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 coming soon! To see the full list of apps that integrate with Classroom check out their page on the Google for Education website.

Apps that work w_Classroom

The Data Center Mural Project: Update

In a previous post I shared the story of how Google is bringing a little magic to their data centers around the world by partnering with local artists to create the The Data Center Mural Project. I talked about the story behind the project, the types of media that can be explored at the Mayes County, OK (in the U.S.) and St. Ghislain, Hainaut (in Belgium) sites, and teased about two additional sites in the works. This week Google has added new photos, videos, and interviews for their Dublin, Ireland and Council Bluffs, Iowa sites.


The Dublin, Ireland site was supervised by local artist Fuchsia MacAree, whose mural reminds me of the fun and excitement that comes with the spring and summer seasons, which cannot come soon enough for us here in the state of Maine, U.S.A. My favorite part of this project was learning about how they use the local climate to help cool the massive amounts of equipment inside, thereby saving energy and money on more traditional “mechanical” cooling systems.

The Council Bluffs, Iowa site was headed by local artist Gary Kelley, who used the building to tell the story of how important the area has been and continues to be in the sending and receiving of information. After listening to “A History of Connection” I could see this as a history project that I could really sink my teeth into. You can read the full debrief on The Data Center Mural Project by going to Google’s The Keyword Blog.


  • Have students investigate additional art forms in and around the area of these data centers.
  • Compare and contrast one of these data centers to your school/district computer system (besides scale, that is). Have students develop a list of qualifications and responsibilities that one would need in order to work at a Google data center.
  • Present students with the following scenario: If Google built a data center in your hometown, what would your mural proposal look like? How would it represent the community and surrounding art culture?


On The Chromebook: Apps Management

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-9-40-20-pmChromebooks come with the standard suite of Google Apps including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, etc. that can be accessed from the Waffle icon inside of Google Chrome. Chromebooks have many additional apps as well which can be accessed from the Launcher tool, located in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

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From the Launcher window you can:

  • Conduct a Google Search (voice command search available!)
  • Access recently used apps
  • View your entire library of installed apps (All Apps)

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From the ‘All Apps’ icon, you will see all of the available apps currently installed on your Chromebook as part of your GSuite account.

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  • If you have more apps than can be displayed at one time, then use the line spacers at the bottom of the window to cycle through the different pages of apps.
  • App icons can be re-arranged and grouped together into folders similar to app management schemes on mobile devices like the iPad.
    • To create an group folder, drag one app icon on top of another. Then drag any additional apps into the folder.
    • Click to open the app folder and you can then give it a name.
    • To remove an app from a folder, drag the app outside of the window. When the main library window is revealed, place the app icon at its new location.
  • From this window you can customize your Chromebook toolbar (a.k.a. Apple Dock / Windows Taskbar) with the apps that you use the most, making their use only a single click away!
    • Drag apps from the All Apps window to the bottom toolbar that you’d like easy access to. Drag apps that you no longer want in the toolbar to any place on the Desktop to remove the shortcut (this does NOT delete the app, rather the shortcut to the app).

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  • To add additional apps to your Chromebook, navigate to the Chrome Web Store (Note: there is an app for that in the All Apps menu).

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  • Click on the ‘Apps’ category or use the Search field if you already have an app in mind.
  • Apps with a green ribbon in the top-left corner of their icon have already been added to your account; those without a ribbon have not been added and are not yet available for use.

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