2021 – Day 10 of Google – Random Stuff

We have made it to our last day of Google, Day 10. Today, I am going to mention random google things that really don’t connect to one another. Why you ask? Why not!

YEAR END SEARCH

I always look forward to seeing what Google is going to share with us at the end of the year. They take a look at what had been searched throughout the year and put a video collage together. It is an opportunity to reflect on what has happened over the year. A lot happens in just a single year. At times, I forget about something or think to myself wow, it was that long ago? To see this years video, click HERE or watch below.

After watching the video, take a few minutes to see trends from the year (Year in Search 2021). You have the ability to see what caught peoples’ attention, who inspired people, and see what questions people had in common. This could be a great opportunity for students to look at stats.

For instance, did you know that…

  • The world search “how to start a business” more than “how to get a job” in 2021.
  • “How to move with plants” was search more than “how to move with pets” and “how to move with kids”, in 2021.
  • “How to maintain mental healthy” was searched more this year than ever before globally.

These stats, and many more, can be found in the ‘explore the trends’ section of the website.

You can also encourage students to take a look at ‘see the top trends lists’ button toward the very bottom of the page. On the page students can look at the data on a particular item. In the gif example below, I looked at NBA search results, starting worldwide. Then I made the change to see what the graph looked like with United States selected only. Then I wanted to make a comparison with NBA and WNBA.

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2021 – Day 9 of Google – Accessibility

On the ninth day of Google, we will look into some accessibility features. We are all learners and we all learn differently. Sometimes that means that information needs to be available in different formats or appearances. Did you know…

VOICE TYPING AND TRANSLATIONS IN DOCS

Voice typing in Google Docs has a been around for a couple of years now. However, an aha moment happened for me a couple of weeks ago. We have students who speak English as a second language. For any student that is struggling, they could use voice typing to speak their thoughts in their native language, then use the translation feature to translate into English. Now, I recognize that things won’t necessarily translate perfectly and I know that some teachers don’t want students to take the easy way out, but there is a time and a place where this could prove helpful. What would the work flow be?

  • Activate ‘voice typing’ under the ‘tools’ menu
  • Change the language in the drop down menu above the microphone button (language that the user would be speaking in)
  • Once content is in the document, the student could then highlight and select ‘translate document’ under the ‘tools’ menu

For those that would like a demo on how to use voice typing, click HERE. Keep in mind that there are several prompts you can give to help with formatting. For example: new paragraph, new line, period (to end sentence), stop listening, etc. For more detailed commands click HERE.

I was speaking with a friend and she was talking about how she worked with someone who was hard of hearing in one ear. In many cases, this person is unable to comprehend everything that is said in a staff meeting. This person could open up a google doc and turn on voice typing while the speaker is talking. Perhaps the person who is hard of hearing would be able to read the content in the google doc (keeping in mind that she would have to sit close to the front to have the computer pick up the words). Another word of caution would be to let the speaker know ahead of time so that they are aware that the words being spoken are in fact being translated.

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2021 – Day 7 of Google – Arts and Culture

On the seventh day of google, we will take a closer look at Google Arts and Culture. You really can go down a rabbit hole with Arts and Culture. Here are a couple of good to knows…

EXPEDITIONS

Many people were disappointed that Google decided to get rid of the stand alone expeditions app. We found a couple of thoughtful uses with it in some of our curriculum ourselves. Google Arts and Culture has absorbed expeditions now. What is important to know though is that the teacher is no longer able to lead tours as they were in the app. Everything is all student run now.

This link HERE will give you access to all of the expeditions that are currently in Arts and Culture. One thing that is missing is a spreadsheet of all of the expeditions. I do wish that the search feature worked a bit better but this is a great place to start. Keep in mind that these expeditions work nicely on both chromebooks and mobile devices. I have noticed that when you use an expedition that has sound files with it, as you scroll through the content, the audio automatically plays. It is nice that students don’t have to select an icon to make that happen.

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2021 – Day 6 of Google – Google Docs (Part 2)

On the sixth day of Google, we will take a look into Google Docs again. Some of the features below are not necessarily all new ideas but ideas that are worth taking a second look at. 

NOTE TAKING WHILE WATCHING YOUTUBE VIDEO

There might be times where you are asking students to watch a YouTube video and take notes. Over a year ago, Google Docs allowed students the ability to preview/watch a video in a popup window while in the Google Doc. Students can determine how big or small of a window they want the video to play in. This can be helpful for students to shrink the video down so that they can type notes in the Doc. How to make this happen?

  • Provide link to a YouTube video
  • Students then select the link
  • Hover over the video pop up and select Open Preview
  • Students can then change the size of the video if it is too big

Click HERE to watch the process described above. Note: This feature also works with Google slides that have been linked in a Google Doc. Students can preview a slide presentation and take notes in a google doc as well. Same approach as listed above with a YouTube Video.

TO DO LISTS

You now have the ability to create to do lists in Google Doc. This can be a great approach in helping students through a detailed or lengthy assignment. Provide the checklist in the document that students have edit access to. Then as they complete tasks, they can cross off the to do list. I have even seem teachers use this feature in a syllabus or beginning of a unit of study. Then as learning or tasks are completed, students/teacher is able to visually indicate where they are now in the study of the course.

How do you create a to do list? 

  • Place cursor where the to do list should be
  • Then select the checklist icon in the menu (shortcut is command, shift, 9 on a mac or control, shift, 9 on a chromebook)

Once a task has been completed, select the box and it will cross the task off. It will not delete. The image below indicates where the check list icon is located.

APPROVALS FOR DOCUMENTS

Google now has a more formal way in making sure that other people on a team have approved content in a document. I can see this really helpful when organizing content before being shared out with the community. For example, if I need to share out instructions about a certain protocol that parents need to follow, but I have to make sure the other 5 people on my team agree with how the protocol reads, I can use the new approval process.

How to make this happen?

  • Under the file menu, select ‘Approvals’
  • Determine who you want to give approvals
  • Determine whether or not you want to all approvers to be able to edit the file; determine if you want to lock the file so that no one is able to edit the file while in approval mode
  • Determine if there is a due date

You will notice if you convert the file into locked mode, not even you as the owner can edit. You can revert back, but it will be locked for everyone. In the right column, it will keep track for you who has approved and who you are still waiting to hear from. Below is a gif that walks you through this process. I can see lots of potential with this new feature.

If you have any questions, you know where to find me.

And that is my Spiel…

2021 – Day 4 of Google – Google Slides

On the fourth day of Google, we will dive into a couple of tips in Google Slides. Did you know…

CREATE YOUR OWN GRADIENT COLORS

Did you know that you could create your gradient colors? I actually didn’t until a week ago. There might be times where you want to have multiple colors show up in text. To make this happen,

  • Insert a word art cell with your text
  • While text is selected, click the fill paint bucket icon
  • Under the gradient menu, select the icon to create your own color
  • Select the color you want to start with. You will then add a new gradient stop color. Repeat this step as many times as you want with the number of colors you will want to appear.
  • You can determine the type of gradient from linear to radial.

In the example below, you will see that a rainbow effect was created. You don’t need to select all of the gradient stops that I selected. You could keep it simple and only have one gradient stop.

This is something that you won’t use all the time. For me, this was a huh moment as I didn’t know it existed. When the right time comes, I will be sure to use the feature however.

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