Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Free Apps, awesome presentation templates, math tools, tech tools, tips and more!

Friday, March 18, 2016


Online resources for the classroom-  Texas Gateway: interactives, lessons, videos, & more: a free website filled with classroom-ready instructional resources for students in grades K-12. 

5 Chrome Apps to Help Students Practice Math  - Great for the younger kids. 

Connect with more people using Google Hangouts video calls - it now supports up to 25 video's at once! 

Google apps/Docs: 

NEW - Set expiration dates for access to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides files

Update - Export Your Google Doc To ePub Format - Via Synergyse
Google Docs documents can now be exported to ePub format making your document available to eReaders and readable on devices of varying screen size

For example, if you’re in an organization where YouTube is blocked, as seen in some education and government organizations, adding a video isn’t so simple. Today's post is a quick work-around to show you how to include any mp4 file in your Google Slides presentation. 
Navigate documents quickly and easily with the NEW outline tool in Google Docs
WOW! - Some great free Google Slide templates! -Check them out! 
Convert Your PDF’s to Google Docs - For better collaboration! 
Google Classroom:
How to set a custom grading scale in Google Classroom.
What's new in Classroom? - A great running list kept current by Google. 

Google Sheets:
Pasting in Google Sheets can become especially difficult when you want to paste a list or text that you want to separate into different cells. The former solution to separating text was with a script, but Google announced this week that you can now easily convert text to columns in Sheets with new paste formatting options 

IOS Apps:
Reading Fluency Builder: Improve Kids Reading Speed for Better Comprehension Grades 2-5: School Edition - Reg $4.99 - Free today 3-18-16 

A few math favorites from teachers: 
Math Monsters - Bingo (iOS - Free)
Students can practice all operations using this bingo app. They'll solve each problem and then find the answer on the bingo board. Players need to be strategic if they want to win the game.
Math Flash Cards * (iOS - Free)
A traditional skill-and-drill app (yes, the asterisk is part of the title), Math Flash Cards * helps children practice their times tables by customizing the number and difficulty level of each question. This app has a simple interface that makes it easy for kids to play.
Sushi Monster (iOS - Free)
Scholastic's app offers children multiplication and addition problems. They'll have to reach a target number by picking the correct factors and addends listed on different pieces of sushi. I mentioned this one in a prior post too!

Awesome tech tools, free apps, Google tools, and more in this weeks post!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Web sites and tools:
NoteBookCast is a free whiteboard tool that will work in the web browser on a laptop, iPad, Android tablet, and Windows tablet.…

7 Tools for Creating Multimedia Quizzes Compared in One Chart 

Assistive Technology for Any Type of Learner - a nice list from a middle school teacher in Pennsylvania. 

Easelly - TeachThought Editor's Choice: The 50 Best Educational Apps For iPad In 2016 | Easelly Create infographics and visual data on iPad or through your browser  Download a free book to learn how to incorporate infographics in your classroom.

Permission Click -  Digitize your parent permit forms!  I have not talked to a teacher that has tried it yet... but looks great and heard about it from a great resource. 

Digital Citizenship for Students: The Research Tool in Google Apps

Five creative digital tools that bring visuals and writing together: 

Five Google resources to support student writing: 

Chrome Apps:

OneTab for closing all your tabs and placing the links on a single page. You can lock the list for future use, etc... - This is one of my favorite extensions! 

YT Full Fill Chrome Extension - Strips all of the previews, comments, etc from Youtube clips and gives you a link with just the video to share with students or teachers.  Not perfect, but helpful to teachers.

Chrome Cleanup Tool - A Windows programby Google. 
This application will scan and remove software that may cause problems with Chrome, such as crashes, unusual startup pages or toolbars, unexpected ads you can't get rid of, or otherwise changing your browsing experience.

Using Google with Math & Chromebooks:

Google can graph 4th degree polynomials:

Google finds C in the Pythagorean theorem. a^2+b^2=c^2 calc a=4 b=7 c=? 

Chromebook tips:

New Google Templates!

New templates in Google Docs: designed by experts, made for you

Template Home Pages: 

Google Docs:
How to use the Insert Comment button in Google Docs for better feedback and collaboration!

Tip of the Week: Creating a Table of Contents in Google Docs - Via Synergyse

Creating a Table of Contents is a feature in Google Docs that often goes unnoticed and unused. This video blog walks you through the necessary steps.

Google added a feature with Voice Typing...  but now it's on steroids! You can now select lines, paragraphs, and individual words with your voice, as well as insert objects and navigate your document.

Google Sheets:
 5 Tips for Google Sheets

Formative Assessment Add-On: Super Quiz for Google Sheets. I have not used this one yet, but looks pretty cool! May be better than Flubaroo??? 

How to Share Individual Tabs In Google Sheets - As simple as it sounds, Google does not have a direct way to share individual tabs in Google Sheets. That does not mean it is not possible to do, you just need to get creative.
How to Insert Multiple Rows in Google Sheets 40 second video shows you how. <-- This was a new tip for me!  I have been using the Add Rows & Columns sheet add-on, which works great too. But I like this tip better! 
How to Filter and Sort Data in Google Sheets - Looking at a large set of data in Google Sheets, it is difficult to make heads or tails of all the information. Making a graph or chart can add some clarity but usually paints the data with too broad of strokes to make sense of individual numbers. Using the filter tool in Google Sheets you can narrow down your data set and sort it into an easier to digest set.
Google Forms:

There were some great updates to Google Forms this past month!  Check them out here!  Add-ons, templates, ..  and now... 
Track responses to your Google Form
Form creators will be able to see who they’ve sent their forms to and who still needs to respond. There will also be a new option to send out follow-up reminders as needed. 

4 Updates to Google Forms You’re Going to Love

Creating Self-Checking “Scavenger Hunts” Using Google Forms! (Posted above in my Web Tools Section too.)

Google Classroom:

EDPuzzle is a video integration tool that builds engagement, supports the flipped classroom, and aids in the formative assessment process.

9 Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail That Will Make You More Productive

Google Draw:

Sketchup -  Did you know they provide free licenses to schools!  Here at Norris, Andrew Carlson and other's have been using this product in their classes with some pretty cool projects.

IOS (iPad/iPhone) apps:
Sushi Monster is a free iPad game from Scholastic that helps kids practice their addition and multiplication skills. 

TeachThought Editor's Choice: The 50 Best Educational Apps For iPad In 2016 
Start creating videos and classroom projects with this leading unique interactive screencasting whiteboard. Remember - at Norris we will provide this app for free for classroom use! - Contact me for a code.

Little Story Creator - Digital Scrapbooking and Photo Collage Maker.  FREE

Little Story Creator lets you instantly create collages, arrange photos or get creative with videos, text, borders, stickers, videos, audio, drawings, and more. Your family and friends will be amazed with what you can create. 

Whether you are 5 or 85, you will find Little Story Creator to be an excellent app to share your photo collection and handiwork with family and friends.

By Qrayon, LLC
Is free today (3-7-16) Reg. $9.99

Scribble Press Deluxe -   <--- GRAB IT NOW... this is a great K-6 appCreative Book Maker for Kids for iPad is free 3/7/16; normally $4.99 Free until the 18th.