Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Templates are Easier in Google Drive

Posted: 30 Jan 2017 01:10 PM PST
Since 2015, we’ve been making it easier to focus on your content—not your formatting—with templates in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. We’ve introduced templates forinvoices, pitch decks, and cases studies, as well as templates designed by experts and developed specifically for your organization.

Today, we’re making it easier for users to create files from templates by granting access to templates directly from Drive. Instead of navigating to the DocsSheetsSlides, or Formshome pages, you can simply go to Drive > New > Google Docs/Sheets/Slides/Forms > From a template. From there, you’ll be directed to the applicable template gallery, where you can select the template of your choice.

For more details on templates, visit the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in three weeks

Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

All end users

Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Create a file from a template

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Manipulating Cell Groups in Google Sheets

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 12:36 PM PST
We know that data in spreadsheets isn’t always neatly distributed across entire rows and columns; oftentimes, for instance, sheets contain multiple tables and regions of data that can’t be separated. With this launch, we’re making it easier to insert cells into these sheets without disturbing that content. Going forward, you can add a rectangular block of cells to any spreadsheet on the web, and it will simply shift the surrounding cells down or to the right. You can delete chunks of cells in the same way.

You can insert cells from Insert menu and delete cells from the Edit menu. Both features are also accessible when you right-click on a cell. For more information, check out the Help Center.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Digital Learning Day is Coming Soon!

Digital Learning Day is on February 23, 2017 and the purpose of this movement is to highlight great teaching practices and showcase innovative teachers, and leaders on their lessons using technology which help students improve their learning.  

You can participate in this movement for FREE.  Simply register your school and add your marker to the interactive map.  Once signed up, promote it at your school!  Have staff participate in this movement by using technology in the classroom, experimenting with a new technology tool that aligns with the core subject standards, and having students become innovators in the classroom. The possibilities are endless!  

Use can use social media to promote your school during this day. Include @OfficialDLDay and #DLDay on each post so that it is streamed in the conversation.  Post updates that include images of students and teachers implementing technology into their lessons, using the applications, or devices, and much more.  

At the William Davies Middle School, we participate in Digital Learning Day every year.  However, this year I am encouraging staff to share their ideas, tips, or tech tool in a spreadsheet so that other educators can be inspired or motivated to try something new.  

I am encouraging my readers to participate too.  Simply click on the spreadsheet link to add your idea, tip, or tech tool so that others can learn from YOU!!!

I hope you can take advantage of this opportunity and start this movement in your school.  It starts with you!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Great Way to Start the New Year - New Features of Google Classroom

The Google Classroom team has been listening to all of your feedback and has responded with providing its users with new great features.  

Personalized Posts

First, personalized posts are now available. This will allow teachers to provide differentiated instruction to their students. You can use this feature to send extra credit or remediation resources to your students. I created an animation for you to reference. Additionally, you can check out the Help Center.

Also, you can easily add and remove students from the individual post as shown below.

Notification Improvements for Teachers

Second, teachers will now receive notifications when students submit their work after the due date and when a student resubmits their work. For more information check out our Help Center.

Below is a screen shot of the email notification and the assignment status.

See how Classroom is being used

Finally, G Suite for Education Administrators can get analytics on the usage of Google Classroom in the domain. They can report on how teachers and students are using Google Classroom. For more information check out our Help Center.

This is a wonderful way to start 2017! If you would like more information about these features please take a look at the official Google for EDU blogpost or check out the What’s New page.

As you use these new features remember to submit your feedback to the team via the ‘Send feedback’ button. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on the product forum where experts will be able to address any of your questions.