Showing posts from 2017

Google Mail Security Features

As you get ready for the new school year and begin using your school email more, you may notice some new-to-you message appearing.  These are designed to help you ensure that you are sending information to the correct emails - preventing you from sending sensitive information to the wrong person OR the wrong email address!

The first is a "did you mean...?" warning.  Often you may have multiple emails for the same person -
This seems to pop up when you are sending to multiple people, and one of the people you are sending to has multiple emails at different domain extensions - and the one you are not using matches the other person/people you are sending to.  Above, I selected Dan's .com email but John's .org email.  Since I have another email for Dan that is .org, it prompted the Did you mean question. 

The second is a warning when you are sending to someone outside your domain that is not in your contacts -
Again, a great way to prevent sending sensitive information…

Google App Launcher Is Getting an Update!

Heads up! The Google App Launcher, also known around here as the "waffle" (here's where I chuckle), is going to see an update next week on August 1!

According to the G Suite Update Alerts, it will change from this:

to this:

If you have already customized yours, the change will NOT go into effect. 

(Many of you Google users don't know that you can re-arrange the icons in the launcher to a layout you prefer-you can still do this if you want a different order than the default.)

Calhoun's 2017 Inclusive Learning Conference

Registration is open for the 2017 CISD Inclusive Learning Conference - 
What's best for Kids? What's next for me?  When: August 10 & 11
: Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center
  Online/Pre-pay Registration - $40; At-the-door - $45

For more information, please go here.
To see the conference schedule and session descriptions, please refer to the tabs on this spreadsheet. There is something for everybody at this conference!

#miGoogleFEST This August in Grand Rapids

If you haven't been to a GoogleFEST, here's your opportunity!  This is a great way to get professional and personalized learning from Google Experts, CDW Staff, Google Certified Instructors and Google using teachers.  You can check out the schedule of sessions on the website.   
From the MACUL Office -  Don't miss this Aug 8 & 9! Hotel discount available thru July 15. Register & book now

Google Script - Create Calendar Events from Spreadsheet Data

Yesterday I shared how I added reminder dates to a spreadsheet for a person in my department who keeps track of software subscriptions.  Today I'm sharing how we take the entries on that spreadsheet and create calendar events, so the reminders are built into her calendar.
Here are the steps to create calendar events from spreadsheet data:

1. Either open the spreadsheet with the data (or create a new spreadsheet & populate it with data).
This is the spreadsheet where I first added the script to add a "remind date" (yesterday's post).

2.  Open the Script Editor
Go to the Tools Menu and select Script editor

3. Replace the Code
Replace the default code -

with this - (all the text highlighted in gray -  including the final bracket)

function createCalendarEvent() {
  var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
  var calendar = CalendarApp.getCalendarById('calendarID');

  var startRow = 2;  // First row of data to process - 2 exempts my header row
  var numRows = sh…

Google Script - Setting up Reminder Dates

A person in my department keeps track of software subscriptions, and asked if there was a way to automatically have it provide a reminder 45 days prior to the renewal dates.  I said sure! Once I set up the addition of a "reminder date", I modified an existing script to have it write that to her calendar.  So now she simply inputs the vendor information, purchase date & renewal date, and then the scripts calculate the reminder date and adds it to the calendar.  It seems to work pretty slick!

Here are the steps to create the reminder dates with a script -

1. Create the spreadsheet where your data will reside.
This can be a stand-alone spreadsheet, or it can be one that is populated by a form.  Here is my sample-

2. Open up the Script editor
Go to the Tools Menu and select Script editor

3.  Replace the code
Replace the default code -

with this - (all the text highlighted in gray include the final bracket)
var dateIndex = 6; //cell with reference date

var ss =…

Google Forms - Interactive User Experience

This is a really cool video on how to make your Google Form interactive - or, if you will, "Choose Your Own Adventure!"  I can think of so many applications for this...both as a teacher, and as a learning activity for students.

