Create “.new” Docs, Sheets, Slides, & More!

The New button inside of Google DriveIn a recent episode of the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast, co-host Matt Miller shared a new, interesting, and quick way to create “new” files in various Google Drive apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides.


How it works

With the entry of new domain name types into the World Wide Web playground (to add to veterans like .com, .net, and .edu), Google took advantage of the .new domain and acquired several of them to match its suite of Google Drive apps. So for example, if you type into your browser’s address bar docs.new then you will instantaneously get a new blank Google Docs file. The same is true if you swap out the keyword “docs” and replace it with sheets, slides, forms, and even sites. Once you give the file a name, then it will automatically save into the main directory of your Google Drive app.


If you want to stay traditional then you can certainly still go to Google Drive and create a new file of your choice from the NEW button located in the top-left corner. And, if you want to access the template gallery you can go to each file types Google Slides Template Galleryrespective website:

But, now we have one more way to quickly create new blank files in many of the native Google Drive apps thanks to the new “.new” domain type.

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Google Forms Update: Theme Options Expanded

Google works and reworks their apps on a regular basis as they try to stay within that gForms Customize theme iconsweet spot of having just the right amount of customization options without going overboard or getting too complex. Google Forms is one app that has gone through many versions with options coming and going. One option that has recently made a comeback is the expanded themes option.


How it works

gForms Customize theme sidebar panel toolsWhen you click on the color palette icon inside of a Google Form file a new sidebar will appear on the right. The first thing you’ll see is the the standard option to customize the forms HEADER with an image of your choosing, either from their library or you can upload one of your own.

Next you will see a selection of theme colors, where not only have the number of choices expanded but by clicking on the plus (+) sign you can select any color on the rainbow. In addition, the list of suggested colors can change based on the HEADER image selected. If you choose not to add an image to the header then your theme color will be reflected in the header background, as well as the section titles and action buttons (e.g. BACK, NEXT, SUBMIT).

When you select a THEME COLOR, the BACKGROUND COLOR options of your Google From will also change. The number of background color choices is limited and designed to compliment your theme color selection.

Finally, now you have the option to modify the FONT STYLE of your Google Form. Currently there are four font options to choose from: Basic, Decorative, Formal, and Playful.

Remember, if at any time you are not happen with your theme selections you can use the Undo option found under the three vertical dots icon (i.e. traffic light).


For more information about these and other updates to Google Forms, please check out this post on the G Suite Updates Blog.

Google Forms Update: Total Number of Points in a Quiz is Totally Cool!

Last fall our school librarian and I were tasked with creating an online Digital Citizenship curriculum for our student population in grades seven and eight. We decided to use Google Classroom to deliver the content and Google Forms with the quiz feature enabled to assess students on their comprehension. It wasn’t until a good portion of our student population had completed several of the assessments that we discovered a discrepancy in the scores being returned by Google Forms. Specifically, we failed to assign a point value to one of the quiz questions.


How it works

  • In Google Forms, click on the Settings gear icon.
  • From the pop-up window, click on the Quizzes tab.
  • Toggle the switch at the top to “Make this a quiz,” then click SAVE.

Google Forms Settings window with the QUIZZES tab active.

  • And that’s it, you’re done!

Google Forms with Quiz feature enabled showing new total points option.

The “Total points:” option:

  • Will stay visible at the top of the gForms editor as you scroll up and down through your questions.
  • Will be visible both in the QUESTIONS and the RESPONSES windows.
  • Will update automatically in real time as you assign, change, or remove point values on your questions.

Google Forms Total points feature in the RESPONSES view.


For more information on this and other recent additions to Google Forms, please check out Google’s post on The Keyword blog.

Google Forms Update: Grid Q.’s Join the Grading Bandwagon

gForms question types: linear scale, multiple choice grid, & checkbox grid.When Google introduced their quiz feature inside of Google Forms, not all of the questions types available in Forms were able to be recognized. This included both the Multiple Choice and Checkbox grid question types. Both question types are handy when you want to assess students on their ability to sort concepts into specific categories. Now Google has updated their quiz feature to support automatic grading in both question types.


How it works

  • In Google Forms, create a question and then use the drop-down menu to configure it as either a Multiple choice or Checkbox grid question. The difference between the two question types is that a Checkbox grid question will allow a student to place a checkmark in every column for each row value, while a Multiple Choice grid question will allow a student only one answer choice per row.
Checkbox grid question with multiple answers in a single row.

Checkbox grid question

Multiple choice grid question with only one answer per row.

Multiple Choice grid question

  • Configure your rows and columns with the variables and categories you want your students to evaluate. When done, go to the bottom of the question and click on the blue ANSWER KEY text to switch modes.
  • From here, you can set the correct answers for each row and/or column.
  • Note that you can also configure each row to have a specific point value. You can set the point value to any number including zero.
Checkbox Grid question with answer key and point values.

Checkbox Grid question with answer key


 

Multiple Choice Grid question with answer key and point values.

Multiple Choice Grid question with answer key


Wait! Something’s Missing…

gForms Report a problem toolThat’s right, the one thing that is missing from these question types is the ADD ANSWER FEEDBACK option. In my post from last week I talked about the awesome addition of being able to embed YouTube videos into the feedback feature of a question. Sufficed to say, I am disappointed that the feedback feature is completely missing from these two question types. Please help me get this feature added to the Multiple Choice and Checkbox grid types of questions by sending Google feedback through their Report a problem tool located in the bottom-right corner of the Forms editor window.


For more information on this and other recent additions to Google Forms, please check out Google’s post on The Keyword blog.

Google Forms Update: Give Feedback via YouTube

Feedback is an important part of the assessment process. When using Google Forms in the quiz configuration, every question comes with the option to add feedback to students for both correct and incorrect answers. In addition to text, teachers could also include a link with their feedback to anything from a website that they had used in class or perhaps a Google Doc that contains notes from a previous class discussion.  Now teachers can also embed a YouTube video into the feedback section of a question.


How it works

  • In Google Forms, create a question and add the possible answer choices.
  • When done, go to the bottom of the question and click on ANSWER KEY to switch panels.

Forms question panel with question and answer choices

  • In the ANSWER KEY panel, if you have not added feedback yet then you will see the option to ADD ANSWER FEEDBACK at the bottom.

Forms answer key without feedback yet

  • If feedback has already been provided, then click on the pencil icon to edit.

Forms answer key with feedback already added

  • On the feedback window, you have the option to add text, insert a link, and now embed a YouTube video. Clicking on the YouTube icon will open the same window seen when using the “Add video” option in Google Forms where you can search YouTube be keywords or paste a direct link into the search box.

Forms "add video" search window

  • NOTE: Depending on what type of question you have chosen, there are feedback options for both INCORRECT ANSWERS and CORRECT ANSWERS.

Forms feedback window with text and YouTube video

  • When you have finished configuring your feedback, click the SAVE button. You will return to the ANSWER KEY panel and a preview of the YouTube video you selected will be embedded below the answer choices.

Forms question with YouTube feedback added


For more information on this and other recent additions to Google Forms, please check out Google’s post on The Keyword blog.

EquatIO & Google Forms: A Formula for Success

Google Forms and EquatIO icons shake handsIn a previous post I highlighted a great tool to help teachers generate mathematical formulas and equations, EquatIO, which is now FREE for teachers. And now with the help of the EquatIO Chrome extension, you can insert formulas and equations into questions and answer choices in Google Forms.


Setup

  1. If you haven’t done so already, get setup with an account with EquatIO and then apply for a FREE premium teacher account (directions can be found here).
  2. Next, add the EquatIO extension to your Chrome web browser.
  3. Create a new Google Form or open a pre-existing one.
  4. Create/select a question and hover over the question field and/or answer choice field to see the blue EquatIO icon. Click the icon to activate the extension.
  5. A toolbar with pop-up at the bottom of your window with all of the EquatIO editor tools at your disposal including text, graph, handwriting, and speech input editors.EquatIO toolbar icons
  6. Once you have created your equation, click on the blue INSERT MATH button in the bottom-right corner to add it to your form. Equations act the same way as if you were using the ‘add image’ tool in Google Forms.
  7. In the screencast below I demonstrate how to use EquatIO to add a formula to a Google Forms question as well as several answer choices.

 

EquatIO Free for Teachers: You Do The Math

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!

 

EquatIO toolbar screenshot with speech tool


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.EquatIO toolbar menu
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

EquatIO Options window