Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Try Mentimeter for Classroom Quiz Games

Mentimeter is one of the tools that I regularly feature when talking about gathering realtime, online feedback from students. It's a great platform for quick, informal polls. Mentimeter is also great for making fun quiz games to use for review activities in your classroom.

Mentimeter lets you create slides that then become the basis of your quiz game. You can have multiple choice and open-response quiz questions in your slides. The responses to each question can be displayed in a variety of ways including bar graphs, word clouds, and heat maps.

If you don't have time to build an entirely new quiz game from scratch, Mentimeter has a large gallery of pre-made games that you can import into your account. Once you have imported a game you can play it as written or modify it to suit your needs.

In the following video I provide an overview of how to use Mentimeter to create and play quiz games in your classroom.

Monday, June 3, 2019

How to Measure Distances in Google Maps

A couple of weeks ago in the Practical Ed Tech newsletter I featured ten ways to use Google Earth in your classroom for more than just social studies lessons. Many of the ideas in that list can also be applied to the web browser version Google Maps. A good example of that is found in Tom Barrett's Maths Maps. Maths Maps is series of activities designed to help elementary school students develop an understanding of distance, scale, and units of measurement. To complete the activities students have to use the measuring tool in Google Maps. In the following video I demonstrate how to measure distances in the current browser version of Google Maps.

7 Helpful and Convenient Gmail Settings You Might Be Overlooking

Last week I published a post about using Gmail's confidential mode and a post about automatically forwarding G Suite email to a personal Gmail account. Those posts led to "I didn't know you could do that" comments from a few readers. So to continue with that theme, here are some other helpful Gmail (and G Suite for Edu mail) settings that you might be overlooking.

Canned Responses
Do you find yourself answering the same question over and over again? Or sending the same type of message many times a week or day? If so, you need to take advantage of the canned responses option in Gmail. My tutorial on how to use it is included below.



Smart Replies
Smart Replies are similar to canned responses in that they can help you reply to messages a bit quicker with a bit less typing. Smart Replies predict what you want to type in response to a message. If the prediction is correct, simply tap the tab button on your keyboard to insert the predicted text. My video on how to use Smart Replies is embedded below.



Block or Filter Senders
Do you want to make sure that you save all of the staff meeting notes that your principal sends out? Want a better way to sort all of those sales emails from Target? Would you like to create a special place for "helpful" emails from your mother-in-law? If you said "yes" to any of these questions, you should learn how to create filters and or block incoming messages. In the following video I demonstrate how to do that.



Undo Send
Have you ever hit "send" just a moment too soon? If so, you should enable the option to undo sent messages. How to do that is explained in the video below.



Offline Access
Can't live without 24/7, 365 access to your inbox? You can make your Gmail messages available offline. (By the way, it is possible to live without 24/7, 365 inbox access).



Contact Groups
Don't manually enter the email addresses of all of the people to whom you need to send the same message. Create a contact group and send the message to everyone in that group with just a couple of clicks.



Dictate Your Email Messages
Email Pro Dictation is a free Chrome extension that you can use to dictate messages. It's easy to install and use on your Windows, Mac, or Chrome OS laptop.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

How to Automatically Send G Suite Email to a Gmail Address - And How to Filter Your Email

The end of the school year is here for many of us. It is at this time of year that I am often asked about how to forward G Suite for Edu email to Gmail addresses. Some people want to do this because they only want to check one inbox during the summer. Others do this because they are moving from one district to another and need a place to store important messages in the time between jobs. In the following video I explain how to automatically forward G Suite email to a Gmail address.


If you don't want to forward work email to your personal email, you might consider using filters so that only the most important messages reach your primary inbox during the summer. Watch my video that is embedded below to learn how to create filters in your G Suite inbox.

Copyright, Ethics, and Gmail - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it almost feels like summer. The sun is trying to poke through the clouds and it's supposed to be 70F today. In other words, it should be a great day to play outside. That's exactly what I plan to do after publishing this blog post. I hope that wherever you are this weekend, you can enjoy some time outside too.

Before jumping to the list of the week's most popular posts I want to remind you that there are two Practical Ed Tech courses starting next week. Those courses are Teaching History With Technology and Getting Going With G Suite.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Three Lessons to Learn from the $9.2M Copyright Ruling Against Houston ISD
2. How to Use Gmail's Confidential Mode
3. Six Google Product Updates Made in May Impacting Teachers and Students
4. The Ethics of Making Copies of "View Only" Google Docs
5. Four Ways to Show & Share Videos Without Distractions
6. Canva Has Acquired Pixabay and Pexels - Five Ways to Use Canva
7. Three Good Resources to Help Students Become Discerning News Consumers

Thank You for Your Support!