Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning
The Magic of G Suite Templates
You probably already know about the hack to force a copy of a Google Doc, Slide, etc. by changing the URL to say “copy” instead of “edit.” But being forced to make a copy of something you haven’t actually seen can be frustrating! So enter a new hack (thanks to a recent blog post by Kasey Bell) that allows users to see a document and then be given an obvious way to make their own copy through a Template button.
In this example, I simply shared the document with anyone who had the link first, and then make one small change to the URL.
This was the original:
I deleted the end of the string back to the slash and replaced edit…. with /template/preview.
Just like magic, anyone with the revised URL is able to preview first and then just click on the Template button to open their own editable copy. This can be a great way to share hyperdocs, assignments, and more.
Remoting to Your Computer
One of the best and often times most frustrating issues with presenting to students and to adults is being able to circulate in the classroom while presenting your content on the big screen. When talking with others about this, there is sometimes confusion with the terminology involved and with the possibilities that work with our existing network. Let’s clear the air and dig right in!
First, let’s talk about the difference in terminology. The language we most often hear is REMOTE TO, CAST TO, or MIRROR.
REMOTE TO (aka REMOTE CONTROL) involves using a second device to control another device. A good example of this is a teacher circulating in the classroom while holding a device to control the presentation computer. Many of us use a wireless presenter remote such as the Logitech R400, but it is mainly limited to advancing slides or to highlighting a slide deck. Remoting with an iPad or Chromebook will give you more options for controlling a computer and presenting content.
Techs in our district often use remote access software to share control of a teacher’s computer that is located in another school or building in our district. This allows techs real time access to computers during teacher planning times or other convenient times where the tech and teacher can communicate via phone and view the same screen. Windows Remote Desktop Connection is another app that our Techs use to access servers or other machines that are currently on but not logged onto by a user.
CAST TO (aka SHARE SCREENS) involves using an app or Google extension to share your screen to another device. Students in our district love to share their screens with the teacher computer and show their projects or ideas on the big screen in the classroom! Students and teachers can use Google Cast for Education to make this happen. No worries though...students only share what is on their screen and do not control the teacher computer. The teacher must approve requests to cast and is in control of the teacher computer at all times. Learn more about Google Cast for Education here.
MIRROR (aka SCREEN MIRRORING) involves creating a connection between two devices so that each device displays the same content. Mirroring could use a physical connection such as using a VGA or HDMI cable to connect laptops and Chromebooks to a projector or to an Interactive Flat Panel screen (IFP). Google’s Chromecast is a small dongle that enables TVs at home to wirelessly connect and to display content from phones, laptops, or Chromebooks. Unfortunately, Chromecast is not practical at this time in our schools. On the Apple side of things, Apple TV (hardware) and AirServer (software) both can mirror iPads to your computer screen. On our network, the iPads must be registered with a staff account to allow mirroring to teacher computers. Mirroring360 is an app and service which allows devices to mirror each other. You can try it for free at their website.
So, you want to control your computer from different areas in your classroom? Try Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop app. The app is free and works when using the Chrome browser or a Chromebook. Learn more about it in Dave Carty’s blog.
Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants
Bring Science, Exploration, Adventure and Conservation into your classroom virtually! Classrooms can interact with guest speakers and within virtual field trips from around the world for free through Google Hangouts. Classrooms can participate by viewing the hangout or grabbing one of the camera spots to appear on screen and interact with the speaker. Teachers create an account to access monthly listings and the number of camera spots available.
You can check out past events on their YouTube channel.
At Your Fingertips
Make the most out of your winter relaxation time or travel to visit family and friends without carrying heavy books by using your library card and the online services offered by the Lexington Public Library. Your library card will give you online access to Online learning and an eLibrary that includes:
Audiobooks (computer or mobile device)
Comics & Graphic Novels (computer)
eBooks (computer or mobile device)
Magazines (computer or mobile device)
*Warning: The Lexington Public Library has so much to offer you could find yourself browsing their website for quite some time!
We Need Your Help!
Here’s the session titles and their direct links. Voting ends Jan. 26, 2018.
Amy Johns, Sam Conder, & Bob Moore
Dave Carty & Jerry Broyles (Hence the picture)
Thanks for your support!!
Upcoming Technology Professional Development
Click HERE to register for any of the pd sessions listed below.