Jeanne Rogers

Using Google Drive

Posted by Jeanne Rogers Nov 8, 2013

The use of Google Drive continues to provide folks with an alternative to the Microsoft Office suite of products.  Parents will find this to be good news because a child's school work, done in Google Drive, will be available to that student when they log into a computer anywhere/anytime.  So, they can finish an assignment at Grandma's or on a mobile device on the way to soccer practice or a doctor appointment.  Many schools use Google Drive, which includes documents, presentations, drawing, and spreadsheets.  This makes sharing assignments with their teacher a snap. One of the nice things Google Drive provides is the ability to download the item/document.  One download choice is in pdf format and this is explained nicely in How to Create PDFs in Google Drive in Three Steps

Jeanne Rogers

Customizing Google Forms

Posted by Jeanne Rogers Sep 14, 2013

The Google Drive Blog, post from September 9, 2013, shares Four new ways to customize your Google Forms.  One I think will be most helpful is the ability to embed video into the form.  This is great news for those flipping their classrooms.

Previous posts regarding Google Forms, include:

Flubaroo- Grading Made Easy

Assessments Made Easy…. With Google Docs

What tools have you found for creating surveys and polls

Have you found some good resources on how to use Google tools?

googlesearchbottom.JPGYou are able to check the reading level of non-fiction text by using the advanced feature in Google Search.


How To Google Search By Reading Level

1. First, choose a term, and Google it as you always have, whether you’re looking for a copyright-free version of an American classic or National Geographic's Animal Jam.


2. Next, click “Advanced Search” which is located at the bottom of the search page.


3. Scroll to the bottom, and filter results by reading level.  Use the drop down arrow to reveal your options for narrowing your search.googlenarrow.JPG


After you have clicked on the "Advanced Search" button, your search page will reload with this information located at the top of the page.

You are able to sort search results for the three levels.


I had to create an additional Gmail account for all of my 'subscriptions'.  I've yet to find any of them a nuisance. I always pick up some good tips to share or use myself.  By the way, the Thinkfinity's September eNewsletter will be coming out soon and I am psyched to read what's going on in the Community.  At any rate, I just joined and read the blog post "100+ Google Tricks for Teachers".  Lots of good information, many helpful tips offered.


The blog post includes 'tricks' on search, Google for Education, Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Google Mobile, Chrome, books and Apps.

Google's Conversational Voice search went live in Chrome at the end of May.  Are you using Google's Voice Search?  I admit to typing my questions as I always have.  Part of the reason is where I am usually working and what is convenient for me may very well be annoying for someone else.  Getting nutritional information on food items and a quick sports answer when in the middle of a game are all good reasons to use Voice.

Google provides ready made templates for use in Google Docs. Templates are provided for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawing.  The public templates are divided into a variety of categories including, but not limited to, albums, calendars, certificates, and templates specifically for students and teachers.  In the template gallery, you are able to preview the templates prior to use.  You are also able to submit templates to be included in the gallery. Once you have selected a template to use, it will be downloaded to your Google Drive and may be edited.  Which Google Docs templates will you use?

Jeanne Rogers

Google Play

Posted by Jeanne Rogers May 16, 2013


"Discover, play, store and share" music with Google Play.  Locker and Storage is free and offers the ability to store up to 20,000 songs. Your music is always in sync and is available across devices.  What do you think?  Is Google Play here to stay?  Will it take a share of music lovers from Apple iTunes?

Picture this scenario, your school district has been using Google Apps in Education.  You participated in training that also provided suggestions for use in the classroom.  You've gone paperless and have students sharing their documents, projects, presentations with you through Google Docs.  You have saved work in the cloud, including lesson plans, parent-student communication and more.  THEN, you hear that your school district may make a switch to something else. If this happens to you what will you do?  Can you continue to use it even if it is no longer supported or promoted for use by your school or school district?  One suggestion, just in case, use your personal Gmail account and share your documents with yourself.  Change ownership of the document, or download your files taking them out of the cloud for the time being. How would you feel if you 'lost' all of your stuff?

I was in a second grade classroom a few years ago working with students on map skills.  When I shared Google earth, there were gasps of surprise and delight.  It was a great moment. We looked at the school and viewed in street view.  Every child wanted to see where they lived.  Unfortunately, I had only 30 minutes that day to share this tool and model its use for the teacher.  I moved to another school prior to discovering if the teacher had added Google Earth to her "tool box".

Google has provided resources to assist folks in using Google Earth.  One resource is the Google Earth User Guide.  This guide is in pdf format and Drive users will be happy that it automatically opens in Google Docs where you can refer to it as needed. I love the way the author describes Google Earth as a window to anywhere on the planet.  Another resource is a set of tutorials that will help you to become a "Google mapping expert".


Are you using Google Earth?  Have you used Jerome Burg's Google Lit Trips?

The Doodle for Google contest for grades K-12 is currently open.  I enjoy looking at the children's efforts. Google defines a Doodle to be, "the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists."

google wish.JPGI was pleased to see this birthday Doodle on my special day. When I moved the cursor over the Doodle, my name appeared.  When you see a Google Doodle, be sure to take the time to click on it. You'll find information on the 'topic' of the Doodle.  How could you use the Google Doodle in your classroom?  Have you ever encouraged students to participate in the contest?

Google introduced a new touch-screen laptop this past week. Take a look at this article for more details.  Would you buy one?

Jeanne Rogers

Search menu bar changes

Posted by Jeanne Rogers Feb 17, 2013

In January 2013, it was reported on Search Engine Land, that Google was considering changing the main menu bar from black with white/gray lettering to gray/white with a black/dark gray text overlay.  Has anyone seen this?

Jeanne Rogers

Shorten URL's

Posted by Jeanne Rogers Feb 13, 2013

In the past, I've used bitly to shorten URL's in web pages and emails.  However, I've come to like  Just paste your long URL in the space, click "Shorten URL" and then use for your posts.

Have you ever needed to assess your students quickly to see if they are understanding concepts or skills?  Today, while my students were reading an online article, I created a mini, four question assessment on Body Organization in Google Docs.  I created a Google Form with two multiple choice questions, two fill in the blank questions, and a place for the

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 10.42.21 PM.pngstudent's name.

Making the Google Form was easy. Even easier was having the responses from a quiz graded in the spreadsheet. I had the student responses appear as a summary in a spreadsheet. To create questions, just right-click on the column heading (where the question appears) and a drop-down will appear like the one to the right. Click on Conditional formatting and another window will pop-up like the one below.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 10.35.00 PM.png

Type your answer in the block next to Text contains. In this case, you can see in the Conditional formatting box, I typed in the answer, cell. I checked the box beside background and this caused any student's response of cell to be highlighted in green.  The green helped me to identify the number of correct responses per student.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 10.53.52 PM.png

As you can see to the left, I have an Excel document that is easy to read and score. I made the quiz as a Google Form and formatted the response sheet in less than 10 minutes, and I was able to pull small groups for remediation before the class period was over.  With the mounting stacks of work I have to grade, having an assessment graded as soon as the form was submitted allows me more time to plan for my students and relieves me of the task of grading papers.

Samsung_Chromebook_frontview2_webres.jpgGoogle has teamed up with to offer $99 Chromebooks to teachers. This is a great opportunity to equip your students with a web-based computer perfect for projects, research, collaboration and more! Unfortunately, all the Chromebooks that are available have already been requested by teachers. However, it is not unlike Google to offer more Chromebooks in a second wave. If you are interested in submitting a project to be considered for $99 Chormebooks, you can read more and view the projects on the Donor's Choose website.

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