Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Some great Apps, get more Google Drive space - Free, and more free tools!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quickoffice is now free for everyone on iOS and Android. Get a 10GB Google Drive upgrade for 2 years  Must complete this by Sept. 26th! - learn how here:

CloudOn brings Microsoft Office(R) to your favorite device, and now your desktop computer. All for free! -Read my blog article on this here for more info:

Google+ gets Snapseed photo editing in Chrome browser - cNet Article

13 Good Chrome Extensions and Apps for Students and Teachers  Note- at Norris, our Chrome Store has most of these as recommended apps to look at! 

There are some nice free online photo editing apps out there, and this one just made my list of top pics: 

27 Good iPad Apps for Elementary School Students  (At Norris I have placed this PDF/eBook in the O drive - O:\eBooks -Free\iPad)

Don't loose your Google Data!
Have you ever worried about all of your data in Google being gone?  I would suggest making an archive once in a while to download and have as a backup.  Here is where you do this from:

iTunes U
iTunes U courses for high school? Here are some great in this… 

CloudOn brings Microsoft Office(R) to your favorite device, and now your desktop computer. All for free!

The CloudOn apps have been amazing tools, and now they just added a web log in, so you can use the CloudOn service right through a web browser on your desktop computer. ClouOn connects to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and SkyDrive so it allows you to create or edit Microsoft Word®, Excel® and PowerPoint® on your tablet, phone, or computer browser.

Yes, I love Google Apps, but this is one tool you will want to have in your arsenal too.

You will have to download the browser Plug in, then run the program to install the browser plug in.  Once installed... you will be up and going editing Microsoft documents. As shown below, I am editing a Microsoft docx file located in my Dropbox all through my Chrome Browser.

Apps and web log in:

The Bad news:
They currently only support Chrome and Safari for Windows or Mac.  What... no Chromebook support!!! (I love the Chromebooks!)  Hopefully this will be coming in the future.

Along comes CloudOn Pro:
CloudOn Pro offers more features, for a slight fee.  What Features Does Purchasing CloudOn Pro Enable?  For a limited time they are offering CloudOn Pro at a special promotional price of $2.99/month or $29.99/year.

If you have not tried the apps, and now their web interface... now is the time!  But, if you are reading this CloudOn... give us our Chromebook support.

IOS 7 resources and more great tools from Google

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Apple's IOS 7 upgrade

With the release of IOS 7 yesterday (9-18-13) I thought I would start off my short list this week with a really nice free guide to IOS 7.  If you have not downloaded IOS7 yet, I would take a look at it. It has some really great features, and seems to be working well on the devices I have tested it with.

By the look of my wireless traffic and internet traffic to Apple yesterday and today, I would say most of the kids at Norris will have it soon!  LOL

Backup your phone/device before upgrading. 

Guide to IOS7:

MakeUseOf has a really nice IOS7 guide available for online viewing or ebook download. <-- Download it!  (As of this posting, the PDF doanload works fine, but the ePub downlaod has issues. I am sure they will get this resolved shortly.) You can place this right on your iPad/iPhone and read it at your leisure on your device!

An IOS (iPad/iPhone) app for presenting lessons:

GoClass &NearPod- Similar apps for lesson presentations for teachers. My info sheet: 

Some more great Google Tools:

5 Handy Google Drive Shortcuts

Want a website to help out tech challenged parents (Or maybe a teacher who is to embarrassed to ask.)?   This website, sponsored by Google,  is here to help:

Use Google Story Builder in your classroom!  you could use this site to have multiple students build a story.  They can collaborate to write the story, set it to music, and then publish.  Add some motivation, creativity and fun to story writing!

The Google World Wonders project is a pretty awesome site to explore some of the wonders of the world. Castles, Botanical Gardens, Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, and more! 

Amazing new App and Google add-in make this a must have tool in your school.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lucidcharts is a great tool with so many great features for use in the classroom to create flowcharts, mind maps, graphic organizers and other diagrams.  Their commitment to education is amazing. They offer Lucidchart free of charge to K-12 educators and students. The educational accounts are the equivalent of their team accounts and come equipped with all the premium features. (For other's they offer a free trial, as well as free accounts with limited features.) There product line, support, and tutorials are first class.

Note:  Here at Norris, we have this automatically available to all staff and students, via the drop-down menu in Google apps under more:

Lucidchart integrates right into Google Apps and Google Drive.  They also have a great Chrome app, and just released an iPad app that is getting great reviews.

If your School (or Business) is Google Apps, then you need to have your system administrator add it to your Google Apps and request the free licenses.   More info can be found here.

Their iPad app (Checkout the features here!) was just released, and is a must have free app for teachers and students.

What are you waiting for-- Give this thing a try!

