Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Google Drive Quick Start Guide

Google Drive got a facelift a couple weeks ago and although there are a few things I miss, such as updated items are no longer bold, I do like the new look. 

If you are part of a Google Apps for Education district you might not see the new look just yet. Be patient as it is coming soon. The company rolls out updated products in shifts. If you have a personal Google account and you have not been switched to the new look, you have the option to switch yourself. From Drive, go to settings and select 'Experience the new Drive.' 

Here is a summary of some of the most notable changes that were made:

  • The Create button is now called New
  • Shared with Me is now called Incoming
  • New show link button that appears when you select a file/folder
  • Two ways to create a folder or file.
  • Sort files/folders by last modified, last edited by you, last opened by you or name.
  • Easily enable offline access through settings


Here is a New Google Drive Quick Start Guide that I created. My district has not switched over yet, but I wanted to be prepared for when the switch is made. 


New Google Drive Quick Start Guide


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Building Your Google+ Professional Learning Network

Google+ has proven to be a powerful tool in sharing and finding educational resources. It has taken a couple of years to take off, but now that it is I absolutely love it. It is another social media avenue, like Twitter and Facebook, for educators to get new and fresh ideas. The inspiration I get from the people in my circles and the communities I am a part of is priceless. 

Building your Google+ Professional Learning Network (PLN) is quite easy. On Twitter you follow people and on Google+ you add people to a circle. A circle is simply a way to organize people. For instance, I have the following circles: Educator, Google Educator, LISD (my district), and EDU Companies. This allows me to post to or view posts from certain circles. You can have as many or few circles as you would like and you can add people to multiple circles. 

There are so many great educators using Google+, so I couldn't possibly list them all, but here are a couple I recommend: Kasey Bell, Brandie Cain-Heard, Sue Gorman, Molly Schroeder, and Jim Sill. Oh and myself of course ;-). 

To build your PLN, I recommend going to see who the people you add have added in their circles. Check out people's posts prior to adding them. If what they post doesn't interest you then don't add them because their posts will appear in your stream. 


Once you build your PLN it is time to start sharing the ideas and resources you create or come across. If you are new to Google+ here is Google+ Overview Cheat Sheet and a Creating a Google+ Post Cheat SheetBasic posting is pretty self explanatory, but there are some pretty cool features that I want to make sure you don't miss out on. 



Google+ Overview Cheat Sheet


Creating a Google+ Post

When you create a new post, Google+ looks at the wording and gives you some suggested hashtags. You can choose to keep the suggestions or add your own hashtags. Just like in Twitter, those hashtags make it easy to find posts and resources on a specific topic. Search a particular hashtag in the 'Search for people, pages, or posts' field. 


I can't wait to have you as part of my Google+ Professional Learning Network.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Google Classroom Overview Cheat Sheets

I finally got my preview of Google Classroom! I was so excited to dive in. I created a presentation filled with cheat sheets from the different aspects of this great new tool. There are teacher and student views, so look for the designated mark.

I hear Google will be making changes and upgrades as they get feedback. I would personally like to be able to put my own image and I would would like to see a separate assignments page from the discussion stream, but that is just me.  With that said, the final product might look extremely different than it does now. As they make changes I will update my cheat sheets, so I suggest holding off on making a copy of the presentation at this moment. Instead I suggest bookmarking this page, so you will always have the latest updates. Of course, feel free to share with others.  

Here is a link to my Google Classroom Presentation. I hope you find it useful.