Trying to Go Google – Series 1

Guys, it’s all about Google. But for realsies. I really do like Google apps for docs, slides, sites etc. (And it’s not that I’m opposed to Word). I use a Chromebook for my personal computer and at work we have two mobile carts of Chromebooks for student use.

We are slightly dysfunctional in the way that we have Mac Books that run Microsoft for our computer labs and teacher laptops but then we started purchasing the Chromebooks. So when transferring formats it sometimes gets confusing. However, our school is trying to lean a little more Google savvy and I feel like I should too.

I’ve always been pretty savvy at using Docs as it was most frequently used by myself and students. This made teaching how to use it easier. We were finally given school Google e-mails and this allowed my students to log on and create documents in my account only.

We ran in to a few errors last year when trying to make this switch. I can be honest that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was for the transition. Originally we had just a school email account that was used by all teachers. I think the hope was that each teacher would have their own file and students should log in then find their teacher’s file or save to that specific file. Anyway, what happened was students started to figure out they could talk to each other if they were on the same document. Now, this was easily managed as I told my class if this behavior continued it would be inappropriate use of internet use and they would have to find another project to do. But….that doesn’t stop other students in the school logged on at the same time. *face-palm*. I didn’t see it coming.

Students from other classrooms were leaving obscene messages on my students documents they worked so hard on. Even a few jabs towards myself from one brave student. This was all reported to my administrators and we tried to find who was behind it but the Google Doc Desperado was never caught.

Alas! A new year is coming up though and I’m diving right in. Let me tell you about my current Google love.

Slides. Oh how I adore thee. Seriously, I just created all of my templates for my newsletter, check-lists, parent volunteer sheets, and an actual presentation for the first day of school. (Yes, it has ridiculous teacher memes that make me laugh more than my students.)  I was originally trying to create these on Docs but it became difficult as the Text Boxes are easier made and handled in Slides than having to go through a serious of clicks and areas to create a new one. It also was harder to navigate and move things around the way I wanted them to in Docs. I had a LOVELY little birdie give me the secret, that Slides was MUCH easier to use than Docs for these types of documents. So I’m sharing with the world….that all you need to do is open slides, click the page set-up under File, Click Custom and add the dimensions 8.5 x 11 for a regular copy page sizing. Flip the measurements for landscape format too! 

I realize that this is just the beginning and many of you are like “Duh, I know this!” and I’m sorry for my slow realization in to this crazy technology world! Ha! But, really people, this has made it so much easier to prep, share with my team and create things I need specifically for my classroom without feeling frustrated. I was always so nervous to ask for help or wonder that I could even do it without a graphic design degree. SMH.

But for real ladies and gentlemen, it’s awesome. I dare you to check it out and create something for yourself! So easy! Check out my creations below!

Bossy Boles

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