Emoji on Mac

Everyone loves emoji.  If you have a Mac computer, here’s how to access emoji (and other symbols) quickly.

  1. Click in a text box (it appears that this doesn’t work for Google Docs)
  2. At the same time, click control + command⌘ + space
  3. Double-click on the emoji (or symbol) that you’d like to add

Emoji on Mac Animation

4 Ways to Upload to Google Drive

There are 4 main ways to upload files to Google Drive. If you include syncing your computer to Drive, downloading Drive or the other ways to access the “New” menu (right-click, clicking on “My Drive” at the top) there are even more. But the 4 main ones are below, first as a list and then shown in a GIF:

  1. Click New > File Upload
  2. Click New > Folder Upload
  3. Click New > File Upload and use shift+click or ctrl+click to select multiple files
  4. Drag & Drop into the Google Drive window

Upload to Drive Animation

Embedding Google Forms in Schoology

Schoology offers a quality platform for classroom assessments, but no platform for collecting information that isn’t intended to be an assessment.  In that situation, Google Forms is a great option.  However, using a link and forcing students to go “out” of Schoology can be inconvenient and lead to some internet-wandering.  So, let’s embed the Google From right into Schoology!  Forms can be embedded in pages as well as assignments.

This is beneficial in a number of other situations:

  • Schoology assessments can’t differentiate based on answers (i.e., seeing remedial content after getting a question wrong), but Forms can.
  • If the data coming from the questions is actually going to someone else (i.e., your school guidance counselor), you’d be able to share the Google Forms results easily with them.
  • If you’re looking to trigger some action (i.e., mail merge) with the responses, the Add-Ons offered in Google Sheets would work.
  • If you’re looking to use the functionality offered by Google Forms Add-Ons like FormRanger and FormLimiter.
  • If you need to use formulas or create data representations, Google Sheets are ideal.

Option 1: Add as an External Tool

This option requires the least steps, but has one major drawback – you can’t include any other text or images on the Schoology “page” – just the content from the form.  (If you need to include other stuff, check out Option 2, below).

Check out the GIF below, followed by step-by-step instructions, to see how to do this:

Embed Form as External Tool in Schoology Animation

Option 2: Embed the Form into a Page, Assignment or Discussion

This option is preferable if you’d like to add some text or other content on the same “screen” as the form.

Check out the GIF below, followed by step-by-step instructions, to see how to do this:

Embed Form in Schoology Animation

  1. Create your Google Form.
  2. Click the Send (paper airplane) button.
  3. Select the <> Embed option.
  4. Modify the dimensions, if you’d like.  You can do that in Schoology later as well.
  5. Click on the embed code.
  6. Click Copy.
  7. Go to your class Materials page in Schoology.
  8. Click Add Materials.
  9. Click Add Page (or whatever option you’re choosing).
  10. Click the button on the right, above the text box, with the two dots.  It’s the Switch to HTML View button.  (If you’re in an Assignment, you may have to click a > button to get to the expanded view)
  11. Paste the embed code.
  12. Click Create and you’re done!
  13. If you switch back to the Standard View, you can also enter other content (text, pictures, etc.) above or below the Google Form.

Speeding Up YouTube Videos

Ben Franklin coined the phrase “Time is money.”  Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim invented YouTube.   It’s a match made in heaven.  Well, kinda.

There is so much content available for educators and their students to learn from on YouTube.  Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t have enough time to watch those videos.

Know of a 20 minute tutorial that you’d like to watch, but only have 15 minutes available?  I’ve got the solution for you!

Click the gear in the bottom-right corner of a YouTube video to access the speed settings.  I recommend 1.5x for most videos, 1.25x if it’s highly technical.  When I’m watching my own videos to “proof” them or look for a certain spot in the video, I go with 2x.

But the best advice I can give you – check out this video in 2x and 0.5x speed.  You’re welcome.

YouTube Speed Animation

AutoText in Google Docs

Improving your efficiency is a great feeling.  Typing the same thing over and over again?  Not such a good feeling.  To add some efficiency, avoid repeatedly typing the same thing and save a few seconds, I’d like to show you how to add some AutoText or AutoComplete automation in Google Docs.

I love using the Chrome Extension “Auto Text Expander,” but it doesn’t work in Google Docs.  So, here’s the solution.  First – a GIF and second – the step-by-step.

Autocomplete in Google Docs Animation

  1. Open a Google Doc.
  2. Go to Tools > Preferences.
  3. In the table, put the shortcut you’d like to type under “Replace.”
  4. Put the corresponding expanded text under “With.”
  5. Click OK.  It will now work in all of your Google Docs on this account.

Tips:

  • Choose shortcuts that you’ll never type.  You wouldn’t want to use cheese as a shortcut for cheeseburger, because sometimes you just need to type cheese!  Starting shortcuts with a rarely used symbol like a ~ or ^ is a good way to do this.
  • Capital letters won’t work.  I’m not sure why, but if your expanded text is long enough, the hassle of going back to capitalize a few letters is worth it.
  • Note that the options need to be check-marked in the preferences window to work.  This can be convenient if you have shortcuts that you only use sometimes – turn them on when you need them and off when you don’t.

