Showing posts from 2016

Science Program Opportunity for HS Seniors

Michigan Teachers: Do you know any high school seniors with an interest in science?  Encourage them to apply for the National Youth Science Camp - a summer residential program!
The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is an honors program for two high achieving high school seniors from each state in the United States and others from around the world. Two high school seniors (eligible for graduation between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017) from each state will be selected for for this all-expenses-paid program. This summer residential program runs from June 14 - July 8, 2017.
The NYSC is one of the nation's premier programs in science education. Since its inception in 1963 as part of West Virginia's Centennial celebration, the residential summer program has offered educational forums and recreational activities that encourage the development of thoughtful scientific leadership. This camp is made possible through the planning and fund-raising of the National Youth Scienc…

Info MI Webiste - An Eclectic Collection of Michigan Information

Did you know Michigan had a governor before it was officially a state?  Or that Tucumseh is the Refrigeration Capital?  How about what the current snow depth is across the state?  All of this - and more - can be found at Info Mi.  With links to the Michigan state government resources, information on 630 Michigan cities, fishing reports, and snowmobile trail conditions, the site can be a wealth of knowledge for kids working on projects about our state.

Google Script - Auto-summing non-adjacent numbers

As I previously posted, I'm working with a program in our organization that is looking to make their invoicing process more efficient.  After getting it so the invoice numbers were being automatically generated, we next wanted to auto-sum the individual item totals for a grand total.

The challenges - 1. the first value wasn't until the middle of the spreadsheet, and 2. the values were not adjacent in the spreadsheet.  Luckily for us, they were an equidistant number of cells from each other (otherwise I think this script would have been a lot more complicated!).  The following script will work for a similar situation (all in grey - including the final } bracket):

function totalDue() { var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet(); var sheet = ss.getSheets()[0];
 var lastRow = sheet.getLastRow();  var lastColumn = sheet.getLastColumn();  var lastCell = sheet.getRange(lastRow, lastColumn-4);
 var values = sheet.getRange(lastRow, 11, 1, lastColumn-18).getValues();  var sum = 0;

Google Script - Automatic Invoice Numbering

Another foray into creating a script to help make a process more efficient.

We had a program that spent a LOT of time with the invoicing process.  They were hoping that they could use a Google form to gather information for invoices, then use the Add-on Autocrat to create the invoice which could then be shared with appropriate parties.

The problem was that each invoice needed to be assigned a unique number.  Enter a script to add to the spreadsheet.  After creating it, I realized that this simple script could be used in a variety of ways so thought I'd share (I've already used it for two other applications!).

1. Create your form to collect the data (not covering this here - I am assuming you know how to create a Google Form)

2. In the result page, select to create spreadsheet so you can view the data in a spreadsheet

3. Go to the Tools Menu and open the Script editor
4. Delete out the default text
Replace with this script (all in highlighted gray including the final curly bra…

Introduction to the NEW Template Gallery in Google Docs, Spreadsheets & Slides

Finally!  We have access to the new template gallery in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

From any Google account you are able to access it - but it may not be as intuitive to get to as the "old" template gallery was.  You need to go to the landing page for that TYPE of document, which I find many people still don't know about.  So, go to: for your for your for your for your Forms The first time you go to these, you will get a message about the Template Gallery:

After that, you will both see a top bar with existing templates AND a link in the upper right that says Template Gallery.

Now if you belong to a Google Apps for Education organization, and templates are enabled, you have a couple additional options not available with a general Google account.

1. You will have a choice of General templates or your organization's templates

2. You will also see a choice of Submit Template to s…

2017 #MACUL Conference - the Conference Mobile App is Here!

The #macul17 MOBILE APP is now available!  
Download for your iOS or Android device
(Or you can also visit the app store of choosing and search for MACUL 2017.)

Session information has already been loaded into the app - get a sneak peak at the great session line up for the upcoming conference within the app!  

Some additional conference news - 

Volunteers Needed
Take your conference attendance to a new level - volunteer! Get a t-shirt and help make the conference the best ever - sign-up now.
Keynote Speakers   If you haven't heard yet, our keynote speakers are: Sir Ken Robinson, Jane McGonigal, & Jennie Magiera - a stellar group focused on learning.  Featured Speakers this year include: Barbara Chamberlin, Hall Davidson, Steve Dembo, Leslie Fisher, Matt Miller and Kyle Pace.  If you don't recognize these names, Google them - they are all people worth knowing and following!  

Registration Pre-conference sessions sponsored by the SIGs are now also available for sign up when register…

Getting File Uploads in Your Google Form

You may have noticed a new option available in the question options list when creating a Google Form - it is the ability to have participants submit files!

If you haven't seen it (or want a rundown of how it works) - keep's a pretty cool feature!

