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Showing posts from December, 2015

Google Sites - Share Settings Basics

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Let's cover the basics of the share settings and options on a Google Site.  There are some small differences between how Sites and Drive handle sharing, which I'll include.

First - you have options in how to get to the Sharing and Permissions settings.  You can either go to the Settings gear and look for it towards the bottom of the menu, OR you can simply click on the blue Share box right next to the gear:

When you do either of those, you should come to this familiar screen of the Share Settings:
This screen has 3 different pieces of information on it:
the URL of the site which you can copy & pastethe global share settings for the siteshare settings for any individuals you have shared the site with The URL is simply that - there is no modifying it.  So let's look at the global settings. The options range from completely public to completely private.  If you are in a personal Google account, you will have 3 options here - Public, Public with the link, and Private.  If y…

Google Sites - Creating an Announcements Page

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Google has several other built-in templates that can be useful beyond the Webpage template.  One that is very similar to putting a blog onto your website is the Announcements template. 

This template essentially adds a blog-style page to your site, which has as subpages posts that you add from a button on the page and then posts snippets of  the newest items to the top of the main Announcements page. You can use this template multiple times, so naming convention can be a key to knowing what information gets posted on which page!

To add and use an announcements page:
1. Click on the plus page icon to add a new page:
2. Fill out the information for your new page, including page name and where to store it.  Make sure to select Announcements for the template type!

3. Click Create to create the new page
4. The shell for your blog type page will have been created.  Note how it looks different than when you use the webpage template:
5. Click on New post to create a post (or announcement) …

Google Sites - Creating a Custom Header and/or Footer

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Even if your site is using a default header and footer on it, there are many times you want to customize this.  Here is how:

1.  First go to the Gear in the upper right side, select Edit site layout from the menu -

2.  This will change what the top of your site looks like - it adds several buttons for the features you can customize.  When the buttons are "shadowed" they are enabled, when they blend with the background they are disabled.  Clicking on a button toggles it between disabled/enabled.

3. Mousing over an area that has been enabled will turn the area white and display a message that says Edit.  Click on that area to actually edit it.

4.  With the header, once you click on that area you will get the following pop-up with the settings you can change in the header area.  Most of these are about the logo.  (To change the actual title you change the site settings):

5.  To change the footer, you click on that area while in the Edit site layout mode.  For the footer, you …

Google Sheets - Various Ways to Average

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Getting averages of data in a Google spreadsheet is easier than ever. But did you know there are different ways to average which let you handle all kinds of situations?  Let's start with the basic and work from there...

Method #1: Viewing the Average with the Quick Menu
If you highlight any range of cells on your spreadsheet, you can quickly get the average by clicking on the drop-down menu in the bottom right corner - it probably says Sum: by default, but clicking on it you can change it to Ave: - to get the average of the selected cells. 
A very quick way to see the average, the drawback is that it is not on your spreadsheet so if you have other formulas that need to use the average it isn't a value on your spreadsheet.

Method #2: Using the Average Formula
In any empty cell on your spreadsheet, you can use the =AVERAGE formula.  It is a formula that only has 1 criterion - the range of cells to use in calculating the average. 

If they are not consecutive cells, you have to sepa…

Google Sheets - Counting Items

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Many people that use sheets know how to count the number of cells with numerical entries using the =COUNT function.  For example, here's a spreadsheet where I've documented my running minutes and I want to know how many days I ran:

Pretty simple.  But what if I want to know how many cells within a range have alphanumeric entries?  Or what if I want to know how many cells within a range meet certain criteria?

There are actually a whole series of count functions available in Google Sheets:

COUNTA: will count the number of cells with any entry (nonblank) in a range.  For example, I've added in my strength & conditioning workouts on those days.  Using =COUNTA(range) I can document the total number of days I worked out whether it was running or another workout.

COUNTIF: counts the number of cells within a range that meet a certain criteria.  This formula has two pieces - the range to check, followed by the criteria to match.  If the criteria is text (like in my example) it ne…

Football By the Numbers by Discovery Education, EA Sports & NFLPA

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From Discovery Education:


Harness the Excitement of Football to Engage Students in Math & Science
EA SPORTS, Madden NFL, the NFL Players Association, and Discovery Education are proud to introduce EA SPORTS Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers, an engaging middle school educational program designed to translate students' love for football into a deeper understanding of the math and science behind America's greatest game.


Engage your students in the quick-thinking world of football strategy by presenting authentic situations where they make the call. Your students will learn and apply math and science concepts as they design strategies, solve problems, and make decisions for their players. Download the Teacher Guide for a highlight reel of tips and information!

Later, we'll be transporting your class to EA Headquarters to explore the STEAM that goes into making the world's coolest games. Watch for our Virtual Field Trip, COMING SPRING 2016!

Google Sheets - Flipping Your Rows & Columns

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Let's say you have put together a sheet with information you THINK is how you want it.  And after using it for awhile, you realize you REALLY want the columns and rows switched.  Can you easily remedy this without re-entering all the data?  The answer is yes! 

Before walking through how to easily do this, let me introduce you to a Google Sheets formula you may not know - it's called TRANSPOSE and it's purpose is to transpose the rows and columns in an array or range.  So, here is some data I have in cells A1-E2: 

If I want to flip the columns and rows, I add the formula:
=TRANSPOSE(A1:E2)
in the cell I want to start the transposed information into.  And...viola!  My data is flipped: It needs to be noted that you CANNOT change data in the transposed cells.  As soon as you try to change the data in the transposed area you will get a REF! error because you have data in a cell it need to do the transposing.  The data is dynamic - if you change your original data set it will c…

iPads in Education - Which Version of Meraki Systems Manager am I Using??

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If you have used Meraki as the MDM to manage your iPads for the past several years, you - like me - have moved through the transition of being told it would "always be free" to them implementing a paid model but maintaining a legacy version of the Systems Manager for those of certain criteria.  (If that sentence was confusing, you didn't experience the joys of the transition I would guess...)

So, how can you tell which version of the Meraki Systems Manager you are using?  How can you tell if you can update for free?  What does updating - if you are able to - do for you?

First of all let's review the possible situations you are currently in:
You have over 100 devices on Meraki and you have paid for a license You have over 100 devices on Meraki and you have never paid for a licenseYou have fewer than 100 devices on Meraki Now, go check your License Information - click on Organization and then select License Info:


If you fall under case #1 you are on the up-to-date versi…

Student Video Contest

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MACUL is partnering with Rushton Hurley to support a student video contest. This is an opportunity to have students create learning videos that can be shared with other students. What a great way to assess if a student understands a concept or lesson that also provides a worldwide audience for their work.
We are asking students to explain something one might encounter in school in 90 seconds or less, with another 60 seconds for credits showing that students used copyright-friendly content from media libraries identified in the rules.
The goals are to help students: learn to use planning and revision to create compelling, fun learning videosunderstand, properly use, and site Creative Commons-licensed material as part of their work.create videos that could help other students learn topics that might prove challenging
All the details are at http://bit.ly/MACULvideo
Deadline is February 26th.

Google Plus - Preview the Updated Plus!

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This week was the first I've been able to preview the new Google Plus.  Here are a few observations and comparisons (I put my work on the old and my personal on the new).  My biggest take-away - it has a feel not too different than Google Classroom...

1.  The New Home - Here is the change in looks - note the red banner across the top and the menu that does not need to be accessed by clicking.  Also note that the icon for Hangouts is gone.  In fact, it appears that Hangouts are no longer tied to Google +.  The new post area is cleaner and the featured collections has been removed.  
2.  Post from anywhere: You can now post from anywhere as there is a floating pencil in the right bottom corner.  (The menu on the left also floats down the page as you scroll.)

4. Change in menus: The menu has changed - it has actually shrunk in options (new is on the left, old is on the right).  Events, Hangouts and Pages are gone.  Feedback and Help are moved up by Settings. Colors are also gone - …