Sunday, July 31, 2016

Want your Google Calendar to come up in Gmail?

If you would like your Google Calendar to be in your Gmail as well, please watch the GIF below followed by the same video with sound (19 seconds).

Any questions, let me know!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

How to insert tables in Google Docs

One question that continues to come up is - "Can I put a table in a Google Doc?" The answer is yes - and it is easy.

Take a look at the GIF and embedded YouTube video below.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Used Engrade for your grading but bummed it is no longer free? Give Learnboost a shot. **Update **

For years I used Excel and  Google Spreadsheets for a gradebook until a friend of mine told me about Engrade. It was simple to use, weighted assignments, printed out nice reports, and was well... free. Well Engrade is no longer available (take a look at the screenshot below).

So, I did a little research and while there are numerous free gradebooks out there - it looks like Learnboost is a nice alternative. When you log on to the site you can view the site through the eyes of a teacher, parent, or student who is currently using the site.

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Embedded below is a helpful video created by Learnboost to showcase their site. 

Should you have any questions, or other free gradebooks that you currently use, please let me know.

** Update ** Click here for Richard Byrne's suggestions for grade books.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Great post for new Chromebook Users - by Richard Byrne

Richard Byrne's post today dealt with 5 tips for Chromebook Users. Please check out his blog (Free Technology for Teachers) by clicking here

Richard is an amazing follow on Twitter (click here to follow him) as well as Facebook - click here

Embedded below you will see his 5 tips for new Chromebook Users video - enjoy!

Feel free to share this video with any new Chromebook users out there. 

Fantasy Football & Google Extensions! The draft may never be the same.

It is that time of year - Fantasy Football and "The DRAFT"! The league I belong to changed over to an on-line draft years ago (we still have a party - but no more BIG BOARD). I do miss the BIG BOARD and placing the names on the board, but I digress.

While I love an on-line draft and having all the information at my fingertips, I have always been frustrated when trying to do some research (getting a sleeper in the later rounds) and keeping an eye on the progress of the draft. 

Well, like most things, extensions in Google may just help out. The 2 extensions I discuss below will be able to take your screen and split it into 2 (or more) working webpages on the screen at the same time.
**The other way to do this would be to resize your screen, open up a new tab and drag it over (GIF at the bottom).

One extension is called Side-by-side by Alice Keeler (great follow on Twitter for all you educators out there) .  Below you will find a 20 second GIF as well as a 20 second YouTube video embedded below. It is very straight forward and easy to use.

Another extension is called Tab Resize. What this extension will do is split your screen into what we see below (4 screens or 2 screens) . I have included a 20 second GIF and embedded YouTube video clip below. 

Of course these extensions have a ton more uses than for just Fantasy sports - but man do they sure help!

** One last GIF showing how to do this without an extension.
Just be sure to resize your tab and drag over new tab.

Enjoy the draft.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Planning a Fantasy Football Draft (or a party) - use a Google Spreadsheet

For years the guys in my Fantasy Football league have used a Google Spreadsheet to enter in when they are available to draft. A Google Spreadsheet is great for a number of reasons:

1. The spreadsheet updates in real-time so no need to send the spreadsheet back and forth (can even go back and change information in the sheet).

2. You can easily see when everyone can draft if you use something called Conditional Formatting.

You will see below a GIF on how to use Conditional Formatting followed by a more detailed (but still short) 1 minute 20 second video tutorial on how to use conditional formatting.

GIF on how to use Conditional Formatting

Looking forward to tomorrow and sharing two extensions that just may help you in the draft! Oh, there are many more uses for these extensions - but the draft is sure one of them!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nearpod - an amazing presentation tool that can include Quiz's, Polls, Videos, Images & Virtual Field Trips!

Nearpod is an amazing site for education. It includes pre-made presentations for all subject areas and grade levels. They are interactive and full of information. The ability to not only do what you see below, but to be able to take students on "virtual field trips" throughout the world is awesome. If you are new to the site, I recommend you take their 20-30 minute Self-Paced Webinar to see what Nearpod is all about by clicking here

Here is 1 minute and 13 second embedded video to show a teacher discussing Nearpod and why it is so beneficial.

