Tech Tip Tuesday: Bring Schoology and Google Together


Google Drive works within Schoology. Unfortunately, many of our students do not know this and when they try to submit a Google Doc or slide, it doesn’t submit correctly, often showing some HTML coding or script. Once they figure out the correct way, they can submit their work right from their Google Drive. And you as their teacher can upload/attach/embed Google files to your Schoology assignments. Here is how you and your students can sync Google Drive to Schoology.

First, at the top of your Schoology window select the “Apps” –> “App Center.” Locate the Google Drive Resource App –> click on it –> then “Install Resource App” –> “Add to my resources”. Google Drive should open a pop-up window asking for permission to access your account/drive. This is ok as Schoology and Google need to sync across each other’s interface. Allow this!

Whichever app(s) you installed should now show up under “resources” –> “apps”. Select “Google Drive” (if not already opened) and the right column should now open with all of your folders and/or files from your Google Drive. From this you can: open a file or folder that you want (which opens it in Google Drive on the web), create a new folder/doc/sheet/slide/drawing, or import the document as a file or link (to do this place the check next to the document you want to select and the “import” button will appear next to “add resources.” These are the same steps you want your students to follow if you want them to sync their Google Drive accounts to their Schoology.

Next, to have students submit work from their Google Drive simply have them click “submit” in your assignment –> “resources” –> “apps” –> “Google Drive” –> select the file they want by placing a check in the box next to the file –> then “import” –>
“import file.”

Pro Tip: When creating an assignment in Schoology, don’t just insert the link or attach a file, instead, embed it! If it is in your Google Drive simply create an assignment as usual but then click the “insert content” button –> “Google Drive” –> check the file you want to embed –> “import” –> “import embed.”

Hope this helps!


Tech Tip Tuesday: Direct a Comment to a Specific Person in Google Docs


This one is short and sweet, but definitely a neat little trick to try. The benefits of using Google Docs are in the ability to collaborate seamlessly with everyone. By leaving comments, everyone can see and respond to them as needed down the right hand side of the page. However, there are times when you may want to give someone a specific task, or comment to an individual person.

To do this, simply leave a comment as you normally would on the document by highlighting a word or phrase and using the “insert” –> “comment” option or “right-click” –> “comment”. In this message, type “+” followed by the person’s email address like this: “”. This person will then receive an email that you mentioned them in a comment and others will see that you directed this specific comment to that person.

Those people will then be able to check the comment, and complete it as requested. Simple, but effective! Great for designating tasks to specific students during a writer’s or reader’s workshop, during a science lab, during a socratic seminar, or as part of a group project.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Split Text in Google Sheets


This one is quick and easy… and quite useful. If you have ever had a list of names or other data that needed to be split into separate columns, then you are in luck. For example: imagine having a roster of student full names and you wanted to make them separate columns.

Here is what you do. In Google Sheets….

  1. Take a spreadsheet with a list of names or other data in a single column.
  2. Highlight all the data.
  3. Then from the Data menu, select Split Text to Columns.
  4. A popup will appear allowing you to choose the separator. For this, example choose Space. But definitely play with the others too at some point!
  5. Your text will now be in two columns, separated at the space. One for First Name and one for Last Name.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: End of Year Google Cleaning


The end of the year is quickly approaching. With that, I wanted to share a few tips for cleaning your Google Drive, Gmail, and Calendar.

  1. Make sure everything has a home in Drive: This is key. Google Drive works from the top level down, meaning, if you can get everything in your “My Drive” folder in a folder, then cleaning up the things within these folders will be SO much easier.
  2. Color-code or star your Drive folders: If you right-click on a folder in your Google Drive, a quick menu will appear. Click on or hover over “Change Color” to pick a color for your folder. This makes it easier to locate specific folders in thumbnail/tile view. Also, in the quick menu is an option to “Add Star”. Starred folders appear in your drive drop-down menu, separating them from everything else for quick and easy access. It’s a good idea to update this yearly with your most used folders (especially if you have folders for specific classes). If your classes change, then you can just right-click on the folder and “Remove Star”.
  3. Create an “Archive” Drive Folder: One good idea is to create a yearly “Archive” Folder. Then, drag everything from this year into that folder. This is great if you have a lot of student work that has been shared with you, that you don’t want to clutter up your drive or get mixed up with your own personal resources.
  4. Archive old Email: This is a quick and effective one. Check the box next to an email message, then choose the “Archive” button at the top. This will clean up your inbox, but still make it where all of those archived emails are accessible/searchable.
  5. Hide Old Calendars: In Google Calendar, you can easily hide from calendars you no longer want to see in your dropdown list. Simply hover over the calendar, click on the 3 dots (more option), then select “Hide Calendar”. This doesn’t remove you from them, just removes them from the list!
  6. The dreaded “Shared With Me” Drive Folder: This one is a pain. But simply, just go in here and look for things you want to keep. If you want it, click and drag it to the folder you want to organize it in. As far as everything else? Don’t touch it. The same goes for your “Recent” folder. I wouldn’t try to clean this out.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Search Gmail Like a Pro


Gmail includes a pretty simple feature that allows you to search for specific emails using some clever operators. You can type in that search bar, add in some words, and hope to locate the specific email you are looking for. But sometimes, you get back way too many or you can’t locate what it is you seek. I put together a Gmail Crib Sheet that covers the Gmail Operators and how to use them. You can access the document here!

Hope this helps!


Tech Tip Tuesday: Leave Voice Comments Instead!


Tired of leaving the same comments on a Google Doc for students and realizing they aren’t reading them? Wish there was a way to personalize these comments a little more? You NEED to check out the Google Doc add-on Kaizena!

Kaizena is a Google Doc add-on (you’ll need to install it from within Google Docs) that affords you the opportunity to highlight text on a Google Doc and speak, instead of write, comments- leaving voice “notes” back to the owner of the document! There are a number of VERY USEFUL features with Kaizena including: feedback features, color-coding, lessons, and tracking of skills. You can even create a bank/folder of voice comments you have created/left for students, so that you do not have to recreate the same thing for eac.! What a time saver! Best of all, everything works within the Google Doc. No leaving the document to open Kaizena, then heading back to the document to insert the comment.

To get started, visit the Kaizena link above, or open a Google Doc –> click on add-ons –> get add-ons –> then do a search for Kaizena. Click on the app –> then install. It will ask you or permissions to sync with your Google account. Accept it. Once in, go back to add-ons –> select Kaizena –> and it will open in the right pane of the screen. Set up your classes and grade levels and you are set to begin!

Hope this helps!


Tech Tip Tuesday: Embed into Google Sites


The new(ish) Google Sites is entirely revamped and for the better. One of the nicest features they added is the ability to embed external content into your site, similar to embedding external tools into Schoology. So now your Google Site can be a complete blended learning experience.

To do this simply go to the website or tool you want to use. Depending on the site, this is usually found under the option to “share”. Copy the URL. Then head back to your Google Site and click the “embed” button -> then “embed code” –> then paste the code you copied and insert.

This will embed any tool you copy into your Google Site, now making the site interactive. NOTE: If you click on embed, but you only have the option to embed URL, then you will have to wait until the slow release is delivered to everyone within our district.

Some tools you can embed:

  • Padlet
  • Thinglink
  • Desmos
  • Polleverywhere
  • NPR Radio

Here is a cool function of this ability. You can actually take advantage of this embed option to embed youtube videos directly into your website and REMOVE all of the content around the video. To do this, go to Youtube and find the video you want to embed –> click on “share” –> click “embed” –> in the box that opens uncheck all of the “embed options” –> copy the long code at the top, then follow the directions above to embed into the site.

Hope this helps!