Sunday, May 31, 2015

Photos to Slideshow in No Time Flat!

Here is a tutorial on how you can take photos from your phone/tablet and quickly turn them into a YouTube slideshow. 





There are also some advanced features you can use to make your slide show more personal. Here is how to add text to your slideshow:


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mash-Up: Google Forms + batchgeo.com

I created this video a few weeks ago, but never put it in a blog. Batchgeo.com is a great website that will take any data you have in a table and convert it into an interactive map. 


Here is a sneak preview of what the map will look like:



The only 2 stipulations are that you must collect the city AND state/country. As long as you have that information you are good to go. Here is a brief video demonstrating using Google form submissions with batchgeo.com



Here are some integration ideas:
  • Collect where students traveled over the summer or holiday along with interesting information about themselves
  • Collect where students will be going to college and a link to the college homepage
  • Collect links to each students research project and turn the map into a whole class portfolio
  • Collect where students would like to travel to with links to images of things they would like to see on their trip
  • Collect were certain plants/specifies originated from with information about the items
  • Information about US Presidents or Country Leaders, such as hometown, years in leadership, etc.
As you can see this tool is not just limited to the social studies class. Get creative, or better yet let the students get creative with this site. If you have an integration suggestion, please share in the comment section. 







Monday, May 25, 2015

Favorite Chrome Extensions - Week of May 25th

I started my journey of blogging about my favorite Chrome extensions back in August 2014. Each week for the past nine months I have blogged about four extensions that I felt teachers and students should know about. While I have enjoyed my journey of discovering and sharing all these wonderful resources, I feel it is time for this journey to come to an end. While I will continue to blog about Chrome extensions periodically, this will be my last official 'Favorite Chrome Extensions of the Week' post. 

With that being said, I hope you have found these posts beneficial. People say that you always keep the best for last and I truly feel that this post might be the best. The first three extensions showcased below can be game-changers in the classroom. Enjoy!!!

#1: Google Tone
Type: Accessibility
Summary: This is a new Chrome extension that will transform the way that teachers share online resources with students. The extension is similar to the app Chirp in that it allows someone to transmit a URL to other people via sound. All parties must have the extension downloaded and enabled for it to work. When you want to share a URL, simply click the extension icon and every computer within earshot will receive a popup with a link to the URL. 

#2: DocentEDU
Type: Social & Communication
Summary: This extension allows you to easily highlight text, add comments, embed videos, and add discussion to an online website. Assign the websites with the added resources to students. This extension is great for adding to already existing information. Teachers can create all inclusive lessons with this extension. 



#3: Appear.in
Type: Social & Communication
Summary: I just recently learned about this website/extension and I see so many possibilities. Appear.in lets you start a video conversation with anyone right in the browser, without the need to download and install anything, or register an account. Invite up to 8 people to a video conversation just by sending them a link. You can claim a 'room,' which means that you have that URL to use whenever you need. You can share your screen with the viewers which is great for demonstrations or tutorials.



#4: Silver Bird
Type: Social & Communication
Summary: This extension allows you to interact with your Twitter feed from any open tab/window. You can check your home feed, your mentions, direct messages, favorites, particular feeds from your lists, and compose a tweet. Great extension for anyone who uses Twitter. 



It has been a great journey showcasing my favorite Chrome extensions. Look for other recommendations in the future. 




Saturday, May 23, 2015

Google Drive: Research Tool Overview

A couple days ago, I was observing a middle school class. I noticed that a student was conducting his online research in one tab and then switching back to another tab to put his findings in a Google Presentation. I asked if I could show him something and he graciously agreed. I spent less than one minute teaching him about the research tool feature in Google Presentations. Upon finishing he looked at me and said, "coooooool." The way he said it, I knew I just changed the way he conducts research from that day forth. 

Using the Research Tool is easy to use. Here is a quick overview of the tool:



Here is a poster showing the various types of research that can be conducted from within your document, drawing, slide. 
Research Tool Poster

Every teacher and student who uses Google Drive should be aware of this feature. Please help spread the word. 





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Favorite Chrome Extensions - Week of May 19th

Here are my top picks for the week. I hope you learn a new Chrome extension that will make you smile.


#1: Page Ruler

Type: Developer Tools
Summary: Draw a ruler around an image to get the pixel dimensions and positioning on a page. This extension is great for anyone who develops websites, presentations, etc. 



#2: Clipboard History

Type: Productivity
Summary: This extension allows you to retrieve items that you have previously copied. If you need to reference the item again, you no longer need to go back to the original source, simply pull up the extension and copy the information from there. 




#3: Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides

Type: Productivity
Summary: This extension adds an edit button when you open up a Word document, Excel Spreadsheet or PowerPoint in Drive. While you do have the ability to go to 'open with' and select Google documents to edit the file, I have found that many people don't know this trick. Adding the edit button just gives people more comfort in knowing that Office files can be edited when placed into Drive.




#4: Google Art Project 

Type: Fun
Summary: This extension simply pulls art work from the Art Project and displays them as your tab background. Nothing elaborate about it, but if you are into culture this might brighten your day. I love the Google Art Project. If you have never checked it out I suggest you drop everything and take a look. It allows you to walk through museums from around the world. You can even zoom into the paintings to see the brush strokes. It is amazing.





Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mash-Up: Google Slides + Photos to Create Master Slides

As the end of the year approaches there are more and more research projects being done in the classrooms. Here is a quick tutorial to show you how you can manipulate the master slides in order to create beautiful presentations. 



Click out my Stock Photos page to find additional websites with copyright friendly photos. 




Monday, May 11, 2015

Favorite Chrome Extensions - Week of May 11th

Here are my Chrome extension picks for the week. Hope you find a new one.

#1Google+ Notifications
Type: Social Networking
Summary:  This extensions shows you your Google+ Notification alerts on the browser bar. Never miss another notification. 


#2: Care Your Eyes
Type: Accessibility
Summary: If you are like me then you spend a lot of time staring at a computer. This extension has helped the strain on my eyes. You have the ability to change the color and limit the color change to certain parts of the webpage. 

Reseda Mode


#3: Similar Sites Pro
Type: Search Tools
Summary:  This extension is great for helping to find sites that are similar to the one you are viewing. Click the extension when you are on a site and other sites will appear. It even gives you a global and US rating of the similar sites. 



#4: YoWeather Window
Type: News & Weather
Summary: Instantly get the current weather. Nothing fancy about this, but a great way to quickly check the weather before heading outside. 








Monday, May 4, 2015

Favorite Chrome Extensions - Week of May 4th

Here are my picks for the week. Hope you find a Chrome extension you will come to love. 

#1: Search+ for Google Chrome
Type: Productivity
Summary: Instantly search Google+ from the omnibar. 




#2: Chrontabs
Type: Productivity 
Summary: This tab can help you stay on top of tasks that you need to complete on a daily or weekly basis. Set websites to open (and close) at specific times of the day. 




#3: Tab-Snap
Type: Productivity
Summary: Create a list of all the open tabs. While you can restore a list of URLs you have to come across that list to open all of the tabs at once. I see this more for teachers being able to copy a list of all of the URLs to share with students. Or the students can then copy that list and paste it into the restore to have all of the tabs opened up at once. 




#4: Search Preview
Type: Search Tools
SummaryEnhances your search pages by inserting preview images and related links to the sites that appear. This feature is supported in Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and Bing.