The lessons that you have either created, downloaded for free, or purchased are easy to present to students or shared with them through e-mail , Socially (Facebook, Twitter), a Link, or through Google Classroom:

This lesson about Ancient Egypt by Steven Bambury was downloaded for free. I have included some screenshots so you can see what a lesson looks like. 
Background Information 
Telling students be ready to go on a "Field Trip"


Virtual Experience
Great question about inferencing.

If you have any questions please let me know. I hope you will give Nearpod a try.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Teaching a skill like multiplication? Try a GIF and a YouTube video. Post them in Google Classroom.

The way we learn math is different for us all. Some get it right away, many need manipulatives, while others just need to see the problem and the solution over and over and over again.

For the students previously mentioned (or me as a student), a GIF and a YouTube video of the same GIF can be of tremendous help.

Below you will see a GIF that was created using Google Drawings and Snagit to capture the video. Snagit is helpful as it can make any video you capture (20 seconds or less) into a GIF as well as send it to Google Drive and or YouTube.

The video below is the same as the GIF - but it has sound.

Take care,

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Want to protect your Google Account? Use 2 step verification.

Strongly recommend does not do this post justice. If you do not already use Google's 2-step verification - click on this link and either follow the directions on the site - or watch the short 1 minute 16 second video embedded below.

The 2-step verification will even protect your account when someone tries to enter your correct credentials but on a device that you have not used before. So, if you try to get into your Google account from a device that you have not used in the past, be sure to have your phone handy for the 6 digit security code they send you. You can then decide to either add that device to your "trusted devices" or not.

There are many sites that offer 2-step verification (Facebook, Yahoo!, Dropbox). Always good to be on the safe side!

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As always, any questions let me know!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Think there is suspicious activity on your Gmail account? Select details on the bottom right.

Have you ever thought that there was someone else checking your Gmail account? In inbox view, scroll down to the bottom right and you will see Last account activity and details.

If you select details, it will let you know the IP address that accessed your account plus what type of device was being used.

Please look at the GIF and 18 second video below.

Take care,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gmail - want to take back or change a sent e-mail?

Have you ever sent an e-mail and realized that you spelled a word incorrectly or maybe that you really should not have sent it at all? Well the 2 GIFs and 2 videos below (they are exactly the same but the videos have audio) will show you how to do just that.

Here is the kicker though - at most you only have 30 seconds. No sending an e-mail before bed and then waking up with regret and being able to "undo" it.

GIF showing how to enable Undo send and adjust time to 30 seconds.

18 second video detailing the same as the GIF above 

GIF showing how the undo send option works in Gmail.

20 second video detailing the same as the GIF above 

As always, any questions let me know!

Windows 10 - video and reference guide.

With the district where I work moving to Windows 10, a number of people are a bit anxious about the change. If you would like to see a quick reference guide (you will see 1 of the three pages below) as well as a Beginners guide video tutorial - please look below.

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Windows 10 Beginners Guide - (1.5 million views) (36 minutes)
Very informative.

More posts will be made in the future with helpful hints.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Try Goformative to create an assessment that will give live results. What an amazing tool!

Goformative is a an amazing free website where you can create assessments (M/C, T/F, open-ended, drawing) and will show you instantly how the users are doing. The users do not need to be part of a class (does make it easier) as they just need to type in the unique code that is created when you create the assessment.

Below you will two embedded videos that I created. These videos are purely a small little peak into the Goformative site and what it can do. More information will be posted throughout the year.

The 1st one is a little over 2 minutes showing what an assessment looks like for a student as well as what the results look like as a teacher.

The 2nd video is a little over 6 minutes and shows how to create and assign an assessment. 

Click here for a link to some outstanding resources (see picture below of what is included). The  "Learn Formative in a Giffy" is well done.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bitmoji Extension

If you have created a Bitmoji, you can now use it in Google Drive or in Gmail. Kind of fun!

Below is a GIF as well as an embedded 17 second YouTube clip (with audio).

As always, any questions please let me know. Thanks for watching!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Mind mapping made easy @ saves to Google Drive

Mindmapping is a great tool to use for any number of reasons. In this post I will be be using the site Mindmup. Mindmup also has a Blog that is very helpful and keeps you up-to-date on new updates.

Below I will show a 19 second GIF to show quickly what the site can do followed by a 5 minutes and 36 second YouTube video with more information.

Take care,

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Reverse Image Search

If you have a picture of something but not sure what it is - try Google's reverse image search by going into Google Images.

Follow the GIF below or listen to the same video but with audio embedded below.

Thanks for watching!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saved the best extension for last - Side by Side (can have two pages open at once)

A friend of mine that I have taught with for a number of years (Russ) sent me a text yesterday about wishing there was a projector that could project two screens at once. I thought that was a great idea. Well, fast forward to today. I was on Alice Keeler's  website (great follow on Twitter by the way) and saw her Extension that she created called Side by Side. This extension allows you to right-click on any link and open up the URL on the right-hand side of the screen.

This extension could be used in so many ways. A few quick ways:

1. Grading students work. Have their work on one side and the gradebook open on the other side.

2. Writing a paper and need to do some research? Now you can have both open at the same time.

3. Last one - my favorite.... drafting for Fantasy Football but need your precious website up (you know that you tell no-one about and has helped you draft that sleeper in the 8th round). Well now you can have up that site plus ESPN or whatever website you use for fantasy sports.

Look below for a GIF and embedded YouTube clip.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Want to take a picture of part of a webpage? Try the Awesome Screenshot extension.

If you ever need to take a picture of part of a webpage, a nice extension to do that is Awesome Screenshot.

Below you will see a GIF followed by 2 more embedded YouTube videos. The 1st one is a 1 minute and 17 second video (with audio). The 2nd one is a 40 second video  that Awesome Screenshot created (without audio).

Thanks for watching!

Tomorrow is the last of the "Week of Extensions" posts. The best has been saved for last! 

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Need to translate a webpage or document quickly into another language? Try the Google translate extension.

The extension Google translate is a fast and easy to use extension. First, click here for the extension. Then all you will need to do is find a website, click on the extension and choose the language you would like the website translated to. If you would like to return to the original language, simply select, "show original", or click on the x on the right hand side of the extension rectangle.

Below you will see an 18 second GIF followed by the same video, but on YouTube with audio (click here for a direct link to the YouTube video).

Tomorrow I will show you a quick way to take a picture of a part of a webpage.

Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

For those that use Engrade as your gradebook - it will be deactivated.

Here is what the site stated when you log-on to your Engrade account. If you want to store any data be sure to follow the directions that are on the site, as it will be gone by 9/2/16.

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Find a website you want to print or save to a PDF - try the Print Friendly & PDF extension

If you find a website that you would like to print - the extension Print Friendly & PDF extension is a great one.

Below is a screenshot from the creators of the extension, followed by a GIF on what it looks like, and followed by an embedded YouTube video that gives more description.

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2 minute YouTube video explaining Print Friendly & PDF extension

Hope you enjoyed. Tomorrow will be an extension to translate your webpage for you.

Take care!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

All-Star Game Tuesday - Fanzcall App

Happy All-Star Game Tuesday!

I am a huge baseball fan and have found a free and interactive app to try. The app is called Fanzcall.

I was listening to sports talk radio and heard about this new app. The creator of the app was talking about how he loves the game of baseball and took his young sons to their first game. As soon as their favorite player for the Red Sox (David Ortiz) struck out, they were ready to go home. So, he thought of creating an app that would keep his kids entertained and keep them interested in what happens during the game.

