Google Madness 2016 Round 1 Results!

24 Mar

THE RESULTS ARE IN!! And first off….what was I thinking?! This took me HOURS to score – what is wrong with me?! (I will be working on a spreadsheet script for next year…geesh!). A little about the scoring.  Each round points increase by 2 (Round 1 = 1 point, Round 2 = 2 points, Round 3 = 4 points, etc.) You get the match up right you get a point.  I also put in a +Seed calculation, SO for every match up you get right, you also get points that match with the seed number (Read & Write for Google gets you 2 points – 1 point for getting it right and 1 point for it being a 1 seed).  This mixes it up a bit 🙂


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Google Features Round 1

Google Madness 2016 Round 2

Here’s a link to the leaderboard – and our Top 4 so far (don’t worry – there are a lot of points still up for grabs, anyone can win this!)

Top 4 Round 1


It’s not too late to submit! Here’s the updated bracket and submission form – join the fun!

I’m going to wait until after Spring Break for Round 2 – the student votes were key! I’ll send an email to those who have submitted brackets and I’ll tweet out the link to the form, too!

If you’re using these tools with your students and want to let me know – email me and I’ll feature it here.


Google Madness 2016 – Round 1 Vote Here!

18 Mar

Round 1 Voting is here.  You should have received an email from me with your Form.  For Round 1 you’re only voting on a portion of the bracket in order to mix things up a bit.  If you didn’t receive an email, please email me and I’ll get it to you! (If you haven’t filled out a bracket, but REALLY want to, get it to me over the weekend and I’ll get you the voting form! I’m so nice)

Do you want to see what your students have to say?  Here is Round 1 voting for Students

Voting for Round 1 ends at 5pm on Tuesday, March 22nd.  I’ll have the results here on the blog, on Twitter and in the D303 Tech for Teachers and Students Google+ Community.


Happy voting!


One Tab – Organizing Your Tabs

18 Mar

I abandoned using One Tab for a while.  I’m not sure I had a good reason, but I tend to jump around with tools to see how they would work in my environment.  One Tab is back in my life now!

One Tab is a way to organize and save your tabs in Chrome.  Essentially it’s a bookmarking tool, but there are some great features that provide a step up from just staring URLs in the Omnibox.

Today I was reading through the blogs of our participants in Get Your Google On 2 – several teachers chose that option to share their journey of using Google Tools and tech integration in their classroom.  My workflow was to go into the spreadsheet with the URLs and click them open to peruse and comment.  Many times, I just keep all of the tabs in a window and leave the window open.

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It works that way, but it’s annoying.  For some reason, I decided to put them all into One Tab.

After you add One Tab from the Chrome Webstore, click the One Tab icon (it will be to the right of your Omnibox)

One Tab pulls all of the tabs into one tab in Chrome (this is going to reduce clutter and help Chrome work a little quicker, especially if you have tons of tabs and windows open)

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I can rename the group of tabs so that I can find them easily (I used to use this if I was in the middle of a project and didn’t want to lose my resources).  Also, if you have a tab that you don’t want in that group of tabs, you can hover over the URL and X it out to the left. If you’re ready to work with those tabs again, you just click Restore all.

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Okay, so far you’re thinking, no big deal – it’s a glorified bookmark organization tool.  Wait for it…..

Want someone else to have ALL of those tabs?! (I’m thinking some research sites that you want students to access and since you don’t want to take the extra step and put it in a doc and then upload…yada, yada)

You can share ALL of the tabs as a web page:

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It gives it a unique URL and a QR code!

What are some ways you and your students can use this tool in your learning environment?

Google Madness 2016 – Here’s Your Bracket!

11 Mar

UPDATE: Brackets are due by midnight MARCH 17TH!

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for……Our #D303GoogleMadness 2016 bracket is LIVE

Here’s what YOU need to do:

  1. Complete your bracket
    1. Digital Version
      1. Download it as a PDF or JPG
      2. Upload in Google Drive w/ Anyone with the link can view permissions
    2. Printable Version
      1. Scan in completed bracket
      2. Upload into Google Drive w/ Anyone with the link can view permissions
  2. Submit your bracket
    1. Complete this form: Google Madness 2016 – Bracket Submission

So, I was SO excited about this insane idea and I was telling my little brother (he will always be my little brother, even if he is an “adult”) and he looked at me and said, “that’s not going to work, you know”.  The sports expert he is kindly told me that everyone will only vote for their bracket, so there will be no upsets and probably a lot of winners. Duh, Megan, duh.  (this is why it’s a good idea to get feedback from people!)

There will be two forms of voting – Teachers will be given a section of the bracket to vote on for each round.  There will also be a student ballot – please consider having students participate. It should only take a few minutes as they’re just clicking through their fave tool (I only included the tools students can actually use).  This also means, they may need some exposure to some of these tools.  Think about how you can show them some of the tools over the next week.  This should help us get some interesting results.

In order for your bracket submission to count for Round 1, you MUST submit your bracket by midnight on March 16th MARCH 17th!.

