Sunday, December 30, 2018

Google Photos 3D Touch options - feeling lucky, free up space, make album, rediscover the day

Google Photos is one of my favorite websites / apps as it stores all of your photos and videos for free and makes it super easy to search for photos by face, setting, date, etc.

What you may not realize is the hidden features within the app (3D touch). Basically when you press down on your app you will see the following options.

These options are so nice to have available to you within seconds.

Embedded below is a 56 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Dock not showing on your Mac?

If you have a Mac and kids (or someone who pushes buttons without knowing what they did), chances are your dock becomes hidden. Of course you could use your mouse and place it at the bottom of your screen for it to appear.

However, if you want it to appear at all times you will just need to use cmd option d.

Embedded below is a 23 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, December 28, 2018

How to give a second person Face ID-based access on your iPhone iPhone X, XR, XS, and XS Max.

Users of the iPhone X haven’t been able to give a second person  Face ID-based access until iOS12.  Now, users can easily add a second person, or as Apple calls it (alternate appearance).

To add the alternate appearance go to 

  •  Settings 
  •  Face ID & Passcode
  •  Enter your passcode and tap Set Up an Alternate Appearance. 
  • Then hand your iPhone to the other person and go through the setup

Take care,

Thursday, December 27, 2018

iPhone not charging? Try this before going to the Apple store.

If your iPhone will not take a charge, or your headphone port seems "off" - try using a toothpick to see if there is any lint stuck in the port(s). Be gentle with the toothpick, but it may just work for you.

Embedded below is a 45 second YouTube tutorial I created showing how much lint was in the port on my phone.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

PIN Access to Google Drive Files will be coming soon

If you have shared a Google Doc with someone who does not have a Google account you shared the link with "anyone with the link can view". If you have information that may possibly be a bit sensitive, or you would like them to be able to view, comment, suggest edits to, and directly edit Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files - you soon will be able to do this. Google has announced a beta version for a pincode  process that will enable collaboration to occur using PINs (Personal Identification Numbers). Below, you will see an example of how it works...

Take care,

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

It's Christmas and a family member is asking for your Wi-Fi password - here is how to share it

It's Christmas Day and Uncle Bert would like to access your Wi-Fi. Without telling him your password and how to spell it 25 times, here is the best way to share it.

  1. Make sure the person (Uncle Bert) who wants to access your Wi-Fi is in your contacts
  2. Uncle Bert needs to open his settings
  3. Tap Wi-Fi
  4. Ask them to choose your network
  5. You will then receive a notification on your phone
  6. Tap share password
  7. Uncle Bert is connected and you don't have to shout the password over and over again.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas STEM Activities - (Christmas Tree Slime, Evergreen Oobleck, Melting Snowmen, etc).

My daughter, Sydney (9) is super into Slime and the Christmas Tree Slime listed in the website ( is fun to try! The creations of other items as well (Christmas trees made out of straws) and a Christmas STEM Cup Tower Challenge, are fun to try with kids/parents of all ages!

The only frustration is the site does have some ads that can be frustrating, I would recommend previewing the site on your mobile device.

Take care and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Reminder to check apps with 3D touch

3D touch allows some very useful and time-saving shortcuts. My favorite (which I shared yesterday) is the camera app on your iPhone. 

Embedded below is a 46 second YouTube tutorial showing 3D shortcuts in Google calendar, Twitter, Apple Music, ESPN, as well as The Weather Channel.

Take care,

Saturday, December 22, 2018

On your iPhone how to quickly take a selfie, Video, Scan QR code, take a picture

The other night I was out with some friends and we were talking a bit about iPhones and I thought of one quick tip to show them that is a time saver.

When you press on the camera app with a bit more pressure the 3D touch pops out some options. The options include (Take a Selfie, Record Video, Scan QR Code, and Take Photo).

Embedded below is a 21 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, December 21, 2018

Wakelet search Youtube from within Wakelet and easily add to your collections

Wakelet has added yet another awesome feature when making your collections, you can now search for YouTube videos from within Wakelet.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 38 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Thursday, December 20, 2018

How to quickly manage tabs in Safari (iPhone)

On your iPhone you can quickly manage your Safari tabs by touching and holding down the two squares (bottom right of your screen).

