Sunday, February 16, 2020

Import Calendar Dates You Can Do

Do you create numerous calendar events? Are you a "calendar" person?

Google Calendar is my lifeline. I depend on it every day. I also see how powerful Google Calendars are for larger purposes ... buildings, staffs, communities, large groups, etc. But the problem is, creating calendar events on a large scale can take large amounts of time. It can open the door for errors.

Awhile back, I searched and searched and found a few helpful resources. I found an article or two, a couple of videos ... but what I really wanted was a template that was ready-to-go and "easy" to use. What I had found was the "theory" behind using a Google Sheet and importing it to Google Calendar. Since I couldn't find a template, I made one and today I want to share that out.

It is a basic, simple, and straight-forward idea. Take a Google Sheet, format it correctly, load in your dates (& as much info as you want to), save as a csv, and upload to the correct Google Calendar. Voilá!

I have used this method for athletic calendars very successfully. I've also recently shared this idea with my district for our yearly calendar. I see this as very helpful. Each building can have its own tab. Tabs can be duplicated - or individual rows can be copied over - for events that need to be on multiple calendars.

To be 100% honest, the first time you create a large number of events, you are not going to "save" a ton of time, but the benefits come in when you have repeating events or you use the same large number of events over and over. For example, a weekly repeating meeting ... create the dates on 2 rows, then use the "magic" of selecting them both & pulling down on the "blue box" to keep that repeating time frame. And if you are like many schools, you probably use "comparable dates" year after year ... and that is where I see a Sheet saving time. [Also, one person can create the district-level events and they be copied over to each building, or use the calendar layering ability to have them all show at the same time.]

Included with the template is a tab for directions. I also tucked in "notes" on each of the column headers to help guide you when you are actually creating your events. I've tried to create this to be something ANYone can do, but if you get stuck or you need help, feel free to reach out!

And finally, at the bottom of the instructions tab, I added a couple of tips on ways you could go further. Interested in an automatic creation of events from your Sheet? Yep - it's possible ... check out the "How to automatically add a schedule from Google Sheets into Calendar" video. Maybe one day, I'll tackle that, too! 

Here is a sneak peak at the template ↬

Link to "template/preview" option (allows for quick copy)

Link to "View only". Please use the "File --> Make a copy" option to make your own copy.

You can also find this on my "Templates for Teachers" website. Feel free to check this one out, along with the 70+ other templates my colleague Beth Kingsley & I have created and shared out.


Looking for Sheets or Calendar ideas/tips/tricks? Check out my Wakelet collections: 
Google Sheets Wakelet
Google Calendar Wakelet
          

And, as always, have a question or comment? I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below, email me at sarah@techyoucando.com, or find me on Twitter @kiefersj.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

"Val the Valentine" You Can Do

I did not plan on creating this activity. It is actually not even my idea. But sometimes, hallway conversations have a way of pushing me TO do something I hadn't thought of or planned. 

Many of the templates I create have a pretty cute story behind them. Here is the story of Val. I was walking down the hall last Thursday, and a young student paused and smiled up at me. I smiled back and he stopped, looked at me and asked, "Are you going to come to my class so we can decorate hearts?" 💖

A little background to this question - I've gone into our 1st grade classrooms around Halloween to decorate a pumpkin (thanks to Eric Curts); around Thanksgiving to dress up a turkey (thanks to Beth Kingsley); and Christmas to decorate a tree (thanks again, Eric Curts). 

So really, he already anticipated this activity. We chatted for a bit about how he'd like to decorate hearts and then he proceeded to give me specific dates he'd prefer I come in - he apparently has a vacation coming up and didn't want to miss out 😆.

So thanks to this little one, I designed "Val the Valentine"! It it definitely geared to a younger audience, but older students can add in their own flair if you are ok with that by changing colors, adding in space to write a Valentine note, or search additional Valentine themed images and borders.

Val the Valentine
Here is a link to the template.
If the preview doesn't work, try ↬ Val the Valentine 

Feel free to make your own copy & share out with your kiddos. (I suggest using the "Make a Copy for each Student" in Google Classroom for your littlest ones.) I've also added it to our ever growing collection of templates on "Templates for Teachers". You are welcome to make your own copy of any of them and share/modify to make them your own.

