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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Flippity.net - Mix & Match Spreadsheet

Flippity.net's Mix & Match Grid is a fun way to work on teaching about sentences with a little twist.

Students will need  to create 4 parts to the sentence they create (site's example in bold).

1. Intro - Financed by the king and queen of Spain,
2. Subject - Christopher Columbus
3. Action - discovered the new world when he landed in
4. End - what is now the Dominican Republic.

Flippity does a nice job of always including the steps on how to use their templates (see pictures below).

I have also included a 2 minute and 30 second embedded YouTube video below.












If you have any questions please let me know.
Brad

Monday, January 30, 2017

Great add-on for quickly creating groups

Alice Keeler's Add-on Group Maker allows users to take a number students and place them into groups of 2,3, 4, 5, etc.

Flippity.net's random name picker is a great one as well and my blog post from August 7th about it can be found by clicking here. Flippity's also allows you to make "teams"/ groups between 2 and 12.

The Add-on is very simple to use. Directions are followed underneath of the embedded 2 minute and 2 second YouTube video.



You will need to make a copy of the template.

Select Add-ons > Group Maker > Start > Continue > Allow



Then Enter the group size in B1 > Paste roster in column A > Press the make groups button
Any questions, please let me know!
Brad

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Send personalized e-mails to students/workers with this great add-on

Alice Keeler's add-on - send comments gives you the ability to send multiple users personalized e-mails from one document.

To see a brief video of how to use this add-on - please click on the embedded 1 minute YouTube video below or follow the directions underneath.



Once you have made a copy of the document (send comments) select Add-ons from the menu and select start.


Allow the permissions by selecting continue and then allow on the screen that follows.

As you can see with the screenshot below you will paste your roster in column A and e-mail addresses in column B (place an x if you do not want to send an e-mail in column C).

Column E - leave your comment.

Cell B2 - title the comments


For more add-ons, templates, and extensions - please click here (takes you to the section of her site).

Hope this helps!
Brad

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Symbaloo & Wiki = awesome and quick way to share links to websites

If you have ever wanted to easily share links to websites with others (example - students and families in a class you teach) - try using Symbaloo to store the links and a Wiki to make the site easy to access.

The district in which I work has used a student wiki for years - thanks to Brooke Mulartrick for creating it back in 2010!

If you would like to create a Symbaloo page - please click here for my link to my blog post (November 11th). The video tutorial is embedded below (2 minutes and 18 seconds).


A direct link to Symbaloo can be shared; however, it is not "clean" and has advertisements on it. That is one of the reasons to store it on Wikispaces.com. It is an extra step - but is worth it.

The next step is to create an account on Wikispaces. Once your account has been created you will need to follow a few steps. For step-by-step directions please watch the embedded 3 minute and 34 second YouTube video below.





If you have any questions - please let me know.
Brad

Friday, January 27, 2017

Highlight text and have this extension read it for you

The extension Speak Text is a nice extension that will allow the user to highlight material from a website, right-click, and the selected text will be read out loud.

If you want the extension to stop reading - make sure you click out of the highlighted material and give it about 5-10 seconds.

Take a look at the 1 minute and 3 second embedded video below

I posted about the extension Announcify (very similar to Speak Text) back on November 22nd - click here for the post.


If you have any questions, please let me know!
Brad

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Handy extension to keep you on track!

If you are in need of a reminder extension (to keep reminding you to finish those report cards or call the cable company back) - the extension Dayboard just may be the thing you are looking for.

The extension will ask you for the 5 most important items to you (you don't have to put in 5). Then, everytime you open up a new tab - the dayboard extension will remind you of your important items. This is nice - especially when we go on another site like Facebook or Twitter and stay on there for too long.

When the item has been completed you simply click on the check and it is marked as completed.
There are quite a few nice features that go along with the extension (for example being able to make sure the tab doesn't open when you use certain sites as well as delaying the side reminder as well - see picture below).


Below you will see an embedded 1 minute and 31 second video tutorial.



A big thank you to Richard Byrne (as talked about in the video) for finding this site!

As always, let me know if any questions!
Brad

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The many ways to easily find your files in Google Drive

While many (including me) try hard to stay as organized as we can with our digital files - life gets in the way and all of a sudden there are countless files that are "unorganized". Thankfully, the search ability inside of Drive is very powerful and makes it easy to find any file you need.

Below you will see an embedded 49 second YouTube video showing the ways to search for your files followed by screenshots of the ways to search for your files.



1. At the top of your Drive you will see the Search Drive box. There you can quickly select PDFs, Text documents (docs), Spreadsheets (sheets), Presentations (slides), Photos & Images, and Videos. You then have the More search tools for a more specific search.

2. When you select More search tools you will see the screenshot below.
3. When you select Type you will see the options to search as you see below.
4. Owner - you will be able to search with the options below.
5. Date modified where you can search as you see below as well as the option to customize your search time.
6. Item name search where you can enter just part of the file name.
7. Has the words. Pretty cool feature where you can enter words found in the file.
8. Shared with. Who did you share the file with? Type in a name or an e-mail address.
9. Follow up. Here , is where you will be to look up any action items assigned to you, or suggestions in files you own.

As always, any questions please let me know!
Brad


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Want to quickly & easily set up a meeting or an event? Try Doodle

If you would like to quickly schedule an event or meeting - try using Doodle.com.

Step-by-step directions are followed underneath of my 2 minute and 56 second video.



1. Schedule an event

2. Give your event a title and then have the options to enter a location and a description of the event.

3. Select your date(s) 

4. Enter the times - if you do not enter a time - the proposed date is shown as all day.


5. If you would like a Basic Poll - just click on the Blue Next. If you would like more options - select Settings.


6. Set up your sharing settings and how you would like to invite participants.


7. Your Poll has been created and you can see the options below.


Any questions, please let me know!
Brad

Monday, January 23, 2017

MakeBeliefsComix.com - encourage thinking and writing in a fun way

Makebeliefscomix.com's mission is to "encourage people to express their creativity through writing, drawing, and storytelling." 

The site offers over 500 printables for you to use (organized by categories). You have access to what's in the news, all about you, feelings, holidays and celebrations, and many more.

 An example deals with empathy and the imagining of loosing an ability such as sight or hearing and how that must feel.



Hope you can use this in some way!
Brad

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Personal dictionary in Google Docs

If you use Google Docs and continue to see a word that you know is spelled correctly; however, you Google puts the red squiggle underneath of it - you can "fix" that with the personal dictionary.

Here are the simple steps:

1. Open a Google Doc

2. Select Tools > Personal Dictionary

3. Add your word

You can always go back and edit the word or words as you like. Below you will see a GIF followed by a 41 second embedded YouTube tutorial.



Have a nice day!
Brad

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Want to make sure you get the best shot using your iPhone?

If you have taken photos at a sporting event and the shot was blurry, or you took a picture of a group and that one person closed their eyes - try taking a photo burst.

Simply open the camera app and then instead of just touching the picture button (circle) - firmly press on it and it will take a burst of photos (it will show you the number of pictures taken).

To then see all the photos -

1. Open the Photos app.

2. Scroll to the first photo in your burst

3. To see all the photos click on select (bottom of screen).

4. Look through the photos and select the ones you like (you will see a blue checkmark on the bottom right of the screen).

5. Select done (upper right).

6. It will then ask you if you would like to keep everything or just the select photos you took.

If you would like to see a video - I have embedded a 1 minute and 9 second YouTube video below with Sydney (7) and Jack (4).


Hope it helps!
Brad

Friday, January 20, 2017

If you listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks before you go to sleep, set a timer so it turns off.

Many people love to listen to something before they fall asleep - only to wake up later at night and find that their music is still playing.

A nice way to have it turn off (even after you are asleep) is to set a timer.

