Sunday, July 26, 2015

Google Drive Search Tips

If you are like me, you have quite a few files in your Google Drive.  Eventually, it can become challenging to quickly find files you need.  I've got folders, and I've got color coding, all that is wonderful, but sometimes I need a file quickly and I just don't remember where I stored it.  If you'd like to learn how to create folders and use color coding in your Google Drive, see my post about Google Drive Organization Tips.

The little search bar in your Google Drive can be pretty awesome when you know how to harness its power.  You can just type in a word and hit search, and most times you will find what you are looking for, but I want to share some tips to help you search more effectively.

The first tip is to use the drop down menu.  Many people don't even know it is there.  Type in what you are looking for and then click the little arrow at the very right side of the search bar.

*Update: There are now even more options in this drop down menu!  Try it on your Google Drive to see all the new additions.  This post will be updated in the near future to reflect the changes.

You then have three search options - File type, Opens with, and Ownership.  You don't have to use all three, but you can if you need to.  When you click on the "File type" drop down, it will give you several options for what type of file you are searching for.

When you choose the "Opens with" drop down, it gives you options depending on what apps you have installed in your Chrome browser.  Yours will be different than mine, but all the basic Google Apps will be there.

When you choose the "Ownership" drop down, you get three choices.  Owned by anyone means you don't care who created the document.  Owned by me means you created the document.  Not owned by me means you did not create the document.  This last option is helpful if you are searching for something you know you didn't create. 

Once you make your choices, you can click the blue magnifying glass button to start the search.  Let's say I wanted to search for a document, that opens in Google Sheets, that is owned by me.  This is what it would look like:

Once I click the blue button, I'll have my results!

You might notice that as you choose from the drop down menus, it changes the text in your search bar.  This is because you can also tell Drive what you are looking for by using specific typed commands.  Here are some of the advanced search options you might find helpful:

Put quotes around something to search for that exact phrase.
“right angles”
You can use the word OR to find a document that has at least one of those words. This is helpful if you can’t remember the exact verbiage you used in your file.
drawing OR illustration
Minus sign
If you want a file that has a certain word but not another word.
geometry -triangle
You can use this to specify the owner of a document.
You can use this to specify who shared a document with you.
You can use this to specify who you shared an item with.
You can use this to specify the type of file you are searching for: document, folder, spreadsheet, presentation, PDF, image, video, drawing, form, script, or table.
You can use these to specify a date range. You can use them together, or individually (use the date format yyyy/mm/dd).
You can use this if you know the exact title.  Use it in combination with quotes if your title is more than one word.
title:“Right Angles”
You can use this if you are searching for an item that can be opened by a specific app.  Use it in combination with quotes if your app is more than one word.
app:“Google Docs”
All of this information came from the Google Support site.  You can see the page I used by clicking here.

I know these search options have been extremely helpful to me when I need to find a file quickly, especially if I'm not exactly sure where I stored it in my Drive.  I hope you find them just as helpful.

Thank you for stopping by the TeachingTechNix blog.  Stop by again soon for more handy tech tips!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Log Out Remotely

Did you log into your Google account somewhere other than normal and realize you forgot to log out?  Have you noticed anything suspicious going on with your account?  Click here to see a blog post by EdTechTeam with some great security tips for you!  Thank you, EdTechTeam!

I want to highlight one of their tips.  Tip number 3 - Log Out Remotely.  If you have logged into your Google account somewhere and you realize you may have left it logged in, there is a quick and easy solution.  Log into your Gmail account and scroll all the way to the bottom.  On the bottom right, you will see some small text that says "Last account activity: 27 minutes ago" or however long ago you had some activity on your account.  Underneath that is a little link that says "Details".

Click on the "Details" link and it will pop up an account activity window.  This window will tell you if your account is actively open in another location.  It also lists the type of access, location and IP address of the computer that accessed your account, as well as the date and time.  All mine just said United States of America, so it isn't super specific, but it is still good information.  I blanked out all the IP addresses in this picture for my own security purposes.  You can see the button near the top that says "Sign out all other web sessions".  Probably not a bad idea to do this every once in a while.  

I hope you will take a second to check out the EdTechTeam blog post I mentioned.  You can never be too safe online.  