For older students, you might want to check out Valentine's Activities You Can Do, a choice board of activities I shared out last year. There are 6 activities definitely geared toward older students.

Do you know of other Valentine themed activities? I'm working to grow my "Holiday-themed" Wakelet collections and my Valentine's is pretty weak. You can check it out here ↬ https://wke.lt/w/s/eUTHpQ . Would you mind sharing ones you know of? I'd love to grow this collection.

And as always, I'd love to connect! Do you have a question, comment, or idea? Share them with me on Twitter (@kiefersj), via email: sarah@techyoucando.com, or in the comments below.


Happy Valentine's Day!


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Insert Audio (... for kids!) You Can Do

Just under a year go, Google announced the ability to add audio in Slides. I was SUPER excited! I couldn't wait. It was released and I immediately went to try it out. I didn't have it in my school account, but I did in my personal Google account. Woot! Woot! 

I figured it was just a matter of time before I had it at school. I talked with a few teachers about using this new feature ... and we waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and, then I read Google was halting the release. Boo!!!

But it has finally arrived and it's widely available! YESSSS!!!!

So far, I have utilized this feature on a few of the templates I have created, especially for the little ones. It is a fantastic way to help ensure, that regardless of the reading ability, students will be have the ability of independently (or repeatedly) hearing the directions.

I also used it with a 7th grade ELA teacher around Christmas time. She wanted her students to write a Christmas story for younger readers, and read it out loud on slides. These slides were then shared with the two elementary buildings and teachers could listen to the wonderful stories written AND read, by the 7th grade author. Such a WONDERFUL activity!

Recently, I have been working with multiple grades on PBL projects (Problem Based Learning). Some of the students are interested in using this feature, so I decided some instructions might be in order so teachers can share them with these kiddos now, and have for future use, too. The steps themselves, are simple. But there are a few of them - and settings will be important for the end result.

As always, feel free to make your own copy & adjust specifics if you need to. And don't forget, YOU can do this, too! The directions are the same. I also created a "Quick Reference" tip sheet you can print & share with students. Don't worry, I included a QR code that links them to the comprehensive directions.




Insert Audio You Can Do document
↬ Google Docs, ready to share (feel free to make your own copy and modify to best fit you & your students).









Insert Audio: Quick Reference sheet
PDF version, ready to print
Google Drawings version, in case you want to modify





How many different ways can you think to use audio in Slides? Please make sure to share with others. This is a fantastic tool for students of ALL ages! I'm excited to hear what others do with this ability. Be sure to let me know!


Have a question, comment, or idea? Share them with me on Twitter (@kiefersj), via email: sarah@techyoucando.com, or in the comments below.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Google Training You Can Do

I'm very excited for this upcoming week! I will be working with a small group of staff in my district to further their Google knowledge. I'm doubly excited as this was their idea and anytime someone wants to learn, I'm pumped. The fact that it's Google they want to learn more about ... YEESSSS!!!

As I was planning out this introductory session, I exchanged a few emails with the person who requested the help. It dawned on me it might be helpful to have a reference Doc for them to start with since this group will have a range of familiarity with G Suite. BUT, they will all share the same goal. ↬ increase their comfort level with Google tools.

Are a person who helps train others? Are someone who also wants to learn more about G Suite? Are someone comfortable with Google, but looking to stretch yourself a little further? Are a teacher who needs (or is looking for) some professional development? I am sharing the Doc I created with you today so that you, too, can turn around and use it for yourself, or use it to support others.

Preview of Document I will be sharing
The group I will be working with had initially asked for suggestions for classes or workshops to attend to expand their learning of Google. I suggested before going and registering for classes/workshops, to go through the FREE Google modules. I promised to also be there for them to answer questions, to provide guidance, and meet with them as it fits their learning.

I may not be able to help you in person, but I would be more than happy to support you via email, Twitter, or comments below. These modules were a turning point in my teaching career and I highly recommend them to everyone.

Are you interested? Here is a link to the Doc I created & will be sharing "Google Training You Can Do." I've also posted it on Templates for Teachers website. Feel free to use this in a way that works for you and your learners.

