Showing posts from October, 2015

Google Sites - Add a New Web Page to your Google Site

The first page created on your site is the Home Page - this is the landing page for visitors to your site.  We need to create additional pages for our content, so that our home page contents can be built with intention - otherwise the home page quickly becomes cluttered and too long!

Here are the steps for adding an additional web page to your Google Site:
1. Click on the icon that is a Paper inscribed with a +

2. Set your new page settings -
Give your new web page a name Leave it as a Web Page templatePut the page under the Home page (makes it cleaner when you have a lot of pages to organize as you go)
3.  Click the Create button

Your page will be created and put into edit mode so you are ready to add content.

Google Sites - Create a New Site

As a Google Apps for Education school district, one very flexible tool that you have access to is Google Sites.  It is a website creator, but also give you the ability to do the following:
Have pages accessible by parents (public viewing), and other pages on the site only view-able to your students (private viewing)Integrate seamlessly with the host of Google tools - including forms that can be filled out on the spot (without going to another page), embedded maps, and shared calendars to name a fewEasily share files/documents with site visitorsFully integrate a blog/announcement page There are many other features, but like any tool with the flexibility of many features it means a little bit more of a learning curve (think of Swiss army knife vs. screwdriver).

Here are the steps for creating a Google Site:

1. Go to If you haven't yet, log into your Google account.

2. Click on the Create button

3. Enter the settings for your site. 
Blank Template: I encourage people t…

Google email - Link to Email in Calendar

There are many times that I don't have time to deal with an email, but want to make sure that I don't forget about it.  The simplest way to do this is by the Create Event option (which I talked about a couple weeks ago).  However, there are times this is a pain if there are lots of people on the email chain whom I really don't want to go through and delete as possible guests.

So here is another method that will work- 

Each email has a unique URL - you can highlight & copy that URL to use elsewhere.

I often paste it into a new event so I can refer back to it...and I then have also scheduled time to address the issue/email since it is added to my calendar.  This works even if the email is archived, so you can archive the email once you have put the URL into an event!  (Just don't trash those email.)

If you have email notifications set up on the event, the URL appears as an active hyperlink in the notification so you can quickly get to the email from the notificat…

2016 MI Moodle Moot - Januar 7 & 8

Registration is open for the MI Moodle Moot 2016, hosted at Mid Michigan Community College in Mount Pleasant on Thursday, January 7 (preconference workshops) and Friday, January 8 (Moot).  Sessions are available for those new to teaching online, blending instruction with Moodle, veteran Moodle using instructors, instructors who teach entirely online, and Moodle administrators.  Registration is $40 per day. On-site registration - an additional $10.  Up to 10 SCECHs will be available for the two days (pending approval.)  Visit for more information.  Follow MI Moodle Moot 2016 on Twitter using #mimoodlemoot
Register here
Highlights Sessions for both K-12 and higher education 10 different half day hands-on preconference workshops including workshops for new Moodle users, experienced Moodle users and Moodle administrators 30 different 45 minute breakout sessions at the Moot Two hands-on help rooms at the Moot - for teachers and Moodle administrators - with support from e…

Google Forms - Add-on Doc Appender

I have run across another add-on called docAppender that can be very useful for various situations where you are collecting information in a form, and want that information to end up on a specific document.  Below I walk through how to set it up, and after that list a few of the applications I have thought of for it.  I am sure there are many more, so feel free to add to the list with comments!

1. Set up or collect the documents you want to append the form information to into one folder.  Here I've created some simple sign-in sheets for a free activity hour in school.

2. Create your form, making sure to include fields for any data you want to append onto the documents (caveat #1 it has to be the same field(s) for every document).  My form is simple - I just want their name so a sign-up/in sheet is created as they pick their activity.

3.  Include a multiple choice, checkbox or drop down list question that will be used by the add-on to add the documents from the folder as options - …

Student Opportunity - Smithsonian Global Folklorist Challenge

Cricket Media and Global Learning Network have launched the Second Annual Global Folklorist Challenge, produced in partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

About the challenge:
Who: open to youth aged 8 to 18 worldwide,
Task: participants explore a local or regional tradition through the eyes of a community tradition bearer
Product: participants create a video or slideshow to share the story
Deadline: November 30, 2015
More Information: Challenge Website

From the site:
"Cultural traditions that students might explore include dance, games, handicrafts, cooking, storytelling, customs, distinctive jobs, and more. Comprehensive supporting materials reinforce real-world folklorist skills by defining terms; providing examples, tips, and organizational tools; and walking students through professional interview and story-shaping processes. In addition, students can have their questions answered by Smithsonian experts. Accompanying teacher material…

Google Forms - Choice Eliminator Add-on

Today we were planning a hands-on session about Google Forms for later this week.  While discussing what to cover, I mentioned form add-ons and how the Choice Eliminator would be great simple one to demonstrate.  My partner in crime for this pd hadn't even heard of it.  Gasp!  Every one should know about this one - at least anyone that has ever planned a potluck or any other simple type of sign up where you want to limit the number of people bringing the same item (or signing up for a limited number of seats....or the number of people researching the same topic...).

