Friday, November 17, 2017

Google Keep: Quick Student Feedback on Google Docs and Slides

Weekly Tech Tips

Google Keep:
Google Keep is one of the apps provided in our G Suite accounts that can be used in so many different ways it is hard to describe.  Keep is described as a note keeping app (think lists and sticky notes) but its power lies in how versatile the features make it.  Here are some of my favorite features:
  • Draw or snap a picture with text and it will "grab" the picture text and write it in the note
  • Make a list of "To Dos", set reminders and check off once done
  • Organize by label and color
  • By far my favorite...pull up Keep in Docs and Slides and Drawings and drag or copy notes to insert in those docs.
Insert a Sticker

Insert Frequently Used Feedback

Insert a Suggested Edit Comment

Keep:  To get started with Keep and make your own lists, stickers and comments peruse the resources below.

Lesson Design:

When thinking about student feedback it is good to start with the end in mind by asking yourself some questions.
  1. What kind of feedback?
  2. Who will give the feedback?
  3. Where will the student find the feedback?
  4. What will the student do with the feedback?
Now that you have answered those questions design your template to accommodate your answers.

If you want to get student work, ideas or comments in one place a sharing table is a great place to start.  Find the template: 
  1. Use the NEW button in Google Drive
  2. Click the arrow next to the app and choose "From a template"  
  3. Check out the Williamsville templates and Google's General templates
  4. Slides, Sheets, Docs and Forms all have a template option

Chunk, Table and Organize

Chunk: One great way to start with the end in mind is to Chunk the lesson down into parts.  Think Introduction, Paragraph 1, 2, 3 and Conclusion or Restate, Answer, Cite and Explain.

Table:  Use the table option in the Insert menu to separate these parts physically in the vertical space of the document.  Add columns to provide clear locations for feedback.

Organize: Set the background and text colors of each section or column to something distinct.  If you set the font, size and color or each column in the template when you drag feedback from Keep it will take on the styles that you set.  Be consistent with the cell colors for where students write (say Gray) and where students look for feedback (Orange).


Key considerations:
  • When designing, begin with the end in mind...student use of your feedback
  • Consider using Keep to speed up frequent commenting or have some fun with Stickers
  • When setting up your stickers or can always share them with colleagues right from Keep.
Here are some you might like.

Enjoy your life!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Google Slides Add-ons and Classroom Organization

Larry’s Weekly Tech Tips
1.    Google Slides:  Check out the Add-ons menu in google slides.
  • Suggested Add-Ons
    • Peardeck:  Add slides to check for student understanding and launch Peardeck right from slides
    • Unsplash:  Access 100s of HIGH quality photos.
    • Don’t bother with Shutterstock or Adobe which require accounts for full access.  

2.   Google Classroom organization
  • Teach students to use the To-Do menu that can be found in the hamburger menu File:Hamburger icon.svg - Wikimedia Commons to see a list of work due and filter by class.

3.   Screenshots on a PC

  • Option 1: Use printscreen button and paste into a document or image editor. Google docs and MS Word both have crop options when an image is selected
  • Option 2: Use the Snipping tool, standard on Windows machines. Go to your school programs folder and find the windows accessories folder and drag the snipping tool out onto your desktop for easy access
  • Option 3: There are several chrome extensions that will snip or record anything in the chrome browser. Try these. Nimbus to snip and Screencastify to record

Those are my tips…but I have been wrong before.
Enjoy your life.
Larry Goble
Teacher assigned as Instructional Technology Coach

Williamsville Central Schools

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Oh-My-Forms...Test, Grade, Give Feedback and Pass Back Assessments with Google Forms and Classroom

     Think you know forms?  You have been using Google Classroom.  You have been using Google Forms.  You may have even been using Google Forms within Google Classroom but because of recent and some not so recent changes to forms and classroom you can now easily administer, grade, give feedback and pass back a worksheet or test within the G-Suite.

     The first step is to create a quiz in google forms.  One new feature is that you can have google forms grade short answers and put in several "correct" answers such as "two" and "Two".  You can also restrict what kind of answers are allowed for instance a number or text.  
    It is also important to look at the settings for the quiz.  For a quiz that matters I like to release grades after review and turn off the check boxes.
     The key step is to attach the google form quiz to your Google Classroom post in a particular way.  Instead of posting the public share link to the form, attach the form as a document directly from your google drive.  

     One last switch to turn on in the google classroom assignment post is the "enable grade importing" button.  This enables the magic later on. 
Grade and Give Feedback
     Once students take the quiz you can go into the form, click on responses and then individual.  If you want to give specific feedback on individual quizzes you can do that.  If you want to review the short answer or other questions and assign points you can do that.  If the questions are all straightforward multiple choice you won't have to do anything at all in the form. 
Pass Back 
     Once you are ready to release the feedback, correct answers and grades go to the google classroom assignment post.  Click the import grades button and then select all students with the top checkbox and choose return.

     When students go back to the google classroom post and click on the form they will now see not only their grade but also what answers the put, which ones were right and wrong and also any feedback you have given them.
     Lastly, any grades in classroom can be imported into your Wits gradebook with a few clicks.  Magic.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekly Tech Tips

With our switch to the Windows 10 operating system a frequent question is, "Where is ...?"  Below are a number tips that might get you a little closer to finding...

1. Open the File Explorer Tab:  While you can right-click on the desktop and personalize the theme to add a desktop icon of "This PC" the explorer tab really has all you need.

2.  Pin to Quick Access:  On the left hand side is a list of drives and folders your PC has access to.  You can add to the Quick Access list by navigating to a folder, right-clicking and then "Pin to Quick Access"  Do this with any folder in your H: drive you frequent to save a couple of clicks

3.  Use the Search Bar:  For finding documents you can't remember where you put them.  Click into any folder or drive (Quick Access or H: Drive) and then type in a key word in the document name. will get list of files that have that word(s) in it.

Better Yet...move to online cloud storage in Google Drive where MS Office, H: Drive and File Explorer and more are found together in one place anywhere you have internet access.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

End of the Year Checklist: Google Classroom

As things wrap up with exams you may have some end of year procedures you like to do to make sure you get a great start in the Fall.  This year we may want to add one more to our list and clean up our Google Classroom too.

1  Keep Student Exemplars:
a.   go into the google classroom assignment,
b.   click the mini file folder at the top,
c.    In that drive folder, right click on the exemplar and make a copy
d.   Drag the copy to your exemplar folder

2  Review/Return all assignments
a.   In google classroom, click on the hamburger menu and press work
b.   Click on the To Review tab at top
c.    Choose the class to review or All classes
d.   Click on each assignment and check to see if you have returned all work to students.
e.   Use Snowman menu to mark as reviewed.  (You can also do this as a habit during the year to keep grading organized.

   Archive this Year’s classes (you can still get to them)
a.   Go to the classes homepage (has tiles of all classes)
b.   Click the snowman menu on each tile and choose Archive.
c.    This cleans up your classroom page but you can still un-archive the class OR copy assignments from archived classes.

Here is a video if you want a visual walkthrough.

Enjoy your life!


Monday, March 27, 2017

Generally, it is good to pick one tool, technique or lesson and stick with it in a regular rhythm (every day, every Friday, every project) until you and the students master the technology which fades into the background and lets the learning shines through. If you are still getting used to a digital tool keep working on it...then pick the next thing.  If you are ready for the next thing pick your level below and give it a go.

