Thursday, January 14, 2021

Spring Cleaning: Declutter before Google Does it for You!


Spring Cleaning: Declutter before Google Does it for You!

For all of you who embrace G Suite to its fullest potential, a new change is coming that might affect you. Previously, Google did not limit storage for photos in Google Photos, but starting June 1, 2021 Google is going to hold tight to the 15g they give you for free.

Remember, your free 15g storage is shared across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. 

If you utilize all of these services, that storage allotment fills up fast. Google Photos has been around for around 5 years now, so imagine 5 years full of photos you might have housed there. That could be a lot! If you have the app on your phone, it might automatically sync your photos… Think of all of those screenshots you might not need to save forever…

Also, Google is going to start DELETING accounts that have not been used in two years. They promise to send multiple reminder emails and warnings in the application prior to deleting any content.

Basically, you need to keep your account active and stay within your 15g storage allotment unless you have purchased more. If you are worried about how much storage you have used, there is an easy way to check. 

Go to

Sign in at the top right corner.

Click on Your profile picture in the top right corner.


Click on “Manage your Google Account”

If you scroll down Google has made it easy to see how much storage you have used. They even divide it out between Google Drive, Gmail, and Photos so you can see which application is using the most storage.

For a breakdown of storage, click “Manage Storage”.

Breakdown of storage in each application:

Now comes the spring cleaning. You have until June 1, 2021 to clean out your storage. If you are any where near the 15g mark, it might be in your best interest to do some spring cleaning. Google made it easy. They have a place to see where you are using the most of your storage. 

Click “Free up account storage”

Three main areas that would be a quick clean are your deleted emails, spam emails, and deleted files. Sure, Google will  clean these out for you every 30 days, but it you are close to the 15g limit, it might be prudent to get into a weekly routine of cleaning these out. Don’t forget to permanently delete your trash in Drive, Gmail, and Photos.

Emails with large attachments, large files in Google Drive, and large videos and photos. They will even show you “Other items” that you might not realize you are storing. 

A great way to quickly delete bulk unwanted emails is to search for a sender. Then you can select all and mass delete. I do this frequently because I tend to get a lot of marketing emails that can just go into the trash. Don’t forget to delete your trash forever after purging emails.

In photos you can search by screen shots, videos, etc to see which items you would like to delete! Again, remember to empty the trash after deleting to remove the deleted items from your storage.

This does not affect GSuite for Education accounts and Keller ISD Google Accounts… You’re unlimited!  But if you think you’re leaving KISD any time in the future, think of how you can backup your Google goodies!

For more information from Google, go to:

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Go Go Gadget: GoGuardian

Inspector Gadget would be completely smitten with this new tool Keller has purchased for all teachers this year: Go Go Gadget- GoGuardian!

What is GoGuardian? GoGuardian is a web tool that helps teachers monitor and interact with students using district Chromebooks and so much more! View student activity in real time and keep students focused and engaged with your content and lessons during class time in person and remotely. If students do not have a district chromebook, GoGuardian can work if they access the internet in Chrome and log in with their Keller ISD email account. 

Already sold? Me too! Wondering how you get it?? There is a GoGuardian tile in KCloud! It will use your Google Sign In to give you access to your teacher account. When you first sign in, you will need to accept the terms of use and VOILA, you’re ready to engage students!  

Classlink automatically rosters your classes for you, so no need to worry about building your classes! However, if you merge classes or you want more control over which students are in certain classes, you are welcome to add students yourself and build your own classes. We do ask that you do not delete the rostered classes. You can only have up to 115 students in a classroom session at one time, but you can have multiple sessions going if you need more. GoGuardian works well with Google Classroom, so if you have classes already built in Google Classroom, you can sync to your GoGuardian account.  You can even build a class for your clubs or student organizations with one easy click! One teacher suggested going into settings for the classes and changing the description to match your class names and periods for better organization and differentiation. 