From MeL: Using MeL for Country Reports

From Sonya Norris at Michigan electronic Library:

Do you have students asking for resources to write country reports? MeL has several student-friendly resources for this oft-requested topic.
Britannica and World Book both will allow you to compare basic facts and figures about countries but Britannica is definitely more full-throated when it comes to articles. They do a great job with articles at scalable reading levels including images and video to augment the text that is freely available for students to include in their reports with attribution.
Kids InfoBits is geared for preK-5 and while they don’t do side-by-side country comparisons or list every country recognized by the UN, they do have in-depth data on approximately 90 countries. They have resources from many sources that they break down into books, biographies, pictures, magazines and news. For Brazil, for example, they have over 500 news articles beginning at middle school reading levels as well as dozens of …

Upcoming #REMC12E Professional Learning Opportunities

There are several upcoming professional learning opportunities that are low-cost/free for educators from #REMC12E districts!

#CISD Inspire Workshop: Online and Blended Learning
Join us as we explore what opportunities exist for school districts, questions you should be asking during implementation, and legislative impacts concerning pupil accounting/FTE.  Jill Slaught from the Pupil Accounting team will be joining us with her expertise. This workshop will be8:30-noon on June 1, 2017 at Calhoun ISD; for more information refer to this flyer.
#REMC12E BreakoutEDU WorkshopWe are holding a BreakoutEDU Workshop - experience a Breakout game, then develop one of your own! The first 18 to sign up will leave with their own BreakoutEDU kit - complete with box, set of locks, hint cards and more, a $125 value!

When: 8:30-2:30, June 20, 2017
Where: Calhoun ISD
Cost: $25 (includes lunch)
Limited to the first 18 people from #REMC12E - a Breakout EDU kit!
Flyer and Registration
Sponsored by: #REMC Associ…

Website & Resources - Digital Public Library of America

Great find of images, primary sources, and a variety of other resources for school use!

From the site:

"DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format. The cultural institutions participating in DPLA represent the richness and diversity of America itself, from the smallest local history museum to our nation’s largest cultural institutions. Our core work includes bringing new collections and partners into DPLA, building our technology, and managing projects that further our mission through curation, education, and community building."

From MeL - Using MeL for Biography Research for Students

From Deb Biggs at MeL -

Do you have an elementary through high school aged student at your desk looking for resources to write a biography for a school assignment or just satisfy their curiosity? Look no further than MeL, we have outstanding biographies spread among our various resources.
If you’re looking to browse in a particular area, such as a figure for Women’s History Month or a poet for National Poetry Month, BritannicaSchool is a good place to start. Research in Context for middle schoolers has over 232 individual biographies just on civil rights figures and they’re strong on ancient civilizations such as figures from India, Greece, Egypt, the Aztec Empire and Rome. If you’re looking for presidential biographies, Kids InfoBits is going to be your best bet at the elementary level and Britannica for high school students. Worldbook Kids specializes in brief biographies for the K-5 group that you can break down and explore by gender, area of specialty, country or cultu…

Google Sign-in - New & Updated

You may notice a new look and feel to your Google login!  As this update "goes live" this is what you should expect -

The first time, you will get a message box telling you that you should expect the new look:
While you may not have feelings one way or another about how it looks, if you are on a device that has many people logging in with their Google, you should appreciate the fact that you can now REMOVE accounts from the list.

Look at the bottom for a "Remove an account" option:
Clicking on that will put an x next to each account:

Clicking on the x will pop-up a confirmation window that you want to remove that account from the list:
Note- this does NOT delete the account, it just removes it from the list for quickly logging in the sign-in window.  It can always be added back to the list when you sign in with it again in the future.

Google Earth - New & Revamped

The new and improved Google Earth is here after 2 years of development, and it is worth checking out!

(First note - at this time you can only check it out using the Chrome browser, or with an Android devices.  From The Keyword Google Blog it will be "on iOS and other browsers in the near future.")

To get a nice introduction, I recommend reading the blog post Welcome Home to the New Google Earth.

Then, here are some quick overviews for starting to use it -

The landing page for Google Earth on the web gives some awesome views - I just sat and watched it scroll through a few times before clicking on the "Launch Google Earth."

After you launch, it will load - the time for this varies depending on your connection.  You will then see the new Google Earth

There are a variety of icons on the left side - you can click on the Waffle at the top to open the drawer if you need to know what each icon is.

One icon is not represented in the drawer - the "I'm Feeling Luck…

Google Takeout - Transfer Files

You may have students that are graduating this spring and want to move files/emails from their school Google accounts to a personal Google account.  Is this possible?  Yes, it is!  Google has made this much easier over the years.

