Monday, January 7, 2019

How to Create Charts and Graphs in Google Docs

A good chart or graph can sometimes help a writer paint a complete picture for his or her reader. I used to have students in one of my civics course include at least one chart of their creation when writing about voting patterns in state elections. Google Docs makes it easy for users to create graphs and charts even if you don't particularly enjoy or are scared of using spreadsheets. Watch my short tutorial video to learn how to create charts and graphs in Google Docs.

Microsoft Forms is Adding Email Confirmation

Microsoft Forms is an excellent though often overlooked Microsoft tool. Like its better known rival, Google Forms, Microsoft Forms can be used to make quizzes and surveys. Last night (a strange time for a feature announcement) Microsoft's Forms Blog carried the announcement that Forms would soon have an email confirmation option for Form respondents. When enabled, this feature will allow respondents to receive an emailed copy of their responses to the questions in a survey or quiz created in Microsoft Forms.

If you've never tried Microsoft Forms, watch this video to learn how to get started.

There are a few more features in Microsoft Forms than what I demonstrated in the video above.
Those features are:

  • Likert responses
  • Ranking responses
  • Branching logic
  • Forms can be included in Microsoft Teams for EDU assignments

A Pre-search Checklist for Students

Last week I published two blog posts (here and here)in which I referenced having students make lists before they begin in-depth web research. A couple of readers have emailed me asking if I can give an example of the pre-search checklists that I mentioned in those posts. It's not anything fancy, but I do have this Google Document that I have given to students to fill-in by listing what they're looking for, what they already know, and how they think other people would describe the same topic. Feel free to make a copy of the document and or modify it for your students.

As I wrote last week, the list strategy is useful because it often helps students narrow their searches before they even touch the keyboard on their laptops. Rather than just instantly entering the first thing that comes to mind into Google, they're forced to slow down and evaluate what they already know about the topic at hand.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

How to Add Footnotes to Google Docs

For many people the difficulty in the transition from using Word or Pages to Google Docs lies in just knowing where little formatting features are found. One example of that is in adding footnotes to documents. In Word you find the option to add footnotes in the References menu. In Google Docs you will find the option to add footnotes in the Insert menu. Watch the following short video to see how to insert footnotes into Google Docs.

Discover more Google Docs features by reading this popular blog post.

Public Domain, Goals, and Fitness - The Week in Review

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in chilly, snowy Maine. I hope that everyone had a great first week of 2019. What's your New Year's resolution? One of mine is to improve my fitness. To that end I created a new blog to build some public accountability for my resolution. If you have a similar New Year's resolution, feel free to join into this Flipgrid that I created for educators who want help each other with their fitness goals. Speaking of goals, one of this week's most popular posts was about using Google Keep to help you reach your goals.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. How Google Keep Can Help You Reach Your Goals
2. Have Students Make Lists Before Starting Web Search
3. A Good Place to Find Movies in the Public Domain
4. Best of 2018 - Create Jeopardy Games in Google Slides
5. It's Public Domain Day!
6. Three Chrome Extensions That Help Students Stay on Task
7. Best of 2018 - The Periodic Table in Pictures and Words

Three Online PD Courses Starting Next Week!
I'm offering three professional development courses to start 2019. Discounted early registration is now open for:
Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

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