Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Send Invitations to Events from Your Google Calendar Account

One of my favorite features of Google Calendar is the option to send email invitations to my events directly from my calendar. For example, when I schedule a meeting with three colleagues I simply put the meeting into my calendar then send invitations to those colleagues from my calendar event. My colleagues will receive email notifications of the event time, place, and any other details that I've added to the event's description. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to send email invitations to Google Calendar events.

I'll cover topics like this one and many more in my upcoming online course Getting Going With GAFE. Three graduate credits are available for completing the course.

60 Second Lessons on the Presidents of the United States

Grover Cleveland 
Thanks to Ken Halla's US History Teachers Blog I recently learned about PBS Learning Media's new series of short videos about all of the Presidents of the United States. In the series there is one short (60-90 seconds) video about each president for a total of 44 videos. The playlist is embedded below.

Applications for Education
If YouTube is blocked in your school you can view and download all of the videos through PBS Learning Media. In the same section of PBS Learning Media you can find 15 lesson plans about past Presidents and First Ladies.

Public domain image courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs online collection

Google Classroom Now Lets You Customize Your Classroom Themes

Google has just announced the addition of some nice new features to Google Classroom. In your Google Classroom account you can now upload your own images to use as background themes. If you teach multiple courses, you can apply different custom themes to each of those courses. An image cropping tool is included in Classroom to help you customize your themes.
Image courtesy of the Google Apps for Edu team
In other news, students can now use the Google Classroom iPad app to attach images and videos to their Classroom assignments even if those images and files were made using apps outside of the Google suite of services. Both the Android and iPad Google Classroom apps now let students view their courses' About pages to quickly access course materials.

How to Create a Contact Group in Gmail and Use It to Share Google Drive Files

This morning I received an email from a reader who is not using Google Classroom, but is using Google Drive to create and share files with her students. She wanted to know if there is an easier way than entering individual email addresses to share files privately. The answer is yes. If you create a contact group in Gmail you can use that group's name when to quickly share a Google Drive file with everyone in the group. I demonstrate this process in the video embedded below.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Build Your Own Search Engine

This evening I hosted a webinar for a school district in Florida. One of the many topics that we covered was building a custom search engine for elementary school students to use. If you have ever wanted to build your own search engine, the directions contained in the slides and videos below will get you started on the right path.

If you would like a copy of these slides open the slide editor then select "file, make a copy." You will have to be logged into your Google Account to make the copy.

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