Image Insert Tool Updated for Docs, Slides, & Drawings

Screenshot of new insert image menu optionAdding an image to a document, presentation, or drawing can do wonders to enhance the overall product. In a recent update, Google has redesigned the Insert > Image tool and integrated it into their right-hand sidebar interface, bringing it inline with other recently updated tools like Explore and Define. This new interface also better supports the drag-&-drop workflow.

Screenshot of insert > image by search the web option


image thumbnail with preview image option displayedWhen inserting an image using the “Search the web” option, at first look the side panel does not contain text explaining what kind of usage rights the results will be filtered under. As a teacher of digital citizenship and wanting students to realize the importance, especially with images, of respecting the rights of the original author, the loss of this filtering option is a disappointment. However, If you hover over an image in the side panel a magnifying glass icon will become visible in the bottom-right corner, which you can use to preview the image. It is in this preview pane that the usage rights filter text can be found, reminding us that the search results are indeed being filtered under the usage rights: labeled for commercial use with modification.

image preview with usage rights filter setting text


Another issue that has already cropped up on social media is the noticeable absence of the “Take a snapshot” option from the new Insert > Image menu. If you miss this option as much as I do, then I strongly encourage you to send Google feedback and let them know. In the meantime, check out this blog post for Eric Curts who has come up with an alternative to tide us over in the interim.

For more information about the new Insert > Image tool, please check out the G Suite Updates blog.

 

 

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Google Forms Gets A Bit More Intelligent

gform icon with lightbulbGoogle Forms is an important player in the suite of Google Drive apps, providing users with a great tool for collecting data from audiences large and small. In education, Forms has proven to be a valuable tool for creating digital quizzes to help teachers and students assess their teaching and learning. This summer Forms has been doing some learning of its own and now supports intelligent response options and validation.

Intelligent Response Options

When you ask certain questions, Forms will analyze your text and suggest possible response options. Sometimes the options displayed may be generic (e.g. True/False or Yes/No), but other times Forms will suggest more specific option choices. You then have the choice of selecting which option(s) you’d like Forms to pre-fill your question with, or select ‘ADD ALL’ if you’d like to use all of the options.

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Intelligent Response Validation

One of the bonus features for Form questions is the ability to turn on data validation to help audiences provide the right type of information in the correct format. For example, if you want to collect respondents email addresses then the format of the answer should include the ‘@’ symbol. The ability to set up data validation for this type of question is nothing new. What IS new is Forms ability to detect these types of questions and suggest the best data validation setting for you.

Intelligent response validation

Another way that I’ve used data validation in my classes is to help students pick out the key points in videos with fill-in-the-blank questions. I’ve also used it to help students with spelling key vocabulary and creating digital scavenger hunts where only the correct answer will allow them to move on to the next page. Data validation has also been used by educators to create digital Breakout EDU games where each Form question acts as a different lock to the virtual box.

‘Checkbox Grid’ Comes to Google Forms

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What happens when you put the checkboxes question type and the multiple choice grid question type from Google Forms into a room together and ask them to collaborate? You get the new checkbox grid question type.

The checkbox grid question comes in handy when you need respondents to be able to select multiple answers from each category. One example of this might be when you are collecting information about how often a resource (e.g. a computer lab, conference room, or MakerSpace) will be used by respondents at set times each day of the week. Or perhaps you are looking for volunteers to man a resource during set blocks/periods during the week, like the school store or student help desk.

NOTE: If you make a checkbox grid question required, then respondents will be asked to provide at least one response per row.

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Move Entire Sections in Google Forms

When was the last time you created something and the order in which you created it did not change by the time you reached a final product? Yeah, I couldn’t remember a time when this was the case either. Thankfully, technology has created an environment where it is easy to create content as we think of it and then reorder it later and as many times as necessary. Google Forms has this flexibility in the ability to reorder option choices in a question and reorder whole questions. Now, Forms has given us the ability to reorder content by whole sections too.