P.S. – did I tell you there were prizes?! Yes – there are prizes……not just for winners, but there will be some mystery prizes too. (You may want to join our Google Plus community…hint, hint)

P.P.S. – tell your friends 🙂

Here are some posts I’ve done about the tools themselves, if you’re unfamiliar with them:

Chrome Apps & Extensions

Google Apps Suite

Google Add-ons & Apps

Google Features

Google Madness 2016 – Chrome Apps and Extensions

11 Mar

Not only does Google Drive and the apps in there have add-ons and apps, but your Chrome Browser also has apps and extensions that add to the learning and teaching experience.

Google Madness - Chrome Apps & Extensions

I put together a whole bunch of resources to help you use some of these tools in your classroom:

Not sure how to access the webstore? Click on the colorful waffle in the upper left of your Chrome Browser, then the Webstore button in the lower right.

Apps:  Bookmarking Tool for quicker access to websites
Extensions: Adds a piece of software to chrome, works with your websites and allows you to use it in your menu bar or within the page
Themes:  Changes Backgrounds on your apps pages or the menu bars.

The lovely Maureen Joy and Sandy Green have put together TONS of resources to use Read & Write for Google with your students – they are MORE than happy to help get that started with your students. Getting Started with Read & Write for Google

Padlet Mini – attach the webpage you’re on to any of your padlet walls (or start a new one)

Google Drive Quick Create – click to create a Google File without having to be in your Drive

Save to Google Drive – Saves a .png of the web page you’re on

Extensity – quickly turn on and off extensions (remember, extensions can slow down Chrome, so this allows you to stop them from running without having to uninstall the extension)

Permanent Clipboard – ever find you’re using the same comments  to students in a doc? Set up frequently used comments in this extension and you can insert into your files!

OneTab – those of you that know me, know I have a little problem.  It’s a tab problem.  Chrome is telling me at this moment that, across my devices, I have 119 tabs open (don’t judge!).  I mostly keep tabs open because I don’t want to forget to do something.  OneTab lets me save all of the tabs open in a window so I can access them later without having to keep the window open.  You can also share all of those tabs with someone else – share the goodness!

Adblock for YouTube – This one is a new one for me – this extension keeps those pesky ads from showing in a video.

Screencastify – ever want to put together a quick video to show students how to do something in Chrome or Google….Screencastify lets you do that AND it saves the video file in Drive.  Students can also share their thinking as their working on a site by using this tool…rumor has it, Justin Brennan at North really likes to use it this way. (it’s not really a rumor….he does)

Snag it – This extension lets you take screencasts and screenshots in your Chrome browser

Scan QR – students can use a webcam to scan a QR code with this Chrome app

Session Buddy – Like OneTab, Session Buddy lets you better organize your tabs.  This is really great to use when you (or your students!) are working on projects.

Kami – need students to collaborate and annotate a PDF? Yep – use this 🙂

Move It – Move It is a reminder to get up and move!

Add to Google Classroom – reading an article you’d really like to have your students read?  Come across a site that you think your students should check out? Add to Google Classroom allows you to set up an assignment or announcement from the page you’re working on in Chrome.  Now you don’t have to open up Classroom in a separate tab!

Share to Google Classroom – want to get a URL out to everyone in your classroom right now? This extension allows you to push out a webpage to everyone in your classroom

Don’t forget to comment: What are your go-to apps or extensions?  Which ones do students like to use?

Google Madness 2016 – Google Features

4 Mar

What makes Google tools so different from everything else?  Why is everyone always talking about Google?  This part of the bracket highlights the best of the best features that Google has to offer.

Google Madness - GAfE features

These tools are what make Google great.

Let’s start at a few that really stand out:

1 – Research Tool – You can find the Research tool in Docs, Slides and Drawing.  The Research tool opens up a Google search box in the app.  Here’s a doc that will walk you through the features

8 & 9 – Editing Mode vs. Suggesting Mode – Have you discovered the different ways to edit a doc?  I’m sure we’re all used to Editing Mode – this allows you to change the doc and overrides anything anyone else has typed.  But there is another mode – Suggesting Mode.  Read my blog post about it! I really like Suggesting Mode, especially when I’m working with student writing.

12 – Voice Typing – have you had students try out Voice Typing in Docs yet?  Could this be a way to help students who struggle with fine motor skills still produce something digital?  Could this speed up the brainstorming process?  Click Tools and Voice Typing in a Google Doc to see how it works!

13 – I think that Google Templates is another tool that is not tapped into.  Teachers and students can find and use templates.  You can access templates here.  You can also click New and From Template in any Google App or from the waffle button which takes you to the app Home Page.

What are your favorite features when working with Google tools??!!

Google Madness 2016 – Google Apps and Add-Ons

4 Mar

Not only is there a great set of Google tools for you and your students to use, but there are tools that work with Google Apps to make them even better!

Google Madness - Google Apps Add-ons & Apps

There are a couple places you can find these tools.  When you’re in a Google app (Docs, Sheets and Forms) there is a menu item at the top that says Add-Ons.  In Google Drive, if you select New, then More, then + Connect More Apps, you’ll find a list of Apps to try out.  Click the image below, to find out more about these apps and add-ons!

Google Add-ons & Apps

So, Goobric is my wild card in here – it’s really a Chrome extension, but it’s so closely tied with Sheets, that I popped it in here.  Good thing this is my game, right?

You guys, there are SO many more Drive apps and Google Add-Ons – please comment below with your favorites so we can be checking them out!