Here are a few tips or features that you may not know are available for Google Suite (Drive, Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides, etc.).
- You can download a Google Drive sync tool that will add a folder on your computer called Google Drive that will look like any other folder (My Documents for example). This means that when you make a document on your computer, you can save it straight into your Google Drive just like you would in your documents. This is a good tool to utilize if you are struggling to get colleagues swapped to Google Suite.
- When collaborating on a doc things can get messy. Rather than sifting through a myriad of edits of a doc to find the original draft, teach everyone to stay organized by naming specific versions of a doc. Go to version history and click on the three dots on the right of the version you want to name. From here, you can also make a copy of that version, which is helpful for sharing the “before” and “after” of work. You can even create notifications to be alerted when changes are made.
- You can use the collaborative features of G Suite to edit, comment, and collaborate on Microsoft Office files using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides without converting file types.
- With Research Pane (Select Tools > Explore from the top menu), you can open up Google Search directly from a Google Doc. You can even drag and drop to add a link or embed an image directly from the pane. For those still learning about citations, Research Pane lets you simply highlight the appropriate text, and it will automatically link to the results shown in the pane.
- Trying to design a worksheet, handout or infographic? In Slides you can change the page size from a presentation to a regular 8.5×11 page by clicking File > Page Setup and then choosing “Custom.” You’ll find it a very flexible and competent workspace, not to mention cloud-based and ideal for collaboration!
- Flubaroo quickly grades multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments created in Forms.
- Heatmaps are a great way to draw attention to important data in your sheet. You can highlight particular values or outliers using conditional formatting to apply a color scale, quickly pointing out lower and higher values in your student data.
- If lots of people are working on a sheet, you can lock down some of the data to prevent mistakes. Lock sheets and even individual cells, or if you don’t want to completely lock down cells just use the option to show a warning before they’re edited.
- You can easily add sparklines to your sheets in order to quickly see trends in your student data. Check out this guide.
- Make QR Codes to create quick links to relevant websites, or showcase student work hosted online. This example will pull in the data from the A1 cell to create a QR code: =IMAGE(“https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?chs=200×200&cht=qr&chl=”&A1&””)
- Schedule posts (assignments, announcements, questions) to be released at specific times. To schedule ahead, set up your post the way you want it, then click the drop down menu next to the Assign button and choose Schedule. You can select the date and time you want your post to appear in the stream.
- When creating a post, click the Add Topic button. You can create topics of your choice. Once created, they can be reused. Now you can organize posts by Chapter, Units, Themes, Topics, or Assignment Type.
- Do you have an aid, or work in a cohort? Add a Co-Teacher to your course. Just go to the About menu, and click Invite Teachers. The recipient will see an invitation the next time they login to Google Classroom. Co-Teachers can do anything the teacher can do, except delete a class. If you need to remove a Co-Teacher, just click the menu in their profile box and click Remove.
- Reuse any post from any class – current or archived – at any time. Open the class you want to post in. Click on the + in the bottom right corner of the screen. Choose “reuse post.”
- For quick, abbreviated lesson planning simply create calendar events that begin at each of your class times, then have Calendar email an event reminder to you. In the event notes include any links or files you’ll need for the lesson, page numbers students will need in the text or workbook, your lesson objective, a resource for early finishers, etc. Everything you need to know for each class appears in your inbox right when you want it.
- G Suite has added improved scheduling to Calendar that automatically suggests meeting times and available rooms based on your preferences to help you save time. Learn more in this Google blog post.
- With keyboard shortcuts you can search through, view, read and reply to an email without having to touch the mouse. Although this may not sound like much, you would be surprised how much time it will save when you are having to look through and reply to lots of emails. To enable the shortcuts, you have to go to the Advanced tab within Settings in google mail, then click on the new Keyboard Shortcuts option within the Addons tab to customize it.
- Set up filters to organize your incoming mail before you’ve even viewed it. For example, if you have worksheet subscription emails coming in, you can set it up so that rather than going into your inbox along with emails that need immediate attention from parents and admin, they go straight into their own label called “subscriptions”. It still shows the red “1” like when a new email comes in beside the label so you can see when you have something, but it makes your Gmail much tidier without having to manually organize it.
- The G Suite offers several ways to email groups of people other than typing email addresses individually. You can enter a saved list of recipients with Contact Groups, or send an email to a Google Group email address that forwards the email to all group members.
- Hangouts offers an instant messenger service when you just need to send a quick message where you are looking for a quick reply. You can also integrate this within google mail, so that it pops up at the bottom of your mailbox.
Add-Ons & Features
- Google Add-Ons can be installed from the G Suite Marketplace to expand the functionality of Google Suite and access apps like Pear Deck, Flubaroo, Doctopus, ClassReporter, Edulastic, and CoRubrics directly from Gmail, Docs, Slides, Forms or Sheets.
- The Explore feature found in the Tools menu of Docs, Sheets and Slides not only helps you research, it can also assist as you analyze data and design graphics.
- Google Tasks integrates with Gmail and Calendar. You can have a to-do list that allows functionality such as Tasks created from an email displaying a “related email” link below the task.
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