EquatIO is a powerful math tool that allows users to create equations, formulas, and graphs, then add them to various applications including GSuite for Education and Microsoft Word. Within GSuite for Education, EquatIO is compatible with Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings, and Forms. And just last week Texthelp, the company behind this and Read&Write, announced that it was making EquatIO FREE for teachers!
To take advantage of this opportunity, follow this link to their blog post which will explain the process. But, in a nutshell, this is what you need to do:
- Navigate to their website and download/install the EquatIO program for your device. Use this link, then click on the green Try now, for free button and choose your platform.
- At some point you will be prompted to enter your email address to complete the setup/install. It’s important to remember this email as you will need it later to turn on access to the premium features.
- Once setup is complete, use this link to access the registration form and request a free premium account license. It may take up to 24 hours for your account to be updated.
- To verify your upgrade, open any supported application file (i.e. Microsoft Word or Google Docs) and turn on EquatIO. From the menu bar at the bottom of your window click on the EquatIO logo to access a pop-up menu, then click on Options. Under the Premium menu, you should see that your license is now listed as a premium one.
Adding 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.
When 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.
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.
Embedding videos inside of Google products has sometimes been an absolute bear to achieve. For example, if you wanted to embed or ‘Insert’ a video into a Google Slides presentation then the video had to be accessible via YouTube. However, if you give Google some time and engage in that age-old practice of patience then things can change, like how now you can embed video files into a slide from Google Drive. Here’s the thing, if you can do this then you can embed a video into a Google Doc.
I know, I know, there is not Insert -> Video… option inside of Google Docs. But, there is the option to insert a Google Drawing and this is your “IN”. Thanks to Joli Boucher over at Flipped Tech Coaching, here is a video that will walk you through the process.
This work around has great potential for those who are getting into creating HyperDocs and now HyperDrawings. It allows teachers and students to interact with different types of media without having to jump between tabs or windows. That is, until Google gets around to adding the Insert -> Video… option into Google Docs.
~”If you send them feedback, they might just make it happen.”
Have you noticed this icon while working inside of a Google Doc? How about a Google Slides project? Google Drawings? Do you have any idea what it does? In fact, it can be a powerful tool that allows the user to customize the format of a piece of text then quickly apply it at various points throughout the artifact.
To use the Paint Format tool:
- Format a piece of text/cell with the size, style, or color into the desired appearance.
- Highlight the text/cell, then activate the Paint format tool.
- To apply the format to a single word, simply double+click on the word. To apply the format to a series of words, a sentence, a paragraph, etc. then click-&-drag your cursor over the desired text.
- To quickly apply the format to multiple places throughout your artifact, double+click on the Paint format tool to lock it into the ‘ON’ position. When done, click on the Paint format tool again to turn it off.
To see the Paint format tool in action please refer to the video below from BetterCloud Monitor.
Google Drawings, an app found inside of Google Drive, has become more and more my go-to resource for creating artifacts and activities that are interactive. You can customize the workspace to any size you need using the File -> Page Setup, access multiple line and shape tools, and insert objects from the same sources as you can from a Google Doc or Slides file. The possibilities for this tool are only limited by our own imaginations.
Case and point, I recently read a how-to article from edtechteacher by Ben Sondgeroth where he outlines the true power of Google Drawings to create interactive artifacts. Ben walks you through how to create an interactive Google Drawing using Parts of a Cell as an example, among several others. My favorite example is the interactive States of the U.S. map, where each state has been linked to a video about that state from the History Channel. You can watch his video as he goes about this step-by-step below.
- Using interactive Google Drawings fits in quite nicely if you are using a flipped classroom setup or use Hyperdocs in your lessons.
- Share this technique with your students and see what interactive Drawings products they can build. I decided to add this to the list of options for my students to use when creating their Upstander Superhero as part of our unit of study on Cyberbullying.
In my Digital Citizenship lesson about Private vs. Personal information sharing, we discuss how to make good choices about what we choose to share with others online. Personal information, like a shadow, provides an outline of who we are without giving away any specific details (e.g. one’s age, favorite food, or pets name). Private information, like a mirror image, provides specific details about ourselves (e.g. full name, street address, date of birth). I already use a Google Drawing template of a Facebook profile (adapted from a Historical Facebook template) that students fill out. Students must ask themselves the question each time: is the information Private or Personal? Now we have another social media profile template: Twitter.
The Twitter fictional account template is another Google Drawing file that students can copy use the File -> Make a copy… tool. The template asks students to select a profile picture and background image. In addition to name and username, students need to provide a small write-up for their bio as well as links to their location, website, and birthdate. The template also provides up to three follower profile templates for students to fill out. Because anyone can search Twitter without an account, it is even more important that students carefully consider the information they choose to share on their profile.
Having students create greeting cards has always been a staple of many holidays and a great way for them to learn how to empathize with others. Now, thanks to the work of Eric Curts over at the Control Alt Archive blog, anyone can create a greeting card using his templates and the Google Drawing app. Eric provides both written directions and a video tutorial to walk you through how to build a greeting card, format it, and successfully print out the final product. Let the creativity commence!
Google Drawing Templates: