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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Use Siri to speak a phrase in another language for you

A very helpful feature built in to Siri is the ability to have it speak a phrase in another language for you. The languages built in right now are:

  1. Mandarin
  2. French
  3. German
  4. Italian
  5. Spanish
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 35 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

In Safari how to remove clutter when reading an article

If using an iPhone or iPad and reading an article in Safari and want to read a "clean" version of the article try this. Look in the left side of the search field for the 4 lines - tap it and you will see just the text and photos.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 19 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 29, 2018

How to use an iPhone to send your location instantly in a text

If you are ever in the need of communicating your location to someone try this:


  • Open up a text to the person you would like to send your location to
  • Type I'm at and then a space
  • Instantly your location will be made available 
  • Select send
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 31 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 28, 2018

How to mute notifications of Tweets in Twitter from users you do not even follow

If you have ever received notifications in Twitter about users you do not even follow, try these steps:

  1. Select profile and settings
  2. Settings and privacy
  3. Notifications
  4. Check the box next to Mute notifications from people you don't follow
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 33 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Hippo Video - awesome free screen video recorder

If you are looking for a free video recorder - check out the extension Hippo Video.  While there are numerous extensions that can record your screen (see links to  Loom, ScreenCastify, Vidyard, Nimbus Screenshot, HYFY, etc) - I think Hippo Video is one of the best.

A few reasons why I like Hippo Video:

  1. Easy of use
  2. Ability to record your full screen, tab, webcam (show or hide), change video resolution, show markup tools
  3. Markup tools - ability to pause, stop, highlight, draw, focus/spotlight, as well as an eraser and clear screen ability
  4. When you stop recording you can edit the file easily
    1. Trim, crop, add text, add emojis, as well as callouts (please see note below)
    2. Add titles, tags, description
    3. Share to Facebook, Twitter, Google Classroom, as well as embed 
  5. Ability to store videos and easily find your recordings
  6. Their site has numerous instructional GIFs and tutorials to help you along your way as well as areas to ask questions and be in contact with a rep.
** One item to point out - while the site is free, the ability to add emojis, advanced editing, etc does come at a cost ($15 a year). However, the free extension is amazing and while there are times that a video needs to be longer than 5 minutes - 5 minutes should suffice. See embedded picture below for plans and cost if free version is not enough.

Embedded below is Hippo Video's tutorial as well as a is a 5 minute instructional video I created to show you the ins and outs of the site.




Here is the pricing plan if interested.


As always, any questions please let me know!
Brad



Friday, January 26, 2018

Jump to the top of a page on your iPhone

It can be very frustrating when you are scrolling down an article on your iPhone and you want to get back to the top. Well, thanks to this handy little trick from Tony Vincent you can get there quickly. Just tap the time in the status bar and you will instantly get to the top of the page/app.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 33 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Loom - easy to use video and webcam recorder that even works directly in your Gmail.

If you are looking for a very straightforward and easy to use video recorder (including webcam, tab recording, and mic) - try the extension Loom.

You will have a choice to use Continue with Google, Continue with Outlook, or log in with an email address.

You will see the Loom icon appear in your extensions and you can begin your recording from there.

What I think is a really nice feature is that Loom appears in your Gmail (when you select Compose in Gmail). When you see the icon appear, select it, you will then have the options to use the most recent recording, my videos, or create a new recording. If you choose create a new recording you will then be prompted to select Loom in your extensions. You will then select be able to record webcam, tab, or whole screen.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 58 second YouTube tutorial I created.
Thank you to Richard Byrne for posting this in his awesome blog - www.freetechforteachers.com.




Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Want to know if a site is secure in Google Chrome and see other site settings (location, camera, mic, Java, etc)

If want to know if a site is secure in Google Chrome check to the left of the address bar. If you see a lock and Secure - the site is secure. See example picture below.
                                                                      ↓↓↓↓↓

If you see this, know that the connections is not secure and is recommended you do not enter in any sensitive or personal information.
                                                                  ↓↓↓

When you select the lock and Secure you will see many other options as well that will show you notifications, certificate information, cookies, as well as Site settings. Site settings is where you will see settings such as location, camera, microphone, Flash, etc.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 11 second YouTube tutorial plus 2 pictures of what the settings look like.








Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 22, 2018

You can now organize those saved sports videos and recipes in Facebook to collections

A great feature in Facebook has been "save link" (available on top right of posts select the three dots). However, it was kind of like having a spot to keep all of your clothes - but everything was in one drawer - kind of hard to keep organized.

Thankfully Facebook now allows you to customize your saved links to a collection. So you can keep all those sports articles, funny articles, recipes, etc all organized as you would like.

Here is how you can create your collections.


  1. Select the three dots (think of them as more options)
  2. Select save link
  3. At the top of the saved link it will have the option to Add to a collection.
  4. From there you can select your collection - or create a new one
  5. Should you like to get to your collections easily
    1. On the Facebook home page scroll down to under Explore and select saved
    2. There  is where you will see your collections as well as the ability to quickly and easily create new collections.
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 11 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 21, 2018

How to quickly modify the length of a cell in Google Sheets and Excel

Sometimes a little "trick" like this sneak by people. If you use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets and type in more information than the cell allows make sure to try this:

  • Select the cell by clicking the letter of the cell (in this example A)
  • Move cursor to far right of the cell until you see a double arrow
  • Double click when you see the double arrow
  • You now have changed the width of the cell
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 45 second YouTube tutorial.






Take care,
Brad

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Be a Twitter Ninja - use more than 4 photos in a tweet

The other day a friend of mine saw a tweet I posted and he asked me how I put more than 4 photos in my tweet. My answer, "I'm a ninja!"

Honestly though, here's all you need to do. 

Create a collage of the pictures you would like to include (I used Google Photos in this example).
  1. Select the photos you would like to include and then select the + - then collage
  2. Download the collage to your computer and upload collage to your tweet
  3. You can add 4 collages to your tweet (each with between 2-9 photos in each collage). 
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute 17 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care you ninjas!
Brad

Friday, January 19, 2018

Want to use a virtual geoboard?

If you would like a free and easy to use Geoboard - check out the Chrome app - Geoboard by The Math Learning Center.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 42 second YouTube tutorial I created.





There is a free iOS app as well.

Take care,
Brad

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Want to create a podcast, store it, and share it easily?

If you ever had the desire to create a podcast I have created a short blog post on one way you can do it with just your phone (my example is using an iPhone). There are numerous other services that could accomplish creating and storing a podcast, but I found this way to be pretty simple.

I use the Opinion App  (I purchased the $3.99 paid version). From there all you need to do is launch the app and press the red circle and the recording has begun. Once completed you will see the recording and listen to it (you can also cut/trim certain sections as well). When you select your recording you then have the options to send the recording on (I downloaded the SoundCloud  app (free) - so I just sent my recording straight to SoundCloud. You will be asked to name your podcast, add an image if you like, as well as your location. Remember to select Upload & Share (bottom right).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 43 second YouTube tutorial I created.


You will need to log on to SoundCloud and create your sign-in (I used a Google sign-in). From there you will be able to change your profile, see your stats, who you follow, etc.

Once you select profile you will then see your podcast that you just sent from your phone. You will see the share button as well as see the ability to edit your track, download, as well as delete your podcast). 

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 46 second YouTube tutorial I created.



Please feel free to reach out if any questions. Again, there are many ways in which you can create and share a podcast - this is just the simplest way that I have found.

Thanks!
Brad

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Want to find your art doppelganger? Try it out in the Google Arts and Culture App

If you have ever been curious if there is a piece of art work out there that looks like you - give Google Arts and Culture app a shot.

Here is a quick description of what the site is all about (from Google). I previously created a blog post last year about the site - you can find it here.

Keep exploring with Google Arts & Culture. Meet the people, visit the places and learn about the events that shaped our world. Discover collections curated by experts from the most famous museums. Be moved by stories depicted in thousands of photos, videos, manuscripts and artworks on every type of screen and in virtual reality. Find your favorite artworks, create your own collections and share them with friends.


However, what is going "viral" is that the app matches your face with famous paintings. All you need to do is scroll down on the home page to the 4th "section"

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 58 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Want to change the location of downloaded files in Chrome?

If you have downloaded files when using Chrome and would like to change the location of where they are downloaded - it is a simple solution.


  1. Select the almighty three dots (upper-right corner)
  2. Settings
  3. Advanced
  4. Downloads 
    1. Location - change
  5. Select the new location to store your files(s)

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 35 second YouTube tutorial.






Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 15, 2018

How to search for previous posts easily in Facebook

If you have ever searched through Facebook for a post either you or a friend created it can be frustrating unless you know this simple little option.

Web Version:
If you are using the web version of Facebook simply enter into your account (or friend's profile) and after the profile name put a space and type in a keyword (baseball, Christmas, birthday, etc.) You will then see the posts that came up regarding that keyword (along with other options as well).

App
If you are using the Facebook app - simply enter into your account (or friend's profile) and next to their name in the bar at top you will see a magnifying glass. Select the magnifying glass and type in a keyword (baseball, Christmas, birthday, etc.) You will then see the posts that came up regarding that keyword (along with other options as well).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 33 second YouTube tutorial showing the two different ways.



Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Create your own Star Wars Crawl

If you would like to start a lesson with the Star Wars crawl (including music) select this link and create what you would like.

2 words of advice when creating with this site:
  1. Make sure to type up your crawl in Google Docs, Word, or somewhere you can refer back to just in case you want to edit in the future.
  2. I would hide your bookmarks (on Chrome Ctrl Shift B) as it is difficult to see the Editor and Share button (top right on the site).


Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 42 YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How to merge multiple Google Slide presentations into one.

If you would like to merge multiple Google Slide presentations into one, you will need to follow these directions:

  1. Make sure to select the last slide in the 1st presentation.
  2. Enter into the slide you wish to copy to the 1st presentation.
    • Select the 1st slide
    • Hold down shift
    • Select the final slide (all should be selected)
    • Select Ctrl C
  3. Return to 1st Slide presentation
  4. Paste the copied slide project (Ctrl v)
There you have it. If you are wondering why you would want to do this, one reason would be when your class is working on different parts of a topic. In the 4th grade class I was working with today, they were all working on different parts of the Appalachian Trail. The students would then have all information discussed in one slide presentation.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 57 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Friday, January 12, 2018

It's back! You can take a snapshot picture right in Docs, Slides, and Drawings.

The feature to add a snapshot picture directly in Docs, Slides, and Drawings is back. I think of this feature like Bitmoji - except it is really you! Enjoy and use it!

  • Docs:
    • Insert image - camera
  • Slides
    • Insert image - camera
    • Select image icon - camera
  • Drawings
    • Insert image - camera
    • Select image icon - camera
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 50 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Want to find a site that is similar to one you are using?

If you have ever wondered what sites on the web are similar/related to other ones, try this Google trick.

In the Google search type in related: site. 

In the embedded GIF and 30 second YouTube video below you will see me search for sites similar to ESPN.com and Google.com.




Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Here's a fun one - what is a celebrity's 'Bacon number"?

This Google function involves the concept of "six degrees of separation" - the belief that we are all no more that six degrees apart. In this feature, no celebrity is more than six co-stars away from actor Kevin Bacon.

Embedded below is a GIF showing this feature with Barack Obama.


Brad






Want an exact search in Google? Try surrounding your search in quotation marks.

If you have ever looked for specificity when searching in Google, try using quotation marks before and after the search. This will allow Google to look specifically at your exact search.

In the embedded GIF and 26 second YouTube video below I show you how to search for the oldest baseball stadium.




Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How to search for publicly shared Microsoft and Google files (including docs, sheets, slides, forms, etc)

If you would like to search for publicly shared Microsoft and Google file types try the following:

  1. Type in your search (example - water cycle lesson plans)
  2. Select Settings: Advanced Search
  3. Scroll down to file type - this is where you will see Excel, PowerPoint, Word (among others)
  4. To find Google files scroll up to site or domain: and type in docs.google.com 
    • water cycle lesson plans site:docs.google.com
  5. Your results will now show all publicly shared Google Docs
  6. To find shared Google Slides - type in /presentation after docs.google.com
    • water cycle lesson plans site:docs.google.com/presentation
  7. Your results will now show all publicly shared Google Slides
  8. The same can be done with forms, spreadsheets, etc
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 12 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 8, 2018

Check123 - Video Encyclopedia with video lengths of 1, 2, and 3 minutes

Check123 is a website that includes educational videos that are either one, two, or three minutes long.  You can search videos by length of video, subject, and topic. Check123 lets you search by keyword or you can browse the subject categories.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 5 second YouTube video.




Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 7, 2018

How to connect Google Photos to Shutterfly

A little over a year ago I created a video tutorial and blog post on how to upload your Google Photos directly into Shutterfly. Well, within the past month the Google Photos icon was no longer there (Facebook, Instagram, and Smugmug are). I received a number of messages from disappointed users and I tweeted Shutterfly. They stated that this option is no longer available - what a bummer.

Today my wife and I were working on a calendar for my parents and noticed that the Google Photos icon shows up once you start working on a project.


I would suggest making a new album in Google Photos and then you will have that album ready to go for your Shutterfly project.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 21 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Shared a file in Google Classroom and all students have editing rights? Here is the quick solution.

If you have shared a file such as Eric Curts's Build a Snowman in Google Classroom and notice that students have full access to your file it can be extremely frustrating.

Here is a quick and simple solution.

  1. Enter into the file you shared and select the blue share button.
  2. Select advanced
  3. See who has access to the file and their rights.
  4. Edit as you see fit (chance  to can view).
  5. Problem solved!
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 41 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Friday, January 5, 2018

Shorten a long URL into a "customizable" link with Bitly

If you would like to share a link easily with a group of students or participants in a meeting, try using Bitly (free to sign-up).

What is nice is that it takes your link, no matter how long it is, into a shortened customized link that is easy to type in.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 54 second YouTube tutorial.





Thanks for reading!
Brad

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How to Display Calendar Items in the Side View of Outlook

If you would like your calendar items to display in the side view of Outlook - try the following:

  • View
  • To-Do Bar
  • Select calendar
Embedded below is a GIF followed by an 18 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Save any picture you find on the internet right into Google Photos!

If you have ever found an image on the internet and you wanted to use it - it can be a hassle. With the Save to Google Photos extension it makes it so simple. Once the extension has been added all you need to do is right-click on the photo and save it right into Google Photos.

What is great about this is that with Google Photos' unlimited photo storage - you don't need to worry about storage. Do remember copyright rules when/if using the image you selected.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 39 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2 ways to have a split screen on your Chromebook without an extension

While there are plenty of extensions that allow users to split your screen. My personal favorite is Tab Resize - allows users to easily split their screen a number of ways (see embedded picture below).
However, if you want a quick way to split your screen, here are 2 ways.


  1. Double tap next to the new tab section above the URL - you can then grab a tab and drag it to the other side.
  2. Alt [ to open up the left side of the screen or  Alt ] for the right side.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 42 second YouTube video.




Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 1, 2018

2 Supermoons in one month (January 1st and 31st) + some facts

"A supermoon happens when the full moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to Earth in its orbit. Supermoons make the moon appear a little brighter and closer than normal, although the difference is hard to spot with the naked eye."

Click here for a  nice site to explain what a supermoon really is  (from Space.com).

For information about the year's largest supermoon click here. There is no specific time to go out and look - just some time between dusk and dawn.

For facts about the moon for kids - click here.


Enjoy!
Brad