Everything you never knew about using Google in the classroom

English teacher Alice Chen kicked off the presentation by sharing how teachers can create cool choose your own adventure games for students using Google Slides. “Basically, you want to make three layers” in the presentation, she said, so that students can click on their preferred choice and be taken automatically to a slide that corresponds to that choice. Chen has created a helpful template that guides users through the entire process.

Another English teacher, Jen Roberts, shared her favorite add-ons for Google Docs. Save as Doc, for example, easily converts information from a spreadsheet into a doc, a tool she has used to turn the answers for scholarship applications students wrote in a formulaic spreadsheet into a personalized, one-page doc. Doc to Form, another add-on, helps to “convert questions written on a Google Doc to a Google Form ready for people to fill out and answer,” Roberts has written. The process, which can be used to create quizzes out of docs with minimal formatting, is rather straightforward, she said. Although she did caution that, “You have to have a semicolon after each answer in a multiple choice,” to delineate where one answer ends and the next begins.


Elementary school principal Catina Haugen devoted her slice of time to Ngram Viewer, a Google graphing tool that “takes all the literature Google has chronicled and picks out the words [you search for] and gives you some trends about them.” Students can search for instances of freedom and democracy or monarchy and democracy, for example, and see how those terms have waxed and waned throughout the centuries. “In 1940s-50s there were more mentions” of the terms democracy and freedom, she said, before adding that users can also switch the language of the books being searched. “Look what happens when you change that to Chinese.” Overall, “You can do lots of iteration on the language and encourage your students to do some exploration.”

Next page: Google tips for the lazy


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