Monday, September 28, 2015

What's New With Google 2105 Workshop

Here are the slides from this week's workshop.  I'll be updating them as I go through the workshops.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Accessing student schedules


Here's an easy way to access the schedule for a student in your class;
  1. Go to the MMS attendance portal
  2. Choose the appropriate class (or advisory)
  3. Click Attendance...View...Student Schedule
  4. Choose the student whose schedule you need.

Note that you can also use Student Biographical Profile to access parent addresses and phone numbers.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Doctopus & Google Classroom

I've posted (and done workshops) before about Doctopus.  I'm sharing again because more and more
teachers are now using it.  I also want to clear up any confusion about Doctpus vs. Google Classroom.

So, first of all, what is Doctopus exactly?  It's an add-on to Google Sheets that essentially allows a teacher to create documents from templates that are individualized for each student in a class, then (optionally) put the docs into folders in Google Drive that are shared between each student and the teacher.  It automates (and saves the hassle of) each student individually making a copy of a file, renaming it, then sharing it back with the teacher.

What's Google Classroom?  It's a tool developed by Google that is designed for teacher to post messages to their classes and to manage assignments.  It actually integrates with Doctopus. I would recommend using Doctopus on its own for now.  As Google Classroom develops more features, it may be worth looking into later.

I decided to make a screencast about setting up and using Doctopus (click the upper right to expand it).  It's longer than my usual, but I cover both initial setup and regular use.  One thing I left out of the video is that once you set up a roster for a class, you can just recall that roster in the future (so the first 4:25 of the video you only have to do once per class).

Please let me know if you'd like to get started and I'd be happy to help.  I can also direct you to colleagues who are currently using the tool.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

PollEverywhere now embeds in Google Slides

There are lots of good tools out there for assessing and getting instant student/audience feedback via technology, but PollEverywhere has been around (probably) the longest.  They just announced today that you can now embed the results of a "poll" into a Google Slides presentation.  It's still in "Labs," but worth checking out.  Good to know, as we use Slides more and more in place Powerpoint.
Here's a how-to:

Gathering audience feedback directly from Google Slides from Poll Everywhere on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Vermont Google Educator Group HOA

Dear teachers.

Wondering what an HOA is?  It stands for "Hangout On Air," which is a video chat session (similar to Skype) that is streamed live.  Typically, a panel discusses a topic in the hangout while others watch the discussion, optionally posting questions for the panelists.  This afternoon, there will be a Hangout On Air hosted by the Vermont Google Educator Group all about using Google Classroom.  If you're been wondering about Google Classroom, here's a chance to hear about it from Vermont educators.

So, now you might ask what the Vt Google Educator Group is.  As more schools in Vermont use Google applications extensively, this group (Google Plus Community) has been formed to support their use.  Check it out here.

Speaking of Google Plus, if you used your account for Google +, there isn't an easy way to transfer posts, etc to your account (you can, however, download the data from the old account-- just no way to upload it to the new one).  I'm just starting from scratch again, adding people to my circles and re-joining communities.

And if you're not sure what Google Plus is all about, here's an older post from a workshop.

Please let  me know if you have any questions.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

New templates in Google Slides (Presentations) and Sheets, too!

image from
Yesterday I posted about the new templates in Google Docs.  What I didn't mention is that they're also in Slides (the "Powerpoint" of Google Docs) and Sheets (spreadsheets).

There are templates for things like calendars and monthly budgets (in Sheets) and science projects (in Slides).

Check them out at:


Friday, September 4, 2015

New templates in Google Docs

You may have noticed that Google Docs has brought back templates!  While precise formatting is not Google Docs' strong point, they keep improving and these templates are a good step along the way.

To see the templates, open Google Docs (not Google Drive) from your Student or Faculty & Staff login page or-- if you're already in Google-- as shown:

You will see the templates at the top.

If you are already in Google Docs (or in Drive), you can also create a new doc from a template as shown:

One thing I noticed while trying these out is that it helps to understand how styles work in a word processor.  Rather than simply re-sizing and changing the color of text, if you use the built-in styles for a theme, the elements of your document will match. For example, in this theme, all text formatted as Heading 1 will look like the word "INTRODUCTION," all Heading 3 will be teal-colored, etc.

As I've mentioned this before, you can insert of tables of contents in your docs (which can be really handy!)-- but only if you've used paragraph formatting.

I'd love to hear what people think of the templates.  Please comment below!