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Weekly post #39 - Co-hosts, watermarks, and leveling up your Soundtrap skills

Add a co-host to a Google Meet

You can now assign co-hosts in a Google Meet.

Why would you want to do that? Maybe you are presenting to parents or a large group of students and you want somebody else to take the lead in admitting participants, muting etc. so that you can focus on what your the message you are sharing. If this is the case - you need a co-host!

Read more here → support.google.com - Add Co-hosts in Google Meet

Add a watermark to a Google Document

You can now add image watermarks directly into Google Docs. This watermark image will repeat behind the text on every page of your document.

Read more here → support.google.com - Change page settings on Google Docs

Soundtrap Academy

All staff and students in the secondary school at the International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations have access to a Soundtrap account.

Soundtrap is a very capable online application - but should also be your first stop for recording simple audio clips for classes etc.

Soundtrap offers the Soundtrap Academy where you can "learn to use Soundtrap to the fullest, empower your students, and become a Certified Soundtrap Educator."

Is it just me?

Google Workspace Status Dashboard

It might be...

If you are experiencing a problem with a Google Workspace application it can be worth checking the Google Workspace Status Dashboard to see if it something 'bigger than just you'.

Weekly post #38 - Family focused - a podcast, a toolkit and some apps

This is the 38th 'weekly post' that I have added to digitaltechnologies.education. The 37 other posts where primarily aimed at educators. From now on I am going to try and add a monthly post focused upon digital citizenship considerations that both educators and families may find engaging.

Is it possible to make the internet safe for children?

An interesting listen from the UK based 'The Guardian' newspaper. The nature of the risks parents have to think about, the effectiveness of the approaches which can be used to reduce them, and the possible limitations of any such systems are all discussed in a sensible and balanced manner.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised by the podcast - please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

Childnet International Parent and Carers Toolkit

Childnet International is a non-profit organisation "working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children".

The Childnet International Parent and Carers Toolkit provides resources that offer practical tips and advice upon:

  • Starting discussions about their online life
  • Setting boundaries around online behaviour and technology use
  • Finding out where to get more help and support

Does your child have a Nintendo Switch?

Does your child have a Nintendo Switch?

The UK Safer Internet Centre has a useful post about the available parental controls on the Switch.

Parental controls are useful tools as part of a larger discussion between parents and children about gaming console use, screen time and the appropriateness of certain game titles.

Helping your child to 'get things done'

Todoist

Students have lots of things to juggle - and it only gets more complicated as they get older.

Google Workspace, that all the students at the International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations have access to, has two in-built digital task manager options - Google Tasks and Google Keep.

For those students looking for something a little more evolved I would highly recommend Todoist.

The effective use of a digital task manager takes practice and support. Todoist recently released A Student’s Guide to Todoist which is an interesting read for all older students (and their parents) who are looking for a tool to help them get things done in a deliberate and organised way.

Weekly post #37 - Google Workspace age related changes, Todoist and managing your Chrome tabs

Google makes some age related changes

Google recently launched a new age-based access setting to make it easier for domain admins to tailor experiences for their students and educators based on age when using Google services like YouTube, Photos and Maps.

Since September 1, 2021, students who are under 18 are seeing changes in their experience across Google products.

For example, after September 1, students designated as under 18 in K-12 domains can view YouTube content assigned by teachers, but they won’t be able to post videos, comment or live stream using their school Google account.

Safer learning with Google for Education [29 June 2021]

If you used to get students to create videos and add them to YouTube you should still get students to create videos - but now they should add them to their Drive and share them with you.

Read more here → Google Workspace Admin Help - Control access to Google services by age

Are you looking for a to-do list manager?

I find that a 'proper' to-do list manager really helps me to organise what I need to do and therefore reduces the stress associated with rushing or forgetting things.

My to-do list manager of choice is Todoist. It is great on the web and has a slick smartphone app as well. It integrates nicely with Gmail so that you can easily generate tasks from emails.

If you want to know more check out this post → An Educator’s Guide to Todoist.

Chrome tab management

I have (strong) opinions on font choice and the number of tabs a 'normal' person should have open in Chrome!

If you struggle with managing all your tabs you may want to read this blog post → The Ultimate Guide to Chrome Tab Management by Jonathan Wylie. Super useful.

Basic actions on multiple tabs in Google Sheets

Now you can select multiple tabs in Google Sheets and perform basic actions on the selection (such as moving the tabs together, deleting, duplicating, copying, coloring, or hiding). I just thought some of you might like to know!

