On 1/7/19, Google announced that you could now embed previously created Google Drawings into Google Docs. Before this announcement, you could create new Drawings from within a Doc, but you could not pull in Drawings created in the regular Drawings platform.
This was limiting, because the Drawings tool within Docs was only provided a small workspace and had less tools. It was also frustrating that a Drawing couldn’t be in both places – a Drawing and Doc – without copying and pasting or using the following workaround.
Up to this point, the best workaround was to download the Drawing as an image and then insert that image into the Doc. This was frustrating for a few reasons: it involved inconvenient extra steps and it meant that the Drawing in the Doc would not update if the actual Drawing was updated.
Well, now Google has made good on fixing this. In the Google Docs Insert menu, go to Drawing and now you can select New to create a new one or From Drive to select one that you created in the Google Drawings platform. When the drawing is changed in Drawings, you’ll see an Update option in the Doc to show the changes (unless you selected Unlink when you added the Drawing). Check it out in the animated GIF below:
Sometimes, I think a trick, hack or shortcut that I do with technology is unimpressive and something that everyone either knows or doesn’t care about. But then, when I mention it to someone, and they’re like “Whoa!” I think “Welp, this should be an EduGIF.”
Recently, I had the good fortune to be recording a guest appearance on the Shukes & Giff Podcast (er, maybe it’s the Shukes & Jake Podcast, now!? Kidding!). When I was chatting about Emoji Bullets with Kim Pollishuke (a.k.a. “Shukes”), I mentioned, “So, I’ll just click Shift+Command+8 and then…” and she said “Wait, What!?” And then I knew it, EduGIF time. So here it is . . .
in most Google Tools:
- Click CTRL (Command on Mac) + Shift + 7 for Numbering
- Click it again to undo numbering
- Click CTRL (Command on Mac) + Shift + 8 for Bullets
- Click it again to undo bullets
Here’s the EduGIF!
Grading stinks. Anything that we can do to make it better–without sacrificing the quality of the pedagogy or feedback–is worth doing! Here’s a little trick to make it easier to locate student answers in Google Docs (or other files) that you assign in Google Classroom . . .
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:
- Click New > File Upload
- Click New > Folder Upload
- Click New > File Upload and use shift+click or ctrl+click to select multiple files
- Drag & Drop into the Google Drive window
Organization can help relieve stress. One great way to organize in Google Drive is to create and utilize folders. Here are the basics . . .
- 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!)
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
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.
Every household has a junk drawer. And, for most Google Drive users, they have two: My Drive and Shared with Me. Everything is in there. Today, let’s focus on how to clean up your Shared with Me.
Here are 4 tips about cleaning up your Shared with Me, followed by a GIF displaying them:
- If there are files you are 100% sure that don’t want, go ahead and delete them. You’ll still technically have access to them, but you won’t see them in your Shared with Me anymore (so good luck finding them). The original sharer will have no idea that you removed them and it won’t affect them (because you’re not the owner).
- You can click Add to Drive to move files from your Shared with Me to your own Drive, where you can then organize it.
- You can drag & drop files from the Shared with Me to anywhere in your Drive to organize them.
- Once you’ve moved files into your Drive, you can delete them from your Shared with Me and they will stay in the location that you put them.
Thou shalt make a copy. – Jake Miller
Ok, so, I never said that. Well, actually, I guess I just did. Anyhow, it’s a trick that’s known in most edtech circles, but it’s useful enough to make sure that everyone knows it:
Change the “/edit” or “/view” (or whatever) at the end of a Google Apps file’s URL to “/copy” and it will force the person clicking the link to make a copy of it (as if they had clicked File > Make a Copy).
Important: make sure the doc is shared, at least as “Can View,” prior to using this. You can’t copy a doc that you can’t view!
With the rise of Google Classroom and other LMS options, it’s not as useful as it used to be, but it has its use cases: sharing a resource on your website, posting forms for use in your school district, sharing optional activities for classes or clubs and much more. It works in Drawings, Sheets and Slides as well! Here’s how to do it:
Just in case, here are those steps:
- Share the doc as “Anyone with the Link Can View.”
- Copy the link to the doc.
- Change the “/edit” or “/view” or “/edit?usp=sharing” to “/copy”
One of the earliest edtech tools that I recommended to the teachers involved in the Writing Ourselves project, which I am the Technology Director for, was the DraftBack Extension. Once enabled, the extension allows you to playback your writing process for any doc that you are an editor on. Obviously, the best use case for this would be to have students do this.
What a powerful way for students to reflect on their writing process and for educators to assess (and offer feedback on) the way that they go about the writing craft. Awesome sauce.
Ever wish you could put the same file in each students’ folder without making copies? Have a project that belongs in your Science folder and your English Language Arts folder? Any time that you need a Google Drive file to be in multiple locations, use Shift+Z to open up the “Add To” option. The same file will be in each location – edit it in one location, it updates in the other. Awesome sauce.
Sometimes you know who you collaborated on a doc with, but just can’t come up with a search that leads you to that doc. Why not use their email address to track down the doc?
I discovered this search term when I was asked to track down all interactions between two specific students. This gave me the capability to see all docs on which they had communicated, provide them to our administrator and delete the docs from the student accounts.