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Create a Google Dashboard for Administrators using Google Sheets

Here is a true story.  Every day, I have about 50 tabs open on my computer, and I use two search engines. Don't ask me why I use Google and Safari.  I think 100 tabs is better than 50...I guess.  As you can see how anyone with OCD would just go nuts.  That chaotic mess is me on any given day.  I started making a google hub or dashboard early in the school year, and I didn't keep that project going.  I have made it my life goal to keep this system of organization going for the remainder of the year.  I need some simplicity. 

So let me get you started on creating a dashboard for your own documents.

HOW TO CREATE A GOOGLE DASHBOARD


1. GOOGLE DASHBOARD TEMPLATE

Feel free to use my own template in Google Sheets: Google Dashboard for School Administrators.  The icons are generic, so your titles can be easily renamed.  Every part of this file can be edited to fit your own school.  If you love the idea, please create one for your staff too.  This particular document is for all the admin in the district to access, but you can create one for teachers too.


The Google Dashboard for School Administrators link will ask you to make a copy.  This will protect my own file and protect you from sharing your files with the rest of the world to see if you accidentally start to fill my document with your own links.  


2.  ADD YOUR OWN LINKS TO THE CELLS





WEBSITE LINKING


Enter the website text you wish to have quick access to.
For example, District Calendar.



Select the words to hyperlink.  "District Calendar" is selected.  Now click the hyperlink symbol.  





DOCUMENT LINKING FROM GOOGLE DRIVE

Open another tab and find your file in Google Drive.  Copy and paste the website url link or the google drive file url link in the link field and click apply.



I hope you have found this very helpful.  If you have questions, please let me know.  I can do a quick Live tutorial on Instagram or Facebook.

Google Dashboard for School Administrators





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Technology Tips and Tricks for School Leaders

Currently, I am snowed in enduring the massive snow storm here in Texas.  This time has given me a jumpstart on my to-do list at work and time to share items with you too.  


Texas Snow (10-12 inches)
I feel like I live in Colorado, because we have real snow not just ice and sleet.

If you aren't signed up for my newsletter, you may have missed some Technology Tips and Tricks in your inbox.  My newsletter subscription is 1x a month.  I try not to ever send more than that because I certainly don't have much time for that and people tend to not enjoy a lot of emails filling up their inbox.  

Let's take a look at my recent creations.

RECORD USING CANVA

If you struggle making a professional powerpoint and presentation, CANVA has some amazing templates. In addition, it can be used to record!  The steps are listed above and extremely easy.  

CREATE A PERSONALIZED AND PROFESSIONAL SIGNATURE 


Creating your email signature doesn't have to be difficult.  I created a document that will give you step-by-step directions on how to build your designs in CANVA and Google.  The directions work best if you add your new signature in CHROME.  

VOICE TYPING IN GOOGLE DOCS



Did you know that Google Docs has a new feature for Voice Typing?  Well...it might be new for me?  I saw this feature a few weeks ago, and thought I would never use it.  I brainstormed over and over again about why this might be needed.  I feel like I am a very fast typer.  I think blogging has increased that over the years, so why would I need it?  But the more I looked into this feature, I noticed more people using it for note taking. They could listen to the presenter while the computer scripted the presentation.  It might be good to use in meetings for documenting conversations or scripting during teacher observations.

Something to note: It will not stop and form new paragraphs or end sentences unless commanded verbally to begin a new sentence or paragraph.  For more formal writing, I wouldn't recommend this.  However, I can find some use from using it and maybe you can too.



Let me know if you have enjoyed these new tech tips and tricks.  If you do, I will continue to share some each month.  



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Time Saving Tips and Tricks for School Leaders: Part 2

Do you find yourself sending the same email often or replying the same response often?  If so, here is a very quick shortcut that can generate your email in just a few seconds.  


Create an Email Template 

Enable Templates

1.  Open Gmail
2.  At the top right, click Settings > See all Settings
3.  At the top, click Advanced.
4.  In the Templates section, select Enable.
5.  At the bottom, click Save Changes.

You can create up to 50 templates.


Create Templates

1.  Open Gmail and Click Compose.
2.  In the compose window, enter your template text.
3.  Click More > Templates.
4.  Choose an option
    To create a new template, click Save draft as template > Save as new template.
    To change a previously saved template, click Save draft as template and  under Overwrite Template, choose a template and click Save overwrite it.
5.  To send an email, compose your message and click Send.




Insert Templates

1.  Open Gmail and click Compose
2.  Click More > Templates
3.  Insert a template, under Insert Template, choose your saved template to insert in your email.

Here is an example for a meeting request.  Recently, I shared how to create a calendar for viewing and scheduling.  In the email generated below, I shared a link over to my email for them to sign up for a meeting.  




I hope you find these shortcuts fun and helpful!

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Time Saving Tips and Tricks for School Administrators: Part 1

Every minute of the day counts.  Managing can seem overwhelming.  Time management and shortcuts are essential.  Over the next few weeks, I plan on sharing several resources that help you make the most of your time and focus on what truly most important rather than what is most urgent. Here is Part 1.

Time Saving Tips for School Leaders

Have you started using Calendly?

Calendly can really be your best friend.  It can be used to schedule any appointment with ease.  When teachers need to sign up for an evaluation, pre-conference, post conference, etc... Having a calendar link keeps scheduling a hassle free situation.  

Let me show you how to use it and then you determine how it best fits your job position.

Here is a look at some current appointments on my calendar.


1.  First build common weekly/daily appointments that always reoccur or need to be scheduled. 

Such as student meetings (ARD's) or teacher evaluations, or parent appointments.  Name them very generic so you aren't finding yourself renaming them over and over again.  


2.  Integrate Calendly.  

This is an important step.  Integrate your calendly account to your platform.  For me, this is Google Calendar.  This helps the appointments not to overlap.  No one will see what is on your calendar.  They will only see open/available appointment slots.  You can also connect to GoToMeeting, Google Meet, Zoom etc...



When you connect it, you can pin it to the top of your calendar.  




3.  Share the link.

You can share the link in multiple ways.  
    1. Copy Link and paste in an email.  
    2.  Embed available times directly into an email.


This is the view that will be viewable.   They pick the time that doesn't overlap any scheduled appointments on your calendar.  Click Confirm and it goes directly to your calendar.



For this to really save you time, set up all of your regular occurring appointments and keep the link handy.  

For more advanced features, it requires purchasing these add-ons.  

I do have some added features, but I have been using Calendly for years and just decided to purchase the extra features.  

For example, Notifications and Workflows have been added to my account.  I have set up email confirmations, email reminders, and text reminders.  


I hope you have found this tutorial helpful.  Stay tuned for another tip and trick for saving your a lot of time.





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Happy New Year Printables for Your Staff and CoWorkers


As you end this year and begin the 2021 year, it's a great time to look back on the moments of triumphs and appreciate those who made them all possible. I absolutely have the most amazing school family. My workplace feels like a second home. I hope you have the same feeling at your school or workplace.

Check out the printables below and celebrate the new year with your amazing school family.

If you are at a loss for ideas to celebrate the new year, let me share a couple of ideas here. The scratch off tickets are messy-free and really just Print and Go.

Print all of these items on cardstock for the perfect handout.

 
Happy New Year Printables for Your Staff and Coworkers


SCRATCH OFF CARDS

Scratch off cards are not hard at all!  They do not require any messy paints.  All you need are the scratch off labels which are easily ordered on Amazon!  I always order the GOLD Round Labels simply because I love the color.  However, they also come in Silver.  I just recently discovered them in Glitter design too.  




PRIZES FOR SCRATCH OFFS

1.  Door Prizes- Purchase several door prizes and number them.  Type the number on the scratch off.
2.  Jean Passes
3.  Try Again (not every card is a winner)
4.  Gift cards- Label your scratch offs to indicate a gift card- Sonic, Chick-fil-a, Target, etc...
5.  Late or Early Pass- Leave early or Come in Late to work


New Year Scratch Off Download



MY ONE WORD BULLETIN BOARD




Create a One Word Bulletin board with your staff or students. This is a Retro/Vintage design.

Find focus and direction in the new year. This one word will encompass how each staff member wants to approach the new year. For example, Fearless, Relax, Focused, Giving, Purpose, Hope, etc...

Selecting the right word and keeping it at the forefront of the year is a step in the right direction. Make this year meaningful!


What's included:

Letters (8x11) ONE WORD

Numbers 2021 (4x5)

Individual cards- My One Word (White background, and Multi-colored)

My One Word Bulletin Board Download



I wish all of you a very happy new year for 2021!


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Turn Data Tables into Interactive Dashboards

Visuals are important when you need a quick glance at the data.  Your staff and community stay engaged longer when information is easily retained and accessible.  


Let me share with you how I went from a plain chart to a dashboard that updates in real time!

It is easy to take a simple google spreadsheet and transform it into an interactive chart that updates in real time.


Step 1:  Open any existing Google Spreadsheet.  


We are currently tracking COVID19 cases in the district.  However, you can use any spreadsheet that you currently have in your google account.


2.  Open Data Studios

  Click Choose Create Report (top left of the screen/dashboard)







3.  Choose Add Data




4. A selection of GOOGLE CONNECTORS will appear.  Click Google Sheets (if applicable to your data source)




5. Locate your spreadsheet from the list.  

For me, I chose School ISD COVID Tracker.


6. Use the text fields to draw text boxes and select fonts and color options.




7.  Select Your Data to Place in your Chart.


Here is the part that can be a bit tricky to figure out.  From the Available Fields section, drag your data into the type of graph you previously selected.  For example, I wanted to graph Active Student Cases and Active Staff Cases.   Therefore, I selected these two and dragged them onto the dashboard and right into the bar graph I selected.  If the graph does not satisfy your needs, simply delete it and pick another type of chart or remove some of the metrics/dimensions.


8.  Share Your Report


I wanted my report to be a "live" document on the district's website, so I used the link option to share it. Please note that if you download it in a PDF the document is not live.  However, if that is not a problem for you, PDF is a great choice.  


I am also thinking about the Schedule Email Delivery option for the future.  For some projects, it would be great to see the data either at the beginning or end of each week to see how it changes.


I hope you have enjoyed this short tutorial.  


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Checklists to Guide School Leaders: COVID-19

We have been in school for 3 weeks, and it has been a very good start to our non-traditional method of teaching.  We have students both in remote and on-campus.  Parents get to choose their pathway.  Even though some students are designated remote and some on-campus, we have students flowing from remote back into the classroom and vice versa depending on their home situation.  For the most part, students will stay in remote for the grading period.  However, if a face-to-face student is quarantined, they will then become a temporary remote learner.  

This process can be very difficult to keep organized.  

Even though we have so much already in place to keep the lines of communication flowing, tracking students and staff for days in quarantine, and following all the checkboxes in our heads, we knew we needed a solid protocol in place so no task is left unchecked.  

After several Google searches and trying out a few other methods, we discovered Monday.com



STUDENT CHECKLIST

We have protocols in place if students/parents report off campus symptoms and a checklist if they report symptoms while on-campus.

How this works:

We created a Student Protocol template.  As students are added into our system via a self-reporting form, we simply copy the template and rename it for each student in the process.  

1.  Assign a team member or members to complete the tasks.  They oversee that all of their tasks are completed for each student.   

2.  One of the best features of Monday.com is that you can add text and files for each student you are tracking.  We added links to our Google Drive to access the exact letter aligned to the task.  We can also attach files.  You can attach the letter directly or you can upload a file.  This comes in handy to keep the student's documentation of lab results or parent communication.
This section below shows the image of the checklist for a student moving into quarantine or testing positive.  As you can see we have color-coded all the levels/sections of the template.  

STAFF CHECKLIST

The staff checklist functions in the same fashion as student's checklist except there are a few changes for returning to work and Human Resource needs.

I highly recommend some system if you do not have a tracking protocol in place.  We realized this helps us with accountability to be sure all areas were completed.  We certainly don't want to have an oversight in releasing a student or staff member back on campus without the procedures in place.

FINAL STEPS

Create an active and nonactive folders to house all of your checklists.  This is a huge time saver!  Close out those cases/checklists that are no longer active, so they are not taking up space in your list.

There are a lot of templates available on Monday.com.  We couldn't find one for our needs, but there are a lot of ways to utilize this platform at your school.  



OTHER FEATURES

I know this system can become highly automated and send emails for you.  We aren't there yet in our setup.  If our needs change, we can always learn how to use this feature.  Everything can also be downloaded into a spreadsheet (shown below).  The possibilities are endless.

I hope you found this helpful.  If so, please let me know!


VIEW THE CHECKLISTS:




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