Embedded below is an 18 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wakelet update: Sort your collections: Recently Created, Recently Updated Collections, Sort collection A-Z

Wakelet has another very useful update, the ability to sort your collections. You can sort your collections by:

  • Recently created
  • Recently Updated
  • Sort collections A-Z
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 27 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Connect Screencastify and Wakelet

You can now connect Wakelet  and Screencastify. This is awesome for many reasons! The ability to create a "how-to" video and post directly to a collection in Wakelet is amazing!

In order to enable this feature

  • Open Wakelet and select settings (three dots upper right)
  • When you select the three dots make sure to then select settings
  • Select Apps (left side)
  • Connect Screencastify
  • Make sure you then open the Screencastify extension
  • A popup screen will appear stating that Wakelet has been allowed 
  • Make sure you then see recording for Wakelet upper right 
    • If you do not want to store them to Wakelet make sure to select the x
  • You may have some Google Drive popups that you will need to answer
  • Make your recording and then choose what collection to add your video to
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 10 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,

Monday, December 17, 2018

How to share a Google Doc and place the link in an email

The other day I was working with a friend who was struggling with how to share a Google Doc properly in an email.

In order to accomplish this, here are the steps:

  • Once your Google Doc has been created select the blue share icon (upper right)
  • When the pop up menu opens, make sure to select Get Shareable Link
    • Link will be created (with Can View option)
      • Can change options by selecting "Anyone with the link can view"
  • Select Copy Link
  • Open email and create email
  • Whatever you would like to make a hyperlink - make sure to select that text
    • Choose insert with hyperlink and paste link
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 5 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Team Drives - A brief overview showing the basics of Team Drive in Google Drive

Team Drives in Google Drive  is a shared space where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere. The difference between Team Drives and your own Google Drive is that files in a Team Drive belong to the team, not just an individual. What is great is that even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done. Of course you can adjust settings (both of the folder/file as well as who has what access in the Team Drive).

When creating your Team Drive you can add members and then decide what type of access they should have. The access includes manager, content manager, contributor, commenter, and viewer.

Once a Drive has been created and members added, any files that you add to the Drive are now available to the "Team". Again, depending on the access granted, the users could be able to edit, delete, move files, or just simply be able to view.

This ability to have a Team Drive is beneficial for numerous reasons. To name a few...
  • It fosters collaboration among your colleagues (and makes sharing with everyone simple. You do not need to email everyone - you can let them know that the file(s) are in the Team Drive.
  • Allows for new hires to see instantly get access to the right documents 
  • If team members leave the district or company, the files stay in the Team Drive.
  • All files are available from the cloud and can be accessed anywhere the user has a device.
Embedded below is a 4 minute and 54 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Wonderscope - an augmented reality family story app that uses your reading to bring those stories to life!

Wonderscope  is an augmented reality app available through the iOS store that uses augmented reality and reading to make stories come to life anywhere you are!

When you launch the app you will need to allow the camera as well as the microphone (as you will be using both). The app will then prompt you to place the grid on a flat and well lit area. At the bottom you will then see text to be read out loud. The reading will trigger the app to proceed with the story. The app does a nice job of recognizing speech; however, there is a dark circle with an arrow in it to proceed to the next part of the story if there is any issue. 

Embedded below is Wonderscope's YouTube video, a few pictures of my two children (Sydney and Jack) enjoying the app, a video on their thoughts on the app.

A big shout out to Richard Byrne for discussing this the other day on his blog.

Take care,

Friday, December 14, 2018

How to display one calendar in your Google Calendar

Yesterday I was working with some colleagues and one of them showed me something that makes working in Google Calendar so much easier - showing just one specific calendar. This may be something that you may already know and use, but if not, this is such a helpful tip.

To make sure one calendar comes up make sure to select the three dots next to the title of your calendar and choose display this only. You will then see that specific calendar.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 34 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Google Lens - Google's visual identification tool - can now be accessed from within Google's iOS app

Google Lens is an amazing tool to help you identify whatever you point at, an animal, an augmented reality cube, plant, or a word or name in a piece of literature. It can even help you comparison shop for an item that is identified.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 53 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PBS Scratch Jr. - learn programming based on PBS characters!

