Tech for Teach

Google Docs: Multilingual, but…

Have you ever used Google Docs with your EFL students? If so, have you ever wondered why students never seem to spell check their documents? Or, why you are unable to properly use the spell check feature with documents they have shared with you? Well, this has been eating at me for the last week, and today I finally made a point of finding the solution to the problem.

Google Docs fails to see spelling errors

In the image above you can see how Google Docs claims to have “No spelling suggestions” for the error-filled sample sentence. Of course, this particular error was staged for effect, but not on purpose. After spending an afternoon going over student essays in Google Docs, and being continually frustrated by the numerous spelling errors and Google’s reticence to help me with the issue, I finally broke down and started digging for answers. In a moment of frustration, I typed the above-pictured sentence into a new document and was amazed to see that Google finally had some suggestions for me.

What made my documents different than my students’ documents? That was the question that led me to the rather simple solution…

Basically, the only visual difference between my Google Doc and the ones produced by my students was the Japanese language drop-down menu in the top right of the menu bar. This was the final clue I needed. Essentially, the issue was that the documents created by my students, while being composed completely in English, had defaulted to Japanese based on the language of the PC operating system. All I needed to do was change the document settings to English in order to enable Google’s spell check feature again.

(Click on the first image below to view the images as a slideshow of the process of updating the document language settings in order to turn spell check back on.)

So, the lesson here is that if you are having students submit documents in English, make sure that they know how to change the document language settings. Otherwise, they will miss out on the benefits of the built-in spell checking feature, and you will drive yourself to drink doing all the spell checking for them.

Now that Google knows the correct dictionary to use...
Now that Google knows the correct dictionary to use…
Tech for Teach

Custom QR Codes


Sometimes maintaining a semi-dormant Twitter account comes in handy… These days I am not a very active tweeter, but I do share all of my DMLL blog posts to my PLN via the Tweetosphere. I assume it was because of this that @QRPhoria decided to start following my tweets recently. Afterall, I have posted about QR codes a few times recently.

So, just when I thought that I had written enough about QR codes in the last month, I followed up on this new Twitter connection to find a great new QR code customisation tool. Have you ever wanted to tweak your QR codes to make them stand out, or to make them match the color scheme of your documents and/or website? If so, read on. Continue reading “Custom QR Codes”

Tech for Teach

QR Codes Made Easy

Tammy Worcesters PostIf you have ever decided to make QR codes for use in your teaching materials, you know that there is no shortage of QR code generators out there. While some offer graphic personalisation options, and other specific tweaks that give them their niche, sometimes simple is best.

One problem I often found when creating and collecting QR codes, is that they are not human-readable; I can’t tell which one is which. Sure, I would always plan to rename the file to something relevant, but it did not always happen. As such, I often found myself scanning the codes to find out what they were. Well, Google, and Tammy Worcester, have fixed this for us. Tammy has created a template in Google docs that will create, name, and organise your QR codes for you.

So, if you use QR codes to share links to mobile apps, feedback forms, assignments, or even for scavenger hunts, you just might want to save this Google spreadsheet template before you forget. It will go a long way towards helping you not only create QR codes in a simple way, but organize them as well.

BTW, Check out Tammy’s Tips of the Week when you get a chance. She has a lot of interesting tips in there.