Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Big Learning with the Library of Congress

Website Wednesday

I came across this gem while organizing my bookmarks in Chrome. I had forgotten about all the lesson ideas and activities that this website has to offer. 

The Library of Congress has so much to offer students and teachers. Once at the website, navigate to the Teacher tab.

Within the Teacher tab you can find:

  • classroom materials
  • lesson plans
  • activities 
All tied to K-12 Texas TEKs for Language Arts, Social Studies, and Technology.

  • Professional Development opportunities
  • Primary Sources and how to use with students *This one is awesome. 
  • News Articles Archive
  • Events

And this is in addition to the Library of Congress' digital collection and many other resources. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Navigating Tips for a Chromebook

Tech Tip Tuesday

Chromebooks are a wonderful tool for the classroom. In appearance, they look a lot like a laptop, but if you look close there are some differences. Here's a few tips to help you and your students navigate while working on a Chromebook.

To Move the Pointer: Move one finger across the touchpad. 

To Select/To Left Click: Tap the the touchpad with one finger. 

To Right-Click: Tap the touchpad with two fingers or hold down the ALT. key while tapping once on the touchpad. 

To Scroll: Move two fingers up and down the touchpad to scroll vertically and left and right to scroll horizontally. 

Move between Open Tabs: Swipe three fingers back left or right to move between all open windows. 

Drag and Drop: Click and hold down the item you want to move with one finger. With a second finger, move the item. Release both fingers to drop the item at its new location.

Take a Screenshot: 

Toggle Caps Lock Off and On: 

Delete Key: 

If you have a tip, please share it in the comment box. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Interactive Whiteboard Apps:Show What You Know

Mobile App Monday

Let students show what they know with these 4 easy-to-use interactive whiteboard iPad apps.

All of the whiteboard apps gives students the ability to: 
  • Record what is happening on the app 
  • Record Narration
  • Add images and graphics
  • Draw
  • Format text
  • Share with others

Explain Everything: While it does have a price tag of $4.99, it is one of our favorites. You can check it out for free for 30 days. Read about all the cool things this app has to offer from a past blog post: A Fun Way to Explain Everything

Doceri: Students can easily screencast record one or several slides and then load to their Google Drive. Teachers can easily screencast record lessons on one or several slides and then load to their Google Drive or their SAISD YouTube Channel. 

IPEVO: I think math teachers will love the tools that come with this app. Read all about it from a past blog post: Free Interactive Whiteboard App for iPads 

Educreations:  Explain any concept with this simple and fun interactive whiteboard. Students can create instructional videos and share with others instantly. *This app does have an $11.99 monthly fee that is required if students want to take the video out of educreation. Teachers can log-in for free with their SAISD GSuite account and send the video to Google Classroom. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Free Templates for Google Slides

Website Wednesday

In our recent webinar on Google Slides, we learned about a new site that has plenty of free templates for Google Slides: Slides Carnival. And once again it's so easy to use. The hardest part is deciding on which of the many designs to use. I love that each template is editable and has a wide variety of slide styles and layouts to choose from. 
Here's an example: 
To add the slide template, click the Use as a Google Slides Template button. The template will open up in Google Slides. Next, click on the Add to my Drive icon. Begin using. 

Choose designs from the following categories:
  • Formal
  • Inspirational
  • Creative
  • Simple
  • Startup
  • Elegant
  • Playful
  • Business
So for your next presentation, WOW them all with slide templates from Slide Carnival.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I can put Google Draw where?

Tech Tip Tuesday

Laura recently  had a webinar showing all the cool things that teachers and students can do in Google Drawings. She shared ways to create posters, graphic organizers, and interactive activities. But did you know that you can quickly and easily move the entire drawing into a doc or a slide? Here's how: 

1. Begin by opening Google Drawings and creating your graphic organizer, activity, poster, etc. 

2. Click Edit>Web Clipboard>Copy entire drawing to web Clipboard. 
3. Open a Google Doc or Google Slide. 
4. Click Edit>Web Clipboard> Drawing *If more than one is listed, it will show a preview as you hover. 
And PRESTO! Your drawing has been added. 

