Saturday, October 2, 2021

Google Classroom Student Selector

Today I had one of those moments when I couldn’t believe I didn’t already know something. I saw this tweet from my friend Hans and I had to go check it out.  When I use classroom, I normally use it from my MacBook and that is why I think I missed this feature.  Regardless of why I didn’t know, as soon as I found out, I decided to share it with all of you.

When you’re using the Google Classroom app on a mobile device (tablet or phone) you can click on the “People” tab and have access to a student selector tool.  This is like a high tech way of pulling sticks.  I’m not a big fan of cold calling kids on a regular basis, but there are a few times when I might want to pull a random student.  There are also times when I need to run down the list of my kids in a random order for one reason or another.  This tool is perfect for that!  You can mark kids absent, skip past students until later, and easily keep track of who has been picked - even if you need to stop and pick the rest another time.  Very handy if you ask me.  Not a tool I’ll use every day, but it is something I will make strategic use of. 

To find this tool, open your Google Classroom App on a mobile device and tap on the “People” tab.  In the upper right corner, you’ll see a little icon that looks like four little squares, but one is tweaked sideways.  Tap that little icon to launch the Student Selector tool.

The first time you tap on this, it will welcome you to the student selector and you can tap “Start” to begin. 

Now you can see a random student.  You have options to mark them absent, call them later, or tap to see the next student. You can also see a rundown on the left side showing how many students have been picked, how many are left, and how many were absent.  If you tap on the X and go out, when you come back, the count will still be there.  To reset the count for another activity, you can tap on the “Reset” button in the upper right corner.

This is a very quick and easy tool integrated into an app you already use - no third party app necessary.  Thanks, Google!

If you want to read more about Google Classroom’s Student Selector tool, you can click here to see Google’s Help Page. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Emoji and Symbols Viewer for MacBook

If you teach math or some other subject that requires you to use special symbols or characters frequently, or you just plain love emojis, this post is for you. This is for MacBook as that is what I currently use. I teach 5th grade right now and often create my own math activities. I find I need the multiplication symbol (yes, I know I can use the letter x, but I like the way the actual multiplication symbol looks) and the division symbol quite frequently. This is something I discovered by accident one day, and I'm so glad I did! I use it all the time in a variety of programs.  

The Emoji and Symbols tool allows you to quickly search for emojis or any special symbols or characters by just clicking a button on your menu bar. It is very easy to set up.  

1.  Find the input menu icon on the menu bar in the upper right corner of your screen and click it.  Mine is a US flag because my keyboard is set to US, yours may be different. If you can't find this, you can always skip steps 1-2 here and just go to your system preferences and choose "keyboard".

2.  Choose "Open Keyboard Preferences".

3.  Be sure you are on the "Keyboard" tab and click the box that says, "Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar."

Now, whatever program you are working in, you can click on the new input menu icon in the menu bar and choose "Show Emoji & Symbols" and find the symbols you need with just a few clicks.  

I especially love the "Frequently Used" section.  Keeps all the ones I use on a regular basis handy for quick access.  

I hope this is as helpful to you as it has been to me.

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