Tag Archives: art

doodle4google

Google Wants To Give You EdTech For Doodling

doodle4google

Want to bring cutting edge to your classroom AND have your work seen by millions at the same time? Check out the Doodle4Google contest that’s ending soon. Basically, students get a scholarship, internet fame, and your school gets a sweet education technology grant in exchange for a winning doodle. If you don’t know what a GoogleDoodle is, you can read more here.

Google has opened up contests in the past for students to design the Doodle. This year is no different – they’re once again running their Doodle4Google contest, hoping to inspire young people to doodle the biggest and best things their imaginations can dream up. As of today, there are 12 days left to submit a doodle! The last date for entries is Thursday, March 20th. (nb, entrants must be in grades K-12).

This year’s theme is:

If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…

doodle4google

The winner of the Doodle4Google contest will see his or her artwork on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school. So encourage your students to get drawing – your whole school could benefit!

 

Android_art_apps

4 Apps and Web Tools Perfect For Digital Art Class

david-hockney-ipad-drawingsThere are lots of web tools and apps out there that teach specific educational material. If you tried to catalog the vast number of spelling, reading, writing, and math apps out there, you’d probably have a full time job just keeping track of everything that’s out there. There are apps for specific math concepts (like the series of iDevBooks apps that we’ve mentioned in the past) as well as more general ones. There are apps for every age group and reading level.

That said, once you make an exit from the basic reading-writing-math apps category, apps for teaching specific subjects are harder to come by. Not because they don’t exist, by any stretch, but more because they’re not as easy to find, despite the categorization of app stores. Sometimes browsing just doesn’t do it – you have to know what you’re looking for!

I find this to be especially true when looking at apps for teaching subjects like art or music. Since these are inherently practical subjects, there often aren’t great ‘teaching’ apps as there are for math or reading. But don’t be fooled into thinking these types of tools aren’t out there – they are! Here are a few of our favorite digital art class apps and web tools!

Google Art Project

The Google Art Project is a web based tool that allows users to explore collections of art from different museums around the world. From the Textile Museum of Canada to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the variety of works showcased here is substantial. The images are high-res, so viewing the artwork via the site is actually almost as good as going to the museum. Users can virtually tour the museums, explore historical context and find other information about each piece, and even ‘curate’ their own collection.

ArtSite

ArtSite is a web-based platform and accompanying app made with art teachers in mind. It allows students to create virtual galleries, explore information on pieces in museums, and organize their materials. It also enables students to create portfolios of their own work, and explore other students’ portfolios as well. The service is cloud based, so you can work from any computer or iPad. Teachers pay for access, but student access is free.

PicsArt

PicsArt is a free photo app and drawing tool for Android and iOS. It offers drawing functionality, as well as the ability for users to upload their photos and designs to share with other users. Hashtags enable easy searching (and for more people to be able to see your work!), and the site also offers some fun drawing tutorials for their drawing tool.

Paper

Paper by FiftyThree is a drawing and painting app that allows users to create sketchbooks of their work. There are lots of different pen options to choose from, though there are fewer brush options.  They are easy to use and yield a pretty real result as compared with working with the physical materials. One brush is free, but there is a cost for additional brushes/pens.

geometry art

Check Out Jean-Baptiste Biot’s Puzzilingly Beautiful Geometric Art

geometry art

Got $1,000? Love geometry? Then I’ve got a deal for you. If you want to hang some puzzlingly beautiful artwork on your wall then look no further than these pieces of work by Jean-Baptiste Biot. Originally constructed in the mid-1800s, these geometric drawings were designed to illustrate geometric principles.

The print above and the others below come from an old Swedish geometry text book and are available as prints for the cool price of a mere $995 at Dwell Studios. Personally, I think that might be a bit much. But what do I know about art and / or geometry? Very little, to be honest.

