Monday, November 7, 2016

Flubaroo - Add-n for Sheets

Many of you have heard of Flubaroo.  For those who have not, it's a great little add-on for Google Sheets designed to score test/quizzes created in Google Forms.  Flubaroo was created before Google Forms allowed you to create a quiz out of a form.  This begs the question, "Why would I use Flubaroo rather than a Forms quiz?"  The truth is, the quiz creation feature in Forms will do just about everything Flubaroo does, so it more a matter of preference than anything else; however, Flubaroo has some neat features you might want to take advantage of.  For example, Flubaroo uses the responses in Sheets captured from the form submission.  It will grade the submissions and provide some quick and convenient graphic displays.  For example, students who score less than 70% on a quiz/test will show up in read in your spreadsheet.  Question in which less than 60% of students answered correctly will show up in orange.  This makes it easy to get a quick assessment of students' performance.

Blow are two videos.  The first was produced by Flubaroo and provides an overview of what Flubaroo can do.  The second is a video I created to show you how to use Flubaroo.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Working with Google Forms

If you know how to create a Google Form, now it's time to learn how to format the form.  This includes how to pick the appropriate settings, change the themes, and more.  This video will show you what to do with a form after creating it.  After watching this video, you will know everything you need to know in order to create and work with Google Forms.  Be sure to watch for future videos on Form add-ons!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to Create a Google Form

Google Forms are one of the most powerful apps Google has to offer.  This video will show you how to create a Google Form and work with its settings.  If you've never created a Google Form before, this video is a great starting point.  Watch for future videos that will show you how to work with Forms and how to use Form add-ons.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Google Drive Refresher

Google did something that I think is a bit confusing.  Every Google account has a Google Drive.  As you know, you can upload and/or download files to and from your Google Drive and your local computer and/or mobile device.  Did you know; however, that you can also download a program called Google Drive?  This program is downloaded to your local computer and creates a folder on your computer called Google Drive.  This folder synchronizes with your cloud-based Google Drive.  That is, if you place documents in the Google Drive folder on your computer, you don't have to upload them to your Google Drive account because they will synchronize with your Drive account.  Why they didn't give this a different name is beyond me.  I would have called it something like "Drive Sync."  Then again, I'm not working for Google and they haven't called me lately (ever) for my opinion.

In this training video, I'm doing a quick refresher on how to log into your online (cloud-based) Google account, navigate to your Drive, and upload files to your Drive account.  In a later video, I'll show you how to install Google Drive to you local computer so you can synchronize with your online Google Drive.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Working with Google Docs

Now that you know how to create a Google Doc, let's learn more about working with Google Docs.  This video will show you around the Google Docs app and show you how to work with Google Docs.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Creating a Google Doc

Most of us are familiar with Microsoft Word and probably have been using it for ages.  Along comes Google Docs and you ask yourself, "Why would I use Google Docs and not just keep using Word?"  Fair question.  In fact, using Word on your local computer provides you more powerful features than Google Docs . . . or does it?  Since Word runs on your local computer, it has more advanced features than does Google Docs; however, we're really not comparing apples-apples here.  Word uses your computer's operating system to run.  Docs uses your browser.  This means that any device that can connect to the Internet and has a browser can run Docs.  That can't be said about Word.  You can't run Word on your iPad, for example.  Okay, you can if you're using Office 365, but then the functionality of Word 365 is the same as Word running on your computer, and you've negated the advantage.

If I've lost you by this point, it probably means you really don't care about all of the above information.  You just want to know why you should use Docs.  Well, simply put, it allows you to create and documents and collaborate with others in real-time.  Imagine creating a document (or assignment) and sharing it with your students.  Your students then use that document to complete their work and share it back with you.  All of this is done online, on any device, anywhere an Internet connection is available.

Rather than going on about all of the advantages of Google Docs, I'll let you watch the video below to learn how to create a Google Doc and follow with a video on how to work with Google Docs.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Using Google Drive

Now that you know what Google Drive is and how it works, let's dive deeper and start looking at some of the ways to use Google Drive to its full capacity.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Google Drive Overview

If you're new to Google Drive, this video will provide you with an overview of your Google Drive.

Friday, September 30, 2016

What is Google Drive?

Many of us have heard the term, "Google Drive," but many of us don't know what it actually means.  Often I've said to someone, "You know, if you upload your files to your Google Drive, they will be backed up and accessible from anywhere."  This is often followed by a blank stare from the person I'm speaking to.

