Monday, April 30, 2018

Want to mute a tab in Chrome? Try chrome://flags (Tab audio muting UI control)

A great feature to check out in Chrome://flags is Tab audio muting UI control. What this does is allow you to instantly mute a tab in Chrome without having to even go into the site.

Why is this great? Say you are playing some music in one tab and working on something in another tab. Someone comes into your room and you can just select the mute sound in the tab. Takes less time that right clicking and then muting.

Embedded below is a 46 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Filling out a form? Try Tab and Shift Tab to go from text box to text box.

A great feature when filling out a form to go to the next text box is simply using Tab (so much better than having to use your mouse).

If you would like to go to the previous box, try Shift Tab.

Just a little something that may make things easier for you.

Embedded below is an 18 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Activity Dashboard - similar in nature to a read receipt in an email

Google’s G Suite has a new activity dashboard to show who read your files (Docs, Sheets, and Slides). The dashboard is available by selecting:

  • Tools
  • Activity Dashboard

Think of it as being very similar to read receipts in an email. Once shared you can check the activity dashboard to see who  has  opened the file as well as who has access to the file. Maybe someone shared the file with someone you would rather not have access.

The option is available for users to toggle Activity Dashboard off for all files or for just this specific file. Below are 2 pictures showing you an introduction to Activity dashboard you will see in your file as well as the options you have to toggle on or off the dashboard.


Only G Suite Business and Enterprise users can see who has viewed their documents (when administrator permissions allow).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 19 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, April 27, 2018

Epic! How to create and submit a quiz.

If your students use Epic! and you would like to add a quiz to a particular book or books follow the steps below.

  • When you have selected a particular book hover to the upper right (until you see the area where you can favorite a book). This time select the question marks.
  • Once selected start creating your quiz. You must name it first.
  • You must add at least three questions with at least 2 answer choices per question.
  • Once at least three questions have been submitted you can now publish your quiz.
    • It is your choice if you wish to share with the Epic! community.
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Source Code in Google Chrome. Make sure to always double check your "sources".

"He hacked the computer!" I have heard that a lot this year from students and teachers when they see the embedded picture below.

What the student did was right click (or Ctrl+Shift+I) on the screen and then selected Inspect. Inspect basically shows you the innards of the site (source code, images, fonts, icons, etc). It is intended for developers, although anyone can access it. Typically the reason they did it was to get attention and make it look like they were "hacking".

I was not sure if I was going to share the following video with everyone but then I thought that knowledge is indeed power. If  someone wanted to get someone else in some hot water - making it look like a social media post says something that it truly doesn't can accomplish this very quickly.

Please note again that they did not change the site - this is a browser feature intended for developers

Just so you have the knowledge - here is how to do it. 
  • Right click on the web-page and select Inspect (or Ctrl+Shift+I)
  • Select Console
  • type in document.designMode = 'on' and select enter
  • you can now go in and select the text you would like to alter 
    • again you are not changing the actual site
The embedded 1 minute and 33 second YouTube tutorial below show you how a user can use this "Inspect" to go into any site and make it look like the site itself has been altered. 

Please remember to always double check your sources before acting. You just never know.

Take care,

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 acquired by IXL Learning - login to account prior to 4/27/2018 to continue access has been acquired by IXL Learning - make sure to log in to your account on prior to April 27th, 2018 to continue access to your account.

Embedded below is a 35 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Epic! Creating and assigning collections + what it looks like from teacher & student point of view.

Epic! is an amazing site that offers +25,000 books free to educators and their class (during school hours).

If you are interested in how to sign up for the site as well as how to become an Epic! Educator click here for these posts (or click on Epic! books above).

To add a collection and assign follow these directions:

  • select search and search by author, title, or keyword
  • when you find the book you are interested in select it
  • in the upper-right you will see a Heart
    • select the heart, favorite it, and select the + Add To
  • you can now create a new collection or add to a previously created one
To share / assign the collection
  • go back to the main screen (select epic! upper-left of page)
  • select the Heart (My Library)
  • you will not see collection(s) and the share icon in which you can share with an Epic! Teacher, email, Pinterest, or copy collection link
  • can also select assign and assign to the whole class or specific student(s)
Student point of view
  • they will select the Mailbox 
  • find the shared collection
  • click on the book(s) and then select the Heart to favorite the book

If you are interested in creating and assigning collections + what it looks like from a student's point of view select the embedded 2 minute and 10 second YouTube video below.

Take care,

Monday, April 23, 2018

Epic! How to become an Epic Certified Educator

If you would like to become an Epic! Certified Educator (and learn how to use the site) you will need to follow the instructions that pop up on the right hand side of your screen.