Jean-Baptiste Biot

I think these designs are truly fascinating and worth a look. Better yet, looking at them on Edudemic and checking them out in their online store is free of charge! If you’re ready to part with about a thousand dollars, more power to you!

starry-night-thumb

How Art Can Be Used To Enhance Your Mind

Starry Night by Van Gogh

Starry Night by Van Gogh

Music, dance, painting and other forms of art have shown to have an incredibly significant and positive effect on both children and adults. Art therapy has been used to awaken the senses of underprivileged children through both the viewing and creating of art.Through their artistic endeavors, they subconsciously associate themselves with their past. The memories come more freely since they are not elicited by direct objects, but indirect thought instead.

Due to many past experiences many children begin to develop nervousness, anxiety, sleeping excessive or too little, a lack of verbal, social and language skills. Many times depending on the color within a piece, or may be some other quality of the artwork, different emotions can be evoked by the observer unknowingly. Awakening of the senses through experimentation with the different types of art these children experience an untapped emotional world within themselves and with this association with their own inner being, they are able to show increased abilities in their cognitive, motor and social skills.

Using Colors

Many of the most famous pieces in the pop art movement have utilized popular advertisements that could be easily tied to past memories. Pop art is known very well for its use of bright, vibrant colors.

Pop art is specifically tied to nostalgic thoughts since many of these works utilize old comics, food wrappers, advertisements and other types of art that people may recognize from past events in their lives. Pop art is especial useful in helping evoke past memories and gain insight through the use of bright colors. Nostalgic undertones emotions and feelings surrounding past events can be easily conjured up through the study of Pop art.

Photos vs Paintings

Piccaso - Woman with Fan

Piccaso – Woman with Fan

According to a 2010 study conducted by researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, viewing paintings as opposed to photographs of similar objects evoked more of a sense of reward within the brain. Participants in the study were shown pieces from different artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso, and then they were showed photographs that depicted very similar objects. When they studied the brains of the participants through imaging technology, the ventrial striatum, which is part of the reward system, became more strongly activated when the participant saw a painting rather then a photograph of a similar object. Even if only momentarily, the memories they experience have shown to increase positive moods and improve their quality of life.

Pop art, for example, impacts different people in different ways. Clearly different aspects of art and the participation in the arts can have a profound and positive effect on the human mind. Most forms of art are able to impact the human mind in one way or another.With its strong ties to commercial consumerism and found art, it is easy to evoke emotion in someone when utilizing the properties of Pop art. But Pop art is not the only type of art that can be used to help stimulate areas of the brain and help in the process of resolving issues.

Beatles Yellow Submarine

Beatles Yellow Submarine

Bright yellows often evoke a feeling of happiness, which is a very common color in Pop art pieces. For example, if someone is dealing with a childhood trauma, memories from childhood can help them figure out exactly what happened and how to move past it.
Utilizing pop art to delve into past memories can be very therapeutic for many different reasons. Alzheimer’s patients are often involved in music therapy, which has shown to help them recover and reconnect with past memories therefore acting as a healer and giving a positive impact to the mind towards their improvement and well being .

What is most important is to explore the impact art has on the human mind and figure out how to positively harness the impact and minimize any negativity. How will you use art to enhance your mind? View a few ideas on Meena Chopra’s blog here.

camera

The Importance Of Using Images In The Classroom

camera

Show a photograph to a child and the youngster will point to it, trace its image, and respond with a variety of emotions. Show another to an adult, and you get a frown, a smile, or a gesture—rarely will you draw a blank. Then show a photo, or a series of photos, to people at any level, and you’ll have more responses than you can handle.

Why do people respond so enthusiastically to graphic images? Here’s one theory. Early humans drew pictures on the walls of caves. That’s visual orientation, the kind of communication that doesn’t depend on the written word. Then along came paper and ink, and along with them, word orientation. Meticulously copying texts, monks labored for centuries with this kind of mindset. True, they also embellished these works with colorful designs and images, but the text prevailed and the visual orientation of the cave was slowly being edged out by attention to the written word.

Then came the printing press, followed by machines that could set type and reproduce images that would have astounded the medieval monks who labored in their cells. Later, during the 19th Century, innovators discovered how to capture images on film, and still photographs and motion pictures were born. During the 20th Century, images transmitted by television captivated viewers of all ages worldwide. Finally, the digital revolution created a tsunami of images that floods the senses and is virtually impossible to ignore.

