Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Trick and Treat: Mirror Text and Images in Google Apps

Feeling creative and need to make a mirror image? Even if you're not, knowing how to flip images is a handy tool to have in your bag.
To make a mirror image, we are going to use Google Drawings. Drawings is the unsung hero of Google Apps. With it, you can create drawings such as organizational charts or basic diagrams in which you need to include text, basic shapes, icons, and images.

To create our mirrored image, we will start by opening Google Drive, click New/More/Google Drawings.

To add text click Insert/Word Art

Create your Word Art and press return
You can change the size, color, and font of your Word Art by highlighting the text and choosing the settings you want

With your Word Art selected, click on Arrange/Rotate/Flip horizontally

You can also use the Arrange/Rotate/Flip horizontally feature with images.

Here's my flipped drawing before and after:
You can now print your image to use as a transfer, or use it in a document. 
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Prompt Users to Make a Copy (Google Docs, Sheets or Slides)

Here's a super simple Google Docs trick that can change how you share Google Docs links with staff and students.
There are times when you want to share a document with another user to copy, but you don't want them to edit your document. You could just get the shareable link and send it to them with directions for copying the document, but you can save time and frustration by simply sharing a link that automatically prompts them to make a copy.
Here's how:

Create the spreadsheet, slides or doc as you normally would and share it

Be sure you SHARE it or this won't work.* It must be a Google Doc that YOU have created. Not just one shared with you. 

Click blue Share button in upper right corner of the document
Choose Get shareable link
Copy link and choose done
Paste the URL, but delete the word edit and anything after it at the end of the link and replace it with the word copy

Send the link that ends in copy to the person you want to share it with. This is the window that will pop up when they click the link you sent.

That's it!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Digital Citizenship Week

Digital Citizenship Week
October 16-22

This week we celebrate Digital Citizenship Week at Harvard School District. While we should always use teachable moments to reach our students regarding digital citizenship, we often forget the impact our digital habits have on us as adults. 
Here are some tips to monitor your digital life.

Your Digital Footprint
This TEDx Talk is by school teacher Michelle Clark. Michelle eloquently conveys her message regarding how what you post today can have a lasting effect on your future.

Google Yourself

Sounds like you are self-obsessed, but it truly is an important step in monitoring your online reputation. Google yourself often - monthly is recommended for most people. When you do, do so using a private window or incognito mode option so that the results are not customized because of your location or search habits. Pay close attention to the first page of results as that will be the first impression your contacts will see.

Your Digital Dossier

Try a Device Free Dinner
Do you find yourself having more online conversations rather than talking to the people around your dinner table? Tired of the sound of message alerts during dinner time? Do you dare to have a device free dinner? It might sound a bit old-fashioned, but a device free dinner could be a great start to putting your family's digital life in perspective. Order your DeviceFreeDinner Family Starter Kit here:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Quick Tip for Excel and Google Sheets - Week 4

The Functions Button
a.k.a. - Autosum

Sometimes, you need to perform calculations on a range of cells in a spreadsheet to make the data more meaningful. This can be a daunting task for a beginner or intermediate spreadsheet user.
For Sheets and Excel users who use formulas and functions often in their work, I suggest this Doc Editor's Help page:
However, for most users, Google Sheets and Excel have provided a simple way to get the job done for commonly used calculations.

What is a function?

A function is a preset formula in Google Spreadsheets and Excel that is intended to carry out specific calculations in the cell in which it is located.

Using the Functions Button

Select the range of cells you want to include in the results.

Click the Functions button, then select the desired function from the drop-down menu. In our example, we'll select SUM.

In the cell directly below the selected cells, the function appears.

Press the Enter key on your keyboard. The function will be calculated, and the result will appear in the cell.

The functions button can do more than just add up a column of numbers. Here are the available options in the drop-down menu:
  • SUM: This function adds all of the values of the cells selected.
  • AVERAGE: This function determines the average of the values selected. It calculates the sum of the cells and then divides that value by the number of cells in the argument.
  • COUNT: This function counts the number of cells selected with numerical data This function is useful for quickly counting items in a cell range.
  • MAX: This function determines the highest cell value included in the argument.
  • MIN: This function determines the lowest cell value included in the argument.
Go ahead... show off your new found fancy spreadsheet skills! And you thought formulas and functions were difficult...