Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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A great group of tech tools, apps and more to end this week! Free apps, tools and more.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Molecular Workbench free software (available for Mac, Windows, and Linux) is an incredible modeling tool for secondary science teachers and students to use in conducting computational experiments. (This is installable software, so does not work on a Chromebook.) 

5 Awesome Adobe Apps That Are Completely Free  You will more from me on the Adobe Spark Suite (Web, iOS): Create Beautiful Posts, Articles, or Videos!  These tools are Amazing!  This article also highlights other programs, IOS apps, etc.. thart are free!  

Here’s a nifty trick that combines both Google Sheets and Maps. When you enter addresses into Sheets, you can then display all of the locations right in Maps, creating your own custom map. 

Use Google Drive to Fill Out PDF Forms - If you don’t have the right software, filling out PDF forms on your computer can be a frustrating experience. Luckily, this (free) trick using Google Drive makes filling out PDF forms a breeze.

6 Must-Have Creation Tools for the BYOD Classroom. - This is a good list! (Seesaw is a great tool for the K-8 environment! A ton of great feedback from the K-8 teachers on this one!) Providing opportunities for students to make and create is essential in 21st-century classrooms. Children of all ages should experience the joy of seeing their work shared and celebrated. Check out this list for some great tools to accomplish that! 

8 Tips for Teachers Using Google Cardboard in School and 5 apps for Google Cardboard.  

Another Collection of Some Good Google Drive Add-ons for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning May 10, 2016
Remove line breaks, Change letter case, Google Sheets Rubric add-on... and more! 

Google Forms:
You can now add images to questions and answers in Google forms!  (They recently added the ability to do quizzes in Google forms.  I still liked using the Flubaroo add-on for doing quizzes with forms since it had a much richer feature set... and it's easy to use too.  But with this new feature, doing a quiz right from Google forms is the way to go if you want to add pictures to the question and/or for feedback.)  This short video (4 min.) will walk you through the process of adding pictures to your questions. 

This video (8 Min.)  will walk you through the process of creating a quiz in Google Forms. 

5 Free Research Tools for the Classroom
Google classroom:
10 things every teacher should be able to do in Google Classroom - Infographic

Google Draw:

Google Sheets:

Have you ever had a list of names in a spreadsheet and wanted to separate them by first and last names into two columns? Then this tip is for you!

Google Docs:
An Easy Way to Color Code and Organize Ideas in a Google Doc.  Maybe a great tool for kids and collaborative projects with docs, etc...


Google Chrome Extensions for Education:

We asked educators what their favorite Chrome Extensions were for using in the classroom. Here are the results.

Add Text to Your Image Just By Right-Clicking! Via BetterCloud Monitor | Adding text to images can be cumbersome: You have to find photo editing software, open up a separate program, import your photos…you get the idea. Luckily, there’s an easy solution that lets you add text to any image on the web just by right-clicking, making the process seamless and quick. (I am now using this tool.  It's free, but does have a few premium features as well.) 

IOS Apps:

Microsoft Pix wants to use AI to improve your iPhone photos. Read more about it here.   Link to free app on the itunes store. I have started using this app, and it really does improve your pictures. 

Scan and Learn with the Socratic Homework App - This looks like a cool free app for students. (I have not tried it yet.) Read more about it here. 

A repeat of my recent email to staff on some exciting updates to Google that have a lot of impact for EDU!

Google Classroom:
Google Updates Classroom with New Tools for Students, Parents, and Teachers! 
Parents can now automatically receive summaries of their kids’ work so they can know exactly how they are doing in any given class.

Mobile annotations: Teachers and students can draw on, highlight, and write notes on documents and PDFs in the Classroom mobile app.

Check out the What's new in Classroom Google page to keep current with all of the new bells and whistles. 

Free IOS App - Stage Pro: Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera Reg. $4.99
Stage Pro: Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera is free today. (Reg $4.99)

Not sure if it's as good as the Explain Everything App... but it's free to try out. (Contact me for free codes for this app if you have a use for it.

