materials By Using Files and Folders on Google Sites

This morning I received the following request from a reader:

Right now we tutors email our objectives to the parents which has worked well, but for families with multiple kids, they can conceivably receive 12 emails per week! I'd like to cut down on things going into their inboxes, and I was thinking there ought to be a way we tutors can upload our weekly files to one site with folders per grade level and then the parents can go to that place and grab what they need.

My suggestion was to create a file cabinet page on Google Sites. In the video below I demonstrate how to do this.