Put simply, Google Drive is a file storage area located in on a server "in the cloud."  Don't let the term "the cloud," scare you.  You've been using "the cloud" forever.  Don't believe me?  Where do you keep the majority of your money?  Is it under your mattress?  Of course not.  It's probably in a bank, or in my case, a couple of universities have been kind enough to keep all of my money in exchange for degrees for my daughters.  So you keep your money in the bank, right?  Is it stacked neatly in the vault on the bank branch nearest to you?  Of course not.  That's why you can go to any of your bank's branches or ATMs and get cash.  Your money is in the cloud my friend.  And if you'll trust your money in the cloud, you can trust your files to be there too.

Like your money, if your files are stored in the cloud, they are accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection, and when using Google Education apps, you can access them on any device.

This video will help explain what Google Drive is.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Exporting & Importing Contacts

Most of us in Darke County are migrating from First Class (DarkeNet) to Google.  This leaves many wondering, how can I move my contacts from First Class to Google?  This is done via export and import of your contacts.  The following video will walk you through the steps.  If you're using another email client, such as Outlook, the export process may be slightly different, but the file format and import function are the same.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Contacts - Overview

Google does an excellent job of remembering those you have emailed and those who have emailed you.  Sometimes; however, you want more information than just an email.  Using Google Contacts, you can store all manner of information for your contacts and create Google contact groups.  Keep in mind that a contact group is different than a Google Group.  How?  Well, let's save that for the video on Google Groups.  To keep from confusing things, just remember that when you create a group within your contacts, it's just for email purposes.  You can watch the video below to learn more.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Adding Resources to Your Calendar

Most of us have experienced the "double-booked" conference room issue before.  That is, you plan to use the conference room and invite others to join you, only to find out that someone else booked it.  Maybe you tried to reserve a cart of Chromebooks for your classroom, only to find out the day of your lesson that someone else already booked it.  This happens because it's difficult to keep track of some resources over a large geographic area -- like a school building.  Google resource calendars can help with that.  Resource calendars are built especially for this purpose.  Your Google administrator can create a resource calendar (or many) and make it available for others.  Calendars can be set up so others can only view them, or they can be set up so others can edit them.  It's a great way to keep organized, but chances are, your tech coordinator doesn't know all of the calendars staff members might need, so be sure to tell him/her if you need a calendar created.  Additionally, how will you find the various resource calendars available for you?  Watch this video and you'll see!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mobile Scheduling | Calendar | The Apps Show

Ready for a professionally produced video?  This one, produced by the Google for Work group discusses just what the title suggests -- using your Google Calendar on your mobile device.  It discusses some features that you may find interesting, but may not have a great deal of application in a school setting.  It's worth watching though.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Exporting Contacts

If you have a bunch of contacts saved in First Class, you will likely want to export them out of First Class and import them into Google.  This is a fairly easy process, and this video will walk you through the steps.

Forwarding Emails to Google

If you are like most humans, you're probably not thrilled with change.  Moving from First Class to Google certainly represents change, but it doesn't have to be a laborious process.  The best way to get started is to, well, get started.  By forwarding your emails from First Class to Google, you can start using Google and getting used to it.  This video will show you how to create an email rule that will automatically forward all of your emails from First Class to Google.  There are two things to keep in mind; however.  First, only emails are forwarded.  Items submitted to conference folders are not automatically forwarded.  Secondly, when you receive an email in your Google inbox that has been forwarded from your First Class email account, your are actually receiving a message from yourself.  Your First Class account is forwarding a message to your Google account.  Thus, if you click to "reply," you'll actually be replying to yourself.  This means when you want to reply to someone, you have to actually enter their email address in the "To" area.

I recommend that you start letting people know what your Google address is now.  This way, they will be in the habit of emailing you at your Google account, which will make the transition much easier.

Calendar Settings

All Google apps come with default settings, but Calendars are probably the one you will want to adjust settings on more than any other.  Within the calendar settings area, you will be able to make you calendar/s work the way you want them to.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Google Calendar Overview

New to Google Calendars?  As with any calendar system, you can manage your time by creating specific calendar events, but Google Calendars is so much more than that.  You can share your calendar with others, create multiple calendars for a variety of needs, share your calendar with others, and much more.  Want to create a public calendar for parents?  No problem.  Want to create a private calendar for just your third-grade team?  No problem.  What to create a calendar for each of your class periods?  No problem.  There are any number of ways you can use Google Calendars.  This video is an introduction to Google Calendars.  Follow my blog to see more training videos on Google Calendars over the next several days.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Using the Power of Google Searches Within Gmail

Let's face it, Google's roots are as a search engine.  That same searching power can be used within your own Gmail inbox.  Learn how to use all of the search features to find exactly what you're looking for.  No more scouring through thousands of emails to find  the ones you're looking for. Let Google's search feature do the work for you.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Working With Filters in Gmail

