Add a Popup Message to your Google Docs

Ever wish that you could tell people something when they open up your Google Docs? Maybe “Make a copy of this document, answer the questions and share it with your teacher!” or “This is a draft!

Well, it’s possible.¬† Some simple coding in the script editor and you can make it happen.¬† I know that some of you¬†are thinking “Simple . . . . coding. . . !?” while making this face, but it’s true.¬† Just follow the steps below and you’ll make it happen.

Before we jump into the how, or what it looks like, a few notes:

  • Only Editors will be able to see the popup.¬† In my testing, someone who is “can view” or “can comment” does not see the popup.¬† Also, they have to be explicitly shared as editors, not just “anyone with the link can edit.”
  • If you copy the document within your own account, the popup will appear on the copy as well.
  • If someone shared on the document makes a copy, the popup will NOT appear on their copy.
  • If you send the document out on Google Classroom as “Make a Copy for Each Student” it will NOT include the popup in those copies.¬† I was bummed when I discovered this, because it would have been huge for teachers.

Now that you know those notes and limitations, let’s dive into it.¬† First, an animated GIF of how to do it and then, below the GIF, the step by step with code that you can just copy and paste.

Add Popup Message to Google Docs Animation

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. From within your Google Doc, click on Tools > Script Editor.
  2. Click on Untitled Project and rename the project.
  3. Replace the words myFunction with onOpen. (This is what tells it to run automatically)
  4. After the { type DocumentApp. (include the period)
  5. From the menu that pops up select getUi : Ui
  6. After {DocumentApp.getUi() type a period.
  7. From the menu that pops up select alert(String prompt) : Button
  8. In place of the word prompt type your popup message.
  9. Add quotation marks around your message (and inside of the parentheses).
  10. Click the save icon.
  11. Go back to your Doc, refresh and check it out!

Another note: You can actually edit the appearance of the popup with some HTML and CSS coding, but that would take me longer to explain that 1 GIF can handle!

Credits:¬†I learned this from one of Google’s Applied Digital Skills Courses in the “Code Welcome Screen” Activity.¬† You can learn about adding some formatting to your popup in that course.

Scratch as a Content Area Tool

Scratch, developed by a group at MIT, has a tremendous reputation as a computer science learning & creation tool.  But, I believe it is under-appreciated as a tool for the content areas.

It is a great way for students to show their mastery of content standards, while honing their computer science skills and practicing the 4 C’s. ¬†It’s also a great way for educators to create content for their students to interact with.

This summer, I hope to make some examples of how Scratch can be used in content areas. ¬†For now, here’s a little taste:

Scratch in Edu Animation

Trying out FlipGrid

After seeing Amy Roediger‘s post about FlipGrid, I had to try it.

FlipGrid is a platform where (1) teacher poses a prompt or question, (2) students access that “grid” with a code, (3) students record their response, (4) students view each other’s responses and (5) students can comment on or like classmate’s response(s).

Amy’s example of the students showing, describing and explaining Chemistry lab experiments/demonstrations was phenomenal. ¬†On her first attempt out of the gate, she went above and beyond the “record a video response” format.

So, I’m getting in on the action. ¬†At this link, you’ll see a prompt from me. ¬†Hopefully, you’ll also see other professionals’ responses. ¬†And, even more hopefully (if that makes sense), you’ll record you response. ¬†I can’t want to hear what you share!!

STEM Practices

In a training webinar for the PEAR (Partnerships in Education and Resilience) Institute’s DoS (Dimensions of Success) Observation Tool, the facilitators discussed how the 3rd of their 4 domains –¬†STEM Knowledge and Practices – was based on the STEM Practices outlined by the NGSS‘ (Next Generation Science Standards) “A Science Framework for K-12 Science Education.” ¬†I think that these 8¬†practices are fantastic and that schools should place a focus on integrating into the¬†curriculum maps for¬†all content areas, not just science. ¬†Here they are: Continue reading STEM Practices