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GMail: Vacation Responder

Ahh...summer! Time for kicking it on the beach, camping trips, backyard cookouts, and checking tons of email. Wait, what???

Are you taking a vacation this summer and need to unplug from email for a few days/weeks? Consider turning on the Vacation responder in GMail. This handy feature will alert senders that you won't be responding to email messages while you're away.

Here's how to turn it on:

1. Open GMail.

2. Near the top right, look for a small gear-shaped icon and click it.

3. Select 'Settings'
4. Scroll down until you find 'Vacation responder'. It will be at the very bottom of the page.

5. Click the button to turn the vacation responder on, enter the first day and last day of your vacation, choose a subject line and write a quick message.
6. Be sure to keep your message short, to-the-point, and professional.

7. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click 'Save Changes'. GMail does not save automatically, so this button must be clicked for chang…
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Google Docs: Add Numbers and Prefixes to Lists

In 1958, R&B/rock and roll band, The Coasters, released one of their most famous tunes, Yakety Yak. The lyrics in the song lay out a list of chores a teenager is expected to do before being allowed to rock and roll and, subsequently, take a ride.

If only the hip father featured in the song knew about adding prefixes to numbered lists in Google Docs, he could have shared the list with his son and spared himself all that backtalk.

If you need to create a step-by-step list, here's how to do it with very little yakety yak:

1. Type your list in a Google Doc.
2. Highlight the entire list. 3. Click the 'Numbered list' button.



4. Right-click one of the numbers in the list (it doesn't matter which one) and select 'Edit prefix and suffix...' 5. Type a prefix, such as 'Step'. Be sure to put a space after the last letter so the word and number are not squished together. Check 'Apply to entire list' and then click 'OK'.
6. Your numbered list wil…

Google: Flip a coin, roll a die, spin a spinner

Several years ago, I taught a student who needed to roll dice as part of an incentive program designed by my school's behavior specialist. We were discussing different apps or programs he could use to roll digital dice before we thought, "Wait a minute, why don't we just give him actual dice?" Turns out, actual physical dice worked great, but what if they didn't? Google would have had us covered!

Google will flip a coin, roll a die, or provide a game spinner in case you are plumb out of the real thing.

To flip a coin...

1. Go to google.com
2. Search 'flip a coin'
3. That's it!

To roll a die...

1. Go to google.com
2. Search 'roll a die'
3. That's it!

To use a game spinner...

1. Go to google.com
2. Search 'spinner'
3. This will bring up a fidget spinner, ugh...
4. But, wait, there's a toggle switch just above the fidget spinner that changes it to a number spinner!

5. The default is to have numbers 1-6, but you can select anythin…

Google Slides: Create Closed Captions for Live Presentations

Need to have your audience read along with your live presentation? Turn on closed captions in Google Slides!

Here are the steps:

1. Open your Google Slides presentation.

2. Click the 'Present' button to start the presentation.
3. Hover the cursor near the bottom of the screen to view the presentation menu and click 'CC Captions'.

5. Your spoken words will display at the bottom of the screen!

Google Docs: Put an Expiration Date on Sharing

In 'Mission: Impossible', Ethan Hunt's top-secret messages self-destruct in five seconds. He's got just enough time to get away before they cause injury, but the practice ensures these messages will never end up in the wrong hands.
G-Suite products such as Docs, Slides, and Sheets allow for fantastic collaboration, but collaborators may not need to have access forever. To solve this problem, you can set an expiration date on document sharing and, unlike Ethan, you don't have to worry about an explosion!
Here's how to do it:
1. Open the document you'd like to share.
2. Near the top right corner, click the 'Share' button. 3. Enter the name or email address of the person you'd like to share the document with, select whether they are able to edit, comment, or view the document, and then click 'Send'. 4. Click the 'Share' button again and then click 'Advanced'. 5. Hover the cursor just to the left of the pencil, eye, or comme…

Read&Write: Typed Text to Voice Words and Sentences

The Read&Write extension for Google Chrome is extremely beneficial for many students. It has exceptional features, but the newest one I've found is a little bit hidden within the program. 
Here's how students can hear the program read individual words or sentences as they type.
1. Open a Google Doc.

2. Open the Read&Write menu by clicking the small purple puzzle icon. 3. Click the three-dot menu toward the righthand side of the Read&Write menu and select 'Options'.
4. To have text read after each word, check the box next to 'Speak on each word'. To have text read after each sentence, check the box next to 'Speak on each sentence'. Click 'OK'.
5. Please note: The program will read each word after the word is typed and the space bar is pressed. It will read sentences after the punctuation mark is typed. It will not read single words that are followed by punctuation and it will not read sentences if the space bar is pressed after the p…

Google Forms: Reuse Items, Respondents View Results, and More!

Google Forms is a fantastic and versatile software for quick data collection. It is relatively easy to use, free, and collaborative. What's not to love?
Like an onion, a parfait, or young-adult vampire literature, Forms has a lot of layers. The more you peel, spoon, or leaf through, the better experience you'll have. Plus, Forms usually won't make you cry. That's right, I'm looking at you, onion.
Here are six tips for getting the most out of Forms.  Use FormRecycler to Reuse Items


Remember the Google Form survey you wrote last month? It sure had some great questions! If only there were a way to reuse some of them on your new survey without retyping or copying and pasting line-by-line. Enter the Add-on 'FormRecycler'. This nifty add-on lets you import items from any of your previous Google Forms with no typing required!
1. Go to forms.google.com and create a new form.
2. Click the three-dot menu in the top right corner and select 'Add-ons...'
3. Sear…