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - Select multiple tabs in Google Sheets and perform basic actions on the selection [22 July 2021]

Weekly post #36 - ManageBac subject pages, Cursive, how does Google Search work and Mote updates

ManageBac subject pages

ManageBac now has 'subject pages' for IB Diploma and MYP.

Our new Subject Pages for IB Diploma and MYP provide searchable, dynamic, curated support, resources, ideas and unit plans to support IB teaching and learning.

managebac.com/blog/subject-pages

Subject Pages are accessible by Teachers from the Curriculum Tab via the Subject Centre Tile.

Read more here → ManageBac - Subject Pages [23 August 2021]

Cursive - a new note taking app for Chromebook users

Cursive is a new note taking app from Google but it isn't an app store app - it is a web-based 'progressive Web App' and that means anyone (with a Chromebook) can use it now.

It is still 'early' in it's life and I will try and share more about it in the future. If you are a Chromebook user - visit the URL cursive.apps.chrome, unleash your stylus and give it a test drive.

Discover how Google Search works

We all use Google Search - regularly! We rely on it to find the answers to our questions. Seeing we are so dependent upon it maybe we should take an opportunity to learn more about it.

Google has recently updated their 'How Search works' website. It is worth a couple of moments of your time.

Mote - recent updates and developments

Mote is a platform that allows you to record audio comments and the like in Google Workspace applications. For example - if you are commenting upon a student's Google Document you can leave audio comments in the comment boxes - rather than texting.

Staff at Campus des Nations who are interested in giving Mote a try - please let me know and I will sort you out with a subscription.

Mote has made the following recent updates:

  • Pause recording in Google Classroom and Google Slides
  • iOS app
  • Extension and iOS app localization into Chinese, French and other languages. Find out how to switch your language.

Weekly post #35 - Chromebooks, lucid.app, digital notes and the Social Dilemma

Staff familiarisation with C13 Chromebooks

Forty teachers at International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations Secondary are starting the academic year using Lenovo C13 Chromebooks as their personal devices.

The slides below are what was used at the familiarisation session →

Use lucid.app for all your Lucidpress and Lucidchart needs

Lucid have brought all their services and you files together in a very 'Google Drive' style approach.

To start a document or find your exiting ones - start of lucid.app.

Do you get students to produce notes in Google Documents?

If you allow your students to make digital notes in your lessons consider the use of a Google Documents.

A single document, per student, per subject structured with uniformly formatted headings (using H1, H2, H3 etc) and bookmarks produces a well structured document that increases in usefulness as more content is added.

The Social Dilemma is now available on YouTube

If you haven't seen it - it is worth a watch. I think there are some great sequences in it. I particularly like the ones that 'show' a characters attention being kept by a social media platform.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mqR_e2seeM

Weekly post #34 - Smart chips, checklists and adding audio to Kahoot! questions

This will we the last 'Weekly post' before the summer break. Posts will start again in late August or early September focused upon the updates made during the summer months.

Google Docs - Smart chips for files and meetings

Google is currently working on a whole set of enhancements to Google Workspace that will make the collaboration and project management even easier.

Smart chips are already available when you mention a person in a document, displaying additional information such as the person’s location, job title, and contact information.

Google have expanded this functionality to include the ability to insert smart chips for files and events.

  1. Open a document in Google Docs.
  2. Enter "@."
  3. Select from the list of suggestions or enter letters, numbers, or symbols to narrow your suggestions.
  4. Hover over the smart chip to view related information.

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - Insert smart chips for files and meetings, create checklists in Google Docs [18 May 2021]

Google Docs - create checklists

It is now possible to add checklists to Google Documents.

  1. Click a Google Doc page where you want to add a list.
  2. In the toolbar, choose a list type → Checklist.

Read more here → support.google.com - Add a numbered list, bulleted list, or checklist

Add audio to Kahoot! questions

You can now add audio to questions. Just type a short text in one of the supported languages and it’ll be read aloud to players before they answer the question!

Based on Microsoft Azure’s Text to Speech service that converts text to lifelike speech, this media type supports text in the following 37 languages:

Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Read more here → New: add audio to Kahoot! questions to power up listening comprehension and language learning [14 June 2021]

Replace your background with a video in Google Meet

In addition to replacing your Google Meet background with a static image, you can now replace your background with a video. At the moment, you can select from three Google made videos: a classroom, a party, and a forest — more options will be available soon.

Just because you can - doesn't mean you should!

Weekly post #33 - Google I/O and WWDC

It is the season of developer conferences. Both Google and Apple have had their annual (online) developer conference in the last few weeks. These conferences are not focused upon 'educational technology' but technologies they announce and discuss will have impacts upon us, our student and upon education as a whole.

