Auto sort results of a Google Form so newest responses are on top!


If you use Google forms to collect data of a long period of time you may want the newest results to post to the top of the spreadsheet. For example, I use a form as a way to track books that kids borrow, I’d rather have the newest book to be borrowed appear at the top of the list.


Here is one way you can do this.

  1. On the bottom left of the sheet click the + to create another sheet
  2. In cell A1 paste the following formula:
    1. =sort('Form Responses 1'!A:H, 1, False)
  3. You may want to double click the title of the new sheet (Which will be “Copy of Form Responses 1” and change it to something more descriptive “Sorted” is what I chose.

 

Remember, this new sheet, “Sorted,” is mirroring the “Form Responses” sheet, so any changes you make to the content will show up on the “Sorted” sheet.

Google Classroom – Edit PDF feature has downside!


open-in

CLICK THIS ICON!!

The new option of editing PDF’s in Google Classroom is sweet – the math teachers in my building are excited! However. . .

On the iPad, when students click on any resource (even if it is a google document/slideshow) it opens in PDF editing with a “pencil” icon and an “open in” icon (see below) they need to click that “open in” icon in order for it to open in Google docs. I’ve been running into the issue where students are editing a PDF copy of the document instead of the shared google doc, which means I can’t collaborate at all and they can’t collaborate with each other.

It is just a matter of training the students to click that icon!

 

Sharing Links with Students


It has been awhile since I posted (about a year!) and in that time I’ve changed districts and become a dad (first a foster dad and now a pre-adoptive dad!) no wonder I’m so tired!

I teach 9th grade English now instead of 8th (now the title of this blog isn’t accurate!). High school is very different than middle school in a lot of ways. One big difference is that my students have iPads instead of laptops.

Sharing links with students efficiently has become even more important now that students have to type them onto an iPad. Below are 3 ways I share with students.

1.  www.thinglink.com/ It’s a cool visual way to submit a bunch of links to docs, videos, websites, or other resources. It requires a free account.

Here is one I made:
https://www.thinglink.com/scene/614119020714524674
And here it is embedded in my site:
https://sites.google.com/site/9thela/home/cp/the-final


2.  bit.ly is my favorite URL shortening tool by far (I love that you can customize links, track link traffic, etc), but it can also be used to create bundles of links. It does require a free account.

Here is a bundle of speeches I put together to use when I taught
propaganda:
http://bit.ly/speeches4class


3. diigo is a great social bookmarking site but it is also great for annotating websites, then use bit.ly to shorten the link, and add to a bundle of links. This also requires a free account.

I annotated one of the speeches shared in the bundle above:
http://bit.ly/hn4s5p

If you share in other ways let me know, sharing is caring!

Staying Organized using Google Apps for Ed. in the classroom


(Scroll to the bottom to skip to the video)

I was recently asked (twice in the same week) to share how I organize student work shared with me via Google Apps for Education. At nErDcamp Northern New England I attended a session on using Google Apps to give feedback to students (See the session notes here) and shared how I organize all the documents that students share with me.

-A side note: As an 8th grade teacher in Maine, each of my students has a MacBook Air to use. We are also a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) District which has allowed me to be a mostly paperless classroom.

When I began using GAFE in the classroom the document list was much easier to navigate, but when the format changed I knew that I had to as well.

I always have students make two folders – an “LA” folder and a “LA Pass in” folder, they share the “LA pass in” folder with me and put it in folder inside the LA folder. This serves a couple of purposes: 1. It provides students with some structure for their own files (I actually lead them through this process for each of their classes). 2. It provides an easy way to share and see what is shared with me – after the folder is shared with me, EVERYTHING they put in there becomes shared with me.

–Another side note: I have strict naming protocols, EVERY DOCUMENT (and folder) must follow this format: [Last name, First initial NAME OF ASSIGNMENT]. I don’t look at anything named “untitled document”.

When an assignment is ready to be passed in they fill out a form I create using GAFE. It asks for their Name (a separate question for last and first), class section, and a link to their shared document. Now, I often will include other items – a question that forces them to go through a formatting checklist, a reminder to put the assignment into their “LA Pass in” folder. I have recently began including a grid question that recreates the rubric so they can self evaluate on the assignment and I also include questions that make them reflect on the process of the assignment.

The student accounts (and so the account I use to interact with them) are managed and I am unable to share the exact forms I use with students but here is a link to a PDF of the form students used to submit the final draft of their poetry essay.

The brilliance of using a form to collect student work like this is that I then end up with a spreadsheet with a link to the assignment that I can sort by last name, class section, or by how they scored themselves.