CopyDown Add-On

Years ago, as a STEM teacher, I had my students build basswood bridges.  We’d then test them by hanging weights from them.  I’d submit the results to a Google Form, which would kick it to a Google Spreadsheet, where a formula was all set up to calculate the “Engineering Efficiency” (a measure that leveled the playing field between heavy, strong bridges and light, strong bridges).  Unfortunately, formulas don’t automatically apply to the new rows created by new Form Submissions. I had to have a student manually drag the formula down each time a new result was submitted.

Enter the CopyDown Add-On

I later discovered this wonderful little add-on.  It automatically pulls that formula down to a each new form submission.  No manual dragging necessary.  This is super, super useful when your Form & Sheet are part of a bigger system that triggers other actions in other add-ons (i.e., autoCrat, formMule) that require those formulas.

Here’s a GIF of how it works, followed by a step-by-step guide to using it:

CopyDown Add-On Animation

  1. Set up your Google Form.
  2. Open up the connected Spreadsheet.
  3. Start with an initial form submission.  You’ll need this in the next step.
  4. Create your formulas in Row 2 (the row with your first submission).
  5. Click Add-Ons and follow the steps to add CopyDown.
  6. Click Add-Ons > CopyDown > CopyDown Settings.
  7. Flip the switch to “On.”
  8. Generally, I select to paste the results “as values” (otherwise it puts the formula itself into each cell which, if it’s a lengthy spreadsheet, will ultimately slow it down).
  9. Save Settings.
  10. Start gathering form submissions!

How Many Hot Dog Topping Combinations?

It was 6:12 PM EST.  We were eating dinner on our deck.  My sister messaged me.  She had a very important question.  Her and her colleagues were in a heated debate.  Just how many topping combinations were there at Cleveland’s fun hot dog restaurants Happy Dog?  I know, right?  This is a big deal.  Could I swoop in and save the day?  Yes.  Er, well, with the help of my trusty sidekick Google Sheets I could.  (Excel would have worked, but what if I need to access the calculations on the go?  or share them?  Yup, I made the right choice.  gSuite’s trusted cloud-based spreadsheet is the way to go here.)

So, I got the details.  There are 50 toppings possible.  No limits (you can do all 50, as my oldest son might choose) or minimums (0 toppings, as my youngest son prefers them, counts too).  Variations on the dog (veggie?  black bean!?) or bun (bleck, wheat?) were to be ignored.

I set right to it.  I picked a trusty Google Sheets formula – Combin – and got to work.  That formula deals with a common mathematics formula that finds the number of combinations of something.  You need only know two things – how many possible things and how many are to be chosen (i.e., 50 toppings choose 1, 50 toppings choose 2, etc.).  Now, don’t get this mixed up with permutations where order matters, because no one cares if you go peanut butter, sriracha, alien relish or alien relish, peanut butter, sriracha or … well … you get it.

COMBIN(nk) where n is the size of the pool of objects to choose from and k is the number of objects to choose.

The rest is history.  Check it out in the GIF below.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you the answer: 1,125,899,906,842,620 – one quadrillion, one hundred twenty-five trillion, eight hundred ninety-nine billion, nine hundred six million, eight hundred forty-two thousand, six hundred twenty combinations.

Side note to math teachers: I love how the numbers are symmetrical (i.e., there are 1,225 different 2-topping dogs and 1,225 different 48-topping dogs).  Could be a great discussion with math students.

Now, here’s how I did it:

Happy Dog Combinations Animations

Deleting Larger Files from your Mac

Is your Mac running out of space?  Do you need a quick solution?

When you don’t have time to go through all of your folders and files to cleanup, a good, quick solution is deleting your larger files.  The process for doing this in the GIF below, or in the steps below the GIF.

Mac Delete Larger files Animation

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Go to Finder>Preferences.
  3. Make sure “All My Files” is checked.
  4. Go to “All My Files” in your Finder menu.
  5. The files are now sorted with the largest at the top.  Go through these files and identify things you can delete.  Drag them to your Trash.
  6. Don’t forget to empty your trash!

Schoology: Creating Course Content Prior to the Course

Many educators spend time over the summer working on content for their courses.  If you use Schoology, you can create actual Schoology content for your courses before they actually start. Check out this GIF (and the list of steps below it) to see how:

Create Schoology Content in Resources Animation

  1. Go to Resources > Personal
  2. Open or Create a Resource Folder (not necessary, but let’s be organized!)
  3. Click on Add Resource and create your content
  4. When your course starts, add the content from your resources!

Google Drive Folder Basics

Organization can help relieve stress.  One great way to organize in Google Drive is to create and utilize folders.  Here are the basics . . .

Creating folders:
  • Folders can be created by selecting New > New Folder
  • Folders can also be created in some locations by right-clicking & selecting New Folder
  • Folders can be nested (folders inside of folders)
  • Folders can be color-coded (pretty!)

Create Drive Folders Animation

Putting Content into Folders:
  • Drag & Drop
  • Use the Move To button in the top toolbar
  • Use the Move To button in the right-click options
  • Hold down shift to highlight more than 1 file and then move them together

Move Files into Folders Animation

Put Files in More than One Location

Check out this post to see how you can have your Google Drive files in more than one folder.