Great YouTube Tips and Tricks Revisited

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I’ve posted and trained in the past about some of my favorite YouTube tips, tricks and tools and decided to share out both some new ones and revisit some of my old favorite gems.

  • Awesome YouTube Tricks to try

    • Quiet youtube: If you’ve ever been frustrated by all of the adds and distractions pulling students’ focus away from that great YouTube instructional video, then you will love the first two tips. Quiet Youtube or “quietube”  is a favorite that has been around for some time but I revisited it recently as they changed a bit how it functions. I used to just add the word “quiet” to before youtube, in the link. Now you pull a bookmarklet to your bookmars bar that creates a special quiet link complete with choices of white or black background to quiet out “all the noise” around that video you want students to focus on.Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 10.33.45 PM
    • ViewPure or Quietube. You decide! A colleague of mine, posted a great video demonstrating another tool alongside Quietube, called View Pure. Both have great pros. Check them both out in this  Example by Jenn Scheffer
    • Theater mode- a simple fix to remove some distractions without a bookmarklet or site, is to click the rectangle icon at the bottom right of any YouTube video and set a default on that device to Theater Mode which has the video spread across the screen with all other content pushed below it.
    • Gifyoutube: Want to create an informational gif quickly from something on a YouTube video? just put the letters “gif” before youtube in the link and a tool opens to let you edit, caption and customize a segment of that video into a gif.
    • Pwnyoutube: Need to download a video from YouTube to play offline or other reasons? type “pwn” before the words youtube in the video link  ( and it will bring to a screen with multiple download options.
    • Make the video loop with repeater after the words youtube:
    • Share a link to start at a specific time point you want in a video by right clicking on the video timeline and choosing “Start from here” Then share that link via Classroom or otherwise to start at the point chosen.
      • Or start at the time you want in the url 
          Can be shared 90 seconds in using this URL:
    • Resource links  to  check  out  even  more  great  hacks:

Awesome updates to Google Classroom

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Using Google Classroom but still opening and closing endless windows to grade students work? If you hadn’t noticed yet, some great updates were added to Classroom this year to streamline the grading process. When doing a training with staff recently, I shared some of these updates and they were really well received.

  1. Don’t open and close windows to grade student work. If their assignment is a Google Doc, you can now use left and right arrows or a drop down to flip between students work without needing to close or open additional windows.
    G Classroom Training Agenda and Assignment
  2. Create a comment bank: A great grading hack I learned recently was to use comments to quickly score work but retyping the same comments over and over again, can be cumbersome. Now you can click the three dots next to any comment you post and add them to a comment bank. To use a saved comment, put a “#” and then type any key word from the comment and a list will pop up.
  3. Return work right from the assignments. You can also return work just for one student or all and see their grades from the Google Document without going back to Classroom!
  4. Stream versus Classwork: Organize assignments for students with ease. Often, I would hear educators commenting on how the Facebook like stream was hard for both them and their students to organize and locate assignments effectively. Now there is a place called Classwork where you can still create and group assignments into topics (similar to categories) but you can also move these categories in any order such as Units of study, curricular themes or date segments. Then assignments within a topic can also be re-ordered. From the left, students and teachers can click on the topics themselves to filter assignments further and focus on just a group of assignments.
    Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 10.18.29 PM


For more on Google Classroom updates, check out the Google Gsuite Updates Blog.

Create a Classroom Repository: Share Lessons, Assignments and Questions Between Teachers

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What is a Classroom Repository?

I love Google Classroom for so many reasons. How students and teachers and have discussions, share resources, give and receive feedback well beyond the walls and timeframe of the classroom and across all device platforms. One complaint I have received for a long time was that Classroom didn’t have a way to load a class module or template of already created posts, assignments, questions like Moodle, Blackboard or some of the other learning platforms.

I was co-teaching in some science classrooms and they were voicing the issue on having to recreate assignments between peers. Sure, you could share attachments in Drive, but how could you share fully crafted assignments? Having every teacher be a co-teacher of each other’s classrooms was not the answer for many reasons. Then I thought of it….

I created a classroom called Archive Physical Sci Repository for Lessons (ok, the first was a little long) and another called Archive Biology Repository. I set up and posted one announcement, that explained what the Repository classroom was for (sharing created assignments, questions or announcements between teachers of the same subject, grade or area) and directions on how to use it to add or pull content. Only teachers in that subject, grade or area (depending on what it was for) would be made co-teachers so the magical 20 teacher limit wouldn’t be an issue. 

Adding and Pulling Lessons from the Repository

To use a lesson from the Repository is simple, you do the same as using a lesson from an older Archived Classroom. Just go to the class that the lesson needs to go to, click the “RE-USE Post” button, choose the Repository class for that subject and pull in the assignment. 

To post assignments created back into the Repository requires just a few more detailed steps, clicking “Re-Use Post”, pull from their classroom, check off the “Create new attachments” box but then SAVE AS DRAFT. This isn’t really a classroom so there isn’t a reason to Assign or Post but more because if an assignment is posted/assigned, some edit options are no longer available for attachments. If you leave it as a draft, the person going to re-use it in their class can decide how they want to share the attachment, topic, and so forth.

Other Tips and Uses
 I had made the classes under a Google Admin account or Resource account so it would be the owner of the Repository classrooms instead of my individual account. Remember also that only 20 teachers can be added as co-teachers which is why we broke ours down by subject area instead of just by department.

This ends up being a great way to share already crafted content between teachers, new staff, club leaders, or to create templates to share in other ways. With this step, classroom just got even better as a tool for educators.

Form Publisher Forms Add-on to create reports from Google Forms Data

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I recently tried out Form Publisher,  a Google Forms Add-on to create reports from Google Forms Data. I have used Autocrat for years to create mail-merge reports from Google Forms but there were some limitations such as merging only from Google Documents and not Slides. It was also a bit complicated for most of the end-users I was training on it and would just stop working at times. Then I found Form Publisher.

Form Publisher is an Add-on in the Forms add-on store. It will allow you to merge data filled out in a Google form to a template you custom design in either Google Documents, Sheets or Slides. Its pretty intuitive to set up too. You can also add as many editors to your merge job and change out your form as needed.

Learn about the creators of Form Publisher

The only downside is its only free for 100 reports/merges per month but the paid version is $36/year for unlimited reports for a Google Account with tech support included. I went to their site as well to learn more about the company and who was accessing my data. I was pleased to see the awesome team of Google App Scripts Developers who created Awesome Tables were the same team creating this new tool.

 Check it out and see what you think!