Shortcut to Quickly Create a File in Google Drive

The following shortcut will allow you to save time when you need to quickly create a file in Google Drive, such as document, form, slide, sheet, or site. 

In Google Drive, all web address paths are For example, takes you directly to Google Drive. While takes you directly to all of your Google document files.

By ending the web address with /create, you can instantly create that type of Drive file.  

For example:

This trick works for the following:

New Reaction Feature in Padlet

Padlet recently made a update that allows people to react to the posts on the board. This new feature is a great way to get students interacting with the information. 

Reactions Feature:
  • Like - allows people to like a post, just like on social networking sites
  • Vote - allows people to thumbs up (upvote) and thumbs down (downvote) posts. This will move posts up and down on the board based on votes
  • Star - allows people to rate a post with 1-5 stars 
  • Grade - allows people to provide a numeric score to a post

You can find the new feature by clicking on the Settings icon and scrolling down to the Collaboration section. 

If you are unfamiliar with Padlet, check out my English Language Arts board below or see all my public boards here. In addition, here is my Padlet tutorial.

Made with Padlet

Resources to Help Identify Fake News & Misleading Websites

Fake news isn't a new concept, but over the year it has been getting a lot more "press." So much attention, that the term 'fake news' is becoming a common household phrase. Fake news is considered a type of propaganda that deliberately sets out to share misinformation with the public, whether it be in print or online. 

In addition, hoax websites exist containing information on completely made up topics. There are also websites designed by people to completely mislead the public on a topic by providing unsubstantiated and/or one-sided information.

While the United States was built upon the notion of freedom of speech, we also need to educate ourselves that not everything we read is valid or true. Do the vast majority of people know a fake news story or misleading website when they encounter one? Or are people reading articles/websites, interpreting them as true, and unintentionally spreading misleading or false information to friends and family?

What Makes a Site Credible
I won't lie that it takes work to determine the validity of a website. But the work definitely pays off. While some educators and students use strategies, such as the C.R.A.A.P. method, I personally ask myself the following questions:
  1. Who is the author and source of the information? 
  2. What date was the website created and when was the last time information was updated?
  3. What type of domain is the website? Is it a .com, .org., or .net that can be purchased by individuals? Is it a .edu that is reserved for colleges and universities? Is it a .gov that is reserved for government websites?
  4. Does the website cite reliable sources?
  5. Is the website well-designed and professional looking?
  6. What is the writing style of the website and is it free from spelling and grammatical errors?
  7. Does the website contain any disclaimers about the validity of the information? Check out the Federalist Tribune disclaimer. It states 'All the information on this website is published in good faith, entertainment and for general information purpose only. does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.' If the website can not confirm its reliability, then this is not a website I want to use as factual information. 

Know the Author
It is important to do your research to learn about the owner and author of a website/news article in order to better understand the purpose of the information. 

With news articles, if the author's name is not readily available, then that is a huge red flag. And if the author's name is available, is it a credible source. Conducting a quick search usually gives you some insight to the author. 

With websites, sometimes you can't find the name of the registrant, so using resources such as or easywhois makes it easy to find the information. Conducting a quick search using these sites will provide you with information, such as the registrant's name, organization (if applicable), date the website was created, location of registrant, and more. After you have the registrants name and/or organization, you can do a quick search to gain more information about the person. 

One of my favorite websites to have people conduct a domain search on is We are often told that we can trust websites that end in .org, but in some cases it can be owned by a non-profit organization with a hidden agenda. Use the steps below to find out more on who owns and operates the website. Follow these steps to conduct the search:
  1. Go to 
  2. Enter in ‘Enter a domain or IP address’ field.
  3. Make note of the Registrant’s Name and Organization
  4. Conduct a search to find out more information about the the registrant
After you do the search and discover the owner of the site, check your research against this information to see if you uncovered the real truth. Were you surprised by who owns and operates the website? Does the information change your view regarding the validity of the website? How can you use this exercise with students? If your district blocks the website, as mine does, you can demonstrate the domain search tools using this site for the students and then have them research about the author. Then have them conduct their own domain search using another chosen website. 

Resources Identifying Fake News Sources
Below are sources which contain lists of websites that have been tagged as being fake or satirical news.

In addition, here are some known hoax websites that can be used to practice website evaluation skills:
Chrome Extensions
Chrome extensions, found in the webstore, are small programs that add additional functionality to your Chrome web browser experience. The following extensions can be used to help initially identify whether or not a website has been tagged as poor or misleading information. 

WOT (Web of Trust)everyday users rate websites based on trustworthiness and child safety. When you click on a website that has been rated poor or very poor, you will receive a pop-up warning. Here is a link to a previous blog post with more information. 

StackUp - notifies you of a possible fake news (misleading information) website through a 'Be a Critical Thinker' header pop-up. Here is a link to a previous blog post with more information. 


Game Play
Factitious is an online game that tests your ability to identify a real vs. fake news story. The game can be played independently or the teacher can project the articles and have students work in partners to discuss the article. Have them use different colored sheets of paper to denote whether they believe the story to be real or fake. While the game alone won't educate us, we can use it as a way start identifying common characteristics of fake news stories. A nice feature of the game is the ability see the source of the article. Knowing the source of an article can play a key role in helping us determine the validity of the information. 


Breaking News Headline Generator

Class Tools Breaking News Headline Generator is fun creative way for students to showcase understanding on a given concept. The tool has nine different background images (see choices below) or you can upload your own image. 

I love Will Farrell, so of course I had to choose his background for my breaking news headline. 

Think of an upcoming unit and incorporate this tool as a way for students to check their understanding. Students can create a headline on:

  • a story they wrote
  • a characters perspective or mood on a topic
  • an event in a historical figures life
  • a national event 
  • understanding of a given prompt
  • opposing headlines from different political parties over the same event
  • and so much more...
Here are the existing background choices: