I'm in the midst right now of studying to take my Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, and along the way I have discovered a few things about Google Tools that have proven to be very useful to me. So I thought I would share them in this blog post. Just small things to make your life a bit easier!
#1: Alerts in Comments
We've all been there. A document is shared with us, and we notice that there is a mistake. However, we only have the right to comment, not edit. Or perhaps we are working on a collaborative document together, and I want to make sure someone knows right away that I need them to add information they have into the document. What I might do is open up an e-mail and e-mail that person to let them know to make the changes. However, there is an easier way.
This is an actual presentation that myself and two other teachers are giving at the staff meeting on this Wednesday, and you can see I tagged them to alert them to add in hyperlinks to their documents. I also alerted one of them that their link wasn't working. Both of them were alerted via e-mail and fixed the issue. Easy!
#2: Table for a Text Box
One of the things Word documents have over Google Docs are the fact that you can set in text boxes. I miss text boxes in Google Docs. At least we now have columns in Google Docs! However, we don't have those text boxes. If you just need a simple text box, try putting in a 1X1 table instead. I talked about this in an earlier blog post on Creating Better Fillable Worksheets for Google Classroom.
#3: Use Google Slides for a Document
#4: Preview Pane in GMail Labs
When our school went GAFE, I was reluctant to switch from Outlook to GMail. However, when I was on maternity leave, I forced myself to because I HATED the web version of Outlook. As I began to work in GMail, I found myself liking it more and more because everything was now seamless. However, I missed my preview pane of an e-mail in my GMail.
However, that all changed with the discover of Labs in GMail. Click the gear wheel in the upper right hand corner of your GMail and then select settings. Once you have the settings open, you will see a tab on top for Labs. In Labs, you can enable a Preview Pane so your GMail looks like the picture below.
This was MUCH more comfortable for me! I enabled it now for all of my Google accounts!
#5: Use GMail filters to streamline your inbox
This is an e-mail that went into my Spam folder for some reason. Frustrating because it was that someone wrote a comment in a Google Doc! So I want to create a filter so this doesn't happen again and it comes to my main inbox.
NOTE: I discovered after doing this that these filters do not go through your current Spam or Trash. Therefore, if you want anything moved out of there, you need to do that yourself. However, going forward messages will go to your inbox,
So there you go! 5 small Google Tech Tips that have made my life much easier. I hope you find that they make your life easier as well!
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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