When you have your classes built, you can start a classroom session. A classroom session is your class period. You can schedule them in advance and start them manually! When the session starts, you will begin to see when the students log on, and their screens will appear in your session. Remember, you can even have more than one session going at a time!! Enable the chat feature to conference with students during class sessions and even blast out announcements to the whole class! Engagement has never been so easy!

GoGuardian- Schedule a Session:

Now to the fun part! Some fun features of GoGuardian will make you feel like a superstar! Are you tired of links that don’t work, students typing the URL wrong, or going to the wrong sites? GoGuardian allows you to open tabs for students.

GoGuardian Teacher Commands- Tabs:

Another great feature is the ability to limit distractions with Scenes. Scenes allow you to block websites students have recently been enamored with. Students watching the latest YouTube sensation or playing those cool math games? Create a Scene that adds those websites to the “blocked” list during your session. You can even close a tab when you see the student is off task in real time! Or you can simply eliminate distractions by locking their screen to focus on certain content while you are teaching!  

GoGuardian Scenes:

Gather data with screenshots and reports! You can generate student reports of their browsing history during classroom sessions for documentation. Get data from any session with timeline data, screenshots, and command logs in the Past Session Tab. 

I know you are ready to explore this amazing tool! GoGuardian has extraordinary step by step instructions for each part of their product. Their Teacher Help Center has so many great resources. You can take classes or simply browse their easy to read instructions.

KIC Site Training:

GoGuardian Training Guide:

GoGuardian Teacher Help Center:

Thursday, December 3, 2020

You’ll Be Jammin’ with Google Jamboard App

 You’ll Be Jammin’ with Google Jamboard App

I am not saying you have to have Bob Marley playing in the background, but it might set the tone for this really awesome collaborative tool! Google Jamboard is also a special interactive TV you could purchase, but why do that when Google has created the Jamboard App to amaze us all with this interactive whiteboard and it is already included in your Gsuite for Education account? Thanks Google!

Now, more than ever, we need digital tools that will allow you to engage with students who are in-person and remote. Jamboard allows you to collaborate in real time with anyone on the app. Use this digital whiteboard to write, draw, sketch and so much more together! Add Google Images or web pages into the jamboard. You can even create templates for up to 50  students and other professionals to interact with. Drawing has never been easier because Google adjusts your image with drawing recognition. Even the least artistic person can be successful. 

Jamboard integrates with Google Drive allowing you to add Google Docs, Sheets ,and Slides to your board. This would be a great opportunity for collaboration on a new level where students and professionals can switch boards and collaborate on various projects together on a Jam Session.

Get Jamboard on any iOS and Android device through the Google Chrome Store or Apple Store.


Want to know more, watch this video about Jamboard from Google.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Creatability: Exploring Ways to Make creative tools more accessible for everyone


Creatability is the word for a series of resources developed to make the arts more available to users with disabilities, empowered by Google.

The tools include a keyboard in which players use their face, body mouse, or keyboard to interact. It's a canvas that you can draw on by using your face and a tool called Body Synth allows you to only move your body to make music. 

A simple musical keyboard you can play with your face, body, mouse, or keyboard can be found in the Creatabilty collection. 

A drawing tool that works through both sight and sound can be found in the Creatabilty collection. 

Make music by just moving your body can be found in the Creatabilty collection. 

Here is a short video of how these amazing tools became a reality! You too can play and create music by just using your body. 

                                                                                      video provided by Google

Click here to get started on your amazing musical project with your students. 

For more educational technology tools please visit our KIC site at 
and please be sure to follow us on Twitter @EdTechKISD and like us on Facebook EdTechKISD😀.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

There's a New Kid in Town for Canvas Users

Well, really it's just a new RCE - Rich Content Editor - that is! What is an RCE? It is a fancy acronym (can't survive without them) for the line of tools in a program that allow you to add formatting to text. Think underline, bold, color, font, hyperlink, etc. AND... Canvas has a new one!

What is the New Rich Content Editor? Well in the words of Canvas: The New Rich Content Editor is an update to the previous Canvas Rich Content Editor. It provides a condensed, more intuitive toolbar that is grouped by common icons and interactions. 

The New Canvas RCE reorganizes the current tools under a Menu Bar and a Tool bar consolidating like tools for ease of use and placement.

Menu Bar
The Menu Bar consists of drop-down menus of grouped formatting tools and includes all of the 'quick-access' Tool Bar items plus more.

Tool Bar
The Tool  Bar consists of quick access to the most common options used in the Rich Content Editor. Because of the condense nature of the new RCE, your muscle memory may take some time to catch up to the changes!

  • Links, Images, Media and Apps (External LTI Tools) have a slightly different look. Be sure to use the drop-down arrows to access what you may be searching for.

  • Some of your favorite tools may have moved below the Content Field.  

👀You don't see the new RCE? Well, that's because you will need to turn it on in your course UNLESS you wait until January 4, 2021 - at that time, we will turn it on for you!

Before using the new RCE, you MUST turn it on in Settings for each course. Here's how:

1. Open your Canvas Course
2. Go to SETTINGS in the course navigation (left side of the screen)
3. Choose FEATURE OPTIONS at the top
4. Turn ON RCE Enhancements

🤩Canvas Resources:

New RCE Video (This is a great 5 minute overview.)

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Working Together is Success - Sharing Folders

Up until recently, it was not possible to share FOLDERS inside a Google Shared Drive (formerly known as Team Drives). This latest update will benefit our educators collaborating with teams, administrators, and students. Although roles can be specified at the Shared Drive level, additional contributors can be assigned to sub-folders within the drive. Read more here.

View How to Share a Folder within a Shared Drive

Steps Explaining How to Share a Folder within a Shared Drive

  1. While in Google Drive, click on the preferred SHARED DRIVE:

  2. Right-click on the preferred sub-folder and select SHARE:
  3. Select the preferred role and click SEND:

  4. Confirm the role and click DONE:

  5. Utilize the ALL, GUESTS, and MEMBERS tabs in the SHARE window to view all users associated with the selected folder:

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Wake Up & Wakelet

 Wake Up & Wakelet

Wakelet Collection Video by @Wakelet

What is this Wakelet that you have been hearing about, and why do you need it in your life??? I know these are the questions you have been pondering as you lay in your bed at night staring at your ceiling, hoping to fall asleep. Well maybe not to that extent, but they are definitely questions worth asking yourself especially if you want to rock out collecting resources, collaborating, student engagement, digital storytelling, and soooooo much more! 

I am not going to lie, I have been nerding out about Wakelet for a while now! Yes, I know my master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences does fuel my excitement just a little bit, but it seriously is a super cool tool with endless possibilities! 

What a quick run through about this amazing new tool, well here you go!

Wakelet has a lot of great resources:

They also really listen to educators. They are constantly changing and updating to make things rock even more in the educational world. 

Some of my favorite uses for Wakelet:

Collection Development

What do you mean? I mean, I love to gather resources in one place for my peers but also for students. I love that you can add anything with a link. I also am super grateful for the fact that students do not need an account. There are so many times students cannot access the things I need or cool resources because they have to sign into a tool. I will teach about a topic we are coving and put all of the resources a student needs in one place. Or I am collaborating with my peers and we need a place to put the resources we find so we  can all have access to them. You can also copy a collection someone has already made. There is a vast community out there of Wakelet users who probably have already created something you can use! Sharing is caring.

Learning Choice Boards

Student choice has a direct correlation to engagement. Let them choose how they will show you their learning and you will be excited how many students who previously did not engage, will finally do something!  Wakelet is a great place to create learning choice boards with options and even how-to's on each option for students to show learning.

There are more options and endless possibilities how you can use Wakelet in the classroom and in your professional life! I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Make sure to tag #EdtechKISD when you share your collections and also tag Wakelet!

Wakelet is awesome to follow and give shoutouts on Twitter.  Follow them @Wakelet #WakeletWave and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the large community just waiting to learn and show you more!

Misty Shea

Ed Tech, Keller ISD