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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Classroomscreen - New tools available when upload own background image

Classroomscreen.com is an amazing website for teachers. Now, when you upload your own image you will have new tools available to you.

The tools include the drawing tool, ability to change the background color, rotate the image, and enlarge or shrink the image you uploaded.


Embedded below is a 1 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial as well as a collection of blog posts revolving around Classroomscreen.






Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Flipgrid is not just for student voice. It gives a voice to all. All educators, student teachers, substitute teachers, admins, office staff, etc. can share their voice!

Flipgrid is indeed an amazing site as it gives all students a voice in their classroom. Just today I was talking to another teacher about how I have not been this excited about a site in years.

However, this site is not just for student voice - it gives a voice to all. A student teacher could create a self-reflection video as they slowly take on more and more of the classroom. If you are a substitute teacher, leaving a Flipgrid video about the day is a powerful and quick way to really recap the day. A principal can create a video after seeing an awesome display of cooperation in a classroom, etc.

If you want to keep your videos in a shareable link, this is especially great for substitutes, why not keep a collection of those videos in Wakelet. The teacher can continuously add to the collection and what future employer would not be blown away by the use of technology to interact with their peers and students.

As a technology integrator I have started to do just what is described above, I create a "thank you / great job / what to work on" video in Flipgrid and share it with the teacher and students. I then store this video in a collection in Wakelet. If interested, you can access the videos by clicking here.

I have create a 3 minute and 43 second YouTube tutorial below. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. For more information on Wakelet and Flipgrid, you can click on the two links below.



Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

How to take your edited image from Photoscissors and add a fun background.

Yesterday I blogged about how to remove the background or parts of an image and save it to your computer with Photoscissors.

I showed a number of teachers (including my wife) and they instantly wanted to know how they could put a background behind the saved image and print it out.

The best way I could think of was to use Google Slides. Here are the steps I used:

  • When you open a Google Slide select Layout and choose Blank
  • Select Background
    • Select choose image
    • Choose how you want to add an image
      • Most commonly used is the search option (far right)
    • Choose the image
      • Click on select
  • Back in the Slide
    • Select insert image 
      • Choose where your image is
  • You can then place the image where you want to and shrink as needed

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 44 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 28, 2019

Remove the background or parts of an image and save it to your computer with Photoscissors

Last week I showed how to use the website Remove.bg to instantly remove the background in an image. In today's post we will look at PhotoScissors. Photoscissors is a bit different as you can choose the items you want to keep as well as remove.

There are other websites that will perform similarly; however, they will cost some money. Photoscissors is free. Thank you to Richard Byrne for blogging about this last week.

Below you will see an embedded GIF as well as 2 minute and 9 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Remind - No service disruptions for Verizon Mobile users

Two weeks ago Remind announced that there would be a new fee regarding Verizon Mobile users

On Friday (January 25) Remind announced that there will not be any service disruptions and users will be able to continue to use the service as they have.

 Click here for the announcement from Brian Grey (CEO). 

Embedded below is a collection of posts revolving around Remind on Wakelet.



Saturday, January 26, 2019

Dad Jokes - yes there is an app for that!

If you are anything like me you like to have a good joke ready to go at the drop of a hat. Jokes (when told at the right time) can really lighten the mood and make people feel good.

The other day a friend of mine shared with me the app Dad Jokes: The Best Puns by Jason Bryner. The app is very easy to use. As soon as you open the app a "Dad" joke will be presented to you. When you are ready for the punch line, simply tap on the screen. At the bottom you will see two faces (a smile and a straight face) - simply select what category you believe that joke lands in.

At the top of the screen are 3 dots that bring up the categories of Random, Best, Worst, and Most Controversial. Don't worry - the controversial ones are not controversial!


Embedded below is a 44 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Friday, January 25, 2019

Google Feud - Fun web based game similar to Family Feud using Google's Autocomplete

Google Feud is a fun web based game similar to Family Feud. You can choose your category (Culture, People, Names, or Questions). You then proceed to see how many of the top 10 results pulled from Google's autocomplete. Please note that certain results may be offensive and/or incomprehensible. I did not see any - but the warning is at the bottom of the screen under about. Embedded below is a screenshot followed by a 1 minute and 6 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad


Thursday, January 24, 2019

In Flipgrid two ways to have text readily available for them to use during their video responses

In Flipgrid you can select the stickie in the bottom left of the screen and students can type (or paste) the text they would like to use during the recording.

If your students are doing more of a video in which they need to have their script read entirely word for word, I would recommend using cueprompter. The other day Tony Vincent tweeted about cueprompter. Cueprompter allows your browser to work like a teleprompter. When students type or paste in their text, they can then select Start Prompter and a new tab will open that looks like a teleprompter. When ready students can select forward and then the speed they would like the teleprompter to scroll (can be adjusted during the presentation). If the user would like, the prompter can go full screen as well.

Once cueprompter is ready, students can go back to the tab that has Flipgrid and then start the recording. They can then open the cueprompter tab and start reading. When finished reading students can then go back to Flipgrid, stop the recording, and then trim the beginning or end of the video to their specifications.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 30 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

You can add drawings created in Google Drawings into your Docs without exporting them as pictures.

Pretty fun new update in Docs and Drawings - you can add drawings created in Google Drawings into your Docs without exporting them as pictures. All you need to do is select Insert... Drawings... From Drive.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 18 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Flipgrid - How to make videos private so only you and the student can view.

Flipgrid is an amazing tool for students to use their voice to show their knowledge!!

If you have used Flipgrid you know how students enjoy watching and learning from one another. However, maybe you have a reason that you would like all videos to be moderated before making available for all to see (or not at all). Well, with selecting Video Moderation under Topic Privacy all videos will not be available to be seen by the class until you allow it. Please note that videos can still be shared with families if you would like.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 50 second YouTube tutorial. Maybe I should have smiled! HA!!!


You can also access numerous Flipgrid tutorials myself, as well as Richard Byrne's A Complete Guide to Using Flipgrid  samples in my Wakelet link (as well as embedded below).


Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 21, 2019

Make your spreadsheet do the hard work for you in your data collection

On January 8, 2019 I created a blog post about "How to use Google Forms and Wakelet to take your data collection to the next level".

In this post you will take that data and have the spreadsheet do the work for you.

I decided to use numerical data in my example. I used 1 for yes and 0 for no. This could then be calculated in a numerical form later on using the average function.

In the 1 minute and 47 second video embedded below you will see how to take the spreadsheet that the Google Forms collects and then select a cell (somewhere you feel appropriate). In this example I used averages for the data collection.

  • In the sheet select Insert > Function > Average
    • Make sure to select the cells you want to include
      • Even include future dates as the sheet will collect your data for you

Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Google Classroom - Drag and drop on Classwork Page, Easy to use display code, 78 new themes.

Google announced on January 8, 2019 that there would be some additional features. Yesterday I noticed a pop-up message from Google and these features available when I opened Classroom.

You will notice that the classroom code is available under the name of the class (upper left). A display button is available.

You will also notice that there are 78 new themes available.

Drag and drop topics and classwork items in the Classwork page.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 20 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Saturday, January 19, 2019

How to see website icons in Safari

This helps with aesthetics on your iPhone.

Make sure to select Settings > Safari > turn on Show Icons in Tabs.

Embedded below is a 47 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Friday, January 18, 2019

New Wakelet Feature! You can now invite people to collaborate on your collections without them needing to sign up

Great new feature in Wakelet. You can now invite people to collaborate on your collections without them needing to sign up. This is an amazing feature for many reasons, one that I see instantly would be in the classroom. With everyone being able to use the site, students would be able to collaborate much easier. Later on they could sign-up and join the site, but the ability for students to be able to add instantly is a game changer.

Users still need to put a name to what they share. Please note that users can be removed easily in the manage contributors section.

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


Take care,
Brad

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Amazon Music - select lyrics to jump to that part of the song.

Amazon Music's app allows the user to see lyrics to a song quite easily.

What you may not know is when you can scroll through the lyrics and tap the lyrics you want to hear, the song will jump to that point in the song.

Embedded below is a 52 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Want to remove the background in an image? Try Remove.bg

Tony Vincent the other day tweeted about the website Remove.bg. The website allows you to upload an image and remove the background image.

There are numerous ways to use this website in your class or personally, maybe spruce up a document by adding your picture!

I have tried this on a number of different pictures and it did an excellent job removing the background.

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




Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Shaking Stories - story maker app for kids!

Shaking Stories is a fun app that allows the user to create a story at home or at school. Once downloaded, you will see the elements ready for you to write your story (character, place, problem, and time). If you would like to change all the elements, simply shake the device and new ones will be available for you.

The prompts are available to anyone with or without creating an account. If you do choose to create an account you can write a short story and publish it.