Start in the Serve in the 

Basics:  Start in Kitchen.  Serve in Dining Room.  
    Google Drive is like your kitchen.  It is where you organize ingredients, create meals and store them.  Instead of food, we work with words and images instead of ingredients, folders instead of cupboards and documents and presentations instead of meals.  Make sure you have folders for each subject you teach and then a subfolder for each unit.  Anytime you are going to upload or create anything for that unit go into the folder FIRST and then use the NEW button and all your work will be autosaved and categorized where you the google drive kitchen.
     Google Classroom is like the Dining Room.  That is where you serve your meals (lessons) and interact with your customers (students).  Start in Drive...serve in the Classroom.
  1. Cheat sheet:  Drive
  2. Classroom Starter Videos 
  3. Google Chrome 101
  4. Google Drive and Google Classroom 102 tutorial

Intermediate:  Connect other Resources to your Google Classroom 
  1. ​​Digital Tools for Instruction:  Once you master Google Drive and Classroom you can now begin to layer tools...something we call App smashing.  Check out this list to take your next step.
    1. Highlighted tool:  ​​​StoryMaps - Maps, data, and research blended to illuminate your topic in new ways.  Go the next step and create your own...or have students do it (high-level learning and high skill needed)
Advanced:  Hyperslides and Interactive notes
  1. Interactive Notes:  Pass out a copy of a presentation or project/lab directions.  Some slides contain content/directions and some are organized for interactive note taking, slides where students create their own meaning with words and images and drawings or complete graphic organizers or paste links or created videos.
  2. Hyperslides:  Slides published as a view only but with links to learning content (videos/articles) and to classroom learning activities (classroom assignments/padlets/creation tools/digital experiments, etc)  

Larry Goble
Technology Integrator
Williamsville Central School
South High School
Transit Middle School

Friday, March 24, 2017

Google Slides...The Utility App

Google slides is my go to app.  My Utility player. A Utility player is the jack of all trades player on a the case the G Suite team.  Many assignments that are straight forward text should stick with docs and those with numbers and charts, sheets, and images, drawings, but the moment that mixed media comes into play I go to slides.  

Here is a list of some examples:
  • Create presentations (duh)
  • Insert Timer Videos (replace Smart widget)
  • Tri-fold brochures
  • Menus
  • Insert videos, gifs and images for instruction giving (
  • Insert text boxes
  • Change page-setup to 8.5x11 and use as a doc (Sample)
  • Change page-setup to 800x200 and create a header for your google classroom (sample)
  • Download as a pdf and upload to wevideo to insert as images
  • Interactive Notes:  Pass out a copy of presentation with various slides for interactive note taking, slides where students create their own meaning with words and images and drawings
  • Unit Organizer:  Hyperlink to outside resources or back to an assignment on classroom to organize
  •  Hyperslides:  Slides published as a view only but with links to learning content (videos/articles) and to classroom learning activities (classroom assignments/padlets/creation tools/digital experiments, etc)  

This list could get long but I hope you are getting the idea.  Next time you need a player, go to your utility slides.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Let Your Students Choose Their Own Adventure and Get Organized in Google Classroom

1.   Student Learning Activity – Choose your path Google Forms
·         Remember how much fun choose your own adventure books were.  I would try them again and again.
·         We can have students demonstrate their knowledge of a text, a science concept, a historical event/person or anything else by having them create a google form with choices which lead to different situations or outcomes.
·         Students really have to know their material in order to create the Correct path AND alternative paths.
·         Check out these samples:
                                         i.    Dichotomous Key – for 6 Kingdom classification (mine)
                                        ii.   Student created – Hernan Cortes (source)
                              iii.  En Francais (source)

2.   Google Classroom organization
·         Label work with a title that begins with a numbering system starting with the quarter (2) then a decimal and sequentially label each successive assignment. 2.1 – Motion lab, 2.2 – Persuasive essay draft.  List graded assignments the same way in wits gradebook.
·         Teach students to use the Work menu to see a list of work due and filter by class

Those are my tips…but I have been wrong before.

Enjoy your life.

Larry Goble
Teacher assigned as Instructional Technology Coach
Williamsville Central Schools