Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Using Sheets to make Contact Groups

WEBSITE  Badiner Bytes & Tech Tidbits
AUDIENCE ↬ teachers
CONTENT Gmail contact groups

GRADE LEVELS  teachers of ALL grades

My district moved email to Gmail this past spring and I rejoiced!!! I couldn't have been more excited! UNLIMITED storage! Woot! Woot! I sang my joy loud & clear.

And then the new school year started and my teachers wanted to know how to create contact groups like they had in the past. "I got this, no problem," I told them.

Then I tried to do it. Ugh. Gmail? What's up??? I couldn't do it. Well, I could ... it just took about 4,000 steps. I actually recommended to my teachers to skip it & use something else that was WAY easier.

And then the other day, a came across this ↬ "Create Contact Group in New Contacts" from Jeremy Badiner. YESSSS!!!! With the exception of it being easier directly IN Gmail, this is what we've needed! If you've struggled making contact groups, I HIGHLY suggest you read this and give Jeremy a virtual high five! And then give Scott Wolz a high ten, because he actually created the sheet. πŸ˜„

And while I'm on a Sheets roll ... Check out my Sheets Wakelet Collection, too! Sheets are  a pretty amazing tool. So much to do ... so little time.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Google Sheets Two-fer

WEBSITE  sheets.new 
AUDIENCE ↬ teachers; older students
CONTENT any/all

GRADE LEVELS  grades 3 & up
*** I only say this is for older students because I feel younger students still need to focus on building their basic skills. These are quick actions to assist. But if you think it is applicable, please use it! ***

I love when my GPS gives me an alternate route to shave a few minutes off my travels. I love a good keyboard shortcut to shave time off time when I am working on my computer. So when Google put out the ".new" ability, I did my happy dance!

This shortcut will allow you to quickly create a new Doc, Sheet, Slide, Form, or even a new Google Site, type the name of the application you want, add ".new", and click enter. VOILA!!!! You don't need to open your Drive. 

Try it. It doesn't disappoint. There is only one drawback ... it now is just a file sitting on the main part of your Drive. 

WEBSITE  any already existing Google Sheet 
AUDIENCE ↬ teachers; older students
CONTENT ↬ any/all

GRADE LEVELS  grades 3 & up

I'm a big believer in version history in all of the Google Apps. I have that tucked firmly in my teacher "bag o'tricks" and I share it freely with all teachers. I taught 7th & 8th grade for several years and this was HANDY. If you can believe it, I had some students who wouldn't be truthful about their work! 🀣

Sheets revision history is a bit more complicated than Docs or Slides. In the past few months, Sheets has gotten an upgrade and you can now click on any SINGLE cell and discover it's specific history & WHO changed it. I received a phone call from a colleague who wanted to know who changed a cell in a Sheet. I opened the Sheet, right-clicked on the cell, and the version history of that one single cell appeared before me. Funny part - it was the colleague asking who had made the change 🀣! I could even tell them exactly when the change was made. Incredibly helpful!!!

⭐Bonus --> Check out my Sheets Wakelet Collection, too!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Halloween Pumpkin Activity

WEBSITE  Build a Jack-o-Lantern
additional link ↬ Build a Jack-o-Lantern, for little ones

AUDIENCE ↬ students
CONTENT ↬ ELA & tech

GRADE LEVELS  grades 1 & up

Eric Curts is an excellent creator and share-r. His "Build a Jack-o-Lantern" template is perfect for this time of year. I did this with numerous classes last year and they ALLπŸ’– it. For many students, it was their first time working with templates and copying & pasting.

The copying & pasting can be frustrating for the youngest learners, so this year, I took Eric's template and modified it a bit, specifically for some first grade classes. If you work with younger students, you might be interested in it as well. I limited the options and moved the writing part to it's own slide. One of the biggest frustrations for the little ones I worked with last year was when they'd accidentally delete the pumpkin, so I inserted it as part of the background.

Eric is the true creator of this template, I only modified it for the youngest ones that I work with.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Slides, slides, & more slides!!!

WEBSITE  ControlAltAchieve Spice Up Your Slides
AUDIENCE ↬ teachers & students
CONTENT ↬ any/all


I make no secret of my love of Google Slides. It is an incredible tool that you can pretty much do anything & everything with it. You can start with a pre-created theme or you can start with a blank slide. Or so I thought ...

Eric Curts is an incredible educator, creator, and "share-er". (Is that a real word???) A couple of weeks ago, Eric shared how the linked post which contains over 600 slides templates that are FREE for you to grab & use!!! I knew of Slides Carnival and Slides Mania and the Template Gallery ... I hadn't heard of the other 5!!!!

AND not only can YOU use them, share them with your students and encourage them to browse the collections and spice up their next presentation. Don't let them turn in boring slidedecks ever again!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

gzaas ... jazz up your message!

WEBSITE  gzaas
AUDIENCE ↬ teachers
CONTENT ↬ any/all

GRADE LEVELS  all grades

I absolutely LOVE gzaas! It's a website that allows you to create fun & attractive messages you can display on your computer. I've used it to show the link to a presentation & to share a short message with students. 

It is incredibly easy to use, too! Just go to https://www.gzaas.com/, type in your message and hit "gzaas it!". From here, you can customize the background, the font, font color, etc. So incredibly easy ... it's hard to not gzaas it. Try it out today!

*** Another idea ↬ sneak into a colleagues room & leave them an inspirational message? ***

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bensound: royalty free music

WEBSITE  Bensound
AUDIENCE ↬ teachers & students
CONTENT ↬ any/all

GRADE LEVELS  grades 2 & up

I recently needed music for my Google Innovator application and happened to be scrolling through Twitter. I came upon a Tweet by Brad Dale (@bradjdale) sharing Bensound (@Bensound). I couldn't click on his link quick enough!

Brad's share, "In need of Royalty Free Music for a project? Try Bensound.com", a royalty free site where you can find short clips of music. It. Was. Perfect. 

I clicked on a few and settled on "Hey", a cheerful & upbeat mixture of piano & hand clapping. Since I was submitted an application to Google, I most certainly didn't want to infringe on copyright and this was perfect!

If you are looking for short clips of music, I highly encourage you to check out Bensound, as well as share it with your students for when they need music for presentations or projects. Instilling a little good digital citizenship at the same time. And yes, I did credit Bensound in my video application. AND I was accepted to be a Google Innovator!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The 2x10 Strategy from Angela Watson

WEBSITE  The 2×10 strategy (Angela Watson)
AUDIENCE ↬ teachers
CONTENT ↬ not content specific


I know I typically share out a tech-y resource. This week I'm sharing a resource I wish I'd been introduced to when I first started teaching. We ALL have students that challenge us in various ways. I never felt like I had a super great grasp on classroom management. 

The 2x10 strategy Angela Watson shares is NOT a silver bullet, but it sure does make sense to me. Building a relationship with ALL students is incredibly important and powerful. Please take a few minutes and read this ... that's all it will take ... a FEW minutes. And I promise, it's incredibly simple to implement. And, yes, it's free.