Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Twitter - To Reply or Reply All?

A few weeks ago I shared my discovery of the "Add another Tweet" button on Twitter.  Today I have another cool share...the "Select Who Gets Your Reply" option. 

You know those times when someone hits reply all instead of reply?  I find that happens on Twitter all the time.  Sometimes I just want to send a GIF or short reply to the person who posted the tweet, not the other 15 people tagged in it.  This is possible...here is how:

When you click the reply icon, you see this screen:

Instead of just typing your reply, you can click the names to get a list of all those tagged in the tweet.  Then, you can check the box beside "Others in this conversation" to remove all others from the list of who will receive the reply.  You can also uncheck names individually to only include some of the others.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Editing the Master Slide

One of my practices, when I am delivering a workshop, is to be sure I have the link to slide deck on every slide, that way if someone comes in late they can catch up quickly without feeling they need to disrupt the flow of the presentation or any other participants.  It works well for presentation in classes as well.

I used to paste the URL on each slide, but inevitably I miss a slide, or have to move it around based on content on the slide already.

Then, I discovered the Master Slide.  By changing the master slide I can add the URL (usually a custom one made with bitly) when I make my first slide, then I know it will be there, and can place text and objects on my slides around it.

To access the Master Slide in Google Slides, go to Slide --> Edit Master.  Then I add features and make changes as necessary.

Changing the master slides in a deck has many uses...change all headers to the same font/size, change features on only one slide layout, and more.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Have a case of Tab-itis? Try Toby mini!

At any given time I might have a dozen or more tabs open.

About a year ago I started using a Chrome extension called Toby Mini. Toby "organizes your browser tabs into Toby so you can access key resources in one-click".  It has made my workflow so easy...honestly I could not live without it.

Once you install the extension you are able to organize web resource in one place!  I have a collection for meeting  minutes and Agendas, projects I am working on, resources for #ShukesAndGiff and more.

Let me show you what it is like:

  1. You can search all your collections easily in the search bar.
  2. Group tabs together in Collections.  You can name collections.
  3. Collections can be expanded or collapsed to save space.
  4. You can open all the tabs in a Collection with a simple click of a button
  5. Collections can be shared.  By pressing the share tab a public link is created.  This is a great way to share multiple resources with others. (See below.)

  6. Collections can be re-ordered with the arrow button.
  7. The Timbits allow users to add notes between cards with links, edit titles, remove collections and more. (You can also rename the cards and erase them easily with the pencil and x icons.)

  8. On the left sidebar, all currently open tabs are listed.  Drag one of these into a collection to add it to that collection.  (This will close that tab.)  You can also add a tab to a collection by pressing the Chrome extension button and selecting a Collection.

  9. Create new Collections by pressing the arrow button on the bottom right-hand corner.

My three favourite uses:
  1. Load your week.  Every Sunday I load up all the links I am going to need for meetings and such in the week ahead.  This saves me a lot of time in my day and I have less anxiety is I am running late.
  2. Load tabs for a conference/class.  By using the open all # tabs I can quickly open tabs I need for a presentation or class.  This allows time for items like videos to buffer and I can meet attendees or students instead of loading up resources.
  3. Have all project resources in one place.  Instead of searching all over my Google Drive (even my starred files can get out of control) and through my Chrome bookmarks, I make Collections to have everything in one place.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

What you find when you pay attention - multiple Twitter posts at once

In my last post, I talked about the fact that I had never noticed the Friendmoji button on the Bitmoji keyboard before.  Well...it happened again...another instance where I was blind to a button I have likely seen but haven't noticed thousands of times.

Beside the tweet button (on the web, not mobile), there is a little plus button.

On mobile it looks like this (little plus button on the bottom right - Thanks Justine Wright for that tip!):

Turns out, when you tap that button, another tweet window opens underneath.  You can type in that new tweet window and, when you are ready, post all tweets at once!  

This solves the mystery (to me) of how people have really long tweets all in a row.  Full disclosure, I was often amazed that people knew how many tweets their longer message would take.  Note: I realise this might be obvious to some, and amazing to others - I fall into the later category!

So why am I sharing this?  I love how it shows that we can always discover new things in places we have been many times.  I also think it shows the importance of paying attention to the details because you never know what little treasures are hiding in plain sight!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Changing ALL Link Colours in Google Slides

When I work in Google Slides I often include links...but the default colour for links is this weird aqua-ish green.

Weird Green colour

There are times though that I want the links to be a different colour...maybe to match a theme, or maybe to go to the traditional blue so the look of the link is familiar to others.

Usually, I would highlight the text, go to the font colour icon and manually change the font colour.  

Manually change the font

But on a slide like this....

...that's a lot of work.

So after poking around on the internet a bit, I found a way to change ALL the links in a slide deck to a selected colour.  All you need to do is enter a script on the back end of the deck once and they all change!  And the script is written!!  Thanks to Manuel at karriere.at for the script. (Follow the link in Manuel's name if you want to read his explanation of what each part of the script does to make it work.)

Here is what you do.... DON'T be scared...it looks like a lot but I promise it is easy peasy!
  1. In the slide deck click Tools --> Script Editor
  2. Script Editor will open in a new window.  Erase all data in the script (get rid of function myFunction() {  })
  3. Copy and paste this script in the window.  
  4. Click the save icon (the floppy disk) 
  5. You will be prompted to name the script project.  This name doesn't really matter.  I called mine Font Colour.
  6. Click the run icon (it is a triangle that looks like a play button).
  7. You will be prompted to authorize the script.  Click Review Permissions.
  8. Select your Google Account.
  9. On the "This app isn't verified" page, click Advanced NOT BACK TO SAFETY (this will stop the script from running).
  10. Scroll down and click Go To (Script Name) (unsafe)
    Note: the only reason it is unsafe is that you entered the script and you are not a verified app developer.
  11. Click the blue ALLOW button.
  12. Click the run icon (it is a triangle that looks like a play button).
  13. You should see a small message at the top of the window when the script runs.  Once it disappears, go back to the tab with the slide deck and all your links should be changed to blue!
  14. You can close the tab with the script editor.
How it looks after you run the script!  Two clicks!!

A few things to note:
  1. Steps 7-12 will only happen when you run the script the first time on a slide deck.  
  2. If you add links AFTER you run the script, you will need to run the script again to change the newly entered links.  You will only need to do steps 1 & 6 above (open the script editor and press run).
  3. If you don't want your links to be blue, you can change that in the fourth last line of the script.  Change #0000EE (the HEX code for Blue) to any other HEX colour code.  Remember to include the #.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The 4Cs and Friendmojis

Last month I went out for a bite to eat with a former student of mine, Diana.  I love catching up with former students to see how they are growing up to become incredible young adults.  I love it, even more, when they teach me something new.  She texted me this...

...and I was like...how did you get my Bitmoji and put it together with yours?!  Turns out it is called a Friendmoji (insert old person #GenerationGap joke).  She explained that if you have the Bitmoji keyboard on your phone, you can add these by clicking the little double face on the right side of the Bitmoji search bar.  Very fun!

Cut to today.  Sylvia Duckworth has a great, creative workshop all about making comics with Bimojis.  It is really fun.  She was looking to level it up. We are part of a Google Hangout Group called Maple Syrup EDU...a group full of amazing, talented, helpful Canadian educators.  We communicate in this group often - and Syl turned to the group to collaborate and generate ideas. 
So we did some critical thinking and here was how it went:
  • I shared Friendmojis..and it seemed like a solution until we realised that you need to be Snapchat friends with the other person...and we don't all have Snapchat - and a lot of schools have it blocked.
  • Chris Webb shared a doc (see shot on the right) that a student had created wherein she had created a whole bunch of different emojis to create a story...but that took making a whole bunch of email accounts and Bitmojis.
  • Jonathan So suggested using your own account and just changing it up, but that seemed a little labour intensive.
  • We all wondered if it could work with the Bitmoji Chrome extension.  It couldn't.
  • Then, Michelle Armstrong did some digging and found a Friendmoji creator!  It creates Friendmojis with just the link of two bitmoji - links that can be retrieved from the Bitmoji Chrome Extension!  #WIN!
Huge High 5 to Michelle Armstrong!

Michelle then leveled it up and created this Google Sheet to make the process easy.
  1. From your Bitmoji Chrome Extension, copy the image URL for any Bitmoji
  2. Paste that in the Friend 1 column (Column C)
  3. Ask a friend for the image URL for their Bitmoji. Paste that into the Friend 2 column (Column D)
  4. Watch the magic happen with some clever functions (like =MID). Column A will have the link you need to get this:
Me and my Friendmoji Darren Maltais

So now, we have a fun way to create...thanks to some good old fashion comminication, criticial thinking and collaboration!  Oh Canada! 

Custom Headers in Google Classroom

About a month ago, Google announced a new material theme design for Google Classroom.  One of those updates included 78 new themes.

Now I love choice...but what I might like more is creating...and one thing I love to do in Google Classroom is to create custom headers for my classes!

In order to create your own header, you need a canvas that is 1600x400 pixels.  I tend to create mine in Google Drawings or Google Slides.  I even have a template you can use to make your own headers!

Instructions for use are embedded in the grey space, but a few things to note:
  1. When the link opens, click the blue Use Template button in the top right corner to make your own copy in your Drive.
  2. Make sure you zoom out (go to the magnifying glass on the toolbar) so you can see all the grey space.
  3. I have suggested some icons to use...you can find more easily by finding or creating transparent images (see my blog post on making your own or on finding ones that are made already)
  4. Remember to be digitally responsible!  Use pictures that are licensed for your use (check out this Pinterest board full of resources to find photos).
If you are looking to create other social media posts, check out this Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet.  (Thanks to the @BISDWiredTeam for making me aware of this!)

Happy Creating!