Great free chrome app (w/Google Drive integration) for student note taking while viewing YouTube videos

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - The easiest way to take notes synchronized with videos! 

Are you using YouTube videos in your classroom. (Hopefully you have your Classroom Channel setup with play lists on your classes, subjects, etc.... )This tool is a nice tool for students that allows them to takes notes on your YouTube videos. Those notes are synced to your Google Drive, and linked to the timeline in the Video, so when you click on each note, it takes you to the location in the video when you created that note!

Visit their website, and load the Chrome App.

Here is a short 3 minute youTube video Tutorial on using

Movenote for Google Drive- a must have free tool for teachers (and students).

Movenote for Google Drive is a powerful tool for teachers to provide student feedback on their documents or presentations.  You can easily bring up a Google Doc or other file, and provide audio and video feedback. This tool could also be used for tutorials or presentations. (It's the talking head concept when presenting online.)

Short Video About Movenote:

You will want to add the Chrome App. (This gives you the create option in Google Drive.)
Chrome Extension for Movenote

Here at Norris, we have added it to our Google Apps Domain ( so it is available from our Google Apps drop-down menu. When you click on this link, your account is created for you.  (If you are reading this post from another school district, then you can just create an account on manually.)

Once you have created an account, you will want to connect it to your Google Drive.

When you start Movenote, you may also have to allow access to your web cam:

It's that simple.  You are now ready to start making your first Movenote.

I like the nice integration withing Google Drive and the ease of use on this application.  Hopefully you will find it useful within your classroom.

Google tools, iPad Apps and cool web resources 9-9-13

Monday, September 9, 2013

Google tools:

5 Gmail and Google Drive Updates you Missed Over the Summer (in animated gifs)

How To Organize Your Research With The Power Of Google Drive -A nice resource/reference for students! (And teachers too.)

To help summarize and analyze data in Google Spreadsheets, use this -  

A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School - 81 Page Free PDF  (NOTE- Here at Norris, I already have this in our folder of free ebooks on the Q drive.  O:\eBooks -Free\Blogger for the classroom) 

10 advanced tips and tricks for Google Forms - not too hard, but very powerful!

Google+ Hangout Tip Sheet  (At Norris, I have filled this Google Doc under our Tech Docs in Drive, as a future reference.) 

Chromebook tip  via @googlechrome: Swipe right on your mouse with two
fingers to go back & swipe left with two fingers to go forward in your
browser history

Web sites and tools: 

Shutterfly Photo Story is a new free app that allows you to make digital photo books with audio from your Shutterfly photos. Many classroom applications and possible uses!

More Tools for Your Utility Belt from TCEA -These guys are a must follow for teachers on Twitter!
GoSoapBox is a web-based clicker tool

Sandy Delzell and Sarah Koehlmoos shared with the Intermediate staff a while back. This tool allows you to put notes, directions, even sounds as links on a photo.  (Great for classroom directions, student guides, and more.)  Give it a try!

I have mentioned this one several times, but I think it's an amazing tool for connecting with your classes or student groups via text messaging.  (Very safe, since you do not even know the students phone numbers.)  Hopefully you have a Google class calendar for class assignments and activity. If so... remember students can set SMS (Text messaging) reminders for items on that calendar. 

52 Economics / Money - Coin Counting Websites 

Active Textbook - Turn PDFs Into Multimedia Documents.

To help learn more about the 3 Branches of Government play these two games: #sschat #nebedu   (Notice this one came from Twitter!  Are you following the great EDU hash tags for your educational area??????

10 Useful History and Geography Apps

Embed Voki on Google Site Not sure what a Voki is??? it is a FREE service that lets you Create customized avatars. Here is a YouTube on creating a Voki. 

10 Techy Icebreakers for The 21st Century Teacher ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

GeoGebra Tablet Apps - Apps for both Android and IOS

Short 5 minute or less videos on a variety of tech topics. Videos by educators with tips, tricks and ideas.

More great websites!  Cool Web Tools For School  

Huge list of digital learning tools:

3D Cad through a Browser? 
Want a nice Simple 3D CAD type of browser based app. Then 3DTin is for you!

Inline image 1

Here is their Chrome App. (Pretty much just a link to their website.)


My 2 fave app discoveries at #ADE2013 - Spreaker DJ and Touchcast -- portable recording studios+!

A Handful of Free iPad Apps for Creating Videos | iPad Apps for School  (This is a great list. As of 9-3-13, the Loopster App added some premium features for a fee.)

Discover free apps and find other apps with..... well.... another app of course!

5 iPad Hashtags Teachers should Know about via Educational Technology
and Mobile Learning

App Craver is a site with many app lists, reviews, and more. Here is their list of top free apps for your iPad: