With the announcement today that the New Google Sites will be launching publicly next week, it’s time to take the plunge into the new Google Sites. Over the past five months, I’ve tested it out by building over ten Sites for a variety of purposes. Though the new Google Sites needs very little hand-holding, I made an updated presentation to outline the features and make it even that much simpler!
It’s been a while since I’ve added some of my favorite updates to the Google Apps suite so, in case you have not heard about these features in the past few months, check them out!
- Google Docs Outline – it’s been around for a while now, but it still impresses me. I can keep a running document easily by simply making titles or headings. This creates a search/tag menu on the left-hand side for easy access.
- Google Slides templates – freegoogleslidestemplates.com & slidescarnival.com are my two favorites
- Embed charts from Google Sheets in Google Slides
- When copying a file, immediately place it in a new folder.
Google Classroom got many new updates over the summer! While I’m still waiting for the ability to move items around on the About page, add sub groups, change ownership of items (so teacher retains ownership of tests, etc. after returning) and permanently pin items to the top of the stream page, I am even more excited about Google Classroom.
Over the summer, Google added the ability to:
- See Guardian summaries
- Add topics to the Stream (for better organization)
- Annotations on mobile devices (would love for this to be on Desktops/Chromebooks!)
- And several other smaller features
With digital citizenship week approaching, how have you been teaching students how to search. Let’s not simply ask them to search. Let’s teach them HOW. Being able to search, find, and evaluate information are critical skills. Think about how many times a day you use them. However, it’s often assumed students just know how to search, find, and evaluate. On something this critical, it’s not beneficial to students to just assume.
So, I’ve prepared some of my favorite search, find, and evaluate strategies built into Google in one presentation: Become a Search Ninja. Know of more? Share with me!
Check out fennovation.org for all things Google.
I was saddened to read last week that support for the Snagit Chrome Extension will end this summer. That was one of my top five favorite extensions.
With that in mind, I’ve added a few other screen capturing tools to the Let’s Get Chromified list, including:
MediaCore Capture: “You can capture anything on your screen — including your web browser, applications and desktop — or record video straight from your webcam. MediaCore Capture also makes it easy to overlay video from your webcam on a screencast recording — perfect for recording presentations, assignments and demos. “
Capture Cast: “CaptureCast Chrome is a FREE video screen capture extension with no restrictions on the length of your recordings. You can use the screencast recorder to capture your desktop screen, web camera, document camera, and microphone with seamless uploading to YouTube and Vimeo.”
I’ve also added Alice Keeler’s Drive 20, which will open up the first 20 files in Drive with one click. Of course, you can also change the 20 to another number as well.
And, I also added Drive Tunes, an app that turns your Google Drive into a media player. And, with unlimited storage in your school Drive, why not put all of those chorale tunes in there and hit play?!
Weekly, I find myself asking – I wonder if there is something within Chrome that can do that? Though I’ve know about Pushbullet for a while and have even shared it with others, I didn’t find a need to use it until this week. This week, I grew tired of responding to texts on my phone. Yes, a silly reason, but a reason, nonetheless. With Pushbullet, you can get all phone notifications on your computer – regardless of where your phone is. You can also send and receive text messages. If you have a habit of forgetting is phone, it doesn’t matter – you can still send and receive your text messages. Pretty cool, right?
There’s even more coolness to be shared. Don’t forget to check out fennovation.org for all things Chrome, including an awesome table directory of resources.
Updates this month include:
- Copy folder App – similar to the script, but now an app that will allow you to make copies of your Google Drive folders. Hopefully, this will someday be an innate feature in Drive…
- Duplicate file finder and cleaner for Drive – this finds duplicate files and allows you to clean them. I can think of many who could benefit from this…
- All things PDFs – this list of tools will help you split PDFs, merge PDFs, compress PDFs and much more!
You didn’t think it was possible, but…I’ve found a few more apps and extensions that are of note.
- Sortd – a gmail task list that turns your Gmail into a task list. Thanks to +Juan Orozco for the share!
- Scrible – a screen annotation tool
- Journey – helps you create and online journal
- Sticky Notes – just as it sounds – it adds sticky notes to your desktop and supports speech recognition!
Have recommendations? Send them to me at @christyfenne! Enjoy!
We’re already halfway through October and the end of the first semester is quickly approaching. So, with that, it’s time to share some more Google secrets.
A few months ago, a co-worker shared the Google Science Journal with me. Since then, the tool has only improved!
Recently, Google revealed that they just added a new element to it”called Light Instruments: an activity that enables you to design and build a musical instrument played by changing the light that reaches it. The ability to turn graphs into sound was actually originally a feature we designed for accessibility.”
Chrome is my favorite topic to present. It’s my favorite topic to research. And, it’s my favorite topic to share. So, in this second week of 2016, it’s time to get started with Chrome and all it has to offer.