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Showing posts from January, 2018

"What Inspires You?" - Doodle 4 Google Contest is Now Open

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Another opportunity to showcase your students' creative abilities!  Google just opened this year's Doodle 4 Google Contest - 
From Google -

It’s time to put your students' imaginations to work, because the Doodle 4 Google contest is now open. This year’s contest is open to K-12 students until March 2, 2018 with the theme “What inspires you?" We’ll feature the winning doodle on the Google homepage! Prizes include college scholarships, a behind the scenes experience with the Google Doodle team, and a $50,000 Google for Education technology package for the winner’s school. Submit your doodles here.

Some additional Information -

Link to teacher guides (which include lesson plans) and a posterLink to the FAQ

FREE Webinar - Meeting the Needs of MS Students (MeL)

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If you are a Michigan Educator and you use MeL with your students, you should be aware of the following:

From Christine Schneider, K-12 Education Specialist Michigan eLibrary

Free Webinar: Meeting the Needs of Middle School Students with Gale’s Research In Context
January 31, 2018 @ 2pm EST
Register:
https://cengage.webex.com/cengage/onstage/g.php?MTID=e20bc098540255aef948a3f5d92914497
Research In Context, available through Michigan eLibrary, is created specifically for middle school level researchers.  It brings together authoritative content in a variety of formats on one modern, student-friendly, and mobile-responsive interface. Join us in this webinar to learn more about how to use Research In Context as a classroom tool, as a homework helper, and for entry level research projects at the middle school level. 
Please register soon and share widely.
I will post the recorded version on MeL Teachers as soon as it is available.

Google Forms - Creating & Naming

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

In my opinion, forms are one of the biggest pros to using G Suite for Education.  They can be used to eliminate: email chains to gather opinions and/or ideas, paper ballots that are counted by hand, a series of phone calls to get the same information from multiple people.  Those are just a few of the ways you can use them.

They are also one of the easiest to pick up and begin using.  We will start this new series with how to create a Form.

Creating a Form To create a new form, click on the blue New button, mouse down to More, mouse over to Google Form and click: 
When you create a form, you are automatically in "edit" mode.  This is NOT the place you will be having people complete your form so do not share the URL at the top.  It will not work like you expect it to :-)

Once your form is created, you will see the following screen.  Purple is the default color theme -

Naming Your Form There are two places you can t…

MeL - Updated Teacher Resources

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If you are a Michigan Educator and you use MeL with your students, you should be aware of the following:


From Christine Schneider, K-12 Education Specialist Michigan eLibrary


 Since MeL's redesign a couple weeks ago, I have updated the "Overview of MeL for K-12" Slide Deck (https://goo.gl/Ko4cHh) slides 9 and 11, and also have a Notes Handout K-12 (https://goo.gl/Mx1BUE) that I use when training.  Both of these files are linked in the MeL Teachers Training Toolkit.  Feel free to use! 

Also, a few things to note with the redesign that people are missing - 

1. You can access the old MeL portals such as Michigana and Books and Literacy if you scroll to the bottom of the home page.

2. MeLCat is the new home page.

3. Access to MeL's social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are located all the way at the bottom on the MeL homepage.

Google Drive - Adding Images

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Recently there was an update making it easier to add Images in Google Docs, Slides and Drawings.  Here are some screenshots of the new drop-down menu and what each option results in.

Upload from computer When you select this:

You get the standard pop-up window where you can select the image from a location on your computer.

Search the web When you select this: A sidebar opens on the right side of the window, with a search bar at the top for you to find an image without leaving your document/drawing/slideshow.
 Drive When you select this: You again get a sidebar in the right side of the window with direct connection to your Google Drive, so you can easily find and use the image.
 Photos When you select this: You again get a sidebar in the right side of the window with direct connection to your Google Photos, so you can easily find and use the image.
By URL When you select this: You get a pop-up window where you can paste in the URL of the image you wish to use.
 Camera When you select…

Google Drive - Search a Folder

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Last Friday I checked for this new feature and I didn't have it as an option yet. Wouldn't you know I come in on Monday it is available!

Finally, you can search within a folder of Drive (rather than your entire Drive)!  It is available multiple ways, including in the advanced search options. 

Using the built-in menus In case you don't remember, here is the "old" menu options:

Here is the "new" with the added Folder Search when right-clicking on the folder:

Using the "More" Menu It is also available by selecting the folder and clicking on the "More" menu options (stacked dots):

When you use it, an additional line is added under the search bar:

Using the Advanced Search options The prior options for location looked like this:

There is now an addition of  a button that says Anywhere:

When clicking on it, you can select the location you want to search:

Google Sheets - Session #5 Summary for Support Staff

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

Below is a summary of all the topics covered in Session #5 of the series I have been doing for support staff.  In this session we covered how to use filters to view needed data.  We also learned about and created filter views, so we could quickly grab data that is needed multiple times and keep the main spreadsheet with all viewable data. 

Session 5 - Intermediate Formulas (December 13, 2017)
How to Use FiltersFilter Views

Google Sheets - Session #3 Summary for Support Staff

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

Below is a summary of all the topics covered in Session #3 of the series I have been doing for support staff.  This one covered several "intermediate" formulas available to use with Google Sheets.  We especially focused on formulas that would be useful to those school employees that would be working with large numbers of student data.

Session 3 - Intermediate Formulas (November 29, 2017) Split FormulaConcatenate FormulaCount FormulasHyperlink Formula

Google Sheets & My Maps - Connect Student Literature with Geography

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There are many cool things that can be done with My Maps, but this is one that uses Google Sheets. 

Often when students are reading a novel, they have no location context to put cities or places that are mentioned.  There are teachers that have been using Google Lit Trips for many years, but what if you are unable to use Google Earth?  What if you want a simpler activity that students can complete quickly? What if you want something that is accessible to students in their G Suite Drive?

You can build a quick activity using Google Sheets and My Maps.  Here's how:

1. Set up your Google Sheet
Provide headers for anything you want included on the pop-ups for the markers on the map.  Here I have set up so students can add the following: Place, Description, Chapter, Location, Support Link

2. Fill in the data
This can be done by you, or you can share the sheet with your students and have them fill it in.  Any cells can be left blank, with the exception of the Place and Location cells - th…

Student Competition - LSSU Short Story Prize

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LSSU High School Short Story Prize 
The theme for the 2018 LSSU High School Short Story Prize is historical fiction!

Who: High School students in the US and Canada
What: original pieces of 5,000 words or less that take place in a past time period
When: Deadline is March 31, 2018
How: the event's online submissions manager

The guidelines are posted on the event website.  The past contest winners entries are also located on the website.

From the event website:

The LSSU High School Short Story Prize is a North American literary competition run by the Lake Superior State University Department of English & Creative Writing for high school writers with a cash award, scholarship, and publication. The competition is open to all high school students residing in the United States and Canada. Entries are accepted December 1 through March 31 each year. Our mission is to create excitement about writing and reading in high school students, as well as to raise awareness about our English and creativ…

Google Sheets - Count Formulas

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

When dealing with a large (or even small) amount of data, being able to quickly get some counts can be done very quickly using the count formulas.  Lots of people know the basic one, but what many do not know is there are several different count formulas that give you great flexibility in counting your data for exactly what you want. 

COUNT
Counts the number of cells in the selected range that have numericdata entries.
Example: =COUNT(A1:A30)

Here is an example of it -

COUNTA
Counts the number of cells in the selected range that have any data type (non-empty cells).
Example: =COUNTA(A1:A30)

Here is an example of it -

COUNTBLANK
Counts the number of cells in the selected range that have no data (empty cells).
Example: =COUNTBLANK(A1:A30)

Here is an example of it - 
COUNTUNIQUE
Counts the number of cells with unique data entries in the the selected range.
Example: =COUNTUNIQUE(A1:A30)

Here is an example of it -


COUNTIF
Coun…