Tuesday, November 30, 2021

2 more Sheets Skills You Can Do

I'm back with two more skills you can master with Google Sheets! 

I am confident that you've been in a situation where you've been given a list of names. I'm going to guess you've felt the frustration of the list having the names in a single cell (probably lastname, firstname OR firstname lastname) but you really wanted them in separate cells. Or what about the reverse ... the list you've been given has the names in separate cells but you want them in the same (maybe separated by a comma?). Ugh. No need to retype the list! You can make your list be exactly what you want ... with very little effort!

I've made a video to demonstrate. It's right at 5 minutes. (Play it in 1.5 speed and will only take about 3 minutes). I've also tucked in a little *bonus* tip at the end ... did you know you can now specify the number of pixels tall you want your rows? Yep! I sneak that in, too! 


As much as I love Google Sheets, I am NOT a Sheets expert. I have a lot to learn. I hope you take these nuggets and add to your learning adventure, too. Sheets really is a very versatile tool. Is there something you wish you knew how to do? Comment below or reach out on social media. All my links are just below my photo near the top right. I'd love to hear from you!

Looking to do more with Google Sheets? Check out:

Sunday, November 14, 2021

2 Sheets Skills You Can Do

Sheets are one of those tools that I get a lot of questions about and most of the time, teachers don't feel confident in their use of Sheets. I haven't always used Google Sheets, but when I began heavily using Google Forms, I had to learn Sheets. And once I started learning Sheets, I found so many easy ways to make Sheets work for me. (And I actually enjoyed learning it!)

Today, I want to help you become more comfortable with Sheets. I am not an expert - I still have so much to learn. I don't do fancy formulas or complicated graphs. But I do use Google Sheets on a very regular basis ... and I love using them.

Learning a skill - or two - at a time, will pay off. 

Today, I'm sharing two of my favorite tips: freezing and sorting. Freezing is quite possibly the best skill to learn in Sheets. Freezing allows you to keep the rows and columns of your choice in view while moving through your data. Knowing how to sort your data is another crucial skill to master. Being able to organize and reorganize your data is incredibly powerful. Interested? Here's a short how to video demonstrating both! And I've tucked some Sheets resources below.


Would it help to have a copy of Sheet I used in the video? Here you go: "2 Sheets Skills You Can Do (public copy)." Click on the "Use Template" button in the upper right corner to make your own copy to play with and try out sorting and freezing. 



Level Up with Google Sheets (Summer 2021 webinar)

Stay tuned! Next week I'll return with a couple more skills to master in Google Sheets. But in the meantime ... what is your favorite way to use Google Sheets? Reach out and let me know in the comments below or reach out on social media!


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Chrome Remote Desktop Discoveries You Can Do

I make it no secret that working with teachers and students is my dream job. When I shared Freedom from Your Desk You Can Do two weeks ago, I wasn't sure where it would go. After all, it's an extension that has been around for awhile - but I had not used it until recently. After setting it up with one teacher, I also shared it out to all of the teachers in my district. Thanks to them, I am following up to share what they discovered and shared back to me! I think it makes this extension "that" much better.

I knew this extension would be helpful to a lot of teachers but what I didn't expect was that after I shared it, that I would continue to learn more. And these are super helpful things to know about what this extension can do! 

Here's what I've learned about this extension:

  • Jessica shared how she was able to print items from her desktop ... while she was in the copier room! That's right! Being able to trigger a print job from items on her desktop via her chromebook - wow! 
    • Guess who'll never "lose" another print job ... or have to make several trips back and forth to the copy room?
  • Leah shared how she uses the non-mirroring ability on her desktop (so her projector acts as a second screen) and with this extension she can see BOTH "screens" on her desktop.
    • It's kind of small, but possible. 
    • Think how many screens she has now? Unlimited on her chromebook and unlimited on her dual screens on her desktop! 
  • Amy shared how she was able to control her desktop from off campus!
    • She said she even printed remotely.
    • At home sick? Want to set your desktop up for your sub? Just needs to be powered on, right?

