Google Forms and Leaving a Domain…

Google_Forms_IconSo as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, last spring I left Totino-Grace High School. Of course I had been “all in” with Google and I admit, I am one of those who LOVES the things that can be done with Google Forms, so I had a lot of forms (700+) in my EDU account. True, some of the Forms weren’t critical, but many were unique learning activities and I wanted to be sure I kept copies for future reference.

When it was time, I followed the process recommended to me, Google Takeout, to back up all things Google. I also tried to copy everything into a new account, I’m not even sure how I did that, but I followed a blogger’s directions (I wish I remembered whose, I’d give credit here) and it moved all of my email but had random success in moving files from Drive to Drive. Regardless, I thought I was set. About three days after putting in the “Google Takeout” order, I had zip folders containing my 7? years worth of Google Data from the Totino-Grace domain. I thought I was set. I was wrong.

A few weeks ago, one of my new colleagues was getting ready to teach Of Mice and Men and we were talking about the 1930’s. I offered to share some of the materials I used last year to teach that time period, and I went back to my backup hard drive to see what I could come up with. Much to my chagrin, every Form was an HTML and CSV file and not in a format that I could crack and rebuild into a usable Form.

After a number of trials and errors, and knowing that I no longer had access to my old Google account, I reached out to my former Google Administrator who was able to put all of my TG files into a folder, and then share the folder with me so I could make copies of the Forms individually. You would think that could be done from the main menu listing all of the files as one can do with a doc or slide but, no. Because almost all of my Forms’ settings were checked so only those in the domain could view them, to successfully copy them, I had to open each Form, uncheck the restricted access boxes, and then make the copy while looking at the Form itself (granted, at that point, I might have been able to make a copy from the main contents list, but since I was already looking at the Form, it seemed like the thing to do at that point.

So I have learned. Google Takeout isn’t all it is cracked up to be, at least not for Forms, AND, if one wants to keep a Google Doc or Google presentation with Slides in their “Google” Form, go the share-with-another-domain-then-copy route, or everything will be converted to .doc and .ppt files. I do still love Google and what Forms can do in the classroom, but right now, I’m not the happiest Google camper. And, while I have learned, I am not yet done with my “Project Save My Forms” effort. Maybe by the end of next week, if I’m lucky…

“Crowd-Creating” a Presentation With Google

Wanting students to work as a class to create a presentation is not a new idea. Some of my colleagues were talking about doing this in science classes by having each student creates a slide, emailing it to the teacher, and the teaching combining the slides into one show to then post on Haiku.  After some discussion, they warmed to the idea of doing the following:

1. Set up a Google Slide presentation (a title slide and one slide for each person or team if desired) that has permissions set to allow “Anyone with the link can edit.” (With this setting, up to 50 people could simultaneously edit the presentation.

2.  Post the link on Haiku

3. Have students create their slides (or edit designated “placeholder” slides so the desired order is maintained)


The result? A presentation created by all, able to be referred to by all, and no time required by the teacher on the back end! It might not seem overly flashy, but the idea is moving through our faculty and they love it.

Haven’t explored Google Slides much?  Here is a link to the Google Help Guide for Google Slides (Presentations).

Linking Magic with Google Drive

Google Drive’s sharing options are great. Today my seniors discussed some research

about cases on the Supreme Court’s 2013-14 docket. Some of them typed their notes into a Google Doc, others used Pages and even one used paper (amazing, isn’t it?). Once we were finished, all of the research needed to be turned in and it was my goal to allow the students to see the work of the others so I created a Google doc that had a table in it and each student typed the name of their court case into the document. The students who created their notes in a Google doc clicked “Share” and set the privacy settings to “Public: Anyone With the Link Can View.” They then copied the URL, went to their case name in our shared document, highlighted it, clicked the link button, and added their URL so their case name became a hyperlink to their research. For those who created their notes in Pages, we uploaded the document to Google Drive, didn’t convert it, and then shared it with the same process. For the one who wrote out in pencil? We scanned the paper to pdf, uploaded it to Google drive and shared that too. It was great.

This same process could be used to make a great class fake “Facebook” assignment. Have each student pick and research an author, famous person, event, something like that. Then, each student will make a copy of a “Fake Facebook” Google template like this one. They fill in the required information, share their links with the class, and then in the “Friends” column, they can select their classmates’ URLs and create hyperlinked “Friends” like the real Facebook allows so an historical period could be linked together like this! (Only JFK & LBJ are linked in this example.)  Pretty sweet…

Public Domain? Meet Government Shutdown

A neat trick for finding many public domain resources has been thwarted by the partial government shutdown.  Recognizing that the resources created by the Federal Government (images, video, documents), are funded by tax dollars, they are in the public domain thereby free (and great for education!). It may or may not be well known that a Google search for the thing you are looking for followed by (all lowercase) returns to the searcher results limited to government websites. (e.g. hot air balloon  will result in many images from NASA and other .gov sites with hot air balloons that are in the public domain.

With the events of the past week, many of the Federal Government websites including the National Park Service’s Public

USG Closed Sites

Domain Image Library, NASA and NIST are not available. Frustrating for people who like this great resource for presentations, webcreations, and multimedia projects, but it is good to be aware. Looking for some alternatives? Maybe not as diverse but the MorgueFile is one of many other great resources for education-friendly images.