Google Drive – Make a template

It is back to school time! I thought I would start this school year with a pretty simple tutorial on how to create a template that you can reuse over and over again. If you have ever used Google Classroom then there is a type of version of this already there. When you make an assignment and attach a Google Doc, Sheet or Slideshow then you have the option to make a copy for each student. That way the original stays untouched and each student will have their own copy to play with!

Well in Google Drive you can make a template that you can use over and over again without the original getting sullied. Be aware though that the template will be accessible by the whole organization. If you cannot do this from your school account, you should reach out to your IT team and reference these instructions so they can turn this on for you.

Continue reading “Google Drive – Make a template”

Google Workspaces and transferring ownership

Well, well, well I learned something new today.

An area I’ve always wanted to do better was to help our students leaving our school transition their data from our school account to a personal account (most likely a personal account since they probably won’t have their new school account yet. As you can tell from the title we use Google Services (recently rebranded to Google Workspaces). Our students use Google Drive to not only create documents but also as a place to store their files.

For safety reasons we limit all sharing of documents and emails to be restricted to our domain, but at the end of this year we decided to try and do a better job of helping out students transition their data from their school account to a personal account.

I thought it would be as simple as having students go into the sharing settings of individual settings, share it to their personal account and then go back into the sharing settings and change the ownership to that account.

Continue reading “Google Workspaces and transferring ownership”

Make your own flashcards in Google Sheets

OK – to be fair, you need Google Sheets and the Flippity add on, but still, this is pretty handy, easy to do and works really – really well. I’ve seen a couple of articles about this on the web but I’m going to go a little deeper and walk you through from start to finish.

In this example, we will be doing some language learning though I can think of this being used for math problems and vocabulary as well and much, much more. So let’s get started.

Google Translate in Sheets

The first thing we need to do is open Google Sheets and get ready for some magic! We will be translating words from English to Spanish. I will be using specific words and not phrases. As we all know translating longer pieces of text can sometimes lead to unexpected results 🙂

As you can see, I have 10 English words about the Spring season. I could look these up, but I will let Google Translate do it for me.

In cell B2 I will type this formula which will translate it from English to Spanish automatically.

=googletranslate(A2, “en”, “es”)

  • So let’s break this down. =googletranslate will let Google Sheets know that it needs to use Google Translate – pretty straight forward. Don’t forget the comma!
  • A2 tells Google Sheet where the word is that needs to translated.
  • “en” (yes you need the quotations) lets it know what language the original language is.
  • “es” (again don’t forget those quotes) let’s it know what it needs to translate it to. (ES = Spanish by the way)

So this is what it will look like.

Now all we need to is move your mouse to the bottom right hand corner of cell B2 (it should turn into a + sign) then click and drag down like in the GIF below.

BOOM!

Google Sheets (any spreadsheet program really) understands the pattern and automatically replicates the googletranslate formula all the way down properly changing the cells as needed.

Now we are ready to turn this into interactive flashcards

Flippity Add-on

The next thing we need to do is get the Flippity add-on. To do this open a blank Google Sheet and then click on Add-ons from the menu bar. Then select Get Add-ons.

A new window will pop up and from here search for and add Flippity to Google Sheets. You only need to do this once. After you’ve added it, every new Google Sheet you open will have the ability to utilize the Flippity add-on if you want it to.

To activate the Flippity add-on, click on Add-ons and select Flippity and select Pick a Template.

The template you will want to chose is, surprise – surprise, Flashcards. Go ahead and click Use.

Flippity will do some magic and then create a new worksheet with whole bunch of info that you do NOT want.

Do not be alarmed. This is merely an example of how and where to put your data. So go ahead delete all of their information and copy and paste your data. Your data will be on another sheet (probably called Sheet 1 like mine). You can find this at the bottom of the page.

You may also notice that you can customize the flashcard color and the text color. This is not necessary but a nice touch. Here is my finished flashcard spreadsheet.

The Flashcards!

To get to the flashcards, click on Add-ons, select Flippity and then select Flippity.net URL.

A pop up will appear with a web address. You can click that and it will take you to your very own custom made flashcards!

You can also check out my flashcards and get your Spanish learning on!

https://www.flippity.net/fc.asp?k=1OZQDpvkTNQYPHRGmplqIxI88WnGxgmHAC3kswYPPcL4

Helpful tips and parting thoughts

You can do this on Quizlet, but I find the translation part much faster with Google Sheets and with the URL you can easily share out your flashcards with multiple people and there is no need for an additional account (though you can sign into Quizlet with your Google ID) tp sign into.

All in all – this took me around 5 minutes to make and I think you can make this as large or as small as you would like – have fun with it! It could be a good activity for a class or a group of students to help study and quiz one another.

Flippity can also make some other cool things like a Jeopardy so be sure to explore and see what else you can do with Google Sheets and Flippity.

When it comes to Google Sheets, small mistakes in the formula can lead to big errors so it is always good to double check the translation and make sure that it is indeed correct.

Subscriptions: Get the Best Deal Possible

By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

I am often shocked and amazed at the prices people are paying for subscriptions/services. Believe it or not, schools pay different prices for the same products. There is usually a deal to be made, and here are a few simple tips to make certain you are getting the best deals out there.

Crowd Source

Make some online connections who also work at schools. Setup a shared spreadsheet. Have people add the products they use. Do not ask them to list prices, many terms of service prohibit publishing that type of data. When you see people using the same solutions that your school uses, privately confirm what pricing they are getting.

Dealing with sales people is easier if you already know the answer to the questions.

Ask for MultiYear Deals

Any service or subscription that your institution considers a core solution should not be on an annual renewal. Not only are you wasting time and paperwork, but you are wasting money.

Ask for pricing for one year, three years, and five years. Look at the terms of payment and cancellation. It is often very surprising what the final cost is compared to the simple annual renewal. I usually look at three year deals as they are usually more flexible.

Find Competition, and Make it Known

Regardless of how much adoration there is for a service, remember, business is business. Services close down and sell-out all the time. When a company sells-out, they do not call your school to ask what you think. Companies are in business to stay in business.

Schools should always look for competition for products and services they are using. Schools should always have someone doing research and demos before renewals. Schools should not pay invoices because of an emotional connection.

It is an excellent idea to inform companies that you are looking for other solutions and doing due diligence.

Sales people know the game, and know who they are playing against. Most good sales people tend to know their competition’s pricing models and margins. Sales people will make better offers, package additional features, and push for better terms from their bosses when they know a competitor is involved.

Avoid the Shopping Cart

The listed website price is rarely the best deal. In fact, many good products require a quick form/survey to be completed before they issue a quote. These companies want to have the chance to offer not only the best price, but the best options; options that someone buying from an online shopping cart may skip.

I am not saying this is always the case, but I always contact the sales team to reconfirm the pricing, and deals.

Skip the cart, send a message first.


Need help or more information dealing with a vendor/service? Have a service you need to move away from, but you feel locked in?

Send me a personal email and we can review some additional strategies. (tony.deprato@gmail.com)