Monday, October 16, 2017

Digital Citizenship Week

Considering how ubiquitous smartphones and tablets have become, even with our youngest students, questions about managing the use and educating students about digital etiquette are on a lot of educators' minds.

October 16 - 20 is Common Sense Media's Digital Citizenship Week. While it's great to focus on digital citizenship during this week, the lessons shouldn't stop there.  Below you will find some resources to help educators talk about digital responsibility and safety online that you can use anytime. Here, you'll find resources that cover today's digital landscape, ideas for student activities, and strategies for engaging parents. There are plenty of valuable resources for educators and parents to share, but here are three of my favorites:

Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum for K-12: Common Sense Media’s interactive curriculum offers something for every grade level. Check out the "Scope & Sequence" tool to find the perfect lesson for your classroom. Plus, you can incorporate Digital Passport activities in lessons for students in grades 3-5. The interactive assessments and videos are super engaging, as well.

Be Internet Awesome by Google:  Be Internet Awesome was developed in collaboration with online safety experts to ensure parents and educators have the tools necessary to teach children to look out for themselves online.Designed to help children master the Internet, the program includes an educational classroom curriculum and a fun, informative video game called Interland.

Teach Students to Spot Fake News by Digital Citizenship Institute: Staying critical and grounded when reading news online is a huge component of today’s digital citizenship. 5 Ways to Teach Kids About Fake News from the Digital Citizenship Institute gives you five quick and easy tips on how to keep students informed of Fake News and how to spot it when browsing their favorite sites.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Protect Sheets and Ranges in Google Sheets

Google Sheets allows you to protect cells or sheets so that certain users cannot edit them. This is a great tool to use if you have a spreadsheet that is used by many people and you want to prevent them from accidentally deleting or typing over complicated formulas or valuable data.

Protect a range or sheet

  • Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  • Click Data and then Protected sheets and ranges. A box will open on the right.
  • Click Add a sheet or range or click an existing protection to edit it.
  • To protect a range, click Range. To protect a sheet, click Sheet.
    • Range: To change or enter the range you’re protecting, click the spreadsheet icon and highlight the range in the spreadsheet.
    • Sheet: Choose a sheet to protect. If you want a set of cells to be unprotected in a sheet, check the box next to "Except certain cells."
  • Click Set permissions or Change permissions.
  • Choose how you want to limit editing:
    • To show a warning when anyone makes an edit: Select "Show a warning when editing this range." It doesn’t block people from editing, but they’ll see a message asking them to confirm if they really want to make an edit.
    • To choose who can edit the range or sheet: select "Restrict who can edit this range." Choose:
      • Only you: Only you (and the owner if you’re not the owner) can edit the range or sheet.
      • Only domain: If you use Google Sheets for work or school, only people in your domain can edit the range or sheet. This option is only available when everyone in your domain can edit the spreadsheet.
      • Custom: Only the people you choose can edit the range or sheet.
      • Copy permissions from another range: Reuse the same permissions you set up on a different set of cells or sheet.
  • Click Save or Done.

    To see protected cells, click View and then Protected ranges. A striped background will appear over the cells.

Here's a short how-to video from The Google Gooru:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Manage PDFs with DocHub

Today I'm reposting a tip from 2016. I've had some requests for an easier way to fill out PDF forms and save them. DocHub to the rescue! It is still my go-to app for managing PDF files for most PDF tasks. The free version of DocHub includes all of the features you need to edit PDF files.

Let's get started!

  • Open a PDF file in Google Drive
  • Click on the Open with menu at the top of the window, and choose DocHub

  • DocHub will request permissions for Google Drive, click "Allow"

  • The PDF will now open in DocHub
  • Click the text tool 
  • Click on a field to insert text, add text.
  • Continue clicking and adding text

  • Once you have completed the form, you will have a variety of options for saving or sending
  • If you choose to save your document, it will save in DocHub
  • To access your saved documents in DocHub, go to and sign in with your District 50 Google account.

  • When you log in, you will see your activity feed with your saved documents listed. From here, you can edit, send or download your documents right from the DocHub interface.

There are other features in DocHub, including highlighting, drawing, stamps, inserting multiple types of editable fields and more. I hope you find DocHub as useful as I do!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Printing Google Calendars

Can I print a Google Calendar? Sure can!
Sometimes it is helpful to have a printed copy of your calendar.  If you ever need a paper copy of your calendar, you can print a month, a day, or any date range you choose. I am particularly fond of the printout of the agenda view of calendars for room or equipment reservations so the information can be posted. Here's how:

Print your calendar

  • Open Google Calendar.
  • At the top of the page, choose which view to print - Day, Week, Month, or Agenda. 

