Sunday, April 30, 2017

Use Google Keep to stay organized

Back in November I posted an article regarding Google Keep and how it is so much more than just note taking.

Today's post deals with how simple it is to take an article you are reading on the web and store it for later reading using the Keep Extension. While you can certainly store sites to your bookmarks, they are only available on the computer you are using. With Keep, whatever you save is available across all platforms. So, you could read on your mobile device, another computer, etc.

Google Keep is a great site for students to "keep" themselves organized as well. We will re-visit that topic at a later date and time.

Embedded below is a GIF showing how to use the extension as well as a 53 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Enjoy "Keep"ing organized!!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Great free extension for recording your screen

Richard Byrne posted some time back about the extension Viewedit. Today I got to take a look at it and it is a nice and simple extension to record your screen for free.

Viewedit (click for Chrome Extension) allows you quickly and easily create and share screencast videos. The extension allows you to record your entire screen, a single tab, as well as incorporating your webcam, or just using your webcam to record yourself.

There are 3 ways to share the video.
1. Through Gmail (this also allows you to see what person watched the video you sent).
2. Through a direct link.
3. Posting to Social Media.

One item to bring up is that the site does not allow you to download the video and share to YouTube.

Embedded below is a GIF to show you what the site looks like as well as a more detailed 2 minute and 12 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Again, thanks to Richard Byrne for mentioning this site on his blog!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Great money game to check for understanding on ABCYA

My daughter has been working with money in her math class at school and I thought to try and see what ABCYA had to offer. Turns out - they have a great game for money called Learn to Count Money.

Users choose their level and then if they are a beginner or an expert.

A problem is presented to them and they have to drag the correct amount of money onto the mat. If they do - they earn a fish. The goal is to get up to 10 fish in the tank.

Embedded below is a GIF as well as a 51 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, April 27, 2017

iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers free for all iOS and macOS users!

As of April 18, 2017, if you have an Apple device, the apps mentioned above are now free to download! Click here to be taken to Apple's article on how to download the apps.

Take care,

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Play chess or checkers with Google Drawings

Eric Curts created an awesome post on his site Controlaltachieve about Checkers and Chess in Google Drawings.

Basically all you need to do is click on his template and make a copy.

Once you make a copy, the drawing is all yours to do as you wish. A great way is to share the doc with a friend and the game is on. You can go back and forth playing the game of checkers online.
** If you ever have a questions about someone's last move you can always see revision history to see how the doc has been revised!

Embedded below is a short GIF to show you what the site looks like and below that is a 1 minute and 19 second YouTube video tutorial

Take care!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Make your Google Slide presentation more fun - add a GIF

If you have ever sat through a Google Slide presentation that included a GIF (animated image) at just the right time, it can really make the presentation even better!

It really is very easy to create.

Below you will see an animated GIF I created to show you how to insert the GIF right into your Slide as well as a YouTube video I created with step-by-step directions.

1. search for your topic
2. select images > tools > type > animated
3. right click on the image > copy image address 
4. enter into your Slide
5. insert image > by url > paste the url > select


Monday, April 24, 2017

Name a folder in Google Drive as an emoji 😀

If you would like to either name a folder in Google Drive with an emoji or add an emoji to your folder follow the GIF below. You can also watch the embedded 35 second YouTube video below.

Before you name your folder with an emoji, you will need to have one to copy. I use the Emoji for Google Chrome Extension.

Take care,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Want to duplicate the page you are on quickly and easily?

If you want to quickly and easily duplicate the web page you are on, if you are on Chrome simply right click on the tab and select duplicate.

This is especially important when you are working on a presentation and want to go back and forth and see what you already have on one slide. Also, it is great when you need to see the top and bottom of the same web page quickly.

To see how to do this - look at the embedded GIF and YouTube video below.

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Want to see a "movie" of how a Google Doc was created?

If you want to see a fast-forwarded version of how a Doc that has been shared with you (or created by you) was written - try using the Draftback extension.

The extension will live in your Doc (upper right area near your name and the blue share button).

Once you select Draftback (# revs)you will then need to select view and you will be taken to a "movie" type look of your Doc.

The playback will be fast, but you can slow it down by selecting play at actual speed. Embedded below is a 20 second GIF followed by a 41 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pattern Block Templates in Google Drawings (by Eric Curts)

Eric Curts has an amazing post about using pattern blocks in Google Drawings.Not only has he created the pattern blocks for you, but has also created other examples with horizontal and vertical lines  of symmetry, ways to make a whole, perimeter of a garden, biggest and smallest perimeter, tessellations, and create and write about a picture. Below is an example Eric made using the pattern blocks he wrote a story about.

Picture on Eric Curts' blog
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 38 second YouTube tutorial I created showing you what the site looks like.

Hope you and your students enjoy this awesome resource!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Google Earth in Chrome Browser just in time for Earth Day!

