Templates in Google Forms? Yes, please.

One of the best features of Google Forms is the ability to use templates to quickly create various types of forms. There are templates available for Education, Personal and Work.  To access the templates, you’ll want to connect to Google Forms through the http://forms.google.com URL.

Once you get there, you’ll see a few of the templates. To see all of them, you’ll need to click on the little arrow.


When you click the arrow, it may open a window of templates for your organization (which will probably be blank); just click on General to see all the templates. 

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Quickly Add Events to Google Calendar Using the Chrome Address Bar

Do you use both Google Chrome and Calendar?  Need to quickly add a meeting to your calendar? Don’t open a new tab and enter it manually… just add it right from Chrome’s address bar!


This trick will take a few simple steps of setup, but once you’re done, you can type an event in natural language right in the address bar—such as “Faculty Meeting on Thursday at 3 pm”—and a new event will be created. We will use Chrome’s ability to have special search engines to set this functionality up.

First, right-click on the address bar and select “Edit search engines”.


Once you get to the Search engines dialog box, under Other search engines, enter a name, such as “Add Event”, in the first box. In the middle box, enter a keyword, such as “cal”, to type into the address bar to activate this custom search engine. 


Next, copy the following URL and paste it into the last box (it should be all on one line).

http://www.google.com/calendar/event?ctext=+%s+&action=TEMPLATE&pprop=HowCreated%3AQUICKADD


Press Enter when you’re done.

Now, the custom search engine will appear under Other search engines. Click “Done” to close the Search engines dialog box.


Important: Before using this custom search engine to add events to your calendar, you need to make sure you’re signed into the Chrome profile that matches the Google account to which you want to add events. If you need help doing this, watch this video.
Once you’re signed in to Chrome, type cal (or the keyword you assigned to it) in the address bar and press Tab or the Spacebar. You’ll see that “Search” and the name of the new search engine you created shows on the left side of the address bar. Using natural language, type the event you want to add to your calendar, like the screenshot below, and press Enter.


The Google Calendar new event screen with the relevant data filled in, such as the event title and the date and time. Add or change any other information for the event, such as the location, and click “Save”.
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Citations are back in Google Docs!

One of the best features in Google Docs, Slides and Drawings was the Research Tool. Through the Research Tool, which allowed authors to do research simultaneously as they write or edit a document. From one place, you could search different Google services including: Scholar, Images, Quotes, Dictionary. 

The great thing about the Research tool is that it allowed an author to easily insert citations and links to a document. Once an image, document, or resource was picked, the user click on “cite” and Google Doc automatically inserts the citation according to the style wanted ( MLA or APA, or Chicago). 

Unfortunately, in September 2016, Google dropped the Research tool for the Explore tool in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. While this tool still provides the insights, design tools, and research recommendations that the old tool did, the citations feature was mysteriously missing!   read more

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Quizlet Live

Quizlet Live is an in-class, team based learning game. It puts the students in randomized teams (automatically) and gives each group different questions within the study set. Each team is made up of 3 or 4 students with a randomly assigned animal team name. (You can reshuffle the teams until you are satisfied with the groupings.) Each member of the group has different answers and only one person has the correct answer. The group needs to work together to get the correct answer to get the points.  Incorrect answers reset the team’s progress to zero. The first team to match all 12 terms correctly in a row wins. At the end of the game, teams see what they matched correctly and incorrectly.

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PhET – Science and Math Simulations

I was doing some research for a resource visit last week, and I came across this great resource from the University of Colorado Boulder. It is called PhET and it provides free interactive math and science simulations. 


 Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.

The simulations are written in Java, Flash or HTML5, and can be run online or downloaded to your computer. All simulations are open source and are free to all students and teachers. They are great to show on your interactive board.


Here’s a short video introduction to the PhET simulations:

A couple of my favorite simulations are the Plinko Probability simulation, Balancing Chemical Equations simulation, and John Travoltage. read more

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