Thursday, May 24, 2018

Gmail - Profile Picture and Signature

There are a few things you need in your Gmail account, an updated profile picture, and email signature. Both are super simple to update in a matter of seconds.

Your email signature must contain:

  • Your name.
  • What your teach/title.
  • Where you teach.
  • Address of that building.
  • Phone number and extension.
  • Links to the socials you use.
Doug Barton
Instructional Technology Specialist
Lindbergh Schools
314.729.2400 x4614

     Jana Parker Ed.D
     Principal Long Elementary
     314-729-2400, Ext. 5400

Colin Davitt
Instructional Technology
Lindbergh Schools
9350 Sappington Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63126
314.729.2400 ext. 4622
Instructional Technology - Blog Facebook

Open Gmail.
1. Click the gear icon in the upper right.
2. Click Settings.

Scroll down to find the signature box.

1. Click the bottom button to enable the signature.
2. Similar text toolbar that you might find in Google Docs.
3. I personally put a space here to help make the signature stand out from the body of the email.
4. Add the necessary information.
5. I recommend clicking this. It will keep your signature at the top of the emails that are a reply to a reply to a reply. Watch this video for a demonstration

Scroll to the very bottom and click save.
If you do not click save your signiutre will not be saved.

Profile Picture
It can be really hard to rememeber who people are from time to time, it is wicked nice to put a face to a name. Adding your profile picture is just a handful of clicks.

Start by taking a selfie or finding a picture that you want to use. Save it to a place you can quickly find.

Open Gmail.
1. Click on the profile picture in the upper right.
2. Click the picture you want to change.

Find the picture you want to use.

1. Adjust.
2. Set as profile photo.

Now my old-timey photo has been replaced!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Setting Your Gmail Away Message

You will be away from your classroom for a bit and probably won't be checking email on a regular basis. Wouldn't it be nice to have Gmail respond for you alerting whoever is emailing that you out enjoying your summer?

Setting up your vacation responder is pretty simple, a few clicks and a save.

Start by clicking the gear icon in the upper right corner of Gmail.

Scroll way down the page. Look for the vacation responder section.

1. Click to turn the responder on.
2. Add your first and last days away. We would recommend adding something short and to the point for the subject line.
3. Whatever you add here will be the body of the email you are automatically sending out. It would be a good idea to tell them when you are planning on returning and who to call if they need immediate assistance. We also recommend not checking the two buttons at the bottom.
4. Save changes.

That is it. Now your inbox will automatically alert people that you are not in your classroom. The message will stop responding on your end date allowing you to resume your normal email routines.

Monday, May 14, 2018

I will never drive home without asking my phone first.

I have this odd obsession with Google Assistant. It seems like it has gotten much more useful over the past few weeks.

Check out my new routine.

As I am walking to the car I'll simply voice this:
Ok Google, let's go home.

I don't need to really even touch my phone. Super efficient!

Google will then:
     1. Tell me how long my commute should be. Wicked important so I can route around any traffic issues.
     2. Play a certain playlist from Spotify.

Check out how easy it is to command your device to do exactly this.

Make sure you have Assistant on your mobile. Click if you need for iOS or Android.

Open assistant.
Click the blue icon in the upper right.

1. Click on the ice cream cone. (3 dots)
2. Click Settings.

Scroll down.
Click Routines.

Click Commuting home.

1. This is the phrase you say to activate the routine. Don't forget that to get to this stage you must first wake up Assistant by saying "OK Google".
2. All I have selected is the one that tells me about the commute home. Play around with the others to see what they can do.
3. I selected music. By clicking on the gear you can tell it exactly what to play.
4. If you change anything you must click the check, without doing this any changes will not save.

That is it!
Now your commute will be quick and filled with just the right tunes.

This is my next routine I have been adjusting.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Google Assistant is turning into an actual assistant!

We have posted before about Google Assistant. It is one of those apps that is stretching beyond what we thought was possible for an app to do. It does have some downfalls like it can't call someone for me to schedule appointments or book a table at great places like Russell's or can it?

Check out what Google showed the world this week.

I pretty much jumped out of my chair in excitement. I can just talk to my phone and everything else just happens. In the time it takes you to walk from one end of your classroom to the next some of your tasks can be handled by Google Assistant. AMAZING!

If you really want to see the power check out this post on the Google AI blog. It offers some audio clips of actual calls similar to the above video.

I'm not sure when it will be rolled out but I will be the first to schedule a haircut and reserve table.

I do wonder if it can call my kids to remind them about cleaning their rooms and to stop playing Fortnite because it is my turn.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Coming soon to Google Drive!

There are a few changes but most appear to be cosmetic. Check out the new look below.

These changes should take place over the next few weeks.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Every time I pass Grant's Farm...

I was speeding from one building to the next today and passed by Grant's Farm. Every time I have to slow down and check out the fence. 

Big chunks are rusting.

How much of the integrity of the fence is compromised by the rust? Is it still as strong as the day they installed it? Is there a way to prove it?

What if that was some type of STEM investigation you tried out during one of these last few days. What would your kids come up with?

STEM is everywhere. You can inspire kids and build their capacity with a simple question. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

This might just be the task app we have all been waiting for.

I buy tons of notebooks and Post-It notes every year. Sometimes I keep notes and other times it is a to-do list. My issue is many of my thoughts and ideas happen when my paper products are far away. At the gym, no notebook. Driving in the car, no notebook on hand. There are times when things get missed and ideas float out the window which is pretty unfortunate.

I have used Google Keep but it just wasn't right to track my tasks.

There is a new app that might just solve these issue and it can be used by the students too! What I am most excited for is the integration into the new version of Gmail. There isn't a release date for the educational version but you can check it out with your personal Gmail account.

Google Tasks have been around for about ten years but never as an app until now.

Getting Started
Start by installing the Android or iOS app.

You should see this screen when you open the app.
1. Click the hamburger icon to switch between your accounts, personal and professional.
2. Click the big blue button to start adding tasks.

After clicking the button, just start adding your tasks.
Do not forget to click Save.

In the previous screen, this icon was a plus symbol.
If clicked, you will be presented with new options to assign to the task.

Clicking the lines allows you to add details to the task. I find this helpful because details sometimes get a little fuzzy once you have like thirty tasks listed.

Click the calendar to add a due date for the task.

After clicking save, you will see some additional options at the bottom of the screen.
1. Click the hamburger icon to access the account settings. You might want to use this to separate out personal tasks from the professional ones. There is an option to create more lists of tasks, so you could just use that to organize all the tasks.
2. You can rename your lists or sort by date if that system works for you.

If you click the circle to the left of you tasks it will move to the complete section at the bottom. 

Gmail - Profile Picture and Signature

There are a few things you need in your Gmail account, an updated profile picture, and email signature. Both are super simple to update i...