Google Earth has a brand new version, it is awesome, and it is available in your Chrome browser - yes you can use your Chromebook to use it!!

A few quick items to point out.

  • Once you search with the magnifying glass (upper left) you will be flown to the destination and you will see what looks like cards on the right (see picture below).
    • Just an FYI the information available is from Wikipedia. 
    • You will also see a Bookmark that you can come back to at a later date. 
    • Under the Bookmark is points of interest that are available in the destination. 
      • To fly to that point of interest, click on the blue circle
      • When you fly there and want to see street view - place the little yellow figure and you will see a blue grid show where you can place the figure.
    • If you want to share your destination, click on the share icon (left side - on bottom) 
      • Can share link in Facebook, Twitter, Google + as well as copy the link.

  • If you are feeling lucky and want to travel somewhere "random", click on the icon that looks like a die with a 5 on it.
  • If you select the icon that looks like a captain's wheel - this will take you to Voyager and will make National Parks, Galapagos Islands, and Natural Treasures available to you. The example I discuss in the video below takes you to Hawaii and a park ranger discusses lava tubes, among other information.
  • The last item to point out is that the settings (top left) will make some changes available to you. The one default to look at is that Units of Measurement are set to meters and kilometers and not feet and miles.

  • Embedded below is a 4 minute and 13 second YouTube tutorial I created.

This Google Earth is awesome!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Font weight options in Google Docs

Recently Google announced that weight options for different fonts would be available. This is a nice feature to have for users that want more options than just bold or plain text.

Below you will see what the font Oswald looks like in size 18 font size followed by how an embedded 19 second YouTube video tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, April 17, 2017

Combine two or more YouTube videos into one

If you have to or more of your YouTube videos that you would like to merge into one video, embedded below is a 2 minute and 13 second YouTube video as well as the steps.

  1. Make sure you are signed into your YouTube account.
  2. Select My Channel
  3. Select your first YouTube video 
  4. Select enhancements
  5. Click on Try YouTube Video Editor - you will see the video start to play
  6. Numerous options are available
    1. The main one to point out is the transition one (looks like a bow-tie)
  7. Select your transition
  8. Choose another video to add - just drag it into your work area
  9. Name your video at the top 
  10. Select create video (blue) top right
  11. You will receive an e-mail stating that your video is ready
Take care,

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Taking photos and videos with your smartphone

With many people celebrating Easter today (Happy Easter) many will be using their smartphones to take pictures and videos.

I see a lot of people using portrait view when shooting a video at their child's performance or baseball game. Portrait mode is easier because we are all accustomed to holding our phones that way.

 Of course this all depends on the situation, but if you turn your phone to landscape mode it will fill the screen entirely. At first this may feel a bit different, but it will make a big difference when uploading videos and sharing them using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. 

Below you will see some videos and pictures taken with portrait and landscape view that I took looking out to my backyard. The first video shows both portrait and then landscape view.

Portrait and then landscape view

Portrait Mode - notice how narrow - video will not take up entire screen

Landscape Mode - video will take up the whole screen

Hope you take some great shots!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Explore the World with your voice and Google's Speak to Go

If you would like to quickly and easily explore different places throughout the world - try Google virtual reality experiment - Speak to go with Google.

Q: How do you use the site?

A: Simply enter in the url - click the spacebar and tell Google where you would like to go.

Honestly, it is that easy. If you have Google Cardboard (roughly $10-15 on Amazon) it is a richer experience than on a desktop or notebook.

Embedded below are two pictures of the White House. The first one is from when I said, 'White House" and the second one is when I said, "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C.)

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 11 second YouTube tutorial I created. 

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Friday, April 14, 2017

In Google Drive and need to see the latest activity on your files? Use view details

If you are curious about your files and any activity with them, select the view details icon. It is the letter i in the embedded picture below.

Embedded below is a 36 second YouTube tutorial I created as well as a screenshot of what the view detail icon will show you.

Take care,

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In Google Docs and need some help? Use the help feature

Yesterday on Google's Twitter feed they shared a nice Tech Tip in Google Docs. If you are working in Docs and would like to use something like strike-through - just simply highlight your text and then click in Help and type in strike-through.

Embedded below is a 28 second YouTube video showing how this works.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Check out Google's Autodraw

Last Friday I shared Google's Quick Draw - where Google's AI tries to guess your drawing. Earlier on Wednesday Google announced their AutoDraw. Autodraw is web-based and "pairs" machine learning with drawings from artists. I recommend you check out their blog post by clicking here.

Embedded below is my 1 minute and 46 second tutorial showing you how to use the site. Definitely is a lot of fun and makes someone like me look like a pretty good artist!!

Embedded below is Google's 1 minute and 43 second tutorial to share with others!

So awesome!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Share a picture but disable options to download, print, and copy for commenters and viewers

Today I was asked a great question about posting pictures on-line; however, to not allow others to download, print, or copy the picture.

 One way to do this is through Google Drive and the Google Photos section. Below you will see an embedded YouTube video and then step-by-step directions.

** Of course this is also true if you create a doc, sheet, or slide in Google as well and do not want others to "touch" your stuff. Of course nothing is perfect and people could take a picture of your screen.

  • Select the picture or pictures you would like to share in Google Drive (through Google Photos)
  • Select the link and click on Sharing Settings

  • Select Advanced

  • Select Disable options to download, print, and copy for commenters and viewers

Take care,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Travel back in time with Google Earth!

One of the many amazing features in Google Earth is historical imagery. Historical imagery is available in the bottom left corner of a search. If you do not see it right away, try zooming in or out and then you will see the historical imagery show u.

Below you will see 2 images from Dubai (Palm Islands). The first one is from 1999 and the other is from 2016.

1999 - Palm Islands - Dubai
2016 - Palm Islands - Dubai

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 25 second YouTube tutorial showing how to use the historical imagery.

Any questions please let me know!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Look up anything in Google and customize the range of the results by time

If you are researching anything and would like to see the latest results follow these steps - example I used was Phillies.

  1.  Type in your term (Phillies)
  2. Select tools (under search bar on right side)
  3. Select Any Time and pick from
    1. Any time, past hour, past 24 hours, past week, past month, past year, and custom 
Embedded below is a 39 second YouTube video I made to show you the steps.

Have a nice day!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

If you or your students need a definition of a word - use Google's Dictionary extension.

If your students are working on a project or reading a story on-line, a great extension for them to use is Google Dictionary.

All they need to do is add the extension and then either copy and paste the word in the extension - or just type the word in the designated area. You can see an example below for pandemonium.

Embedded below is a 37 second YouTube video my 4 year old son Jack and I made showing how to add and use the extension.

Have a nice day!
Brad & Jack

Friday, April 7, 2017

Quick Draw - can AI guess your drawing? Fun activity for all!

So this one is a lot of fun - Quick Draw with Google.

You are presented with an object to draw (doodle) and Google's AI (artificial intelligence) will do the best it can to guess what you are drawing in 20 seconds. You will be presented with 6 objects to draw.

Below you will see an example  of what it looks like when you are asked to draw an object (couch)  as well as a recap of the six drawings I was prompted to draw. Below that you will see an embedded 34 second YouTube video. I was lucky, the site asked me to draw a hockey stick! There is an app available as well.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Rotate text in Google Sheets

If you would like to rotate text in particular cells in Sheets, especially at the top of your Sheet, well you can!

Once you have typed the information in your Sheet go up to 

Format > Text Rotation > then choose from what you see below

Embedded below you will find a 52 second YouTube tutorial I created.

As always, any questions please let me know!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How to properly share a Google Form with others so they can use it as their own

If you have ever created a Google Form and wanted to share it with other teachers so they can use it in their classroom - below are step-by-step directions on how you can do it. You can also watch the embedded 1 minute and 40 second YouTube video below.

  • Create a folder in Google Drive

  • Change sharing settings of folder so anyone with link can view.

  • Create Form in the folder

  • Copy the edit URL in the form

  • Change the end from /edit to /copy

Any questions please let me know!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Templates in Google Drive - including a nice gradebook

In Google Drive you will notice that templates are available when you select Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.

Below you will see templates that are available to you. The example I created a video about deals with creating a gradebook in Sheets. While it does not include the ability to "weight" the grades, that is something that can be done. 

If you would like to create a gradebook in Sheets, please let me know and I would be more than happy to assist.

Take care,

Monday, April 3, 2017

Want to create an easy crossword puzzle? Try

Flippity has a new cool tool - Flippity Crossword Puzzle. Just follow the simple step-by-step instructions (see picture below) and you have a crossword puzzle that can be shared with others or printed out (with a solution as well).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 25 second YouTube tutorial.

As always if you have any questions please let me know!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Make your own tournament bracket using

If you would like to create your own bracket to be filled out on-line, try's tournament bracket.

Possibilities are endless, favorite moments of the year in your class, favorite books, favorite cafeteria foods, etc. Users can use anywhere from 4-64 competitors.

Below you will see a screenshot as well as an embedded 1 minute and 40 second tutorial I created using MLB Networks' top 100 baseball players. (I used 64).

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Play Sudoku (and check answers) for free in Google Sheets

If you like filling out Sudoku puzzles, the Sudoku Sheets Add-on in Google Sheets is one to check out.

The Add-on, as you can see below, creates the puzzles for you by level of difficulty, allows you to check the puzzle while you are working, and then shows you the solution as well.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 32 second YouTube tutorial.

As always, any questions please let me know!