Monday, April 20, 2015

Google Apps Add-ons: Are you using them?

You should! I've finally added in my favorite Forms Add-ons and I'll continue to update as more changes are made. If you have others to recommend, be sure to tell!

Google Add-ons for Docs, Sheets, and Forms make Drive even more awesome than it already is. Google Drive is left rather basic, but when you use add-ons, you can do more than you ever dreamed. Check out some of the awesome things you do with the use of an add-on. Check out Fennovation.org and Add-ons: Make or Break for more scripts.

Enjoy!





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Friday, April 17, 2015

AppsScripts - all of the cool kids are using them!

Google Apps Scripts are where all of the cool kids hang out. Seriously, you think Google Apps are school? Check out some of the awesome things you can make them do with the use of a simple script. Check out Fennovation.org and Scripting & Add-Ons Revealed for more scripts.

Enjoy!

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Form Ranger

  • Create a Google Form and install the add-on, Form Ranger
    • Imports a range from a Google Sheet (including those in Doctopus Add-on)
    • Allows you to populate and refresh multiple choice, list, checkbox, and grid style question options from columns in any Google Sheet.
  • View tutorial from creators, New Visions Cloud Lab
  • View ideas for uses from creators, New Visions Cloud Lab
Form Limiter

  • Create a Google Form and install the add-on, FormLimiter
    • Limits response to forms based on several criteria
      • Time
      • # responses
      • Values
  • View tutorial from Brian Gray, Google Education Trainer
  • View ideas for uses from creators, New Visions Cloud Lab
DocAppender

GEG CENTX’s very own, Alicia Brooks, provides an overview of how you can use DocAppender as a text response tool. It appends Form responses to a Google Doc.

Miscellaneous


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chrome management & Chrome fun

Chrome - This and That
Who can’t use a boost of Chrome? If you aren’t using these apps/extensions, you should try them. Some new, some old, but all are geared toward the educator and productivity-seeking user. Check out more great Chrome tips and Chrome Apps/Extensions on Let’s Get Chromified from Fennovation.org

Sharing links: Tab Packager


Simple, fast and with a tiny footprint, it's now easy to share a bunch of links you're looking at, to anyone, anywhere, anytime, using only one link! Just click the button, wait a split second and a single link will appear.

Access the link to customise it, add content and share it!
Block Ads: AdGuard Ad Blocker


Adguard AdBlocker effectively blocks all types of advertising on all web pages, even on Facebook, Youtube, and others! Like AdBlock, but works for banners, pop-ups, and Facebook!
Gif Gmail Fun: Gmail Gifline


Write in any place of gmail compose box
::gif me thegifyouneed
and done. Gif inserted.

Manage Autofill passwords

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Chrome Autofill stores your passwords, addresses, and other content. Sometimes, you move or you change passwords and you need to edit or remove content. This is super simple and very handy.
Google + Help:



Easily share Google + posts to a variety of social media and quickly reply directly to author.

Google Apps Training:



This is an interactive training system for Google Apps™ that allows you to learn and take actions at the same time. Great for students and teachers!

Google Hangouts:

Yep. It’s that simple. Click a button and you can start a hangout!
Gmail Management:


This one is great for users who work with many file types. With the attachment icon, you can quickly know what files are in you email.
Google Sheets:


Create sticky notes from a Google Spreadsheet and quickly print. Pre-designed post-it layout presents your data in an easy to scan content first manner. Simply select a column to fill each form field and Printable does the rest. (Note: this one is having issues, but you can still create sticky notes in Google Sheets through formatting)
Literacy & Evaluation:


Find trustworthy websites and help make the web more trustworthy. Web of Trust (WOT) is a website reputation and review service that helps you make informed decisions about whether to trust a website or not when you are searching, shopping or surfing online.
Design & Development: Chrome App Builder


Chrome App Builder is a utility that allows you to easily create Chrome Packaged Apps without needing to type any code. With the Chrome App Builder, you simply define a few settings such as navigation controls and a home button, type in the app URL and finally choose whether you want it to be enabled for use in Kiosk Mode.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Edu Home Stretch #YourEduStory

This week's topic for #YourEduStory: Spring can be a tough time for teachers (with a stretch until spring break and then after it before summer). How do you help morale on campus as tiredness sets in and the kids get squirrely?

Tired teachers and students? I don't believe what I am writing. 

Fatigue is an understatement for most in education at this time of the year. The past month has consisted of weekly testing for our students, prepping for testing for our teachers, and refreshing computers for us ITSs. Needless to say, it has not been full of all of the excitement the rest of the year carries. 

For myself, I designate time each day for inspiration. Typically, that comes at lunch or when I wake up each day. This is my time to peruse Twitter and Google + for the inspiration and the ideas that I want to try. These are the things that get me excited and motivated for the rest of the year. They make me look forward to next year. They make me want to be better.

This is my solution for myself.

For the teachers and students I work with, I find the key is in finding their passion. For me, it's ideas. I like to have time to be inspired. This motivates me. For others, this overwhelms them. I find it easier to motivate students than their adult counterparts. 

For students, I like to throw in the "extra" learning, the things we need to be doing all year, but haven't reached that point. Last week, our librarians hosted a Maker Week for our students in the library. This was an extra learning opportunity and a motivation to some. For others, an extra art activity is motivation. Students need time during this period to do their normal subjects in environments that are not about pass/fail, but about learning. Some of my best memories of school came at the end of the year when teachers let loose and let us explore. One year, I researched T.S. Elliot just because I could. Another year, we were able to recreate the solar system to scale. It was non-typical, fun, and incredibly difficult. It was a huge motivation.

We need to produce the same experiences for teachers. I can't say I'm perfect at this, but it's a goal. I want to provide more opportunities for teachers to "let loose" and explore. Last week, our ITS department had a Maker day. Did we have other things to do? Yes. Could they wait? Yes. I left that meeting feeling refreshed and motivated. Imagine what a similar experience could do for our teachers. It's seems counterproductive in some ways. However, I like to relate it to exercise. 

I've been a competitive athlete for nearly all but a few years of my life. It's provided me useful analogies in school many times. When you are doing endurance and speed training, you can't just sprint to the end, you have to take short rests. It's during these active rests that your body is able to, then, reach an even higher point. 

School is the same way. Those active rests - be it a Maker Day or an exploration day - make us that much stronger. It seems like a risk, but it works. 

Are you willing to take that risk for your students and staff?

Searching like a Ninja Continued

Just when you thought Google search could not get any more awesome, it does! Below are some of the tools I like to use to aid me in searching. These are all part of a series in Becoming a Google Search Ninja on Fennovation.org.


Enjoy!


My Flights


*This only searches flight information in YOUR Gmail account.*


My Purchases

*This only searches purchase information in YOUR Gmail account.*


Google Scholar Extension


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Play PAC-MAN


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Cite your Sources



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