Saturday, November 30, 2019

Collapsible Text feature in Google Sites

A newer feature in Google Slides is the ability to add collapsible text into your website. This is a nice feature as in the past when longer text was posted in the site it would take up a lot of your page. Now, with the collapsible text it does not have to.

To access this feature simply select collapsible text from the insert menu.

Embedded below is a 59 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, November 29, 2019

Create a Stop Motion video on your iPad easily with Stop Motion Studio (free - with in app purchases)

Stop Motion Studio is a very simple to use app to create a stop motion video. Other than the ease of starting, here are a few items to point out:

  • Add narration
  • Add images
  • Title and credits (ability to add titles, credits, theme cards is a $0.99 upgrade
  • Add clips
  • Change movie speed
  • change aspect ratio
  • add filter (upgrade for multiple options)
  • as well as a ? that pops up what each item does (very helpful)

Embedded below is a GIF as well as a 2 minute and 23 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving! 61 awesome facts in an infographic + see how the Macy's parade is put together.

Happy Thanksgiving 2019 to everyone. As a kid growing up my mom always made sure we watched some of the Thanksgiving Day Parade (switching back and forth between New York and Philadelphia). If you would like to livestream the Macy's Day Parade in New York make sure to click here.  You can also see how the show is put together, behind the scenes, plus see the parade through the decades!

On this link you can see 61 Thanksgiving Facts in an outstanding infographic!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

How to leave feedback, change rubric, and send a reply to a student.

In Flipgrid, a valuable tool is the ability to leave feedback.
* Quick note you can now sort the videos by name (first,last) as well as by date.

  • Enter into your Grid
  • Select the topic
  • Choose a video
    • You can now reply to the student (you have up to 5 minutes)
    • You can also use an already created rubric, as well as alter the rubric to fit your needs
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 14 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Edit contact, add nickname, add photo, etc. on your iPhone.

The other day my wife said my name came coming up as "Bradley" when I would send her a text. After looking as to why (my name is Bradley but I go by Brad) - we figured out it was because she had somehow added a nickname for me.

In order to adjust this you have to

  • select your contact
  • select edit  (upper right)
  • scroll down (you will see lots of options)
  • look for add field
  • select Nickname
    • type in nickname under Name/Last Name 
  • to delete - continue scrolling to the bottom and select delete
Embedded below is a 28 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, November 24, 2019

My Storytime. Record stories and make them available through your Google Assistant.

My Storytime - a Voice Experiment by Instrument is designed to allow users to pre-record stories and make them available through Google Home/assistant. This is amazing for everyone, especially for those who travel, are away for a night (or more), for grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. to share their love of story telling.

Users will need to have a Google account and a linked Google Assistant. Greetings and Instructions will need to be recorded followed by the reading of the story (can even include chapters).

Embedded below is a GIF taking you through the steps.

Take care,

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Create Stop Motion Animation on a Chromebook using Stop Motion Animator

If you (or your students/children) would like to create stop motion animation, try the Chrome App - Stop Motion Animator (free).

Once added and launched the camera will appear instantly. You will also see the options you see below.

A few items to point out. To start all you need to do is select capture and the image will be captured. You will then move the object; however, you will see where the object was previously (has a blurred effect). If you male a mistake you can undo an action, you can record audio, slow down or speed up the animation, and save the movie.

The movie will save as a .webm file and can be uploaded to Google Drive and/or YouTube.

Embedded below is a short animation (same as above but in video from Drive)   as well as a 2 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, November 22, 2019

Quizizz update. Powerups are available to increase engagement and participation.

Nice update in Quizizz - the ability to add powerups. To find out more about Powerups - you can click here to access the Quizizz blog -

Basically, Powerups are a fun way to add some engagement and participation into your quiz. The Powerups are turned on for Live, Team, and Homework Quizzes; however you can easily turn them off under the advanced settings.

Here are some of the Powerups and description.

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

Take care,

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Google Photos update - select an image and then hold down shift to select multiple photos.

If you use Google Photos there is a nice little update to how you can select images to create collages, albums, etc.

You can now select an image and then hold down shift to select multiple images (just be sure to click on that last image before letting go of the shift).

Embedded below is a 43 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Receive notifications (multiple email addresses) when a user submits a form using the Form Notification Add-on

If you use Google Forms to collect responses from students/families/faculty members, etc - and would like to have a notification come to you when a form has been filled out, try Google's Add-on Form Notifications.

While you can receive notifications from your form by selecting responses, the three dots, and then select get email notifications for new responses, the Add-on allows you to use numerous emails as well as set the number at which you want to be alerted.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 18 second YouTube tutorial taking you through the steps.

Take care,

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Google file stream is like an extra Hard Disk/Drive that lives in the cloud.

Google File Stream allows the user to upload files to their Google Drive directly from their computer as well as have files/folders available for offline use. 

  • In order to create a new folder make sure to right click on the Drive folder and then create your new folder (see picture below).

When working with files follow this advice from Layla Lyons -

  • Use that Google Drive File stream to automatically save your files! No need to save to my documents, just File>Save as>Google Drive File Stream!

In the district where I work Google File Stream has been made available for all users. This is amazing as there is unlimited storage in their Drive.

Please note this is different than Google's Backup and Sync - as Backup and Sync instantly backups and syncs new files from the particular folders you wish. If you would like this option - please reach out to your admin or download to your personal computer.

Embedded below is a 3 minute and 14 second YouTube tutorial. Please note that if you want to add folders/files make sure to drag directly into the Drive folder (please note you cannot drag to a shortcut)

On Google's page about File Stream they have an explanation that looks like this:

SUBJECT: Google Drive just got easier for you and your team
We’re pleased to announce Drive File Stream, a new application for your Mac or PC. Use Drive File Stream to access all your Google Drive files from your computer while using less disk space and decreasing sync time.
How does it work?
With Drive File Stream, you can:

  • Quickly see Drive files in Finder/Explorer.
  • Browse and organize Drive files without downloading all of them to your computer.
  • Choose which files or folders you'd like to make available offline.
  • Open files in common apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

Take care,

Monday, November 18, 2019

Use the look around feature in Apple Maps to view a particular city as if you were on the street.

A great new feature built directly into Apple Maps is the ability to "look around" a particular city as if you were on the street.

This can be accessed by choosing the city (in the example below I used New York City). Then select look around. You can then look around the city and use the binoculars to put yourself at a particular place. To see the binoculars select the 2 arrows going diagonally to see a map as well.

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

Take care,

1 The first step is to open I Predict That – The ultimate I told you so! and click Predictions
Step 1 image
2 Under timeline post your prediction. Feel free to use a hashtag.
Step 2 image
3 Type Post what's new
Step 3 image
4 Click Post what's new
Step 4 image
5 Type Post what's new
Step 5 image
6 Click Post Update
Step 6 image
7 That's it. You're done.
Step 7 image

Here's an interactive tutorial for the visual learners

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Fly over feature and city tour in Apple Maps

A great feature in Apple Maps is the ability to see a quick fly over and city tour. This is especially great when checking out a city's major features and where they are located. This would also be really cool for students to preview a city before learning about it in class.

To see this feature simply type in the city you wish and select Fly over. You can then use your device and move it around - neat to see it in 3D.

You can also pull from the bottom of the screen and select Fly Over. Go Birds!!

Take care,

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Have a birthday or Christmas list you want to share with others? Try Wakelet to share those lists.

Wakelet is an amazing curation tool that has numerous features associated with it. At its core - it allows users to create a collection of links, videos, PDFs, etc and easily share with others.

This is extremely valuable especially for sharing of birthday and Christmas wish lists. As a matter of fact, I used this today with my parents and shared with my wife while she was out. She could quickly see what items were added without me having to keep sending her links.

To get started simply create an account in Wakelet and then:
  • create a title (I also recommend adding an image and background image)
  • add a link, PDF, video, etc
  • decide if you want the collection to be Private, unlisted, or Public 
  • select Publish
  • You can now share the link if you would like to
  • If you want others to contribute, simply select contributors once you publish
  • You have the option to email, or send via a code
    • The great thing about the code is the contributor does not need to join Wakelet 
  • One more thing - add the extension for ease of use (look at the video below as to why)
Embedded below is a 3 minute and 11 second YouTube tutorial I created.

Take care,

Friday, November 15, 2019

Storage in Google (Drive, Photos, and Gmail)

If you look at the bottom left of your personal Google Drive menu you will notice Storage. If you would like to see where the storage is being used, click on the upgrade storage and you will be taken to Google One. This is where you will see a breakdown of your storage and the ability to change plans, upgrade storage, manage family settings, etc.

Take care,

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Learn to code with Grasshopper - fundamentals as well as HTML, CSS, and how JavaScript can interact with them.

If you would like to learn (or teach) coding, try the Grasshopper site. It is available as an app (Apple  Google Play) or website.

The site shows you step by step instructions with functions, variables, code flow, and much more.

Take a look at the embedded 1 minute and 45 second YouTube tutorial below.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Happy World Kindness Day - sharing a memory about how Mr. Rogers changed my life + some resources

Today, November 13, 2019 is World Kindness Day. Many are wearing a cardigan (in memory to Mr. Rogers) to celebrate this day. If you are on Twitter, a great follow is Mister Rogers quotes.  My wife and I were talking this morning and she shared this quote with me:

A lasting memory (and one that really hits me now) is when I was about 6 years old. My mom called me in from playing outside to ask if I would sit with her and watch Mr. Rogers. Now we had watched Mr. Rogers in our house, but today my mom called me in to watch. So, of course I went in - but I went in with the thought of, "ugh - I don't want to sit here. I want to play football with the guys - they must think I am a baby." 
  I am one of three boys in my family, my brothers are 6 and 7 years older than me and always included me with the "guys" in the neighborhood when we played sports. 

My mom looked at me with almost tears in her eyes asking me to sit with her. I still didn't get it. My mom just wanted to sit and enjoy some wholesome time with a man that embodied the word kindness. I fidgeted and told my mom that I really didn't want to sit there - but I did.

I can still remember my mom voicing what a kind man Mr. Rogers was and how he conducted himself. It was in that conversation I think that everything kind of started to change inside of me. Now granted I was still 6 years old, but the feelings of empathy and showing kindness to others started to grow inside of me. It is a time and a feeling I will never forget.

As a father of two (10 year old Sydney and 7 year old Jack) I try to have those conversations with them. We talk about the kindness we see. We talk about the times we see others not being so kind and how we can handle the situation. Basically, we do our best to share our thoughts and feelings.

While 6 year old me did not want to come in from playing football outside with "the boys", my mom asking me to come in and sharing her thoughts and feelings about Mr. Rogers sure did change my life.

A nice resource to share on this day is Random Acts of Kindness.   On this site you will find ways to get inspired, lesson plans, resources, a blog, etc.  I found the image below by clicking on their kindness day section -

One more image to share is this one below.

I hope you all have a great day today and spread a little bit of kindness to others!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How to add audio to your Google Slides presentation.

A nice new addition built into Google Slides showed up yesterday in my personal account, the ability to add audio to your presentations. Apparently if you do not see this available in your account yet, it will be prior to the end of the month - so keep checking back.

A few quick items to point out.

  • When adding audio you need to make sure it is available in your Drive
  • If you are in need of Royalty Free Music - check out Bensound
    • for a short blog post about Bensound - click here
  • Once you download your music - make sure to upload it into your Google Drive account
  • When adding the audio, make sure to right click to see options associated with the audio (looping, start automatically, etc)
  • If you do use a site such as Bensound, make sure to give credit
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 4 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, November 11, 2019

How to create a sign up in SignUpGenius.

If you would like to create a sign up in SignUpGenius take a look at the embedded 3 minute and 39 second YouTube tutorial I created below the directions.

A few items to make note of:

  • create an account
  • select create a sign up (upper right of screen)
  • make sure to create a title (example - November 2019 conferences)
  • next to group select the plus and add something such as November 2019
  • in theme you can type in something like Fall and make your choice
  • scroll down and see the page with a description (you can edit the description if you like)
  • select +Add Dates
    • choose your date(s) 11/26/ 11/27 and then select Add
  • you now need to +Add Dates again
    • choose add time slots 
    • choose 11/26 and 11/27 
    • select Time Range
    • Time Slot Increment
    • select Add Time Slot
  • select +Add Slots
    • Title your slot (example - conferences)
    • I left help wanted open
    • leave number wanted as 1 and make sure all dates are selected
    • select save
  • Now make sure to go back and remove times for lunch and other times you will not be available for a conference
  • Select Settings
    • I do not require comment or email
    • I do toggle off allowing people to "swap" spots (your call)
    • select save and continue
  • Now Publish
    • select copy link
  • In the video below I paste the link in Incognito Mode (so I am not logged in) to see what the sign up looks like
  • Of course you can go back and adjust as you see fit
Embedded below is the 3 minute and 39 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Happy 50th Birthday Sesame Street - AR app + article from Edutopia

It is Sesame Street's 50th birthday today. The show first aired on November 10, 1969. Edutopia has an amazing article on  How Sesame Street’s Muppets Became Revolutionaries by pushing boundaries for social change.

You can even Sesame Street Yourself with the AR app - Sesame Street Yourself on the app store. 
Play games and sing along with your favorite Sesame Street friends! Bring together family with fun-filled interactive experiences you can do together. Includes easy-to-use Augmented Reality play: see yourself in your home as your Sesame Street friends, catching cookies and dressing up.

Take care,

Create a personalized thank-you card using Google Drawings, Flipgrid, and Bitmoji.

Eric Curts created a post called - How Your Students can use Google Drawings to Create Greeting Cards. Eric does a great job in his post including How-To Directions as well as two very helpful templates for creating the card.

With Thanksgiving coming up and it being a time many focus on being thankful, I thought I would start to leave thank you cards for those I work with at school and in my life. However, I wanted to personalize the card so I thought what better way than to include Flipgrid for a personalized video and Bitmoji for a little extra fun
  • Flipgrid - make sure to use the Shorts section and then download the video in a QR code. Users can scan with their device or use the Flipgrid app for some augmented reality!
  • Bitmoji - I was frustrated with using the Bitmoji extension in Chrome as it was leaving a solid black background that was distracting. I then decided to use the Bitmoji app on my phone, save the image to my device, upload to Google photos, and then download to my computer. Seems like a bunch of steps - but not really that time consuming. 
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 19 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Friday, November 8, 2019

Best Selling Music Artists 1969-2019

The other day I saw this awesome 9 minute video showing the best selling music artists between the years 1969-2019. The data is pretty amazing to watch in real time.

Embedded below is a GIF  (link to the video itself from Music Genre). If you do not see the GIF right away make sure to just click on the icon below.

Embedded below is a post from March 22, 2019 showing the rise and fall of the 10 biggest cities in the World since 1500.

Take care and "Rock on!"

Add voice notes anywhere with the Talk and Comment Extension

The other day Alfonso Mendoza Jr. shared a great video revolving around the ability to add voice comments into a site such as Google Classroom.

Make sure to add the extension by clicking here. When you do add the extension I would recommend closing Chrome and then re-opening as this has been an issue for some on the first time.

One thing to note is when grabbing the URL make sure to remove where it says Voice Note.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 58 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Change Live Photos to Loop, Bounce, Long Exposure plus Google Classroom how to send to all students, one student, multiple students, etc.

Earlier tonight a colleague asked me if it was possible to send information to specific students in Google Classroom (and not the whole class).

I was talking out-loud and said I guess I will send a GIF and not a video. My 7 year old son Jack said, 'Wait Dad - check this out! Take a Live Photo, open it up, then pull from the bottom. You can then change the Live Photo to a Loop, Bounce, or Long Exposure. Pretty cool right?!"

Ummm... yup. So, there ya go - that is exactly what I did and it solved my problem.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 18 second YouTube video (sorry 😢 😜) .

Take care,

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

How to make your Gmail inbox look a bit more like Outlook. Enable preview pane.

If you would like to see your Gmail inbox look a bit more like Outlook (with a preview pane), try the following.

  • Select the settings gear in the upper right
  • Select settings
  • Scroll down to preview pane and select enable
  • Make sure to save your changes
  • Gmail will relaunch and you will have a preview pane to the right of your emails
Embedded below is a 1 minute YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Monday, November 4, 2019

Add your Gmail emails to your Google Tasks so they show in your Google Calendar.

A nice and simple way to include an email into your Google Calendar can be accomplished using Google Tasks.

When you open your Gmail - take a look to see if the side panel is showing (has icons for Calendar, Keep, and Tasks). If it is not showing, look in the bottom right of your screen and select show side panel.

If you would like to create a task with a specific email (in the example below I used a birthday list email) you can simply drag the email into the Tasks icon and create a task directly from the email. You can edit the task and have it set to remind you with a specific date and time.

To make sure it will show in your Google Calendar make sure to select the check-mark next to Tasks under My Calendars.

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

Take care,

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Great Thanksgiving Listen, Disguise a Turkey and Build a Turkey with Google Slides

Not to play favorites; however, Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. My 8th grade History Teacher Mr. Taylor used to talk about how great Thanksgiving is and I never understood what he was saying until I became an adult. The day itself is about family. There are no presents involved. The day has a lot of great food. Lot of football. Plus it kicks off the Christmas season.

A few resources to share with you revolving around Thanksgiving are below.

The first is The Great Thanksgiving Listen. Previously I created a post about this - click here. The site revolves around getting families to share their thoughts and stories around the Thanksgiving table. You can also read Richard Byrne's latest post about this site as well.

Below are resources revolving around Thanksgiving and Google Slides.

Take care,

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Learn to Code at any age. Apps to learn coding for young children, teens, and grown-ups.

In Apple's app store they have created a nice page revolving around coding and apps that are geared to the young, teens, as well as grown-ups.

To access the website - click on this link -

Embedded below is a GIF showing what the site looks like.

Take care,

Friday, November 1, 2019

Want some awesome one-hour or multi-day coding activities? Try Google's CS First Curriculum

Google's CS First Curriculum provides you with Hands-on activities with instructional videos. Below you will see a GIF showing the activities (many 1 hour).

Take care,