Saturday, August 31, 2019

Wonderopolis adds Immersive Reader - have those Wonders translated, read-a-loud, etc!

That's right - the amazing (and free) Wonderopolis has Immersive Reader built into it!

Wonderopolis is a fun engaging website that asks questions such as, "Ever wonder why flamingos are pink?" and will then answer the question and will support the answer with a related video.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 34 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, August 30, 2019

Share your location privately using Google Maps - especially when traveling

My brother is on his way from Chicago with his family (niece is going to college in New Jersey) and he decided to share his location with my parents. Mainly because he wanted my mom to not have to call 75 times to see where they were 😉😉.

So, it got me to thinking - maybe there are a few people out there that may not know how to share - or what it looks like.

So, here you go:

  • Open up Google Maps
  • Select the three lines (upper left)
  • Select Location Sharing
  • Look to the right under the three dots and tap on the "person"
  • You will then have the option to share your real-time location for a specific amount of time or until you turn it off
  • You can then message them or select a contact member
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Headspace for Educators - Headspace giving an annual subscription to working K-12 teachers, school administrators, and support staff.

Headspace (Andy Puddicombe) is an amazing app/website. Andy and Headspace have made more than a positive impact on my life. I look at things differently, use the lessons learned and apply it to when I speak with my family and children, and have made me appreciate life more and more with each passing day.

The site describes Headspace as:

Meditation for Modern Life. Anywhere, Anytime. See What A Few Minutes Can Do. Learn the Basics of Meditation for Free When You Join Headspace. Sign Up Today. Over 15 Million Users. Build Healthy Habits. Use Anywhere, Anytime. Suits Your Mood/Lifestyle.

Click here for the link to information about Headspace for Educators.

When you sign up, if you type in your email address and see the text below - do not worry - simply email them and let them know.
Member with this email doesn't match organization's enrollment rules

If you know me at all, you know I run and I use the Nike+ Run App. Built into the app are the guided runs and since it has launched, I use Coach Chris Bennett and Andy Puddicombe's Headspace Runs. 

This sharing from Andy has helped me so many times and has given me words to use when talking with others about goal setting.

On Headspace's website they give a nice history of who Andy Puddicombe is along with some resources and a TED Talk. The information below is copied directly from the site.

You can also see the information, TED Talk, and other resources by clicking here.

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace.
In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India.
His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.

Take care and get some Headspace!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Google Classes without Classwork page will be automatically converted to new version on September 4, 2019

Last August (2018) a new version of Classroom was introduced that had new features. These new features included a Classwork page. Teachers did not have to continue using that version and could revert back to the previous version.

As of September 4, 2019 any Google Classroom that does not include Classwork will automatically be converted and the option to return to the previous version will not be available.

If you still have the old version, you can switch to the new version  by selecting the ?  on the bottom left of the class in question.

Take care,

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Priority in Google Drive Highlight your most important files

Google recently updated Google Drive (EDU) to include Priority. Priority allows you to create a workspace (of up to 25 files) that you can quickly and easily find. In fact, you can even make Priority your Drive homepage so it comes up right away.

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

Take care,

Monday, August 26, 2019

Google Classroom To reuse work you created in a class, you can copy a class.

With many school districts getting started, it is a great time to look into Google Classroom. A nice update is the ability to copy a class from a previous year/semester/etc. 

All you need to do is open Google Classroom and select the three dots in the upper right of the "card". Then select copy and then you have the options to rename the Class, Section, Subject, and Room.

Important pieces of information to point out is that classwork posts are saved (as drafts). Also, the following will not be copied : 

Teacher announcements
Deleted classwork items
Students and co-teachers
Student posts
Attachments that you don’t have permission to copy

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 13 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Celebrate "Wizard of Oz"'s 80th birthday by Googling "Wizard of Oz" and selecting Dorothy's slippers and see what happens

A fun Google trick - similar to when you type in Thanos and select the glove/gauntlet - you will now select Dorothy's slippers. When ready - select the tornado and return to the way things were.

Click here for an article revolving around The Wizard of Oz 80th Anniversary: 25 Whimsical Facts You Didn't Know About the Film

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

Take care,

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Google Lens is built into Google Photos

Google Photos has a great feature built directly into it - Google Lens. This allows you select a picture (can select and part or all of the image) and then:

  • tap the text you wish to use
  • copy the text (and paste in a Doc/text/email - or wherever)
  • search in Google directly
  • share in an app
  • My favorite - use Google Translate to translate the text into the language of your choice
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 3 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, August 23, 2019 - Read the first page without judging the cover.

Recommendmeabook helps students and users of all ages discover new books in an interesting way.

When entering into the site the user will see the first page from a book. The option to scroll down and finish the page is available (as is the option to select Next Book). If the user scrolls down to the end of the first page the option to Reveal Title & Author is available (as well as an instant link to Amazon to purchase the book).

The option is available (bottom right) of the screen to choose genre and font size.

