This isn’t so new, but it’s a very useful feature. If you have a large file that you want to send by email:
Save it to Google Drive
E-mail the copy that you’ve saved in Google Drive using Gmail.
It’s very easy to send one or more files from Google Drive, right from your email, which means you can send a combination of files from Google Drive and your desktop at the same time.
Google documents (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms) must be sent as a link, and other documents like pdfs, MS Office files (not converted) and image files can either be sent as links, or as attachments. A great feature of Google Drive attachment is that Gmail ensures that the recipients have access to any files that you are sharing with them using links, and prompts you if you need to change the file permissions.
As a teacher, you probably take lots of photos of your students in the classroom. You may even have students or assistants act as photographers. It’s useful to save all those photos in one place. This lets you access the photos from any device, makes it easy for you to share photos and albums with everyone including parents, and protects your images from loss if a device breaks or becomes inaccessible. If your device is running out of space, you may also want to save your photos and videos in Google Photos so that you can delete them from your device and free up space. This is especially important if your school uses devices that only have 16 GB of space.
If your school uses G Suite, Google Photos is a good option, as it is included as an app in your G Suite account. Google Photos works on whatever devices your school may be using. To use Google Photos, you need a Google account. Then install Google Photos on your Android or iOS device, or on your Mac or Windows machine, or access Google Photos on the web. Once you have the app installed, you can setup Backup and Sync for Google Photos on your device.
Note that if you set the quality of your photos to high in Google Photos, your uploads do not count towards your available storage limits. This means that you can save an unlimited number of high quality images (up to 16 mega-pixel) and videos (up to 1080p), which is high enough quality for people who mostly access multimedia in digital formats.
Google Classroom is Google’s learning management system, which was introduced in 2014. Throughout each school year, and over the summer, Google releases new features and updates to Classroom. If you have a suggestion of a feature for Google Classroom, click on Send Update inside Classroom to share you idea.
Google made a number of changes to Classroom over the summer holidays. There are two features that were on my wish list: the ability to display the class code full screen, and new page views where a student or teacher could see all the student’s work for a class, and the status of the work. Other updates include the ability to reorder classes on the home page, to grade quizzes question by question, assign decimal grades for assignments, use the Google bar to quickly switch to other G Suite products, and transfer ownership of a class to another teacher. Google Classroom now integrates with Quizizz, Edcite, and Kami. You can get more details about the updates in the blog post from Google.
If you’re new to Google Classroom, or want to improve your use of Google Classroom, check out the Training Center. This hub contains video tutorials, tips and tricks from teachers, guides that you can download, and access links for webinars. If you have other questions (or tips to share), you can also take part in the Help Forum. For more tips, follow the #FirstDayofClassroom hashtag on Twitter.
Read & Write is a family of tools to improve accessibility of digital resources to all students. As part of this suite, there is a free Chrome extension for teachers. Otherwise, the premium tools are free to use for 30 days. Read aloud and Translation continue to work in Google Docs after premium access expires.
The features of Read and Write include text to voice, dictionary support for digital text, word prediction during writing exercises, and study skills tools to support students in their research. The features work in web pages, as well as in documents saved in Google Drive. There is a handy toolmatcher that determines the appropriate tools in Read and Write for the particular student situation. If you check all the possible accommodations, you get the results below. You can download the results in a Microsoft Word format, which could be useful for documentation in an Individual Education Plan, or Student Support Program.
While I have just highlighted the accommodations for students, the Read and Write extension is also useful for teachers. One of the features that I find the most useful is voice comments/feedback to students. You can insert a voice comment right into a Google document, instead of text. Each recording has a 60 seconds limit. The sound recording saves to Google Drive, and presents to students as a link that they can click to listen. To use the extension after the 30 days trial period, make sure to register as a teacher.
There is no teacher dashboard to manage this tool with the Google Chrome extension. It is a tool that is meant to improve accessibility and provide support for creating and reading digital text.
Read & Write is great for supporting students learning a second language, and students with special rights in the classroom. It is also useful for teachers, due to its integration with Google Drive, for teachers to provide feedback to students.
Features of Read & Write in the Classroom
Not all the tools in this help page are available in the Chrome Extension. The link is useful for finding out more details about each of the tools labelled below.
Top image from toolbar in Google Doc; Bottom image from toolbar on webpage
text to speech
speech to text
dictionary and picture dictionary
Note that you must be connected to the internet to use this resource. It is available for the platforms generally used in schools:
Google is the most common search engine in the world. It’s likely that you used Google the last time that you wanted to look up something. How good are your search skills when using Google’s search engine?
9 Tips for Searching using Google Search
use the most accurate words possible in creating your query
ignore case and aim for correct spelling, but Google will suggest alternate spelling
put @ in front of a word to search social media
put # in front of a word to search hashtags
put – in front of a word you’d like to exclude from the search e.g. -metal
use quotation marks to find an exact match e.g. “prague spring”
use OR to search for one of two or more things e.g. prague OR paris
use site: to search within a site e.g. site:.cz to find Czech websites
search for a file type e.g. filetype:pptx to find PowerPoint files
Quick Search Features in Google Search
Things that you can do in the Google search box (or the Chrome Omnibox):
type define in front of a word to get its definition
type weather and the name of a city to know the weather in that city e.g. weather prague
perform calculations by typing a formula
perform unit conversions e.g. 200 eur in usd
Bonus Search Tips
Make it all the way to the end for the rapid fire sharing!