Sunday, May 10, 2020

New sharing dialog for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms.

On April 28th Google announced that a new sharing dialog for Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms would be rolled out.

The previous way (you may still see this for a bit longer) looks like what you see below.


The new sharing dialog looks like what you see below. You can see how it looks quite a bit different.


Below is a screenshot from Google's Blog explaining the changes as well as a 2 minute and 15 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Friday, May 1, 2020

Two ways to create audio files to place into a Google Slide. Onlinevoicerecorder.com and Screencastify

If you would like to add audio in your Google Slides I have two ways that you can do it (of course there are many more ways to do it - but these are two that I have found to be useful). Online voice recorder and the extension Screencastify.

A reminder to check your sharing settings for each audio file as you will need to adjust to fit your needs.

Embedded below is a 3 minute and 48 second YouTube tutorial. I also made this tutorial last year - You can now add audio to your Google Slides





Take care,
Brad


Thursday, April 30, 2020

How students can see their work, assignments that are missing, as well as class comments and private comments.

In Google Classroom it can be frustrating to not see a notification come up on the initial page. That being said, numerous districts have opened up their email to allow notifications to show up in a student's district supplied email. However, not every student checks their email and not everyone has this feature turned on.

So, if you would like to see attachments by assignment, assignment due dates, missing work, as well as class comment and private comments be sure to enter into Classwork and then look for View your work.



Embedded below is a 1 minute and 29 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Kami. Have a PDF that doesn't show Kami right away? Select the three dots and open in new window.

If you have been using Kami to have your student annotate a PDF in Google Classroom you know how helpful it can be. However, with any piece of technology sometimes a frustration can come up. One tiny hiccup occurred this morning when my son Jack opened his assignment and the "Open With" did not come up right away.

Thanks to my friend Alison she figured out that you need to select the three dots (more actions) on the right-hand side. Make sure to select three dots and choose open in new window. Now, in the new window you can select Open With - Annotate with Kami.


Embedded below is a 38 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad (and Jack)


Monday, April 27, 2020

How to personalize your Google Classroom Header (even add your Bitmoji)

Adjusting your Google Classroom header is one way to show a bit of personality to your class- plus adding your Bitmoji just makes it more fun. While changing the header has been around for years (check out how to add GIFs to your header "shameless self-promotion") Virginia Peterson created a great YouTube tutorial taking you through the process.

Virginia used Google Slides, in my example I use Google Drawings. 


Embedded below is a 5 minute and 50 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tab Groups coming to Chrome 81 - allows you to organize your tabs

The ability to group Chrome tabs to organize the number of tabs you have open at one time will be rolled out over the next couple of weeks.

Once this feature is rolled out you will simply need to

  •  right click/double tap on a tab
  • select Add to new group
  • Name the new group
  • Keep or change the color of the group
Unfortunately as of now it does not appear that you can save the groups for later on, but you could always use Ctrl Shift T to bring them all back if you close the browser by mistake.

Of course future updates may reflect he ability to save these groups (fingers crossed).

If you would like to give this a look, you will need to add this "experiment" in Chrome flags by entering in chrome://flags/ typing in tab groups, enabling, and then relaunch Chrome.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 40 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad







Wednesday, April 22, 2020

How to use Kami on an iPad in Google Classroom

If you would like to utilize Kami on an iPad in Google Classroom please watch the embedded 3 minute and 8 second YouTube tutorial below. You will also see Kami's instructions by clicking here or seeing the information below the video.






To open a file from Google Classroom to Kami on an iPad, follow these steps: 

From Google Chrome Browser

  1. Click the three vertical dots in Google Classroom (not in Chrome), and select Open in new window.
2. Next, click the three vertical dots in Google Chrome (not in Google Classroom) > Request Desktop Site.
3. Select Open with -> Kami.
Note: For Safari, it is the same process, except for step 2 you will need to press and hold the page refresh button instead of the three dots in Chrome. 

From Google Classroom App

You will follow the same steps as the Google Chrome instructions above, but first you will need to open the file in a browser. To do so, click this button in the Classroom app and select Chrome if it asks which browser to use:

What if I need to open any PDF file on my iPad?

You can use Kami on your iPad by following these steps:
  1. Open the Chrome app.
  2. Visit the web version of Kami - https://web.kamihq.com/web/viewer.html
  3. Use Open from Google Drive or Open from Computer to select a file.

I followed these instructions and I still have problems. What now?

There are known issues with Kami in iOS. Unfortunately, this is because Apple does not support Chrome extensions or rendering non-embedded content on PDFs. It seems also there have been some recent changes to the Drive/Classroom apps that have rendered some of the workarounds we had to overcome this that we previously had in place are now obsolete.

Email our Customer Success team at support@kamiapp.com. Please use the Share Document button to share the file with us. Send us screenshots or screencasts and tell us what isn't working. Include the URL and file name in the screenshots/screencasts. Tell us who experienced the issue, an approximate time and date when the work was made, and when you realized there was an issue. We love any detail that you can provide - they help us fix the problem as quickly as possible!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Google Classroom quick tips - Stream, Classwork, Google Meet, and Team Drive

My wife is a 4th grade teacher and these little tips has helped keep her Google Classroom organized and easy for students (and families) to follow.


  • Hide Classwork Notifications on the Stream - save the Stream for morning/important announcements.
    • Settings gear -  Classwork on the Stream - Hide notifications
  • Classwork - move the previous weeks assignments to a new topic 
    • Once the week is over - move the posts that are in the specific topics to Week 4 Learning (or whatever week it is) 
    • The Classwork is still available for students/families to access
  • Google Meet
    • Google Classroom now supports Google Meet
    • A few notes 
      • You can make the video available to students (when you do this it shows up in your Classroom header)
        • This is great for simplicity.
      • Make sure to check with your admin as in the admin console, the ability for students to create meetings needs to be turned off. This will prevent them from joining ahead of you and becoming owners of the meetings/recordings
      • Personal thing - I would only make this link available to students at the time you want to have the meeting.
    • When the meeting is over, make sure to be the last one in the meeting (you can remove students). Make sure to then remove the ability for students to see the link.
      • The meeting is still open between 30 seconds and 1 minute even after you leave the meeting so students could still rejoin and invite their classmates back in.
        • I would recommend going back into the meeting 1 minute later on - just to be sure no-one jumped back on.
      • A reminder that you can show captions for those that are deaf or hard of hearing
        • Please note that captions will not show when you record your meeting and play it back.
  • Team Drive
    • Copying a file from a Shared Drive to your personal Drive
      • Depending on your permission you may not be able to just right click and save a file you may need to open file - select file make a copy
Embedded below is a 3 minute and 15 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Flipgrid has a Chrome and Edge Extension - s easy for students to access their Grids!

Flipgrid recently announce both a Chrome and Edge extension that allows students to easily access their Grids directly from the Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers

Embedded below is a 15 second YouTube tutorial from Flipgrid as well as one I made myself showing you the process. 





Take care,
Brad

Monday, April 13, 2020

Wakelet now has autosave!

That's right - Wakelet collections now have auto save built in! This is a feature I was hoping would come along. As a matter of fact, just last week I was working with teachers on Zoom and showing them how to make collections and I lost the sample collection. Now, this won't happen!

Embedded below is a 36 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Want to send video directions in Google Classroom? Use the Shorts section in Flipgrid. BONUS there is a screen recorder as well!

If you want to send video directions in Google Classroom or a personalized video, try using the Shorts section at the top of Flipgrid. You do not need to create a grid or a topic. The great thing is you can copy that video URL and share it with whomever you would like.

BONUS - select the three dots and you have an screen recorder!

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



Take care,
Brad

Sunday, April 5, 2020

How to hide comments and recommended videos in YouTube using an extension.

If you would like to hide comments and recommended videos in YouTube, try adding the Chrome extension - Remove YouTube Recommended Videos, Comments.

The extension will simply do as it states. Please note that you can toggle on/off options when you select the extension.

Embedded below is a 58 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Saturday, April 4, 2020

How to share the Google Form you created with other teachers (and not have things get messed up 😉).

Eric Curts created an amazing blog post on How to Create Self-Grading Quizzes in Google Classroom including an 8 minute "How-to" video tutorial that walks you through the steps. Tweet is below but can also access this blog post directly by clicking here.

A number of teachers have asked me the best way to share the Form they create with their co-workers and have things not get messed up.

Here is how you can do it.


  • In your Form make sure to select the three dots in the upper-right (more)
  • Select Add Collaborators
  • Change who has access (I made my anyone with the link)
  • Select Save
  • Select Done
  • Go to the address bar and after / remove the word edit and replace it with copy
  • Now, copy the changed URL (with the word copy at the end) and now share that link with the teacher or whomever you would like to share it with.
  • When the link is opened they will see a pop-up that will force them to make a copy
  • The user can now use the form as they see fit
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 34 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad


Monday, March 30, 2020

How to add multiple accounts/profiles in Google Chrome

If you are using a family computer and multiple people (children) now need to share the same device, a simple way to make sure everyone is logged in as themselves is to add each user.

To do this make sure to select the icon in the upper right, choose name, icon (choose to make desktop shortcut or not) sign-in with username and password, and then you are good to go. Repeat the steps for the other accounts in your household.

If you choose the desktop shortcut option this is a great way for you to stay just in the account you need to be.

Please though be cautious of staying signed in as anyone who opens the computer can then log-in as you. Just please be aware of that. If you are even a little cautious - don't add your account.

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



Take care,
Brad

A few first-hand experiences when embarking into virtual learning from a teacher and student point of view.

Below are some "experiences" that my family has had this week with virtual learning (my wife is a 4th grade teacher, my daughter is in 5th grade, and my son is in 2nd). I included a video as well below.


1. Not everyone is using the same device - Chromebook/iPad/etc. If using iPad - students will need to download Docs, Slides, etc. Make sure to be prepared for this.

2. Possibly leave ability to make comments open for students because they will let you know if something is not working. Example - maybe your settings in a file are off.


3. Take a look at your notifications in Classroom - especially if you are in a number of Classrooms.

4. With assignments in Google Classroom - remind students to check under Classwork. Sometimes items look a bit different if they just select the assignment in the Stream.


5. If you share a PDF - possibly allow the ability for students to write down the answers on a piece of paper and send a picture of it to you. Typing in a PDF can be tough especially if they are on the younger side! Also, remember not everyone has a printer.


6. If students submit an assignment they can unsubmit (as well as you as the teacher can return assignments).

7. Leaving a voice message (or video) is a great way to connect with your students!

7. Screencastify and VidYard are two extensions I use to create short video tutorials. There are of course others - but these are ones that I have found to be the easiest. If at all interested let me know.




Sunday, March 29, 2020

How to use Flipgrid to send out a personalized video to your students/families.

If you are interested in sharing a video with your students/families, a great site to use for this would be Flipgrid. 

You can create a video anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes and while you can use Flipgrid with your class to respond, you do not have to.

A few quick tips.
  • Log in to Flipgrid 
  • Go through the steps of creating your Grid
    • name it whatever works for you
  • You will now need to create your topic
  • Name the topic what you would like
  • Look to the right and select anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes
  • Type in whatever you need for the prompt (in the example below I just used hi because no-one but you will see the information in the Grid or topic)
  • Make sure to then select create topic
  • A pop up will occur letting you know that your topic has been created.
    • You can close that pop-up and scroll down and look for record a response.
    • Choose the green +
  • Record your response
    • click the arrow when previewing the video
    • take a selfie
    • rename your name (if applicable)
  • Select Submit video and then complete
  • You will now see the ability to send the video (look for a rocket - see below)

  • Choose the rocket, copy the URL, I recommend openning an Incognito Window and pasting it in there (this shows what the video would look like for someone like a family member).
  • You are now ready to share the video where you would like to.
  • Of course there are so many uses for Flipgrid, but this is a great way to start! 

  • Embedded below is a 2 minute and 5 second YouTube tutorial.


    Take care,
    Brad


Google Classroom - Share your Contact Information as well as how to leave a voice message.

In the district where I work we have been asked to included our contact information into our Google Classrooms. This is a great idea as families and students would have access to this necessary information.

In the tutorial below I show how you can add this under the Classwork section as material (as well as add the topic of Contact Information).

In the tutorial I also show two ways you can add your voice directly into your classroom. This would be extremely beneficial if you need to clarify any directions, or you just want to say hi to your students!

In the past I have used the Talk and Comment Extension (see blog post); however, sometimes your voice may be a bit lower than normal. If this is the case I recommend using the website Online Voice Recorder, upload to Drive, and share the link (remember to check sharing settings).

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



Take care,
Brad

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Museum of the American Revolution offering virtual tours, online classes

The Museum of the American Revolution (Philadelphia) is offering a Virtual Museum Tour, Virtual Field Trip, book excerpts, and teacher resource guides.


Embedded below is a Wakelet collection of these resources.


Free Access to News-O-Matic through June 30th

News-O-Matic is a an amazing daily newspaper for kids. In order to have access to this amazing resource, educators can click on this link and then will need to fill out this form - https://teachers.newsomatic.net/pilot




Take care,
Brad

Monday, March 16, 2020

Scholastic (Scholastic is offering free day by day projects) +ABC Mouse (pre-K to 2nd) Reading IQ (pre-school to 6th) and Adventure Academy (3rd-8th) free with code SCHOOL7771

Scholastic is offering  Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing using this link - no sign-up necessary.



ABC Mouse (pre-K to 2nd), Reading IQ (pre-school to 6th) and Adventure Academy (3rd - 8th) available for free by clicking on link and typing in code- SCHOOL7771 

You will then need to fill in the information you see below to create your family account.



Take care,
Brad



Take a virtual tour of museums with Google Arts and Culture

Google Arts and Culture offers a lot of amazing resources that you, your students, and children can explore. I would recommend selecting the hamburger (three lines) in the upper left of the site. When you do so, you will see the following options.


  •  British Museum in London
  • The Guggenheim in New York
  • The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
  •  Musee d' Orsay in Paris
  •  National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, 
  • Pergamon Museum, Berlin
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  •  The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  •  Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  •  MASP, São Paulo

Take care,
Brad




Saturday, March 14, 2020

EPIC! 40,000 books available all day and night. Share free Remote Student Access with parents. Valid through June 30, 2020

That's right - Epic! has made free Remote Student Access with parents. Valid through June 30, 2020. Click here for Epic's post.

In order to make this happen as a teacher you will need to follow these steps:

  • Access your student roster
  • select send invite under Remote Access Status and type in parent/guardian email address
  • Families will receive an email
    • they will need to create an account
  • They will then need to add their child
  • Then, the parent/guardian will need to select Parent (upper right of account)
  • Choose Connect to Your Teacher
  • Paste the Classroom Code (in their email)
  • As a teacher you will need to go back to your student roster
    • select Approve next to the student(s) 
      • it is green
  • Families will receive an email stating that the request has been granted
  • Students can access the 40,000 books and videos free of charge 24 hours a day (until June 30, 2020)
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 50 second YouTube tutorial showing all the steps. Teacher, parent/guardian, and student point-of-view.



Take care and thank you Epic!
Brad

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Prodigy - What it looks like from a student point-of-view as well as how to create assignments (including test prep for standardized tests).

In the 2 minute and 52 second video below you will see what the site looks like when your students first log on to Prodigy. You may want to remind your students to have headphones as they are "exploring" a world and answering questions along the way.


Also included in the video above is where to find the section to align your class as you would like to. It is under assessments and then selecting the green create button.




Take care,
Brad



Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Prodigy - How to sign up for a classroom account and get your class started.

If you are interested in a  no-cost math game that's used by over a million teachers and 50 million students around the world check out Prodigy. Prodigy delivers a unique learning experience through an interactive math game where success depends on correctly answering skill-building math questions.

My own children (10 and 7) enjoy using Prodigy as it keeps them interested due to the fact that it is interactive.

My wife uses it in her district (she teaches 4th grade). She enjoys the fact that she can align her class to where she feels necessary. See embedded picture below.







In the video below I show how to sign-up for an account, create a class, and how to print out the log-in cards. If you do work in a school district that utilizes Google and Google Classroom, I strongly encourage you to sign in with Google as this will allow you to sign up your class using Classroom.

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




Take care,
Brad

25 Ways to use Screencastify with GoogleforEdu tools in an eBook


Choose an adventure, gallery walk, class ebooks, hyperdocs, and much more using Screencastify and GoogleforEdu tools all explained in an eBook.

Click here to access this amazing 30 page resource.

Take care,
Brad

Check out Storyline Online - videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside illustrations

Storyline Online is a free website (and app) that features "celebrated" actors reading children's books with illustrations. You can search through the database on the website as well as search through their YouTube channel.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 2 second YouTube tutorial showing what the website looks like.




Take care,
Brad

Monday, March 9, 2020

Bird songs and calls - works on mobile device as well (over 602 birds)

If you have ever wondered what a specific bird in North America sounds like, head on over to Bird Sounds.net. There you will find over 600 bird calls and sounds available on your notebook or mobile device.

In case you were wondering the difference between bird calls and songs take a look below:

The distinction between songs and calls is based upon complexity, length, and context. Songs are longer and more complex and are associated with territory and courtship and mating, while calls tend to serve such functions as alarms or keeping members of a flock in contact.

Embedded below is a 55 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

Flipgrid update You can now choose your Grid notifications to be either weekly or daily

A nice feature in Flipgrid was announced last week - the ability to choose your Grid notifications to be daily, weekly, or never.

Embedded below is a screenshot, GIF, and 23 second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Why do we spring forward? Reasons - Ben Franklin, candles, WWI and WWII, and conserve energy

Ever wondered why we move our clocks forward (most states in North America) take a look at the 1 minute and 30 second YouTube video below.




For those with younger children it can throw things off a bit. Hope everyone enjoys that extra hour of daylight.

Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Flipgrid updates for March - big one you can add audio over your videos (iOS and Android) 🎵🎶🎻📻📼📽🎥

Flipgrid is an amazing platform that continues to listen to their community and upgrade their amazing site.

This week Flipgrid announced 5 updates (see embedded Tweet and link below); however, the one I am focusing on today is the ability to add Audio Over Flipgrid Videos. I saw Adam's Tweet about this and had to do one myself. There are so many possibilities - talk about some fun karaoke that your students (or you) can do! I'm sure my 10 year old and 7 year old will be proud! 🦈🦊🤣







For more detail please reference Flipgrid's March 2020 blog post or check out the embedded Tweet from Flipgrid below.

History documentaries, interviews, ad-free podcasts in Historyhit.tv

The other day I saw Dan Snow's Tweet about Historyhit.tv (see Tweet below). If you use the code twitter you can try a 6 week trial for free. If you like the site the paying options are $5.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

Take care,
Brad

How to view the activity on your Google Docs, Sheets & Slides

If you have ever wondered if users are accessing your Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides you can see the activity by selecting the icon next to share in the upper right of your document.

When you select the icon you will now see a dashboard showing Viewers, Viewer trend, Comment trend, Sharing history, as well as Privacy settings.


If you would like to remove the ability to show your view history for all Docs, Sheets, and Slide files make sure to select the Privacy settings and then toggle the option.



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



Take care,
Brad

View the activity on your Google Docs, Sheets & Slides

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Want to create and share videos through a QR code? A few quick suggestions

If you want to create QR codes that will launch a video (or website) here are a few tips and tricks. Please note that sometimes when you purchase through a site such Teacher Pay Teachers - the QR codes may not work at your specific district due to the filters. Please contact your district technology to discuss the videos and the fact that they may be filtered.

In the example below I am searching YouTube videos:

  1. I recommend searching for the videos at your school so you can know instantly if the video is blocked for students.
  2. Make sure to search for your specific YouTube video when you are not logged in to your account (I use an Incognito window in Chrome but you can always use another browser. Just make sure you are not logged in.
  3. Copy the URL (web address)
  4. Go to a QR Code Generator  and paste in the address- I use https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/
  5. Either copy the generated QR code or copy the image
  6. Paste in a document (I use doc.new for a new Google Doc)
  7. You can then shrink the code to fit your needs.
  8. Prior to continuing on - please scan the QR code with a device (not your personal one but a school issued device that the students will be using).
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 38 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Monday, March 2, 2020

Election 2020. Teach the election with Newsela.

Newsela has an excellent free resource available to educators and students (elementary - high-school).

Students will have a chance to vote on topics, learn about candidates, and have updated content available through November 2020.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 17 second YouTube tutorial.




Take care,
Brad

20 Seesaw ideas with Chromebooks for K-12 classes (from Matt Miller)

Matt Miller shared 20 amazing Sesssaw ideas that can be used with Chromebooks. Worth taking a look and trying some of these ideas with your students!



Take care,
Brad

Fun Dr. Seuss Facts + Dr. Seuss read-a-louds in QR codes

Happy 116th birthday to Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss). The information below was taken from 6ABC's post 

If interested in some QR code read-a-louds - click on this link - Read Across America Day is March 2, 2020. Here are some Dr. Seuss read-alouds (YouTube with QR codes) available in a Wakelet collection.

We're celebrating Dr. Seuss with five facts about his life you may not have known.



American author, artist and publisher Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, speaks in Dallas, Texas, on April 3, 1987.

1. Theodor Seuss Geisel says he adopted the pen name "Dr. Seuss" because he was saving his real name for the Great American Novel he intended to write one day.


A still from the 2012 film ''The Lorax.''

2. Dr. Seuss was not a doctor. He briefly studied English literature at Oxford after graduating from Dartmouth but instead became a cartoonist. In 1955, Dartmouth awarded him an honorary doctorate.



Author and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, reads from his book ''Horton Hears a Who'' to 4-year-old Lucinda Bell at his home in La Jolla, Ca., June 20, 1956.


3. Only four of the 44 books Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated are written in prose.



A still from the 1966 short ''How The Grinch Stole Christmas.'' It was based off of one of Dr. Seuss' many books written in verse.

4. Dr. Seuss wrote "The Cat in the Hat" because he was concerned about kids learning 
to read. A publisher reportedly challenged him to "Write me a story that first-graders can't put down!"



The hat worn by The Cat in the Hat adorns Dr. Seuss' posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after dedication ceremonies in 2004.

5. Dr. Seuss has received two Emmys, a Peabody award and a Pulitzer Prize
(special citation).

Take care,
Brad