Showing posts from 2017

MDOT-TRAC Opportunity for Michigan STEM Teachers

From Brenda Kragt -
A session has been scheduled to show teachers the tools and exercises involved with the MDOT-TRAC (Transportation and Civil Engineering) Program.  All exercises are aligned to educational benchmarks.  Training is scheduled for: Date: Monday, January 22, 2018
Time:  8:00am-3:30pm
Location:  1501 E Kilgore Rd, Kalamazoo MI 49001
Teachers (grades 6-12) who attend will receive two modules of their choice.  Materials are replenished by MDOT.  Also, students in 7-12th grade become eligible to participate in our annual Bridge Challenge, and graduating seniors who’ve used the tools can apply for our Civil Engineering Summer Internship.  As always, there is no cost for the training or modules.  We’d love to see more schools/classrooms involved with TRAC!  
The opportunities for both exposure to civil engineering (for middle and high school classrooms) and for students to acquire summer jobs with MDOT are growing, are free, and include:
1.Use of MDOTTransportation and Civil Engin…

Virtual Field Trip from Detroit Public Television - Shared by MeL

From Christine Schneider, MeL K-12 Education Specialist @meldotorg  - 
This past week, Detroit Public Television/PBS (DPTV) launched a pilot program for a new type of virtual field trip that can be used in the classroom, or by anyone interested in a virtual experience.  The focus included three exciting metro-Detroit locations: the Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo, the raptor habitat at The Leslie Science & Nature Center in Ann Arbor, and the bat habitat at the Organization for Bat Conservation in Pontiac. The launch was done online via OVEE, which is a website developed by public media that allows you to watch videos together and chat live with friends, fans and experts in a virtual theater.  429 teachers representing over 13,000 students joined the launch, which took place over 3 days.  These are amazing numbers considering many schools in Southeast Michigan were closed one or two of the days because of the snow!
If you missed the launch, you can still participa…

Google Sheets - Session #2 Summary for Support Staff

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

Below is a summary of all the topics covered in Session #2 of the series I have been doing for support staff.  This one covered the basics of using formulas, and then provided examples of several commonly used formulas. 

The next session dives into intermediate level formulas.
Session 2 - Basics of Formulas (November 8, 2017)
Basics of Formula EntryBasic Formulas

Google Sheets - Basic Formulas

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

These are some of the most basic - and most used functions - in Google Sheets.  If you are doing any of these by hand, it is time to begin using formulas to automate the process.

NOTE: When it says "selected data" this could be a typed in number OR a referenced cell address; this could also be a combination of both.

Basic Operations:
+ (addition)
Adds two selected data.
Example: =C2+30

- (subtraction)
Subtracts the second data referenced from the first data referenced.
Example: =100-D5

* (multiplication)
Multiples the two selected data.
Example: =C2*D2

/ (division)
Divides the first referenced data by the second.
Example: =E3/2

Order of Operations
If the formula is a longer string, standard order of operations is ALWAYS followed:

parenthesis/brackets calculated firstpowers calculated nextmultiplication/division calculated nextaddition/subtraction calculated last

Basic Statistical Functions:
Finds the sum total of t…

Google Sheets - Basics of Using Formulas

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

Here are some basics you should know about when working with formulas in Google Sheets.

1. Formulas start with an equal sign (=)
You must use an equal sign at the beginning of your formula.  Otherwise, no math will happen.  You might note that the menus go gray as soon as you type the equal sign - .

2. Filling with a Formula
Just as you can "fill" for quick data entry, you can fill when using the same formula multiple times either across or down. Grab the little blue box in the lower right corner of the cell and drag either over or down to apply the formula in other rows/columns.  Notice the cursor changes to a crosshair when you are filling -
3. Understand Cell References
Cell references are when you use a cell address to refer to the location of the wanted data instead of the actual data.  Used in a formula, it allows you to do the following:

Utilize the fill feature - each instance adjusts to the relative same c…

Google Sheets - Session #1 Summary for Support Staff

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

Below is a summary of all the topics covered in Session #1 of the series I have been doing for support staff.  This one covered a lot of the "basics" of using Google Sheets.  If you are able to perform all these tasks, you should be ready to dive in deeper!  As several of the attendees noted, if you have used MS Excel you are able to apply much of what you know to Google Sheets.

