Google Classroom: How to Reply to Private Comments from Gmail.

Private comments in Google Classroom are a wonderful thing. If a student has a question about a particular assignment they are able to send a comment privately to their teacher. Awesome. When teacher sees the questions they can type a comment back. It’s cool to be able to see all the questions or comments a student has for a particular assignment in one place. It’s even cooler that teachers get a notification by Gmail when a student add a private comment to an assignment. What’s not to love?

Well, you might feel differently if you tried to reply to the notification just like your other Gmail messages. To respond to a private comment within Gmail you need to click the REPLY button within the message. If you use the regular reply arrow your response will never get to your student because the message sent to you was not from the student’s Gmail. A closer look will tell you that the message is from a no reply Google Classroom address.

Email screen shot showing the automated Gmail and  REPLY button users should click.
You can’t reply to this Gmail the way you usually do.
Your student will never get your comment.

So, to use the Google awesomeness you need to click the blue REPLY button rather than the reply arrow in regular email.

Don't use the reply arrow in Gmail.

519 Miles to GMA, Why do I taste Lysol?


Good morning!

Our morning drive thru brought an unexpected color splash reflective of last night’s sunset.

Today is the last push to Mission. Traffic is Dallas is brisk.

We have been disinfecting everything as we touch and are using hand sanitizer religiously. Those efforts have led to an unfortunate incident with my Invisalign. Pete decided to use my hair dryer to dry his toothbrush before putting it away. His zeal with the dryer evidently caused a “great whirlwind” sent my Invisalign on the counter aloft sadly landing on the bathroom floor. “Um, you might want to disinfect those…” Weighing my options, I chose the Lysol spray. I can still taste it, that can’t be good. All I can say is 1. I’m glad he told me and 2. I’m glad the toilet seat was down.

A Small Change in Plans

I’m a hands on learner. Turns out that’s not a helpful quality for a traveler. Turns out you need a whole heap of executive function to plan things out. We’re closing in on Joplin and need to make some decisions about where to stay preferably near Dallas. That would make Friday’s trek about 7 hours.

If anyone has any executive function to spare, we could sure use it. Thoughts?

Update: Tech to the rescue. HotelTonight to narrow it down then Expedia to seal the deal! We have a place to stay and I won’t have to stay in the van down by the river. We have lots of wipes and Lysol spray, so we’re set.

Cannonball Run meets Zombieland aka a Mission to Mission

Grandma, 96 young, is stuck in Texas. Day 4 since schools have been shuttered. Originally my sister and I were going to drive down during Spring Break but as the virus spread widened I felt our window of opportunity narrowing. With Pete’s school closing we decided we needed to leave sooner. Today is the day, we are underway and I want to talk about it.

I’ve always wanted to have a journal. Trouble is you have to keep up with it. My bedside table is littered with a few false starts. So I don’t know how successful this digital attempt will be but these are strange times.

How does one pack for the plague? I know I overpacked. My sister has let us use her van and I’m grateful for the room.

Want to know the plan? Drive to Texas, pack up grandma and drive back. That’s it.

Where in the World Can You Find Over 100 Historical Maps? Google Earth, Of Course.

I enjoy maps, always have. Maps tell us where to go and where we’ve been. I also enjoy history, it’s kind of hard to teach 20 years of social studies without developing an affinity. Now comes the good part, Google Earth Voyager is now showcasing a new interactive tour with over 100 historical maps and overlays hand-selected by David Rumsey from his private collection of over 150,000 maps. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Maps are organized by time, place and scale. When selected, the maps appear as an overlay on Google’s 3D globe.

Like a growing number of Google Voyager offerings, this one has embedded information and multimedia. Be sure not to miss the excellent embedded video on the origins of David Rumsey’s map collection and the importance of maps. This entire tour has something for nearly every grade level which makes it a reference worth bookmarking.

Let me know what you think of this collection.

Sort that Data

So you’ve made a Quiz using Google Form but you’ve got three classes to give it to. Do you make three quizzes? You could have them all take the quiz but now the spreadsheet has all three classes on it. Want to sort your data according to classes? Enter rowCall! The sheets add-on rowCall will sort on your command your data and add new tabs based upon the row you choose.

Education: It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

I love my job. Being a high school Innovation Specialist/Librarian has allowed my to help others along their journey with ed tech and information literacy. I am driven by learning and sharing what works and that was the plan as I proposed last April a session for our state’s largest ed tech conference, SLATE, the following December. I asked my Principal and an elementary Innovation Specialist to join me. Our session’s title: “What did COVID teach us about teaching and learning? Mini Lessons Learned in Ed Tech”. I imagined taking a moment to have teachers recognize and reflect how we rose to the occasion as we were asked to do something we’ve never done as a whole, online teach. Last April I couldn’t imagine the place we are in now. Almost a full month in to school and in many ways we are right back where we started. Since August I have been thinking about our presentation. As September fades I wonder about my December plans for SLATE. Would what I and my colleagues have to offer have an appeal to anyone? Do we have the energy to even present and would others have the energy to engage? I have been dreading finding the answers to those questions as I am afraid of what I’ll find.

Photo by visuals on Unsplash