At the top of the page are the options to Read a Page, Covers, Submit Your Book, Mobile App, About, and Language.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 36 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, August 22, 2019

How to embed a Twitter feed directly into a Google Site. August 2019

Today a colleague asked about embedding his Twitter feed directly into his Google Site. Well, the previous way (using a widget) just is not available anymore.

The solution though is quite easy:

  • find the profile you would like to embed - example:
  • copy that URL and then open up and paste the URL
  • choose embedded timeline
  • copy the code
  • go into your Google site and select embed
  • choose embed code and paste in the code you copied

Embedded below is a 58 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Quizizz - Polls and Surveys + Math Equations and Formulas + Sound Clips now available

Quizizz just keeps adding more and more amazing features for students and teachers!

The newest updates revolve around the ability to add:
  • Polls and Surveys 
  • Math Equations and Formulas 
  • Sound Clips now available (recommend using Bensound for Royalty free music)
Embedded below is a 2 minute and second YouTube tutorial as well as some images.

Take care,

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Socratic - Take a photo of any question and get answers, math solvers, explanations, & videos. Math, Science, History, etc

Ever stuck when trying to help your child with their work?  Or maybe you get stuck yourself on a question and you would love to see an explanation to that question quickly and easily. Well, you are in luck - try using the app Socratic (recently purchased by Google).

Socratic allows you to take a picture, ask with your voice, or type in a question to be answered. The app will search the web for a way to explain the question. It draws from sites such as Quizlet, Khan Academy and others for the explanation.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 47 second YouTube tutorial.

Any questions - ask Socratic - ha! Or shoot me a message!

Take care,

Monday, August 19, 2019

Read aloud is available in Microsoft Edge's app (English pages only)

Edge's newest update includes the ability to have text read aloud in English pages only.

Once the article loads, look to the right of the address bar for the book icon. Once selected you then have Reading options available to you (change font size, text spacing, and page theme). You also have the ability to have the page read aloud.

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

Take care,

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Want to digitize your Post-it Notes? Try the app Post-it

Post-it Notes have been used for years - especially in the classroom. Post-it Notes are awesome when working collaboratively with others, taking notes for another time, etc.

The "issue" is that sharing these notes in the past has been difficult - you could take a picture and send it on to the group; however, the creativity for the most part has been halted.

Well, that is until now - the Post-it Notes app is one that allows you to

  • Capture
  • Create
  • Organize
  • Share
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 57 second YouTube tutorial. Thank you to Destenie Bongiorno for sharing this with me!

Take care,


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Master the Screencast Jr. - A free 10-minute certification course designed to get students ready to record with Screencastify

Master the Screencast Jr. is an amazing way for students to learn how to use Screencastify in about 10 minutes. Holly Clark leads this fun and easy to follow course designed for students of all ages (even those under 13 - just be sure they can add extensions at your school).

My two children (ages 10 and 7) just took the course and each earned their own certificate and really enjoyed the course. Plus, what a great way to help other students or ask a teacher a question if don't understand something.

Embedded below is what students will learn as well as the two certificates Sydney and Jack earned!

Take care,

Friday, August 16, 2019

Happy National Tell a Joke Day!

Today (8/16/2019) is National Tell a Joke Day! Thanks to a teacher friend of mine for letting me know about this day!! 😉

The importance of humor (especially in the classroom) goes far beyond just making someone laugh. It brings comfort, kindness, lightens the mood, as well as uses quite a bit of intelligence.

To honor National Tell a Joke Day - click here to learn more about this day

Click here for 85 jokes from Reader's Digest -

Take care,

When does a joke become a dad joke?

When the punchline becomes apparent.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Originality reports coming to Google Classroom

Educators will have the option to enable originality reports. This will allows students to run up to three originality reports on their document they attach prior to submitting their work.

Once the assignment is submitted, a new report will be available and will flag any text that has:

  • missed citations
  • "high similarity with text on the web or in books"
Coming soon - schools can have their own repository of past student submissions that include student-to-student matches within the same school.

Embedded below is a GIF from Google showing what it will look like.

Take care,

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A look into creating a Grid in Flipgrid as well as a look at some of the new features.

Flipgrid's new features are amazing (launched 8/1/19) and have created so many more opportunities for users to share their voice in amazing ways.

In the first video below you will see an example of recapping a trip, weekend, etc. In the second embedded video below I show how to quickly create a grid as well as quick look through how to create a video importing other videos as well as the new features.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Take care,

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Check out Kahoot's new feature: Question Bank

Kahoot has added an awesome feature, the ability to search through publicly created Kahoot questions in a search bar.

So now, if you want to search for questions regarding a topic such as the Philadelphia Eagles, simply type in Philadelphia Eagles. Of course the more specific you are the more refined your results will be.

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

Take care,

Monday, August 12, 2019

Calm Schools Initiative Free Mindfulness training tools to every teacher in the world. Includes music, scenes, meditation, stretching, etc.

Calm is giving educators free mindfulness training tools to every teacher in the world. As you can see in the picture below what is included in this premium package that typically costs $400 for a user.

To sing up for this initiative you simply need to enter into and fill out the form (it took about 3 days to receive my welcome email with the unique code that enabled me to have all the premium content).

Below you will see pictures of how to sign up as well as an embedded 2 minute and 12 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Reflect in Seesaw Google Chrome Extension

Seesaw has added an extension that allows you to bring work from any website into Seesaw. You can add text, drawings, screenshots, but most importantly you can add your voice!

You can see below an example of what the extension provides you with as well as an embedded 2 minute and 2 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Flash in Google Chrome not supported after 2020

On Google's homepage today there is a notification that Adobe announce that it plans to no longer support Flash at the end of 2020.

What does that mean for you and me? Basically new web technologies are faster and more efficient than Flash (plus more secure for shopping and sensitive documents). For sites that still use Flash they will still run until the end of 2020 ( hopefully the site will migrate to these new "open web technologies"). In the mean time we will not see much change, if any at all.

Click here for Google's Saying goodbye to Flash in Chrome.

Take care,

Friday, August 9, 2019

How to turn off Auto-capitalization on your iOS device

Short one today - on my way home from Vermont! I know I get frustrated at times when my phone auto-capitalizes for me. In order to change that follow these steps:

  • Open settings app
  • General
  • Keyboard
  • Toggle Auto-capitalization to off
Embedded below is a 16 second video.

Take care!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

How to customize your Google Home Screen to include a background photo

If you would like to customize your Google Home Screen make sure you open up a new tab in Chrome and then look in the bottom right for customize.

You can then choose one of Google's photos (they are awesome) or one of your own.

On this page you can also add/edit your own shortcuts on the page.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 7 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Import Data directly from a website into Google Sheets

If you see data from a list or table in a website and you would like to use that information, you can copy that data instantly.

To gather the information try using this formula:

  • =IMPORTHTML("url","table", number table on site)
Here is the formula I used to gather data from the Wikipedia page about NFL teams.
  • =IMPORTHTML("","table",3)
Embedded below is a GIF showing how data was gathered.

Take care,

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Poemportrait - create a self portrait overlaid with a unique poem using Google and Artificial Intelligence

POEMPORTRAIT is your self portrait overlaid with a unique poem.

To find out more about Poemportraits, click on this link.

The following description is taken directly from the site:

To create your POEMPORTAIT, head to Once you get there, you’ll be asked to donate a word of your choice and take a self portrait. Each word you donate will be expanded into original lines of poetry by an algorithm that’s trained on millions of words of nineteenth century poetry. You’ll then receive a unique POEMPORTRAIT of your face, illuminated by your original lines of poetry. All of the lines of poetry are then combined to form an ever-evolving, collective poem.

Embedded below is a picture of my wife and son (used the word son) as well as a 1 minute and 22 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, August 5, 2019

You can now insert a next page or continuous section break in Google Docs by going to Insert > Break

The ability to add breaks in Google Docs is a very handy one.

To insert a page break:

  • Select Insert > Break
  • Choose either 
    • Section break (next page)
    • Section break (continuous)
In order to see where the break is:
  • Select view > Show section breaks
    • you will see a blue dotted line
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 42 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Google Docs will let you natively edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Previously Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files had to be converted to Google's format - that has now changed.

As long as you enter into the settings gear and take off convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format and then select Google Docs to open the file.

Here’s the full list of supported filetypes, according to Google:

Word files: .doc, .docx, .dot

Excel files: .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm (macro enabled Excel files), .xlt

Powerpoint files: .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .pot

Embedded below is a GIF showing how to edit a Word Doc.

Take care,

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Teachers and Students have access to Office 365 apps with Google Edu Account. Access to Word, Excel, Sway, PowerPoint, etc!!

That's right - teachers and students now have access to Office 365 apps such as Word, Excel, Sway, PowerPoint, etc. by logging in with their Google for Edu account.

Here is how to access:

  • Open
  • Sign in with your Google for Edu account
  • Select the app you would like to use and start using it!
Embedded below is GIF followed by a 1 minute and 7 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, August 2, 2019

Quizizz Classes. You can organize your students, assign quizzes easily and sort your reports by class

Quizizz  allows Free gamified quizzes for every subject to play. You can pick an existing quiz or create your own for review, formative assessment, and more.

A few highlights to point out.
  • No more game codes. Classes allows you to share a quiz with a class or multiple classes. No game code require. This is great as the only ones to take the quiz will be the students you assign it to.
  • You can choose whole class or individual students.
  • Schedule your quizzes.
  • See your assigned quizzes and reports by class.
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 35 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Check out Microsoft Edge's Read Aloud feature

Microsoft Edge's browser allows the user to have the screen read aloud.

  • Make sure to select the three dots (setting and more - upper right)
  • Choose Read Aloud
  • Use your mouse to choose where you want the feature to begin
  • In the upper right you will see voice settings
  • You can adjust the speed as well as the voice
  • One more item to point out is the ability to pause the feature as well as go to the previous paragraph as well as the next paragraph
Embedded below is a 58 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,