Scratch Jr. has a PBS version of Scratch Jr. available to download on your iOS device. Scratch Jr.  is an app in which children (typically ages 5-7) can program their own interactive stories and games.

With PBS KIDS ScratchJr, kids can create "program" their own interactive stories featuring characters from Odd Squad, Wild Kratts, Nature Cat, Arthur, WordGirl, Peg + Cat, and Ready Jet Go! 

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 36 second YouTube tutorial I created showing the site and a few of the features.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How to quickly manage iOS notifications on your device

If you would receive a notification on your iOS device and would like to adjust how you are receiving the notification try moving the notification to the left. You will then see the option to Manage, View, or Clear All.

When you select Manage you will then see the option to Deliver Quietly, Turn Off..., as well as the option to enter into Settings.

Embedded below is a 40 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, December 10, 2018

How to add add-ons in G-suite (Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.) for easy accessibility

In G-suite (Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.)  you have three default add-ons (Calendar, Keep, and Notes) in your side panel for quick access. If you do not see your side panel, make sure to look in the bottom right in your gmail and select the carrot to show side panel.

If you would like to add an add-on select the plus and then add what you would like to add. In the example below I show you how to add DropBox as well as how to remove an add-on.

  • To remove an add-on open up Add-ons in gmail and select the add-on. You will then need to select the three dots (options) and remove the Add-on.
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 31 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, December 9, 2018

2 new winter-themed GIF backgrounds available in

Classroomscreen is an outstanding website that includes a number of digital widgets where teachers can project onto a screen for the entire class. To see a number of posts I have created regarding Classroomscreen, click here.

The background pictures and GIFs are very pleasing to the eyes. Lately, a number of people have asked if there is a picture or GIF that has a fireplace (or just a fire). Well, now there is!
  • Select Background at the bottom of the screen
  • Look on the right side of the next screen for GIFs (you will see 7 available)
  • The top one is a view of a campfire on a mountain
  • The second one is a GIF of a fireplace with stockings 
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 39 second YouTube video.

Take care,

Saturday, December 8, 2018

AR Flashcards - create your own Flashcards in Augmented Reality

If you would like an Augmented Reality app that superimposes 3D animals over Alphabet flashcards - take a look at AR flashcards. The flashcards can be printed out and placed in front of your child/ student. The child will then see an animal "come to life" in front of their eyes.

In the example I have created below, you will see how my daughter and I drew a dog and the app recognized the shape as a dog - thank goodness! When we placed the device over the drawing and selected "D" for dog - the AR version of the dog came to life.

In the embedded 1 minute and 8 second YouTube video below you will see how it works.

Take care,

Friday, December 7, 2018

Backup all your files safely to Google Drive using Google's Backup and Sync

Google Backup and Sync is an amazing tool that allows you to upload and store files from any folder on your computer in Google Drive. What I really like is that once loaded on your computer and you download a file, you will see a green check once it syncs with Drive.

Once loaded onto your computer, take a look at the preferences (select the icon on bottom of screen) and select preferences. You can then choose what folders you would like included in the sync. One option I would suggest is to select "Ask me before removing items everywhere". I say this because you may not want it on your desktop anymore; however, maybe you still may want it in Drive.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 32 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Send comment(s) in a Google Doc add + then email address

When working in a Google Doc there are times you may have wanted to instantly highlight a section of text, add a comment, and send to a student or someone else.

Well, Google allows you to do that quite easily. All you need to do it:

  • Highlight the text
  • Select comment
  • Add the plus sign + and then email address of the recipient 
  • You will then see some questions from Google about allowing the user to have access to the doc, etc.
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How to use labels in Gmail to help with organization of your emails

If you are anything like me, keeping emails organized and being able to locate older emails regarding a singular topic can be frustrating.

A simple and quick way to keep your emails organized is to use labels in Gmail. You can select multiple emails and add to multiple labels.

Embedded below is a 1 minute YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Akinator - 20 questions style website and app where you think about a real or fictional character

Akinator is a website as well as an app (click here for iOS) (click here for Google Play) to use in your classroom or at home. Think of it as 20 Questions - where you think about a real or fictional character and have the app guess it.

