Most Popular of 2015, No. three: Everything you never knew about using Google in the classroom

Google Certified Teachers share tips and secrets for using Chrome, Docs, and more

Ed. note: We’re counting down the top stories of 2015 based on popularity (i.e. website traffic) to No. 1 on Dec. 31. It’s probably no coincidence that so many of the top ten most popular stories this year were Google-centric — through its suite of tools the company has made itself practically invaluable to today’s classroom. Here’s a rundown of all the Google add-ons, extensions, and hidden gems that can make classroom life easier, and maybe even more fun.

google-tipsDid you know you can see all your copy/paste history in Chrome in a click? Bookmark all your browser tabs at once? Create choose your own adventures in Google Slides?

More than half a dozen Google Certified Teachers recently descended on Palm Springs to share their favorite tips, tricks, add-ons, and extensions during a packed session at the Annual CUE 2015 conference. Each presenter shared a micro-presentation honing in on their top ways for teachers and students to make the most out of the Google ecosystem.

The session’s presenters included: Alice Chen, Jen Roberts, Catina Haugen, Lisa Nowakowski, JR Ginex-Orinion, Kevin Fairchild, Scott Moss, Jo-Ann Fox, and Jason Seliskar.

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.


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