Thank you for stopping by the TeachingTechNix blog!  Stop in again soon for more helpful tech tips!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Just Do It

"That's so cool!  I'd like to try that."
"Yeah, that seemed neat.  I should check it out."
"I really need to learn to do that."
"I'll try it after report cards...after parent conferences...after this project is graded...maybe during summer...maybe once my year gets started..."

Sound familiar?  We've all said it.  I know I have.  To address this issue, I'm going to borrow some advice from our friends at Nike.  JUST DO IT!

When it comes to those things we view as extras in our teaching, they often get pushed aside for "later", but later never seems to come around.  The problem is that many of those extras that have to do with technology can no longer afford to be seen as extras.  They are necessary.  Innovation in the classroom is necessary.

My advice to you today is to just do it.  Pick something that you've been wanting to try or look into that is related to technology and take an hour, or more if you have it, and check it out.  Plan for how you can use it with your students next year.  Go for it.  Take the time.  Do it now.  You won't regret it.

Having just finished the CUE Rock Star conference, I have a few ideas for you on things you can check out in case you have misplaced your "I need to check into this later" list.

Student Response Tools
Want to increase engagement and get every student involved?  Hear every voice?  Check out these online student response systems.  They are easy and oh so much fun!
  • Kahoot
  • Socrative
  • Go Formative
  • Google Forms fits in this category too, but Google Forms is so much more.  Google Forms is a teacher's best friend.  My students used it almost daily.  If you are only going to look at one tool this summer - this is the one you should look at.  Here is a link to my Google Forms 101 blog post.  There are some links at the bottom of the post to give ideas on how to use Google Forms in the classroom.  I've got more Google Forms posts planned for you as the school year gets closer.  

iPad Apps for Teachers and Students
  • Paper 53 - Amazing drawing app for making art as well as sketch notes.  This app is free.  Available only for iOS.
  • Explain Everything - This is a whiteboard app which allows you to draw like you would on a whiteboard and make a video recording.  It allows you to import images, video, text, etc. and include them all in a video with your voice over.  Very handy to make instructional videos or for students to create movies and show evidence of learning.  This app is worth every penny of the $2.99!  Available for iOS and Android.
  • Tellagami - This allows you or your students to take a photo, a stock picture, or a background you create, and make a little animated character to go in it.  You can record your voice and make your character "talk" and turn it into a video.  It's pretty neat!  This app is free, but does offer in app purchases. Available for iOS and Android. 

Other Cool Stuff
  • Doctopus - This is an awesome free tool with a strange name.  To quote the Chrome Web Store - "Doctopus gives teachers the ability to mass-copy (from a starter template), share, monitor student progress, and manage grading and feedback for student projects in Google Drive."  If you don't use Google Classroom or Hapara to manage student work in Google Drive, then Doctopus is a pretty handy tool!  It is an add on that you put in Google Sheets.  It used to be a script you had to install for each individual sheet and it was pretty messy.   It is much nicer now that it is an add on and you only have to do it once.  Here is a little video about how it works.  The New Doctopus  I'm not generally a huge fan of video tutorials, but this is a good one and is only about 12 and a half minutes long.
  • - This allows you to make notes to go with a video and synchronize the notes with the time in the video where they are applicable.  You can click on the notes and it takes you to that part of the video as well.  This seems really cool and it can connect with your Google Drive so you can store your videos there.  
  • ThingLink - This is a fun one.  This website allows you to take a picture, and make it interactive.  You can place little "buttons" on your photo and make text pop up, a video can play, or it can even be a link to a website.  This has many possibilities.  You can create one on a certain topic for your students to explore, or you can have the students make one as part of a project of some sort.  
  • Padlet - Padlet is a great collaboration space.  It gives you a sharable poster board so to speak.  You can share the link and others can then post things on it that are like little digital sticky notes.  They can share ideas as a brain storm, post links, photos, or videos to "turn in" an assignment of some sort.  There are many possibilities for this tool.

Ok.  That should be enough to at least get you started with something.  No excuses now.  Take the time to check out those things you've always thought of using, but have never taken the time to learn.  Just do it.

Thank you for stopping by the TeachingTechNix blog today.  I hope you found something helpful.  See you again soon for more helpful tech tips! 

Helping teachers incorporate technology, one tech tip at a time.