Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Some great Tech Tools, free apps, and score a free t-shirt too! All in this week's post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Websites and web tools: provides free writing, grammar, and vocabulary activities to middle and high school students. - Thanks to Jason Cullison for finding this gem!  A great website with some excellent activities and game-based learning exercises. 

InnerBody ( is a great website for learning about human anatomy.

How to make some really cool email signatures right from your Google Drive. 

Have you tried POWToons??? it's pretty cool.  Welcome To The Intersection of Technology and Creativity for Teachers & Students - PowToon is Giving Away $10 Million Dollars of Classroom Accounts for The New School Year

Need to create video ... YouTube is really the best and free answer. 
Google offers several free tools: 
YouTube capture for IOS is so simple. It makes is easy to shoot and upload video to your channel.(It even does simple video edits on your device.  
YouTube Creator Studio- By Google, Inc. IOS version or Android Version makes it easy to manage your channel on the go. 

Once your video is uploaded, the YouTube video editor makes it easy to edit your videos.

Google Apps, tips, tricks and more:

Google Sheet Add-on:  Need  to remove duplicates from a Google Sheet? This add-on is a great tool for doing just that! 

Google Sheets Now Automatically Analyzes Your Data For You! - Pretty cool new feature! 

Google Sheets has seen another update that makes getting work done a bit easier. Now, when you paste data into a cell, you will have the options to paste everything, just the value, or just the format. More info here. Thanks to Aaron Svoboda's Synergyse site. 

In case you missed it (Janelle C shared this one with our staff already!) .... here it is again Great Google Drive Add-ons for Teachers - This resource has some great tools! 

Schedule an email to be sent later - This article compares 3 tools you can use. 

Set Expiration Date on Shared Items
Sometimes you need to share folders or documents with others but only for a short amount of time. Perhaps you are working with a group of people and want to provide access to some of your documents for reference or instruction. Once that time together is over, you might not want them to have that information any longer. This Script will do the trick. 

And some tips, tricks, and more from the Google Guru:

Google recently solved this problem by adding a new option to the Google Docs interface specifically for viewing recent edits and the editors that made them. Simply click the “See New Changes” button next to where it says “Help” on the Doc navigation bar and view the whole edit history as well as who made the edits. It’s time you got the full picture when collaborating.
3 Google Apps Tools You Didn’t Know You Could Use Offline
Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week – How to Use Handwriting in Google Docs and Forms. Great for math expressions too!  
Google's updated training center has some nice tutorials and resources for you and your students. 

Google Chrome:
Back to School with Google Chrome: The Complete Guide! - You can even download a copy of this right to your Google Drive.

Google Classroom:
Take a look at the assignment option in Google Classroom from both a teacher and a student perspective. This short 5 minute video is a nice overview. 
Check out what's new in Google Classroom including the ability to reuse posts and ask a question. This short 4 minute video is a nice overview.  Google's Aug. 24th post "Head back to school with new features in Google Classroom" will get you up to speed with the new features awaiting you in classroom. 

Sign up for this great online (and free) hangout:  A Deep Dive Into Google Classroom. September 30th 4-4:45 ET (Starts at 5 pm our time.) 
Google set out to change the entire way that you manage your classroom and your workflows with radical simplicity. Come find out about one of the newest and most exciting innovations for Google Apps for Education–Google Classroom. You will be amazed by how much of your workflow can be transformed to digital through the use of this new tool. 
They will be giving away Official Google Apps Bootcamp t-shirts to attendees of this session! (These are put on by the Google Guru - and are usually great... and you get a free shirt too!) 
If you are sharing docs and having student share files with you.... you really need to use Google Classroom! 

Free Apps and more:
FiftyThree's new Paper app is a productivity powerhouse. This free app, may be worth a look with it's new update! 

If you are a Norris Teacher....

Clean out your Z Drive!  This doc should help you find where your Z drive files are hiding: How to determine the size of your Z drive, and where the files are hiding.

Short and sweet -- Tech tools, Free Apps, and some great Google tips and tools!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Web sites and Tools:

The wonderful, free digital portfolio app Seesaw is now available on Chromebooks and Android, as well as iOS. Via TCEA (@TCEA

Free Apps today (9-9-15):

iLearn Geography for iOS is free 9/9; normally $2.99:  (iPhone version) 

Photo Captions Premium for iOS is free 9/9; normally $2.99: 

Reading Comprehension Skills – Grades 1st and 2nd for iPad is free 9/8; normally $3.99: 

Create Videos on the Chromebook
How to create an explanatory video on a Chromebook  (A couple tools you may not be familiar with!)

Send All Your Students To The Same Website With Two Clicks - On Chromebooks! 
Google Apps Update - Send All Your Students To The Same Website With Two Clicks  If you are using Google classroom... this is a GREAT TOOL! 
The Share to Classroom Chrome Extension, which was released by Google last week, is an easy way to send all your students to the same website during a class. Save time emailing everyone out links or wondering if they typed the URL correctly, this new extension will put everyone in the right place. The short 3 minute video will walk you through the process. 

Prevent People From Downloading, Copying or Printing Your Drive Files  This short video will show you how. 
Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week – Create Freehand Drawings in Google Slides 

Free Music - Tech Tips - Free apps and more! Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2015

IOS apps:

You have to see this one... even if you do not teach math!  PhotoMath is an IOS app that uses your camera to do the math.  This video will demo the app.  Here is a link to the app. (Kudo's to Drew for finding this one!)

Some great Google apps tips, tricks, apps and more: 

How to Save Time When Replying to Email.  This short video will show you the Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome add-on. 

Create and Access Custom Maps in Google Drive - This new feature is great. I even used it for my vacation maps. :)  Students could do maps of anything for classroom projects... History, Geography, and more!

Create graphs and complex math equations directly from the Google Docs sidebar with g(Math) - This article will walk you through the process

Well, it turns out there is a script that automatically provides you with a URL that allows any user to upload a file to a designated folder in your Google Drive. The beauty of this script is that anyone can send the file to your Google Drive without signing in to a Google account!
Voice Typing now available! 

Now Voice Typing is a standard feature in Google Docs, both on the Web and mobile but only in Chrome. (One more reason to always use chrome!) (There have been some extensions that made this happen in the past... but now it's built right into Google Docs.) 

Click Tools
Select “Voice Typing”
Click the microphone icon that appears to the left and begin speaking.
When done, click the microphone again to stop.
Note - At Norris, every webcam (Logitech Doc cam) has a really good built-in mic... so you are ready to go! 

Did you know that Chrome has a remote desktop app?  Find out more with my how-to doc.
From the Google Blog: Posted: 02 Sep 2015 12:40 PM PDT
Today, we’re launching a new Chrome extension for Classroom called Share to Classroom. This extension makes it easy for teachers to send all of their students to the same website during class. Once the extension is installed, a teacher can simply open a website and “push” it to his or her students, triggering that website to open on the students’ devices as well. (It also works the other way—students can “push” websites to their teachers.)


Google Play has many Playlist: The Very Best of (Various MP3 Digital Album Downloads) for Free
Must be logged into your Google account to purchase (free).  You can grab it under a gmail account, your account... or both... like I did. :)