Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

Make your classroom more E-fficient!

Google's Hidden Gems


We're all aware of the powerful tools that exist in the G Suite for Education. There are countless uses available for any grade level, skill level, or even curriculum. Along with those, each app in the G Suite has its own characteristic. However, within all of those apps, there are some really awesome "hidden gems," as I like to call them, that make the user experience that much more efficient and beneficial to both students and teachers. Although there are several others, below are a few of my favorites within the G Suite for Education domain.

Font Selection in G Suite

On many of the G Suite for Education apps, there are a given number of fonts listed. However, there's a neat little option at the very bottom of the font list entitled "More Fonts." That little gem brings up a new window with an astonishing number of fonts. So many that Google has categorized them in ways such as "Popularity," "Alphabetical," and even "Trending" fonts.

The Paint Tool

If you're into creating and designing, then you must know about the Paint Format tool in the G Suite apps. This is used as a way to keep the same formatting without having to use several extra clicks. For example, you may want a heading in your project that is bold, 24 point font, lime green, and underlined. However, instead of clicking four times for each heading, let the Paint Formatting tool help you out. Simply aplpy the formatting changes that you wish, then highlight that text. Click the Paint Tool. Then, highlight the other text that you wish to have the same formatting. Done! It's that easy!

Incognito Mode

Last year, I wrote an entire Ed Tech Tips on Incognito Mode and its many benefits. This mode can be useful to log in to another account on a device where someone is already logged in. To access this mode, simply navigate to the upper right hand corner and select the three vertical dots (or the three horizontal lines) and select "New Incognito Window." This will allow you to then log in while not disturbing the other teacher's account, Additionally, I enjoy using this when I would like to verify a link or check a student's view of something.

Version History

Another hidden gem is known as Version History. This is a subset of the Revision History that is in Docs. To access this, click the "All Changes Saved in Drive" link at the top of the Doc, and a new sidebar will appear. Instead of there just being a list of revisions, students can now "name" those revisions as Versions. What this allows them to do is name a document as a "rough draft," and then continue making changes. They may save more Versions along the way, but ultimately, they will work towards a final draft. Imagine the reward from a student seeing the progression of their writing skill from the rough draft to the final draft, simply by naming a few versions.

Share Resources with Select Students in Classroom

Another relatively new update from Google that's an absolute gem is the ability to share something with only a few select number of students in Classroom. This is done when you go to Create an Assignment or Announcement. When you select one of those options, there are two dropdown menus at the top: one for assigning to multiple classes, and one to assign to multiple students. If a student missed a day of notes, or you'd like to share with them an additional resource or an extension activity, this can be done quite easily using this feature.

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