If you use Google Sheets there is a fairly new feature in the bottom right-hand corner that can save you time when analyzing data in your spreadsheet. By moving your cursor to a column or highlighting multiple columns Google will give you data analysis, suggestions for quick formatting, the option to quickly create a chart, or allow you to ask a question when you press the Explore button. Another tip: to quickly view or insert a chart–hover your mouse in any Analysis box–a chart symbol and a magnifying glass appear; choose the chart symbol.
Monthly Archives: November 2016
Today we are sharing a free webtool to help students evaluate the credibility of online sources. EasyBib has created a website evaluator tool that walks the students through a series of questions about purpose, accuracy, the author, publisher and relevance of a website. There is also background information about each of the categories to help the student determine the appropriate answer. A handy feature also occurs when the students enter the URL they are evaluating the website appears on the left side of their window and the questions/guide are on the right–this way they can explore to determine answers to the credibility questions. The last step asks the students to decide if the website is credible or not and it contains an area where they can type/explain their answer–this can also be printed or emailed to the teacher. To try it out go to http://webeval.easybib.com/.
Today’s free tech tool comes in the form of an online project organization tool–think family vacation, a workplace project, or a group project tool for students. Trello lets you create a private, secure board filled with cards to organize your projects. These Trello boards are used by millions of users from educational, personal, and corporate backgrounds. Some of the features that can be utilized: invite as many collaborators as you want, see real-time changes from others, add comments for all or for specific members, create and cross off items on a checklist, add due dates, upload attachments, and add color coding labels to keep tasks organized. You can also drag and drop people to cards to divide up tasks and Trello’s notification system makes sure everyone stays up-to-date and communication is streamlined. Shown below are two ways others have used Trello to manage their projects. To learn more go to https://trello.com/.
Storyboard That is a just that–an online storyboard creator that offers so many features that makes it tops in my book. My students use the Lite version which is free–it has some limitations, but it works for us. Some of the great features include no login required to start working and the number of options for the background and characters is endless. Students can easily create a historic storyboard with the different eras represented. Each character or background is also editable–for instance you can change day to night or the skin color of your characters. Even though it has many options it is still user-friendly and can be used in elementary and secondary classrooms. Storyboard That has created an amazing collection of lesson plans and teacher guides–it is a great place to be inspired on how use this resource in the classroom–especially for ELA and Social Studies teachers K-12. To find lesson ideas go to https://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/education/teacher-resources and to try it out go to https://www.storyboardthat.com/ and choose Create a Storyboard.
Doodle is a free online scheduling and poll tool. This website will save you time if you struggle to find a time or date for a meeting that works for a number of people. The other option is to use to Doodle as a poll or a place to make a choice. Some great features include no-sign up or login for users and the ability to sync to your calendar. Shown below is an example of what the scheduling tool looks like. To learn more go to https://doodle.com/.
When I first started using Google Docs/Drive to create documents and forms I was disappointed that some of my regular keyboard commands from Microsoft Word did not work. However, there is a menu to help you find the keyboard commands for Google Drive. When you are typing in Google documents Mac users press command and / (forward slash), PC users press Ctrl and / (forward slash), and a list of keyboard shortcuts that work will appear. If that is hard for you to remember press shift and ? to do the same.
As a social studies teacher I always enjoy when Google puts together a curriculum tool for educators using Google Earth. One of their education projects was a partnership between Google Earth, Science in the Classroom, and the University of Maryland to create a tool to let students analyze forest coverage trends around the world. Global Forest Change Explorer has a curriculum guide to help teachers walk their students through the exploration of the Google Earth data. They also provide links to underlying data which allows students to see forest loss and forest gain since 2000. This resource is geared towards secondary students. To learn more go to http://globalforestchange.org/.
If you want to send a large file by Gmail it is possible to exceed the attachment size allowance set by Google. However there is a way to increase that size limit by still using Gmail, but attach your file through Google Drive. Here is how to do it—when you are composing your Gmail, click on the attachment icon (paperclip symbol) and more symbols should appear to the right. Choose the triangular icon which is the Google Drive symbol. Select the file you would like to attach from the pop-up menu that appears. Also remember if your file was not created in Google Drive it is very simple to press the upload button and quickly convert it to a Drive file. This method will allow you to email larger files when necessary.
Here is a YouTube tip–if you would like to share a video with others, but want them to skip ahead to a certain part of the video to begin watching–there is an easy way to do this. While viewing the YouTube video, push pause where you would like them to start watching, and then right click. When you right click select the option Copy Video URL at Current Time. (Mac users remember you can right click by pressing control and clicking your mouse/touchpad at the same time.) Now you can paste that address into your email, document, or file that you are sharing with others. When they click on the link it will take them right to the spot in the video you selected.