Monday, October 31, 2016

Use an add-on to be notified when someone fills out your Google Form

If you are using a Google Form and would like notifications to be sent to you when a certain number of people have filled out your Form - try using the Add-on Form Notifications.

You can select the e-mail you would like the notification to be sent to as well as the frequency of the messages.

Please watch the 42 second embedded YouTube video I created below on how to use this awesome Add-on.

Any questions please let me know!
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Add an annotation to your YouTube video

If you want some information to stand out in a YouTube video - adding annotations is one solution.

Please watch the embedded 1 minute 36 second YouTube video below. Just remember that annotations do not show up on mobile devices.

Any questions please let me know!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

On an iPhone and want to quickly adjust the brightness of your flashlight?

If you want to adjust the brightness on your iPhone - try the following (if you have the 3D touch).

  1. When you see the flashlight app - press firmly.
  2. You will then see three different option
    1. Low Light
    2. Medium Light
    3. Bright Light
Below you will see a GIF as well as a 15 second YouTube video (with audio).

Take care,

Friday, October 28, 2016

How to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint

I was just asked today how to embed a YouTube video in to PowerPoint.

Here are the steps followed by a video below.

1. Under the YouTube video select Share
2. Select embed and copy the code
3. Go in to your PowerPoint
4. Select Insert
5. Select Video and then online video
6. Paste your code in the embed video and select the arrow
7. To make sure it works - play the PowerPoint

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Google Docs to Word

I was just asked this very question tonight.

Actually is something that can be done with sheets as well as slides.

Simply open your file and then select

Download as
Microsoft Word (or Excel, or PowerPoint)

Below you will see a short video on how to do this as well!

Take care!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Awesome site for pre-K to 5th grade -

My daughter Sydney came home talking about this site called 

Abcya offers online games from pre-k to 5th grade sorted by grade level. Games include areas such as math, language arts, social studies, and introduces computer skills in a fun game type atmosphere.

Below you will see a short video my daughter and I created.

Check this site out!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Best way to start your day with a fun routine - try Scholastic's Daily Starters

Scholastic's Daily Starter website is a great way to start the day. The site provides short and fun math and language arts prompts, as well as teachable moments and fun facts.

Take a look at a sample of what the site looks like.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Use a form and an add-on to keep track of students checking out and checking in tech

If you have items in your classroom (iPads, Chromebooks, etc) that you want to keep track of who has what - try using Google forms and an add-on called checkitout.

Below you will see a little over 2 minute video on how to create it.

Any questions please let me know!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Use a Google form for students to sign out books in your classroom library

If you would like an easy way to keep track of the books that are signed out and returnee in you classroom - try using a Google form.

Click here for a direct link to copy a form I have created. It will ask you to make a copy of the form and will be placed directly in your Google Drive.

Below you will see a 1 minute and 23 second video of what the Form looks like. If you are interested in how the form was created, watch the 2nd video.

How to create a Google form for creating a sign out and sign in form. The sound goes in and out a few times - sorry about that.

As always, any questions let me know!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

On a Chromebook - want to caps lock using a shortcut?

Try using Alt + search (search is where a Caps lock is on a notebook).

To take off the caps lock just use Alt + Search again.

Of course you can always just reset the search button to be CAPS lock all the time by clicking here or following below...

So many times this past year I have had kids and adults ask me, 'Where is the Caps lock button on my Chromebook?"

Well, good news/bad news.

Bad news 1st - there is no Caps lock button.
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Good news - there's a way to make one permanently, but I don't think you will. Ok, maybe I'm way wrong - but check this out....

1. You know the little magnifying glass that is where the Caps lock button should be? Click on it. What do you see? That's right - a Google Search button comes up without opening up a new tab - pretty awesome right?

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2. Ok, Brad - that's cool - but how do I make a Caps lock button?
All you need to do is click on ctrl and the search and it will automatically get you CAPS lock. To disable - just click ctrl search again.

Are you old school and just want the Caps lock to be where the Caps lock should be? No worries - go into:
SETTINGS (bottom right of screen) and look under the device settings.
You will see Keyboard Settings - click on that.
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Then, select SEARCH and then make it Caps lock.  Now you have it back - but no "Search" button.

Up to you. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Improvement to Google voice typing

Earlier this week Google announced improvements to their voice typing. These improvements include inserting links, adding comments, creating and editing tables, as well as highlighting text, stop and start voice typing, as well as edit your document. For the full list of commands (there are a lot) - please click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Readability Grader - great for finding readability level of an online article

Wow - what a great site Richard Byrne discussed on his blog today.

The topic discussed was the ability of a site, Jellymetrics, to determine the readability level of an article. You could post a doc, an article you found on-line, or any number of things.

Take a look at the embedded GIF below followed by a 55 second video below as to how easy it is to use. Hint - if you are going to look at a long article - it makes sense to shrink your screen to get as much as the article as you can. Or, you could copy and paste the long article by grabbing parts of it at a time.

Any questions please let me know!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

iOS10 Widgets - how to edit them

When updating to iOS 10 a nice feature is the "Add Widgets" to keep you up-to-date on items you are interested in quickly. Some of the main items include your calendar, mail, music, photos, reminders, your fantasy football team, and news.

The news feature is one in which some of the items discussed may be borderline in an elementary setting.

If you would like to learn how to remove the widgets, or at least how to edit them to how you would like it - please watch the embedded  45 second YouTube video (with audio) below.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Need to calculate a tip quickly?

Many of us  remember the pre-Google days with the Seinfeld episode dealing with the "Tip-Calculator" (see below). Jerry and his dad ended up buying a "Willard" tip calculator instead of a "Wizard" calculator for some members of the board at Del Boca Vista.

Well, it is 2016 and Google has had a tip-calculator ready for you to use on your device. Simply type in tip calculator and you have a section to fill in for the bill amount, tip %, and number of people.

See the embedded Gif below to see what it looks like.

Have a great day! Remember to take care of your wait staff!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Google Chrome & Lego - put constructions all over the world!

Feel like a kid again when you You can use your phone, tablet, or laptop to build a creation and place it all over the world. You can even become a master bricklayer with Build Academy where you face a series of challenges in different locations.

Below is a GIF to give you a quick glimpse into  what the site looks like.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Want to see a graph of how "popular" any words used in books were between 1800-2008?

If you would like to chart the "popularity" of words used in over 5 million books between 1800-2008 - try Google's Nram Viewer.

I have embedded a GIF and 50 second YouTube video below.

Hope you all have a nice day!

Want to share your Google Form for others to use?

If you created a Form that has worked great and you want to share it with your colleagues, but you are not sure how - please follow the embedded 1 minute 52 second YouTube video below.

It does take a few steps - but it is worth it.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

It is Cyber Security Month - Google's 2 minute security checkup

October is Cyber Security Month.

If you have a Google account - it is worth your time to do a security checkup by clicking here or going on to Google and type in "Google Security Checkup".

The checkup will...
check on your recovery information (e-mail and phone)
check your connected devices - and let you know when they were connected
check your account permissions (apps, websites, and devices connected to your Google account)
check your 2-step verification settings (very important)

Hope you all have a nice day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Have an iPhone and want to send balloons or fireworks in your text?

If you have updated to iOS 10 and would like to send a text to someone that includes fireworks, balloons, a shooting star, laser type effect, or different bubble effects - check out the 8 second GIF and 45 second YouTube video below.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Want to open a specific set of page or pages when you startup on Google Chrome?

If you would like to either change or set a specific page or pages upon startup using Chrome simply follow the directions below, follow the GIF below, or watch the embedded YouTube video with audio.

1. Select the 3 dots in the upper-right of your screen.
2. Select Settings
3. Open a specific page or set of pages
4. Add a new page

Any questions, let me know.


Monday, October 10, 2016

How to level books in your library or find books of an appropriate reading level with an App.

The app literacy leveler  will enable you to level your books or find the correct reading level by scanning the code on the back of the book of choice. The app does cost $3.99. To me - I felt it was worth the money for the information it will provide me with for years to come.

