Archive for August, 2010

Quick and Easy Mail Merge in Google Docs

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

The features are limited, but here is a quick screencast revealing how to do a simple mail merge in Google Docs. This uses the Template Gallery and the Scripts Gallery, but you don’t really need to know how to use either to “stand on the shoulders of giants” and benefit from the work others have done before you.

As always, let me know if this is at all unclear, or if you have anything clever to add yourself. :)

Search Google News Archives Full Text for Free

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

When I was presenting on “Killer Research Tools” at the Google Teacher Academy in London, Googler Dana Nguyen asked me why I didn’t include Google News Archive Search. I responded, “because I don’t like it.” Naturally, Dana used to work on that project… and was gracious enough to show me the light. In short, I didn’t like it because so many of the archived articles cost money from various services. But, it turned out millions of articles were archived full text by Google and are freely available – if you know where to look. Like so many great Google features, this one was well buried, so I created a screencast to capture what Dana showed me right away.

As always, let me know what you think… and if you’ve used this in a clever way with students… or if you know any similar tricks. :)

Link to Your Site in Any Language Using Google Translate

Monday, August 16th, 2010

At the request of a recent workshop participant who was frustrated by not being able to replicate this trick using Google Translate, I recorded a quick screencast.

Let me know in the comments if this isn’t clear or you have any additional suggestions – or similar tricks.

Effective Professional Development

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I just finished speaking at the Google Apps EDU Certified Trainer Summit, and I want to share the slide deck along with the resources in a public space… so here we are on the blog. These slides may not stand entirely on their own (and good presentations never do, right?), but many of the links below will lead you to more in depth written explanations of the anecdotes and metaphors I was sharing. I hope you’ll add to these resources by leaving comments and links to your own “effective professional development” resources.

Welcome Activity

Google’s Mission
This is in alignment with our mission as educators.

Computer Using Educators, Inc. (CUE)

CUE Confernce


Google Teacher Academy

Google Workshop for Educators
Live Map:

Google Apps EDU Certified Training Organization

Passion and Professional Development

The Lead Learner Philosophy

The Face-to-Face Philosophy
F2F PD must be better than the podcast.
Webinars need to be better than the podcast.
The podcast needs to be better than the podcast. ;)
Tap the talents, experience, and creative energy of the people in the room.
Make, do, or create together!

The Kindergarten Philosophy
Image Credit:

The “And Life” Philosophy
Image Credit:

A Message From The Future
More: &

Driving a Race Car

Google and Driving a Race Car

Reflection Activity
Image Source:

Go Forth and Do Great Things!
This is an homage to Daryl Stermon, who recently retired from the San Diego County Office of Education. :)