Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Google Drive Tips

Google Drive has so much to offer so why not take advantage of it? If you asked me to name an application I use everyday, Google Drive would be at the top of the list. It’s one of those tools that’s so useful and so extensive. Did you know you that you can create badges right inside Google Drive? Or did you know that you can access your Google Drive files without having Internet? Learn about these tips and more below.

Tip #1 - Analyze Data in Google Sheets with One Click
With a recent addition of the Explore feature in Google Sheets, you can now analyze your data with just one click. Just highlight the data in your Google Sheet and then click the Explore tab in the bottom right corner to instantly create charts and to see an analysis of your data. If you make changes to the data, the Explore view will update and adjust in real time.

Tip #2 - Gamify Your Classroom with Google Drawing
If you know anything about gamification, you know it It consists of adding game elements to a non-game situation. It introduces concepts like badges, levels, and points to the classroom. Google Drawing is a great tool to use if you have ever thought about creating your own badges. It is simple and easy to use and you can even collaborate with others to get your badge created in no time.

Tip #3 - Find and Insert Copyright-Free Images in Google Docs
One of the challenges in education is finding copyright-free images to use in daily student work. Google has a collection they provide free to anyone. While in Google Docs, click on Insert, Image and then click on the Search link. The option to search Google, Life, or stock images will appear. Google restricts the results to images licenses as Creative Commons.

Tip #4 - Collect Digital Exit Tickets with Google Forms
When you reflect on the day’s lesson, do you often wonder if your students “got it?” If so, collecting exit information from students will help answer this question.  Google Forms is a fantastic tool to use to collect responses from students. Your form can simply be re-used from class to class and contain questions such as “what did you learn today?” or “do you have any questions?”

Tip #5 - Access your Google Drive Files without the Internet
Internet outages shouldn’t prevent you from working. Just set up offline access so you can access and edit your files at any time. While in Drive, click on the Gear icon and scroll to Settings. Under General, check the box next to Offline.

What tips would you share?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Celebrate President's Day with Google Drawings

President's Day is just around the corner. This is a perfect time to introduce students to those who have shaped our nation. It is also a great way to transition to talking to your students about their futures, their dreams, and what they might do if they were President of the United States.

In comes Google Drawings! With Google Drawings, students have a place to write about what they would do if they were president or better yet, they could draw what their first actions would be if elected president.

Check out this If I Were President Template I created in Google Drawings. You can make a copy of it and use it in the classroom with your students.

You might even start out this activity with a discussion about what a president's job entails. However, encourage your students to be creative and come up with ideas for what they want their world to be like. Then have students explain their drawings.

If you want to share all the drawings in one place for the entire class to see, try creating a collaborative Padlet. Students can save their drawings as JPEGs and upload them to the padlet.

Happy President's Day!