Thursday, September 28, 2017

Google Slides Updates 2017

Google announced new Slides features on September 27th.   I've highlighted some of the newest (and not as new but useful) features that teachers, learners, administrators can all benefit from knowing about!  The video playlist at the bottom (broken into short intro's and how to's) include the following:

slides icon
Keep Notepad
Now you can insert a note from Keep directly in Google Slides.   This can be good for notes, images, drawings (from mobile) and items you've collected using the Save to Keep Chrome Extension.  As students use keep more and more they will find these integrations invaluable.

Insert Diagram
New addition ~ diagrams templates you can add and modify directly from the Insert Menu.  Diagram options include Hierarchy, Timeline, Process, Relationship and Cycle.  

Insert Chart
Not as new but seriously useful.  You can insert a chart and modify data from scratch.  Most of the time, however, we have collected data and created charts that need to be included in presentations.  On the Insert>Chart menu is the option to Insert>Chart>FROM SHEETS.  You can then search Drive for a specific sheet that has said charts.  If you update the data in the sheet make sure you select the update chart button on the slide to accurately reflect the updates.  

AddOns & Explore
Add Ons are now available for Slides.  If you have not used Add On's before they have been available for Docs and Sheets for a while now.  They provide 'added functionality / features' by selection.  On the Slides menu you will find a link now to Add On's. Click on Get Add Ons to explore the 'marketplace' of free offerings.  In the video I demonstrate the Unsplash Photos and Icons by Noun Project.  

A not as new feature (Fall 2016) is the Explore tool for slide formatting.  In the video I highlight using it with the Unsplash Photos to quickly format a nice looking slide.  These are two unbelievable features that will make any slide creator more efficient and happy.  


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Android Apps on Chromebooks and How to Set Up in your Edu Domain

Android coming to Chromebook has been talked about for over a year now.  It is now here and ready for you to use in your Edu Domain!  It is in BETA mode but it is VERY FUNCTIONAL and if you have a compatible Chromebook (running Chrome 53 or later) you can configure your domain to put a 'PLAY' store of APPS available to your teachers and students.

Here are the steps to set up Android in Admin Domain for Chromebooks.


In short, you need to login to admin.google.com.  Go to Device Management > Chrome Devices and then select Android Applications.  Next, accept the Android for Work Agreement.  When that is enabled you can select and configure Android Apps.  

Click to Configure the Apps.  Click on the + sign to shop for the apps.  Select an app you want to make available to your students.  Once you APPROVE it you need to CONFIGURE IT!  If you don't configure it then it won't show up in their SCHOOL PLAY STORE as an option.


When you configure the app you have a choice to Force Installation, Pin to Taskbar (which I recommend for Google Classroom, for example) BUT you can simply make a tool like Toontastic, WeVideo, etc as an install option.  

Once you set up your store, you probably want to know what the user experience looks like.  I've created a video below to show you how the student experiences the play store accessing and using apps.

With the PLAY store app pinned to the student task bar they can open and see what is available in the store and install as needed:

I would LOVE to hear your feedback!  Are you as excited about the potential as I am?  What will be your first apps to send out and how will this change how you are DBA at your school?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Admin Settings to Open Classroom to Outside your Domain

A quick post today, but really important one.  So often we hear of updates to GSuite Apps and just take it for granted they will work until we are in a setting that this 'new feature' doesn't work properly because our ADMIN had to do something in the admin panel to make it possible.  

When Google Classroom was announced as an open tool stakeholders went wild for a variety of reasons.  If you are one of those stakeholders you know why.  For example, I can now teacher an Adult Ed course for parents using Google Classroom and they can join with their gMail Accounts.

What many were excited about was the idea of going to conferences and workshops and being to have the entire audience seamlessly join your Classroom!  No more obstacle for teaching 'Google Classroom' outside your domain!  YAY!  In theory and reality this is GREAT and POSSIBLE!

It requires that the Admin Settings in Classroom be modified to do this.  I created a help video below, but in short you just need to sign into admin.google.com, go to Apps> GSuiteApps> Classroom> ManageDomainAccess and set it to 'any user.'  Any user means even if they just have a gMail consumer account they can join.