The next session dives into using formulas.
Session 1 - Introduction to Google Sheets (November 8, 2017)Basics of Data Entry Using Fill Formatting Numbers Border Options Print Options Freezing Rows and/or Columns Text Rotation Text Wrapping Alternating Row Colors Conditional Formatting
Adding/Inserting Rows/Columns

Google Sheets - Conditional Formatting

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

Conditional formatting is a great way to dynamically view your data, even while entering it.  Many people spend a lot of time highlighting data individually, not realizing that this feature is built in and can save a lot of time.

Conditional formatting can be turned on by going to the Format menu and selecting it from about 3/4th of the way down -

First you highlight the data you want to format.  You can click on an entire row or column, or even multiple rows & columns if you want to apply the same rule over a large amount of data.
Second you click on Add new rule -

There are several options that come up -

The data range to which it should be applied (you can change it here manually if you did not highlight the correct data)The condition for formatting the cells - the list of your options is the next graphic belowHow you want those cells formattedYou can even add multiple rules for the same data set on the flyIf you wa…

Google Sheets - Text Wrapping

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

One item that frustrates several people I work with is how text appears when it does not fit into its cell.  Knowing how to change text wrapping is key for getting the information to appear as you want it.

The text wrapping icon is about 3/4 across the formatting toolbar -
When you click on it, there are three options -
The options are:

Overflow: lets the text flow into the next cells ONLY if those cells are emptyWrap: wraps the text within the cell so all is visible, automatically adjusts the row height as necessary for it to fitClip: clips the visible text to the size of the cell, the rest is "hidden"

Google Sheets - Print Options

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

Not long ago, there were very few print options in Sheets.  That has changed - there are many options now.

Location of print options:
I had someone recently tell me that there still weren't print options.  They are there!  It just might not be intuitive that the options are found when you select to Print :-)

Selecting Print, actually brings up a print preview, with print options in a menu on the right side -

Standard Options:
There are many options available in the menu:

what is printed (current sheet, the entire workbook, or just the selected cells)the paper size you are printing topage orientation (landscape or portrait)Scale (normal, fit to width, fit to length, fit to page, and custom)Margins (normal, narrow, wide, and custom)

I personally am even more excited about the options that are found under the Headers & footers area:

what information you want to appear in the header/footereven the ability to edit custom f…

Google Sheets - Formatting Number Entries

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

Number entries can be easily formatted within Google Sheets.  In fact, if you know how you want the entries formatted prior to entering the data, you can even pre-format the cells so that the formatting occurs as you enter data!

Options on the Formatting Toolbar:
The most common formatting options are found right on the Formatting Toolbar -
Here you can easily change a number to currency or a percentage, establish the number of decimals desired, and access the formatting menu.
Menus for Formatting:
There are actually two locations you can see the menu options for formatting - under the Format Menu and selecting Number, in addition to the formatting toolbar when clicking the "123" icon -
The menu has many of the most popular formats, but notice at the bottom there is even a choice for More Formats where you can explore additional currency and date/time formats, or even create a custom format.  
Number as Text: If you…

Google Sheets - Inserting Rows/Columns

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

There are several ways to insert rows and/or columns in a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.  The easiest way is to highlight the row (or column) you want to add next to by clicking on the row or column name (the letter or number...).  Then use one of these methods:

Go to the Insert Menu and select Row above or Row below, as wantedRight click on select Row above or Row below, as wanted

But what about if you want to insert more than one row?  Do you have to add one row at a time?
NO - you do not.
You can instead highlight as many rows (or columns) as you wish to add -
Then using one of the two methods above add MULTIPLE rows or columns at one time -
A time saver for those of you that were adding individual rows or columns :-)

Google Sheets - Using "Fills" for Quick Data Entry

(Part of my administrative assistant series on Google Sheets.)

Probably one of the biggest time-savers is using a fill to quickly enter a large amount of data.  Entering the same item(s) over and over again can get tedious quickly, even if using copy and paste.  Here's how and when you will want to know and use the fill option when working in Google Sheets.

First, when can you use this?  Fill will work for the following situations:

you are entering the same data for all cells an easily recognized pattern of entries is usedthe entries are a numerical seriesEntering the same entry: Type the entry into the first 1 or 2 cells that should contain it; then select those cells so they are highlighted -  Grab the little blue square (as I am above) in the bottom-right of the highlighted area, and drag down/across as far as you want the entry continued -

Entering data from a pattern: 
Enter the first couple entries for the pattern; then select those cells so they are highlighted -
Grab the li…