GUFTLR Meeting Notes

Meeting notes can be found here.

Google on the Go! Apps for iPad July 24, 2012

posted Jul 24, 2012, 10:01 AM by

Attendees: Carrie, Sandesh, Hong (facilitators); Carie, Julie, Sam, Ed, Kristen, Sara, Judy, Christine, Barbara

SORRY - no projection today --- lessons displayed form iPAd which does not connect with Adobe Connect.
Find a Document to view with resources: 

The Gmail app on iPad is still pretty basic, but it does the job. Does not handle mu;tiple identities very well.
Basic functions are there 

Vtok is  free - works great! For voice, video, text chat

Docs- can be edited on iPad, on the go

Voice Search and text search

There is no Google Calendar app for iPad

But most Apps that are available to Brown Google users are available for iPad

Google Hangout is functional and fun - video/audio/caht - on the go!
-Mobile is slightly limited but nearly as functional as the desktop version
-Can't switch apps mid-hangout - can do that with vTok but not G+

Sandesh: can't really multitask - not fully supported

Have good strong internet connection - for example - BrownEZ didnt work well; Brown_Secure worked well.

Google Currents - new app, released late 2011; clean, nice way to view subscription content from your tablet. 
Q: can this connect to other Google Accounts?
A: you can pull in RSS feeds and Google Reader content
What the layout, display of content looks like depends on the publisher and how they are pusing out content.
Content can be shared from Currents to other applications including Facebook and Twitter

Google Play Books more traditional text content
Different than using Kindle or Amazon - a very different store for eBooks.
Doesn't feel as responsive as iBooks or Kindle Reader.  Can do some basic highlighting and annotations. 
Q: can the annotations be shared?
A: the button doesn't seem to work - I make notes and click share but hey dont show up anywhere
Can search the text - highlight a word and search for all instances of it
Q: dictionary?
A: yes- highlight a word and click define
Q: do you have to be online for this?
A: do not know; probably  have to sign in

Google Chrome:
Dedicated search app - different than the basic Google app
Good alternative to using Safari
Can use TABS for browsing!
Connectivity to other regional devices to which you are logged in - a ccess the tabs on your computer from yoru iPad
Similar features for search as the Google App
unified search box, ulnike Safari

General functions - similar to desktop

Q: are any of these apps limited to Apple iPad generations 1,2,3
A: yes- Vtok - because iPad 1 has no camera

Q: Faculty want to know what apps Brown recommendas.
A: CIS does offer help and support for iPad users. Contact or

June 26 - Sites Templates, with Carrie

posted Jun 26, 2012, 8:40 AM by   [ updated Jun 26, 2012, 10:57 AM ]

This month we will focus on Google Sites. We will learn how to create Page templates which can be used to create custom Sites more efficiently.
Attendees: Carrie (host/facilitator); Dan, Jim, Karen, Elli

Helpdesk Rocks the GUFTLR

posted Apr 26, 2012, 8:17 AM by   [ updated May 1, 2012, 7:12 AM ]

April 24 was A Very Special GUFTLR with our friends form the CIS Helpdesk. We learned a great deal about managing technology services for 8 gabillion end users using Google.

Attendees: Carrie Saarinen (moderator), Richard Lawson (presenter), Jasdeep Bagga (presenter), Charlie Klausen, David Mycue, Donna Bello, Elli Mylonas, Julie Lirot, Kelly Eagan, Pat Zudeck

Helpdesk team of 8 people responded to over 80,000 requests in 2011.
Expert staff respond to everything from password changes and login problems to major outages and systems failures.

Google Plus, March 27 with Nick and Carrie

posted Mar 27, 2012, 7:15 AM by   [ updated Mar 30, 2012, 8:38 AM ]

Attendees: Carrie, Nick, Sandesh, Hong, Julie, Elli, Jean, Monica, Sherie, Charlie, Pat K, Carie, Sarah D, Jackie, Ren, Wendi, Bonnie, Jasdeep

February 28, 2012 The New Look of Google, with Stephanie Obodda

posted Mar 2, 2012, 12:00 PM by

Attendees: Carrie (host), Stephanie (presenter), Hong, Lois, Elli, Tracy, Monica, Karen, Kim (online, Bonnie (online)

Stephanie gave us a tour of the new look of Google Apps. We have noticed changes in Gmail, Calendar and Docs. She helped us figure out how to manage the new settings.

The new look was applied to give Google Apps a more consistant look and feel. Tools and settings icons are all the same across apps now. 

GMAIL: One of the most noticeable differences is the display density. Settings can be toggled from COZY to COMPACT. Please note that some toolbars are hidden until an item in the mail list is selected. Also, all tools in Google have a hidden description which can be seen when you hover your mouse over any tool icon. See more info about changes to Gmail: 

CALENDAR: Settings can be toggled from COZY to COMPACT. There are new toggle switches for the calendar lists int he left menu as well.

January 24, 2012 - Customize Your Google Site with Carrie Saarinen

posted Jan 26, 2012, 1:02 PM by   [ updated Jan 30, 2012, 9:24 AM ]

Attendees: Carrie (host, facilitator) with Ann D, Betsy J, Elli M, Julie L, Kim S, Megan B, Monica L, Phyllis H, Sarah B, Anita N

November 22, 2011 - Open Office Hours using Gmail & Google Calendar, with Stephanie Obodda

posted Nov 28, 2011, 9:25 AM by   [ updated Dec 14, 2011, 8:01 AM ]

Attendees: Carrie (facilitator), Stephanie (presenter), Sandesh, Carie, Dorinda, Ren, Monica. Jackie and Keith (online)

Schedule Open Office Hours with Appointment Slots in Calendar

Google Calendar now offers Appointment Slots. This feature enables users to open blocks of time for other people to self-select meeting times. This feature is great for recurring events with optional attendees, such as Open Office Hours or individual staff meetings with supervisors.

To get started, in Calendar view, click a time to trigger the event editing window. 

Look for and click the Appointment Slots option in the bubble. 

Name the Appointment slot (What) in a way that informs what the slot is for. For example, rather than name it 'Office hours' name it 'PHSY0200 Office Hours'.

Choose the correct Calendar, if you manage multiple calendars. Some people have a separate calendar for each course they teach.

Select an appropriate option (Type) - Single slot or slots of XX minutes each. For example, in a standard 1 hr block you might offer (4) slots of 15 minutes each.

Click Edit Details to make additional changes, such as extending the block to 2 hours (example: 8 slots of 15m each or 4 slots of 30m each).

NOTE: Yes!! You can use the recurring meeting option to make recurring appointment slots. For example, you may wish to set up open hours slots every Tuesday from 11am-1pm for the entire semester.  Select Repeat and enter the frequency for the recurrence.

To invite guests to select appointment slots, grab the URL and email to your class or your staff or whoever needs to book appointments with you. 

TIP! Save the URL for re-use. Save it in a draft email. Save it in a Doc. Add it to your syllabus. Or create a 'Canned Response' in Gmail.

NOTE: The URL always goes to the available slots on your calendar. This is another reasons to name your appointment blocks with something relevant. For example, Stephanie might office appointment slots for 'Microsoft Word' and 'Microsoft Excel'; she would name each block of time slots with that info so her guests would know when to sign up for the different topics. An instructor who teaches both grads and undergrads might label his appointment slots 'grad' or 'under grad'. 

1. After Saving the block, the event displays on your calendar like this.  
2. The guest sees this, when they go to the URL  

3. The guest sees this when they select a slot 

4. Then the appointment block on your calendar looks like this. Note the slot that has been taken is a more solid color. You can click on the slot to see who has the appointment.

Learn more about Appointment Slots:
View a video tutorial [YouTube]:

Open Office Hours with Google Video Chat

Gmail offers chat (text only) and video chat. Once Video chat is enabled, you can hold video open office hours easily with your students, anywhere you are! 

In Gmail, use the Chat feature to find the person you wish to contact. Send them a Chat invite. 

When they respond, choose the Video option for Video chat, or just enter text in the window for regular chat. 

NOTE: your computer's audio and video settings may need to be configured. Follow prompts provided.
Learn more about video chat in Gmail: 

October 25, 2011 Forms Revisited, with Hong Chau

posted Oct 26, 2011, 7:59 AM by   [ updated Oct 26, 2011, 8:42 AM by ]

Attendees: Carrie (facilitator), Hong (presenter), Ed (online liaison), Carie, Marcy, Jean, Amanda, Charlie, Karey, Monique, Phyllis, Ren, Sarah, Elli, Sandesh

Informal 'hands-up' attendees poll: about 1/2 have used Google Forms and 1/2 have used other survey tools such as SurveyMonkey. All have created a form in one way or another in the past.

Review of notes from July's session on Google Forms with Hong. View the notes.

TIP: Draft your questions in a document (word, or Docs) before jumping into create a new Form. *Plan ahead - you will save yourself editing time later and perhaps eliminate common Google Forms problems.

GET STARTED: To create a new Form, login to Google Docs and go tot he upper left to the 'Create New' button and select FORM from the list. Notice the top options, the title and description section, and the 2 sample questions added in by default.
1. OPTIONS: The combination of options you choose impact the way people use the form.
 Allow users to edit responses. 
 Require Brown University sign-in to view this form.
 Automatically collect respondent's Brown University username.

2. TITLE & DESCRIPTION: add a title (note- it will be the subject line if your email the form, or display on a web page if you embed the form somewhere).

3. SAMPLE Q's: edit these questions as needed. You can change the text int he question and the Help, also change the question format.

The data collected by the form is stored in a Google Spreadsheet. The Spreadsheet is automatically created when you create a form. In fact, when you go back to edit a form or view data, what you open is actually the Spreadsheet. 

    To edit the form, in the Spreadsheet, go to the 'FORM' tab and select Edit
    To view the 'live' form, in the Spreadsheet, go to the 'FORM' tab and select Go to Live Form
    Other options are available in this tab, including turning 'off' the form and viewing responses.

*NOTE: When editing the form, the columns in the spreadsheet do not change or move. This is why drafting the form ahead of time is so important!! It is best to have a firm idea of the question format and arrangement prior to building the form.

Question: Can you edit the spreadsheet columns?
    Answer: no; error message pops up. Edit the form fields.

: how are users notified that their form has been submitted? Google adds in a confirmation page that is editable. You can add your text and a hyperlink to your website, if you wish. There are other options available such as allowing users to view the response summary.
    To edit the confirmation page, in the Spreadsheet, go to the 'FORM' tab and select Edit. Then click the 'More actions' button and select 'Edit Confirmation'.
    Options: allow submitters to view response data and require auth to view summary. Note - this only works for Brown users.

RESPONSE DATA: can be shared with Brown submitters or published as a web page in a Google Site (easy) or other web site (in HTML, with <iframe> tag).

DISTRIBUTION: Forms can be published to a web site, embedded in an email or linked to via an email or on a web page. Permissions and authentication settings of course will impact who can submit a form. The email embed is great because users can complete the form in email, rather than viewing ti online...quick response for short surveys!

Question: What If the user doesn't receive HTML email?
Answer: the email includes both a link and the embedded form. The text-only email recipient still gets the link to complete the form in a browser.

Question: Can I see who responds to a survey or completes a form? I want to be able to know who hasn't finished the form.
Answer: only if a) they are Brown users and B) you check the box enabling the form to gather user information

: To setup conditional branching, use Page Breaks in the form. Then group questions accordingly under the page breaks. *Note: it is important to draft your survey in a doc before building the form, especially if you are using conditional branching.

Note: The only question type that allows for branching based on an answer is Multiple Choice.

September 27, Docs/Sites Mash-up with Carrie Saarinen

posted Sep 27, 2011, 12:31 PM by

In attendance: Carrie (facilitator, presenter), Ed (online moderator), Monica, Amanda, Jean, Jackie, Sandesh, Hong, James, Charlie, Natalia, Katherine, Elli, Edrex. Online: Jen, Eileen, Jason

Today Carrie demonstrated embedding Google Docs in Google Sites. To view samples of Docs embedded into Sites: visit the Docs section of this site. There were lots and lots of great questions, answers and suggestions by attendees. 

Why store in Docs? Why not just add to Sites?
Google Sites has limited space. Docs has more space. Store documents, forms, presentations, drawings and spreadsheets on Docs and then display then in Sites.

Can a Collection be displayed?
While it is not a native function fo Google right now, their API allows user to customize functions through their open API and Google Scripts. We currently have a student working on developing a useable - and replicable script - to rovide this function. Since it is not a native function fo Google and not a formal Brown project, the support will be limited, but we will share our discovery once it is more stable. Watch for a future meeting about Google Scripts!

How can I view Sites on a mobile device?
There is visibility with limited editing ability on an iPad. There is little or no access on a mobile device.

Can I embed a Google Map?
Yes! Map it! 

Can I embed Google Earth?

What code can I add through the HTML editor?
<iframe> works. Google speaks Google - most Google resources and services will work with Sites. Google will spit out java script and some other dynamic codes. Use the 'Preview' tab when building with the HTML editor. 

Can I display a spreadsheet with multiple tabs?

Can I limit the tabs displayed?

Can I embed a PDF?
Google won't display a PDF in a Site page. However you can attach the PDF to a page. (thank you, Elli!)

Can I display the form data or summary of responses in page alongside the form?
Good question! Let's investigate and revisit this next month when Hong presents Forms 2. And maybe take a look at Google Charts in the near future.

August 23, 2011 Google Draw, with Andrew Goodman

posted Aug 23, 2011, 10:55 AM by   [ updated Aug 24, 2011, 5:35 AM ]

Attendees: Pat K, Jim, Judy, Sandesh, James, Julie, Chris, Donna, Charles, Elli, Jean, Diana, Pat Z, Edrex, Kelly 
Online: Hong, Jack, Eileen, Jen
Andrew (presenter), Carrie (facilitator) 

Andrew introduced Google Draw, a nifty feature of Google Docs. Users can easily create rich tables, flow charts and diagrams. Draw documents can stand alone or be embedded into other documents. Draw documents can be exported to other graphic file formats. (Learn more online: )

Andrew explained the general features of vector graphics in relation to Google Draw objects, lines and shapes. He demonstrated a selection of tools located in the Google Draw menu and toolbar including how to create text, shapes, curves and lines; options for manipulating objects and text (line thickness, color); and arrangement and order of objects (arrange).

He demonstrated export of images to desktop, then reopening of images in other graphic programs (Adobe Illustrator).

The group discussed image formats, keyboard shortcuts, import/export functions, and limitations with anchor points in objects. 

  • Curves do not seem to offer the ability to add anchor points; however this can be explored further.
  • Word Art tends to render new items at the bottom of the Draw canvas; look for your new Word Art objects there.
  • Word Art offers font types whereas Text shapes do not.
  • Standard copy/paste techniques do not apply in Draw; select items then use the cloud/clipboard tool in the tool bar to copy items to be be pasted in another Doc.
Demo Draw Doc: (click to open)

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