Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Five Google Calendar Features You Should Know How to Use

It has been a while since I made any tutorials about Google Calendar. The user interface, particulary the user interface for background settings, has changed a bit since the last time I published a tutorial about Google Calendar. So when a reader sent me a question about calendar sharing, I was prompted to create a new tutorial. In this new video I outline five Google Calendar features that you should know how to use including a couple of options for sharing Google Calendars. 

The settings and features demonstrated in the video include:

  • How to create a Google Calendar.
  • How to share a Google Calendar.
  • How to invite colleagues to collaborate on a Google Calendar.
  • How to create appointment slots in Google Calendar.
  • How to create task reminders in Google Calendar. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Two New Google Docs Features to Note

This week Google announced the addition of two new features in Google Docs. Both new features will be welcomed by teachers and students. 

The first new feature is an increase in the size of the comments box in Google Docs. Currently, the comments box accomodates 35 characters before a new line is created. The new version will accomdate 50 characters before a new line is created. In other words, the comment box is getting wider. The width of the box will expand or contract to meet the requirements of the screen being used. Wider screens will have a wider comment box in the margins of the document. Look for this update to start appearing in your Google Docs in the next couple of weeks. 

The second new Google Docs feature to note is the ability to add image watermarks to your Google Documents. This is something that Microsoft Word has offered for years and people have requested the same for Google Docs for years. Now when you open the "insert" drop-down menu in Google Docs you will have an option to insert a watermark image. The watermark will appear on all pages of the document you are currently working on. The new watermark feature will be rolling-out over the next couple of weeks. You can see a preview of it here

Two More Helpful YouTube Features for Teachers

Last week I published a video in which I detailed five helpful YouTube features for teachers. After I recorded that video I thought of two more features that I should have included. Therefore, I recorded another video that is simply titled Two More Helpful YouTube Features for Teachers

In this short video I demonstrate how to collaborate on creating a playlist in YouTube. Before that demonstration I explain why you might want to use theater mode when showing videos in your classroom.  

City Guesser 3.0 - More Maps and More Modes

About six months ago City Guesser 2.0 was released. The big news then was a switch from being based on street-level imagery to street-level video clips. Now City Guesser 3.0 is out and it still uses street-level video clips but now offers more games and more game modes than before. 

City Guesser 3.0 is played just like the previous version of the game. Select a category (country, city, region, or landmarks) for your game then click "start guessing" when you're ready to play. As soon as the game starts you will see street-level video footage of a place. You then have to guess where in the world that place is. You make your guesses by clicking on the map that pops up when click the "guess" button. How accurate or inaccurate your guess was is revealed to you as soon as you submit your guess. The accuracy of your guess is shown on the map with a marker for the actual location of the video clip compared to your guess.  

City Guesser 3.0 offers twenty-one games based on countries. There are also more than two dozen games based on major cities around the world. And there is a game based on monuments of the world. In addition to the new games, City Guesser 3.0 has two new game play modes. There is a "streaks" mode in which you try to make as many consecutive accurate guesses as possible. There are also two new "challenge" modes. There is a challenge mode in which you cannot move the imagery and have to guess from just one view. The other challenge mode is a timed mode in which you have to guess before time runs out. 

Watch this video for an overview of City Guesser 3.0.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Five Google Earth Features for Teachers

Google Earth has been one of my favorite ed tech tools for more than a decade. Over the years it has evolved as a desktop application and as a browser-based application. The web browser version of Google Earth seems to be getting the bulk of development attention from Google these days so I've created a new video that highlights five features of Google Earth (web version) that teachers should know how to use. These features are helpful and can be used in more than just social studies settings. 

In the video I demonstrate how to do the following things in the web version of Google Earth:

  • Locate and share lessons.
  • Share Google Earth games and quizzes via Google Classroom.
  • Create and share collections of placemarks in Google Earth. 
  • Change the base map in Google Earth. 
  • Change the units of measurement in Google Earth.


Learn much more about Google Earth by taking my online course, A Crash Course in Google Earth and Maps for Social Studies.