Friday, August 11, 2017

10 Things You Can Do With Google Sheets

As I mentioned yesterday in my run-down of ten ways to use Google Forms, Google Forms and Google Sheets is the part of G Suite for Education that I get most excited about teaching to others. My excitement comes from seeing how many applications for Google Forms and Google Sheets teachers develop once they understand the basics of how Forms and Sheets work. Here are ten ways that you can use Google Sheets once you understand the basics of how to use Sheets.

1. Send personalized emails to everyone in a group. Rather than sending a generic, "hi everyone" greeting you can address each person by name.

2. Create and display progress trackers. This is ideal for things like reading logs or fundraisers.

3. Create flashcards. You can make them or have your students make flashcards from the information in a Google Sheet.

4. Schedule room use. Keep track of who is using a meeting room and when.

5. Develop and publish multimedia timelines. Include pictures, videos, and maps in your timeline.

6. Keep track of iPad/ Chromebook carts in your school. The same logic can be applied to keeping track of anything commonly borrowed in your school.

7. Create maps of data sets. If your spreadsheet contains location data, you can map it from a Google Sheet.

8. Create rubrics and email grades from a spreadsheet. Email scores and feedback from the same place that you recorded scores and feedback.

9. Develop and manage a gradebook. If your school doesn't have a system-wide gradebook system in place, you can create your own in Google Sheets.

10. Create Jeopardy-style games. This staple of review games can be developed and played from a Google Sheet.

This Is Augmented Reality, This Is Virtual Reality

The difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is one of the things that I get asked to clarify on a fairly regular basis. This post has an example of each.

Earlier this year I featured a fun app from PBS Kids called Plum's Creaturizer. It's a free augmented reality app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. A video demonstration of the app can be seen here.


Plum's Creaturizer and other augmented reality apps like it, are dependent upon location services in order to provide your on-screen experience. Virtual Reality apps, however, are not dependent upon location services to provide you with an immersive on-screen experience. Google Expeditions is an example of a virtual reality app. In my video embedded below I provide a short overview of how to use the "explorer mode" in Google Expeditions to view Mount Everest in virtual reality.


You can create your own basic virtual reality experiences by using the Cardboard Camera app from Google.

The Imperial Presidents - And Other New Lessons from Tom Richey

After a little bit of a summer break it looks like Tom Richey is back to publishing some great videos for history students. His latest videos focus on the topic of American Imperialism. In particular, the most recent video is about the policies of Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.


Tom's videos for AP U.S. History and A.P. European History have become quite popular with students and teachers. That popularity is due in part to Tom's relaxed manner of presentation which is a nice contrast to the sometimes harried style of Crash Course videos.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Student Stories Drawings in ClassDojo

Student Stories is ClassDojo's student portfolio tool that they launched around this time last year. A few weeks ago I gave a run-down of new features that are going to be added to ClassDojo's Student Stories tool for the new school year. One of those features is an option for students to draw or annotate images in their portfolios. That feature is now live and ready for your students to use.

Applications for Education
Drawing on an image in a portfolio can be a good way for students to highlight the most important parts of an picture or of a diagram. In an art history lesson you could have students take a picture of a famous work and then use the drawing tool in Student Stories to highlight the techniques used by the artist.

Ten Things You Can Do With Google Forms

Google Forms and Google Sheets is the part of G Suite for Education that I get most excited about teaching to others. That is largely because once a person understands the basics of how Google Forms and Google Sheets work, the potential applications for school use are almost limitless. Here are ten ways that I often use Google Forms.

1. Manage classroom lending libraries. In other words, keep track of the stuff students and colleagues borrow from me.

2. Create self-grading quizzes. This can save a ton time grading formative assessments.

3. Create self-paced review activities. I often include videos within the review activities.

4. Make digital Break-out games. The data validation and go-to-section-based-on-answer logic makes this possible.

5. Collect contact information for participants in club activities. Likewise, collect and share (with permission) contact information for parents of students in club activities.

6. Create and manage sign-up sheets. You can set time limits and response quantity limits for your sign-up sheets.

7. Manage student blog entries.

8. Conduct surveys. I've conducted surveys to use as exit tickets from class and to get feedback from students at the end of a semester.

9. Organize group research projects. Google Forms can help your students keep track of who is doing which task(s) and who has done which task(s).

10. Manage donations of classroom supplies. Google Forms can help you keep track of donations and donation requests so that you don't end up with 98 glue sticks but nothing to actually glue.

Register for Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners to get started on using Google Forms for any or all of these purposes.