Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Doodle 4 Google 2019

Another year, another Doodle 4 Google contest. This year's Doodle 4 Google is the eleventh in a row. The theme of this year's Doodle4 Google art contest is "when I grow up, I hope..."

The contest is open to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade in the United States. To enter the contest students should create a drawing that represents something that inspires them. The drawing, of course, must include the word Google somewhere within it. The artwork must be submitted on this official entry form.

This year's national Doodle 4 Google winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology prize package for his or her school.

If you're thinking about using some classroom time to have your students draw for the Doodle 4 Google contest, take a look at the free lesson resources that Google offers. Making drawings for the Doodle 4 Google contest might also be a good indoor recess activity during the cold days we're having here in New England.

Two of this year's celebrity judges are Jimmy Fallon and Kermit the Frog. Here they are to introduce the Doodle 4 Google contest.

A New Way to Add Drawings to Google Docs

It's the first full week of the year and Google has already added new features to G Suite for Education. Yesterday, Google's G Suite Updates Blog carried the announcement that we'll soon have a new way to add drawings to Google Documents.

Google Docs has long given you the option to launch a new drawing screen from the Insert menu in Docs. Now in Docs you will also be able to insert an existing drawing from their Google Drive accounts. This means that instead of having to create a drawing from scratch in your Document, you can use on that you have created directly in Google Drawings.

Applications for Education
Creating mind maps is one of the many things that students can do with Google Drawings. The new Drawings insert option in Docs will make it easier than ever for students to add their mind maps to Documents.

Watch this video to learn how to make a mind map in Google Drawings. And watch this video for a handful of other uses for Google Drawings.

The new "insert drawing" option in Google Docs will be appearing over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sun, Moon, and Planets 101

National Geographic's YouTube channel has an excellent playlist that is titled National Geographic 101. As you might guess, the playlist is full of short overviews of the basics of a wide variety of topics in science and geography. In National Geographic 101 you will find short videos about Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Earth, Mercury, Mars, Pluto, the sun, and the moon (actually, there are two videos about the moon in the playlist).

The length and content of these videos make them good candidates for inclusion in EDpuzzle lessons.

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