Wednesday, 11 December 2013

New Google Sheets

Google Sheets just got better. Some of the new features include…

  • millions of cells to work with
  • no more limits on rows, columns or the numbers of cells you can copy and paste
  • scrolling is faster
  • formulas calculate faster
  • Filter views that can be named and saved 
  • a better user experience (more helpful) when creating formulas
  • over 20 new formulas
  • offline mode
  • improved conditional formatting
  • A popular Excel feature has also finally come to Sheets, allowing text that overflows from one cell to automatically fill the adjacent cell

Check out

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Transferring Drive Files' Ownership Outside Your Google Domain

As the end of another school year (in Australia anyway) approaches, a problem facing many teachers and students is
How can I transfer ownership of files stores in my school GAFE account to my personal Google Apps account.
 We all know the key benefit to using Google Apps is the ability to collaborate and share our work. Its easy (provide your domain administrator has the setting enabled) to share docs with users outside your domain (including yourself) - but what happens if you are moving on.

When posed with this question today by a colleague, I went looking without success for a solution. Then a thought struck me which I decided to experiment with - and voila it works and I would like to share.

The process involves seven steps which I have summarised in this video.
The steps are:

  1. Move all the files you wish to share in to a single folder in your GAFE drive (this simplifies the sharing process)
  2. Share the folder with your personal Google Apps account
  3. Log in to your personal account
  4. Move the folder from "Share with Me" to "My Drive"
  5. Use the Google Drive App to connect to your personal account
  6. From the Google folder on your computer use your Operating System to make a copy. On a Mac right click and select Duplicate - In Windows, right click and then select Copy and Paste.
  7. Once this copy syncs, your files will be owned by your personal account (In other words you will have created a duplicate set of files)
Hopefully this post helps someone else with this problem.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

eMail Collaborators Directly From Your Document

A great feature when working in the Google Apps environment (Documents, Sheets, Forms, Slides and Drawings) is the ability to email your collaborators straight from within your document - no need to go and create a separate email or gather a list of your collaborators' email addresses. Here's how...

Firstly, from the File menu, select the item "Email collaborators".

NOTE: If you have not shared your document with anyone, you will be prompted at this stage to add collaborators.

This step also requires the document to be named (also required when sharing the document with others).

Once you select this option, you will be presented with a dialog screen that lists those with whom you have shared the file and a message window.
"Send message" Dialog

In this screen you can choose to email all document collaborators or select only some. Simply type in your message and hit send. You also have a checkbox available if you would like to receive a copy of the email for yourself.
Whilst comments and chat are a great way to collaborate within a document, the ability to email your team (or parts of the team) reminders or updates is a great feature.

Monday, 11 November 2013

QR Codes and my MacBook

QR Codes are a fun way of sharing/revealing information to students (and staff).

I have seen this used a lot with iPods and iPads in the classroom and today I was reflecting on the use within MacBook classroom.

A handy free app can be downloaded from here (QR Journal). This app uses the inbuilt camera to read QR Codes or you can copy and paste QR images like the ones below into the app.

To create QR codes I typically use

Have fun exploring the possibilities  :)

Teacher Dashboard and the Organised Student

I received the following question today about Teacher Dashboard and thought I would share the answer with everyone as it is a fairly common question...
...if students create folders to put inside their subject folder that TD created (so say a folder for each unit) is there the functionality for these sub folders to show up from our end?
Let me answer this by demonstrating with a real example. This student is studying Information and Software Technology (IST). They have obviously listened at some stage, to someone, who has suggested it is best to keep work organised. Firstly they are placing their work in their Teacher Dashboard created IST folder. The teacher sees the following:
All the student's work is visible in the IST folder as expected. The student, however, has in fact organised their work into folders within the IST folder. When the teacher opens the student's folder by click on the folder icon at the top of the student window, they see this:
The student has created four folders within their IST folder. The teacher can view the contents of the folder by simply selecting the individual folder. 

Just remember - in the top view you are limited to viewing the most recent 3, 5, 15 or 25 documents.

What Happened to my Folder Icon??? (Google Drive)

Until recently, if you wanted to find the location of your document, or place your document in a specific in Google Documents (including Sheets, Slides and Drawings), you would have used the folder icon which was located next to the Document name (see image below).
With the recent updates that have occurred to the Documents user interface this handy icon has disappeared and many have feared, that with it, so has the handy functionality of being able to manage the document location straight from within the document (I have been reading of people frustrated with having to do everything from with Drive).
Well the good news is that this feature has not disappeared - it has merely been relocated. It is now found under the file menu, and has all the functionality of the old icon.

It allows you to view the present location of your document, move it to a new location or add the file to an additional location.

Adding the file to a new (additional) location is something that many beginner/intermediate users can struggle with when moving from more traditional environments like Windows and even OS/X. (I will be doing a separate post about this fantastic feature in the future).

If you wish to add the file to a new location, simply hold the command key if you are on OS/X or the control key if you are using a Windows based machine as you click the additional location.

Hope this helps you!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Problem with Sites??? Solved I hope :)

The Problem :{

A number of colleagues have been reporting that objects (typically the contents of iframes) are no longer displaying on their Google Site when using Chrome (see image at right - Thank you Maree Rooke for sharing). The objects appear when using another browser such as Internet Explorer or Safari. This appears to have happened with latest release of Chrome (Version 30). Originally we thought that this may have been some kind of bug in either Google Sites or the Chrome Browser.

The Solution :)
Version 30 of Chrome will not display these objects due to the “potential”  that the page contains insecure content. This is shown in the address bar of the browser using a shield icon.

Some may argue that a more "in your face" warning about impending insecure content is more appropriate. I in fact like the subtle way this is done - now that I know what is happening :)

To enable the embeded content, simply click on the shield. A message will appear warning you that the page includes a script from unauthenticated sources. If you know that this script is okay (that is you have placed the iframe on your page) simply click the “Load unsafe script” button. This will enable your content throughout the site.

The site should now be displayed as intended. You will notice that the padlock in the address bar as a small warning triangle present.

Thank you fellow GCT +Adele Raemer for your clear YouTube video.

I hope this helps!!!