Often maligned but never out of sight, these visual images captivate us. For those who recognize the potential photographs have for inspiring writing, the rewards are great. Show a group of people an image of waves beating against the shore and you’ll be amazed by their responses. Some will recall memories of seaside childhoods; others will visualize sea stories, shipwrecks, mysteries of the deep, and more. Still others will venture into the abstract—the world of simile, metaphor, and personification—perhaps transcribing a bit of themselves

Of course, images other than photographs can offer many possibilities for stimulating creativity and inspiring writing. A teacher of English, drama, and creative writing at Lake Forest High School in the suburbs of Chicago, Karen Topham has been indulging in her passions for writing and the arts for thirty years. Here’s how she responded to Edvard Munch’s 1893 painting, The Scream.

(scroll down past the image but first examine it yourself)

munch the scream

Scream (after Munch)

what rawness then
what orange blue intensity
what whirling winding nightmare
infests your soul
when like a man possessed
you turn your back on
the sweetness of the day—
the harbor rich with spreading sails
the sunset rolling waves across the sky—
and staring into empty space
or at some demon gnawing at your mind
you lift your hands to your face
hold tightly to your melting
frameless form
and wait to hear
the heavens
when they scream

Munch’s painting and Topham’s poem provide an excellent example of the power of images to trigger creative responses. Whether you’re seeking inspiration for your own writing, teaching students at any level, or conducting workshops or seminars for others, you’ll find that photographs and other images are powerful aids to eliciting creative responses and inspiring writing.

Scream originally appeared in Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing by Hank Kellner and Elizabeth Guy (Prufrock Press, 2013).
Read more about this book at Kellner’s blog here. Camera image courtesy of Canon Flickr page.

A veteran of the Korean War, Hank Kellner is a retired educator who has served as an English Department chairperson at the high school level and an adjunct Associate Professor of English at the community college level. Born in New York City, Kellner now lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Kellner is the creator of many photographs and articles that appeared in publications nationwide; the author of extensive reading comprehension materials for a publisher of educational materials, and a former contributing editor to Darkroom Photography magazine. He is the author of Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing (Prufrock Press, 2009) and, with Elizabeth Guy, the co-author of Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing (Prufrock Press, 2013).

school-year-1900

The Year 2000, According To French Artists In The Year 1900

Think you know what the year 3000 will be like? What about the year 2100? If you’re anything like Jean-Marc Côté and other artists in France in the year 1900 (and I assume you are) then you might want to think twice.

That’s because a series of about 87 postcards drawn by French artists around the year 1900 have surfaced and they’re truly fascinating.

These drawings depict what the artists think the year 2000 will look like. According to these designs, here’s what they expected to happen:

  • Scary robots will be your new barber
  • Blimps will be battling in the sky / look like pirate ships
  • Airplanes will take the place of taxis or coaches
  • Firemen will fly to fires… like Peter Pan
  • The postman will fly to your house on an extremely small / flimsy airplane
  • Underwater divers will ride… seahorses?
  • Those same divers will be underwater and fish for… seagulls?
  • Whales will act as underwater buses
  • Farmers will use big remote machines to harvest crops (one of the more accurate depictions)
  • A machine will turn eggs into hatched ducks / chickens in rapid time (also pretty accurate)
  • Music will be performed by machines (extremely accurate, thanks Auto Tune!)
  • School will consist of students being force-fed books through some strange machine (the future iPad, perhaps?)

[nggallery id=19]

(All images via Public Domain Review via Wikimedia Commons).

BestOfWiki

30+ Open Wikis Every Educator Should Know About

This is the first in a series of ‘Best of 2011′ posts where we share some of the best education-related materials of the past year. Be sure to check back on a regular basis as we’ve got some pretty exciting stuff coming soon!

Are you interested in being a part of a dynamic digital environment capable of changing the world of education? There are wikis out there that are just waiting for you to join and offer up your $.02. From wikis on teaching in the United Kingdom to art to web 2.0 tools, there’s a wiki for everyone.

The list of wikis below is just a smattering of some of the best open wikis available today. They were all nominated by teachers and administrators from around the world during this year’s Edublogs awards. If you’re not familiar with wikis, they’re quite simply a website developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content. That’s the official Wikipedia definition. What better place to get a proper definition, right? Anyway, check out each one of these terrific wikis today and do your best to join or at least monitor what’s happening on them. Enjoy!

  1. http://wiki.scotedublogs.org.uk/
    ScotEduBlogs
  2. http://ukedchat.wikispaces.com/
    #ukedchat Information Wiki Site
  3. http://21stcenturyskillsnmteachercourse.wikispaces.com/home
    21st Century Skills for Teachers
  4. http://ibart.wetpaint.com/
    Art Online Studio
  5. http://asantangelo82.wikispaces.com/
    asantangelo82
  6. http://thedaringlibrarian.wikispaces.com/
    Daring Tech Wiki
  7. http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com/w/page/17791568/FrontPage
    Digitally Speaking.
  8. http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/
    Ed Camp
  9. http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/
    Educational Origami
  10. http://flatclassroomproject.org/
    Flat Classroom Project
  11. http://fugleflicks.wikispaces.com/
    Flugleflicks
  12. http://greetingsfromtheworld.wikispaces.com/
    Greetings From The World
  13. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/
    ICT Magic Show
  14. http://palmbeachschooltalk.com/groups/ipadpilot/
    iPad in Education
  15. http://metasaga.wikispaces.com/
    METASAGA
  16. http://mrhanson.pbworks.com/
    Mr Hanson’s Online Classroom
  17. http://ozgekaraoglu.wikispaces.com/
    Ozge Karaoglu
  18. http://resourcesforhistoryteachers.wikispaces.com
    Resources for History Teachers
  19. http://weareroom1.wikispaces.com/
    Ruma Tahi
  20. http://sigml.iste.wikispaces.net/
    sigml Mobile Learning
  21. http://springfieldlibrary.wikispaces.com/
    Springfield Township High School Virtual Library
  22. http://studentmathmovies.wikispaces.com/
    Student Made Maths Movies
  23. http://teaching-with-technology.wikispaces.com/home
    Teaching with Thinking and Technology
  24. http://www.tmsydney.wikispaces.com/
    TeachMeet Sydney
  25. http://teflworldwiki.com/index.php/Main_Page
    TEFL World Wiki
  26. http://globalclassroom2011-12.wikispaces.com/
    The Global Classroom Project: 2011/12
  27. http://k12.wiki.nmc.org/
    The Horizon Project: K-12 Edition
  28. http://tlvirtualcafe.wikispaces.com/
    The TL Virtual Cafe
  29. http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/
    The UDLTechToolKit
  30. http://timdeakin.wikispaces.com/Learning2020+Open+Space
    Tim Deakin
  31. http://web20andsocialmediaineducation2010.wikispaces.com/
    Web 2.0 and Social Media Education 2010
  32. http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/
    Web 2.0 Tools For Schools
  33. http://azharstudents.wikispaces.com/
    Welcome back to Egypt
  34. http://wowinschool.pbworks.com/
    WOW in Schools
Amazing Art Projects Using Just Paper

Amazing Art Projects Using Just Paper

If you’re running low on supplies in your classroom and need to occupy some of your students’ time…the answer is just a few sheets of paper away. We just came across 6Die, a fantastic website that features some of the more random (but useful) stuff from the Internet. They recently published a series of amazing art projects created with just one or two sheets of paper.

While we aren’t exactly sure how each of these projects was done, we’re assuming it just takes some A4 paper, scissors, a bit of tape / glue, and talent. The last one being the most important. Be sure to check out the full gallery over at 6Die.

A bit about the projects from the author: My paper works have been based around an exploration of the relationship between two and three dimensionality. I find this materialization of a flat piece of paper into a 3D form almost a magic process – or maybe one could call it obvious magic, because the process is obvious and the figures still stick to their origin, without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in most of the cuts. Some of the small paper cuts relate to a universe of fairy tales and romanticism, as for instance Impenetrable Castle inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier, in which a tin soldier falls in love with a paper ballerina, living in a paper castle. Other paper cuts are small dramas in which small figures are lost within and threatened by the huge powerful nature. Others again are turning the inside out, or letting the front and the back of the paper meet – dealing with impossibility, illusions, and reflections.


