Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Bonus Bite: LanSchool - Creating Custom Classes

If you are an Intervention Specialist, Teacher's Aid, or just need to create a custom class for any reason, this training is for you!

Begin by clicking on the Class List icon in the top menu, then select Manage Class Lists.

Once the Manage Class lists window opens, click on Browse for Students.

The next window will take a little longer to open since it is loading all the students. Click the check mark boxes to select which students you want in your class, then click Add at the bottom.

Student names will be listed under both Login Name and Student Name, you can also search for specific students using the Filter option at the bottom.

Once you add students, you will return to the Manage Class Lists window. You can now save this class list for later use. Make sure you save it in a location you know where it is and preferably where it will be backed up.

That's it!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Google Snacks Volume 9 - Slides: not just for presentations

Most people only use Google Slides for creating slide show presentations, but there is so much more it can do! We will go over how to use layout options for designing, using backgrounds for mark up and templates, creating booklets, and creating custom templates.

The first thing we will cover is changing your page size to make it more print friendly. Start by clicking on File then Page Setup at the bottom of the menu.

Then change the size from the default of Widescreen 16:9 to Custom.

Now you can change your measurements to 8.5"x11" for standard letter size paper.

Next we will go over creating guidelines. Guidelines will help you align elements of your layouts (such as shapes, text boxes, images, etc.) by snapping them to the lines. Click and drag the rulers on the top or left side of the slide to create a guideline.

Using the techniques we just discussed, we now create a booklet for printing on letter size paper. Instead of making your page size 8.5"x11", flip the measurements so the page is horizontal. You can use guides for the margins for both halves of the paper to help keep things nice and neat.

Make sure to print double sided to have the booklet come out correctly. Students are currently unable to do this since they do not have access to a printer that can print double sided.

Backgrounds can have a couple additional uses beyond the obvious. Add a background to a slide to give you an image you can free write or mark up on. Click on Background, then Choose Image on the next window that opens.

You can also use a background as a template for printing, if you are printing on paper that has an image already on it. The example below is just one way you can use backgrounds as a print template.

Custom slide templates have several uses and are easy to set up, but provide a lot of creativity. Start by either finding a basic theme you like that you want to modify, or begin with a blank slate. Click on Slide in the menu bar, then click on Edit Master.

You can now change the layout and style of all the different kinds of slides in a theme. The Master slide at the top of the list is primarily used for changing the text for all slides in the theme.

You can modify every slide in the theme by adding background images or use solid colors as the background. Adding shapes to the master theme makes them part of the background when you use this theme, so you don't accidentally move them when you are creating a presentation. You can also add text box placeholders to make future slides easier to create.

Below is an example of what you can do with this, using the theme I use for Google Snacks.

A few additional examples of what you can do in Slides is shown below. In the first example the page size is set to letter, the image of the ticket is inserted and duplicated, then the text boxes are created and rotated to fit in the image. And yes, our very own Learning in the Loo is created in Google Slides!

Bonus tip! You can double click inside any shape you create and turn it into a text box!

So, how does this apply to the classroom? Create custom Slides templates for different types of lessons, events, or special scenarios such as newsletters. Slide templates can also be used for creating a template for students to use for specific presentations. Use layouts for posters, custom stationary, or tons of other design projects. Show students how to use these methods to create pamphlets, booklets, and other design layouts. The possibilities are endless! (I know, very cliche.)

I hope this helped you get to know a Google feature you didn't already know before. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Google Snacks Volume 8 - Filter and Sort in Gmail

Having trouble getting through your Inbox because it is full of unsorted emails or junk you just don't need? This training will cover how to create filters for your emails to auto sort your Inbox and how to use Labels in conjunction with the filters.

Begin by opening an email you want to sort, you might have several from the same person in your Inbox you might want to group together. Once you have the email open, click on the three dots at the top of the email, then select "Filter messages like these".

This will bring up a menu with options on how you want to filter. The menu will look like the image below, with the From address filled in by default from the email you selected.

You can choose as many or as few options as you want to create a filter rule. In this example, we are filtering all messages sent by me with no other options.

After you select how you want to filter, click the Create Filter button and it will open this menu.

Here you will choose what the email does when it hits your Inbox. Again, you can choose as many or as few as you want. The options circled are probably the most important ones. Applying the desired label sends it to the corresponding "folder". While the apply filter to X matching conversations will auto sort all emails this filter applies to that are already in your Inbox.

This brings us right into Labels. As stated before, Labels are basically folders to help sort and organize your emails. You can create labels in two locations. The first location is actually shown in the last image by clicking "Choose label" next to the "Apply the Label". Clicking on this will show an option to create a new label and it will show a list of labels you have already created (if you already created any).

The other location to create labels is at the bottom of the menu list on the left side of Gmail.

You might have to scroll down on the list or click the More button to show more options.

You can view all of your filters you have created and edit them by going to Settings (the gear icon in the top right corner of Gmail), then choosing the option "Filters and Blocked Addresses". This is helpful in case you have emails getting filtered you don't want, you can see how emails are being auto sorted and make changes to the filter rule to correct this issues.

Lastly, if you are still having issues with junk emails such as unsolicited emails from businesses or even emails you signed up for but no longer want, we have a solution. At the bottom of all those emails is an Unsubscribe button, trust me, it is there, it is required by law (CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 to be exact). It only takes one minute or less to unsubscribe and they will be gone forever!

I hope this helped you get to know a Google feature you didn't already know before. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.