Tech Tip Thursday #18

Week of January 22, 2015

Driving Google in Your Classroom

Features In Google Drive We Passed By!

With more schools becoming a Google Apps for Education, I want to share some new things that may have been overlooked. Let's first look at Google Drive. In June, Google Drive had a facelift! Check out some of the new features.
Meet the new Google Drive

How Do I Convert pdf files into a workable document that I can edit?

Converting a file to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides allows you to edit, collaborate on, and share the file online. When you convert a file, the original file will remain intact and accessible from Google Drive. A copy of the file in a Google format appears in My Drive in Google Drive on the web.

Please note that you can edit Microsoft® Office files by making sure that you have enabled editing for Office files in a Chrome browser, on a Chromebook, or in the Docs, Sheets, and Slides mobile apps. To share the file online and collaborate with others, save the file to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Convert a file to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides

After syncing or manually uploading a file to Google Drive on the web, here's how to convert it to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.


  1. Sign in to Drive at
  2. Right-click the file you want to convert.
  3. Select Open with..., and then choose an app. Depending on what type of file you're trying to open, Docs, Sheets, or Slides will be listed there. For a pdf file, choose Open with Google Docs.
  4. A new document will be created! When you open the document you will see the pdf files on the odd numbered pages and the editable texts will be on the even numbered pages. That easy!!

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Research Research Research - How to do citations in a Google Doc

The Research Tool adds a quick citation system on top of Google’s search prowess. To launch the Research tool, click Tools > Research. You can also use keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl-⌘-Shift-l on a Mac and Ctrl-Alt-Shift-I on a PC.

The tool is blank when first opened, but it will begin to auto-suggest research topics based on what you write.

The tool has seven search options: Everything (which conducts a Google search), Images, Scholar (which filters by academic resources), Quotes, Dictionary, Personal, and Tables.

To search, click inside the box, select your search option and start typing. When you hover over a selection, you’ll see three choices: preview, cite, and link. The cite feature can make inserting MLA, APA, or Chicago style reference citations a walk in the park. Select the style of citation and Docs will insert a superscript numeral and add the note to the bottom of the page. (You’ll get the most accurate preview if you do this in Print layout.)

This feature doesn’t replace a proper “Works Cited” section required of most papers, but it will give you the content in the right format and make the in-text citation process significantly smoother.

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One More Thing! Give me a GAFE, What Does That Spell? Google Apps for Education!

Need an easier way to manage assignments with your students? Google Classroom is the answer for those using GAFE! Here's a video of how Google Classroom works.
Classroom 101

Tonia McMillan, Technology Coordinator

I provide workshops on how to use technology in the classroom. Summer will be here soon! Call or email and I can do on-site PD catered to your needs. You can also register for workshops offered at