Both of the condensed video summaries below are worth a watch to get a feel of the technologies that will be influencing us and our students in the near future.

Google I/O 2021 in under 9 minutes

Google I/O (or simply I/O) is (usually) held by Google in Mountain View, California. "I/O" stands for Input/Output, as well as the slogan "Innovation in the Open".

WWDC 2021 in 9 Minutes

WWDC stands for Worldwide Developers Conference and is held annual, by Apple, (usually) in in the San Jose Convention Center in California.

Weekly post #32 – New things in Google Meet

Google is continually evolving the applications we use as part of Google Workspace for Education. These updates are pushed out and can take a couple of weeks to arrive with us all! The following updates have been promised for a while but I have just noticed that they are appearing for @ecolint.ch users.

Automated live captions in five languages

[Not as new as the other updates mentioned here - but worth a reminder!]

You can turn captions on to view subtitles as everyone speaks during a video call. They are not a translation but sub-titles of what is being said.

You can use captions in English in all geographical locations. As we are in Europe, we can use captions in: English, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain).

Read more here → support.google.com - Use captions in a video call

Improved screen layout

When viewing and sharing content with any group of people, you will now have more space to see the content and others’ video feeds through the refreshed new look and improved ability to pin and unpin content.

Hover over your video feed for options between a tile in the grid or a floating picture. You can also resize, reposition, and hide it to concentrate on the call. Your self-view appears in the bottom right of the grid to put more video feeds at eye-level as you look into the camera.

The bottom bar

The bottom bar is always visible, while not covering cover captions and bottom video feeds. Meeting dial-in codes, attachments, the participants list, chat, and other activities have all moved to the bottom right to create more vertical space for seeing people and content. Controls have been consolidated in one place with descriptions available when you hover your mouse pointer over them. The leave call button has been moved away from the microphone and camera buttons to prevent accidental call hang-ups!

Expiring Meet codes

Google Meet meetings can be scheduled across Google Workspace products, such as Calendar, Gmail, Google Chat, and more. This means your unique meeting code and its expiration are based on the product that your meeting is created from.

Most meeting codes will expire 365 days after the last use, but there are instances where the meeting code will expire instantly once the meeting ends →

Weekly post #31 - GCE L1, images in front of or behind text and Google Slides Theme Builder

Four things to check out →

An update on the Google Certified Educator Level 1

If you have not yet completed your Google certified Educator Level 1 certification, or have let your lapse, this video is worth 14 minutes of your time →

Produced by John R. Sowash who is definitely worth subscribing to on YouTube for Chrome and Chromebook ideas and updates.

Positioning an image in front of or behind text in Google Docs

Positioning an image in front of or behind text in Google Docs

You can now position an image in front of or behind text in Google Docs.

You’ll see the new option for positioning an image above or below text within the image options sidebar and in the image toolbar when clicking directly on an image.

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - Create and import documents that contain images above or behind text in Google Docs [24 May 2021]

Present from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly to Google Meet

Present from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly to Google Meet

You can now present content from Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides directly to an active Google Meet call.

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - Present from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly to Google Meet [18 May 2021]

Google Slides Theme Builder

Google Slides - Theme Builder

Google has renaming the “Master” view in Google Slides to “Theme Builder”.

This change better communicates the benefits: to help users quickly customize the font, color, and layout customization for their current theme, ensuring a consistent experience throughout the presentation.

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - “Master” view in Google Slides renamed to “Theme Builder” [25 May 2021]

Weekly post #30 - New types of citations, edit history, Google Sheets keyboard shortcuts and searching for public Google Workspace files

Four things to check out this week.

Richer information on the edit history of a Document

You can now view richer information on the edit history of a particular range of content in Google Docs. Simply highlight and right-click on a range of text and select “Show Editors” from the dropdown menu. Here, you can view a list of editors and their latest edit along with time stamps.

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - “Show Editors” provides more context on changes made in Google Docs [3 May 2021]

How to Find Public Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Sheets, and Drawings

Another useful video from Richard Byrne that demonstrates how to use Google's advanced search function to find publicly shared Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Sheets, and Drawings. 

Four new types of citations in Google Docs

Add Citation Source in Google Docs

Now you can add these four additional citation source types in Google Docs:

  • Film
  • TV Series
  • TV Episode
  • Miscellaneous

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - Add and manage four new types of citations in Google Docs [31 March 2021]

Google Sheets: Every Keyboard Shortcut You Need for Windows and Mac

Google Sheets

Useful post listing all the Google Sheets keyboard shortcuts, including a free cheat sheet PDF, from makeuseof.com.