Filters are a great way of making your life much easier!  Using filters in Gmail to manage and automate what happens to your emails is a great way to stay organized, effectively communicate with others, and establish parameters around specific email functions.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Gmail Settings

Google uses several default settings to establish how you will experience Gmail; however, there are a number of options you have that you can set within Gmail settings.  This video will cover those setting options and provide you with some specific setting that will work especial well for those in an education environment.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Phone Apps vs. Google Apps

I often have people approach me with their cell phones expressing a sense of frustration over their calendars, emails, and contacts.  They'll say, "I added someone in my contacts, but when I log into Google, I don't see the contacts there."  What gives?

Let's start by talking about cell phones.  The Android operating system is a Google-owned product, so any time you can use a Google apps to accomplish tasks, it's recommended.  iPhones run iOS operating systems, but Google is so ubiquitous, most Google apps are available for iPhones too.  So why am I telling you this?  Because the confusion comes from understanding what email, contact, and/or calendar app you're actually using.  When you purchase a phone, the phone manufacturer has a default email, contact and calendaring system built in.  Often it will work with your Google apps, but you're not using the actual Google app, and this can create problems.  For example, I have 800+ contacts in my Google account.  Unfortunately, when I added contacts in my phone, I was using the default contact app, which was the manufacturer's app.  Thus, I was adding contacts to my HTC contact app, not to Google.  The HTC app showed my contacts from Google also, but guess what happen when my phone died and I had to get another one?  All of my Google contacts came back because they are stored in the cloud on my Google account, but he contacts I'd been adding using the HTC app did not because they were being stored on the phone itself.  The same thing happens with calendaring and emails.  If you're using the phone's native (manufacturer's) apps, they will show what's stored on your phone and in Google, but the information is not actually being synchronized.

Is your head spinning from the tech talk yet?  The solution to this is to download the actual Google apps.  That is, download and use the Gmail app, and the Google Calendar app rather than using your phone's built-in email and calendaring app.  Google doesn't have a contact app, so you will want to add contacts in your "Contacts" area within your online Google account.  This is also a nice way of making sure you won't lose your contacts should you buy a new phone, move providers, etc.

So, if you have an Android phone, go to your Google Play Store to download the Gmail and Google Calendar apps.  If you have an iPhone, go to the Apple Store to do the same.

Working With Labels in Gmail

Labels area great way of managing your inbox.  This instructional video explains what labels are, how they can be used, and how to create labels.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Working with Gmail

In the previous video, I provided an overview of the Gmail application.  In this video, we'll look at how to actually work with emails.  For those of us who use email on a daily basis, this may seem fairly basic, but you may find a trick or two you didn't know about if you watch this video.

Introduction to Gmail

If you are new to Google Apps for Education (GAFE), then you will want to start by learning how to use Gmail.  Gmail is the Google email system; hence, "G-mail," and will likely be your primary primary source for communication.  Even if you're already using Gmail, be sure to check out some of my other training videos on Gmail because they provide some in-depth ways of using Gmail as well as some specific ways to use them in an education environment.  This video is the first in the series and serves as an overview of the Gmail application.

Google Video Training Series

If your district is moving or has moved to Google Apps for Education (GAFE), then congratulations because GAFE can fundamentally change how you operate and/or teach.  It's also a fantastic platform for integrating technology into the curriculum.  As enthusiastic as I am about it, I also realize that there is a reality to GAFE.  Namely, you must be trained how to use GAFE or you will end up very frustrated.  For this reason, I'm making a series of training videos that I hope will serve as a fairly complete guide to the GAFE suite of products.

These videos are created on a very low budget, and by "low," I mean no budget.  It's just me in my office recording with an inexpensive microphone.  This means that, while informative, you may also hear the occasional noise in the background, phone ringing, knock on the door, etc.  Likewise, I don't edit out my own silly remarks or comments.  In fact, I try to be as informal as possible, which I hope makes the videos a bit more informative.

So, be sure to follow my blog and check out the videos as I post them.  You can also visit my web page to see the complete list of videos I've created thus far.  If you have a request for a particular video, please don't hesitate to ask.  Just email me with what you're looking for, and I'll see what I can do.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Welcome to my K-12 Technology blog.  I'm Mike Corcoran, the Technology Coordinator for the Darke County and Preble County Education Service Centers.  This blog site is designed to share technology-related information that will have a positive impact on K-12 education.  I hope you find valuable information here.  I invite you to share your thoughts and comments and become part of the conversation.