In Google search, you can refine your search to make it better for you. There are the obvious options of Web, Images, Videos, News, and More (maps, books, flights, apps) that can be found under the omnibox (search box in Google).
There is a greatly overlooked option called Search tools. If you choose this option, an additional line comes up underneath with Any time, All results, and, sometimes, your location. From there, you can refine your results.
Under Any time, choose to search for items updated between certain time ranges: past hour, week, month, year, or set your own range. This is GREAT for researching, current events, help desk answers, and probably much more.
Under All results, you can select to see all results or you can have it pull out the sources that have what you typed, verbatim.
Your location helps you to see relevant results from your area, so it may know to pull weather or news from where you are instead of somewhere opposite of where you live. You can even change this to search other areas of the US.
Maybe you noticed Google is working on some branding with their company? New font, colors, icons...LOVE IT!
The Admin panel has made some changes. For one, the color is now a dark teal color, similar to the one used on my website. The icons have also changed, as far as the ones used for actions to account.
If you need to reset a password, it is not in the 3 dot menu that is next to each user. It is now a lock with a refresh arrow around it. That seemed to throw me off at first.
The felt like I saw most of my changes on my iPad app. The icon changed colors and my users menu just changed to one large alphabetical list of ALL my users. I still wish this would show up as it looks on my desktop view. You can also send text messages to your users when you reset their passwords, add multiple users to a group, and more!
Just keep in mind that Google is doing some changes, so there may be some differences in the future. Remember, be flexible and patient as these changes happen! They are meant to help up. If you don't like something, there is a feedback link on the bottom of each page! Use it!
Inviting people to events is a great way to do a few things: invite people, get an RSVP, and put the event on their calendar for them.
Funny thing is that I actually started using this feature more through my husband. He would have a work function and send me a Google invite, I would accept, and then find it on my calendar. That took the work out of it for me because it was already added.
As a teacher, I like to do it for those meetings I need someone to attend or when I am going to meet with a teacher over learning something new.
When you go to Create an event, on the right side you will see the option to "Add guests". Put their email in there and then make your checked selections below. Yes, you can invite more than one person.
By doing this, once you save the event, it will trigger the calendar to send an email to the invited parties. They can then Yes, No, Maybe the event. Pretty awesome!
*Side note, did you know you can add attachments to the event, too? This is pretty neat for attaching agendas or images to the event.
A few of my teachers have been curious about how to control all the calendars that appear under their calendar list.
If you are anything like me, you have access to a bunch of calendars, but only need to work with one or two. This is a super easy fix, and you will appreciate how easy it is!
This is what my calendar looks like with ALL my calendars selected. No good.
This is what it looks like when I select the 2 I use. Much better! Now I only see those appointments I made instead of the +14 options on the calendar above.
How do you do this, you may wonder? Next to the calendars there are boxes filled with color. If they are filled with color, they are not muted and you will see them on your calendar view, usually in that color unless you assigned it a different color when creating the event.
When you click on the box filled with color, it goes blank and the events from that calendar vanish. You didn't delete that calendar or events, you only muted them. You can click it again to make the events show back up.
Hope this helps to make your calendar life a little less busy!
A feature in Gmail that is super neat is Google Chat, GChat for short. Usually people just send a conversation through email, back and forth, back and forth. With GChat, you IM (Instant Message) instead. For those of us that remember, it's like AIM or MSN Messenger. Lol!
GChat has some features you need to know about:
Be careful you don't spend your day chatting instead of working. Sometimes it is easy to get sucked into chatting. I find it helpful for asking a quick question of a co-worker, communicating with the office (ask if your secretary has it enabled and wants you to use it - they may prefer email), and it is a good way to reach me as well!
Does this sound familiar? You are on a website and remember you need to make a Google Document of some sort, so you have to go to your waffle, click on Drive, and make the document. It seems ridiculous, but the steps it took to get there can be shorter. Yes, shorter!
If you add the Chrome extension, Google Docs Quick Create, you can just click on the Google Drive icon that comes up on your Chrome browser bar, get a menu, and create from there. YES! I added this extension as soon as I saw it. Ready to make my life easier with just one click.
See how awesome that is?! Love it!
I attended a great FREE technology conference this past week - and did my first conference presentation, which was super exciting! There was a very informative session I went to about Chrome extensions and apps. If you don't use Chrome, you should be using Chrome! I mean, wow. The amount of thought that has gone into this browser is amazing. It's like it was made for the classroom. Differentiation is easy through this browser. There are apps for people with ADD that are bothered by adds and colors, people with dyslexia can find an app where the font is made easier to distinguish between the letters, reading levels can be changed to fit a reader...so awesome!
I am going to share some apps over the next few weeks, maybe months, that will make your life easier - or more fun!
One I found that I love is the Black Menu for Google. This extension allows you one click to see all the apps Google holds in the waffle after you log in. I always find it annoying that once I leave a Google page, I have to go back to Google to find my app waffle again. This extension allows you to easily move between your apps. It even gives you a great preview window, which lets you see your Drive and Gmail, as long as you give it permission.
Think about Back-to-School Night. Parents file in, you are connecting with all of them quickly, trying to make a good first impression, giving them information, and it is just a rush. Then you hit the end of the night, realizing parents didn't fill out the contact log or that you wanted to send a thank you for coming note, but don't know where to send it.
Google Forms is here to help! Go to Google Forms and make a Form, get a URL, shorten it (makes it easier to display), display it in the room OR make a QR code for parents to scan to go there instantly.
When they get to the Form, have them put in their contact information. I recommend asking for the following information:
Keep it short and simple. The responses will fill in to your spreadsheet. BAM! Instant contact collection.
Check out the video I made to create distribution lists in Gmail. I found that some I had in GroupWise (mainly those that used people within our domain) transferred over. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!
Honestly, this post will probably seem irrelevant to many people. However, I need one place that the teachers not returning and seniors can go to in order to get directions on closing their account with our school domain. But many other people may find these steps useful, too!
If you have an Apps for Edu account I have found that I cannot transfer the data to an account that ends in @gmail.com. Am I frustrated by this? Yes. I think it is silly that a senior cannot easily transfer their work to their own account as they go out in the world. I picture resumes they create just being deleted, which stinks. Or that speech I did in high school and was able to reuse with improvements in college...yeah, having your past files can be important!
Best Steps I Have Found
1. Open your @hallsville.org account in one browser. Open your new account in another browser or in an incognito (private) browsing window. You can only sign in to one account in a browser at a time.
2. In the @hallsville.org account, go to your Drive. Make a folder named "Move". Put all files and documents in that ONE folder that you want to save.
3. Share it with your new email - It will pop up a box asking if you really want to share it with someone not in our domain. Yes, you do.
4. Go to the @gmail.com account > Drive > Shared with Me. The folder will be there. Click it and at the top of the screen it will say "Add to My Drive". Click that. It may also be on the top right side with a symbol that looks like the image in the green box below.
5. Go to "My Drive" on the left side. It is there. You are still sharing it, so you are NOT done.
6. Go back to the @hallsville.org account. Go to the folder with all the files in it you just transferred. Right click on it > Share > Advanced (bottom right corner)
7. Change your @gmail.com account from "can edit" to "owner". Now you are done!
Seems like a lot of headache to do this, but I can't help how Google has chosen to do the transfer. I'm sure there may be an easier way, but this is the best I can find at this time!
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom