Sunday, August 18, 2019

Create Contact Group in New Contacts

Google is always updating its tools. Usually, this brings wanted new functions. In the case of Google Contacts, this is not all that happened. Unfortunately, we lost a very important ability- the ability for classroom teachers to easily create Contact Groups by copy/paste into groups. We can no longer just copy and paste the email addresses into the “Add” box. Now, a contact has to already exist within your account in order to be added to a Contact Group. This makes it tough for teachers who have so many parents to add as contacts. There is no easy way for teachers to manually create each and every parent as an individual contact just to add to a Group. The good news is that Scott Wolz has created an awesome tool to help with this. It is very easy to do. Follow the steps below to create Contact Groups with a simple Google Sheet.

Create Contact Groups:
  1. Before starting, you will need to get some important information from your classroom parents. You will need email addresses and if possible first and last names. The names are not required but can help out in the long run.
  2. Make a copy of this sheet created by Scott Wolz: Send2Contacts
  3. Gather the needed emails and names from your classroom parents. A Google Form is the easiest way to do this.
  4. In the Google Sheet enter the email address (and names if you have them). 

  5. Name the new contact group something like “Classroom Parents” or something that works for you.
  6. When you have all the names on the document, click the “Send 2 Contacts” button. 
  1. Allow the permission needed.
  2. Go to Google Contacts.
  3. You will see the newly created group on the left with the contacts now in that group!

Here is a video showing how to do this. 

If you want these directions in a Document click Here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Add Audio in Google Slides

One of the options that has always been missing from Google Slides is the option to attach audio within a Slide. Now there is a Native-to-Slides way to have audio in your Slides! Can you hear the world rejoicing and cheering for joy? Follow the steps below and start making your presentations heard!

Add Audio to Drive:
  1. In order to add audio to your Google Slides, you first must upload your audio into your Google Drive. Make sure the clip you want to use is either an MP3 or WAV file. These are the only file types supported by Slides.
  2. There are many free file converters available online if you need to convert your audio files. Here are two that work: 

* I suggest creating a folder with all your audio and making the folder shared as “Anyone with the link can view”. Then all your audio for all your Slides is in one easy to manage location and will work with shared slide decks!

Insert Audio in Slides:

  1. Open a Google Slide deck.
  2. On any slide you want audio to play click “Insert” and choose “Audio”.
  3. Search for the audio clip from within your Drive.

  4. Once you select audio an audio icon will be placed on your slide. You can drag and move the player icon anywhere you want. Also, you can replace it with an image (or even a GIF).
  5. You can even remove it completely (in Audio Settings). You will need to set it to start playback “Automatically” in order to remove it while presenting.

  6. The options for the icon/image for the audio is the same as all images in Google Slides.  The size and color can be edited as well as adding Drop Shadow or Reflection.
  7. The audio sound level can be adjusted, as well as setting it to autoplay, loop, or stop on slide change.

Now, sit back and make your Google Slides heard by all!

If you want these steps in a document click HERE!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Quickly Share Text with Your Class

We all do it. We want our students to see a web link or basic text on the projector so we go to Drive, open a new Document, type up the text or web link, change the font to a larger size, and then project so the class can see it. But wait, there is an easier way!
Give Gzaas a try. It is super easy and quick!

  1. Go to
  2. Type in the text you want to appear on the screen and click “gzaas it”.

  3. Project this screen for your students to see!

Feel Like Getting Creative?:
  1. After you make your Gzaas change the style, edit the font, font color, background color or pattern, and explore text shadow!

Go wild and share quick text with your class!

If you want these directions in a document click HERE!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Download Your Google Content with Google Takeout

Students use their school Google Apps Accounts to produce a lot of great writing, presentations, and more. When they graduate or leave the district they might like to take that work with them. You can download your Google files for safe keeping. You can then upload these files to a personal Google Account later, turn them into Microsoft Office files, or upload contacts, calendars, and email to another Google account.

Download Your Content:
  1. Visit Google Takeout and login with your school Google Account.
  2. Select the Google Tools and Services you want to export your data and documents from and select the option to receive the file as a download via email (depending on the size of your Google account, this could take several hours).

  3. Click “Next Step” when done.

  4. Check your email. You will receive an email when the files are ready for download.

Unzip and Upload Your Content:
  1. Once the Google Takeout email arrives, use the links to download your archived data and documents.
  2. Download the archive (there may be more than one archive for large amounts of data) and save them to your personal computer, external hard drive, or other location.
  3. You can "unzip" the archives and then upload the data and documents to a new personal Google Account or use the files and document in Microsoft Office or other applications.

Things to consider:

  • Google Forms do not download.
  • Google Sites do not download.
  • These are downloaded as Microsoft Office files so some fonts and layout issues may arise.

If you want these directions in a document click HERE!

Transfer Your G Suite Content to Another Google Account

The end of the school year always brings on changes in staffing or High School students moving out of school your domain. In the past, G Suite users had to download all their content and then deal with transferring manually into another Google account if they wanted to keep their Google files. There is now a very easy way to transfer all your G Suite content into a personal (or another school) domain easily! The best part is that this just makes a new copy in the new account. The original account does not lose these files. Follow the steps below to move your G Suite content to a new account!

  1. Click on your profile icon in the top right of your screen and click on “My Account”. Click on your profile icon in the top right of your screen and click on “My Account.
  2. In the center isTransfer Your Content”. Click on Start Transfer".

  3. Enter in the email address you wish to have content sent to and then click Send Code”.
  4. You will need to sign into the account you are sending content to and check for an email with a code. Click Get confirmation codeand copy the code and enter it in the original account. You will be prompted to select/unselect Drive and Gmail to transfer.
  5. Once you start the process you can leave the page you are on. Your account that is receiving the content will get two emails: The first one will state that “Your content is on its way”.
  6. When the transfer is completed you will receive a second one stating “Your content has arrived”.

Things to consider:
  • Google Forms do not transfer.
  • While this is running, you will see files appear and disappear in your main Google Drive folder. This is normal. Copies are being made and moved. Just let Transfer do its thing.
  • The first time I did this not all my files transferred. You may want to visually double check that all your files do make it over. If they don’t you can do these steps again.

If you want these steps in a document click HERE!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Schedule Gmail

One of the most requested features for Gmail is finally here! You can now schedule when an email will be sent. This is HUGE! I can’t tell you how many emails I have composed in my Drafts label ready to be sent, and I forget to send them or recreate them because I forgot they were already written. Scheduling is super easy. Head to your inbox and start being proactive and get those emails scheduled!

Schedule Gmail
  1. Head to Gmail.
  2. Compose your fantastic piece of communication.
  3. Click the arrow next to the “Send” button.
  4. Click “Schedule Send”.
  5. Choose a pre-selected option or choose a custom day and time by clicking “Pick date & time”.    
  6. Sit back and know that you look like a punctual rock star and your emails will be delivered whenever you want, even if you are not near your computer!

Start scheduling all your communication to be delivered even when you are not at your device!

If you want these directions in a document click HERE!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Interactive Lessons with ClassKick

Are you looking for a web tool that allows ease of use, activities with manipulative movement, instant feedback, audio comments, peer interaction, and so much more (oh, and that works on ANY device?)? Of course, you are! ClassKick is a great web or app-based tool that does this at ALL levels! Yes, 4-year-olds to high school students can use ClassKick! It is really a cool activity creator! Teachers can create interactive activities and watch students work on the screen and interact with them (no, I do not encourage just sitting at your desk drinking coffee while watching kids digitally, but ClassKick does allow teachers to view students’ work in real time on their screen). There is live feedback, availability of peer help, audio notes and responses, sharing created assignments with peer teachers to copy, and so much more. Head over to ClassKick (on the web or iOS app) and check it out! You will become a fan, too!

