Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Some free apps, free PowToons accounts, awesome web resources and more! Here is the list for this week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Web sites and tools:
Awesome project - Smartphone as a microscope-this project could bring science to the masses I hope this comes to market soon!

Google's Photo Sphere Camera App (Free) for IOS allows you to make your own 360 degree photos and post them on Google Maps. PhotoSphere Home page is here, and You can browse photo spheres on the Views community. More info on making them with your Android or DSLR camera's can be found here

10 Word Cloud Generators to try  -Wordle is awesome, but some of these other ones have some great features too. 

Once again!!! - Powtoon is giving away $5 million worth of free accounts to educators. You can sign up for your free educator account at <---REGISTER NOW!  (Promo code: ToonUp5M)

If you have not tried Canva -- You need to give it a try!  It may be the best and simplest design program out there.  It's online and free... two of my favorite words. :) 

Online photo editing:

Online Photo Editing for staff and students - My quick tutorial and reference sheet. <---Just made this tutorial/info sheet- Check it out!

Google Apps:

How to add a file to multiple folders in Google Drive:
One of our favorite tricks in Google Drive is the ability to add a file to multiple folders. This 1 1/2 minute video will walk you through the process with both the new and old Google Drive. 

5 Time-Saving Ways Teachers Can Use Google Forms.

Lucid Charts and Lucid Press - Upload your own fonts!  Including DJ Inkers - and more. This how-to doc should help.  KUDOs out to the Elementary for using Lucid Press for their newsletter!  If you have not seen it yet, check it out here 

5 Tips to get Organized with Google Calendars5 Tips to get Organized with Google Calendars - Edudemic - (Personally, I think every Gr 3-12 teacher should be doing tip 1!) 

Chrome apps, extensions & tips:

Video Downloader professional - A great extension for downloading videos, works about everywhere, except YouTube.

Google sheet tip:
For vertical text in a Google Sheet, you can insert text as word art and rotate it 90 degrees. 
  Insert--> Drawing
  Click the T (text box)
  Type the text and adjust font
  Rotate the text box with the top handle
  Click Save and Close
  Move the text box to the right place on the sheet

10 best Chrome apps for students 

Snagit for Google Chrome is free; you can download the capture extension here and the editing app here (you will want both of them). Note - These are featured below in the Googel Classroom section. 

The Ultimate Chrome Sync Hacks For Swapping Between Desktops -Includes one of my favorites - LastPass For Swapping Between Desktops -Includes one of my favorites - LastPass. 

Google Classroom:

Mickie Mueller's livebinder of resources, now includes GGoogleClassroom resources

Make assignments more engaging when you use Snagit to attach images in GoogleClassroom. Features a nice Chrome App and Extention. 


New ViewPure for Distraction-free Viewing of YouTube Videos  ViewPure- Home Page 

IOS apps:

10 Powerful iPad Apps For English And History 

NumberStax for iOS is a new math game from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that is free as of 8/27; normally $1.99 -

GET $49 WORTH OF PAID APPS FOR FREE: 8 more awesome paid iPhone apps you can download free right now.

Google Slides is now out for the iPad

Use a tablet to teach handwriting in the elementary classroom:

Kids Handwriting HWT: Teaching with Google Play for Education -Short 1 minute YouTube on the classroom uses.   featuring these free Android apps on Google Play. (Kids Handwriting HWT apps)

Some IOS apps that may work for this - since the above video is for Android apps  
Android Apps:

The best Android clipboard apps 

A few tech tools, apps and sites for the week! -Google classroom is here... and some nice resources to get you started.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Web Tools:
Awesome free website for MindMapping -

Zamzar or FreeFileConvert - Need to converted a file to another type of file? Zamzar and FreeFileConvert can each convert files into different file types, and both support a wide range of formats.

Here's how to make gorgeous visual lesson plans with Lucidcharts: (If you have not tried out Lucid Charts or Lucid Press... now is the time! They are built into our Google Apps here at Norris.)

Two Good Random Name Selection Tools via Free Technology for Teachers -

Google Apps:

Create an eBook with Google Slides - And take that eBook one step further with FlipSnack (I have mentioned this one in the past.) 

The Apps Show - by Google Enterprise An awesome YouTube channel that you may want to subscribe to. 

10 awesome Google features  you should be using

5 Robust Apps For The Chromebook Classroom - Via Edudemic

A nice Chromebook overview Kahoot by @mickie_mueller on called 'Chromebook Orientation’ If you have not used Kahoot, give it a try... kids love it. 

Adding trendlines to charts in Google Sheets -

Google Classroom:
As noted... it's here! - over 100,000 people in 45 countries signed up for beta testing alone! 

Google Classrooms's Chrome app - Google Classrooms's Chrome app is now in the store.

Great tip from our Spanish Teacher, Jill Elswick @jillr2:  When teachers make their classes, even though there's a spot for the section #, you may want to include that in the name of the class as well because it's hard to know which Spanish 4 I'm looking at, when it drops down to add the same assignment for multiple sections.  Right now it just says Spanish 4 for all 3 and I'm guessing as to which one is the A day or B, etc.

Love the new About section in Google Classroom. The Add Materials section is perfect for syllabus and class rules!

Note from Google:
Classroom is now open for all Google Apps for Education schools, anywhere in the world. To try it, just visit, sign in with your Apps for Education account, indicate whether you’re a teacher or student, and then create or join your first class. Watch our demo video to get a quick tour of how it works, or visit the Classroom Help Center to learn more.

Chrome apps and extensions:

Mashup Note is a great extension for taking notes in the Chrome browser:

Google Search:

25 Google Search tricks you won’t know how you ever lived without

IOS apps, tips and tricks:
10 awesome hidden tricks to make iOS 7.1 feel new while you wait for iOS 8

Apple discounts 20 top productivity apps - Some nice ones in this list.

A Big Collection of iPad Apps for Middle School Teachers and Students