Saturday, May 23, 2020

How to Search for Matching & Similar Documents Submitted in Google Classroom

Earlier this week a reader asked me if there was a way to quickly scan across all of the documents his students submit in Google Classroom to check for elements of copying between students. Fortunately, there is a way to do this but you the function is found in Google Drive instead of in Google Classroom. To do this you simply have to conduct a search in your Google Drive. In the following video I demonstrate how this works.

Applications for Education
Google Classroom has an originality reports function that you can use to check your students' submitted writing for elements of plagiarism. However, it does have some limitations. First, unless you have G Suite Enterprise for Education (the paid version of G Suite for Edu) you can only use originality reports on three assignments. The other limitation is that originality reports only checks against publicly available documents and websites.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining and it feels like summer! It's going to be a great weekend to ride my bike, play outside with my kids, and generally unwind after a long week. I hope that this weekend you get some time to unwind too.

This week I hosted or co-hosted a couple of webinars. On Thursday I hosted Intro to Teaching History With Technology. If you missed it, I'm going to host it again next week. On Friday I co-hosted Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. If you missed it, you watch the recording here.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. How to Use Kahoot in Google Classroom
2. How to Convert a PDF Into a Google Document
3. Move Items from One Google Account to Another
4. Seven Ideas for Flipgrid Activities
5. How to Share Audio and Video in Google Classroom Without YouTube or SoundCloud
6. Ten Ways to Use Wakelet
7. Pixabay Offers Free Music to Use and Reuse

Online Summer PD Opportunities
This summer I'm hosting two online professional development courses. I'm hosting the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp three times. The June session is almost full so register soon if you want in on that session. The July sessions have more seats available.

In June and July I'll also be hosting Teaching History With Technology. This is a five part course designed to help you develop new ways to create engaging history lessons and projects. Register now and use the discount code THWT2020.

This summer I'm working with a handful of schools and organizations to develop online professional development for teachers. If you'd like to work with me, please send me a note at richardbyrne (at) to learn more about how we can work together.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides and the daily email digest, there are other ways to keep up with what I'm publishing. 
  • Practical Ed Tech Newsletter - This comes out once per week (Sunday night/ Monday morning) and it includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 23,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 350 Google tools tutorials.  
  • Facebook - The Facebook page has more than 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last thirteen years at
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing.

Friday, May 22, 2020

A Handful of Video Lessons About Memorial Day

This is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States. Monday is actually Memorial Day. Students often confuse the origin and purpose of Memorial Day with those of Veterans Day. The following videos can help students understand the origins and meanings of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

The Meaning of Memorial Day is a two minute video covering the origins of the holiday in the United States. The video is embedded below.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers the following video overview of the history of Memorial Day.

Jocko Willink isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoy his podcast and found this video that he released two years ago to be quite moving.

To find more resources for teaching about Memorial Day, visit Larry Ferlazzo's list of resources.

Try using EDpuzzle to add questions into these videos and distribute them to your students.

Another Whiteboard Option for Google Meet Users

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how to use a whiteboard in Google Meet without screensharing. That method featured using a neat tool called Whiteboard Fi. Some people have had great success using that method and others have asked me for other options. That's what this post will address.

Google's Jamboard is available to use online for free at You can also access it through your Google Drive. Jamboard provides an online whiteboard that you can use for freehand drawings. Like all Google products connected to Google Drive, Jamboard can be used collaboratively. Unlike Google Drawings, Jamboard lets you have multiple pages within the same project. 

How to Use Jamboard and Google Meet Together

If you're using Google Meet to host online classes and need a whiteboard to draw on, Jamboard is a good option. Just open it in a new tab then screenshare with your students. They'll be able to see everything you draw. You can even invite them to draw on a different page in the Jamboard session. Watch my video below to learn how to use Jamboard and Google Meet together.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pixabay Offers Free Music to Use and Reuse

Pixabay is one of the resources that I frequently include in my recommendations for sources of images and video clips to use in slideshow and video projects. This morning I got a notice from Pixabay informing me of Pixabay's audio collection. I'm not sure how long it has been there, but I didn't notice it until I got the notification.

Pixabay's audio collection features instrumental recordings across a wide range of genres. You can listen to the tracks in their entirety before downloading them. Like all other media on Pixabay, you can download and reuse the sound tracks for free. And as they state in the terms of use, you don't have to cite them but it is appreciated.

I plan to add Pixabay's audio collection to my Practical Ed Tech Guide to Finding Media for Classroom Projects.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for some background music for an end-of-year slideshow or video, take a look at Pixabay's collection of free and royalty-free music.