Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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๐Ÿ’ฅ Tech tools - Creative apps, Great screen sharing tool, and more in this weeks list!

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Web tools, tech tools and sites: 

15 Free Web Tools and Apps to Amplify Your Audio Projects - This is just a great list! Free sound effects, recording tools, stock music, and more!  All FREE. 

The BEST Blog Posts of 2017! - Here is a list of the BEST and most popular Shake Up Learning blog posts from 2017.



Soundtrap Collaborative Music and Podcast Tool for Education 
This is a great audio tool that adds so many features and works on any device from anywhere! Pretty simple!  Check it out. 
SoundTrap's Free plan is pretty good for small class projects - $ 0 - Free
5 projects  - 800 loops - 190 instruments & sounds. Other plans are on their pricing page

Great creative tool for Chromebooks!  Book Creator for Chrome.  


3 Easy Steps to Create Scan and Read QR Code Listening Stations

Do you use QR codes in your classroom? Check out Monica's tips to get rolling

Great Screen Sharing tool! (Limited to 25 uses per month on free plan) 
This was a great new find for me!  This Chrome extension allows you to easily share your screen! CrankWheel Screen Sharing.  Seems to work really well. After your 30-day free trial, it goes to a free account, which should be fine for about 95% of teacher use. This video will get you started. (It's simple enough, you probably will not need to watch it.)

Question from this pricing page: Is there a free plan?
We offer a free plan for use by an individual for up to 25 meetings per month. On the free plan you lose out on all customization and branding, you can't handle Instant Demo requests as a team, and access to many advanced functionalities is disabled.

If you do not choose a paid plan when your trial ends, your account will be downgraded to the free plan. If you prefer to sign up for the free plan directly, please click here.

Creating Classroom Posters with Adobe Spark Post

What type of visuals hang on the walls of your classroom? Whether you create anchor charts, graphics, or classroom posters for your students, there is a free, easy-to-use tool for teachers (and students) you can use to create classroom posters. With this awesome, open-ended creation tool, the possibilities are endless! Spark Post is a simple… check it out.

How to Embed Music in Your Google Slides Presentation
Via Digital Inspiration | Google Slides does not support audio files but you do have the option to embed videos inside the individual slides. The workaround, therefore, is simple–place the video file on a slide, make it invisible, and turn on the auto-play mode. Check it out

How to re-enable quick access to Google Photos in Google Drive
If you've noticed the Google Photos link missing from Drive, Jack Wallen shows you how easy it is to get it back. 

You should be doing this - If you are not using the Google Photo's app on your phone - you are missing out!  It backs up your photos to Google - FREE and UNLIMITED.   Andriod App  IOS App  TIP - You can change your Google account within the phone app to backup your photos to multiple accounts. (It will only live sync to one account at a time, but this does work for getting your photos to two accounts.)  I also use the Shutterfly app to back my photos up their as well. 

๐Ÿ’ฅ Tech tools - Free eBooks, Amazing Templates, SeeSaw, Free Turkey -NOT, and more!

Thursday, December 21, 2017



BeCareful with Phishing emails!  - Yes... this tech guy clicked on a phishing email! 
I love the KnowBe4 product.  It keeps all of us on our toes with phishing emails.  Well, I get them just like you do... and BAM - this tech guy was not careful enough.  I am a Costco Business Member and get several emails a week... so when I got an email that looked like it came from Costco and a free turkey... hey I clicked on it.  (Like WOW - a free turkey!) A good reminder to us all - they get us at our busy time, our weak moments when we are expecting a package, or just another typical email you may receive, or even a free turkey!  (Guess I am the turkey on this one, LOL.) 


Have a great holiday, but do not expect a free turkey this season... and always be careful with emails, software downloads, and your personal information! 


All About Me Projects for Google Classroom (made with Spark Video!) 

GREAT EXTENTION for Chromebooks and webcam! - Alice Keeler Webcam Snapshot<---



8 Adobe Spark Poetry Activities for Chromebook & iPad Classrooms. 

How to annotate your photos with iOS 10's Markup feature  Works on iPads and iPhones.  Must be IOS 10 or above.  (Note- the old iPad2 units will not run IOS 10.) 

One for the K-6 teachers - (We have Book Creator licenses for the iPad carts.)  - 7 Favorite Apps to Use with Book Creator

Some great resources from one of my Favourites - Richard Byrne - @rmbyrne  Always good stuff from this guy! 




Seven Ways to Create Screencasts on Chromebooks  - Try out the Screencast-O-Matic public Beta too.  (I love Loom as well as serval others in this post.) 

ADA Project - An Open Multimedia Mathematics Textbook 





Keeps kids learning over Christmas break with these tools:


You have to check out these templates! WOW
These teacher and student templates (FREE) will show you what you can do with Google Slides.  Gone are the days of "I wish I had Publisher" and in are the days... WOW, I did not know you could do that with Google Slides. Some great templates for class projects and awesome examples of what can be done with Google Slides. 

Create G Suite Templates with This Mind-Blowing Hack (Cool tip) 

Elementary staff - Have you tried out SeeSaw?  If not, give Jason a call to get you rolling!
New - New Features in SeeSaw

Google has added more templates.  (They still need more!) 
Visit the home page of each to see them; Docs Home ** Sheets Home ** Slides Home



HS & MS staff - Get ready for a great new product for Chromebooks!

Hope to see all of the MS & HS staff at our January 5th training on GoGuardian. Jason has a great program lined up for you! 

Free Kindle eBooks:



Twas The Night Before Christmas [Kindle Edition] Free ~ Amazon 

Quick and Easy Recipes: 30 MINUTE MEALS: Quick Recipes You Will Love (Quick and Easy Cooking) Kindle Edition

More from the Slickdeals.net site:

Amazon.com is offering Select Customers$5 Kindle eBook Credit for FreeNote, click "Continue with Offer" then sign into your account and if you are eligible, you will see a message that that the $5 Credit applied to your account.

Subscribe to Kindle Daily Deals Newsletter Get $1 Kindle eBook Credit 

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King Kindle Edition by E. T. A. Hoffmann [amazon.com]
Shakespeare: The Complete Collection [amazon.com]
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales [amazon.com]
Ben-Hur [amazon.com]
The Complete Sherlock Holmes [amazon.com]
The Canterville Ghost [amazon.com]
Peter Pan [amazon.com]
The Jungle Book [amazon.com]
The Virginian [amazon.com]
The Man of the Forest [amazon.com] 
The Charterhouse of Parma [amazon.com]
Selected Short Stories Kindle Edition by Rabindranath Tagore [amazon.com]
The Red and the Black [amazon.com]

AmazonClassics [amazon.com] pre-orders
A Doll's House (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
My รntonia (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
North and South (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
The Piazza Tales (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
A Study in Scarlet (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
Silas Marner (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]
Shakespeare's Sonnets (AmazonClassics Edition) [amazon.com]

Dear Santa: Children's Christmas Letters and Wish Lists, 1870 - 1920 [amazon.com]

Thanks for a great year!

From the tech department, I would like to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy NewYear!  As one of our tech staff just mentioned yesterday .... It’s a pleasure to work for such a progressive district with passionate teachers and leaders.  Yes, this tech guy feels really blessed this year.  (Even though there was no free turkey.)  

๐Ÿ’ฅ Tech tools - VR, Google updates & tips, Kahn Acadamy, and more!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017



360 degree videos and VR resources:
You do not need a VR headset to use Streetview....... But remember - We have a VR kit in the MS and Intermediate buildings that have the VR headsets that are great for viewing Google Street View!  

Some pretty cool virtual visits to places, campuses and more on the YouVisit web site

360 Video Education Spotlight: BBC on YouTube 

360 Video Spotlight: National Geographic Videos for Your Next Lesson 

Virtual Reality Education Spotlight: Parks Explorer Classroom Field Trip 

Virtual Reality Discovery Channel App – Virtual Field Trips for iOS & Google 

New York Times Virtual Reality App: Free VR Experience 


Have a form to send out - it will go to spam at Norris unless you do this!
If you want to send out a form, just send a link to the form in an email to staff.  If you use the send feature within forms it will go to spam.

Techy info on this in case you care: We have taken some efforts to prevent our email addresses from being spoofed. This prevents us from being spammers and also prevents users from sending email to our staff thinking that it came from one of our staff members.  So when Google forms send an email on behalf of "us" it gets caught because we did not truly send the email. (Google sent the email form on behalf of you.)   Clear as mud... right? LOL 

Make a Fancy Email Draft in Google Docs, then Send it as a Gmail Message: 
Google Docs has a large number of formatting tools, including charts, images, tables, graphs, fonts, etc. A limited set of those are available in Gmail’s editor, however. That means it can be a challenge to create a nice-looking email using only the Gmail platform.

That’s where the Chrome extension Convert Google Docs to Gmail Drafts comes in.

You can create an email message or newsletter—including all its beautiful formatting—in a Google Doc, and then click a button to convert the Doc into a Gmail draft. Here is a link to the doc you get after installing the extension with more info. 

Google Drive tips & apps:

Become a Google Drive power user with these 20 tips and tricks 

Create Audio projects right from Google Drive with this add-on:  Beautiful Audio Editor

Tip: Tag Anyone in a Doc to have them respond. 
Need a friend or other person to answer a question about something in a doc? 

Just type “+yourfriend@theircompany.com” in a comment.

Google drive will notify them of the comment in the Google Doc and send them a link giving them access to the document.

This Google Keep Trick Will Make You a Better Reader - Check it out. 



Finally! Embed HTML and JavaScript in the New Google Sites! 
Google recently made it possible to embed web pages as iframes in the new Google Sites. With this launch, they're giving you one more tool to customize your sites—you can now embed HTML and JavaScript code directly into your sites. This makes the new Google sites much more powerful!  Read more about it here

Use your phone as a remote for Google Slide presentations and as a mouse for your computer!
 