Note:  when you do this it actually COPIES the files into your personal account - three things about this:
all sharing is broken in these new copies that are madeoriginal documents are still shared with same people as before (if shared)ownership of original documents stays with organization; ownership of copies are with your personal account If you want a video, check out this one by Just Cowen of Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District in Kingsford, MI (that would be way up in the UP :-)

Or, here are a few directions with screenshots:

1. Log into the Google account that has the files you want to transfer, then go to

2. For step 1, enter the personal Google account you are moving the files to, then click "Send Code":

Encyclopedia of Associations Now in MeL

From Deb Biggs at MeL:

We are happy to announce that the Encyclopedia of Associations (EA): National Organizations of the U.S., 2017, 56th edition has been added to the Gale Directory Library in MeL! Click in the “Organizations” + box to select and then type your search term in the “Basic Search” box keeping in mind that you can specify your search words as well as limit results.  EA is the most comprehensive source for detailed information on more than 24,000 nonprofit American membership organizations of national scope and multi-national scope. Every entry offers a wealth of valuable data, typically including the organization's complete name, address and phone number together with the primary official's name and title; fax number, website and email when available; founding date, purpose, activities and dues; narrative description of association's purpose and activities; national and international conferences; and more.  Encyclopedia of Associations can be an excellent re…

MACUL Grants Available

Applications for the 2017-18 MACUL Grants are being accepted until May 15!

Purpose: To encourage and support members interested in promoting effective instructional uses of the computer or related-equipment.

Grant Goal: Each project should focus on an instructional use of the computer or related equipment, which has the potential of being replicated in other educational settings.

Grant Limit per Application: $1,500

Eligible Applicants: MACUL members who are classroom teachers, coordinators, administrators, or higher education personnel. MACUL grant recipients from the last two years are ineligible to apply.

For more information, include worksheet & rubrics, visit

Get your grant in by 5 pm on May 15!!

From Library of Michigan: Literacy and Fake News - FREE Online webinar

The second of three Library 2017 mini-conferences: "Digital Literacy & Fake News," will be held online (and for free) on Thursday, June 1st, from 3:00 - 6:00 pm EDT.
This event is being organized in partnership with futurist Bryan Alexander, who will serve as moderator for the opening panel and as the closing keynote speaker. Invited panelists and presenters will look deeply at the foundational relationship of libraries and librarians to media, information, and digital literacy.
All library professionals, employers, LIS students, and educators to provide input and participate this event.
To read more about the event and register for free visit:
The School of Information at San José State University is the founding conference sponsor, and this event is being held in collaboration with American Library Association.

Back-To-School Supplies Grant Opportunity from MEEMIC


Announcing our Popular Back-to-School Grant Round - with a New Twist!
In recognition of the Meemic Foundation's 25th anniversary, we are celebrating by funding our largest grant round ever - $200,000 will be available to fund back-to-school needs for more than 1,000 classrooms and schools.
And the exciting new twist? Foundation Club members that are currently employed at an educational institution can apply for funding for their classroom (with a $100 grant) and for their school (with a $1,000 grant). Our $100 classroom back-to-school grant helps fund classroom supply needs. With our $1,000 school grant, any Foundation Club member can nominate their current school, their child's school, a former school they attended or a local school in need for the opportunity for back-to-school supply needs for the entire school! The grant funding must be used exclusively through our Office Depot® grant fulfilment website.
What You Need to Know Application process for both…

Discovery Education - Resources you can use...

Discovery Education has provided a curated list of updates below, which includes links to relevant resources and virtual events available within our current DE Streaming service.  

Timely Content: ·Earth Day Journal Strategy - Chesapeake Bay Watershed  - Use the instructional strategy Journals as a summarizing activity that allows students at various levels of academic vocabulary to participate by drawing, writing a few short phrases, or composing complex sentences. Find more Earth Day activities here. ·The Science of Opioid Addiction - Curriculum Resources -  Aligned to national health and science standards, these resources introduce students to the science behind opioids and their impact on the brain and body. ·Memorial Day Activity Board - As your students get ready for summer, use this Board as a classroom activity or project to engage them in designing a memorial to honor an individual or event.
Professional Learning Opportunities: ·April Webinar Series oIntro to Discovery Ed…

Google Docs - Change of Case

Change of case is now available when working in Google Documents!

Check it out if you haven't seen it -