A unique feature (only available for G Suite for Education accounts) is an option called, “Appointment slots,” where an educator can select an interval of time during which other Google users can schedule an appointment, alleviating the need for the teacher to do the actual scheduling. Making appointment slots is only available to users that are on a G Suite for Education domain, but registering for someone else’s appointment slot is available to users with any Google account. Embedding a Google Calendar in a Google Site requires editing access to a Google Site, and access to a Google Calendar. Google Labs are experimental features that can be turned on or off to enhance the Gmail or Google Calendar experience. By customizing Gmail and Google Calendar with these features, you can become much more efficient and save valuable time.
Email is used extensively for school communications. Sometimes you may need to email out the same message to all your students or their parents. In order to personalize the emails or make them relevant to the individual, sometimes an email merge is required. Two add-ons that may be helpful include Yet Another Mail Merge and FormMule. Both of these take data that is stored in a spreadsheet and use text placeholders to merge that information into the body of an email. Yet Another Mail Merge uses emails saved in your Gmail Drafts as a template. FormMule has more options including the ability to send a variety of email templates based on a column in the spreadsheet.Canned Responses is a lab designed to save you more of this precious time. By saving the email text as a canned response, you will spend less time recreating an email. In just a couple clicks you can insert your canned response and move on to the next message or item on your to-do list. Here are a few ways Canned Responses might be helpful:
- Weekly reminders for homework, projects, progress reports, or office hours
- Parent communication newsletters
- Commonly asked questions (a teacher FAQ)
- Custom email signatures for different contacts; current settings allow only one signature
- Save custom email signatures and save templates to send the same information multiple times.
Experimental features that can break or disappear at any time. Labs are a feature that can be turned on or off by a domain administrator. 30 seconds is the maximum amount of time you can have to undo the sending of an email with the Undo Send lab.
Google Chrome is the most popular and widely-used Internet browser in the world. It’s fast, secure, and works on all operating systems and devices. It’s also extendible. This means third-party developers can integrate the functionality of their applications with Chrome to make it even more powerful. There are two main approaches to remember: extensions and apps (there are also add-ons which work with specific Google tools such as Docs and Sheets, but these are independent of Chrome. We cover add-ons in an upcoming lesson). Both apps and extensions can be found in the Chrome Web Store. You’ll find the shortcut under the App Launcher icon in Chrome (at the top left of the browser, labeled Apps). Extensions work by integrating fully with Chrome and extending the native capabilities of the browser, but limited compared to an app. Apps are web-based versions of software applications that live completely in the cloud; Chrome apps are simply launchers for the web-based software. The Chrome Web Store has apps and extensions available for use. The Education category makes finding education-specific apps and extensions easy for educators.
Curating and selecting educational apps and extensions is the first step when trying to enrich your class and streamline workflows. Extensions like Readability help students to read websites better by removing distractions and giving them annotation tools to highlight and take notes. The VideoNot.es app lets you take notes right alongside of a YouTube video. OneTab gathers up all those tabs and saves them in a simple list that you can go back to anytime. Apps like Khan Academy or CK-12 deliver the content itself. Apps generally have more functionality than extensions. Chrome apps and extensions can be force-installed on Chromebooks in your education domain.
- Mail merge
- Automatically creating quizzes from documents
- Automatically grading quizzes using Google Forms
- Providing individualized feedback to students more easily
- Creating citations and bibliographies
- Distributing documents and folders to students more quickly
Create Personalized Documents
Autocrat is a document merge add-on that works with data stored in a spreadsheet and merges it with a template that is saved in Docs. Start with a Google Doc and design it as you wish. For example, you can create a certificate of completion for your student readers. You can use G Suite and add-ons to make this process easier. After assessing basic, core knowledge using Google Forms, we can perform more elaborate assessments using rubrics and can even provide narrative feedback to our students. Explore the following add-ons for assessment and consider how you might be able to use them:
Flubaroo is great for quickly grading student quizzes created in Google Forms. SuperQuiz is a great way to grade quizzes using Google Forms. In addition to the basic grading functions, SuperQuiz provides individualized feedback to each student based on their performance. Doctopus is a Google Docs photocopier and enables you to manage and assess class projects using Google Drive. Goobric is a Chrome Extension that extends the functionality of Doctopus and makes assessments that use rubrics a breeze. DocAppender takes information submitted in a Google Form and appends it at the bottom of a Google Doc.
There are buttons to book an appointment slot. Share the URL of your appointment page and a background image labs can be used to customize your Google Calendar. A colleague has included you in an email that is irrelevant to you, but it continues to come to your inbox because people are using the Reply All button when responding. You want some peace and quiet. What can you do to quiet message notifications coming in? Select the message and use them keyboard shortcut. You can use add-ons for Forms, Sheets, and Docs to grade quizzes, create a table of contents, mail merge, and change the response choices on a multiple choice form question. Add the Save to Google Drive extension to your Chrome browser to save a website as a PNG, Google Doc, or an HTML file. GeoGebra Chrome apps under the Academic Resources category will run offline and also works with Google Drive.
To color, every other row of a Sheet uses the ‘modulo’ function, which finds the remainder when dividing two numbers. =mod(row(),2)=0 will find the current row number and divide it by 2. Even rows with a remainder of 0, satisfy the condition and their color will change. Now when you add more students to that spreadsheet, you don’t need to throw all your brilliant design work off. To highlight a whole row if the value in column B is “Late,” select all rows and try this custom formula =$B1=”Late”. Consider using this for keeping track of permission forms that have not been returned on time. Conditional formatting is used to color code cells based on their contents.