Anyone else's mind blown right now? No one goes into teaching thinking they know everything ... but this unexpected learning is always so fun!

If you want additional freedom from your desktop, I highly recommend the Chrome Remote Desktop extension. What will YOU discover? Please be sure to share back so we can all learn.

And with all of the shortages, is there anything YOU can share? It doesn't have to be a full lesson. It's doesn't have to be a big package or tool. Do you have tips or tricks or ways of doing things that make your teaching life easier? Can you share something ... even if you think it's silly or too small ... it might be "the thing" that helps one other teacher. 


Additional Resources to help:



Sunday, October 17, 2021

URL Hack: Force a copy of a Google Calendar event You Can Do

I am constantly learning. And I enjoy it. (Probably a good thing I became a teacher, eh?) 

There are many different reasons why I learn. Sometimes it's because I am told I have to learn something; sometimes it's because I want to learn something; sometimes it's purely by accident; and sometimes it's because I am so intrigued that I am driven to learn something. This final reason is how I am able to write this today. It's going to be short and it has a VERY specific purpose. But, man! Was I GIDDY when I learned this!

I received an email from a group I'm part of announcing an upcoming event. Included in the email was a link to add the event to my calendar; it was not shared directly to me. I take advantage of this every chance I get. My Google Calendar is one of my top used tools and one of my favorite tools. This time, however, I stopped and wondered ... "How does Michael do that?" (Michael being the one who sent the invite.) I couldn't stop thinking about it. No lie. I Googled it ... I looked at the URL he sent ... I looked at calendar events I create ... for a day or so. 

Then I spied it.

Giddy! Seriously. I felt like I had discovered a secret treasure! I quickly sent Michael an email to ask if I had discovered some "Google-magic". His reply told me his process was a bit different and that he wasn't aware of this URL hack I was asking about.

Wait for it.

Ready? Each calendar event has a specific URL, right? I spied "/copy/" in his URL. I tried it & JACKPOT! It is so similar to the force a copy URL hack for other Google Apps that I wondered how I hadn't even thought about it before. 

It's far easier for me to do a quick little video to show you, so here it is:


Thank you Michael for inspiring me & responding to my question!

Did this help? I hope so ... I know I probably won't use this very often, but man! Learning this was exciting! Do you know of other URL hacks that I might be interested in? Please let me know - either below in a comment or reach out on social media - my links are listed below my picture.


Other resources like this you might be interested:


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Freedom from Your Desk You Can Do

Wow. What I had thought would be a week off from writing ended up being a little more than two months! I know I don't owe you an explanation, but here it is ... life got busy. And this year is tough. Tougher than last year. Something had to give. But I'm back today with a good one!

A few weeks ago, a teacher asked me about using an app on her phone to control her desktop. What she had wanted to try didn't work, BUT I had just had a conversation with fellow Shake Up Learning Trainer, Susan Vincentz. She had just trained her teachers on an extension that allowed them to remotely control their desktops. A quick message to Susan gave me the name of the extension and today, I'm sharing it with you. I've helped several more teachers set this up and it seems to me a huge improvement for teachers!

The set up isn't difficult, but it has several steps on two computers. In my district, each teacher has an iMac as their desktop and a chromebook as their portable device. Doing this it isn't difficult, but it takes a minute to wrap your head around it. They do not want to be tied down to their desktop as they present, but in order to control the tabs, slides, volume, and more, they'd have to be right there. With this extension - you can be FREE!

It's all about a single extension you add to your Chrome account that allows you to control your ENTIRE desktop via a second device. It really is mind-blowing the first several times you think about it. It's a 2 part process, so to help with this, I made 2 videos to share. Really, it's more about being confident in "following the clicks" as you install the extension. And be sure to write down your PIN! That is key in making this process work!

Part 1: Installing on your desktop (or your main computer)



Part 2: Installing on your second device

Congratulations! You've done it! I'm excited to share this with more people - if you use this, please let me know - I'd love to hear about it! If you have questions or comments, please reach out, too! All my contact info is near the top of this page.


Additional Resources to help: