Articles tagged "Google Documents"
Weekly post #62 - Easy Accents, Google Tasks, easily create a slideshow from a Padlet, and what is BeReal?
Easy Accents add-on for Docs and Slides
The Easy Accents add-on for Google Documents and Slides enables an easy-to-use panel that allows a very visible process of inserting characters with accents.
To install the add-on follow these steps →
- Open a Google Document
- → Extensions
- → Add-ons
- → Get add-ons
- → Search for Easy Accents
- You will then see a choice of 'Easy Accents - Docs' or 'Easy Accents - Slides'.
- Choose Easy Accents - Docs
- → Install
- Allow permissions etc
- Once back in the document → Extensions → Easy Accents - Docs → Easy Accents - Start
- You should see a side panel open → choose the language you wish to use.
Read more here →
Stars and recurring tasks in Google Tasks
In Google Tasks, you can mark important tasks with a star. You can view or sort your starred items across various task lists in the starred view.
You can directly set the end option for a recurring task (never, on a certain date, or after a number of occurrences) in Google Tasks.
Easily assign Google Tasks from Google Docs
In Google Docs, you can assign a checklist item to yourself, a student or a colleague that will appear in the assignee’s Tasks list. When edits are made to an assigned item in Google Tasks, such as a change to the title, due date or completion state, those updates will show in the Doc, and vice versa.
Read more here → support.google.com - Assign tasks from Google Docs
Turn a Padlet into a slideshow
You can now create a slideshow from the content of a Padlet.
Every post becomes a slide. The fonts are sized automatically. The colors are determined by your chosen wallpaper. You can navigate with your cursor or your keyboard. The presentation will be updated live when you edit the padlet it references.padlet.blog - Introducing Slideshow: beautiful, auto-designed presentations [9 Februrary 2023]
Read more here →
What is BeReal?
Have you heard the students discussing BeReal? Has a student asked you to be in their BeReal because the notification occurred during lesson time?
If you would like to know more about BeReal check out the two resources below →
childnet.com - BeReal – a guide to the new social media app [29 July 2022]
Weekly post #61 - Making videos with your Chromebook, dealing with WebP files, viewing non-printing characters, annotating text with Lucidspark and staying safe on Instagram
Using the Lenovo C13 Yoga Chromebook to make a video
Most International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations staff have a Lenovo C13 Yoga Chromebook. These devices are capable of quickly and easily capturing video. As the devices are 'Yogas, ' the hinge can be bent both ways. This is the recommended way for capturing a quick video using a Lenovo C13 Yoga Chromebook →
- Press the search key (the one with the magnifying glass icon).
- Either search for 'Camera' or press the blue camera icon if you see it.
- Push the screen over so the device is like a tent - with you looking at the screen and the keyboard pointing away from you.
- You can now change the camera mode to 'Video' and use the circular on-screen button in the bottom right-hand corner to start and stop the recording.
- The video file is saved to a folder called 'Camera', which you can find in the Files app. Files can be easily uploaded to your Drive and shared.
Read more here → support.google.com - Use camera features on your Chromebook
Dealing with WebP files
You may have noticed that sometimes when you right-click → 'Save image as' to download an image, you end up with a WebP file. You probably wanted a jpg or png file. What can you do about this?
Several Chrome extensions are available in the Chrome Web Store that can help. I recommend → WebP / Avif image converter, which adds a 'Convert and save image as' option to the right-click menu.
Alternatively, you can download the WebP file and then use an online converter service, such as convertio.co, to convert the file into a more friendly file format.
Viewing non-printing characters in Google Docs
You can (now) display non-printing characters to see how a document is laid out. When turned on, you will see symbols or text to represent the following →
- Paragraph/Hard break
- Line/Soft break
- Section break
- Page break
- Column break
To reveal the non-printing characters → View → Show non-printing characters to display.
Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - New option to view non-printing characters in Google Docs [9 January 2023]
Annotating text with Lucidspark
Educators and students (currently) have access to Lucidspark at the International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations.
Lucidspark is an excellent whiteboarding app worth exploring if you haven't yet.
If you would like support using Lucidspark in your teaching, please get in touch with me.
Staying Safe on Instagram and other Meta Platforms
This video is worth 8 minutes and 34 seconds of your time.
Weekly post #60 - Chromebook keyboard shortcuts, Group tabs, Mote's online voice recorder and emojis in Docs
Group Tabs in a minute
Helpful minute-long video from Dean Stokes.
[Chromebook] Ctrl + Alt + -
To access every keyboard shortcut on your Lenovo C13 Yoga Chromebook with a Swiss french keyboard, press Ctrl + Alt + -.
The feature, once activated, is built up of several sections:
- Popular shortcuts
- Tabs and windows
- Page and web browser
- System and display settings
- Text editing
Insert emojis inline with text in Google Docs
Type “@” followed by a descriptor, such as “@smile,” to search for a specific emoji amongst other menu items.
Read more here → workspaceupdates.googleblog.com - Insert emojis inline with text in Google Docs [29 August 2022]
The quickest way to start recording audio is to head to mote.new.
Supporting your child getting started on social media
Young people are always looking for the latest app or site to go on, and if they come to you talking about social media there are lots of things to consider.
Here, we will help answer the big questions that parents and carers may have when their child asks about signing up for a new social media app.childnet.com/blog - Supporting your child getting started on social media [13 September 2022]
Read more here → childnet.com/blog - Supporting your child getting started on social media [13 September 2022]
Weekly post #57 – Managing Chrome tabs, producing Chromebook screencasts, sharing YouTube clips and producing timelines in Sheets
The following topics, ideas and themes are a summary of updates shared during the November 2022 IT themed faculty meeting at International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations Secondary.
Managing tabs in Chrome
How many open Chrome tabs is too many?
Are you making use of the Chrome bookmark bar and the feature where you can organise bookmarks in folders?
Have you explored Chrome tab groups yet?
If you ‘live you life in bookmarks’ consider using raindrop.io! It is one of my favourite apps and I use it on a daily basis.
The [Chromebook] Screencast
If you have a Chromebook you have access to the Screencast app. If you have the need to record what is happening on your screen along with your commentary, maybe to explain a process or similar, it is worth checking out the following video, produced by John R Sowash →
Google Documents notifications
For a long time now it has been possible to be notified when changes were made to a Google Sheet. Google has now brought similar capabilities to Google Documents.
Tools → Notification settings →tick 'Added or removed content'
I use this function to monitor a 'bulletin' document. When additions are made to the document I receive an email notification. This means that I do not need to remember to regularly check the document - but also not miss out when additional content is added.
Top tips when using YouTube
There's a range of keyboard shortcuts that you can make use of when using YouTube to display your fluency and skills. Here are my favourites →
- Spacebar → Play/Pause.
- f → Activate full screen.
- c → Activate closed captions and subtitles if available. To hide captions and subtitles, press C again.
- Number 0 → Goes to the start of the video
Find more Keyboard shortcuts for YouTube here.
If you place the pointer over a video's progress bar a red dot will appear. If you then right click on that red dot you are presented with some options. One of these is 'Copy video URL at current time'. If you click on that and then share the copied link (URL) with somebody then if they click on the link the video will open and start playing at that time.
Some content producers allow you to produce a 'clip' of their video. This would then allow you to easily share that clip (section of a video) with a student, class or team. The following video explains the process →
Read more about this here → support.google.com - Share clips
The Google Sheets Timeline feature
You can now produce timelines in Google Sheets. This is a useful and powerful feature that presents opportunities for use in the classroom as well as by educators for project management.
Check out this excellent video produced by Eric Curts →
Weekly post #54 - Filter views, dropdown chips and pause before you share online!
How to use Google Sheets Filter Views
If you get shared a Google Sheets spreadsheet with loads and loads of data on it and decide to filter the view - you are doing that for everybody who visits that spreadsheet.
This situation is why 'Filter views' has been added to Google Sheets.
Watch this video →
Read more here → Chrome Unboxed - How to use Google Sheets Filter Views to analyze data without screwing it up for everyone else [15 April 2022]
Use new table templates and dropdown chips in Google Docs
You can use dropdown chips, in Google Docs, to easily indicate the status of your document or various project milestones outlined in your document. There are two default dropdown options:
- Project Status, which includes selections for “Not Started”, “Blocked”, “In Progress” and “Complete”
- Review Status, which includes selections for “Not Started”, “In Progress”, “Under Review” and “Approved”.
Additionally, you can create a dropdown chip with custom options and colours to best suit your needs.
Google has also adding table templates, which allow you to quickly insert building blocks for common workflows such as a:
- Launch content tracker
- Project asset
- Review tracker
- Product roadmap
Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - Use new table templates and dropdown chips in Google Docs to create highly collaborative documents [2 May 2022]
Level up your padlet skills with a variety of keyboard shortcuts and editing tricks
- Drag and drop a file: Open the post composer with content inside.
- Drag and drop multiple files: Open multiple post composers, each with one of the files. Click the icon on the right to publish all drafts.
- Double-click on padlet: Open post composer
- Double-click on post: Edit post
- Double-click on padlet title: Edit padlet settings
- C: Create a new post
- Cmd/Ctrl + Enter: Publish current post
- Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + Enter: Publish current post and start a new post
- Esc: Close post composer
Read more here → padlet.blog - Triumphant tips and tricks [20 April 2022]
Weekly post #52 - Email draft template, a Mote Essential PD byte session, screen time conversations and the Canopy magazine
Canopy magazine - for teachers using Google Workspace for Education
Canopy is a Google for Education partner based in the UK. They recently launched a magazine for teachers using Google Workspace for Education (like we do).
You browse the magazine here and sign up for magazine updates and access to download individual articles.
New email draft template in Google Docs
Google have added a new feature to the Smart Chip menu. In Docs type @ and you will now see the option to add an 'email draft' layout.
"You can mention people in the recipient fields using the @ menu without having to remember their email addresses, and collaborate on the message body using comments and suggestions. When ready to send, simply click the button that is shown alongside an email draft. A Gmail compose window will pop up, with email fields (subject, to, cc, bcc, and body) automatically populated based on the email draft in the document."
Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - New email draft template in Google Docs [15 March 2022]
A 'byte sized' introduction to Mote during a departmental meeting
I used the presentation above to structure a 15 minute Essential PD byte session that I lead this week. The aim was to introduce some of the key features of Mote to a department at school - to get them interested in having a go.
If any other departments would like me to come into a meeting and lead a Essential PD byte session - please just ask!
Four conversations to have with older kids and teens about their screen time habits
Common Sense Media - 4 Conversations to Have with Older Kids and Teens About Their Screen Time Habits [15 March 2022] is a useful article focused upon students of secondary age.
The publishing of the article is linked to the release of the The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2021. More about this in the near future.
Weekly post #50 – Remote for Slides, Pageless Documents, Mote for Forms and turning old computers into Chromebooks
Chrome Extension suggestion - Remote for Slides
This is a really interesting find by a colleague of mine.
Install the Chrome Extension, open a Google Slides deck, visit remoteforslides.com on your phone and then enter a 6 digit code. Now you have a remote for Google Slides. What I really like is that you can see your 'speaker notes' on your phone.
Google Documents - Pageless page setup
If you have no plans to print a Google Document you are creating - why do you need to have it set up with a page like appearance?
Google has recently introduced the ability to change the page setup to 'Pageless'.
Set up your Google Doc so that it continuously scrolls without page breaks. In this setting, images will adjust to your screen size, and you can create wide tables and view them by scrolling left and right. Line breaks for text will also adjust to your screen size, and as you zoom in and out.support.google.com
- On your computer, open a document in Google Docs.
- Go to File Page setup.
- At the top of the dialog window, select Pages or Pageless.
- Click OK to confirm.
Read more here → support.google.com - Change a document’s page setup: pages or pageless
Turn an old laptop into a Chromebook
If you have an old computer that is struggling it may be possible to turn this device into a Chromebook using Chrome OS Flex.
If you have an old laptop and would like to give this a try - please let me know and we can explore the possibilities together.
Using Mote with Google Forms
Mote gives us the ability to easily leave audio based feedback. This ability isn't confined to Google Documents. Mote has capabilities in Google Slides, Gmail, Google Sites, Google Classroom and Google Forms.
Check out the video above for some ideas on how to use Mote with Google Forms. Basically you can use Mote to record audio questions and then any user, with Mote enabled, will be able to record an audio response.
If you are interested in using Mote as an educator or even broader with your class - please get in contact.
Read more here → support.mote.com - Help! How do I use Mote for Google Forms? Troubleshooting tips
Weekly post #49 – .new, using Padlet Mini and how font choice impacts reading accessibility
Not new but this could improve your ninja like Google Workspace skills.
Type doc.new into the Chrome 'Omnibox' and a new Google Doc will open ready for you to start using. Type sheet.new and guess what... a new Google Sheet is created.
cal.new or meeting.new opens a new Google Calendar event.
Other terms that work →
Check out more → https://goo.gle/Shortcuts
New Navigation bar functions in Google Drive
From the URL bar in Google Drive, you can now quickly access key pages and functions When navigating into the Google Drive web application from the URL bar by hitting the "Tab" key, you can access buttons like "Skip to main content", "Keyboard shortcuts", and "Accessibility feedback"from the bar at the top of the page
Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - New Navigation bar functions in Google Drive
Using Padlet to collect, organise and share bookmarks
All Foundation teaching staff have access to full padlet accounts.
Padlet is super useful for collecting and organising ideas and resources. This could be done on an individual basis or working with a team of colleagues or class of students.
Installing the Padlet Mini Chrome Extension makes this process really easy. If you have a useful resource open in Chrome all you need to do is click on the extensions icon and a menu asking which of your padlets you would like to add the resource to.