Set Up Your Class:
  1. Sign in (or create) your account.
  2. Click on “Roster” on the left and the “+” button on the right and choose “New Roster”.
  3. Name your class, chose a color, and add students (you really don’t need to add students as they will sign in each time they go to an activity).

  • More Assignment info HERE!

Create Assignments:
  1. Click on “Assignments” on the left and then the “+” button on the right and choose one of the following (there will be some premade ones on your screen already. You can click the trash can to the right to remove them if you want them gone):
    -New Blank Assignment: blank slides for you to create on your own -Create from FIle: upload image of PDF as an assignment
    -Browse Assignment Library: use already created assignments
  2. Once you choose your assignment type you will name it, write a description, choose a subject, and grade. You can be as basic or detailed as you wish.
  3. Then you can edit the slides your students will interact with. This is where it gets AWESOME! Here are your options (I am not explaining the PRO options, only FREE):
    -Pen: draw squiggly lines or anything on the screen
    -Eraser: delete all those pesky mistakes we all make
    -Text Box: type text (captions, instructions, details, anything)
    -Line: draw straight lines
    -Web Link: insert a link to a web page
    -Image: insert an image or PDF already on your device
    -Audio: record your voice and drag to any location on the screen
    -Manipulative: upload images to be moved around by students
    -Fill in the Blank: insert a box that has “acceptable answers” to self-grade
    -Sticker: add a sticker with preset comments
    -Background: choose a color or pattern for the slide background
  4. Create as many slides as you want. Think of slides as individual questions and workspacess for your students to draw, type, create, or annotate.

  • More Assignment info HERE!

Assign Assignment:
  1. You have created your activity and now you need to get it to your students. Click on the assignment you want to send and the 3 dots to the right. Then choose “Assign”.
  2. You will be asked to choose a roster (class) to assign this to.
  3. You can also do this while editing the assignment at the bottom.
  4. You will get a class code. All you have to do is share this with you students (or post the link in Google Classroom).
  5. They will go to the link and sign in with their name.
  6. You can watch their activity, give feedback, and answer live questions by clicking on “Assignment” and then “View Student Work”. Here you will see live activity and what students are actively doing. They can “Raise their hand” for questions and add any of the items you choose when you created the assignment (text box, audio, lines, etc.).
  7. You can score individual slides and give feedback in the form or audio, text, or even stickers. Students will see this in their slides as you do it! This is Super COOL!

  • More Assign Assignment info HERE!

Take some time and explore ClassKick. Create some interactive activities and let your students have fun! Give it a try!

If you want these directions in a document click HERE!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Drawing with Chrome Canvas

The challenge of finding just the right whiteboard drawing app or image annotation tool is real. There are so many options out there and it can be tough to find just the right one to work on the device you are using (iOS, Android, Chrome OS, PC, Mac). Even more important, if you are a multi-device user, is finding one that syncs to any device you log into at any moment. If there was just one that would work on all devices, live sync without having to click save or download, and be basic and easy to use. If you already live in a Google Chrome world then I might have the app for you! Chrome Canvas is a basic annotation style whiteboard app that is easy to use and 100% web-based (yep, works on all platforms, even outside Chrome!) and syncs to your Google Account. You can start with just a plain white canvas or import an image and annotate on that. Head over to and give it a try!

Start with a Blank Canvas:
  1. Head over to
  2. Choose “New Drawing”.

  3. Choose the pen style you want:

  4. Choose the size and opacity of the line  you wish to draw.

  5. Choose the color you wish to draw with.

    There are default colors.

    You can also choose a custom color or use the HEX#.

  6. Create away!

Start with an Image:
  1. Head over to
  2. Choose “New from image”.
  3. Browse to the image you wish to annotate.
  4. The canvas will now be the size and shape of the image.

  5. Annotate away!

Download Your Creation:

  1. This is real easy. Just click the 3 dots in the upper left corner.
  2. Choose “Export Drawing”.

  3. DONE! 

Go and give Chrome Canvas a try.  See what you can create!

If you want these directions in a Doc click HERE!