Enhanced Sharing Settings on New Google Sites

As soon as it came out, I thought the New Google Sites made a pretty awesome Digital Portfolio tool.  However, there was one important feature missing – sharing settings that allow you to choose to not make student work public.  Well, it’s there now!

First up, a quick overview of this in Animated GIF form, followed by detailed information about the options.

Sharing Settings in New Google Sites

You have a few publishing options with New Google Sites, assuming you’re on a gSuite for Education domain.  Here they are:

Continue reading Enhanced Sharing Settings on New Google Sites

FlipGrid One vs. Recap

(Note: This is as of 2/12/18 – I fully expect this to change in the future, as these 2 companies will likely continue adding features)

“I want my students to record their opinion and then respond to each other in writing.  FlipGrid or Recap?
“I want my kiddos to post videos recorded in Screencastify.  FlipGrid or Recap?
“I want to be able to play the students’ videos all together in one string.  FlipGrid or Recap?

In my role as a technology integration coach, I hear a lot of these questions.  So I decided that I needed to sit down and figure out when to use each.

First up, a disclaimer – FlipGrid Classroom (their paid service) dominates here. If you’ve got access to that, there’s not a whole lot that Recap offers that is better than it.  For this post, we’re just talking about the free versions (FlipGrid One and Recap).

When to use . . .


  • If you want students to reply to each other (text only).  Only FlipGrid Classroomthe paid version, allows students to leave video replies to each other’s videos.  So, for free, there’s only one tool that allows any kind of responses.  It’s Recap.  (Note: FlipGrid Classroom doesn’t allow text responses either – so if that’s a priority for, Recap is still your choice).
  • If you want to play all videos with one click.  If you want to be able to click play and string together all of your students responses, Recap is the tool for you.  It’s nice if you want to show all of the responses on the projector.  (Note: FlipGrid Classroom doesn’t do this either).
  • It’s a priority for you to have a separate space for each class.  FlipGrid One only gives you one grid, though it can have unlimited topics.  You can always use one topic for each of your class periods, but if you want to keep responses from one class private from the other classes, this is problematic.  Recap, however, allows you to have unlimited queues and, therefore, keep your classes separate.
  • You need a variety of time limit options.  FlipGrid Classroom offers plenty of time limit options, but FlipGrid One only offers 15 seconds & 90 seconds.  Recap lets you choose between 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 2 minutes & 5 minutes.


FlipGrid One:

  • If you need to “screen” student responses before peers see them.  With both tools, you can delete videos from the feed.  With FlipGrid’s moderator option, you can set it so that videos have to receive your approval before making it to the public grid.
  • If you want to include multimedia other than webcam video in prompt (YouTube videos, GIFs, images, links, etc.).  Recap only allows webcam videos, unless you use one of their “Journeys,” which don’t allow you to gather video responses from your students anyhow.
  • If you want students to upload a video (i.e., recorded in Screencastify).  I think this opens up a lot of options!  Here are 2 posts about one option (1 and 2).
  • If need to give co-teacher access.  This is a new feature.  Nice for those co-taught classrooms!
  • If you want to embed your grid.  Want to embed a grid on your website or in your LMS?  Can’t do that with Recap, but you can with FlipGrid.

There are a few others things that one has that the other doesn’t, but these are the big ones in my book.  Did I miss anything?  Leave it in the comments below your reach out to me on Twitter (@JakeMillerTech) or by email (JakeMillerTech@gmail.com).

Posting Homework via Google Slides

I’m not a big fan of homework, but I am a big fan of making sure that communication between teachers, co-teachers, students and parents is as convenient and efficient as possible without detracting from the learning experience.  For many educators, their learning management system (LMS) or online gradebook already offer a platform for this.  However, for those that may need an alternative solution – or just a differentiated form of communication – this idea for communicating homework (and/or details about what was done during class) is a good one!  I heard it on Episode 39 of the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast, shared by Karen McKenna.

In Karen’s idea, teachers can use a Google Slides presentation and add a slide for each day of class. On that slide, they can include any important details from class that day, including the day’s homework.  Putting the newest slide at the beginning of the slideshow would make it easiest – saving the viewers from needing to scroll to the end of the slideshow to get the most recent details.

I love this idea for its simplicity and flexibility.  Need to email a parent what their kiddo missed when out sick? Send a link to the slides.  Have a Google Site for your class?  Embed the slides.  Work with intervention specialists, tutors and gifted educators who need to know what you did in your class?  Have them bookmark the slides.  Check out this animation to see how you can set it up:

Homework in Google Slides Animation

Padlet Embed on New Google Sites

With it’s recent addition of different wall formats, Padlet has become one of my favorite edtech tools – there’s just so many possibilities for its uses!  And embedding it in a Google Site opens up so many additional possibilities!  Just think of the open lines of communication, collaboration and sharing that this can open up! Got a great idea for how it could be used?  Share it in the comments below – or share this post with your idea on social media.  Below, an animated GIF to show you how to embed a Padlet board onto a New Google Site:

Padlet Embed on New Google Sites Animation

Paint Roller Tool in Google Slides

One of the more underutilized tools within Google Docs, Slides, Drawings & Sheets is the Paint Roller (Paint Format) Tool.  It’s purpose is simple – when you want some text or an object to be formatted just like another set of text or an object, the Paint Roller is the tool that you need.  Click once on the already-formatted object/text, then on the Paint Roller and then on the to-be-formatted object/text.

I’ve posted before about how it works in Google Docs, but I wanted to share an animated GIF about how it works in Google Slides!  Notice that it works on text boxes, as well as on shapes, lines and images!  With text boxes, you can even apply it to certain words in the box rather than the entire box.

Paint Roller in Google Slides Animation