Google Classroom: Individual Assignments & Small Group Work

Google released an update to Classroom to accommodate individual student assignments and small group projects. This video explains the process.


Parent Emails in Google Classroom

Parent Update Feature Released for Google Classroom

With the latest Classroom release, parents can now receive automatic email updates about student assignments within Google Classroom. When parents/guardians join Classroom, they receive regular email summaries for each of their students. Guardians choose the frequency of the emails—daily or weekly—and can unsubscribe at any time.

Guardian summaries include:

  • Missing work—Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
  • Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
  • Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers

By default, guardian summaries for your classes are turned off. Guardians can’t access Classroom or view your class stream.

View a Sample Email Report

More Info: Info for TeachersInfo for StudentsInfo for Parents/Guardians

Gmail and email hyperlinks

Use Gmail to send email from PowerTeacher

It is frustrating when you click an email hyperlink on a website and nothing happens, or perhaps your computer prompts you to setup a new email program such as Outlook or Microsoft email. Fortunately, Gmail can be configured as the default email program for these hyperlinks. It takes just seconds to setup and will save you the task of copying/pasting the email link into Gmail. This video explains the process.You can also read about it at Google’s support page.


Voice Typing within Google Docs

Great new feature added to Google Docs

Google just added a speech to text tool in Google Docs. If you are a struggling typist, or your thoughts flow faster than your fingers can dance on the keyboard, then you should give this new tool a try. Watch the video below to learn more.


The following is a partial list of voice commands that you can say to control punctuation and formatting within Google Voice Typing. As you speak, say the command in boldand Google will enter the corresponding keystroke(s). If you pause too long before saying the command, Google may type the word you spoke and not the command. It takes a little bit of practice to become proficient.

  • Period = period (.)
  • Comma = comma (,)
  • Question mark = question mark (?)
  • Exclamation or exclamation point = exclamation point (!)
  • Enter or new line = moves to a new line
  • New paragraph = new paragraph
  • Colon = colon (:)
  • Dash = dash (-)
  • smiley face = 🙂

Google Classroom update

Google updates Classroom to support co-teaching and draft assignments.

With the latest update to Google Classroom, the two most frequently requested features that teachers ask me about are now available. If you co-teach, Classroom fully supports multiple teachers in the same classroom. No more work around!

The second major feature is the ability to make draft versions of assignments or announcements. Now you can control when material becomes available to students instead of releasing it immediately. Google really does listen to your requests. This video explain how to use these two new features.

Google Sheets: List of Names

Two great tools to make working with lists of names easier.

A spreadsheet (like Google Sheets or Excel) is a great tool to sort and manage lists of names. Depending on how the data was entered, sorting and manipulating the data can sometimes be a challenge. Occasionally it is easier to have the first name and last name in separate columns. Other times, it would be nice to have one column with the first and last names combined. In this video, I demonstrate two easy formulas that let you take control of your data and save you time.

Desktop Shortcuts

Add shortcuts for PowerSchool, Bloomboard, and the Help Desk

Web-based programs like PowerSchool, Bloomboard and even the district’s help desk, do not get “installed” on your computer. The icons that appear on your desktop are merely shortcuts that launch a particular website. If you are missing an icon, or want to add icons for other frequented websites, this video explains the process for Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer browsers. Take control of your desktop. You don’t need your building tech for this task.

Edit PDFs with Drive

Convert PDFs into editable files using Google Drive

Google Drive can automatically convert PDF’s to Google Docs using its built-in optical character recognition (OCR) system. After the conversion, you can edit the document and collaborate with peers  I explain the process in this video.