August 1

Welcome to WCS New Teachers!

Williamson County Schools spent a couple of days this week welcoming and inducting new teachers to our district.  The #WCSEdTech team formally welcomes our new teachers and we look forward to working with you during the year!

Click on the image above to access the Prezi

This week’s Tech Tips includes a link to a Prezi which shares a plethora of introductory information.

Welcome new teachers!  We are so glad you are here!

July 25

G Suite Training Extension for Chrome

How many times have you been working on a project and needed a bit of training in order to effectively use the digital tool?

Really?  Me too!

Almost every single time.

And down the rabbit hole of learning I go with lots of lost time.

The folks at Google must have realized that and created the G Suite Training Extension for our Chrome browser.  It offers simple, interactive training where you can learn and take action all at the same time.  Adding the extension makes the training available within whatever Google App you are using.  So, leaving the application to learn how to use it is never necessary. Continue reading

May 23

Tuesday Tip! It’s Time to Split

When note-taking for research, it is generally better to avoid highlighting, copying, and pasting.  This makes it easier for students to report information in their own words while creating notes.  At times, like when doing research, it helps to have a resource open on one half of the screen and a place for note-taking open on the other half.  The note-taking half might be a tool like Google Keep, a Google Document, or a Google Slide.  Tab Scissors and Tab Glue are great Chrome Extensions for such a task.

Tab Scissors is an organizational tool which splits one window into two smaller side-by-side windows.  When creating a split screen with one click, all the tabs to the left of the selected one will remain on the left.  The rest will move to the window on the right.  Tab Glue brings the two split windows back together in one window.

May 16

Tuesday Tip! – Sheets, Charts, and Docs Working Together

We have become such a visual society that images and graphics really are an important part of our communication skill set.  Why not include charts as a way to reinforce a concept in a persuasive written piece?  Recently, a local high school English teacher did just that.  

When introducing a unit on The Holocaust, she asked students to rank their Top Ten for Who is Responsible for The Holocaust?  The teacher posted a link to a Google Sheet in her Google Classroom.  There were nine categories in protected cells and students could add their own tenth category.  Then, they entered numbers to rank each category.  Next, students converted the spreadsheet data to a pie chart.  Then, they inserted the chart into a Google Document and wrote a justification for their choice of ranking.

Basically, the  teacher saw three different types of effective responses for this assignment.  One student simply did a numbered list.  The pie chart helped to illustrate the ranking for the students to choose the level of responsibility and the student chose the ranking to be ten for most responsible and one for least responsible.  The justification was written with the highest ranking as the first numbered point.  Other students who wrote a numbered list ranked ten as leas responsible and one as most responsible.  So, the written justification certainly became an important part of the assignment.

 

Other students chose to write their justification in essay format, writing a paragraph as a way to explain the choices.  A student took the essay format one step further by changing font colors to match the categories on the pie chart as the explanation was detailed.  Sometimes the best differentiation comes from giving only basic instructions and allowing students to interpret!

 

 

 

 

 

Creating visuals solidifies ideas and concepts for readers and for students creating the visuals as well.  More importantly, an assignment like this gives the teacher a starting place for knowing what information is banked in students’ prior knowledge and what needs to be learned.  Amazing formative assessments don’t have to be locked into a ten question bubble sheet.  Why not smash a few apps together and really learn more about what students do and do not know?

April 25

Tuesday’s Tip – Pin a Tab!

When planning and preparing a lesson or professional development workshop, sometimes I find that there are multiple tabs open.  I rely heavily on Google Drive when creating and curating these lessons.  So, I like to keep Google Drive open in a tab and don’t want to lose track of it or accidentally close it.  An easy way to help me keep track of this tab is to pin it.  That way I know my Drive tab is open and where it is located without a search.

Pinning a tab will minimize it so that only an icon will show.  This also leaves more space for multitasking and I can have even more tabs open while working.  Win!  Win!

 

Continue reading

April 18

Google Tip #6 – Fonts and More Fonts!

Sometimes a simple variation in the font used can create a whole different feel for a document.  I love to include fun and sassy fonts when creating an infographic or HyperDoc!  The font chosen can add a whole different attitude to the work whether it is professional, fun, adventurous, cartoon-like, etc.  When using G Suite tools, there are hundreds of fonts to choose from for the perfect match to your creation.  The beauty of using web-based G Suite tools is that the font will look the same for the audience of viewers no matter how it’s accessed. Continue reading

April 7

Finally! Introducing EquatiO!

Finally a user friendly equation editor integrated with Google Docs and Google Forms! Introducing EquatiO!

EquatiO is a Chrome Extension that launches an equation editor at the bottom of the screen within Google Docs and Google Forms.

Students can collaborate in one Google Doc and insert their own equations or expressions.

Teachers can collaborate in one Google Doc to create assessments. Click the image below to see a demo in Google Docs.

 Download EquatiO from the Web Store.

Check out EquatiO tutorials on the EquatiO YouTube Playlist.

Happy equation writing!

 

April 4

Google Tip #4 = Capitalization in a Doc

The folks at Google have just added a new piece to the Format drop-down box in Google Docs.  There is now a Capitalization option right in Google Docs without having an Add-on.  In the toolbar, simply select Format > Capitalization and choose the option needed:

  • lowercase, to make all the letters in your selection lowercase
  • UPPERCASE, to capitalize all the letters in your selection
  • Title Case, to capitalize the first letter of each word in your selection

It’s that easy!  So, instead of spending time focused upon formatting, you can do more creating, follow your inspirations more, and collaborate more.