Thursday, September 8, 2016

Google Books Ngram Viewer Overview

The Google Books Ngram Viewer is a search tool that displays when and how often a term appears in books indexed by Google Books. By using the Ngram Viewer you can discover when a term starts to appear in literature, how often a term appears, and when a term loses popularity in literature. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use the Ngram Viewer.

Thanks to Dr. Lynn Burlbaw at Texas A&M University for sharing some of his Ngram Viewer examples with us earlier this summer at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

Two Crash Courses on Classic Literature

A few years ago John Green started a Crash Course series on classic literature. The early episodes featured Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, and The Odyssey amongst about a dozen other works. That series is embedded below.

This summer John Green began publishing a new set of Crash Course literature videos. The new series includes videos about Huckleberry Finn, Lord of the Flies, and 100 Years of Solitude. The new series is included in an oddly constructed playlist that for some unclear reason includes videos about physics, the Olympics, and gaming. Sort through the playlist and you'll find the literature lessons.

All of these videos include Green's commentary on the stories along with the summaries of key points in the plots. Much like Cliff Notes, watching these videos is not a replacement for actually reading the stories. You may also want to remind your students that Green's opinions about the stories are just that, opinions.

How to Enable Automatic Grading in Flubaroo for Google Sheets

The Flubaroo Add-on for Google Sheets is a powerful tool for quickly grading multiple choice and short answer quizzes created with Google Forms. Flubaroo has been around for years and has a bunch of features that are often overlooked by teachers. One of those features is the option to have quizzes automatically scored and grades returned to students as soon as they complete a quiz. With the autograde feature enabled your students don't have to wait for you to run Flubaroo before they get their grades. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to enable automatic grading in the Flubaroo Add-on for Google Sheets.

Read this article for an explanation of how using Flubaroo is different from using the quizzes feature in Google Forms.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Improved Management of Google Drive File Uploads

One of the things that I like about Google Drive is that I can upload and store just about any file in my account. Additionally, I appreciate that I can have Word files automatically converted to Google Docs format. That feature is great when I'm working with someone who insists on using Word because they can send me their files and I can quickly convert them to the format that works for me. Then I download it and send it back. The snag that can occur with this process is when I receive a new version of the original file because until now Google Drive would store both copies.

Yesterday, Google released a new Google Drive feature that will automatically replace the old file with the most recently upload version. The original upload will be moved to revisions and the updated version will be the one that you see in your Google Drive. Of course, if you prefer to have multiple copies, you can still keep both files by simply selecting "keep as separate file" when you upload new versions.

Watch my video embedded below to learn how to enable automatic conversion of Word files that are uploaded to Google Drive.

How to Conduct a Reverse Image Search

Tineye is a free tool that helps you conduct reverse image searches. In a reverse image search you're searching for the places where an image has been posted online. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to conduct a reverse image search.

Applications for Education
Conducting a reverse can be a good way for students to discover information about an object or location featured in a picture. As demonstrated above, when the image is located through Tineye students can click through to the source to see how the image was used and what was written about the image.

Conducting a reverse image search can provide students with a good lesson on digital footprints. Have them conduct a reverse image search for images they have posted online and then count the number of places where that image has appeared.