Yesterday I shared something most of you already know. I love the Google. I’m getting into the idea of Keep and Tasks, my new favorite Google tools. Yesterday, you got a few of my favorite Google Search tips and tricks.
Today? Google Drive and YouTube.
Google Drive / Docs / Slides / Sheets
Google Drive has a handy research tool built in that acts a Google search tool while you work on your paper. Find it under Tools > Research in Docs or Slides. Clicking it will open a window on the right side of your document. Enter your keywords and research away. In the Research pane, by hovering over the link, you can click on it to open in a new tab, you can preview the site, and insert the link. Using the Cite button will grab the citation in MLA, APA, or Chicago styles and insert it into your document.
Change the citation style and search specifically for different levels of copyright by clicking the arrow directly below the search box.
You can also specifically search images, Google Scholar, quotes, and more by clicking the drop down menu beside the Google icon in the search box. You can drag and drop images into your Doc and Google automatically inserts a footnote for you.
I like using the camera on my iPhone to capture a variety of things – presentations, documents, all sorts of stuff. And now I can use my phone to capture and automatically add these images to Google Drive. Simple open the Google Drive app on your phone. Click the Plus sign in the top right hand corner and scroll down to Use Camera. Take a picture and there it is – nested neatly in your Drive.
Add-ons in Google Tools are handy little pieces of software that you, well . . . add on to whatever Tool you’re using so that you can do extra things that Tool can’t do. Open Google Docs or Sheets or Slides, click the Add-Ons tab across the top, select Get Add-ons, and add the ones you want. My favorites are EasyBib for Docs and Flubaroo for Sheets. EasyBib does exactly what it sounds like – easily creates a Works Cited section to your document. Flubaroo works with Sheets to automatically grade quizzes that you create using Forms.
We all need to be using shortcut keys more often, especially on Chromebooks. You only need to remember one to start with – Shift ?. This brings up the whole list of shortcuts right in the Google Drive window. You can also access the shortcut screen by clicking the Settings icon in the top right corner of Drive and clicking Keyboard Shortcuts.
There are some extensions out there that do the same thing but I like Viewpure better. Basically,Viewpure strips everything off of the YouTube page and all you or your kids see is the actual video itself. No comments, no next video. Just a pure clean screen. You don’t even have to go to the YouTube site. Start at Viewpure, do your search, and Viewpure does the rest. You can also copy and paste YouTube URLs back into the Viewpure site.
But the easiest method is to drag and install the Purify bookmarklet onto your browser’s task bar. Then go to YouTube, find the video you want, and click the Purify bookmarklet. Done
You might also like TubeChop. The site also lets you search for YouTube videos directly or copy and paste video URLs into to their site. Once loaded, you and your students can trim videos into shorter ones. Once you’ve trimmed the video, TubeChop gives you a unique URL that you can then share or embed directly into your own site. Pretty sweet.
The editing options in Youtube are something that I think a lot of teachers and students don’t use enough. Most of us get in the habit of simply uploading our raw videos to our YouTube channel and call it good. But there is so much more you can do. To edit uploaded videos, go to your channel and click on Video Manager. Beside each of your uploaded videos is an Edit menu that allows you to do all sorts of things. Add annotations, closed captioning, copyright free background audio, and enhancements such as slow motion and filters. Get the details here.
What’s your favorite tip?