Converting Typed & Handwritten Notes into a Google Doc

You have those times where you have lots of notes that were typed or handwritten and handed off to you. You wished they were in an electronic format so you can personalize them or edit them for other use. Google now has a way to help you out with that. Obviously, the handwriting portion depends on the quality of handwriting, but it will handle the typed text very well. Just use your phone, iPad, or computer to grab a photo and follow the directions below.


Thanks to the good folks over at the Google Gooru for this great tutorial video.

Making Blog Posts Private

Are you wanting to hide the previous school year’s posts on your class blog?  Well, here you are the steps to make that happen.

Log into the Dashboard of your blog.


Click All Posts on the left side menu.

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Check the box next to Title right above your post listings. This selects all of the posts on that page (roughly 25 posts).

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Change the Bulk Actions box to Edit.

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Click Apply.

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On the right side of the box that popped up, you will see an option to change Status. Change that to Private.

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Click the Update button on the right.

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You will need to advance to the next page at the bottom of your post listing and repeat the process above if you have more than 25 posts to hide.

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FYI: You can make previous posts public again by click the box next to that post only, and then follow the steps above. Instead of checking Private, check Published.





Embed a YouTube Video Into Your Blog

Go to the video you want on YouTube.

Under the video you will see a Share button. Click that.

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A new little menu pops up that has Share, Embed, Email.

Click Embed.

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Under the Embed code, click Show More.

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Change the Video Size to Custom Size.

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In the first box next to that, type 480 (this is the width of the video that best fits a blog post).

The height box automatically fills in.

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Make sure “Show suggested videos when video finishes” is UNCHECKED.

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Scroll back up the page a little and copy the Embed Code that is there now. Highlight and copy that code.

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Inside your blog Dashboard, this will work whether you are creating a new Post or a new Page.


Create a New Post (or Page).

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Title it.

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Click on the Text tab on the right side of the post window.

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Paste the Embed code into the post window.

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Now you are ready to either Publish, Preview, or add more text to it.


Revision History in Google

RevisionDoing collaborative work in Google is simple and very efficient. Say you are working with colleagues building PBL units or common planning documents and someone remembers they deleted a big section two days ago that they really wish was still there. Or, you are just monitoring Documents/Slides/Sheets being built collaboratively between students and one student says they have been adding content but somehow it is magically disappearing. Besides, it is great to know who is doing what work. What do you do? You use Revision History to see the living history of that item. This great video below will walk you through how it works and advanced options.

Social Media for Professional Growth

Anyone who knows me knows that I find a lot of value in Twitter. It has been my go-to source for connecting me with inspiring educators around the globe. I have learned from and with technologists in Australia, education department officials in Israel, design thinking teachers in Scotland, teachers and administrators across the North America, mentored student PBL groups in Oklahoma, and even discussed the State of the Union live with students from Philadelphia. Twitter is simply a powerful tool for learning.

WOISD staff have used Twitter to connect their students with authors, politicians, experts in other fields, and even a Holocaust survivor. Their lives have been changed and their learning improved because of a social media tool.

This video gives a quick testimonial on how one school district uses Twitter to make a difference in their classrooms. If you want to get started on Twitter, shoot me a note. If you start this school year modeling for our students how to utilize social media as a learner, you are helping them develop a valuable, lifelong skill.

Keeping Students Informed

We all know the feeling. The students show up to class, you tell them to put away everything but a pencil because it’s test time, and they groan and announce they knew nothing about the test. Right.

Your students have Google accounts. Why not add those major events to your Google Calendar and “invite” the students. This gives you two more points of documentation of the event: it sends them an email telling them it’s been added, and it adds it to their school Google Calendar. Add to the fact it’s probably on your blog in lesson plans and has been announced repeatedly in class, and you’ve covered more ground than anyone would expect.

If you create Groups in your mail Contact list ahead of time (learn how HERE), this process is made even more simple than it already is. You’d just type the name of the Group and the entire list is populated automatically.

Let the Google Gooru walk you through how easy it is to keep your students informed of major events using Google Calendar.

Common Planning Time Assistance

There always seems to be the need to meet with your team, and you end up standing in the hall between classes trying to find who is available when. Well, let Google Calendar do the work for you with the Find Available Time option. If your team keeps their calendars up to date, this will save you loads of time. Let the Google Gooru walk you through the steps.

Creating Appointment Slots on Your Google Calendar

This is a great, short tutorial from the Google Gooru on creating appointment time slots on your Google Calendar. Keep in mind, you have to be in either Week or Day view so you can select the time slots you want in order for Appointments option to be available. Also, Those picking slots have to have Google accounts themselves since it will automatically collect their name for you.

This would be excellent for any number of classroom or school based functions:

  • reserving a time slot for writer’s conference with teacher
  • reserving device cart
  • reserving computer lab
  • reserving ThinkLab (our innovative learning space)
  • tutoring or extra help
  • PBL presentation sign-up
  • and more!