So, he created Fanzcall! You create a username and password (or log-in with Facebook). Then you can create a group of just your friends, or you can compete against other users interested in the same game as you. Then, the app instantly shows who is up and you predict what the batter will do - single, doubly, triple/HR, strikeout, or just plain out. You gain points for each correct prediction (I did beat my nephew the other day by predicting a HR for Ryan Braun and received 75 points!) and lose points for each incorrect prediction. While the winner gain bragging rights, all users have enjoyed the experience!
*The updated version now allows the user to create their own contest so they could compete with their friends directly (as well as a chat feature to talk to friends directly).

Here are a few pictures from the site. Check it out!
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Enjoy the game!


URL (website address) too long and want to shorten it? Try this URL shortener.

If the URL for a certain web page is too long and you would like to shorten it - click here for the extension from Google - URL Shortener.

Below is a GIF followed by an embedded video (click here for link) with audio on YouTube (it is the same as the GIF but you hear my voice).

I hope you enjoyed. Tomorrow I will show a quick extension to help print a web page quickly and easily.

Take care!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Want to view a web page with just text? Try the extension Text Mode.

If you just want to look (or show) a webpage without distractions and just show text - try the extension Text Mode. Below you will see a Gif and then the same video on YouTube with audio - click here for direct link to YouTube video.

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Hope you enjoyed. Tomorrow will be a very useful extension that will shorten those long webpages you have to share easily with others.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Watching a video and wish the rest of page would fade to dark? Try this extension

 You are watching a YouTube video on Dr. J's top 10 dunks of all time (one of my favorite basketball players of all time), but you just don't like all the "stuff" on the sides. Try the extension "Turn off the Lights" to improve your video watching experience.

                                            Example of what "
Turn off the Lights" can do.

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GIF of how to add the extension 

Until tomorrow when you will see how to remove all pictures and videos on a webpage and just see text.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

How to add Apps, Games, Extensions, and Themes in Google Chrome.

If you have not checked out the Google Chrome Web Store - you should. It has a lot of amazing features. Over the next week I will be highlighting some for you. In today's post I will be showing you just how to access the Chrome Web Store.

You can access the Google Chrome Web Store by clicking here or by clicking on the Google Apps shortcut (if you have it available on your screen).

If you do not have the shortcut -watch the GIF below - right click underneath your url box (Omnibox as Google calls it) and check Show Apps Shortcut.

In case it was difficult to see in the upper-right hand corner of my screen is the shortcut and it looks like this.

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To add an App or Extension simply click on the Web Store and you will see a list of Apps, Games, Extensions, and Themes. See picture below.
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Watch the below to see the steps to see how easy it is to get to the store. You will see some of the Apps that I have installed a few seconds in.

See you tomorrow with an extension that will "turn off the lights" when watching a video on YouTube.

Thanks for watching!

Friday, July 8, 2016

What does Word Art look like in Google Slides?

Word Art in Google Slides allows the user to type in their terms or sayings and it will "make it look cooler" according to my 7 year old daughter.

There are limitations with Word Art - but the user can change the color of the body of the word (Fill color), the color of the outline of the word (Line color), as well as the thickness of the line (Line weight), and how the line around the word looks (Line dash).

You can also change the font of the word art as well - see the 2nd GIF.

How to add Word Art and change the color and line thickness of the word.

Changing font in Word Art 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Want to share a Google file but do not want others to copy, edit, or print?

Hello everyone,

One of the amazing features of Google Drive is the ability to share files and collaborate. However, every once in awhile you have that file that you do not want anyone to be able to copy, edit, or print your file.

Well, Google allows you that ability. First you will see a GIF (video clip less than 20 seconds with no audio) followed by some step by step directions.

Step-by-step directions. 

1. Select Share in the upper-right hand corner.

2. Click on Advanced (bottom right).

3. The screen below will come up.

4. Select the two check boxes you see below.

5. Make sure to change who has access to your file. 
Right now I am the only one who can see this file.
6. Depends on how you want to share - I chose Anyone with the link.

As always, any questions please let me know!