Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Some great free apps, Free website offer for PowTunes, and more this week!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

IOS Apps:

TextExtractor Scanner - (Free - Norm. $2.99) Scan PDF and Extract Text as Word Documents. This scanner works pretty good for an OCR scanner.  You may be wondering... why would Noel be recommending something that scans to a Word Doc, when he uses Google Docs.  Well, this will scan to a straight text file, that you can easily use in Google Docs or other word processors too. I have tried it with several Docs and it really does a nice job. 

There are tons of photo apps, but this one looked like it might be worth having - Free today (Reg. $4.99). Laminar Pro

Some great web tools, offers and sites:

Use Scholastic's Interactive Weather Maker to help students learn about rain and snow: (nice for the younger grades.) 

Need clickers and more interactions with students....  I like Socrative... and it's free. Access More Than 1,000 Socrative Quizzes Sorted by Subject via Free Technology for Teachers

Wideo, WeVideo, and Magisto - Three Good Tools for Creating Videos Online.

I have used this one... and it's worth looking at... and it's fun!  You can upload directly to your YouTube account too.  Here is one I did a couple years ago. 

is giving away

over $5M worth of classroom accounts

Get yours today ... Offer ends Oct. 31st!

Visit this site.  <-------

Some Apps, sites and tools for the week! (Nice Scanner app for the iPad is free today!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Web sites and tools

Daum Equation Editor is a Chrome Extension that adds an equation editor into Chrome. 

Free Technology for Teachers: Three Good Tools for Building Flipped Lessons That Include Assessment Tools

From Kyle Steinkuhler (@KSteink
Beginning projects on Native Americans with students, just showed them A great resource! (Research any topic with an interactive concept map, that you can customize and share.)

I have been promoting Remind lately... and here is another tip: Video - How to Embed Remind (101) Messages Into Blogger and Google Sites - Short 5 minute YouTube

IOS Apps, tips and tricks:

iOS 8 Tips and Tricks for Teachers and Students - A nice 10 minute YouTube by Tony Vincent.  I would subscribe to his YouTube channel. 

A couple free eBooks with iPad apps.  These are in ePub format, so this site, also recommends a nice Chrome extension Readium for reading ePub format eBooks. (At Norris, I have placed them eBooks on the N drive under our eBooks folder.) 

CamScanner HD Pro for the iPad is free today 10-23-14. (Reg. $4.99)  nice scanning app!

Android Apps and tips:
Two Free Android Apps for Creating Flipped Lesson Videos 

Google Apps and Tools:

gMath for Google Sheets is worth checking out. Create graphs and complex math directly from the sidebar into a cell in your Google Sheet. 

Do your research and write your essay all in one place with these 3 easy steps. Using the Google research tool 

New feature - Google+ polls lets you create a poll to share with your Community:

Google Docs handles numbered lists in an automatic way that can mess with MLA formatting... and drive you crazy when you do not want that automatic numbering. Here is a video on how to work around this:

Manage Revisions is finally available in the New Google Drive -a nice 2 minute YouTube. Manage Revisions was available in the previous version of Google Drive, but it just now made its way to the new Drive. This is great for those of you working with images Office files, as well as PDFs and much more!

If you have not switched to the new Google Drive - Learn more in this 2 minute YouTube.  

 5 Great Online Tools for Creating Infographics: 

10 Fun Tools To Easily Make Your Own Infographics

Some people include Lucid Charts in the infographic tools.  (We have that one added to Google Apps in our domain.) 

A twist on clickers:
Don't have clickers... but would like to check out this tip from out very own Becky Wilhelm:

I just tried out Plickers with one of my classes. I had a lot of doubts on how well this app would work, and I was pleasantly surprised. It worked great! Even better for me, it can be used with large classes and kids don't need devices. It was easy to set up (but some trial and error was necessary because they don't have very good directions). This is slick and I will definitely use it again. If you have a teacher that wants to use clickers but do not have them, I would suggest you check Plickers out.

Socrative is another great choice for "clicker" use. 

Mobile voice survey reveals teens love to talk... but adults are not too far away: Google blog Article (Graphic Below from this article.)

This weeks list of great tech tools, sites and tips... and is Facebook dying with the teen population?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Staying up with our teens:

Think Facebook is the "Hot Social Network" for the teens... think again via @pcworld -Checkout the research here. Are we keeping up with these kids...

Speaking of that...

Meet kids at their own level... Text messages!  Videos to Help You Get Started sending text message reminders through Remind (101)  They have also launched a Chrome App for communicating with students and their parents.

Websites, tools and tips:

PBS LearningMedia is a completely free service that brings over 87,000 trusted digital educational videos, podcasts, maps and more to preK–12 classrooms. See this PBS LearningMedia Teacher Review for more info. 

Sources of Free Sound Effects and Music for Multimedia Projects.

Awesome place to find images is Pixabay. All images are public domain--no copyright issues!

How to Use AudioBoom to Create Short Audio Recordings

Free Technology for Teachers: 20 Good Map Creation Tools for Students

Google apps and tools:

12 Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed During September - from TheGoogleGooru (@TheGoogleGooru)

Chromebook 101: Getting More Productivity Out Of Your Chromebook - A 12 minute YouTube

How to Insert Special Characters Into Google Documents

How to Adjust Colors and Add Filters to Images in Google Slides -  Here is a short 2 minute video on "How-To

From SAT prep to virtual road trips, expand your classroom with Google Hangouts via

Google Apps Update | Spell Check in Google Sheets

Google News & Weather app is now available in the App Store. Check it out →

Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week – Some great video tutorials from Richard Bryne:
One playlist is just about Google Tips and Tricks. The other playlist contains how-to videos for his favorite non-Google apps and websites. 
These are some awesome YouTube Playlists:

Tricks: Search Google Drive - Filtering your search

There's a new Hangouts desktop app and Polls for Google+

Close that browser and chat right from your desktop with the new Hangouts Chrome app →  <--this one is pretty cool, just installed it tonight. (Call any phone in the world for free too!)

I have mentioned this one in the past... but worth another look if you are not using it. Take a look at the Kaizena for Google Docs Add-on. Great way to give verbal feedback on a Doc! -Short 5 minute video here.

Coming to our Google Apps EDU domain soon... unlimited Google Drive Space!  Be ready to upload all of your videos... and we will soon be saying good by to the V drive (local storage) here at Norris. 

A few great resources from our very own Media specialist - Megan Huenemann, (These were previously sent out the HS staff.) 


If you want to have your students learn how to code, or want to practice the skill yourself use codeacademy.comIf you want to have your students learn how to code, or want to practice the skill yourself use  Or download the codeacademy app. This is a great free resource to help learn a basic understanding of what coding is and what it looks like. 

3-D Printing - A CAD software program where you can design items for 3-D printing or laser cutting. 

Draw up whatever shape you want and cookiecaster will transform it into a cookie cutter that can be exported as a 3-D printer file, the site also suggests other sites where you can get your download designed printed and shipped to you. 

Hands on 3D

Zspace- allows for immersive virtual technology. Pricey right now, but this is going to be an amazing tool in the future! See the video on their website about how this technology works. ZSpace.  Here is the 30 second video on YouTube <--- You have to watch this, Amazing!


Too noisy is an app designed to help students recognize appropriate volume levels for conversations. It can measure volume in a room and display a meter that shows if it is too loud. May be good to use with group work.  Too Noisy Free Ap in a room and display a meter that shows if it is too loud. May be good to use with group work.  Too Noisy Free App.

Awesome Google announcements, Apps and more in this end of week list!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Google Apps:

Google Forms gets some more updates!  You can now shuffle questions, and more...

WOW - This is big! WOW - Drive for Education: The 21st century backpack for students. Unlimited Google Drive for EDU and more!

Fresh off the Google updates alerts... one for the math teachers...

Your work depends on the best solutions to some tough problems. Whether you're working to optimize distribution networks or delivery routes, or simply getting the best staff schedules and optimizing your finances, the Google Sheets add-on for linear optimization can now help you do the math.

This add-on is one of many available. Remember to check out the complete store for Docs and Sheets often--more useful tools are being added each week

Google for Education Newsletter

Google Classroom:

Google Classroom: Numbering Assignments... as quoted from the article- "The more I use Google Classroom the more I am liking numbering my assignments." Other teachers use the YYYYMMDDprojectname naming method, but whatever works for you!

Check out my Google Classroom tips and tricks sheet, with some great links to video tutorials as well.


123D Catch by Autodesk is a free app that lets you create 3D scans of virtually any object. They just released their Android version too!

Create Mind Maps and Flow Charts With Lucidchart for iPad - Remember, we have this free for EDU accounts, and is added to our Google Apps.  Lucid Chart and Lucid Press are two amazing tools EVERY TEACHER has a use for!