Showing posts from October, 2014

Google Calendar - Quick Adding Events

Many people don't know that there is a quick add option in the calendar.  This allows you to add an event on any date - with more detail than you might expect!

To use the quick add, you click on the arrow next to the create button -

You will get a pop-up with a text box to fill in the information about your event -

Enter in the date, time and location about the event.  As you add information, the text box will expand so you can see all the information you are putting in -

Click on Add when you are done -

The event will be added, with the information in the correct fields -

There are a few limitation to this feature.  Some limitations include -
you can only add events to your primary (first) calendaryou cannot invite additional people to the event this wayyou are limited to putting in the event name, date, times & location For a majority of calendar events, though, this is a great feature - especially if you are adding an event outside your viewable calendar.

Hour of Code Event

Join the largest learning event in historyDec 8-14, 2014 Last year, 40,000 teachers led a grassroots effort called the Hour of Code – to introduce ten million students to one hour of computer science. Kids of all ages tried one hour of writing code and making apps in classrooms, and they loved it.  This year, supported by over 100 organizations, they want to reach 100 million students, across every country in the world, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec 8 – 14).
From the site -  What is Hour of Code?  The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Check out the tutorials, and look out for new ones coming for the Hour of Code 2014. Anybody can host an Hour of Code anytime, but the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 8-14, 2014, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is it one spec…

Google Forms - Form Notifications Add-On

I use a lot of forms to collect data.  What interesting, is that there comes a point where I stop checking to see if there are new entries in the form.  I would like to know if there are new entries, yet have too many things to do in my job to constantly check for new form entries. 

Enter an add-on for forms called Form Notifications.  You can use this to get notified when a new entry is submitted.  Now, I use this cautiously - I don't want to bury myself in email, I get enough without additional spamming of myself!  I only enable it when I feel I already have a vast majority of the entries for the form.

To use this, when on the form, go to the Add-ons menu and select Get add-ons. 

Find Form Notifications (you can search for it if you don't see it).  When you mouse over it, it gives some information about it, then you click on the + FREE button to add it.

You will get the Request for Permission window listing all that you are allowing this third-party piece access to.  (I alw…

PD - MVU Learning Symposium

You might consider this if you are a mentor teacher, online teacher, or want to educate yourself on Section 21f.

Details from MVU:
Exploring key trends in online and blended learning
The 10th MVU Online Learning Symposium on November 17 will explore key trends in online and blended learning and examine real-world orientation and support strategies for online learners.
Keynote Speaker
The keynote speaker will be John Watson, founder of Evergreen Education Group of Durango, Colorado. Watson and Evergreen help schools choose and implement the right online and blended learning strategies that help schools meet education goals. Showcase
Through an inaugural statewide catalog showcase, participants can network with representatives from local and intermediate school districts that collectively offer more than 2,000 online course titles in the statewide catalog. The showcase will enable attendees to visit with and learn from experts who are making 21f work. View the statewide cat…

Google Email - Canned Responses

There is an email add-on that has a bunch of useful features that is worth knowing about, if you don't already.  It is the Canned Responses.

To use this feature, you first have to enable it.  Go to your email settings:

Click on the Labs in the top right.  Then enter Canned Response in the "search for a lab" box.

When you see it, click on Enable to the right side

Save the changes.  Now you will have this feature when you are in the compose mode of an email. 
To create your first canned response, set up what you want to be "canned" in the email exactly as you wish it to appear.  (Remember, this is NOT a merge - so be cautious if it is something that would change each email!)  Once the information you want is set up, click on the arrow in the lower right corner and look for Canned responses.  Choose New canned response...

Type in the name for the canned response

Now it will appear on the list.  You will also note that you can do one of three things with it - Inser…

Google Forms - Randomize Your Form Questions

Google Forms has been getting a little Google love.  Some of you have been asking about them, so I thought I would make sure to cover some that you might find useful.

A quick down & dirty one that teachers have been requesting for a long time has been added to the top of your form options - ability to randomize your form questions.
Now you can have your questions in a random order so that when giving it to a classroom of students all at the same time you can decrease the odds of them giving collaborative answers. 

Note that if you use pages to organize your questions, the questions are shuffled on each page.  And, this is an all or nothing features - you cannot choose which pages of your form (quiz) are shuffled and which aren't.  Why do I bring that up?  Two examples -
if you ask for student identifiers they would each need to be the only question on a page to keep it from being shuffled with other questionsif you provide a graphic which is followed by a series of questions to…

Contest - Discovery Education "My Hero Is"

Discovery Education in partnership with American Heroes Channel and the National Military Families Association present the My Hero Is Contest. 
Join Discovery Education, American Heroes Channel, and the National Military Families Association in honoring our military members and families by recognizing their service and bravery through the My Hero Is Contest.  Get your students involved by using our free resources and classroom activities around Veterans Day. Then, have them honor a current or veteran military hero or military family member in their lives by creating and submitting 30-second tribute videos. The school with the largest number of videos submitted will receive a special school assembly honoring local veteran heroes. 
To support Veterans Day and your students in creating tribute videos, we are providing a number of classroom resources including a Veterans Day classroom activity, videos, and tip sheets on storytelling and interviewing.
Learn more and help your school …

Website Find - Collaborating with your Classroom through Technology

Collected Links, Resources, and Opportunities for Collaborating with your Classroom through Technology curated by Ben Rimes, K-12 Instructional Technology Coordinator, Mattawan Schools (Mattawan EdTech Twitter) (Mattawan Learning Blog) (Ben’s Pinterest)
These collaborations are focused on helping teachers meet the following Common Core College and Career Readiness Standard: Production and distribution of Writing K-12 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others. This is a Google Document with 2-3 resource links added per week for teachers that are looking to find ways to collaborate beyond the traditional classroom.  Some are resources, some are opportunities that you can sign up to participate in.
This resource is being created by Ben Rimes of Mattawan Schools ( as he is working on helping his teachers …

Google Apps - Sharing a Link to a Form

One of the changes made with Google Forms is the added ability to easily share a shortened URL link with those you want to access the form.  This has impact on users in two obvious ways -
it is a nicer way of sharing the link (instead of the LONG URL that is generated when you create a formit is efficient - you no longer have to go through the extra steps of copying and pasting the link into another site to generate a short URL But there is another advantage, as well.  Because it (of course) uses Google's URL shortener, you will also have access to some analytics on the link AND a QR Code for the site you created the link for.  This might be something of value to you!

First, how to select the new shortened link -
Click on the blue Send Form button (either location) Check the box for the Short URL Google will generate the new URL for you to use To get some basic analytics about the use of the URL, you can go to (Make sure you are viewing it in the account with which you made the…