Finally, did you know Google has also released modules and certification for students? Yep! You can find out more at the Teacher Center, in the G Suite Certification for Students section. ***Note - this is geared toward students ages 13+.***


Have a question, comment, or idea? Share them with me on Twitter (@kiefersj), via email: sarah@techyoucando.com, or in the comments below.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

4+ Advanced Gmail Tips You Can Do

This will be the final in a 3 part series on Gmail. I'm wrapping it up with 4+ advanced tips. A couple of these tips will take a bit of work on the front end to set up, but once done, it can make a world of difference for taming your inbox. Another tip will prove useful when you need to find emails or content in your email.

I will start off with an admission - I do NOT use all of these. I've collected them and I'm sharing them out, because I understand that while they might not be something I choose to do, you very well might want to. I cannot stress enough how personal email is. The final tip I share is actually a collection of more advanced things you might want to look into. I link you to the Gmail Help page for each of the topics. If you look into one (or more) of them, feel free to look through other ideas. You might find something I didn't point out.


Here is a link where you can make your own copy of "Advanced Gmail Tips". 
Feel free to share these Slides with others. 


I have a growing Wakelet collection dedicated to Gmail for items that I find useful and interesting. Be sure to check it out! There might be a nugget in there to help you, too!





Have a question, comment, or idea? Share them with me on Twitter (@kiefersj), via email: sarah@techyoucando.com, or in the comments below.



Sunday, January 12, 2020

5 Intermediate Gmail Tips You Can Do

If your email is anything like mine, it's a constant barrage. Emails that I really want, emails that are pure junk, emails that peek my interest, emails that take me down rabbit holes I didn't intend for, emails that inspire me, and so on.


I'll be honest ... email can be incredibly overwhelming. Exhausting, even. Last week I shared some basic Gmail tips - "4 Basic Gmail Tips You Can Do". Today, I'm back with 5 more that can go a loooooong way in helping you organize your Gmail. I've deemed these intermediate, but I promise YOU CAN DO THEM.


Since email won't be going away - let's take control and learn some tips better manage it. Please always remember, email is a very personal thing. Some of these tips might not fit your needs ... it's ok! I hope at least one or two of these will help you tame your email. In the following Slides, I share 5 different tips that can help you manage your email. Below the embedded Slides is a link you are welcome to click on, use, and share with others.
 Here is a link where you can make your own copy of "Intermediate Gmail Tips". 
Feel free to share these Slides with others. 


I have a growing Wakelet collection dedicated to Gmail for items that I find useful and interesting. Be sure to check it out! There might be a nugget in there to help you, too!





Next week, I'll share a 3rd one about Gmail with even more advanced tips. 

Is there something you'd like to know with Gmail? Share them with me on Twitter (@kiefersj), via email: sarah@techyoucando.com, or in the comments below.

Happy emailing!




Monday, January 6, 2020

4 Basic Gmail Tips You Can Do

Chances are you have at least one email account. I'd even venture a guess you have more than one email. Email is an important part of communication these days and any time I find ways to make it easier, I jump on it.

I have used Gmail as my personal email for more than a decade so when my district switched over to Gmail last year, I was overjoyed! The biggest bonus for me was unlimited storage because we are a GSuite education domain

While doing research about Gmail, I came across the Time magazine article, "How Gmail Happened: The Inside Story of Its Launch 10 Years Ago" (published April 1, 2014). It is an interesting read about the creation of Gmail.

Today I want to share some basic, yet possibly overlooked tips that can go a long way in helping you organize and tame your email. Do you know how to create labels? Add color & emojis? How about adding a signature to the end of your email? Giving your email a theme? Check out the Slides below to find out these and a few other tips. 


Here is a link where you can make your own copy of "Basic Gmail Tips".

Feel free to share these Slides with others. 


I have a growing Wakelet collection dedicated to Gmail for items that I find useful and interesting. Be sure to check it out! There might be a nugget in there to help you, too!




In my next post, I'll be sharing more advanced tips. Is there something you'd like to know with Gmail? Share them with me on Twitter (@kiefersj), via email: sarah@techyoucando.com, or in the comments below.