If you have multiple calendars, you can hide the calendars you don't want to print.
Before you start printing, find the calendars you want to hide on the left side of Google Calendar under "My calendars" or "Other calendars."
Click the name of each calendar you want to hide. You can tell if your calendar is hidden if the square next to it is an outline, for example, ꪛ Birthdays. After you're done printing, you can show your calendar by clicking the calendar name again.

  • In the top right corner, click More and then Print.
  • On the Print Preview page, you can change the date range, font size, page orientation, and color setting.
  • Click Print.

Fit your calendar on a page

Only a certain number of days fit on a page, but here are a few tips that might help your calendar fit better:

  • Change to Landscape or Portrait mode: On the Print Preview page, click the Orientation menu.
  • Change to a different view: If you're in Day or Week view, but you don't need so much detail, switch to Month view instead and change the date range in the Print Preview.
  • Hide weekends: You can save space by not printing weekends in Week or Month view. In Calendar, click Settings  Settings and then Settings. In the "Find weekends" section, click No.
  • Change the font size: On the Print Preview page, you can make the font bigger or smaller. This won't help get more days on the page, but it can make your calendar more readable.

Save as a PDF

You can also save a PDF copy of your calendar on your computer.

  • Follow the steps above to print your calendar.
  • Instead of clicking "Print" on the Print Preview page, click Save As.
  • A PDF of your calendar will be downloaded on your computer. 
Here's a quick video that shows in detail how to print Google Calendars:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Office Products for Staff and Students

Microsoft Office for free?

I try to post this information once a year. With some many new staff, I thought it would be a good time for a reminder!
Did you know that as a part of the District 50 Office 365 subscription you and your students can install full versions of familiar Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to a home device? Our subscription plan allows you to install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs and on other mobile devices, including Android, iPad, and Windows tablets.
Today we are going to walk through the process.
Note: My screenshots may look a bit different from your Office 365 as I’m using the “Cats” theme :)

Step 1: Log in

D50 Office 365 account.
Use your D50 email and password
In the upper left corner of the window, click on Office 365

Step 2: Install Office

This will bring up a wizard. Follow the steps as displayed.

When the install is complete, you will see this window:

Step 3: Log in to your Office Products

You only need to log into one product to receive maximum benefits from Office Onedrive - Access to files anywhere with an internet connection and 1TB cloud storage!

Always remember when logging into Microsoft products use your Work or School account!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Drive Plug-in for Office

Frustrated with using Microsoft Office and Google Drive together? Try the Drive plug-in for Office!
 The Drive plug-in for  Office allows users working in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to open documents directly from Google Drive and save to Google Drive, without leaving their Office programs. 

Let's get started!

Install the Google Drive plug-in

  • In a web browser, go to the plug-in page and click Download.
  • Double-click DriveForOffice.exe and click Run.
  • Open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  • On startup, at the Welcome screen, click Get Started, then sign in to your Google Account.
  • On the Authorization page, click Accept.
  • The plug-in is now able to use your Google Drive documents.

Open a file from Google Drive

  • Open an Office program.
  • Click File and then Google Drive and then Open from Google Drive.
  • In the dialog, click the file you want to open.
  • Note: If you select a file saved as Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, it will open in the corresponding app in a separate window.
  • To open a file, click Select. 

Save a file to Drive

  • Click File
  • Click Save
  • Click Save to Drive.

Copy a file

  • At the top of the app, click Google Drive.
  • Click Save As.
  • Type in a new name for the file.
  • Click OK.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Add Events to Your Calendar From Gmail

Did you know that you can create calendar events right from Gmail? It's a handy feature that's been around for a while but is often overlooked. This feature makes scheduling events easier than ever!

Create a Google Calendar Event From an Email

Gmail can recognize the date and time (and even "convert" it to your local time zone) and then make the text clickable so you can make an event in just a couple clicks. Gmail will even use the subject to recommend the event title.

  1. Open the email that contains the event information.
  2. Look for some (very lightly colored) underlined text that Gmail automatically selected. If you don't see anything, see the section below for how to turn the email into an event even if it doesn't include any dates.*
  3. Click the date, time or date range. A small pop-up will show if any other events are scheduled at that time. You can click the other events to go directly to Google Calendar for more information.
  4. Adjust the event name, time or date if needed, and then click Add to Calendar.
  5. Click anywhere else on the page to exit the pop-up, or click Edit in Calendar to see and make changes to the event in Google Calendar.

*Make an Event When the Email Doesn't Include a Date

Since Gmail and Google Calendar are tied pretty closely together, you can also make an event that's tied to an email even if the message doesn't mention a date at all.

Follow these steps to add an event from an email in which Gmail did not find any date/time information:
  1. Open the email.
  2. Click the More button from Gmail's menu, next to the Move to and Labels buttons. 
  3. Select Create event to open Google Calendar.
  4. Adjust the event's details as you wish. Google Calendar will auto-populate the event's name with the subject of the email, and the Description area with the email's body contents.
  5. Click SAVE at the top of Google Calendar to save the new event.