Teaching Digital Organization With Hapara Dashboard/Sharing

Hapara Icon

by Randy Fairfield, 10/9/19

The school I work at has implemented a new course called “S3: Strategies and Skills for Success.” With the visibility of students’ Google Drives I had from the Sharing tab in Hapara, I could see that many students at our school really struggled with digital organization in their Google Drives! I created this short five minute video to help my students learn how they can use the Google Drive folders created by Hapara to help them get more organized. Feel free to use this video if you’d like!


5 Simple Google Drive Tips That Make Life Easier

by Randy Fairfield, 10/24/17

I really enjoy discovering little tips and tricks that save me time on menial tasks and help me focus my energy and attention on what’s most important. Being able to be a “tech ninja” and get stuff done quickly is so helpful when you’re in a pinch! Here are five very simple ways you can use Google Drive to become more productive in your day-to-day work!

Tip #1: Make the left-hand menu wider

If you have folders within folders within folders within folders, sometimes it’s helpful to widen the left-hand menu. This is especially useful if you like to move files around by dragging and dropping them into the left-hand menu.

Tip #2: Change the colors of your folders

One of the things I like to do to help me stay organized is change the colors of my folders. One of my favorite uses of colorizing my folders was when I was an AVID Site Coordinator and was responsible for evidence collection for our site team certification. I’d change the colors of the folders from red to yellow to green based on the amount and quality of the evidence I had collected for various criteria. More on that, if you’re interested.

Tip #3: Star your files and folders

One of my favorites! Starring files and folders allows you to quickly access a file that you repeatedly access, which is especially useful if that file is organized and tucked away into a folder within a folder within a folder.

Tip #4: Switch between grid view and list view

I’m a list view kind of guy, but I know there are some of you crazy kids out there that prefer the grid view. At the very list, do yourself a favor when you click on “Shared with me” and switch to the list view so that you can see who shared what with you and when!

Tip #5: Convert your files to Google files upon upload

If you’re taking the Google plunge and are ready to go Google once and for all, changing this setting can save you a lot of time and hassle. When you check this box, your Word/PowerPoint/Excel files will automatically convert to Docs/Slides/Sheets. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you will be satisfied with the conversion, but it’s always a good idea to keep that Microsoft Office file backed up somewhere someplace just in case.


Rocketbook: Write Notes in a Microwavable Notebook and Post Them Straight to Google Drive

by Randy Fairfield, 10/24/17

My mind was blown when a teacher demonstrated to me how she could take notes in her Rocketbook and send them straight to Google Drive and other cloud-based apps without any other steps simply by taking a picture of her notes with her phone. Check it out! The best part of it all is sticking the Rocketbook in the microwave for a few minutes to erase the ink when the notebook fills up. So cool!



Make a Copy of a Google Drive File for Each Student on Edmodo

by Randy Fairfield, 6/19/16

One feature that teachers have come to love in Google Classroom is the option to “make a copy for each student” when attaching a Google Drive file. Edmodo is working on adding that feature to their platform, but in the meantime here are some easy tips and tricks to help you achieve the same outcome:


Edmodo and Google Drive / Chromebook / GAFE Integration

by Randy Fairfield, 6/6/16

A lot educators that are in school district’s that have adopted Google for Education have started switching over from Edmodo to Google Classroom, which pains me deeply! I’m an advocate for the Edmodo platform because I love that it’s a social learning platform and not just a place to post assignments. Here’s some ideas on how you can stick with the Edmodo platform and still get the most of Google Apps for Education too! Additionally, the Edmodo product team is working to streamline and tighten the integration of the platform even further in the coming months!!!


Adding Multiple Google Drive Accounts on an Android Phone

by Randy Fairfield, 6/6/16

I’ve been using the Google Suite for quite some time and was incredibly excited when our district decided to adopt Google Apps for Education! However, since I wasn’t issued a district phone, I now had the need to add multiple Google accounts to my phone to take full advantage of having everything up on the cloud! Adding these multiple accounts was not as intuitive as I thought it’d be, so I hope this brief tutorial video is helpful to those looking for support!


Intro to Google Drive

by Randy Fairfield, 6/3/16

Tired of losing your memory sticks? Wish your files were on your home computer when you’re at your work computer? Problem solved! Use Google Drive to store files on the cloud!

Besides just storing your files, Google Drive allows for real-time collaboration in Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms. Google Drive allows you to choose who you share files with and allows you to customize the sharing permissions with your files. It’s time to go Google!

Here’s an introductory tutorial:


Transfer Ownership of Drive Files and Folders Outside of a Domain

by Randy Fairfield, 6/2/16

Tired of seeing what you see in the image below? Yeah, me too. Especially at the end of the school year when you might be leaving one job and headed to another, it would be especially helpful to be able to transfer your files outside of your organization. Fortunately, there is a way!

While one can “share” a folder or a file outside of the domain, that solution is not always fully adequate, particularly since it’s possible that the original domain your files are on might have a shelf life or limited file storage capacity. Fortunately, “Ted J” has written a Google Script called “Drive Migrator” that can help you get around this problem. A link to his masterful solution is here:


How to Use Google Drive to Assist in Evidence Gathering for AVID Site Coordinators

by Randy Fairfield, 5/28/16

As an AVID Site Coordinator, I am expected gather a lot of evidence as a part the requirements of maintain our AVID certification. Using some more advanced Google Drive features has helped me keep track of all that evidence and stay sane at the same. The time I’ve saved on collecting and sorting the evidence has helped me focus more on the art of being a site team coordinator and less on the act of performing what sometimes feels like menial tasks.


How to Create a Teacher Portfolio on Google Drive

by Randy Fairfield, 10/22/15

I am an educator in Washington State, and teachers here are under TPEP (Teacher/Principal Evaluation Program) for their evaluations. Because there are so many ways in which teachers are evaluated, most teachers generally keep a portfolio when they are on a comprehensive evaluation for the year. While the following resource provided is specifically for teachers on the TPEP CEL 5D+ Framework used by many school districts in Washington State, you can take the ideas and concepts shared here and use them to help you create any kind of portfolio you’d like.

Step 1:
Download the ZIP file linked at the bottom of this page.

Step 2:
Locate the file on your computer (probably in your downloads folder).

Step 3:
Right click on the folder and select “Extract All”.

Step 4:
Upload the TPEP Google Drive Portfolio folder to your Google Drive and begin adding artifacts!

Suggestion #1:
Share your portfolio with your administrator and give them permission to either view or edit. Some administrators might be willing to upload artifacts into your portfolio.

Suggestion #2:
You can download the Google Drive app on your phone, take pictures of TPEP artifacts, and upload them directly into your portfolio!

Suggestion #3:
Use screenshot tools like the Snipping Tool or Snagit to easily document any digital TPEP artifacts.

Suggestion #4:
Right click on your folders and change their color from red to yellow to green as you upload evidence and make progress!

Please check out this video tutorial and let me know if you have any questions by commenting on the YouTube video!

Hope this helps! Feel free to comment on the YouTube video as I always appreciate your feedback.