Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Try Choice Eliminator Lite for Removing Choices from Google Forms

Twice in the last 24 hours I've been asked about options for removing choices from Google Forms as they get used up. The tool that I used to recommend was Choice Eliminator (the original and version 2). It seems that add-on has been removed from the Google Workspace Marketplace. Fortunately, Choice Eliminator Lite is still available to use in Google Forms. 

Choice Eliminator Lite doesn't have as many features as the original version, but it does remove options from Google Forms questions as they get selected. In this short video I demonstrate how to use Choice Eliminator Lite in Google Forms. 

Applications for Education
Choice Eliminator Lite can be useful when you have a list of options for students to pick from, but you only want one student to pick each option. For example, this can be useful in signing up for meeting times or for making sure your classroom party doesn't end up with twenty trays of cookies and no milk to wash them down.

Use Canva's Design and Recording Tools With Your PowerPoint and Google Slides

The other day a reader sent me an interesting question that I hadn't thought about before. That was whether or not you can use Canva's recording studio with Google Slides. At first I thought to myself, "why not just make a screen recording of the slides with something like Screencastify?" Then I thought about it some more and realized that the reason for the question was that Canva's recording studio makes it easy to see your speaker notes while recording, but it doesn't show the speaker notes in the final version of the recording. 

It is possible to use your Google Slides, PowerPoint slides, and Keynote slides in Canva to use Canva's recording and design tools with those slides. The trick is to first make sure that your slides are in PowerPoint format. To do that download your Google Slides or Keynote slides as a PPTX file. Then you can upload that file to your Canva account where you can then use all of Canva's editing, design, and recording tools. Watch this video to see how that whole process works. 

Applications for Education
Canva is one of my favorite tools for creating short video lessons with your existing slides. The process is less clunky than using a screen recording tool to capture your slides as you explain the key points on them. If you're a Google Slides, PowerPoint, or Keynote user who has ignored Canva's recording tool because you didn't want to have to recreate your slides, the method that I demonstrated in the video above is for you. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

How to Change Google Calendar Notifications

I have some good news for you if, like another reader who emailed me this morning, you are trying to keep Google Calendar notifications flooding your inbox. It's easy to adjust the frequency with which you receive email, desktop, and mobile notifications from Google Calendar. To do that simply go into the settings menu for the calendar that you don't want to receive notifications from and then disable the notifications entirely or adjust when and where you receive them. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to disable and enable notifications for the calendars in your Google Calendar account. 

Join Me Next Week for a Webinar About Creating Digital Products and More

Creating and selling digital products like webinars, on-demand courses, and eBooks is one of the ways that I've been able to keep this site going and keep a roof over my head for the last decade. And I've done it without using any of the big marketplaces like Teachers Pay Teachers that take a substantial cut of your sales. Next week I'm hosting a webinar in which I'll show you how you do the same. 

In How to Create and Sell Your Own Digital Products you'll learn how to create eBooks, lesson materials, and online courses. In some ways creating the materials is the easy part. Selling is the harder part for many teachers. That's why during the webinar I'll show you how to sell your products without paying huge commission fees to online marketplaces. 

Learn more and register here to join me for this live webinar on March 22nd at 4pm ET.

My Five Favorite Canva Features

Canva is a tool that I use nearly every day of my working life. Like some of the other tools in my daily work life, there are some features of Canva that I use far more than others. Canva seems to be constantly adding new features so my favorite ones might be a little different a year from now. For now, the following are my five favorite and most frequently used features in Canva. 

  • Copying designs
  • Image background remover and face touch-up. 
  • Color match suggestions.
  • Slide presentation recorder (with and without webcam video).
  • Publishing and sharing slides as websites. 
See all of these features in action in this short video.

Applications for Education
Of all these features the one that has the broadest appeal for educators is probably the option to record yourself talking over your slides with or without your webcam turned on. This makes it incredibly easy to create a short video lesson by using your existing slides right inside of Canva. The slide recording tool can also be used by students to make short video presentations or to simply practice giving a presentation then listening to or watching themselves to get better for their next attempt.

Speaking of presentation, Microsoft's Presenter Coach offers a great way for students to get some immediate feedback on the pacing of their presentations. Here's a little demo of how it works.