I was amazed at how quickly and accurate the app was when guessing Darth Vader, Anthony Wiggle (from the Wiggles), Shine (from the show Shimmer and Shine) , Frosty the Snowman, Harley from the show Stuck in the Middle, Drew Brees (quarterback from the New Orleans Saints), as well as Carols Ruiz (Chooch - from the Phillies).

There is a free version as well as a paid version. The paid version allows you activate child mode (website does as well).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 30 second YouTube tutorial of the paid version of the app.

Take care,

Monday, December 3, 2018

Hour of Code - December 3rd - December 9th resources

Hello everyone,
It is that awesome time of year again – Hour of Code.
December 3th  – 9th.

If you are interested in trying this with your class - I have created a guide
and Google Drive folder  that I hope will be helpful.

Your class could win robots or circuits just be signing up for the Hour
of Code.
Prior to having the students logging on for Hour of Code – a great resource
to use is a Slide that was created to kind of teach students what code really
is. The Slide and attached worksheets are available by clicking here. The
sheets describe what an algorithm is as well as what programming really is.

I recommend logging on to the site and familiarize yourself with it. Take a
look especially at the STATS page – the fact that there are currently
517,393 open computing jobs nationwide and last year, only 42,969
computer science students graduated into the workforce is

While you do not have to Sign-in,  I strongly recommend it. You will be
able to see students statistics as well as have access to many lesson
plans and additional resources.

Click here for a blog post I created (with YouTube video) on how to sign
your class up on

When you sign-in, scroll down to Teacher Home Page and click on it,
select Manage Students, select Add Multiple Students.
** If you used CODE last year, you may need to update your list of
code 3.PNGcode 2.PNG

code 4.PNG

When you add your students, you will then be taken to a page
with all of their passwords. You must select “Show Secret” to
see the password.

At the bottom of the page you will see a link for your
class’s CODE page. All the students will need to do is
click on their name and type in their password. This
simplifies things a lot. Great to put on Google Classroom.
You will also see a link to print out all usernames and passwords.
The site is very similar to previous years with characters from
Star Wars, Minecraft, Disney Infinity Characters, as well as
the ability to code with Anna and Elsa (Frozen), Flappy, as
well as with wayfinding with Moana. You can even code your
own dance party - maybe I will finally be able to floss or dab -
No-one wants to see that!

Click here (or embedded image below) to be taken to the site
users will be interested in the most (see inserted picture below).
Here users can select their interests, filter searches by grade
level, educator experience, student experience, as well as
what type of classroom technology is available. There is a
very nice video tutorial for users to watch (typically around 2
minutes) prior to the start of coding.

Here are two great videos  to introduce or re-introduce your
students to CODE:
Video #1 – a little under a 6 minute video – inspiring and informative
Video #2 – about a 2 minute video – with a little introduction and
then a quick bit about basic concepts of programming
I hope you and your students enjoy this site. Remember, this site
can be used throughout the year – does not just have to be December 3rd-9th.

If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thanks so much!


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Ever sent an email and spelled something incorrectly in Microsoft Outlook? Maybe you forgot to include an attachment?

If you have  ever received an email from someone and then a minute later you receive the same email with the message, "Here is the attachment." - if you use Outlook (and receivers use Outlook) you don't need to be "that person" ever again.

Once you send the email and would like to either take the email back, or take it back and resend an email with corrections follow these instructions:

  • Go into sent email
  • Double click the email you would like to alter
  • Choose Actions
    • Recall this message and make your selection 
    Embedded below is a 2 minute and 2 second YouTube tutorial.

    Take care,

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A new gradebook in Google Classroom - signup to test it out

Those that have used Google Classroom have brought up numerous times the lack of a robust gradebook. Now, "Teachers can now view submissions across classwork & students, view & customize average grade calculation, and add weighted grade categories."

To sign up for the Gradebook & locked mode in quizzes Beta click here to fill out the Google form.

To read Google's blog post regarding the new gradebook and locked quizzes using Google forms - click here.

Embedded below is Google's tweet regarding the new gradebook.

Take care,

Friday, November 30, 2018

Sign-up (Beta) to try Google Forms Locked Mode for quizzes

Months ago Google announced that in the future that would launch a new feature in Google Forms - locked mode. Locked mode means that students' screen during Quizzes would be locked on school-managed Chromebooks. Yesterday, (11/29/2018) Google announced that G Suite for Education users can now sign-up for early access to Google Forms locked mode. Click here to sign up.
Embedded below is the Tweet from Google for Education.

Take care,

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Kahoot! Create a quiz using a template. Load to Google Sheets and have students work on a collaborative Kahoot!

We all know Kahoot! is an amazing game based platform that helps make learning fun! A nice newer feature built into Kahoot! is the ability to use their template (excel spreadsheet). You can add your question(s), answer(s), time limit, and correct answer(s). When ready you just need to upload the spreadsheet and your Kahoot! is ready to go.

A great collaborative approach would be to place the sheet in a Google Sheet (click here) and then have groups create a Kahoot! quiz together. You will just need to make sure it is downloaded in an Excel file.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 2 minute and 24 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Facebook - How to set up Two-Factor Authentication to keep your account safe

If you have received one of those messages this week from a friend saying something like this...
"Hi....I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account.    Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears...then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too....PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT A NEW friendship FROM ME AT THIS TIME" 

it reminded me it is a good idea to make sure you have Two-Factor Authentication set up. To set it up:

  • select the triangle next to the help icon (upper right) 
  • Security and Login
  • Two-factor Authentication
    • Once activated they will send a security code if they notice a login from an unusual device

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 2 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

ReadWorks has added Social and Emotional Learning topics

Readworks is an amazing site that has thousands of K-12 articles complete with assignments to assist with reading comprehension.

Recently (11/26/2018), the site introduced topics that revolve around Social and Emotional Learning.
  • Appreciating Diversity
  • Empathy
  • Goal Setting
  • Perseverance
  • Relationships
  • Solving Problems
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 27 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, November 26, 2018

Split screen on your iPad. Use the Dock/Home Screen to to create Split View and Slide over Apps.

A great feature that can get overlooked is the Split View/ Slide over Apps capability. This is especially great when users are researching a topic and need to take notes. Users could have a search engine like Google running and then have an app such as Google Keep to take notes.

To create Split View, open an app and then swipe up from the bottom of the iPad. This will bring the Dock up and you can grab one of those apps and drag it to the left or right of the screen. When you would like to see full screen of your original app, just swipe the Split View App to the right. When needed you can "grab" the app from the right by swiping it over.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 27 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, November 25, 2018

How to quickly open multiple links from a website and create a collection of those links using Wakelet

The other day I saw a post by Wakelet regarding being able to create a collection of multiple open tabs using their extension. This is such a valuable tool for so many reasons especially when researching a topic and need to save them quickly for later reference. Just make sure to right click on the extension, select options, and toggle on Enable Wakelet extension for new tabs.

I started wondering if there was an extension to quickly grab multiple links on a web-page and open them in new tabs. Well, turns out that the extension Linkclump can accomplish it. When first using it make sure you right click first (keep holding it down) and then select the letter z. Let go of both the right click and z button and then you will be able to select all the links you would like open (you will see a red rectangle grab the links. Once ready for them top open just let go of the selection.

So you now have all those tabs open and it is time to use Wakelet by opening up a new tab and organizing them all in an easy to use collection.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 2 minute and 4 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Share content from sites like Twitter to sites such as Wakelet to review in the future.

We all see items on our phone or device that we would love to read more about but run don't have the time to look into it at that exact moment.

A great feature on your device is to share directly to an app.

In the example below I am on Twitter and find a great post by Google for Education and Google Expeditions. I select the up arrow on Twitter and select Share Tweet via...

When the screen opens I then select more (three dots) and make sure to toggle on Wakelet (amazing site for organizing and sharing content. 

Embedded below is  a 1 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, November 23, 2018

Wakelet - add a GIF to your cover image to have it stand out.

Wakelet is an amazing site where you can create collections (wakes) and share articles, videos, images, tweets, etc. with one link. See embedded collection at the bottom of the post to learn more about Wakelet.

In this post I share how you can add a GIF to your cover image to make it stand out (and have a little fun).

To create this GIF I used my phone, uploaded it to GIPHY and then downloaded it to my computer before uploading to Wakelet.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 2 minute and 14 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,