I find the A4 sheet of paper interesting to work with, because it is probably the most common and consumed media and format for carrying information today, and in that sense it is something very loaded. This means that we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper. By removing all the information and starting from scratch using the blank white 80gsm A4 paper as a base for my creations, I feel that I have found a material which we all are able to relate to, and at the same time is non-loaded and neutral and therefore easier to fill with different meanings. The thin white paper also gives the paper sculptures a fragility which underlines the tragic and romantic theme of the works.



Set yourself loose on a few sheets of paper and see what you can create! Be sure to let us know and we’ll feature you on EduDemic!

Perfect For Art Teachers: New Program Tracks Mouse Movement, Makes Art

Tired of not being able to draw like Jackson Pollack? Know how to use a computer? Then you’re just a few clicks away from making some seriously interesting art that’s great for both teachers and students.

A new program called IOGraph is now available to the public and it tracks where you move your mouse on the screen and then turns it into an easy-to-understand chart. Think you could use a little bit of reorganization on your desktop? IOGraph can help you identify where you’re spending all your time. Writing a paper or correcting online coursework? IOGraph can show you just how little screen real estate you use (and encourage you to do a better job at spacing out your focus area.)

A bit about the program from the website:

Formerly known as MousePath it was made by Moscow designer Anatoly Zenkov to brighten up the routine work. Posting it at Flickr caused informal interest and afterward Anatoly Zenkov and his colleague Andrey Shipilov decided to evolve the app.

IOGraph — is an application that turns mouse movements into a modern art. The idea is that you just run it and do your usual day stuff at the computer. Go back to IOGraph after a while and grab a nice picture of what you’ve done!

Download the program here.

We invite you to check this unique program out and let us know what your results are. Here are some sample below: (courtesy Flickr)

Why Google Docs Is Making Word and Excel Irrelevant

Google Docs has some new features (shocker!) that allow you to share actual drawings with others and to work on them together. We could see this becoming a real viral sensation as people could showcase what they’ve done together. For example, an artist in New York City could start a drawing / sketch…share it with a few other artists, they share it again, and soon enough you have a drawing 100 people worked on in about a week and it can be, well, something big. Want to try out the new features? Just head on over to Google Docs and hit Create New –> Drawing.

Consider this just another nail in the coffin for Word, Excel, and MS Paint(?!) as Google continues to move the line in the sand for Microsoft. Can’t wait to see what’s next from Google Docs (and Google in general!) Want to see a list of what’s new in Docs that you may have missed? Check out the exhaustive list below:

Just launched!

    • Upload any file
      Over the next couple of weeks, we’re rolling out the ability to upload, store, and share any file in Google Docs. Your files will be stored in their original format and downloadable from anywhere. Uploading files to the cloud allows them to be safely stored and accessible at all times.

    • Shared folders
      Now you can simultaneously share a group of docs with your friends, coworkers, or family, by sharing an entire folder with them.
    • Bulk upload
      Upload multiple files quickly to your Docs list.

    • Drawings improvements
      Choose ‘Insert Drawing’ in any document, spreadsheet, or presentation to check out these new features.

      • Snap to guides
        Snap to guides helps you easily align objects with the drawings canvas and other objects.
      • Polylines
        Create continuous lines or even enclosed custom filled shapes composed of multiple segments. You can close shapes, fill them, and even move around points on a line by double-clicking the line.
      • Draw multiple lines
        It’s now easier to quickly draw a sequence of related lines. Now when you finish drawing a line, arrow, or scribble, you stay in line drawing mode so you can start a new line immediately.

    • Translate and detect languages in Google spreadsheets
      =GoogleTranslate(“Hola, ¿cómo estás?”,”es”,”en”) gives “Hi, how are you?” (or leave out “en” and we’ll automatically choose the default language of your spreadsheet) What if you don’t know the language? =DetectLanguage(“Hola, ¿cómo estás?”) gives “es”.
    • Forms: Add pages and allow navigation to a specific page within a form
      Whether it’s showing a different set of food questions for vegetarians and meat-etarians or building a Choose Your Own Adventure game, Google forms can take care of it all. Add page breaks to your form and let people fill out only the sections that are relevant to them.

    • Print footnotes as endnotes
      Choose to print your footnotes as endnotes through the ‘print settings’ page.
    • Dictionary translation
      Find the definition of a word in a given language and then translate the word and the corresponding definitions into an alternate language.
    • Equation editor
      Insert and edit mathematical equations and symbols in documents.

    • Forms improvements
      We’ve added a new question type (grid), support for right-to-left languages in forms, and a new color scheme for the forms summary. Also, you can now pre-populate form fields with URL parameters, and if you use Google Apps, you can create forms which require sign-in to access.

    • Translate document
      You can now translate an entire document into over 40 languages.

    • Solve improvements
      Now your target cell can include the =sum() and =sumproduct() functions.
    • Export images into .xls files
      Description: Now you can export images from spreadsheets when exporting in .xls format.
    • Email as an attachment
      From the share button you can now email your Google Spreadsheets workbook out directly as an attachment in .xls, .csv, .ods, .pdf and other popular formats.
    • Snap to grid
      Auto-align text, images, shapes, and tables within your slides.
    • Insert images
      Insert an image into your drawing and add scribbles, shapes, lines, arrows, and text boxes on top of the image.
    • Tables
      You can now add tables to Google Docs presentations.
    • Automatically cycle through slides
      You can automatically cycle through slides in presentation mode and enable time delay, autostart, and loop.

    • Solve
      With Solve, you can easily optimize linear equations by specifying a target cell for the result and adding constraints to help you reach your answer.
    • ROMAN function
      Converting numbers into Roman numerals as easy as I, II, III.
    • Forms improvements
      We’re adding section headers to allow you to divide your form in sections and provide more information for your respondents within the form.

  • DOCX Import
    You can now import Word 2007 files (.docx) into Google Docs.

What’s been keeping us busy

    • New publish dialog for spreadsheets
      We’ve improved the sharing dialog to make it easier for you to publish your spreadsheet into different formats! Using the new publishing dialog, it’s easy to get an html snippet, pdf file, or published link and share it with your friends, family, or colleagues.

    • Themes for forms
      Add a splash of color to your surveys and questionnaires. When you create and edit a form, simply apply one of the 70 themes.

    • Sheet Protection
      Spreadsheet owners can use the sheet protection feature to lock sheets so they can only be edited by collaborators the owner chooses.
    • List View and Mobile View Improvements
      Now you can see your spreadsheets with all their formatting in List View and on your mobile device, this includes background/foreground colors, borders and text formatting!

    • Drawings and diagrams
      Create your own drawings and diagrams in Google Docs and use them in your text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. As with the rest of Google Docs, your drawings are auto-saved and you can edit them collaboratively. To get started, open a document and select Insert > Drawing.
    • Find and replace toolbar for text documents
      The “Find and replace” feature in the text document Edit menu has gotten a makeover and an upgrade. Now it’s a slick toolbar that sports case matching, whole word matching as well as regular expression-style matching.

    • XLSX import
      You can now import supporting cell data, formatting, formulas, font style, background color, named ranges, frozen panes, and horizontal merges from Excel ’07.
    • Google Apps automatic identity in Forms
      This feature enables the collection of the user’s email address when filling out a form on a Google Apps domain.
    • Form summary page
      The form summary page can now be printed.
    • List view in the desktop version of Google spreadsheets
      You can now use list view’s simple design and powerful filtering and sorting on your desktop or notebook computer.
    • Google Tournament function
      The GoogleTournament() function allows users to query NCAA data (including team names, records, scores, seedings, game times, etc) in a Google spreadsheet (ideal for creating automatic brackets).

    • Data Validation
      With two levels of validation, strict and lenient, you can now control what you and your collaborators enter into a spreadsheet.
    • List View
      This ‘lightweight’ version of Google Spreadsheets will allow you to do quick edits when you are accessing Google Spreadsheets from select mobile devices (Android, iPhone and Nokia S60), when you are on a slow Internet connection or when there are more than 50 people accessing your spreadsheet at the same time.
    • Form Summary for your collaborators
      You can now let your collaborators or form respondents see a summary of the form responses.

    • Offline access in 40 languages
      You can now view & edit text documents offline and view spreadsheets, forms, and presentations offline in 39 more languages. To get started, you’ll first need to enable offline access for Google Docs.
    • Print preview
      Need to see how many pages your document is or check on how your footnotes look at the bottom of the page? Go to File > Print preview for quick look at how your document will appear when printed.

    • Forms in the templates gallery
      We’ve added 13 spreadsheet forms to the Templates Gallery under a new document type “Forms”. Browse the new forms.
    • Footnotes for your school assignments
      You can now annotate your documents with footnotes. Use Insert > Footnote to add a footnote into the right margin. When printed, the footnotes will appear at the bottom of the page.

    • New UI for spreadsheets!
      Just like our other editors in Google Docs, spreadsheets now has an updated interface. Menus make it easy to find all of our great and unique spreadsheet editing features.
      Sharing spreadsheets has also been updated. Now, it’s simpler to invite people and manage access. As always, stay tuned as we continue to make this all-important action of sharing as simple as possible while giving you complete control over who sees and edits your content.

    • Add a table of contents to your documents
      Use the heading styles to title sections of your document (from the format menu, select Minor Heading, Sub-Heading, Heading). Then add a table of contents that will refer to those titled sections (from the Insert menu, select Table of contents).
    • “Look up word” (U.S. English only)
      Select any word in your document, then go to the Tools menu to look up the word in your choice of U.S. English dictionary, thesaurus or encyclopaedia.
    • Google search integration
      Again via the Tools menu, search the web for the word or words you have selected – either a regular text Google search or a Google image search.
    • New UI in presentations!
      Google presentations now has a completely new interface, increasing the size of the slide during editing and visibility of thumbnails.
    • Slide Zooming
      Zoom in and out of your slides to see your content in detail.

    • Create forms in a jiffy
      Choose New > Form to create new forms straight from Docs Home. We’ve also improved form editing, starting with drag-and-drop to reorder questions.
    • Autosave for forms
      You don’t have to lift a finger to use this new feature. Now, your form edits are automatically saved.
    • Find and replace
      Use Ctrl + F to search for and replace text across your entire spreadsheet.
    • Two powerful new functions
      IMPORTRANGE() can reference data from any of your spreadsheets. SPLIT() cleans up text in a cell by splitting it into multiple cells at any delimiter you choose. Learn more about the importrange() function and the split() function.

    • Bullet and Object Reveals in presentations
      Pace your presentations with the new reveals feature. Set objects to appear in a certain order and advance through them by clicking. Set textboxes to reveal one bullet/paragraph level at a time.

    • New! Templates
      Create professional documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Google Docs. Get a jump start with one of hundreds of templates. Browse the templates gallery. Google Apps user?

    • Analytics tracking on published documents
      You can now track how much traffic a particular published document is getting through Google Analytics.
    • “Form” tab
      A new “Form” tab gives quick access to tools for creating, sending, and embedding spreadsheet forms.
    • Scientific Notation Format
      Use Scientific Notation to represent bigger numbers – for example, enter 1.23E+15 when you want 1,230,000,000,000,000 or format large numbers ending in 000′s explicitly in this format using the new option on the Format dropdown.
    • Expand gadgets to a full sheet
      Give your gadgets more love. A whole window’s worth of love. Now, you can use the “Move to own sheet” feature to give a gadget as much breathing room as it needs. (You can publish this separately, too!)
    • Engineering Functions
      We’ve finally added functions to convert between decimal, binary, hexadecimal and octal – known as dec2bin, dec2oct, dec2hex, and, well, if you know these, you know the rest.

  • Custom colors in presentations
    Can’t find that specific shade of blue you need for your presentations? Now you can define colors in the color picker, creating your own palette for backgrounds, text and shapes in your slides.