Google Drive vs YouTube – Which to use in distance learning

A number of teachers have been making their own tutorial videos for distance learning. A common question I get is whether or not to store it in Google Drive or to put it on YouTube?

I say YouTube.

The reason why I suggest YouTube over Google Drive is simply the processing times. On YouTube, it will process videos very quickly. With Google Drive can also process videos quickly . . . when it wants to. Sometimes it can take hours to process the same video Google Drive. While it seems like they are both doing the same thing, the YouTube service has way more resources dedicated to this singular process and so it typically goes faster. Continue reading “Google Drive vs YouTube – Which to use in distance learning”

Episode 172 – Did Someone Say Pirated Movies?

Tony and Patrick are back with more Ed Tech goodness. Check out the talking points below and be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app (PocketCasts is free now!).

  1. PSA: Google Drive and Pirated Movies by Patrick Cauley
    1. https://itbabble.com/2019/09/23/psa-google-drive-and-pirated-movies/
    2. Digital Millennium Copyright Act – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act 
  2. Computer Science Empathy by Tony DePrato
    1. https://itbabble.com/2019/09/18/computer-science-empathy/
    2. Great advice for getting started
  3. Microsoft: We want you to learn Python by Liam Tung of ZDnet
    1. https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-we-want-you-to-learn-python-programming-language-for-free/
    2. 44 short beginner Python videos
    3. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlrxD0HtieHhS8VzuMCfQD4uJ9yne1mE6 
    4. Slashdot.com Hidden Video Games
      1. https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/09/24/0143229/researchers-find-mystery-hidden-in-early-80s-atari-game
  4. Stop having a love affair with your suppliers
    1. Remember they are in it to make money
    2. Keep it healthy

PSA: Google Drive and Pirated Movies

This is just a quick public service announcement and one not too new. We have seen a number of postings on a local listserv that says that students have been accessing pirated movies on Google Drive. All you need to do is search Google Drive + Popular Movie Title and that is about it. Check out the GIF below as I find Avengers: Endgame on Google Drive.There are a couple of items to be worried about.

  1. Putting pirated movies on Google Drive is illegal and Google (not the school/district) could shut the account down – permanently
  2. Putting movies that are protected by copyright on any server for a lot of people (or even just yourself) to view is simply illegal
  3. Students looking for this content could accidentally find malware, viruses or phishing scams so be careful.

You can probably find this activity pretty easily by monitoring your network and filter by who is using the most bandwidth, but I would think twice about announcing this to students as there may be some who are unaware of the practice.

New Google Docs, Sheets or Presentation? Just type “New”

Well, sort of.

You see if you wanted to create a new document you could that out of Google Drive or go to Google’s respective Docs, Slides or Sheets website.

Those individual websites seem a little silly to me but hey, I just chose to only use Drive.

Now if you want to create a new document, Google has made it a bit easier. First, make sure you are signed into Google and then type one of the following URLs.
docs.new
sheets.new
presentation.net

BAM – you are ready to start creating and sharing.

If This, Then That: Link Apps Together to Double Your Productivity!

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I recently discovered the amazing website: If this, then that 

What does it do?

  • link apps together to automatically work together
  • saves you time!

How does it work?

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Create a recipe, or choose from combinations that have already been created for you.

You can create connections between apps/products that you love to make them work more efficiently for you – if this… then that happens (aka you are making conditional statements)

Their about page explains this in more detail (https://ifttt.com/wtf – I love that the URL is wtf instead of about 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 5.16.06 PM

Pre-made recipes are categorized for you and include all kinds of cool websites, news channels, media, etc…

Clicking on existing recipes allows you to quickly connect them:

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They continue adding more apps all the time. Most are useful, some are interesting…

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Enjoy!

Kendra Perkins

http://www.theinspiredlibrarian.com

http://www.about.me/kendraperkins

Google Drive – Get 2GB of free storage!

Today is #SaferInternetDay (yes that is a thing). Google is encouraging people to check their security settings which isn’t a bad thing. It only takes two minutes and Google will reward you with two free GB of extra storage on your drive account! That’s pretty fantastic.

Once you’ve gone through the whole security checklist – head over to Google Drive and then check out your Drive storage info.

If it doesn’t show up right away don’t freak out. It may take a few hours to reflect. If you really want to know click on the Upgrade Storage button.

There you have it! It’s always good to check your security settings on all your websites once in a while and try to change your passwords annually.

Google Drive – Someone trashed my file! – UPDATE

Here’s the scenario. You are working on a project with other colleagues. You have a shared folder and several Google Docs inside – also shared to the team. Things are going great. Ideas are being shared, the project is taking shape and best of all everyone is on the same page. Sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? Most times it is but let me throw you a curve ball. One team member accidentally decides to trash one of the documents. Uh oh! But they weren’t even the owner-how in the hell can this happen? Well folks, it can … kind of. Read on to see it in action and how to fix it.

Here I have a folder on my Google Drive and it is shared to a test account. It is only View Only right now.

Now I switch over to the test account and “trash” the Test Presentation #1. So just to be clear, the test account is not the owner of the document – I am, yet the test account was able to trash it

Just as you saw – the test account seems to be able to delete the file. When I go back my account (again, I own all the documents in this account) – it is gone like Keyser Söze.

Oh man – that is very scary. Imagine sharing a document with your entire school and someone can trash it at will! It sounds nightmarish but all is not lost.

You see, the file is not deleted. It is … somewhere else, but here is where it gets a little weird. If I go through my Google Drive, I cannot find it. It doesn’t seem to show up, not even in the trash, but if I search for it, I can find it. So far this is the only way I can locate the file – no matter how I sort my files or search them manually I cannot find the file, but the search does the trick.

Whew – there it is, but the real question is where exactly is it? I honestly have no idea. When you select the file there are two interesting things that happen. One is in the information that you can get from Google Drive. You can see that it does not show you where the location is in Google Drive.

Also there is a new option on the toolbar when the file is selected. It gives you the option to add it back to your Drive. This is weird, because it is not in the trash. It’s just somewhere hidden in your drive. Strange huh?

So I click that and add it back to my Testing Folder.

Now it has a location again.

The best explanation I can come up with for this weird behavior is that the folder system in Google Drive is a sham. The folders are just a fancy way of tagging files as opposed to actually organizing the files. The folders are really just filters. Kind of interesting but if you’re lost then don’t worry about it.

Just know that if someone trashes a file you own, you can find it, restore and keep on working.

UPDATE* THANKS TO URKO MASSE (@urkomasse) FOR THIS TIP!

There is another way to find the trashed file and this seems a bit easier. Find the folder on your Google Drive but don’t open it, just select like I did here.

Then select the “I” to bring up the information for that folder. Click on “Activity” and you will see who removed the file and when. It also gives you a way to find it by clicking on the magnifying glass I’ve pointed to in the image below.

When you click the magnifying glass it performs a search like I did before and voilà! You’ve found your trashed file. Thanks again to Urko Masse for this very helpful tip!

Google Drive issues – it may be Adware!

 damnyouadware

So recently, I’ve had a number of students and a few teachers stop by complaining that their Google Drive wasn’t working properly. After exploring a short time with these people I discovered a common thread – they were getting pop ups for advertisements. Otherwise known as Adware. Now, I’m not sure why, but these crap is severely interfering with Google Drive. They could not create files and some had difficulties editing anything!

Being a Google Apps for Education school, this was problematic. Lucky for us, we devised a way to get them back on their feet. The main culprit was people streaming TV shows on their computer from untrustworthy sites. Below is the guide I made for our staff to help them out. The moral here is be careful.

You can download the guide in PDF form here.

If you get repeated error messages with Google Drive and Google Docs it is most likely due to Adware.

Adware is unwanted software that uses sneaky and dishonest methods to get installed on your computer, and then changes the behavior of your web browser. Once installed, it does things like injecting advertisements into web pages, causing pop-up windows or tabs to open to advertising sites, and changing your home page and/or search engine.” AdwareMedic websitehttp://www.adwaremedic.com/index.php

Adware comes from sites where you may have download software like download.com or Softonic. It can also come from streaming “free” TV shows or movies on your computer from less than reputable sites or services.

Now that you know let’s get started.

Step 1 – Clean up your Chrome extensions

Open Chrome and go to your settings or preferences.

On the left hand side click on Extensions.

A list of all installed extensions will show up. You may have a lot. Delete them all.

A lot of Adware extensions will “hide” their true nature by naming themselves something familiar or different.

For extensions you want to keep, you can re-install them after you’ve cleaned all the Adware of your computer, so delete them now.

Step 2 – Search Engines

Now on the left hand side click on Settings.

Now click on Manage search engines…

Now make Google the default and delete everything else.

Like the extensions – using some of these search engines can install Adware so we have to get rid of them.

Step 3 – Clear Browsing Data…

Now click on Chrome at the top and select Clear Browsing Data…

This window will pop up. Tick every box and make sure the beginning of time is selected.

Then click Clear browsing data.

Step 4 – Download a program to clean your computer

Quit Chrome.

If you have a Mac use Adware Medic

If you have a Windows machine use Ad-Aware

Both are free and both work. Download, install and run them.

Step 5 – Restart your computer

For the changes to take place you may have to restart your computer.

Once it comes back up, run these programs again until it reports that the Adware is gone.

Congratulations – hopefully

While this may not remove everything, it will remove most of your Adware and should fix the Google Drive problems you’ve been having.

Remember to only visit reputable websites and that when you are seemingly getting “something for free” you are most likely exposing yourself to harmful websites. Be responsible it is your responsibility to keep your computer running and in good condition.

What if this doesn’t work?

If this doesn’t work you may want to explore wiping your computer, and starting from scratch.

Best of luck!

Happy Safer Internet Day – from Google

This Safer Internet day (yes this is a thing) is being celebrated by the good people at Google too. They are encouraging all their users to go and do a security check up for your Google account, which is a pretty good idea to do from time to time. If you do this before February 17th Google will add 2GB of storage to your Drive account – permanently!

This is only applicable to your personal Google account so people with Google Apps accounts should still do it, but there is no reward outside of knowing that your account is secure.

Read more about it here and be sure to be safe out there. 🙂

“5 Essential Google Drive Skills For Teachers”…You forgot one

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A blog that I read with some regularity is Free Tech for Teachers. There are a ton (I’m not kidding here people) of ideas, programs and websites that you can use with your kids. It’s written by Richard Byrne who clearly has a dedication to his blog that goes above and beyond. Recently he posted about 5 Essential Google Drive Skills For Teachers. The list is pretty good but he forgot one. In my opinion the most important one.

Sharing

Google Drive gives you the ability to share a document/file with another person. If that is a Google Document then the two (three, four, up to fifty) of you can edit that same document together, at the same time, leave comments for one another and basically cut down your email, confusion and improve your workflow tremendously. This is what makes Google Drive a must for just about anyone that works with other people. So click below to how easy it is to do this.

Continue reading ““5 Essential Google Drive Skills For Teachers”…You forgot one”