Monthly Archives: January 2018

Printing Google Doc Comments

Sometimes you need to print comments. For example, if you are taking a road trip or a flight. I know, you can pay for internet or use a hot spot, but I am cheap and I don’t have an expense account. I am also a Google doc user which means all my files are in the cloud and this file is shared with other people.  I have two options, I could download the file and open it with Word, which would retain all my comments, or I could print the file and use pen and paper to edit it on my trip.

I chose the second option. One, because I did not want to be concerned with power, and second because I edit better with paper. However, I really wanted to be able to see my comments. So I did what every person with the internet does, Google Searched how to print my Google doc comments. Through the process, I found an extension, Google Doc Print. At this very moment, only 900 people have downloaded this extension. But I was impressed that the author has kept it up to date. So I took a chance, it printed my document with the comments.

Another great use is for teachers who need to keep a paper or digital folder of student work. For example, most schools are accountable to an accrediting organization. In the west, we are accountable to the  Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  Part of the High School accreditation process is demonstrating that students are learning. Many WASC committee’s (those who review the work) want to see the stages of development. While it is possible to give them access to student’s Google Files, using PDF files keeps everything consistent. Using this extension will allow teachers to comment and give suggestions on a draft, print the doc to PDF with the comments, then print the final draft to PDF as well.

It is a pretty simple process. Go to the Chrome Webstore, then search for Google Document with Comments printer. Once it is added to Chrome, you will find it in your browser bar.

To use it, open the Google Doc file in your Drive with the comments, then click the extension (the author has instructions when you find it in the Chrome Webstore). Follow the steps in the dialog box. When the print window opens, you can change the destination of where it prints. For example, if you want to print it to your Google Drive, change the destination to “Save to Google Drive”, where you can even choose which Google Drive. However, it you want to print the document with the comments, find the printer you want. You can also save it to the computer you are using with the Save as PDF.

Once it saves to Google Drive, it will have the same title as the Google doc, but it will be a PDF.  The best method for finding it, is to go to RECENT in your Google Drive. If you are a teacher collecting digital samples you can now move it to another folder, share it,  etc.

There are many great extensions that have been developed to make the impossible possible.  


Creating a Leaderboard


To motivate students and develop a desire to see their points rise, I need a visual. This is called a leaderboard in the world of video games.  Back when I was doing my graduate work, I witnessed how the leaderboard motivated me. As I said before, gaming wasn’t my thing. And the quests and the things we did to “pass” were out of my comfort zone. However, I finished the class with the second to highest XP. Why? Because I was motivated. I liked seeing my avatar in the lead.


One of the principles I learned about games which carries directly to teaching, is that everything has to be in the ZONE, Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development (ZPD). Well, I am not sure game designers think of Vygotsky’s research when they create games. But think about it, each level gets more challenging, gives enough lives to make it interesting but not too hard or too easy. In this graduate class, Dr. Chris Haskell created a variety of quests. Some were required, but most were optional. You just had to choose enough quests to reach your “grade” goal. There were enough quests that were carefully scaffolded and in my Zone that I was able to learn a significant amount about gamification, while accumulating points (XP). Just as the gamification research shows, students (even unskilled students like me) can be motivated by competition and seeing their XP stack.


In working on this project, I am revisiting some of the articles and post I wrote during my graduate work. As I review the materials on gamification,  what I am attempting to do this semester is not true gamification, but it is a start.  So to build a leaderboard, I did what everyone does, look for free resources on the web. Alice Keeler has some fantastic resources, and I found other people’s posts. But of course, nothing is exactly what I need, so I will have to do some good old fashioned spreadsheet work. If I were building these materials in Adobe Captivate, I would have used the resources created by eLearning Brothers. That will be for my next PD course I write.

Continue reading Creating a Leaderboard

Elements of Games


In a time when education is undergoing significant reform, it is important to consider the power of games to motivate and compel the human race.  By studying games we can learn things about learning and perhaps the potential impact on the student achievement. Tom Chatfield presented at the 2010 Ted Talk Global about the effect of games on our brain.  He supported seven elements of  games which engage our brain.

Games have

  1. Measured progress – experience bars
  2. Multiple short and long term aims
  3. Rewards for effort
  4. Rapid feedback
  5. Elements of uncertainty
  6. Ability to create windows  of enhanced engagement
  7. Other people-collaborate together


These elements are shown to affect a neuro-transmitter produced by the brain which promotes reward seeking behavior, dopamine.  It can not be ignored that when people are experiencing positive emotions, they are more engaged and more apt to improve learning.

Follow along in my exploration of these and other aspects of games which might change learning, or at least in my classroom.