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Home > SLS Tech Camp


School Library Tech Camp :: Google Stuff!


Dec 5-7, 2014 - Capital Region BOCES SLS & Questar III SLS






  • GAFE: Suite of Google apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Classroom, etc. All branded for your school and managed by your school's IT staff
  • Free to schools.
  • Businesses can get similar service for a fee.
  • Personal users can use apps too, but there are limits. And you'll have a identity.
  • Google Classroom is the newest 'big thing' - not available to demo. Only available to GAFE schools. Sneak peek of Classroom video.
  • GAFE Twitter chat - 1st and 3rd Tuesdays 8-9pm ET #gafechat





  • Picasa software for Mac & Windows is still a great tool for organizing photos. It looks for all the photos on your hard drive. Looks for faces and helps find all the pics of great aunt sadie. Create collages. Add keywords to help find photos later. Can synchronize with Google+ photos.
  • Auto Upload Photos: Photos on your phone can be automatically uploaded to Google Photos.
  • Create Photo Collections: Use SLIDES in Google Docs to create a collection of photos for projects. Use research option to search for relevant images, limit to CC license. 



  • Google Voice gives you an alternate phone number. Make calls from computer or over mobile devices.
  • Free calls within US. Really cheap overseas rates.
  • Don't have a computer microphone? Have it call your phone, pick up that phone when it rings. GV will then dial the # you are calling.  I use this over my landline all the time. No long distance charges and no lousy cell phone connection.
  • Also - I forward my cell phone to GV when traveling out of cell phone range. GV answers, records messages, transcribes and sends me an email alert.



  • Search Operators
  • Google Search Infographic - May be a bit out of date, but still useful.
  • Google Search Education - Lesson plans and more
  • Power Searching Tutorials from Google
  • Google A Day Search Challenges
  • Advanced search is still hard to find :
  • Search Settings
    • Show more results per page
    • Change language of interface
    • Change locatio
  • Search Tools Menu: On results page, the search tools menu is very handy. The limiters that appear on that menu vary with the type of results being viewed.
    • Web Search:
      • Any Time: Limit by date.
      • All Results: Limit by reading level
    • Review the Search Tools menu on all the different types of results
      • Images: Usage Rights will limit by copyright and reuse licensing
  • Private Results
    • If you're logged in, you can search for things like: my events, my photos of london, my flights, etc. and Google will retrieve results from your gmail, photos and calendar.
    • Turn on/off private search results icon is on right side of screen near the "gear"



  • Indexes full text of scholarly articles, though full-text might not be freely available. Regular Google search isn't going to get at that full text. 
  • Includes:
    • Scholarly articles in fee-based databases, campus repositories and via open web content. Faculty web pages with PDFs of their publications are included. 
    • Case Law - Federal and states
    • Patents - note that there's also a Patent search page: which includes more than just US patents
  • Find related articles by following the "Cited" and "Related Articles" links. 
  • Look at "all versions" and follow links to see if you can get a full text version. 
  • Set up alerts for topics to keep up to date.
  • Settings has an option to look for works in other languages. 
  • Have connections with a local college? Add access to their databases through the Settings options. 



  •  - 20 million books scanned as of 2013
    • Find free textbooks, free out-of-copyright books, previews of newer commercial books.
    • Create bookshelves of books and share with students.
    • Book searches include links to Google Play to purchase books. Some are free, but "purchase" option gives you an ePub for you ereader. Some have a quicker download option under the "gear" icon. 
    • Ngram Viewer: see how many times words have been used over time in books that have been scanned. 
  • Go Way Beyond Books with Google Books - Free webinar with overview of Google Books. Some tips from the webinar: 
    • Search for: Chemistry and limit to: 21st century, free ebooks
    • Select a book. Use the Contents drop down to jump to a chapter. 
    • Get a link that takes you directly to the chapter. Or embed on a website. 
    • Add the book to "My Library". Could create a bookshelf of titles to share with students.
    • Even books that don't have complete content might have a nice teaser preview. 
    • Scissors tool: create a screencapture of a page or image. Also select content to translate.
    • Use magazines for older articles, advertising, etc. 
    • Make a map and link book chapters/titles to map. Could use to do this. 
    • Use to convert documents into ePub format to share. 







  • Google Drive Blog 
  • Great for sharing and collaborating. Students can work together and share documents with you. Add comments and assessments to their assignments. You can also share documents with them, assignments, etc. Use Forms to gather information.
  • Desktop-Offline Synchronization: Install Google Drive on desktop/laptop for offline access to documents. Also explore the Google Drive Apps for your mobile devices. Note that there may be limitations on features in the mobile apps.
  • Personal account
    • 15 GB storage for Drive, Photos & Gmail. Files created w Docs, Slides and Sheets don't count towards total. Photos smaller than 2048px by 2048px don't count either.
    • Check your current storage here:
  • Articles, Guides, Tips
  • Selected Tips
    • Image Editing: More options in Slides than Docs.
    • Forms: Much more customizable now. Change header images, fonts and more.
    • Research Tool: Create a new document. Tools menu --> Research. Pops up a sidebar to do a google search.
    • Slides as Note Cards: Open Slides, use research tool in sidebar to start finding information for a project. Copy/paste to cards. Add sources. Write notes. Use it like old 3x5 index cards.  Short video on this from FreeTechforTeachers
    • How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz
    • Store videos on Google Drive for viewing in class. Use KeepVid or other video downloader to save YouTube and Vimeo videos to your computer, then upload to Google Drive.
  • Add Functionality
    • AddOns: Add functionality to Google Docs. EasyBib, Tag Cloud Generator and much more. Open a new Google Doc. Look for addons menu and explore.
    • Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides: View and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
    • Kaizena: Leave audio comments on Google Docs



  • Extensions
    • These addons interact with the content on your web page. eg: saving a bookmark, taking a screenshot, translating a word or a page
    • Use 'hamburger' menu at far right to find settings --> Extensions --> Get more extensions (at bottom of page -
  • Apps
    • Apps are applications that run inside your browser window. Like Google drive, Google hangouts, and so on.
    • Look for the rainbow grid "launcher" on your toolbar. It holds shortcuts to all your installed apps.



  • Safety Center  - tips and tools for managing your online experience. Links to partner web sites and other resources. Includes a section on Safety Tools  for filtering, managing multiple accounts, safe search for kids, privacy settings and more
  • Enable Two-Step Authentication - if you log in from a new device, you'll be asked for a code. Use the verification app on your phone to get a code. And print out a sheet of codes that you can use when your phone isn't handy.



  • About Hangouts
  • Need a G+ account to use, unless you're a Google Apps user.
  • Can access Hangouts from gmail, g+, apps, etc.  It's can be a bit confusing!
  • Login and invite someone to join you in chat only. Then try voice. Or voice and video.
  • Apps for Android and iOS. Desktop too.
  • Use is to invite a speaker or colleague to video in and chat with class. Just set up a simple, private google hangout.
  • Have homework help sessions. Share your screen if you need to show them something on your computer or web.
  • Hangouts on Air are more complicated, but great for a big public event.
  • Hangouts app can also now sit on your desktop and in your task bar as standalone tool (blog reference:
  • Google Helpouts : Uses Hangouts to connect you with experts on all sorts of topics. Set up an appointment time, some charge, some free. Google is currently testing a healthcare helpout service.
  • 18 Ways Teachers Can Use Google Hangouts 
  • ( is another free tool that is far simpler, but more limited)


Lots More Google Resources


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