Here is how you add it and use it:

First create your form - here's a very simple form I've created

(You will only do the following steps once - after you add it, it will always be a choice in future forms)

A. Go to Add-ons and select Get add-on
B. Search for Choice Eliminator
C. When it comes up, click the Free button on the right hand side (mine says Manage because I have already added it)
It will add it into …

Website Find: Quizizz

Cannot take credit for this find - heard about it at the Michigan Digital Learning Conference during +Leslie Fisher's keynote.  Quizizz (@quizizz)

Now that I've played a bit with it, I can recommend it as a very versatile and easy-to-use quizzing type site.  I say quizzing type site, because you can use it as a flash card type site (think Quizlet) or a class compete type site (think Kahoot) and probably a couple other ways I haven't thought of yet - but I'm sure others have. And, best part, it's FREE.

You have the ability to create your own quizzes, or use some that are already created.  If creating your own, the interface is drag and drop - and you can even add questions from other quizzes into your new one!

When running your "game," you have several options to toggle on or off to customize it to your teaching goal or your students learning style.  Don't want a leaderboard?  Turn it off!  No time?  No problem! (Quite frankly, not being able to turn…

Free Training with MDOT-TRAC for 6-12 grade Michigan Teachers!

For 6-12th grade math, science, or civics teachers in Michigan. (from MDOT_TRAC)
What: 1 day free MDOT-TRAC (Transportation and Civil Engineering) Training  When:Tuesday, November 17 Time: 8:00am-3:30 pm Where: the Marshall MDOT office; 15300 West Michigan Ave.; Marshall   Registration: Contact information provided at end of page For this FREE training and hands-on tools provided by MDOT:   Educators will learn to use (and will receive) hands-on math and science tools/exercises.Supplies are replenished as used.  Six SCECH hours are also available for the training.

At least 1200 Michigan teachers have been trained to use these tools.  The program is used in 26 of the 50 states and is available for use in grades 6-12.  Training covers civil engineering related exercises involving these concepts: Environmental (settling and filtering) Motion (laws of motion, impulse)Magnetic Levitation (reaction, polarity, aerodynamics, friction, laws of motion, graphing)Traffic Technology (reaction and …

Snap Circuits - Introducing Students to Electronics

Looking to incorporate an introduction to circuits and electronics with your young students?  You might want to check out Snap Circuits by Elenco.  There are a variety of kits available, and each kit allows for the creation of many projects.  The kits are easy-to-use and most pieces are very rugged.  The suggested age is 8 to 108 - easily most second graders could enjoy this, even struggling readers as the directions are pictorial in nature.

Kits range in price from $25 to $150 for the "personal" kits; they range from $55-$200 for the expanded educational kits.  They can be purchased in a variety of locations, including Amazon, Target and Walmart.   Each kit provides a base grid with bumps for the pieces to snap unto.  Parts also snap onto each other at the ends.  A booklet is also included with directions for different
As a teacher, you can purchase a corresponding Teacher's Guide from Elenco's website for only $5.95 (currently). From the website: "The Teache…

Cold is Cool - 4th & 5th Graders Ski Free in Michigan Opportunity

I know we are barely into fall, but the Cold is Cool sign up opportunity has returned for the 2015-2016 ski season!

Though the program, every Michigan 4th and 5th grader has the opportunity to ski for free this winter.  From the website:

"The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) wants to give Michigan kids an opportunity to get out, have fun and get healthy this winter. This is why MSIA has established a state-wide program that provides every 4th and 5th grader the opportunity to ski for free. Students can obtain a “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport that gives them up to three free lift tickets or trail passes at 30 participating ski areas, plus additional discounts on the slopes and in Michigan ski shops.  

In addition to the lift tickets donated by the participating ski areas, the Cold is Cool Passport also includes a coupon for 20% off a helmet purchase and $15 off the purchase of $100 at over 50 participating ski shops.  Some ski areas have also inc…

Google Spreadsheets - Combine Column Data into One Column

Today I had the need to take a comma separated list from a form and create a column with the unique entries from that list.  Is it doable with Google Spreadsheets?  Most definitely!

Here are the steps:

1. Use the SPLIT function to divide your entries to individual cells.  This will use as many columns as number of entries.  (More info about SPLIT: the first parameter is the cell the data is coming from, the second parameter is what is used to divide the information.  Since I don't want the comma OR the space, my second parameter has both in the quotation marks, so: quote comma space quote .)
=SPLIT(A1, ", ")

2. Fill down as needed

3. Use the UNIQUE function to start creating your new list

4. Add addition columns of information with curly brackets & semi-colons
=UNIQUE({C1:C; D1:D; E1:E; F1:F; G1:G})

5. Add the SORT function if you want the list alphabetized
=SORT(UNIQUE({C1:C; D1:D; E1:E; F1:F; G1:G})

That's it!