Tech Tip: Link to Another Slide in the same Google Slides file

Create a more interactive experience, OR have students create a “Make Your Own Adventure” game in Slides!  To links to other slides in the same document, select some text OR click on an image, then use Command / Control + K (or the  icon) to make a link. Select “Slides in this presentation”.

You can turn images into links also, which makes for a great “back” button:


Happy Linking!
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Tech Tip: Add a Timer to a Google Slide

Tired of trying to position your class timer so it doesn't block your Slides instructions?
Looking for an easy tool for Kagan Strategies?

Use this Google Slides / YouTube hack to insert a timer that will play in your slide while it is in “Present” mode.

Use Insert >> Video, then search for a YouTube video of the length you need the timer to be. 

You can then resize, move, and copy/paste this video onto any slide.  You can also choose "Video Options" and determine if you want the video to auto-play on the Slide. (If you don't select this, you can click the video to start the timer while in Present mode).

Click Present and you've got a built-in timer!

Happy Timekeeping!
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Tech Tip: Gmail Settings You Need in Your Life!

A few settings can go a long way! 

My top 3:
  • Undo Send - you get 30 seconds to “Unsend” an email. Lifesaver!
  • Conversation Mode - group all replies to an email into one message.
  • Signature - customize how you sign-off on all your emails.

To access these Settings and many, many more:

Undo Send:  
Conversation View:
Happy Setting your Settings!
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Tech Tip: Checkboxes in Google Sheets

Google Sheets lets you turn a cell into a checkbox that you can toggle on or off.  

Just highlight the cells you want to have checkboxes, then choose Insert → Checkbox from the menu at the top.
(For my fellow Sheets Geeks out there who use formulas or conditional formatting, the value in the cell will be set to True or False based on whether you checked the box or not! )

Happy Checking and Unchecking!
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Tech Tip: Conditional Formatting in Google Sheets

If you liked adding checkboxes to Sheets, you’ll love being able to color-code based on whether the box is checked or not!
Highlight a group of cells and choose Format >> Conditional Formatting, then choose from the options.

Conditional Formatting lets you change fonts, colors, and formatting based on what is in a cell.
(Heads-up: checked boxes have a value “True” while unchecked boxes are “False”.)

You can do this with more than just text boxes! You can color-code based on dates, numbers, and text as well! 


Happy Formatting (Conditionally)!

Tech Tip: Create Instant Docs with .New!

If you want to quickly create a new Google Doc, try typing “” in your browser. A blank document will be created, placed in your Google Drive, and opened for immediate use.

Try it with most Google Apps by replacing “doc” with the name of the app. For example:


Pro Tip:  Immediately give your new doc a name, then click the folder icon to organize it in your Drive:

Combine this with Command+T or Command+N, and you can be a total keyboard warrior and make new docs in seconds without touching your mouse!*
*(on PCs and Chromebooks, it’s Control + T and Control + N)

Teach students this tactic for times when they quickly need to take notes, brainstorm, or begin a new assignment from scratch. It works best if they are already signed in to Google. 

Coach them to name and organize docs immediately so they don’t have dozens of “Untitled Documents” in their Drive!


Happy Keyboard Doc Creating!
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Tech Tip: [App Name] dot Google dot Com

[App Name] dot Google dot Com

Replace [App Name] with the name of any Google App and watch where it takes you! For example:

While Google Drive is where you organize all of your files and folders, you may sometimes want to just see one type of file - for example, all of your Forms.  

Typing [appname] into the address bar will take you to a list of your most recent files in that type of app, sorted by the most recently opened.  

But wait - there’s more!  You’ll also get buttons to quickly create new files of that type - either from scratch or from pre-made templates.

This format also takes you to all your favorite Google apps:


Happy dot-googling! 

Tech Tip: Closed Captions in Google Slides

Google Slides recently added a powerful feature. When in Presentation Mode, you can now create real-time speech-to-text closed captioning that will appear automatically in your Slides!

While in Presentation Mode, click the “Captions” button:

Here's an example of what it looks like in action:

Reach out to me for ideas on how this can be used in your classroom!


Happy Closed Captioning, see you Next week!

Tech Tip: Set Start and End Times for YouTube Videos in Slides

You may already know how to embed a YouTube video into a Google Slide by using Insert → Video.

