As if Google Docs wasn’t already fabulous, I learned about an extension and a feature enhancement this week that make me love Google Docs even more!
Draftback, described as “the archaeology of great writing,” is a Chrome extension that, once installed, allows you to watch the revision history of a Google Doc play back as a movie! How cool is this?!? It is like being able to look over the shoulder of the author and watch his/her writing process. This can be enormously informative when looking at student work, as well as a means of virtually modeling the writing process for your students. Along with watching the writing evolve, users can access document data and statistics to see a timeline of activity, note where in the document changes have been made, and view a table of writing sessions indicating the length of each session and number of revisions a contributor has made.
Want to learn more? Check out this brief tutorial.
Ready to try it out? Get the extension here.
Google Voice for Formatting & Editing
Enhancements have been made to the Voice Typing feature in Google Docs. Not only can you dictate your document, now you can format and edit text with voice commands as well!
Check out this list of voice commands that includes everything from copying and pasting to changing font color to inserting tables to navigating a document. Voice Commands are great for busy students and teachers, providing opportunities for on the fly authoring, as well as removing access barriers for students with poor keyboarding skills and motor challenges.
Learn more by watching this demo video:
Google Docs keeps getting better and better, providing an efficient and enhanced workflow.
Do you wish you had more whiteboard space in your classroom? Do you like having students add ideas and work to the whiteboards as part of your lessons? Do you feel as though having students come to the board takes time and only engages those at the board? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will want to check out webwhiteboard.com.
Webwhiteboard is an easy to use virtual whiteboard that has great potential in a 1:1 classroom.
No accounts are necessary and a whiteboard can be created in 2 clicks! Once you create your whiteboard, share the link with students and start collaborating!
Everyone who has access to the board can contribute using a few simple tools:
- Sticky notes
- Text boxes
Brainstorm, plan, analyze and organize as a whole class or in small groups. The possibilities are endless!
Boards can be revisited by following the shared URL or kept via an email message or image download.
Did you know that Google Docs has a feature that allows you to convert speech-to-text (think Siri)? Using the Chrome Browser on a computer/laptop with a microphone (Yogas & Chromebooks), you can:
- Open a new Google Document
- Click on Tools.
- Select Voice Typing
- A microphone appears in the margin – click on it and start talking!
- Your words appear on the page. You can say “period” to punctuate a sentence and “new line” to jump to a new line.
- Click on the microphone to turn the feature off.
This feature can be a huge time saver for you, and a great way to get reluctant writers started on a document!
Here is a brief video tutorial showing how the tool works: