Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Need to open multiple files with one click in Google Drive folder?

So, this is a pretty cool extension by Alice Keeler. Drive 20 enables you to literally open between 1-30 of the first files in a Google Drive folder. Why is this awesome? Well, if you created an assignment and you need to either comment or grade the submitted work - this will instantly open them all up and save you a ton of time.

Below you will find a quick GIF of what the extension can do. Just a reminder, if you right click on a tab you can also close all other tabs if you would like you will see that at the end of the GIF.

As always, any questions - ask away!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Want to find free images that are already attributed to the creator?

If you would like a nice simple way to find free images on the web that already has attribution information embedded on the picture - try Photos for Class.

Embedded below you will see a GIF that shows how to use the site followed by a 52 second YouTube video with a bit more information (and audio).

As always, any questions please let me know!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Essential Skeleton App

If you are ever in need of teaching or learning about parts of the skeletal system - check out the free app -  Essential Skeleton 4.

What a great site for all teachers - especially Health teachers. It is very easy to use, pronounces the bone, allows you to take notes, find out information about the bone you are interested in, as well as take a quiz.

Here is a 10 second GIF showing you what the App looks like. 

Below is a nice synopsis of what the App can do.

Below is a 1 minute video I created to show you a few on the ins and outs.

As always, let me know if any questions.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Convert a PowerPoint to a Google Slide

In an earlier post this year I showed how to easily convert a Word Doc to a Google Doc - click here for post.

Numerous people have asked me about converting PowerPoints to Google Slides. There are two ways this can be done.

The first way is very simple - the second way (seen below) is a bit more time consuming - but can be done.

1. Log on to Google Drive
2. Select New
3. File Upload
4. Select the PowerPoint ot PowerPoints you would like to upload
5. Select Open
6. Google will automatically change it to a Google Slide
7. Be sure to check how the PowerPoint transferred and make sure it is to your liking.

You will see two GIFS and two 20 second embedded YouTube videos below (videos are the same as the GIFS but with audio). Below that are a few directions as well.

GIF #1

Video is same as GIF #1

GIF #2

Video is same as GIF #2


Directions with pictures

1. Log on to Google Drive and select Google Slides.

2. Make sure to select "Import Slides"

3. Select the file from your computer 

4. Select just a few slides or all and click on Select Slides.

Any questions, please let me know!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Flipping a classroom or having a book talk and want to see how students respond to questions? Try Verso.

Verso is a free site that allows teachers to pose questions to students (through videos, attachments, etc.) and have them respond to your question without seeing anyone else's response (think posting in Google Classroom but without students being able to see responders' name). Once they respond they will be able to see other classmates responses (but the responses are anonymous - see picture below).

One idea that keeps popping into my mind is for students to be able to predict what will happen in a book the class is reading, have an open-ended question about the book, etc.

Once the class has responded to the question you posed to them you can

1. See each student's response (with their name).
2. Group students who have like-minded ideas.
3. Group students with opposing views.
4. Display the responses on your board and open up discussions - possibly students will hear ideas that are vastly different than their own.

Verso can be used on any device. Students can sign in using their Google account.

Below you will see an embedded YouTube video created by Verso as well as a 6 minute video I created.

As always, any questions please let me know!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Socrative - amazing site for formative assessments. See what it looks like from teacher and student point of view.

Socrative is an amazing site that allows the teacher to create assessments for students and to be able to  see how the students are performing in "real time". This real time feature is key as you can roam around and the room and instantly know the status of all students who are currently taking an assessment. Socrative can run on all devices - so feel free to use those iPads, phones, desktops, and Chromebooks!

Please click on this link as it will take you to a set of videos that were created by Socrative.

Below you will see a 4 minute 30 second video I created showing a quiz from both the teacher and student point of view.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quick student response system - QuizSocket

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to give a "quiz" or review game - give  QuizSocket a go.

Below you will see a 4 minute embedded "how-to" YouTube video that will show you both the student and teacher side (using the extension Tab resize). This will be followed by a few step-by-step instructions with pictures.

When you log on you will be taken to a site that looks like the screenshot below. 

1. Make sure to select "Create a quiz".
Image source

2.  You can then have your participants join by sharing the link to the right of the orange square, you could tweet the link, or they could join by typing in the unique quiz ID (I think that is the easiest way).
Image Source
3. Select start quiz. Wait for all participants to join (you will see how many have joined/connected). 

4. Then, ask your questions, wait for all participants to select their answers and continue to ask until you have reached the number of questions desired.

5. Select end quiz. 

6. You can now access the data from the review game or "quiz".

This site could be great for reviews to get a quick glance into how everyone is achieving in your room. This could also be something students could create and give to each other. 

Any questions, please let me know!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Kahoot! - outstanding game based learning platform.

Kahoot! is an amazing and fun game based learning platform that can be "played" with any device for any age level.

GIF showing what a Kahoot! looks like from the teacher (left) and student point-of view (right).

On Kahoot you can create a survey or quiz including pictures and/or videos in which the teacher can control the pace of the "quiz" by imposing a time limit for each question. As students answer the questions, points can be awarded for answering the question correctly (although they do not need to be). If the teacher decides to keep points, a scoreboard is displayed for all users. A Team Mode can also be created if the teacher would like to use that in his/her classroom (or if there are not enough devices for all). In order for users to "play" all they have to do is enter a PIN code shown by their teacher. There are also over 9 million public Kahoots that users can "play" or download. These can also be adjusted to fit your needs as well.

Click here for a very nicely created how-to guide that includes step-by-step instructions.

Embedded below you will see 10 GIFs that will show you how to create a Kahoot! from scratch. First, you will see an embedded 10 minute YouTube video that will walk you through the site and show you what it looks like from the teacher and student view.

Click on Quiz - remember to give your Kahoot! a title.

Add your first question - you can add an image or video (Pixabay is a great site for free images).

Adding a second question.

Remember to save it.

Select play!

Showing what it looks like from a teacher and student point of view.

Showing the first question from both points of view.

Second question.

Showing what it looks like when the quiz has ended.

Showing final scoreboard.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Google Expeditions App (virtual field trips) will soon be released for iPads.

** This is an update from an earlier blog post from June 29th.

Last school year the middle school and high-school students in the district where I teach were shown Google Expeditions. Expeditions allows users to take a virtual field trip to over 200 places places like Mars, the International Space Station, Antarctica, etc without leaving your classroom.

In last week's blog post - Google announced that Expeditions will soon (not sure how soon) be coming to iOS (Apple's operating system). Users will use full-screen mode on their device instead of using a VR (virtual reality) viewer like Google Cardboard

Nearpod is another site that has great VR lessons already built in to many of their lessons. 

Any questions, let me know.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Quizalize - fun way to give a "quiz" or review for one.

Quizalize is a fun way to give a test or play a review game. It is very similar to Kahoot! or Secretive; however, Quizalize can be "played" at home.

Below is an embedded YouTube video (about 7 minutes) that was just created by me.

Click here for a video tutorial created by Quizalize.

Click here for a nice and clean printable guide on how to use the site.

If you should have any questions, please let me know.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Need to zoom in or out of your screen in Google Chrome? It is very simple.

The simple little tool of zooming in (or out) on your computer screen can help out a lot.

Below you will see a GIF followed by an embedded YouTube clip (same as GIF but with audio).

Below that you will see the instructions (with pictures).


Make sure to click on the three dots in the upper-right hand corner of your screen. 

You will then see the ability to Zoom in or out.

Any questions let me know!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Google Slides - presenter view (Q & A for audience) plus a laser pointer!

Google Slides has the ability for the presenter to allow questions to be asked during their presentation (if they choose).

Slides also has a laser pointer feature to help highlight some important details in a certain slide.

Please watch the 2 minute 11 second video below followed by some screenshots underneath.

 Make sure to select the triangle next to Present to bring up the Presenter View.

This is what the screen will look like (just the presenter will see this).

This is an example of what the audience will see - gives them a chance to ask questions.

On the bottom left of your screen will be the Presenter View rectangle. There you will see the button to select the red laser off and on.

As always - ask away!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Want your Word Docs to convert instantly to Google Docs?

To upload those Word files and covert them to Google Docs to edit right away - please watch the GIF, 15 second YouTube video (same as GIF but with audio), or follow the directions at the bottom. This can save you lots and lots of time.