Turn your phone into a Google Slides remote control with this Chrome extension.  At Norris - I recommend turning your entire phone into a remote mouse for your computer! This doc will get you started. 

Changing How You View Photos and Videos in Google Drive
Today in Google Drive you can view your Google Photos directly via a tab in the left navigation and from folders within My Drive. In early January 2018, Google will simplify Drive navigation by removing the Google Photos tab. You can continue to access your photos and videos in Drive by creating a Google Photos folder in My Drive. More info here. 


Some new features in Gsuite:


Science Journal on Android and iOS
Let your class explore the world like scientists with the Science Journal app. Students can measure real-time data and record their observations in a digital notebook. The redesigned app is now available on iOS and Android with over 20 new activities from educational partners. Note- This Android app has been aproved for the HS student's Chromebooks... so they can install it if needed. 

Weather Station up and rolling at Norris: 
Bryan Williams has the Norris FFA WeatherLink station all set up and ready to roll!  We do not have Ken Siemek rolling yet... but Cullison does have the MS news broadcast that often includes a weather report. ๐Ÿ˜€ You can get current and historical data including temperature, wind, rain and many other measurements. 

Data from the station is available on the WeatherLink.com website as well as iOS and Android apps.


Thanks to the Norris FFA for obtaining the grant. 

A few good Gmail tips from Better Cloud - with how to videos!

Undo a Sent Email

If you made an error in your message, sent it to the wrong person or forgot some information, Gmail has you covered. You can undo a sent email up to 30 seconds after clicking the send button.

Create a Contact Group

If you have a group of co-workers or a team you need to frequently send emails to, this is a definite time saver. Instead of adding every individual—and potentially forgetting someone—you can create a group and just type that name in instead of each email address.

Use Gmail Advanced Search Operators

Everyone knows that Google is renowned for their search engine. With Gmail, you have the power of that search engine in your inbox. If you’ve got a ton of emails to sift through and you’re looking for a particular one, this makes it a lot easier to find. Check it out now! 

Log Out of Other Sessions

This one is more of a reminder. A lot of bad can come from forgetting to log out of your Gmail account on shared machines, like having your personal info get compromised. Here's how you can log out of those sessions.

Enable Desktop Notifications

If you’re keeping an eye out for an important email, but don’t want to have to keep going back to check Gmail, this is perfect. While you’re doing other tasks on your computer, a pop-up window will announce when you’ve gotten that email you’re waiting for. How to video here

New & Improved Google for Education Website
Introducing the new and improved Google for Education website! Now live in the U.S. and Canada, check out our redesigned site and explore new additions like the Computer Science hubK12 and Higher Ed solution pages, and The Latest, a collection of news and insights about the education world. 

Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum - now aligned with state standards.
  • Identify Applied Digital Skills content that overlaps with your state standards
  • Filter for your “state,” “grade,” “state standard,” or “skills” to see the unit(s) that best fit your needs

Google Arts & Culture 
On the homepage, you’ll find a wide range of media to bring into your classroom. This website has a daily digest that includes a handful of curated resources to jump into each day. It includes free access to videos on topics related to different cultures as well as featured themes with large collections of images, artifacts, videos and more.

5 things to do before giving an old iPhone or iPad to your kid
Don't hand over an aging iOS device to your eager youngster before doing a little kid-proofing first. These steps will get you started


Great IOS app for younger kids and projects:  ChatterPix Kids Makes Pictures Come to Life

A plug for Kahn Acadamy - 

I thought it would be appropriate to forward some materials I received in an email from Kahn.  The timing is right! 
(Remember it's free (and always will be!) because millions have been donated by foundations and individuals.)

Finals are almost here, and we want to do everything we can to make sure your students are confident and ready.
Take a few minutes to check out our world-class videos, overview articles, diagnostic quizzes, and practice questions. Then, share links to Khan Academy lessons with your students.
If you have students who are shaky on a concept, you can also create an assignment that points them towards a video or practice problems to make sure they’ve got it:



You can also assign a quiz or unit test to check their skills. If they have any gaps in their understanding, we'll help your students find and fill them.
Check out the content we have for your students and then recommend the resources that will work best for them:
Advanced Placement & college prep
AP Calculus ABAP Biology
AP Calculus BCAP US History
AP StatisticsAP World History
AP Physics 1AP Art History
AP Physics 2AP Microeconomics
AP ChemistryAP Macroeconomics
Math
6thTrigonometry
7thPrecalculus
8thCalculus
Pre-AlgebraStatistics & probability
Algebra 1Linear algebra
GeometryDifferential equations
Algebra 2 
Science & engineering
BiologyOrganic chemistry
PhysicsHealth & medicine
ChemistryElectrical engineering
Arts & humanities
Art historyUS history
GrammarWorld history
Economics & finance
MicroeconomicsMacroeconomics
Onward!
The Khan Academy Team



And remember ... we are not cavemen!
(No, I do not watch SpongeBob, but I love the graphic. )