Watch the video below to see the form, the spreadsheet it creates, and how I use it.

Embedded Web Browsing in Notebook software


I just discovered that you can embed a web browser in a notebook page. This makes it much easier to use web content – you don’t have to bounce from program to program. You can also ‘pin’ a site, which means you set it as a home page for that particular notebook page – the content you want to use already cued up in Notebook! I’m pretty psyched about this find and wanted to share!

 

Set up a Digital PLN


 

When I mention to people that I’m on Twitter most respond “I don’t see the point” or “I don’t get it”. That is when I explain to them that I use it as a Personal Learning Network (PLN). If you set it up right, Twitter is a hotbed of links, resources, thought-provoking questions and statements, and support for educators. If you looked at the list of accounts I follow on Twitter you would see that they are all related to education and technology, this means my feed only (well 99% of the time) contains only items I have interest in (okay maybe I’m not interested in every post, but the chances are high that I will be).

Of course some of you are thinking – I can’t sign up for yet another site. The good news is that you can reap the benefits of Twitter without participating. As an educator we know that participation is a better model, it works without it but is so much better with it. By utilizing the search bar on the twitter site you can find tweets on just about any topic. Even better is to search for hashtags, that is a tag added to the tweet that provides a way to have a conversation. At the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Summit people tweeted about what was going on using the hashtag #gafesummit This means that if you go to the search bar in twitter and put in #gafesummit (include the # symbol) you will see all the tweets. If you wanted to have students tweet about a novel their reading and have other students (within or outside the school) interact you could have them add a hashtag, e.g. students reading Lord of the Flies would add the hashtag #LOTF to let everyone quickly and easily be a part of the conversation.

There are lots of hashtags you can check out such as

Find me on twitter here. Look at who I follow (this is a great way to find new people to follow)

I also use Google+ as a PLN. The great thing about Google+ (and this is similar to Twitter) you can add people to circles and they don’t have to add you back. Being able to organize your contacts is great (so great that Facebook copied this), this allows flexibility, you can have a PLN circle (that’s what I call it), a friends circle, family circle, people you’ve met once but don’t really know circle – PEOPLE WILL NOT KNOW WHAT CIRCLE YOU’VE PUT THEM IN!!!!!

The advantages of Google+ are:

  • Not limited to 140 characters
  • Much easier to follow a conversation
  • HANGOUTS!!

If you don’t have a digital PLN start with Twitter and putz around there. Leave a comment with your tips/tricks/suggestions for follows/hashtags!

 

 

Review: Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu


I read Moa as part of a promotional tour. The book was given to me and I can win prizes for posting an excerpt from the book, an interview with the author, and my review (which you are reading right now). If you scroll to the bottom you will see more information about the tour and contest for bloggers. 

Hillary is eighteen and goes to Hawaii to visit her sister, Molly, and niece, Heidi. Molly and Heidi are dealing with the death of their husband/dad – a fact that seems like it will be more important than it is, it really serves to create a touching moment later in the book and solidify Molly’s believe in Moa. Hillary doesn’t think of herself as a witch (a sure sign that she is one), yet does create spells to redirect positive energy her way and to influence events. Hillary arrives just in time to play a major role in saving Hawaii by helping Moa, the spirit of a seven-year old.   

This book is billed as Young Adult (YA) but is more Y than A. I might recommend this book (if I couldn’t think of any alternatives) to a struggling reader in the 7th or 8th grades, however I’m not sure that the plot would be enough to keep their attention. I was not impressed by this book at all. The characters are flat, the plot seeks to be philosophical and deep, but rather comes off as a cheesy advertisement for a Christian afterlife under the cover of Hawaiian culture. Moa’s whole personality struck me as a caricature of the benevolent spirit, granted she is the spirit of a seven-year old, but she has been a spirit for much, much longer and that was not reflected well. The scenes that were meant to be suspenseful (Hillary racing through the town full of evil spirits that are in the guise of humans) seemed to me contrived. I was never hooked into the story. 

The interview with Shiu (read it here), reveals that the book comes from personal beliefs and draws on personal experiences, including visits to Hawaii and from spirits bearing messages. (As far as I know Shiu did not save Hawaii at anytime, but that is the sort of thing people never get credit for). The interview supports the idea that Shiu really wanted to write about her metaphysical beliefs but didn’t know/wasn’t sure how to do that in a non-fiction manner. I think if the book had taken shape as a non-fiction book, drawing on her personal experiences it would have resulted in a more interesting read. Needless to say (which is an interestingly untrue phrase isn’t it?) I will not be reading the sequel. 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku: The second book in the Moa Book Series, “The Statue of Ku” follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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