Font choice to support reading
“Google publishing Lexend in August 2019 has really helped bring awareness and spread the message of [the importance of] making reading more accessible to a wider audience,” Shaver-Troup said.
An interesting read about the impact of font choice upon reading outcomes → Google Design - Clean and clear: making reading easier with Lexend [2 February 2022]
Weekly post #48 – The four apps that everybody needs
I am not sure where I came across this approach first →
You should have four apps, one from each of the following areas: calendar, task manager, notes and read it later. This approach should help you be more (digitally) productive. You could use less than four as there are some really useful apps that tick more than one of the areas.
This is what I use - as well as some ideas for following the approach using Google Workspace apps.
Google Calendar is all that is needed here! I use a handful of different calendars - school, family etc - but all scheduled lessons, meetings and my daughter's football practices are here.
I use Fantastical on my iPhone and iPad to display my Google Calendar as I prefer the layout - but the Google Calendar iOS app is also very capable.
I'm going to say it - your email inbox should not be your 'job list'. An app where you can 'capture' and then organise all the things that you need to do can be hugely beneficial for your well-being.
There is no shortage of task manager apps available! Within the Google Workspace sphere you have Google Tasks and Google Keep. These apps also display scheduled tasks in your Google Calendar. A recent update allows you to manage overdue tasks in Google Calendar.
Personally I use todoist - and have done for a number of years now. I particularly like how the Gmail add-on allows me to quickly turn emails into tasks, the web and iOS apps and the integration with Google Calendar, Fantastical etc.
Notes in that nice notebook you got for your birthday, others on the back of an envelope and even some in an email you sent to yourself. One place (app) is needed where you make, organise and can quickly find your notes and thoughts.
In Google Workspace you could use a Google Doc. Utilising H1, H2 to give things structure and the document outline to quickly move around. Smart chips will also help you tie various things together.
I have tried GoodNotes on my iPad, various physical Moleskine type notebooks, Bear, Notion and Trello and more. All of them have good bits - but not the coverage that I was looking for.
I am about two weeks into using Roam Research as my note taking app of choice. It is a little geekier than some of the other options and maybe not as pretty. The speed of use and the automatic generation of connections between notes, topics, ideas is what is making it the app I keep going back to. There are 'task manager' options here too - but I am sticking with todoist for that side of things, at the minute.
Read it later
You need somewhere to store links. That article that was shared by a colleague that you want to digest at a later date. The website you want to use next time to teach a certain topic to one of your classes. The website of that new restaurant you would like to try. All these links need to be stored and organised.
In Google Workspace you could use Chrome bookmarks and then use the Chrome Bookmark Manager to ensure links are organised into folders. Google Keep, and it's Chrome extension, can also be useful here.
I prefer a dedicated app for such things. I want an app that is 'cross platform' - I can use it on my school Chromebook, my personal iPad, my phone etc.
I use Pocket. There is a Chrome extension so that I can quickly add websites that I am viewing to Pocket - so that later on I can read them and sort them out. With tags etc you can use Pocket as an organised store of your links. I do not tend to do this. For me links get added to Pocket and then every so often I sort them out. Sites that I want to integrate into my teaching resources get added to Trello and things I want to read (in depth) are added to the iOS app Matter.
Weekly post #47 – Companion mode in Meet, text watermarks in Docs and changes coming to Gmail
Google Meet Companion mode
Companion mode allows you to connect to a Google Meet without video and sound.
Why might this be useful?
You could connect a second device to a Google Meet - giving you more options in terms of presenting from one device and see all the participants on another. Using Companion mode means there is no chance of audio feedback.
If you had a group of students, in a classroom with their devices, but you wanted to use some of the tools that Meet offers such as the chat or rolls, you could get the students to connect to a Meet using Companion mode.
To join a Meet in Companion mode → In a Google Meet Invite, click Join → On the meeting landing page, under Other joining options, click Use Companion mode.
Read more here → Google Workspace Learning Center → Companion mode quick start guide
Text watermarks in Google Docs
You can now add a text watermark to your documents in Google Docs.
Text watermarks will repeat on every page on your document, making it useful for indicating file status, such as “Confidential” or “Draft” before sharing more broadly.
Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - Create or import text watermarks in Google Docs [24 January 2022]
Changes coming to Gmail
Google are introducing a new, integrated view for Gmail, making it easy to move between applications like Gmail, Chat, and Meet in one unified location.
Beginning 8 February 2022 you should be able to opt-in to test the new experience.
By April 2022 users who have not opted-in will begin seeing the new experience by default, but can revert to classic Gmail via settings.
By the end of Q2 2022 this will become the standard experience for Gmail, with no option to revert back.
Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - New integrated view for Gmail features email, Google Meet, Google Chat, and Spaces in one place [31 January 2022]