Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

Welcome to my technology blog.
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My list of great resources for the week! Videos, free coaching apps, web tools, tips and more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To start of this week's list, I wanted to share this:
Our KG students visiting Henry Doorly Zoo via Distance Learning  If you are interested in any distance learning events for your classroom, let our department know! (The panorama was created by the DMD iPad app that was free in one of my other emailing/blog postings.)

Misc. web tools, apps, tips and tricks:
How To Use Google Drive and Evernote To Create Digital Portfolios using your iPad. 15 minute tutorial with Video!

How to Create Your Own Textbook — With or Without Apple by MindShift

Wavosaur is a free PC audio editor. Amazingly small but mighty. (At Norris we have in on the network under the K drive for staff and students. No install!  K:\Software_ran_from_server\WavoSaur Audio Editor)

Blubbr - Create Interactive Quizzes Using YouTube Clips: 

Download all the Tweets you've ever Twittered- 

New Google App Search Feature

Ebook Glue transforms blogs into ebooks, a great way to share student writing:  Take your classroom blog and turn it into an ebook. (SAMPLE-This link:  Takes my blog and makes it into an epub ebook for downloading.)

Top 10 Handy iOS Tweaks That Don't Require Jailbreaking

If you are a basketball coach and need an awesome FREE shooting stats app for the iPad check out   via Scott Phillips (@phillipshuskies)   The app is free and a lot of great free features. They have free apps for other sports too! 

Freebook Sifter makes it easy to find over 35,000 free eBooks on Amazon for your Kindle or iOS Kindle app: 

Book Creator for iPad – updated again for greater e-book functionality (tutorial) We do not have this program at Norris yet, but it looks great if you need to create an eBook on your iPad.  Tutorial with videos and downloadable eBook of directions! 

Internet Safety and Bulling Resources

17 Cartoon Videos Explaining the Internet and Internet Safety to Kids 

Some great Video resources from PBS. If you are not signed up for their resources... you need to!  (List taken from PBS mailing.) 
In the Mix: Conflict Resolution
Grades 7-13+ | Video | Communication Skills
Observe a group of high school students as they discuss the ways in which they deal with conflict. Consider using this resource as a conversation starter in your own class.

Grades 7-12 | Video | Types of Bullying
Show your students how bullies use text messages and the Internet to threaten others, and discuss the steps that they can take to address this form of harassment.

The Teenage Brain
Grades 6-8 | Video | Biology & Behavior

Gain insight into the development of the teenage brain. Ask your students to consider how natural changes in the brain play a role in the way teens relate to one another.
Succeeding in School
Grades 5-12 | Video | Story of Success

Inspire your students with the personal story of Omarina, a student who faced crippling odds but was able to succeed with support from her school community. Use this resource to illustrate the impact of a supportive learning environment.
Martha Speaks: Martha Walks the Dog
Grades K-1, 4-5 | Video

There's a new, mean dog in town. Use this resource to show your young students that first impressions can be deceiving sometimes.
Dinosaur Train: Including Friends
PreK-1 | Video

Talk about feeling like an outsider with your class. Recognize what actions a friend can take to help someone feel included and valued.

Get the most out of Google Docs for student writing and teacher feedback:
Taken from a recent Google tips email:
Here are two tips for getting the most out of Google Docs for student writing and teacher feedback:
  • Give feedback with comments- When students start their papers, have them share the document with you. You can access the student document anytime and insert comments. The student is then notified of your comment. Learn how to insert comments.
  • Use the revision history interface- This lets you easily see what changes have been made to a document. Changes are color-coded based on each collaborator, so it’s clear which student wrote which parts of the paper. Learn more.
Want to learn more?
In this recording, Miss Christie, her 5th grade students and their CIO talk about how Littleton Public Schools uses Google Apps to support collaboration.Fast forward to 39 minutes, 30 seconds if you want to hear from the kids.

CK-12 Foundation is adding more content- exciting news taken from their email announcement: 

Watch for their new iPad app too... coming soon! 
Braingenie builds deep mastery and sharpens problem-solving skills.

Learn, practice, and quiz
yourself on 5,000+ skills.

Compete in real-time
multiplayer matches.

Win badges and claim a top spot on the leaderboard.

Braingenie offers: 
Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Precalculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics
Math Grades 1-8 and Middle-School Science
CK-12 Foundation presents FlexMath, a student-centered approach to Math proficiency. By combining engaging lessons, interactive practice, adaptive assessment and extensive scaffolding, FlexMath not only improves student's mathematical ability, but it also inspires confidence in all of its student users.

Great web tools, free apps, tech tips and even 1/2 price Pizza in this Issue! My miscellaneous Educational Resources 1-16-13

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some great web sites and web tools for your classrooms: 

eQuizShow Online Templates - Great site for making a fun class project or review!  Here's a first grade grammar one

150 Best Browser Extensions & Web Apps Of 2012 - Some of these are making my list!

The most comprehensive collection of Web 2.0 tools organized and categorized…

The 20 Best Education Apps And Web Tools Of The Year

Google Docs - Tools, tips, and more
Keyboard shortcuts can save you TONS of time in Google Docs. Watch this video to see a few of my favorites. -

Send To Google Docs – Convert HTML To PDF & Save It In A Single Click [Chrome] 

Want to automate some things in Google Docs for collecting assignments and setting up folders for your class?  Try Doctopus for Managing Google Documents 

Tip: Be on the lookout for the Google Apps Great Plains summit info coming soon!!!!! Free registration opportunities for Norris Staff! 

IOS (iPad/iPhone) apps:

A very nicely organized app collection to support #CBLearn…
A nice utility type app to save a web page to PDF on your iPad. Has dropbox and email support too. FREE for a limited time!   InstaWeb: Web to PDF Converter (In my tests it works pretty well for most sites.) 

Need a motivational video for your teacher in-service?
Here is one for the admins, tech coordinators, and staff developers.  Five-Minute Film Festival: Best Kickoff Videos.  These are great intro videos for your staff developments or in-service sessions! 

eBooks, iBooks, and more

Learn iBook Author - short video tutorial:…

 Notescraper: Exporting Kindle notes and highlights

Free Photo book and 1/2 off Papa John's Pizza too!

 @WeAreTeachers Lunch Break Deal Alert: FREE Photo Book offer from My Publisher.

Papa John's Coupon Code | 50% Off Large Pizzas 

How does Erskine find out about these things???  Twitter!  These were on a couple education feeds from @WeAreTeachers  If you are not using Twitter, you are missing out.  There is everything from kindergarten to social studies for groups, hash-tags and people to follow. 

Kyle Steinkuhler @KSteink will be doing a session on Twitter Monday during our in-service.  Look for the details coming out soon!  Speaking of Kyle... here is a nice one right from his Twitter feed: Super collection of historical maps!!…

New to Twitter, this will explain a few of the basics. The Beginner's Guide to Twitter

Free ebooks, IOS apps, great sites and more! My miscellaneous Educational Resources 1-14-2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Google Doc's tools, tips and more.

This 3 minute video is worth the time!!!!  Keyboard shortcuts can save you TONS of time in Google Docs. Watch this video to see a few of my favorites. -

Need to mail merge in Google docs?  This video shows you how

10 Google Drive Tips & Tricks For Students (And I might add... Teachers!)

Google Chrome tools, tips and more.
Add an Image Dictionary to Chrome

Some Great Web tools and sites: 
Ten Things Schools and Teachers Can Do Free With (Great for texting groups of people, tailored for education! Similar to remind101 and others with a few nice features.

Infotopia--A Google Alternative Safe Search Engine for Students -

Via (@phillipshuskies)  a MS Math teacher ... I am a huge fan of the showme app, but this one #Ask3 could replace it! Amazing for math teachers! Couple downsides with the #ask3 app; you can't pull the videos or delete them off of the class page,… 

This is cool. A Number Factorization VIsualizer!! Watch it!! -->

Using Evernote? Going Paperless: Capturing Technology Setup Instructions in Evernote by @jamietr…

One more Goole search tipSize up the images you need with Google Images size filters

iPads, iTunes U, and more resources:
Great examples of iTunesU courses for Elem/MS along w/ spot-on article on teaching w/ iPads-

Getting the Most Out of iPads in the Classroom

Best Free Apps of the Day on 1/14. iFunFace, TinyList, Instalyrics, & More! - 2013-01-14  Did you miss out on these?  Subscribe to their daily email!

Gmail 101

Gmail 101 - a awesome tutorial! 

Free eBooks
Free iBook! iPads for Learning | @teachwatts 

Downloadable ebook - best web tools -…  (At Norris, we already have downloaded this one for you on the O drive under eBooks.)

iBooks Author:
Learn iBook Author - 26 short tutorial videos.

Great classroom web tools, apps, free eBooks and more! 1-7-13

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some great web sites and web 2.0 tools for your classroom:

Use the free service Class Charts for data-rich seating and behavior management charts:

How I learned to say, 'Hi, Google Docs; bye, MS Word' - CNET News article

2012's Top Educational Tools- I totally agree with this list, many of these tools ROCK!  How many have you used, or are familiar with?? 

You may have already seen this site, but still pretty cool. Historical newspapers: 

Using Evernote?  Here's one for you... 5 Apps That Let You Do More With Evernote: 

Google Sites

Need help with Google Sites? Here is a nice Google Sites tutorial:…

Google Chrome Extensions

If I could only have one Chrome extension this would be the one -Email Checker Plus <--- Get it now, and step-by-step directions!

iPad apps and tips: 
Amazing Screencasting and Class management apps -some free for limited time!   <--- Personally reviewed by your's truly. :) 

Only one iPad in the classroom? Make the most of it with these tips 

A+ Pro is a nice flash card app with Quizlet integration. Free for a limited time.…

Some free technology eBooks
If you are at Norris, I have already downloaded these PDF eBooks  and put it in with our other ebooks on the network. Located here: O:\eBooks 

Effective Mobile learning 50+ quick tips, programs and resources. -Free ebook(PDF format)
Thanks to Charlie Hutzler for this great resource. The eBook on Scribd can be found here

Great Google+ resource/free ebook. 
Free copies of What the Plus! Google+ for the rest of us, courtesy of Google. This is a PDF/ebook with some great Google+ information. Thanks to Evan Lee for this great resource! 

Email Checker Plus A Must-Have Chrome Extension

Monday, January 7, 2013

Email Checker Plus Google Chrome Extension
An amazing Extension for your Chrome Browser!

The Checker Plus for Gmail extension can be found in the Chrome store here.

Once installed, it will add an extension to your Chrome Browser with a lot of great features.

One of the feature is the popup notification indicating that you have email.

There are many other great Google Chrome apps and extensions found in the Chrome store. Make sure you check them out!

This document is also in a Google Doc format. You can find that document here.

I also have some other Google Docs with lists of my favorite extensions and apps including this one!
Doc 1
Doc 2

Amazing Screencasting and Class management apps for your iPads

Updated - 3-1-13:

There are some great apps out there that turn you iPad into a great teaching tool. Screencasting/Whiteboard types of apps are one segment of those.  Here are a few great apps to get you started!

Note: In the education arena you will hear about ScreenChomp and ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard but those do not have the features that the following apps have, so they did not make my list.

Note- The descriptions of these apps are taken from the developers descriptions in the app store.

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard  By Educreations, Inc FREE
Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Creating a great video tutorial is as simple as touching, tapping and talking. Explain a math formula... Create an animated lesson... Add commentary to your photos... Diagram a sports play... Offers multi-page recordings without clearing the screen each time to add new content. You can add images from the camera roll, the web or Dropbox. Upload videos to your own classroom space online at  App in iTunes

Doceri By SP Controls, Inc  FREE (has an in-app purchase.)
Combining screencasting, desktop control, and an interactive whiteboard in one app, you’ll never have to turn your back to the class or audience again. Doceri does it all! Multiple backgrounds can be selected from a built-in library or you can create your own custom background. There are also lots of drawing tools available. Finished recordings can be sorted into folders, saved to the camera roll, or shared to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The desktop control will only work if your computer and iPad are on the same wireless network.
NOTE from the Doceri Team: So that you can fully try out all of the features that set Doceri apart, we've created this app with a watermark that will be added to the images, PDFs and screencast videos that you share. You can remove or customize this watermark with an in app purchase - we believe that you should be able to try all of Doceri's features before you decide to buy. App in iTunes

Doodlecast Pro By zinc Roe $3.99 As of this posting, the DoodleCast Pro app is free for a limited time!
The app records your voice as you draw to create quick presentations. Doodlecast Pro saves videos to the camera roll making it easy to import them into popular video editors or presentation tools such as iMovie, Keynote, or iBooks Author. Perfect for teachers, students, business people and anyone needing an elegant way to share ideas. App in iTunes

Teach By Knowmia FREE
Knowmia Teach is a new free lesson planning and recording tool for teachers. This is different from the others in that it is aimed solely at teachers creating content, and not students. (Flipped classroom app use.) It helps you create short video lessons on any subject and publish them on so your students and the public can find them. Knowmia Teach makes it easy to bring in visual aids from multiple sources, organize them in steps (like slides in a presentation) and use your own voice and fingers to bring your lesson to life. You can design each step in the lesson, record illustrations as you draw them, and create sophisticated animation sequences with a simple stroke of a finger. We also give you the ability to describe your lesson in a way that makes it simple for any student who is interested in the subject to find your video. App in iTunes

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard 
Their Website
Turn your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard! ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s an amazingly simple app that anyone can use, no matter how young or old!
App in iTunes

The nice thing about the next two apps is that you get the actual video that you create. (Is is saved to a location of your choice.)  It is not hosted on a developers web site in the cloud.

Explain a Website By MorrisCooke $.99
Explain a Website is an iPad screencasting tool that allows to record interaction with a website within the iOS web browser. You can export the project and video ( MP4 format) to Dropbox, Evernote, your photo library or publish on YouTube. It features a marker, draw tool and laser pointer. You can mark and draw in 3 different colors and use two different styles for the laser pointer. All the annotations stick to the web page (and scroll with it). This 99 cent app gets great reviews for what it does. App in iTunes.  Vimeo video of app in action.

Explain Everything By MorrisCooke $2.99
Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything's flexible and integrated design. Use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad video display (via Airplay/cable).  App in iTunes  Website and Video of app.

Simple screen drawing tools. Some with collaborative features:

Whiteboard Lite: Collaborative Drawing By GreenGar Studios App in iTunes
Doodle Buddy for iPad – Paint, Draw, Scribble, Sketch – It’s Addictive! By Pinger, Inc. App in iTunes
BaiBoard - Collaborative Whiteboard By LIGHTPLACES LIMITED App in iTunes
Jot!  (Free)  ”Jot! is a simple, fast whiteboard that lets you sketch out your ideas and share them in real time. Draw, take notes, or wireframe on your iPad quickly and easily as soon as ideas come to you. Share your ideas via email or save them as photos. Collaborate in real time over the internet with Live Sharing.” App in iTunes

These apps are ones that you draw or display pics on your iPad and classes can connect to them through any web browser. (iPad and computer must be on same wireless network, similar to AirPlay with Apple TV's.)

Air Sketch Free By Qrayon, LLC (For drawing on screen.) App in iTunes

Air Projector Free By Qrayon, LLC (For displaying pics and docs.) App in iTunes

Not Screencasting apps, but some similar classroom management iPad apps that I have to tell you about!

Showbie - Effortlessly assign, collect and review student work on your iPad. Just OK, it really depends on the app files you want to distribute.  (Techy note: Distributes them via webdav.) App not for everyone. We are not using at in our school, but if we used KeyNote or other related apps, I am sure we would be using this.
Here is what I received from their support department about the product cost: 

Showbie for teachers and districts is free! At some point we may add some additional premium, paid, features or options - but they will not take away from the free capabilities.

Once you apply for your free district account here we will approve the request shortly after and here are the instructions to add your teachers:

District setup: Inviting teachers (fastest)
If you sign into Showbie via the web you will then be able to invite your teachers to your district account by following these instructions. It is very easy and you can now even invite many teachers at a time with their email addresses:

App in iTunes

Nearpod - Control you class iPad and deliver lessons as a teacher. (Would be great for class with iPad sets or schools with 1-1 iPads.) Free plans and ujpgrades.
The Nearpod platform enables teachers to use their iPads to manage content on students' iPads, iPhones or iPods. It combines presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution. How It Works:
· Teachers use Nearpod to share content with their students and to manage the flow of the lecture.
· Students use Nearpod on their iOS devices to receive multimedia content and to participate in engaging assessment and collaboration activities.
App in iTunes

GoClass aids the instructor in delivering rich content effortlessly and effectively. (Currently in Beta. Free during Beta testing.) 
GoClass is a cloud based teaching and learning platform designed for connected mobile devices in the classroom. This App allows you to use several GoClass services and features on Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices. 

Ask3 By TechSmith Corporation Their website
Ask3 allows teachers and students with iPads to easily share knowledge and collaborate via threaded, video conversations.
By recording your voice, drawings, and images, Ask3 helps you create videos that can be shared directly to your class. Students can watch the videos you create using Ask3 and can quickly ask and answer each other's questions.
App best suited for 1 to 1 iPad environments.
App in iTunes