Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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ree apps, Google tools, web tools and more in this weeks list! Including one free app (Reg $30).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Web tools and sites:

Free stock image sites for your website, classroom, posters & more. 

The ‘Google For Online Courses’ Exists And It’s Called SlideRule - Find a ton of online classes (Many free) using this great tool.  It includes nice sorting features and reviews too. 

A nice resource for the K-6 teachers... A great daily list of free IOS (iPhone/iPad) apps, free Kindle books, and more... by the iMums. (I subscribe to their daily email.)

30-Second Tech Trick: Write Better Papers with Google Scholar (A little bit of humor with this one too,)

20 Google tools teachers should try (and how to use them in classrooms) Interesting list - A few surprises that I would not have picked. 

Comparison of 11 Mobile Video Creation Apps - Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Tailor instruction with instant feedback -- Use Plickers for quick checks for understanding to know whether your students are understanding big concepts and mastering key skills. It's a sin on clickers that's worth checking out! 

An Interactive Map of George Washington's Life via Free Technology for Teachers - 

For the younger kids -- My Storybook lets students create simple books with their own text and pictures:

Great for the homeowner... if you do not have a ChromeCast ($35) here is one more reason to get one... Chromebooks now support Chromecast streaming for Google Drive videos

I have mentioned this one in the past... and ran across it on a great Twitter feed again this week... This word cloud generator will work on almost every device:

Create Screencasts with these great tools: 

Screencast-O-Matic - A Great Tool for Creating Screencast Videos

Make screencast videos with Screencastify extention for Chrome: 
This tip comes from our very own Janelle Coady - 
Screencast lets you download the clips, but it is even easier to just upload to YouTube and link to it online. Easy to use... give it a try.  Here is a sub plan that she created using this great tool! 

If you have not looked at Gooru... now may be the time!
Gooru for iPad Updated to Include Progress Reports. Gooru is a service for creating and sharing collections of educational videos, images, and texts. Go to Gooru, and click the signup button and signup with your Google Account. 

Lucid Press:
If are not using LucidPress ... You are missing out.  It's better than Publisher, and is all web based and free for EDU. Here at Norris it's built right into our Google Apps. 

Richard Byrne (@rmbyrneRichard Byrne (@rmbyrne) - Agrees with me!
The Best of Apple's Pages With the Best of Google Documents - Check out his article hereThe Best of Apple's Pages With the Best of Google Documents - Check out his article here.

Google Apps: - Google Apps for Education has over 30 million active users around the world!

Turn a Set of Spreadsheet Cells Into Easy to Read Documents with this Spreadsheet add-in.  This short video shows you how. (This was featured in an email Janelle Cody sent out earlier this week to staff.) 

How to Enable Text Notifications for Your Google Calendar Events via Free Technology for Teachers ...  This is a great thing for students to do with your class calendar! 

Short video tutorial on how to add descriptions to Google Docs for better Drive

2nd graders can use Google Classroom!  From another district... 2nd graders into Google Classroom today.

Sharing has changed in Google Docs.  Here is a short 2 minute videoSharing has changed in Google Docs.  Here is a short 2 minute video about this changed feature. 

New! ThingLink & Google Docs Integration | Via... ThingLink Blog. Great example of ThingLink embedded in our very own Matt Rosenau's website - Colonial Village Project

6 little-known Google tools you should try today - Via the Daily Genius There are several gems in this one!

New handy feature: automatically create bulleted or numbered lists in Docs, Slides, and Drawings. More at:

10 Excellent Google Drive Templates for Teachers (The link in this article takes you directly to Drive's templates... but I like having the Drive Templates Appfor Teachers (The link in this article takes you directly to Drive's templates... but I like having the Drive Templates App installed too.)

Tip:Tip: Use revision history in Drive to make sure all of your students are participating in group projects.

How to Create Custom Maps on My Maps (Formerly Google Maps Engine Lite) - (I have used this one for vacation-trip planning too!) 

Amazing... I did not know you could do this in Google Presentations: The days of dry slideshows are over. Get creative with dynamic Google Slides and get your students talking.  (This would take some time! ... but cool.) 

Google Classroom -Google Classroom - More on this great product!

Doctopus + Classroom + Goobric = One awesome combination. This 10 minute YouTube = One awesome combination. This 10 minute YouTube will show you how.  Just watch it!

Google Classroom tutorial playlist - Nice set of YouTube videos to get you going with this great Classroom resource.

Google Classroom resources: Nice set of resources in this LiveBinder.


How to Add Free Apps to Your Edmodo Group.  Edmodo is an awesome LMS system that's free for teachers. 

Android Apps:

Android 4 Schools» Peter Pig’s Money Counter Helps Students Learn About Money

IOS Apps and Tips:

Saving Images with Google+ on Shared iPads - a unique idea

Vizzywig - Video Editor Movie Maker and Multi-Camera Film Edit Effects Slideshow Music Editing Credits App - Free Today (9-14-14)  <--- Normally $29.99

iTunes U:
If you have an iPad... many people do not realize all of the free content, classes, books and more that are availble!  Here's one... 
Learn the core concepts of organic chemistry from

Here's Harvard on iTunesU

1000 Free Online Courses from Top Universities - Just a list to peak your interest. 

Free apps, awesome web tools, great new Google features and tips... all in this weeks article!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Misc web sites and tools:

12 Good Tools for Gathering Real-time Feedback from Students via Free Technology for Teachers.

I love Remind 101!  If you have not used it, this is a great resource to get started. Videos to Help You Get Started Sending Text Message Reminders Through Remind (101)

Interesting, but not shocking... The Big Picture: a heat map of the 'entire' internet

Seven Web-based Tools for Delivering Flipped Lessons 

BEST Back to School App for ALL Teachers! (Hint... I have mentioned this one several times before!)

Turn your Phone into a bubble sheet scanner. (I have used this one, and it works great!) Back to School with Quick Key Mobile - Free Fast Formative Assessment

Quick Key turns your mobile device into a scanner and eliminates hand-grading of formative assessments, even for teachers working in paper-based classrooms without a computer or an internet connection. Analytics and data exports are fast and easy, so you can focus on your students. SET UP YOUR FREE ACCOUNT, AND START SAVING TIME RIGHT NOW!

Google Classroom:

The verdict is in at Norris... I am getting a lot of great feedback from teachers that love using the new Google Classroom product. If you have not looked at it... now is the time!   From Jill Elswick's Twitter feed: If you're unsure about trying Google classroom, do it!  A great way to interact and communicate w/students while I'm away presenting today.  Nicole Boon says... I love it, and it's easy to use. Now is the time to give it a try!

10 Ways to Use Google Classroom | via Brilliant or Insane

Google Apps and tools: 
This is a great list of Google Docs tips and tricks, however it has some dead links.

Now You Can Customize Background Images and Themes in Google Forms - Here's How via a short video.   And... How to be Notified When Someone Completes Your Google Form

Let Gmail do the work for you. @MsMagiera walks through the ABC's of Gmail in less than 5 minutes: -This past elementary teacher has some great tips on using labels and other gmail features.  Worth a watch if you are not currently using gMail labels (folders). 

5 Awesome Google Spreadsheet Formatting Tricks <--- Wow, I like these tips!

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 03:57 PM PDT
We have launched a new publishing interface for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The interface makes it easier for people to understand how document, spreadsheet and presentation content can be published as a webpage or embedded in their own website(s). In the new Google Sheets, the new interface also provides the ability to publish specific sheets and charts without publishing the entire document.

Cool use of Google Drawing tool: 
Shared by Veronica Tadeo via Google+:
Google Drawings has to be by far one of my favorite GAFE. Every day I find new and creative ways to integrate this app in my class. Not only can students make mind webs (brainstorm), storyboards, posters, flyers, and brochures, students can also use this app for graphic organizers! 

Do you use the burger method to teach students paragraphs? Well, what if students can collaborate on a burger or better yet, what if the graphic organizer is dynamic so students can rearrange their details! Imagine the power of being able to move details around without having to rewrite an entire draft!  :) 

In the video attached, I quickly demonstrate how a dynamic graphic organizer works. I also included a copy of the burger GO I made for my students. Feel free to copy the template for your use. 


Google Sites:

How to Embed Remind (101) Messages Into Google Sites.

How to add a Google Drive folder to Google Sites - Short 2-3 Minute video on "how-to"


YouTube Video Clipper - Pretty cool Google Doc template for accomplishing this!


New to Chroembooks - this one is for you.... Everything Teachers Need to Know about Chromebooks (9 short video tutorials) ~ Via Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Some great Chrome tips ...from our very own Becky Wilhelm: 
If you type "timer" in the the omnibox in the Chrome browser, you get a timer. I don't know how long this omnibox shortcut has been around, but I don't think it was there a year or so ago. I love the omnibox shortcuts in Chrome. I can't remember the last time I used a calculator, dictionary, etc. while near a computer or device with Chrome.

IOS Apps:

Free for several days - Algebra Touch is a math app that presents you with a number of mathematical problems to solve, and in a no-frills, easy to understand environment. I have not tried this app, but it gets great reviews.  Here is a short video here, about the app. 

TIMEMAPS U.S. History App - Historical Atlas by EMSE EDAPP, S.L. Price: $FREE   Taken from the iMums list.  (I subscribe to this one via their email list.  It features a lot of Elementary and PreSchool apps.)

GET 'EM WHILE THEY'RE FREE: $48 worth of awesome paid iPhone apps that are free right now  Not sure if they are worth $48... but they are free to try anyway.  One or two are back to being paid apps. 

An Excellent Free Graphing Calculator for Your iPad – Desmos

Tip: How to save a web page as a PDF in iPad Safari; great for students w/out Internet at

IOS 8 is coming out- September 8th!  BUT ... The one big reason you may want to hold off on upgrading to iOS 8 (Main reason... not all of your apps may be compatible!) 

An infographic guide to Google apps for the iPad -via @tcea

Android apps & tips:

Five apps to get your new Android device off on the right foot.

Two Free Android Apps for Creating Flipped Lesson Videos via Free Technology for Teachers.

5 more awesome Android apps you may not have heard of. Including the Algeo graphing calculator app.