But what if I told you that you could choose the start and end points of the video, so viewers see only the portion of the video you want?!

After inserting your video into the Slide:
  1. Click the video.
  2. Click Format Options in the menu bar above.
  3. Set the Start, End, and Autoplay options on the right.
  4. Play in Presentation Mode to see it in action!

Keep in mind, if you share the Slides to someone, they can still open the video in YouTube and click around to watch the entire video if they want. But to display just a clip to your audience, this is a solid strategy!


Happy Video Clipping!

Tech Tip: Holiday Tech Tip Roundup

As we approach Winter Break and the end of the year,
Here are 5 tech tools to spread holiday cheer!

Test your knowledge of holiday celebrations across the globe with this interactive quiz in the Google Earth web app.
Give Santa a call and hear his (recorded) message. You can tell Santa your Christmas wish list, and you’ll get a text and call back from him!
On Christmas Eve your kids (and you!) can track Santa’s progress across the world.  This site includes many games and challenges, including Coding and a “Holidays Around the World” challenge!
Live-stream footage of Santa’s Reindeer, with live feeding at 10am & 6pm (Central Time). Add your name to the “Nice List” and watch it scroll by for the world to see

Help the Grinch steal Christmas by coding his drone and his sleigh! A fun interactive way to learn computational thinking!

Tech Tip: Reuse Old Google Forms Quizzes

Many teachers reuse their digital assessments from year to year.  It is tempting to treat a Form like any other Google Doc and “make a copy” every time.  However, this isn’t necessary, and can get confusing or worse - can lead to student responses lost in the Google void!

To Clear Old Responses and Reuse a Form:
  • Open the Form in Edit mode.
  • Click the “Responses” tab.
  • Click the three dots (the Google snowman!)
  • Click “Delete all responses”

The responses will be deleted, and your beautiful Form will be unchanged and ready for fresh responses!

Wait! I want to save my students’ answers first!

If you want to keep a record of student responses, you can choose “Download Responses” as a .csv file, which is readable by Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or a text editing program.

There are other methods, such as “Unlink Form” and relinking it to new spreadsheets, but that has the potential to lead back to confusion.  Download, delete, and start fresh!

A Cleared Form is a Happy Form!!!

Tech Tip: Side-by-Side Tabs

Viewing two windows side-by-side makes for easier data entry, reference, copy/pasting, and more. Many of us use one window with many (many, many) tabs open, making side-by-side windows cumbersome to make happen.

Until now!

I'd like to introduce you to a handy Chrome Extension called Tab Scissors 
With one click, it allows you to split your tabs into 2 windows and place them side by side, taking up 50% of your screen each.  Here's how it works:
  1. Open Chrome and Install the Chrome Extension Tab Scissors 
  2. Select the tab that you want to split out, and click the icon that is now installed in your toolbar (top-right of the browser) 
  3. It will split that tab (and all tabs to the right) into a new window.  The tabs to the left will stay in their own window too.
Check it out:

But wait, there's more!  Put your tabs back the way you had the using the Tab Glue Chrome Extension

Happy Tab Cutting & Pasting!
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Tech Tip: Locate a Google Drive Folder

You know how to click through Google Drive  folders to get to a file.  But have you ever used a file to find the folder it is in?

After searching and finding the file you want in Drive, you may decide you need the entire folder where it lives.

From your search results, right-click (or Control+Click) the file and select "Locate":

That will open the Drive folder where the file is located.

Alternatively, if you've already opened the file, just click the folder icon next to the file name, and then the arrow icon:

Happy Folder Finding!
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Tech Tip: Response Validation in Google Forms

You can make Google Form questions required... but can you control what kinds of responses are submitted?

Bitmoji ImageYou Can!  

Using Response Validation on a paragraph or short answer question, you can force the user to submit answers of a certain type, length, or format.  You can customize the error message they will see, and they won't be able to move on until they have answered the question according to your rules.


Click the 3 dots at the bottom right of the question and select "Response Validation."

How Can I Use This?

Example 1: Force someone to submit an email address in proper format:

Example 2: Require a minimum (or limit a maximum) length of response:

Example 3: Create a challenge question that won't let students proceed until they have the correct answer:

(For this example, I could have also used number validation:

But that would exclude answers such as "15 degrees" or "15°")

There are many more uses - reach out to your Tech Coach for ideas and support!

Happy Response Validating!
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