Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Tech tips, free apps, free jazz music albums and more in this weeks posting.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A few more house cleaning notes for our Norris Teachers: 
This is a list of our Google Groups in with no members.  If you own any of these groups and no longer use them... please delete the group. 

Remember - If you have any files to delete on your Z drive, now is a great time to do it!  I would upload anything you want to Google Drive.  (Teh Z drive is not going away next year, but you never know in the future.)

Still room in the tech classes - So we would love you have you.  (If you are sitting in on the class for non-credit, make sure you let me know so I can plan on you!) 

Web tools and sites:

Got a list of text in the wrong format? Tell Transformy  how you want it and it'll do the rest.

You can give your classroom learning centers or stations a makeover with technology! The collection of activities teachers provide their students at a center can be enhanced with technology, even if there’s only one computer or tablet available. Nice downloadable PDF graphic.

Google Search: 
12 Google Search Tricks You Probably Didn’t Know 

I am now using the Tab key to enhance my Google Searches, here is why -- 

Google Apps:

Send a link to any student in your classroom running this Chrome Extention via sound. Kind of cool.  (I still recommned using Google Classroom for this, but this is a quick alterative too!) 

6 Futuristic Google Tools That Feel Like Science Fiction

Google Classroom:
Add Multiple Teachers to a Class in Google Classroom

Android Apps:

IOS Apps:
The free iPad app Paper by FiftyThree now includes ThinkKit for creating diagrams and mind maps: 

Stay up to date with all of the new features and additions to Google Apps:

Google Apps updates alerts feed is a nice place to start with the latest updates listed in a short feed.

What's new in Google Apps siteWhat's new in Google Apps site and newsletter -  You can sign up to receive the monthly newsletter here. 

Sign up for the Google Apps for Education newsletter. 

The Google for Education blog has all of the latest announcements concerning

A little free Jazz music:

Google Play Store is offering few Digital MP3 Albums listed below for Free.

Note, must be logged into your Google Account to take advantage of these offers. (You can log into your account and grab them, and then log into your personal gmail account to grab them there as well.) 

These tools ROCK -Lucid Chart updates, Google Apps, 5 minute Assessment tools and more!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Web tools and sites:

Interesting infographic covering some handy Google search tips.

From our very out Matt Clemens - Authors Who Skype with Classes & Book Clubs (for free!)

MindMup - A Mind Mapping Tool That Saves to Google Drive

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!) 

Quick 5-minute Classroom assessments - Use these tools:
Quizizz - 

Lucid Charts:

If you have not looked at this tool you are missing out.  The pro features are free for education, and we have it added to our Google Apps.

Now with this great feature... it's even better!
Turn Your Mind Maps Into Presentations With LucidChart's New Presentation Mode

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

Google For Education (@GoogleForEdu) - Check out these handy add-ons for access to even more creative features with

Google Drive:
5 great Google Drive tips: Keyboard shortcuts, saving options, templates and more.

Google Drawing:
Quick Intro to Google Drawing with Included Graphic Organizer Templates - This short 4 1/2 Min. Video will get you started.  it rocks!  This is a great K-12 tool, that few teachers have explored! 

Google Forms:
Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week – Create a Check In/ Out System in Google Forms

Free Images, sounds and more - a Tip from our Norris HS Media Center specialist - Mrs. Huenemann 

It's close to the end of the year and I see many students working hard on papers and presentations. Don't forget to tell students any images, video or audio content they use needs to be cited and often needs permission.

I have compiled some great sites that have images, audio, and video in the public domain for students to use in their presentations. Go to the HS library website and you will find a  Copyright Free link on the left-hand side. Direct your students to use these sites instead of just google, so they need not live in fear of copyright infringement!