You will be taken through

  1. Find a book and read it
  2. Create Two Student Profiles 
    1. Google Classroom Import as well as a CSV file (Excel) is availabale
  3. Find Your Classroom Code (unique to your class)
  4. Explore Books and Content by Category
  5. "Favorite" a Collection
  6. Create a Collection
  7. Find a Book at Your Student's Reading Level
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 28 second YouTube tutorial where I take you through the process.

Take care,

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Checkboxes in Google Sheets!

That's right - check-boxes are available in Sheets.
When you are in a sheet simply select
  • Insert
  • Checkbox
Checkboxes in sheets have many uses - the one I show below deals with my wife who teachers 4th grade and has students write a state report. Students can not double up, so pasting in all 50 states and then adding checkboxes in the 2nd column easily shows what states have and have not been chosen.

FYI - this new feature was available in my personal Google account and has not yet been added to my school account.

Embedded below is a 31 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Saturday, April 21, 2018

How to sign up for Epic! and have access to 25,000+ books on any device for children 12 and under

If you would like to have access to over 25,000 books available to on any deviceto children 12 and under try Epic!

Epic! is free for educators; however, for families it is $7.99 (unless you get a referral by a teacher in which case it is $5.99 a month). Please note you have 30 days to try it for free.

In order for families to have access at home (after school hours) families would need to sign-up for an account. 
The free educator version is for use in the classroom or school library only. For use at home, students should be using the home version of Epic!. This is due to our Terms of Service and our contracts with publishers.

In order to sign up you will need to follow the instructions on the site. If you are a teacher make sure you enter all information necessary so your school will be verified.

For more information please click here for educator resources as well as a a quick start guide.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 14 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Friday, April 20, 2018

Personal Dictionary in Google Docs

The other day I was working with a student whose name was always underlined as a spelling suggestion in his Google Docs. Once I showed him he could add his name in "personal dictionary" under Tools > Spelling his face shone so brightly!!

Embedded below is a 29 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, April 19, 2018

How to add your YouTube video with captions to Facebook

If you have added closed captioning to your YouTube videos (click here for a short blog post) and have noticed that it does not load onto Facebook with the captions it can be very frustrating.

In order for the captions to load on Facebook follow these steps * note Twitter does not allow as of the date of this post (4/19/2018).

  • In YouTube's video manager select Subtitles/CC
  • Select English/Automatic
  • Select Actions (left side) and then select the .srt file
  • Make sure you download the video to your computer
  • Enter into your page on Facebook and add the video
  • On the right you have some choices under subtitles and captions (cc)
    • select the video language
    • you can have Facebook auto-generate them or write them in yourself
    • or you can upload the .srt file from YouTube
      • you will need to rename the file with the name of the file and then
      • example =
  • Select Publish and you are good to go
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Week in Review - Create your own memes, Classroomscreen, SOS on iPhone, and closed captioning in YouTube

Hello everyone,

This past week I shared posts dealing with creating your own memes, Classroomscreen, SOS on iPhone, closed captioning in YouTube.

To access the posts please click below.

Take care,

YouTube: How to see your videos transcript as well as force closed captioning to be played for users

So... this post falls under the "Why didn't I do this before?" as well as "Better late than never!" categories. Adding closed captioning to your videos has numerous benefits including:
  • makes your post available to more users
  • Captions let viewers watch your video in more places
    • According to a study by the United Kingdom’s Ofcom, 80% of people who watch video with closed captions on are not deaf or hard of hearing. One major reason why people use captions is due to their environment.
  • Boosts views as well

If you would like to have your YouTube videos to include closed captioning here are the steps:
  • enter into your video manager and select Subtitles/CC
  • set your language
  • select language (English in my example)
  • select Edit
  • check the transcript (edit where necessary)
  • publish edits
  • go back to Info / Settings
  • in the tags field enter in the proper tags to go along with your video to make it available as well as one major tip
    • yt:cc=on this will force closed captioning for all users when they select your video
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 3 second YouTube tutorial (with captions)!

Take care,

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Pop-ups blocked when trying to access a site?

If you are using Google Chrome and trying to access a site and get the notification that Popups need to be disabled it can be frustrating.

Fortunately, the solution is pretty straightforward. In the address bar at the top you will notice a rectangle with a red square. Click on the square and allow the pop-ups.

If you would like to see the settings enter into the 3 dots (upper-right) next to address bar.

  • settings
  • select Advanced
  • select content settings
  • see popups that are blocked as well as allow
  • change any of these settings by selecting the 3 dots 
Embedded below is a 1 minute YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Monday, April 16, 2018

Emergency / SOS on iPhone + how to quickly call emergency services

An important and potentially life-saving feature on your iPhone is the Emergency SOS feature. The feature is available by selecting...

  • Settings
  • Under the third section it is the 7th option
Once selected a notice alerts you that to call emergency services you need to rapidly click the sleep/wake button 5 times.

You can then set up the Emergency Contact in Health.
Under your Medical ID you can add 
  • Name
  • Photo
  • Medical 
    • Conditions
    • Notes
    • Allergies & Reactions
    • Medications
  • Blood Type
  • Add organ donot
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Add emergency contact
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 14 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Want to create your own memes? Try

If you would like to know how to create your own meme (picture with a funny or motivational caption) one option is to try the website

You will not need to sign-up to use the site (although signing up is easy and stores your creations). Just know that a watermark (bottom left) will show up unless you pay the $3 a month charge.

In the embedded 1 minute and 31 second YouTube video below I walk you through the basics of how to create one from a template as well as your own.

Here is a meme I created last night of my son finishing some popcorn!

Take care,

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Students collaborating on a Google Site? Remember these settings

A few things to remember if your students are collaborating on a shared Google Site (if you are the owner).

  1. Check out the published settings.
  2. I would recommend checking the box next to "Prevent editors from publishing, changing access and adding new people".
Embedded below is a 49 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, April 13, 2018

Battery Health on your iPhone

If your phone's battery seems to be draining quickly take a quick look into the health of the battery.

This can be done by selecting:
  • Settings
  • Battery 
  • Battery Health 
    • Select Service
  • See Maximum Capacity
    • "This is a measure of battery capacity relative to when it was new."
Embedded below is a 29 second YouTube tutorial I took on my iPhone.

Take care,

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - new sounds added to the timer is a great tool for teachers to post directions, keep track of time, remind students of tasks to be completed, among many other uses.

A new feature that just came out deals with new sounds added to the timer. There are some great ones - students will love it.

Watch and take a listen to the embedded 47 second YouTube tutorial below.

Take care,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Week in review of blog posts (Flipgrid and Book Creator)

Hello everyone,

Book Creator can be used on a Chromebook. You can create a teacher account and invite your students to join your class. Your class can have a total of 40 books (with the free account) – but don’t worry you can download the books and then add them to Google Drive.

Flipgrid – site where students respond to a question directly from their iPad or Chromebook with a code you provide them. The free version allows 1 minute and 30 seconds of response time.

These 2 sites are worth checking into and if you are interested in a helping hand please let me know. I would love to come into your classroom.

Take care,


How to find the share code, remove a user, and freeze the join code in Book Creator for Chrome.

The Book Creator app for Chrome is remarkably user friendly. As a teacher you can find the share code for students to join your library (available top middle of screen), as well as how to remove a user and freeze the join code (select the multi-user icon).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 23 second YouTube tutorial showing what was mentioned above.

Take care,

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Book Creator on a Chromebook!!

That's right! If you are a fan of the app for the iPad get your Chromebook out and get your students to start making those books!

  • Signup is easy (
    • Google
    • Office 365
    • Email
  • You will then go through the rest of the process including inviting students to be part of your class
  • When ready you can start creating books (just like the app for the iPad)
It is important to point out that there is a free version (1 library and ability to store 40 books) as well as paid versions. Click here to see the pricing.  Please note that you can delete books, download them, as well as share them online. 

If you share online and then want to delete, you will need to stop publishing and then delete the book.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 21 second YouTube tutorial.

Big shout out to Layla Lyons for sharing this with me the other day!

Take care,

Monday, April 9, 2018

Flipgrid - what it looks like from a student point of view.

What does it look like when you share your Grid with your students? If you share the link to your Grid students will see all topics that have been created.

Students will see any resources, instructions, and attachments you have included with each topic. When the students select the topic they will see the resources, instructions, and attachments that pertain to that particular topic. Remember you do not need to share the whole grid, you can share just the individual topic.

Once students select the topic they will see the Flipgrid + Symbol as well as any other student video submissions. When they select the + they will see...

  • live video of user (will not record until select record icon)
  • instructions
  • ability to add stickie notes (will not be seen by viewers)
  • once video icon is selected a 3 second countdown will begin (90 seconds is the default)
    • students can pause video as well as delete
  • when completed select the green arrow icon to the right
  • a preview is available where students can decide to keep or delete
  • a selfie will then be taken to be displayed in the grid for all students to see
    • if allowed in your settings students can add stickers and drawings
  • finally, students will enter their name to be displayed in the grid
    • email, title, and links are optional
    • Submit video
  • students can now download their video and selfie (if desired)
  • select complete
  • students can see their submission as well as other submissions
Embedded below is a 2 minute 17 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Flipgrid - How to edit your topic to include videos, GIFs, photos, attachments, & Google Classroom

Previously I shared a blog post dealing with  How to get a grid up and running for your class in under 2 minutes - in this post I will be sharing how to edit your topic to include videos, GIFs, photos, Google Docs, as well as how to share to Google Classroom.

Once you have your Grid and topic created you can add some extra information to your topic to include a video, GIFs, photos, as well as a Google Doc. When completed you can share the code with students, or send the topic easily through Google Classroom or Remind.

In order to edit your topic:
  1. Find your Grid (select My Grids at the top)
  2. Under the Grid find the topic and select the actions button to the right and select Edit topic.
  3. Under Topic Resources is where you can add a GIF, video, photo, etc.
  4. Under Topic Resources you can include an external link (Google Docs, OneNote, Dropbox)
Once your topic has been updated you can then select the Share Topic icon and share as a URL, embed code, QR code, as well as share to Remind and Google Classroom.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 52 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Flipgrid - How to get a grid up and running for your class in under 2 minutes.

Flipgrid is a site that allows all students to have a voice, whether they are sitting front and center, or in the back of the class.

In the embedded 2 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial I will walk you through how to get your grid set up as well as how to create and launch your first topic.

I will be creating more videos in the future to show more of the awesome features that Flipgrid has to offer.

Take care,

Friday, April 6, 2018

Easily find digital image file types in a Google search

If you would like to quickly and easily search for digital image file types in a Google search try typing in your term and then a decimal and the file type.

  • Examples = baseball.png, baseball.jpg, baseball.gif
Embedded below is a 32 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Google Sites - Embed a Google Form to gather feedback

If you would like the ability to allow the visitors to your website an opportunity to provide feedback or ask questions, try embedding a Google Form.

One thing when embedding, make sure you select the Settings Gear to select the preference(s) you would like. 

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 28 second YouTube tutorial.

If you have any questions please let me know!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Use this tool to search more specifically in Google

Ever have it where you know there was an interesting story revolving around a topic but can't remember the story exactly?

Example - you remember there was an interesting story about the Outer Banks from a month ago - but forget exactly what it was. Try this.
  • In a Google search type in Outer Banks
  • Once you see the results select Tools
    • Then select the Any time and choose your desired time
Embedded below is a 45 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Google's URL shortener ( is shutting down - here are 2 alternatives.

Google's simple to use URL shortener  ( will be discontinued. 2 alternatives that I tend to use the most are:
  1. Bitly -
I like the simplicity of Bitly as well as the ability to make your URLs more than just short. Click here for their tips.
  1. Tiny Url -
Tinyurl creates a smaller URL and is very simple to use.

Embedded below is a 54 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Monday, April 2, 2018

Where's Waldo? Explore the World this week with Google Maps and Waldo

This week (week of April 1st, 2018) Google Maps has added a mini-game using Waldo from Where's Waldo?

When you launch Google Maps using your Android, iOS, or notebook computer you will see Waldo appear on the left side of the screen (later on he will be available under the menu). When you select Waldo it will launch the game and will be taken to different parts of the globe. Just like in the books, you will need to find Waldo (and 4 of his other traveling friends if you would like to). Once you find Waldo it will unlock the next location. To move around on the map you can use your mouse or the directional arrows on your keyboard.

I never knew that in England (where the puzzle books originate from) it is Where's Wally? In the US and Canada they changed the name to Where's Waldo!

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 31 second YouTube tutorial I created.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Great site to easily create GIFs - so many uses!

If you are looking for a simple way to create GIFs using your webcam try the site Andtheniwaslike. You do not need to sign up on the site; however, if you do the GIFs will be saved to your account (free). The sign up is easy, just sign up using your Google, Twitter, or Facebook account.

Below are the steps to create your GIFs (you can add a caption if you like)

  • Select the record button
    • There will be a 3 second countdown
  • Once the recording has completed you will have some options
    • You can trim the GIF
    • Normal loping (GIF appears normally)
    • Back-and-forth looping (GIF goes back and forth)
    • Reverse looping (starts at the end of the GIF)
  • SAVE - your GIF is saved 
    • If signed up for the site your GIF is saved (access it in upper right of screen)
    • If did not sign up for the site, right click on the GIF and save image 
  • You can now add the GIF where you would like to
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 2 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Thanks again to my friend Paul West for sharing this site with me. You can follow Paul on Twitter .

Go Phillies!!