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. 


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.


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.


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…


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.

Continue reading “2021 – Day 4 of Google – Google Slides”

2021 – Day 2 of Google – Google Docs

On our second day of Google, we will focus on Google Docs. There have been many aha moments in Docs lately. Let’s jump right into it. Did you know…


You now have the ability to add a water mark in the document. I remember the days of Word, where a file was shared and I immediately knew it was in draft format as the word DRAFT was written diagonally in the background. It was faded but it was clear that things were not set in stone.

For those that are looking for some sort of visual faded in the background, follow the steps below. You will see in the example below, our school logo was added. I had the ability to determine whether it should be faded or not, as well as what I want the scale of the image to be.

  • Under insert menu, select Watermark
  • Select the image box on the right column and find the image you want to upload
  • Determine scale and if you want it to appear faded

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Day 10 of Google 2020 – Google Meet & Simulator

We have made to it Day 10. I truly enjoy doing this each year. There is so much information out there. Lots of changes. My hope is that you were able to take some new knowledge back with you over the past two weeks from these bit sized learning opportunities.


Our district decided to go the route of Google Meets for all remote instruction. Meets sure has seen big changes over the past few months. While there is still room for improvement, teachers over all in our district has been happy with the enhancements that have been added.

Just this week, Google announced that they are adding Captions for languages beyond English. Students will have the ability to turn on captions under the settings gear of their Google Meet. There is also indication that once a setting is set, it will remember the language that was chosen. This is a user setting, so a teacher cannot force this on the student.

gif created by Google Workspace
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Day 9 of Google 2020 – Chrome

On Day 9 of Google 2020, we will take a look a some good to know Chrome tips/websites.


There have been a couple situations where both students and teachers have indicated that they could not find an extension that the district has pushed out to all users. The extension was there but the user did not pin the extension to show up.

On the reverse side, some staff find that they have to many extensions or they might not use all that have been forced to their profile. The user can unpin extensions so that they don’t show up all of the time.

The 1.5 minute video below will walk through the process of pinning/unpinning an extension. You might have noticed there is now a puzzle piece that showed up on the top right corner. That is where you go to pin/unpin.

Continue reading “Day 9 of Google 2020 – Chrome”