  1. gForms section drop-down menuIn the Google Forms editor, different sections is what respondents see as different pages in a form. To reorder an entire section-worth of questions, locate the traffic light icon (or the 3 Oreo’s, if you want to stick with Google’s food theme) in the top-right corner of the section and from the drop-down menu select move section.
  2. A pop-up window will display a list of all of the sections in your form. Use the grouping of six dots to the left of a section (what I call the “grippers”) to click-&-drag sections, or use the arrows to the left to move sections up or down by one position.
  3. When reordering is complete, click SAVE to finish.

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For more information, check out the Google Docs Editors Help page.

Default Preferences Comes to Google Forms

Whenever you find yourself creating many copies of an object, whether they are all the same or have slight differences, it sure is nice when you have the option to preset as many settings as you can to help streamline the creation process. With Google Forms, now we have the ability to preset several options that will apply to all future forms that are made.

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 2.29.22 PM.pngTo access, create a new Google Form or open a pre-existing one. From the main screen, locate the traffic light icon (or the 3 Oreo’s, if you want to stick with Google’s food theme), and at the bottom of the drop-down menu find the new Preferences option. From the Preferences window you can preset the following settings:

  • Always collect respondents email address
  • Always make questions required
  • Always assign a default quiz point value

For me, I tend to use Forms for assessments and making sure that I collect email addresses from my students automatically is essential. I also love the Make questions required default as I was caught by this one on more than one occasion last school year when some students were turning in their assessment without having answered all the questions. However, I did use these as teachable moments to have a discussion about taking the time to review one’s answer choices before submitting.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 1.01.08 PMIf you’d like to see more options added to the preferences panel, then don’t forget to leave Google feedback using the ‘Report a problem’ tool located in the bottom-right corner of the Forms editor under the question mark icon.

Classroom Gets Cooler with New A+ App Integration

icons8-Google Classroom-48Google Classroom is a pretty cool app in itself. But, when you realize that Classroom also plays nice with many other applications and websites, allowing educators to integrate even more tools into their teaching and learning, its coolness factor increases exponentially.  Over the summer Google welcomed four additional apps to their #withclassroom family: QuizizzEdciteKami, and most recently Additio. For those of you who are working to integrate coding into your programs, Tynker is already part of the family with Code.org coming soon! To see the full list of apps that integrate with Classroom check out their page on the Google for Education website.

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Classroom Gets Cooler with Single View of Student Work

Once a class gets going, there is a great deal of information that moves back and forth between teacher and student. Google has made it easier to keep track of all this communication for both teachers and students with the new single view of student work.

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Single View for Teachers

Navigate to the Student tab where the roster of students is displayed. Clicking on any student will open the single view screen for that student, displaying a list of all of the assignments that you have currently assigned and the status of each for that particular student. In addition to the name of each assignment and its due date, this view shows information on:

  • The number of attachments in each assignment.
  • The number of private comments that have taken place between you and the student.
  • The current status of each assignment.

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You can use the filter tools to the left of the window to only show assignments of a certain status (turned in, returned with grade, or missing). Unlike the To-Do tool (formerly called ‘Work’) which showed the status of student work by assignment, this view gives teachers an overall picture of the status of each student.

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Navigate to the About tab in a class. Note that the shortcuts to the Google Drive folder and the two Calendar views for the class have been moved to a box in the top-left corner of the page. A new tool has been added called ‘Your work.’ Clicking on this will open the single view screen and list all of the assignments that have been posted. Much of the information displayed in the teacher single view is also available in the student single view, including filters to show assigned, returned with grade, and missing. Students can also access this screen from the Classroom home screen by clicking on the icon in the bottom-right corner of each class card. When paired with the ‘To-Do’ tool which gives an overall view of their academic responsibilities across all of their classes, these two views provide students multiple ways to check and evaluate their status in each of their classes.

Single View for Mobile Devices

Where the single view really shines is for accessing this information on a mobile device. While students can access their To-Do tool from the Classroom mobile app, there is no tool for teachers. And as I stated above, the the single view for both teachers and students provide a wealth of information and filtering options even on the mobile device.

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