Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

Welcome to my technology blog.
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My Christmas goodies list for teachers... Free iBook (or Kindle book), Free apps, and great web sites!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Web sites and web 2.0 tools:

QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide - from the Cool Cat Teacher

25,000 Images of Art That You Can Re-use for Free

Video - Three Ways Students Can Search for Creative Commons Licensed Images via Free Technology ...

math based websites to discover (again)

This is a great collection of free Web 2.0 tools for the classroom:

16 Best Free Mac Apps (If you happen to have a MAC) 

Google tools and tips: 
A must have app for templates in Google Docs -  <-- You need to add this one!

Envelopes for Google Drive via Free Technology for Teachers - Envelopes for Google Drive is a ...

Google Tips Helps You Do Cool Stuff With Google Products -Cool site!

Now there's a new way to manage folders in Google drive that you folder lovers will enjoy -- check it out!

Send files up to 10GB (that's a 600-page presentation, or a 10-minute power ballad) with one click. Find out how:  (This is from that new Gogole tips site... Cool!)

Google Apps Update | Guide to the New Google Sheets - 7 min. video - Worth the watch! <-- Great new features in Google Sheets! 

Gmail read receipts may not work as well now - FYI

Some of you use the Gmail, read receipt's feature.  It's functionality has changed when it comes to sending emails to other Gmail users. 

Here are a couple links as to why:

This one relates to Boomerang (Which many of us use as a great tool!) but relates to standard read receipts in Gmail:

It's interesting to note, that this change actually will improve some sucurity as noted from the article:

One side effect of Gmail’s new policy is that it is no longer possible for companies who offer less-ethical implementations of read receipts to report your IP address (and approximate location) to the sender of the email. Google now reports the location of all opens as their campus in Mountain View and that your computer is one of their servers.

This article is similar, if you want more background info. 

Android Apps and tips: 
OpenEd Releases an Android App for Sharing Educational Videos With Students via Free Technology ...

BlendSpace - This one deserves it's own heading!
Blendspace: Create lessons in 5 minutes. 

Here is how one Nebraska administrator (Brad C. Jacobsen (@BCJacobsen)) uses it for staff development.

Add the Blendspace Chrome app to your browser.

Free iBooks!
The wonderful iBook ... A Charlie Brown Christmas is free for a week beginning 12/18:  (There are several other free books, each week this season.)  (The android version for Kindle is free too, just search the Google Play store.) 

IOS (iPad/iPhone) apps:

Ten Good iPad Apps for Elementary School Math Practic

4 free Math Dojo Apps are free today! 

Seven Free Science Apps for Your Students' iPads

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  May this posting find you in great health and spirits for the holiday season. 

A must have app for templates in Google Docs.

Monday, December 16, 2013

There are a ton of great templates in Google Docs, but earlier this year Google changed the way we access them.  See this short Google post for more info.

The new way is to open up a blank Doc, presentation, etc...  and then from the file menu, select New then From Template. I guess this works, but it does not make sense to me. (Create a doc first then select "from template" seems backwards!)

If you add the Drive Template Gallery chrome app, it then adds that selection directly to your create menu in Google Drive.   <------------  In my opinion, this is a MUST HAVE app! 

Here at Norris, we have a lot of templates for budgets, letterheads, etc... found in the document template section, under our domain.

Take some time exploring templates that are in the gallery.  You will find some that are good, bad, and maybe ugly... but there are some definite Gems in the group too!

My list of great tech tips, tools and sites for the week!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Some great web 2.0 tools and sites: 
Two great story telling tools from Google - add a new tools into you and your student's classroom presentations and projects! 

Use free service to easily share your PowerPoint with students on their devices. (Remember, in Google Presentations, you  can easily download the presentation as a PowerPoint to use with this display service.) 

Three Places to Search for Free Online Courses

Free Technology for Teachers: A Few Tools That Make It Easy To Analyze Your Writing

60 ways to use Twitter in the classroom, divided by categories so it's easy to use: 

5 Seriously Amazing Science Education Websites

30 Apps Perfect For BYOD Classrooms (Make sure you look at the Symbaloo at the button, that has all of the direct links.)

LiveSlide: Create decks from scratch or import a PDF. Send out live polls and see the results instantly.

Blend space - Create some great blended lessons is about 5 minutes with this free resources. They also have a nice Chrome app

Are you a Math Teacher -- this one's for you... A collection of free apps that support or align with the CCSS Math standards 

45+ Teacher Recommended Educational Apps : From Teacher Reboot Camp 

Great resources from our own Norris Twitter users!

Remember, it's all about who you follow. Twitter can be the best educational resource you have for your professional  development.  Set up your own PLN (Personal Learning Network.) today. 

From our own Lisa Spilker's Twitter feed (@LisaSpilker) -- Thinking about how to implement "Genius Hour" in our language arts block Inspiring! What a great idea-- give it a try in your classroom! 

20 Education Technology Tools Everybody Should Know About Thanks to out own @CAHutzler for this great Tweet.

Google Chrome
Ginger is a grammar and Spell checker extension that get some great reviews.  (Here at Norris, I have added it to our Chrome Web store of recommended apps.) 

AMESOME TOOL!!  This may be one of the best accessibility apps for Chrome.  You have to check it out, even if you do not need it. Announcify.  It reads the web page to you, and greys-out the area's it is not currently reading.  Really Cool!   Combine it with the Clearly Extension for simply cleaning up the web page for online reading and you have a powerful duo! 

Google Apps tools and tips: 
25 tips & tools to make Google Drive better 

Synergyse Blog: Top 10 Google Apps Scripts for Education  Thanks Charlie Hutzler (@CAHutzler) for this one! 

18 Google Earth Resources for K-12

Google Tasks: 
Do you use Google tasks to keep your task lists?
Did you know you can get a full page list of your tasks, by using this web address: 

Think YouTube is just about cute cats? Try these 197 different educational channels!

IOS apps:
USA Map Chart App (Free) is a powerful application that allows you to Create, Customize, Save & Share Map based (geographic) Charts on your iPad. With the Map Chart App, you can now present your ideas or information easily on a map. This app is ideal for personal use, school, business and other areas where data visualization is key.

Twitter tools
Some great apps for showing "Twitter Walls" in your class or educational events:

EDU Clipper - A nice free add-in to our Google Apps.

We recently added EDUClipper to our Google Apps Domain.  This product get a lot of great reviews, so if you have not looked at it, now may be the time to check it out. (It's located under the more apps here at Norris. If your school has not added it to their Google apps domain... Now would be the time!) 

EDUClipper, now has an app