You also have the options to read stories that have been uploaded to the app.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 20 second YouTube tutorial.



If you have any questions, let me know. Thank you to Richard Byrne for writing about this the other day on his blog.

Take care,
Brad


Monday, January 14, 2019

Remind - How to download the app and continue to receive push notifications

Starting January 28, 2019 Remind will discontinue text message delivery for teachers, students, and parents who use Verizon Wireless services. In order to continue to receive notifications (as a parent) simply download the app and allow push notifications. The reason for the end of text message delivery for Verizon Wireless customers is explained here. Long story short, their fee will be 11 times as much as their current cost.

You can get the Remind Google Play app by clicking here as well as the Remind iOS app by clicking here. Embedded below is a 1 minute and 49 second YouTube tutorial showing how easy it is to download the app and allow push notifications. You can also find information about enabling push notifications and email notifications by clicking here.


Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Wakelet - How to filter your bookmarks to find the Tweet, collection, link, etc. quickly and easily

Wakelet is an amazing site that allows the user to share articles, videos, images, tweets and other great content with one link. These items can be saved in a collection to be found at a later date.

The ease of the their extension as well as app makes it so simple (iOS and Google Play) to save items in an instant (even if you do not place them in a collection).

If you just want to save information into Wakelet (stored as bookmarks) and search later, Wakelet makes it easy to search for your items. You can filter by collections, links, videos, and tweets. You can also search by date - any time, past 24 hours, past week, past month, past year.


Embedded below is a 1 minute and 23 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad


Saturday, January 12, 2019

New look Twitter for your desktop Data saver, night mode, bookmarks, etc.

When you next open Twitter on your desktop you will notice a notification on the right side stating that you take a sneak peek at the new Twitter.


The update appears to alter the desktop version of the platform to resemble the mobile version. In the top left corner, boxes seem to display a user’s media uploads while primary profile information is transferred to a far left column.

On the right hand side of the layout, under the media, is the ‘who to follow’ and ‘trending’. 

Basically, the ‘home’ page is simplified and cleaned up with two main columns rather than three. On the left is the main feed of follower posts. On the right is main trends.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 24 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Friday, January 11, 2019

Use your Google Assistant in Google Maps

Great news! You can now access your Google Assistant within Google Maps. Go ahead and ask where the nearest gas station is, what the temperature is, or what is the score of the Eagles game!

Next time you launch Google Maps and start your journey a pop up screen will appear. Make sure to select Got It.


Embedded below is a 43 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,
Brad

Thursday, January 10, 2019

How to notify authors they have been quoted in your Wakelet collection.

Wakelet is an amazing tool that stores anything with a link into a collection that you can easily share with others through 1 link.

If you have created a collection and that collection included Tweets from other individuals, you can alert them that they have been quoted.

To do so, once your collection has been created and published, look at the bottom left of your screen (under the collection you created) and select notify. A screen will come up with the author(s) you have quoted and you can then select notify!

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 38 second YouTube tutorial.




If you would like to learn more about Wakelet, here is a collection of blog posts I have created (in a collection on Wakelet).


Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Doodle for Google - "When I grow up I hope"

Doodle  for Google is a contest in which kids can create their own Google Doodle. The winner gets to have their own creation available on the Google homepage for a day.

The theme this year is, "When I grow up I hope".

The contest is open until March 18th at which time Jimmy Fallon and Kermit the Frog will announce the winner.

Categories are - (K-3rd) (4th-5th) (6th-7th) (8th-9th) (10th-12th).

For more information about the contest click here.





Take care and good luck!
Brad

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

How to use Google Forms and Wakelet to take your data collection to the next level.

The other day a friend of mine who teaches special education asked me about how she could better utilize her data collection and make it electronic. The one solution I shared with her is using Google Forms and then placing the link in a collection within the website/app - Wakelet. Google Forms is great because you can fill the form out countless times as well as have a spreadsheet created with your data. Wakelet is great because you can store countless links available under one link  (collection).

A few items to point out when creating your form.

  • Make sure to have each question required
  • If one of your questions requires a tally mark type response, leave the question as a short answer and have the person filling out the form use a character as a tally.
  • Google Forms - under the setting gear
    • Your choice to restrict to just your district (would require log-in - so may not be what you want).
    • Make sure under Respondents can:
      • Check edit after submit (nice for those who submit to be able to edit)
      • Your choice to allow summary charts and text responses
    • You may want to think about not placing the student's name on Form - maybe a code that you and the submitter know
    • Update (1/21/19) - Make your spreadsheet do the hard work for you in your data collection. These little adjustments in your form can help take it one step more!
  • Wakelet 
    • In short Wakelet is a site that allows users to organize and curate information online.
    • What is great is that you can store the form links under one collection in Wakelet and then share this Wakelet link.
    • Make sure to check your visibility (public, unlisted, or private) - in my example I used unlisted
Embedded below is a 4 minute and 35 second YouTube tutorial showing how I used Google Forms and Wakelet.




I am sure there are countless other ways, but this is what I find to be the easiest.

Take care,
Brad

Monday, January 7, 2019

How to set up Apple Music with Amazon Alexa

Recently the option to have Apple Music available through Amazon's Alexa has become available. This is great if you like Apple Music over Amazon's.

In order to set this up follow these directions

Open the Amazon Alexa app
 Tap in the upper-left corner (three lines)
Tap Settings.
In Alexa Preferences make sure to select Music.
Tap Link New Service.
Tap Apple Music.
Tap Enable To Use.
Follow the instructions to sign in with your Apple ID.

Enjoy Apple Music through Alexa.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 56 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Sunday, January 6, 2019

FlipGrid - Few reminders on creation of Grids as well as some options to consider

In case you have never used FlipGrid, it  is a website that allows teachers to create "grids" to for video discussions. Each grid is similar to a message board where teachers can pose questions, called "topics," and their students can post video responses that appear in a grid format.

As of the Summer of 2018 FlipGrid is free and you can create as many grids and topics as you like.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 53 second YouTube tutorial showing what it looks like from start to finish from an educator's point of view.

I also added a few tips especially for those that teach younger grades. The option for liking videos and number of videos viewed is definitely worth looking into. Maybe having a discussion with your class about likes and number of times watching video would be worth your while.


Take care,
Brad


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Classroomscreen.com - New look clock and calendar

Classroomscreen has a new look calendar and clock to use in your classroom!

In case you forgot what the old clock looked like here is a screenshot below:


Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 30 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Friday, January 4, 2019

Just finished a good book and would like a similar one? Your Next Read will recommend some in a web format.

Your Next Read  is a great site to turn to when you (or someone in your class) completes a book and would like a similar read. The site will provide you (in a web format) with recommendations based on either the author, book, or genre you like. Once you select another book, another web will be created.

Embedded below is a GIF (showing the web created using the book Holes) followed by a 1 minute and 11 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January 1st was Public Domain Day (for the first time in 20 years!)

That's correct - January 1st, 2019 was Public Domain Day for the first time in 20 years. Richard Byrne supplied us with an explanation from his blog.

"It has been twenty years since the last big batch of works has entered the public domain. Smithsonian magazine has a great article that explains why 1998 was the last time there was a mass expiration of copyright. The short version is "blame Disney."


The paragraph below is taken from the site as it does a nice job explaining why the film "It's a Wonderful Life" entered the public domain.


It's a Wonderful Public Domain. . . . What happens when works enter the public domain? Sometimes, wonderful things. The 1947 film It’s A Wonderful Life entered the public domain in 1975 because its copyright was not properly renewed after the first 28-year term. The film had been a flop on release, but thanks to its public domain status, it became a holiday classic. Why? Because TV networks were free to show it over and over again during the holidays, making the film immensely popular. But then copyright law reentered the picture. . . . In 1993, the film’s original copyright holder, capitalizing on a recent Supreme Court case, reasserted copyright based on its ownership of the film’s musical score and the short story on which the film was based (the film itself is still in the public domain). Ironically, a film that only became a success because of its public domain status was pulled back into copyright.


Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Adobe Spark - Short video tutorial showing how to log-in, create, and share a graphic

You can get free premium features exclusively for schools with Adobe Spark for Education that allows everyone, especially teachers and their students, to easily create and share impactful visual stories.

If you are an educator and would like access to this amazing site for free with your students, be sure to discuss this with your technology department about the site and supply them with this link https://spark.adobe.com/edu/

In the short tutorial below I show you what it looks like when you start your education account as well as how to do a very short collage.

If you have any questions please reach out and I will answer your questions as bet I can. More tutorials will be on the way.


Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Book Creator - Toggle Google image search so students focus on writing first.

If you are using Book Creator with your students to make awesome books and want them to focus on writing first and adding images later, tr this.


  • Select settings gear
  • Toggle Google Image Search

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 43 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad