Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Icons in Google Apps & Conditional Formatting

The joy of using Google Apps for Education is that very often updates occur – like weekly.

However, every once in a while I login and notice that something is different and a little off.  Such was the case this week when I noticed that the icons for the Google Documents changed as well as a few of their colors.  In addition to that specific change, there are a few other helpful features Google has added in recently to Documents in particular.  Check out the video below for more information:

For more information on Docs, Sheets, and Slides (Google's new Drive names for Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentation) check out this link to their support page.

In addition, some features of Google Apps for Education are worth repeating.  For instance, in Google Spreadsheets the use of conditional formatting is, I believe, an underutilized tool.  It can filter out responses and color code them with ease.  The only thing the user has to do is set-up the formatting.  Check out the video below on how to do that:

As you can hopefully see there are a number of uses for conditional formatting.  We recently used this at school to track which students had turned in important emergency record paperwork.  The ones that had turned it in received an "x" and their cell background turned green and those that had not turned in their paperwork the cells were blank and the background turned red.  It was very easy for instructors and office staff to quickly scan through the list and pull out those missing information.  The same can be used in a classroom.  With conditional formatting set up staff can quickly look and see how much re-teaching needs to occur or how many students actually understood the concept after watching a video.  A quick visual is always a good idea.

Google Apps for Education continues to amaze me with the power of their suite of apps.  Hopefully these videos have been helpful.  There will be more to come in the future!