*FYI: That above interactive math template can easily be made in Google Slides. We will share how to do that in next week's blog.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Repost: Custom Graphics with Canva

Website Wednesday

Canva is a website (and an app) that helps you create beautiful graphics to use in social media, slide shows, blog posts, documents and more.

You can also log in with your Google account so that makes it easy to remember your user information. :)

From the website, just select the type of graphic you want to create - it's ok if you don't see the exact thing you are looking for, you can do a custom size graphic as well. Also remember, just because it says social media as the graphic type don't let if fool you. You can still use that graphic for many things. Click the + sign to see more graphics options. Finally, there are free tools and paid tools. I've never paid for a graphic, but if I need to, they are very inexpensive. I encourage you to take a look at this site - you won't be sorry.

Want to see Canva in action? Join us today at 4 PM for our EdTech Talks webinar. Laura will guide you through the set-up and all the cool features that Canva has to offer. Begin today designing professional quality graphics. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Keyboard Shortcuts for YouTube

Tech Tip Tuesday

Hope you can join us for our YouTube Webinars today. 

EdTech Talks at 4PM

When you log in and if it asks for an Adobe Connect Add-in, you can find that in the Software Center.

And now here are a few keyboard shortcuts for teachers and students to use when watching a video on YouTube that can enhance the viewing experience. 

Space bar or k key = to start and pause video. 

m key = to mute and unmute the sound

down arrow = to decrease volume

up arrow = to increase volume

c key = to turn Closed Caption on and off

f key = to turn Full Screen Mode on and off

l key or right arrow = jump ahead a few seconds

j key or left arrow = jump back a few seconds

0 = to take you to the beginning of the video

5= to take you to the halfway mark of the video (50%) *This works with the other numbers as well. 

If you or your students use any other keyboard shortcuts when viewing YouTube videos, please share them in the comment section. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Google Arts and Culture

Forgetful Friday

Driving home yesterday and reflecting over the awesome technology ideas discussed and planned at Alta Loma, I realized that I didn't send out a Website on Wednesday. And now I notice that I missed Monday, too. I apologize to all our Blog readers out there. Better late than never. Right?

This cool tool can be accessed as a mobile app from the itunes store or google play store or from the Google Arts and Culture website. Whether on a screen, big or small, art from over a thousand museums across 70 countries are a click away.

In Projects, pick a topic and immerse yourself in art work, articles, stories, videos, online exhibits and 360 virtual tours. Here's a few that caught my eye:

In Experiments, explore art with machine learning created by coders and artist. 
  • Free Fall uses mathematical formulas to place pieces of art into a 3D environment. *Cannot be used on phones. 
  • T-SNE Map uses Machine Learning algorithms that lets you explore an interactive 3D landscape of art work. *Cannot be used on phones
  • X Degrees of Separation uses Machine Learning to connect 2 random works of art by analyzing features, finding patterns, and creating a chain of art work. 
  • Curator Table lets you search a topic, compare works of art and see how they've evolved over time all in a 3D setting. 
You can also search Arts and Culture by
  • Artists
  • Mediums
  • Art Movements
  • Historical Events
  • Historical Figures
  • Places
Keep up with the latest and greatest that Google Arts and Cultures have to offer at their YouTube Channel.

*This is not a site that I would let younger students just explore on their own. As with all things online, it is always best to preview before allowing access in a classroom. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

GSuite Training is SWEET!

Tech Tip Tuesday

While EdTech with Howard and Feck has shared this seriously sweet training tool from Google in their face-to-face trainings and webinars, I couldn't believe that we hadn't blogged about it. Well, wait no longer; here it is.

G Suite Training is an absolutely free must have extension for all Google users. It is interactive training that walks users step by step on how to set-up and use Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Drawings, AND Classroom. 
What's great is this tool should already be available for use on the school chromebooks. If you cannot see the extension icon located in the top right- hand corner of a doc, slide, form, drawing, sheet, or classroom, just follow these easy steps to add the extension:

Go to Chrome Web Store>Search: G Suite training> click the blue Add to Chrome Button> Allow for extension to be added> Open a Google App Product and begin training. 

Example of what it will look like once activated in Google Classroom.

Check out all the short interactive training videos offered for Google Classroom
Learning how to use Google Apps like Docs, Slides, Forms, Sheets, Drawings, and Classroom has never been easier for teachers or students.