First- you will find it as a question type listed between "dropdown" and "linear scale"-
 It creates a question that looks like this:

There are several options you have for the setup.  First - the maximum number of files that can be uploaded:

Second - the size of the files:

Third - the different types of files allowed:
 If you click on this option, you can uncheck the "Allow all files" to select only the file types you want:
 You just have to select at minimum 1 type, then hit Apply:

This is what the end user sees when filling out the form:
Once they click Add File and select the file(s) to add, it will list them for review (and removal if necessary with the "x" to the right):


The MARS Challenge: Design a School on Mars From Scratch

One of the few blogs I read with regularity is A.J. Juliani's Blog - it's one of only a couple I get delivered to my inbox!

His newest blog post poses a challenge - one that is open to ANY teacher!  I encourage you to check it out and think about stepping up to the challenge with a group of your students.  I've included some highlights below - if you would like full details, check out the original blog post here: Creating a School (on Mars) from Scratch.

The hashtag #MARSchallenge with be used to share out what students are designing, making, and building this month.  If nothing else - follow along to see what others are creating!

Image from A.J. Juliani Blog - used with permission.
From A.J. Juliani's blog:

This challenge is open to any teacher and group of students in a K-12 education setting. We provide lesson plans, student notebooks, power point presentation for each lesson, and a framework (the LAUNCH Cycle) for your students to tackle this enormous challenge…

Google Forms Just Got Smarter

I can't think of the number of times in the past I would get frustrated by the default multiple choice question type for Google Forms.  A little thing, but those few seconds to change it (I use lots of text answers) add up over time.

Well, recently Google Forms just got smarter!

Now, when you type a question if you use some key phrasing it changes the question type to match what you are asking for.

Examples -
Here is the default first question:

In the past when you typed, it stayed a multiple choice question:
Now, it recognizes when you want something different - and changes the question type.  Here adding an "s" to day (so it indicates the ability to select multiple), it changes the question type to a Checkbox:

Using the word "rate" changes it to a linear scale:

Asking a standard question (like for a name) will change it to a short answer:

Starting with a word like "describe" will change it to a paragraph text option:

 Asking about a date will ch…

Google Forms - Using Graphics for mulitiple choice Options

Yesterday I got asked if one could use graphics for the multiple choice options in Google Forms.  The answer is yes, you can, ever since they added the ability to add images to not just the question, but the choice options as well.

Here is an example using smileys that one local school likes to use with younger children.

First, begin creating your form with a title and the first question.  (You can put on a theme or color scheme if you want now also.)

Click on the image icon to add an image for the question choice:
You will be able to upload the image, take a snapshot, grab it from your Google Drive or search:
You may notice that this does keep the name of each as Option 1, Option 2, etc.
Delete out these and replace with something like a period - trying to delete out all text will not work, something has to be in the box.
Here is what is seen in the browser when filling out the form:

Clicking on the image will even select their option.  If the pictures are too big, you can edit them…

Let Your Creativity Soar Video Contest for Teachers

From the Big Deal Media 

Next Vista for Learning invites teachers to enter its Soaring Creativityeducational video contest. To participate, teachers need to put a little creativity into a video teaching any concept that might be encountered in elementary, middle, or high school, and keep the length to 90 seconds or less. The video might be about sculpture, negative numbers, supply and demand, alternative energy, adverbs, or any other clever insight. This competition is really a set of three contests: one for students, one for teachers, and one for collaborations between the two (specifically a team of at least one teacher and at least one student who do the planning and/or editing). The three contests will be judged separately, and Next Vista will award prizes to the finalists and winners of each.
Deadlines: Videos must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on December 18, 2016.
Click Here for More Information

24th Annual Letters About Literature Contest - Grades 4-12

What: Writing Contest
Theme: "How did an author's work change your view of the world or yourself?"
Who: Students Grades 4-12
Deadline: December 2, 2016 - Grades 9-12
                January 9, 2017 - Grades 7 &8, Grades 4-6
Websites:  Letters About Literature site, Guidelines (pdf), Teaching Guidelines (pdf) from Cathy Lancaster, Youth Services Librarian, LM As Nathaniel Hawthorne so elegantly wrote in The Scarlet Letter, "She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom." I read it in the ninth grade and while many in my class moaned and groaned, and quite frankly hated it, I was absorbed into the world of Salem, Massachusetts in 1642. Absorbed into the plight of Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl. It was an awakening to examine how the world has, or has not, changed in our treatment of women in the centuries since. Now the details of the plot and much of the book itself have faded from my memory, but I definitely recall the impact the book and its aut…

2017 MACUL Conference - Adding Pre-Conference Sessions to your Registration

If you have already registered for the 2017 MACUL Conference, and would like to add a preconference session on Wednesday to your registration, use the following steps:

1. Go to the registration site.

2. Login with the account you used previously to register for the conference.  You must use the same account!

3. Note a new window at the top will tell you that you are already registered for the conference, but you may add workshops (pre-conference sessions) by going through the process again.  (You would use these same steps to make any modifications to your registration.)
 4. Click Next on the first screen with your contact information
 5. Click Next on the next screen about Membership
 6. On the next screen, pre-conference workshops are now an option
 7. When you click on the blue bar, it will display the pre-conference sessions.  Each one has the following:
Registration box for that workshopName of the workshop sessionSponsoring SIGCost (1/2 day sessions are $70, full day sessions a…