Make sure you select the gear icon on the right-hand side on Google Drive.

Then choose settings.

Finally, make sure you check the box next to where it says Convert uploaded files to Google Docs.

As always, any questions please let me know!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Want free images and videos to use anywhere?

If you are in need of images or videos that are released free of copyrights here are a few examples.

1. Pixabay - you will see an embedded GIF followed by the same video on YouTube (with audio). All the other sites are very similar so you will not see a GIF or video associated with them.

2. Pexels

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Google Classroom now lets you share with families

Starting today Google Classroom  now allows parents/guardians to subscribe to a daily or weekly summary of activities in your Google Classroom.

After reading about it - here are some key points
- The school's teachers and administrators must choose who can invite parents and guardians.
- The families only need to be invited once regardless of # of teachers the student has (important in later grades).
- Teachers have the option to send e-mails from Google Classroom to the families.

For the link from Google - click here.
You can also click here to see what is new.

Take care,

Padlet - great site for posting thoughts, pictures, videos about a singular topic from any device.

Padlet is a virtual wall where collaborators can post thoughts, pictures, videos, etc about a singular topic on any device. This "wall" can be shared easily, printed out, shared virtually, and used again in the future with different classes.

Thinking in the education world this site has numerous uses not limited to... note taking, exit slips, questions about a topic, a "Thank You" wall, book reviews, sharing thoughts/opinions.

The 6 minute embedded YouTuve video created below will walk you through the basics of Padlet.

Should you have any questions please let me know.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Google Cast makes it easy to have a student (or group) share their Chromebook screen to your screen for presentations

Google Cast for Education is a game changer for allowing students to share what is on their Chromebook to your screen for instant display on a projector. No more having to see what is on a student's Chromebook and then having them share it with you - or you having to look up what is on their screen.

Looking forward to seeing how this works for those that use Google Slides for animal reports, state reports, etc.

This feature was announced at ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) in June.

Take a look at the embedded 1 minute YouTube video by Google.

Here is a GIF on what the APP looks like on your screen.

Here is a 47 second embedded YouTube video on what the App look like on your screen and how to get the App up and running for your class.

As always, any questions please let me know!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Want to show YouTube videos without distractions? Check out these two sites.

Inspired by Richard Byrne's earlier post this week - it reminded me of two awesome sites for showing YouTube videos without the fear of distractions or YouTube's suggested videos.

The first site is Viewpure. All you need to do is paste the URL from YouTube and it will "purify" the video and eliminate the distractions on page. 

Below is a GIF of how to use Viewpure followed by the same 20 second YouTube video (with audio).

The second site is . This site is great as it will clean-up the video (like Viewpure) and eliminate the distractions in a "family-friendly" environment. You can simply paste the URL and the video will be shown in a clean "safe" environment. 

What I really like is the search feature that Watchkin scans the content and will block what they feel is not "family-friendly".

Below is an embedded GIF showing how to use the search feature as well as the same video below on YouTube with audio.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

How to blur faces in a video.

If you want to share a video; however, you need to blur a face (or more) you can use YouTube's blurring effects. Below you will see three videos followed by step-by-step instructions.

The first embedded video (36 seconds) shows how to blur all faces in a video.

The second embedded video (1 minute 33 seconds) shows how to customize the blurring effect.

The 3rd embedded video (37 seconds) simply shows what a customized blur looks like when completed (it is the result of the 2nd video you see above).

Here are the steps to follow.

1. Select enhancements (looks like a magic wand) - the second option next to the pencil.

2. On the right-hand side select blurring effects.

3. You then have the option to blur all faces or the option to customize the blurring effect.
4. When you save your video - it is recomended to save as a new video. This way you still have the original you can revert back to (if need be).

As always, let me know if you need anything!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Want to stabilize a shaky video? Try this feature on YouTube.

If you upload a video to YouTube and you would like it to be less shaky, simply do the following...

1. Select the Enhancements button - second rectangle under the video  (looks like a magic wand).
2. Select stabilize (right-hand side of screen).

All you need to do is sit back and let YouTube do the work for you. The video may take up to 20 minutes to stabilize, but the end result is a much easier video to watch.

Below you will see a GIF followed by and embedded YouTube video (same as GIF but with sound).

Hope you enjoy!