Google Applications for Education are constantly changing. New features and functionality are added and updated on a regular basis, there is no need to wait for a version update or service patch, it just happens. One new feature that has recently been added to this suite of tools is a just-in-time training option for learning that is located right inside the application itself. Synergyse is an extension you add to the Google Chrome browser that provides quick 2-min-or-less videos to help understand functionality within the products right when and where you need it.
One of the benefits of a web-based application like Google Apps for Education is the software is updated automatically so you don’t have to install patches, service updates or version revisions. That all happens in the background and you don’t have to be responsible for it. One of the downsides is the application is always updated, without any action from you, so it may not look exactly how it did the last time you used it.
“Oh Google, you’ve changed where that button was located since I used you yesterday. Why do you look completely different from the last time I showed you to my class?” It can be a bit unnerving if you open a Google Application to show your class or a colleague how to do something, only to discover buttons moved or the interface changed or something doesn’t quite look the same as when you used last used it. But if you take a deep breath and try not to panic, you’ll usually find what you were looking for. Google is pretty good about announcing entirely new interfaces and often gives you the option to go back to the old version.
When Google Forms updated their interface earlier this spring, the interface was completely different. When you open a form you created before the upgrade Google is nice enough to offer you the option to try out the new forms or let you stick with the old format. And If you want to try out the new format and then don’t like it, Google gives you the option to go back.
Hint: If you can’t find what you’re looking for in most Google Apps, look for this symbol.This icon and will most often contain more features and options that are specific to the application you’re working.
RECENT UPDATES TO GOOGLE APPS FOR EDUCATION
ACCEPT QUESTIONS INSIDE GOOGLE SLIDES
This new feature is a great way to collect questions while giving a live presentation. The audience adds questions through a web portal as you progress through your slides. In this manner, you can incorporate student participation without necessarily interrupting your presentation flow. This gives students who might not speak up in class the chance to ask questions. This could also be useful for your students during their own presentations. https://goo.gl/PDI3gR
IN-LINE TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Google recently purchased Synergyse a company which provides training videos right inside of Google Apps. Synergyse was a paid service and now, with the new purchase, you can add this service for free. This is a chrome extension so you need to be using Chrome with your Google Apps in order to use it. View quick 2-minute-or-less videos to help you understand functionality right when and where you need it. You can add Synergyse Training for Google Apps to your Chrome browser. https://www.synergyse.com
RESIZE THE FORMULA BAR IN GOOGLE SHEETS
See what you are doing by resizing the formula bar to see complicated formulas or data entered in a specific cell! If you use one of the many function capabilities in a Google Sheet, you may have found it hard to troubleshoot your formula because of the size restrictions on the formula bar. Expand the area to take a closer look. Learn more at
Keep up to date with changes by exploring any of these resources:
- G+ community: https://goo.gl/UAMjPX
Download the Teaching Tip PDF: TT-GoogleAppsUpdates