Thursday, April 25, 2019

If you are a big fan of 'free' like I am, then checking out Canva for Education is a must. Canva’s free education account is mind-blowing. Canva’s platform brings graphic design and online publication to the next level. Teachers and students can choose from thousands of templates (presentations, posters, one-page documents, graphic organizers, just to name a few). This list highlights 75 of the most popular Canva templates. Once a template is selected, users can search from over 1 million free images to add to their design. Canva’s simple drag and drop interface make designing that perfect poster easier than ever.

Students can also share their designs with their classmates or teacher as view only documents, or, they can give their peers editing rights to collaborate.

I recommend signing in with your Google account for seamless integration. The signup process is very straight forward. You can complete the signup process in 1-2 minutes.

All of your Canva designs are saved in your Canva cloud for easy access from any device. You can download your finished design, save it to your Google Drive, share with others, post your design on social media, or send it off to your favorite photo printing service.

You will want to check out Canva’s awesome library of online tutorials. Their video tutorials are a collection of 1-minute videos that walk you through everything from starting your design from scratch to publishing your completed design.

Yes, the 1-minute videos are excellent, however, I suggest starting with Canva’s interactive tutorials. Assign these 3-minute step-by-step tutorials to your students, or adults in a technology training you might be running as an introduction to the product. The interactive tutorials are exactly what will be needed to teach your audience the necessary skills to get started. The interactive tutorial titled Canva starter challenge should be assigned to each and every user before turning them loose with Canva.

If you would like to take your graphic design skills to the next level, check out Canva’s free Design School. There are several courses to choose from, with each course chunked up into easy to digest mini-lessons.

One of my favorite podcasts, How I Built This with Guy Raz, featured an episode on Canva’s founder Melanie Perkins. Listen to how a 19-year-old Australian started her business with a small online yearbook company and then followed her vision to create a free online publishing tool that is currently valued at over 1 billion dollars.


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Friday, April 12, 2019

This is the feature you have been waiting for. Just like PowerPoint, Google Slides now let's you add background music. No more crazy workarounds needed to get background music to play in your Google Slides. Google has finally integrated it’s new ‘Insert Audio” feature in Slides. It’s super easy to add audio, just follow the steps below.

STEP 1: Make sure you have added your MP3 or WAV audio files to Google Drive

STEP 2: Open your Slides. Click Insert-Audio...

STEP 3: The search box automatically searches for any MP3 or WAV files in your Google Drive. Click on one mp3 file, then click Select

STEP 4: Your audio is now added. Hover over the icon to see the preview bar

STEP 5: Right-click the audio icon to access some great formatting options

STEP 6: By default, the audio is set to play once the icon is clicked while presenting the slides. Also, by default, the audio is set to stop playing as soon as the next slide is advanced.

STEP 7: I like to change the settings so that the audio automatically starts to play without clicking on the icon. I also like to have the audio playing until the slideshow stops. You can even choose to hide the audio icon while presenting. *Note that there is not an option to choose which slide the audio should stop playing.

STEP 8: If interested, you can select a different color for your audio icon

Click here for more details from Google's G Suite Updates

Friday, January 11, 2019

Happy New Year! Google has made a few updates to Google Classroom for the beginning to 2019. First of all, you will notice a much cleaner look (with more white space) to Google Classroom's interface. This is because Google introduced a new material theme to all of it's products to promote consistency. 

Other changes to note:

  • There are now 78 new themes to choose for your Google Classroom header
  • A very simple way to display your class code to students
  • New drag and drop functionality that makes it so easy to reorder items on your Classwork page

Check out this brief video to see what's new in Google Classroom

Friday, October 5, 2018

A handout created for paper/pencil use should look different than a handout that's intended as a digital document. Learn how to use tables in Google Docs to create simple & beautiful Google Docs your audience will love as a digital handout! View the video tutorial HERE. Check out Google's great step-by-step guide on using tables HERE.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hey, where did the "About" page in Google Classroom go? And, how can I add materials and resources that I want my students to view often? Don't add your class syllabus or social contract to an assignment. Instead, use the new "Create Materials" option in Google Classroom to post those important documents or links. This 2-minute video walks you through the process. You'll be adding materials to your Google Classroom in no time!

Watch the video HERE

Friday, August 24, 2018

Google Classroom has been updated, and you are going to love many of the changes! In this post, we break down some of the updates to Google Classroom in a two-part video series. In our part 1 video we compare the new look Google Classroom to the previous version, we discuss the new Classwork page, and we talk about the new Settings page. In our part 2 video we cover the new grading features, review the new People page, and go over how you can copy an entire Google Classroom to a new Classroom.

Leave a comment with any questions. More Google Classroom updates are coming soon, but we figured this would be enough content to help you get off to a great start to the school year.

Friday, March 16, 2018

"Wait! What Happened?" ... Anyone who has shared a Google Sheet knows the frustration of trying to view your data when all of a sudden, another user is on the sheet at the same time and they begin to sort or filter a column, and then your view is changed too. If you have multiple users on the same Google Sheet, then Filter Views are a must. Filter Views allow multiple users to view data differently. One user can sort column A alphabetically, while another users can filter and sort column C. Multiple views of the same sheet solved with Filter Views. View our short video on Filter Views here. How do you use Filter Views? Leave your comments below.

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