Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Free apps, Realtime Board Accounts, Google Classroom updates and more... in this weeks resources!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Web tools and sites:
Realtime Board - Grab your free educators account here.  Whiteboard. Finally in your browser. - Works across all platforms! 

Interesting infographic covering some handy Google search tips.

Get lost on those historic trails that Lewis & Clark navigated in the 1800s via@googlemaps

Kids can turn off your TV, Projector, and more... with this app

Some of the Android phones/devices include IR (infrared) (I so they can act like your TV/projector remote.) Apple devices currently do not support this.

So the bad news is... kids with certain Android devices and apps installed can turn your TV on or off, change channels, control your projector, etc...
The Peel app is one app that does this.  Android App OR  IOS App (As noted above, IOS does not have IR built in, so they would need an extra device to make that work.)  This peel app is pretty cool, even includes TV Guide like features.

What can you do about it... not much.  Just have good classroom management and be aware of what can be done in case your TV/Projector/ etc... starts behaving like it has a mind of its own. (It will probably be a middle school kid playing tricks on you!) 

Has this happened at Norris? -- Well Yes... LOL. 

IOS Apps:

Fresh from the Twitter feed of Tony VIncintneu.Draw is free right now (was $1.99). I use new.Draw to make vector illustrations to use in VideoScribe. 

Google Apps:

Have you used the collaboration feature in Google Docs? If not... you are missing out, when you need to collaborate on a doc. In the upper right-hand corner of the doc, you will find the following drop-down menu: 

Or use comments, to draw attention to things but not suggesting an edit:

Want some more great tips like above... Watch this short 5 minute video - Collaborative Editing | Docs, Sheets, Slides | The Apps Show for more including notification rules, bookmarks in docs, and more!

The Apps Show by Google is a nice YouTube channel with a great short series of videos introducing many Google Apps features and uses. 

4 Things You Can Do Right Now To Create A Perfectly Organized Google Drive <-- Great tips here!

And this short video will show you how to find that email or file in Drive - You will learn something new in this one! 

Google Forms:

Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week – Create a Check In/ Out System in Google Forms (This includes a really cool add-in that I did not know existed.) 

Google Classroom:
Multiple teachers can work and collaborate in a single Classroom class! Google just added this feature to Classroom this week! 

In response to teacher feedback, Google has made two additional changes that will make Classroom easier to use:
  • Autosaving grades - Grades will now be autosaved as they’re entered, meaning teachers can grade assignments over multiple sessions but still return those assignments to students all at one time.
  • Improved notifications - Teachers and students will now receive email notifications when private messages are left on assignments.
Check out the announcement here!

Free Disney Short films, apps, web tools and more in this week's tech roundup.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Web Tools:

Great Video tool - especially for flipping your classroom.  Turn online videos into interactive learning experiences that engage students and deepen understanding:

Clipart - Background images- 
128 free to use 1024x1024 textures

Your students will pay attention to these Google Search tips!

And a couple other tips:

Google Apps and Tools:
Google Doc and Sheet add-ons:
If you have not looked at the many Google Sheets and Doc add-ons, now is the time.  My quick how-to doc will assist you in getting started with these great add-ons. 

Need to map addresses from a Google sheet to Google maps - This add-on is slick!  (Demo video here.)

Google Sheets:
A data heat map highlights each data cell with a different color along a spectrum based on its distance from the statistical mean. As an example, you could use heat maps to quickly identify trends in expense reports, like which days you spend the most money.

6 things That You Didn’t Know You Could Do In Google Sheets 

How To Make The Perfect Budget In Google Sheets  - Nice 3 minute how-To video.  (Nice demo on a few Google sheet features, including conditional formatting for cell colors, etc...) 

IOS apps and tools:
iTunes U for educators has a wealth of info. iBooks, lessons and more!  Educators could spend HOURS exploring the wealth of rich education resources here. (Must have iTunes on your computer, or visit this link form an iPad for it to open up iTunes U.

Norris Google Apps growing!

#norristitans staff and students have almost 1/2 million files in GoogleDrive with 54% of them being GoogleDocs

Edit video on the iPads:

Animoto- use small clips and pictures to edit together. Great for quick videos.  (Educators can get the pro features for free - Longer videos.) Educators - First join Animoto as a regular user.  Then visit this site, and apply as an educator. 

Loopster - this one is a little more complicated but is great for video editing. I layered it with small clips of music from my iPad (I chose some random tunes), I incorporated a slow motion clip, and some text so you can see how much can be done with this app. You then upload the video to the loopster site and can publish it to youtube.   Thanks to @MeganHuenemann for sharing this great resource with our staff!   Here is a sample from herI layered it with small clips of music from her iPad (and chose some random tunes), I incorporated a slow motion clip, and some text so you can see how much can be done with this app. You then upload the video to the loopster site and can publish it to youtube. 

Adobe Voice: Show your story. In minutes.  Download the free app here

Free Disney Short Films: 
Apple is offering various Disney's Winnie The Pooh Short Films (HD) for Free listed below. (Fresh from SlickDeals!)
Note:  in iTunes, these are normally $1.99. (By getting them, it does allow you to download them as well for offline use.)  These short films are also normally free on YouTube along with other's their Jr. Channel - A great math & science resource for Grades 1-12!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This resource deserves it's own email, it's got so much potential and just keeps getting better.  is an amazing resource that just keeps getting better.  They now have a great app too!  Download it here

Their new free apps for both iOS and Android devices offer 100,000+ practice problems anytime, anywhere! Best part: it adapts to the student's skill level, so it will keep them engaged. And yes, it's free.

100,000+ free digital textbooks - you choose!
Wondering what other schools in your state are using CK-12 FlexBooks®? You can now browse from our collection of free Common Core and state standards aligned books to download, or customize one to make your own!  

There are a few Nebraska Teachers that have shared their flex books for you to see too. 

It's still targeted for the Math and Science areas, Grades 1-12 as shown from their main screen:

April fools fun, FreeApps, K-6 storytelling apps, web tools, and Google tips in this week's email!

Some April Fools fun - lirpA sloof nuf
Head on over to Google's site

Web Tools
Want to find Google Docs that other's have already made?  There is always the template gallery... it' great.  But here's another way - How to Find Publicly Shared Google Docs

Seven Alternatives to Google Image Search - Comparison Chart 

EDpuzzle Review: Easy-to-Use Tool Lets Teachers Quickly Turn Online Video into Lessons.

Get better, more accurate search results with these 12 Google search tips

Here at Norris... did you know we have this tool in each building for checkout?

Swivl - a robotic mobile accessory for you phone or tablet. -Great for filming class lectures, presentations and more! This Doc will give you more information on this great product! 

IOS Apps and tips:

Use your iPad as a Whiteboard with this free app from IPEVO. Check out my resource doc here. (Sent out a separate all staff email earlier on this tool - It' got a lot of potential!)

This video might have some iOS 8 tidbits that are new to you (time limits, zoom controls, speak screen & more): IOS 8 tips with Tony Vincent (@tonyvincent)

Three Free iPad Apps Students Can Use Over and Over. Facilitate creativity with these apps! (These are great apps for the K-6 area - Awesome for stroy telling and more!) 

Stickyboard 2 - Free today (3-31-15) !  Great app for classroom brainstorming!  Use your Apple TV to turn this app into a great classroom tool! Their homepage has a nice video about the app. 

Google Apps:

Google Sheets - The easiest way to split first and last names in Sheets.  Short 2 minute Video. - This is a cool add-in! 

class charts logoClassroom management made easier: Class Charts allows you to track and analyze student behavior over time, make seating charts, and share with colleagues and parents. They have a Chrome App too

Try these 5 undiscovered Google Drive tricks by PCWorld

Managing Student Workflow with Google Apps

Google Presentations:

FREE TEMPLATES FOR GOOGLE SLIDES PRESENTATIONS - This site is awesome! Slides Carnival has some amazing free templates you have to check out. 

What's new in Google Apps:

People using Google Sheets will now have more powerful conditional formatting options.

Google Drive allows you to store and access your files anywhere—on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go. We’re now making it easier to store and organize your photos and videos in Google Drive as well.

A new version of the Gmail app for Android is now available on Google Play

Get these product update alerts by email <--- This will put you on the Google Apps email list, to stay current with all of the new features coming out in Google Apps! (They only send a couple a month, so they do not flood your inbox.) 

Posted this a few weeks ago... but it's worth making sure everyone sees it! Awesome new app! 

Have you heard? The new @YouTube Kids app safely opens a world of videos to little ones. Introducing the newest member of our family, the YouTube Kids app--available on Google Play and the App Store