1. You will need to go into your clock app.

2. Set the desired time (I have 45 minutes)

3. Select When Timer Ends

4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Stop Playing and then Set (upper right of screen)

5. Select Start

I have also included an embedded 2 GIFS followed YouTube video below with instructions.



   





Enjoy!
Brad




Thursday, January 19, 2017

Post-it Notes on Windows 10 device

If you are one who likes to use Sticky Notes on your computer - Windows has a nice and simple solution for you.

Simply select the Window in the bottom left of your machine.

Scroll down to Sticky Notes (abc order) and drag it on to your desktop.

Below you will see a GIF and a 40 second embedded YouTube video showing the steps.




Enjoy!
Brad

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Amazon Prime Member? Try Prime Music (is included in membership) and is awesome!

If you are an Amazon Prime member - you know how great the 2 day shipping in. What many do not know is that Amazon Music is included in the membership. There are over 2 million songs available to you.

As you can see below play music on all your favorite devices and even download them to play offline.

If interested you can download the Amazon Music to your computer and upload your own music to the cloud.

Apple Store - click here to download.
Google Play - click here to download.





If interested - there is also Amazon Music unlimited that is $7.99 a month (over 10 million available songs).


Enjoy listening!
Brad

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"Hidden" scientific calculator on your iPhone

If you are ever in need of a scientific calculator - simply turn your iPhone to landscape - voila!!

Take a look at what the calculator looks like and a 13 second embedded YouTube video below.







Hope it helps!
Brad

Monday, January 16, 2017

Delete a wrong # in calculator app on iOS device

If you are using the calculator on your iOS device and you type in a wrong digit - simply swipe left or right on the display and it will remove the last digit for you.

Below you will see a 15 second embedded GIF and YouTube video below.



Hope it helps!
Brad

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Want to create a 3-15 second GIF easily using YouTube?

If you would like to very easily create a GIF using YouTube you will just need to add the word GIF after the www. and before the youtube.

Example - Harry Kalas' call of the Phillies winning World Series

URL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny8__taCZqk

To create a GIF https://www.gifyoutube.com/watch?v=Ny8__taCZqk



Below I have embedded a 1 minute and 8 second YouTube video on how to create what you see above.


Enjoy!
Brad

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Trivia + Google Maps = Smartypins

If you like Trivia and Geography - this is the site for you.

Enter the site by clicking here and then either selecting New Game (random questions) or you can choose your category.

Below you will see a some a 1 minute and 26 second YouTube tutorial followed by screenshots of what the site looks like.













 Have fun!
Brad




Friday, January 13, 2017

Google Classroom Update - send assignments to specific individual(s) & find out when a student sends in an assignment late

If you would like to assign something to a particular student (or students) you can now do that very easily in Google Classroom. For Google's Help webpage for Google Classroom - please click here.

Once you have clicked on the + to create an announcement, assignment, or question - to the right of what class you are in - you will see where it says all students. Select the all students and you will see where the default is all students. You can then click where it says all students and then select the specific student (students) you would like to send it to.


The 2nd new feature is an e-mail notification when a student submits work past the due date. To make sure this is active in your Google Classroom...

1. Select the "hamburger" - the three lines at the top left of your home classroom page.


2. Select settings at the bottom.

3. Make sure the box is checked for email notifications.


As always, any questions please let me know!
Brad

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Google Classroom - Add Topics to your posts

Google Classroom is an amazing tool for organization. One simple feature to utilize is the "Add topic" to your posts and makes finding posts much easier.


When a post is created - simply select Topic and then create topic.

The topic will then be available for all users to see on the left-hand side of the screen.

You can always go back and rename or delete the topic you created as well.

Below you will see an embedded 54 second YouTube video.

Take care!
Brad

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Google Classroom Extension

If you use Google Classroom (or know a teacher who uses it) - the Classroom Extension is a must! Find a website or something you would like to share - simply select the extension and then select your class. You can then post directly to your class without even having to go in to your Google Classroom site.

Below you will see a 59 second embedded YouTube video. If you have any questions - please let me know!


Try it out!
Brad

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Block advertisements in YouTube with the extension Adblock for YouTube

If you would like to remove those pesky ads that run alongside YouTube videos - try using the extension Adblock for YouTube.

Below you will see a 37 second embedded YouTube video showing what the extension can do.


As always, any questions please let me know!
Brad

Easy way to show like and unlike fractions online

If you are trying to show students or your children about fractions - a great site to check out is Mathplayground - specifically their fraction bars.

You can adjust the numerators and denominators (up to 16) and as you can see below each fraction shows a shaded section.

Great site to show like and unlike fractions. You can also remove the fractions so it will just show the amount and no fraction (just select on/off - upper left of screen).


Hope it helps!
Brad

Monday, January 9, 2017

Looking for a word cloud generator? Try Tagul

In the past week I have had teachers and administrators asking for an alternative to Wordle. The district where I work utilizes Chromebooks and Wordle will not work on a Chromebook.

I would recommend trying Tagul to create your Word cloud art. Users do not need to create a username; however, if you would like to store creations for later on - I would suggest it.

While users can be very creating - the site is very simple to use.

Simply...
click create
add or import words (you can import from a website as well)
change the shapes, fonts, layout, colors and animations, and then download and share
to see what your cloud looks like - click visualize (right-hand side)

To see a 2 minute and 39 second YouTube tutorial please look and the embedded video below that I created.

Also, if you are creating your word cloud on a Chromebook - please click here for the very simple directions.


Any questions, please let me know!
Brad


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Want to plan a trip or see what there is to do in a new city? Try Google Trips

Google Trips helps make traveling easier by providing you with options on what to do, where to eat, planning out your trips, and many other options. You can even download the site to your mobile phone so it is available offline.

Below you will see an embedded  1 minute and 18 second YouTube video trip to Philadelphia.



Image Source

Enjoy!
Brad

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Reach Out Reporter - great free Science website

Reach Out Reporter is a free website that provides science stories for elementary students.

Below you will see a screenshot of what the site loos like followed by an embedded 1 minute and 33 second YouTube video to show you what the site looks like.

Image Source


As I mentioned in my video - a big thank you to Richard Byrne for talking about this site on his blog (amazing follow).
Enjoy!
Brad

Friday, January 6, 2017

Explore feature in Google Sheets - you do not need to know formulas to get data

The Explore option in Google Sheets really is an amazing tool.

If you have a set of data, simply high-lite the column or row and then click on the Explore button (bottom right corner). You will see information come up instantly as well as the ability to ask a question such as, "what is the average of this column"? You do not need to know the exact formula (although the option is there to see what the formula is).

Embedded below you will see a 1 minute and 7 second YouTube video briefly showing what the feature looks like.


As always, any questions please  let me know!
Brad

Thursday, January 5, 2017

"Search like you talk" in Google Drive

Google as recently started using Natural Language Processing (NLP) into the search process in Drive. Basically it is a way of searching like you talk. You can say things like, "show me documents since May", "show me spreadsheets from Sydney".

In the 46 second embedded YouTube video below I show you an example.



If you have any questions, please let me know!
Brad

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Want to print multiple files in Google Classroom?

If you have wanted to print out multiple files when students submit an assignment it is possible. You will need to add PDF Mergy and follow the embedded YouTube video below or click here for a forced copy of step-by-step instructions created by Layla Lyons (great follow on Twitter).


Any questions, let me know!
Brad

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Want to search YouTube or Google Drive in your OmniBox?

If you would like to make searching for YouTube videos (or other sites) easily accessible in your Chrome Omnibox - watch my embedded YouTube video below or  follow these simple steps below.



1. Right click on the website url
2. Select edit search engines
3. Come up with a keyword - example yt for YouTube (see picture below)

4. Click Done
5. Go back to your Omnibox and type in yt - then TAB
6. You can then search for YouTube videos directly in your Omnibox


Below is a video for how to add Google Drive.





Enjoy!
Brad