Take a look below at the embedded GIF as well as a 29 second video on YouTube with audio.

A special shout-out to my awesome sister-in-law Erica Carroll for telling my wife about this amazing app! 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Want to publish a file in Google and publish it to the Web?

If you would like to publish your files to the web simply follow these steps.

1. Select File
2. Publish to the web
3. Publish
4. Click ok
5. Select your link and you are good to go.

Below you will see a GIF followed by the same 21 second YouTube video (with audio).

Any questions, let me know!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Want a free "for a year" Science resource that can inspire students to love science?

Mystery Science's mission is to help children stay curious. The site provides ready-to go science lessons for elementary students (K-5). The site provides material lists and detailed directions for the activities. The lessons includes videos and images dealing with a particular subject. Once the video is complete there are questions students can work on their own or with some guidance. The lessons can be extended as well to help re-enforce the concepts taught in the lesson.

As of now a user can sign-up for a free year (only a little over 3,000 free memberships left as of this post). After the year is complete a subscription is required.

Check the site out!

Friday, October 7, 2016

GAFE Accounts now known as G Suite for Education

Google announced that there is a new name for GAFE - it is G Suite for Education.

Click here for Google's post about the name change. It sounds as if the term Apps was too limiting for what Google offers.

The post also discusses updates to docs, sheets, and slides.

Hope everyone has a nice day!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Want to give directions or recap a lesson with a Star Wars like scrolling feature?

If you are interested - check out's template by clicking here.

All you need to do is simply select edit on the bottom of the screen and erase whatever text that is on the screen that you will not need any more.

When you are finished you can then save it with a password so you can edit later. You can then copy the URL and show your class.

Below you will see a GIF followed by the same video on YouTube with audio.

Any questions let me know!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Want to quickly get to the Chrome Web Store to add an extension?

If you want to quickly add that extension, theme, or app from the Chrome Web Store - follow the steps below.

You will see a GIF followed by rhe same YouTube video (32 seconds) with audio.

Any questions please let me know.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to make sure PDFs always open using Adobe on Windows 10

If you have been having issues with PDFs on Windows 10 - follow the GIF below. If you would rather listen to the same video with audio, click on the embedded YouTube video below.

Any questions - please let me know.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Issues with PDFs displaying on Windows 10? Try changing the default browser.

in the District where I work a number of teachers have had issues with displaying PDFs. When they click on the certain site for the Math series - Microsoft Edge is launched and it will not display properly. A work around is to simply copy the URL and use Firefox or Chrome.

A way to make this a permanent switch is to simply follow these steps...

1. Right click on your desktop.
2. Select display settings
3. Select default apps
4. Select whatever browser is the default (probably Edge)
5. Change it to Firefox or Chrome

You can also watch the GIF below as well as the same YouTube video with audio below.

Any questions please let me know!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Happy October - fun pumpkin activity

Happy October to all. A fun pumpkin activity that is done every year in classrooms and households is one that includes the weighing of pumpkins and counting pumpkin seeds.

The past few years in the school where I preciously taught 4th grade the classes all got together and we had a lesson dealing with estimation, mean, median, and mode. 

Students would estimate the following: weight of the pumpkin in pounds, how many lines, circumference of the pumpkin, as well as the number of seeds. 

Prior to the students estimating the weight we would number and weigh each pumpkin prior to the students estimating.

Last year all 4 classes entered their data into a Google sheet the data for each pumpkin. The great thing about a spreadsheet on Google is that you can all share the same sheet and enter the data in as you get it. The sheet has the formulas in it for you already. Click here for a copy of the sheet. Remember, if you are going to do this as a whole grade - make sure you are all using the same sheet.

Below is a GIF showing how what the sheet looks like when you enter the data followed by a short video on YouTube with audio.

Any questions please let me know!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

5 Dice - great free App for order of operations

5 Dice is a fun and challenging iPad App for students to learn and be challenged using the order of operations.

Below you will see a GIF followed by the same YouTube video with audio.