Sunday, November 19, 2017

#GoogleDocs: Suggesting Mode & Ideas for Using it in Learning

Using Suggesting Mode in Google Docs
If you are familiar with Google Docs, you know that you can share documents with collaborators and that multiple people can edit a document at the same time. (If you aren't familiar with sharing and collaborating on documents, watch this well-done tutorial from GCF Learn Free.)

Sometimes, though, you just want to get input on something you've written or have a peer check it over for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. If you share your Google Doc in the usual way with full editing rights, your editor can wind up changing your original work to an extent that it's hard for you to tell why changes were made or even what changes were made. You could use revision history, but that can be tedious if a lot of edits were made.


Switching to Suggesting Mode

Using Suggesting Mode


To get input on a Google Doc you own while retaining ultimate control of the edits, you can use Suggesting Mode. The key to using Suggesting Mode is to share the document with Can Comment rights instead of Can Edit rights.  The demonstration I put together below shows how to share the document as well as how Suggesting Mode works.

As part of the tutorial, I also elaborate on the following uses of Suggesting Mode in the classroom:
  • Editing practice: General editing or focus on frequent mistakes you’re seeing in student writing
  • Peer editing: essays, lab write-ups, history research, descriptions of math processes
  • Teacher/student writing conferences
  • To learn or review material: Provide students with inaccurate notes or information in a Google Doc and have them Fact Check and correct it using suggesting mode. 
    • The Fact Check idea was sparked by this Edutopia article on alternative note taking strategies: https://goo.gl/1Dh1T3 

I hope the demonstration below is helpful. If you think of more ways to use suggesting mode in teaching and learning, please share them in the comments below.







All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Please see specifics on my re-use policy before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Make Web Pages Easier to Read with Mercury Reader Chrome Extension

When you or your students are reading online for information, a typical web page can look a lot like this:

Reading online can be complicated by all of the
extraneous elements we find on web pages.


There is a tool that can help make reading for information online a less distracting task. It is called Mercury Reader, and it is an extension that can be used in your Chrome web browser.

When you install Mercury Reader, you can click on it to remove all of the extraneous information from a web page you are trying to read. Here is a side-by-side comparison of what an article on CNN.com looks like without Using Mercury Reader, and what it looks like when the extension is being used.



Benefits of Mercury Reader

  • Easy to toggle on and off.
  • Takes away extraneous and possibly distracting information such as ads or links to content which might not be related to the content being read.
  • Allows the reader to adjust font size and style for easier reading.
  • Allows reader to choose a theme which puts white print on a dark background. 
  • Can aid dyslexic or visually impaired readers who are reading content on the web.

How to Use Mercury Reader

Below is a 4 1/2 minute tutorial I recorded which shows how helpful Mercury Reader can be while still being very simple to use. I hope this tool will be of benefit to you and your students. Please take time to comment on this post if you decide to try Mercury Reader or if you have other tips for making reading on the web easier.







All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Please see specifics on my re-use policy before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Improve Online Reading Comprehension with a Highlight & Right-Click!

Chances are you or your students come across words you don't understand when reading on the web. Try as you might to discern the word's meaning using context clues, sometimes the necessary info just isn't there, or you are focused on the task at hand without adequate time to figure out what the word is. There's a super easy and quick way to figure out an unfamiliar word or term you come across online if you are using Google Chrome.

Just Highlight & Right-Click!

Click This GIF to View a Larger Demo of the
Highlight/Right-Click Process
A few minutes ago, I was reading an interesting article on how to get yourself or others to change their mind when I came across a word I was not familiar with: Schadenfreude. So, I did this:
  • Double-clicked the word to select/highlight it.
  • Right-clicked the word and selected Search Google for "Schadenfreude".
  • Read the definition in the new tab that opened up.
  • I also clicked the sound icon under the word to hear how it is pronounced.
    After getting an idea of what the word meant, I returned back to the tab with the article I was reading and carried on.

    Train Yourself & Teach Your Students to Use This Trick

    I encourage you to train yourself and teach your students to use this quick trick for improving vocabulary and comprehension. Teaching a new skill in context when the need arises helps transfer it to long-term learning. Quick and natural in context ways to teach this trick include:
    • When you and your students are discussing online information which you are projecting in front of a group or the whole class, highlight and right-click a word your students seem unfamiliar with.
    • When a student approaches you to ask what a word they are reading online means, talk them through the highlight and right-click trick

    I hope this tip has been helpful! If you know other quick tech tricks that enhance learning, please share in the comments below, so we can all learn together.

    Pin Me! The graphic above is perfect for saving to Pinterest!





    All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Please see specifics on my re-use policy before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.
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