Some great tools and tips for the start of the school year.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Web sites and tools:

My Three Favorite Classroom Timer Tools - via Richard Byrne @rmbyrne

A Literacy Resource You Must See to Believe -  The aim [of The Literacy Shed] is to provide high-quality resources that can be used in stand-alone literacy lessons, can form the basis for a whole literacy unit, or can support literacy units that you already have in place.

Spiral Education promotes strong classroom collaboration for free!  IOS Android and Chrome app

Help 1-8 students learn more than 1,000 crucial math skills for free - Nice game based learning motivates students to work outside the classroom too! (Over 4 million users and growing.) 

The Write Stuff - Some great tech tools for creativity and writing in the classroom. 

4 Free Digital Storytelling Tools for the Classroom via SimpleK12 
--Blabberize (Talking Avatar)
--Befunky photo apps 
My Animoto notes: 
Animoto  Is a great site for creating videos from pictures! Sign up for free edu account. First sign up for a free account, then visit this site to apply for the teacher account:  (You can easily embed the Animoto, or link to it on your website too!)  First, create a free account, then request the education version to get the pro features for free.)

Soundtrap - allows students to capture audio, edit, collaborate and publish their final podcast, radio show, etc...  Designed for creating and sharing music too!  (Works great on Chromebooks... since it's all through the web.) 

WOW! - I like this tool! Google's new Tour Builder is great for telling a story with maps!   Example Tour here. 

Need to manage events and registrations ... This Google Sheet add-on will manage it for you! 

This is my favorite new Chome Extention for Gmail!  --> The New and Improved Gmelius Extension. It adds some great features that I really like! 

Google Docs & Apps:

How to Make Columns in Google Docs -- Great tip via BetterCloud Monitor | If you’ve ever tried to create columns in Google Docs (for example, if you’re making a newsletter), you might have noticed that there’s no built-in feature for it. Don’t worry, though—the workaround is easy. Here’s a simple method for making columns.

Google Templates for Students - Great list from TCEA 

Advanced Tricks for Making Your Google Slides Better with Multimedia

If you ever have a Google Doc that’s tens or hundreds of pages long, it can be difficult to find a specific section of text that someone has asked you to reference. To save time, it can be valuable to provide a direct link to a specific paragraph in your document. (Hint... it's using the bookmark function.)

5 Google Sheets add-ons that supercharge your data! 

Google Apps Education Newsletter for June 2016

Chrome Extensions:

WOW- This is a great list.  I personally use every one of these!  The 8 Best Chrome Extensions As Chosen By Teachers

Google Calendar:

Google Drawing:

Google Slides:
Are you looking for tips to make your presentations more engaging and captivating? Check out this episode and learn more about some cool Google Slides advanced features, that will help you improve your presentation design and flow!

Google Sites - It's new and improved! 

Google sites have been updated, and they are great!  (There are some new features.... and a few things I hope they add... ) We are a rapid release domain, so this new feature is available for our users.  You access the new sites here

This cheat sheet should help get you started.  (I have also added it to our tech docs in drive.) 

Google Classroom:

CoolCat Teacher's 100+ Google classroom resources. 

Classroom now lets you plan ahead by scheduling announcements, assignments, and questions to post at a later date or a specific time

Just announced from Google -Coming this fall: keep parents and guardians in the loop
Later this year, we’ll launch email notifications from Classroom for guardians so they can stay involved and help to motivate their students. Guardians will be able to sign-up to receive daily or weekly email digests of their student’s progress, upcoming work and class announcements. Administrators will be able to invite guardians directly and set domain-wide policies for guardian linking and notifications.

IOS Apps:

Thanks to free mobile apps, creating flashcards with students has never been easier. IOS & Android - FREE Flashcards by looks like a winner. 

Play review games or learning games in your classroom?  Turn your iPad into a game style buzzer with this free app - Game Buzzer Free -Which I had this one when I was still in the classroom. ☺

Want to create some excitement with projects?  These apps are great for the K-12 classroom! Animate with avatars, pics and more.  This presentation from the ISTE conference will get you started.  It has Chatterpix Kids (Which is awesome for the young kids... and you hear a lot from teachers that love it!) but it also includes a ton of other ones that look great.  Check it out. 

Google’s new Arts & Culture app brings the world’s art, virtual tours and more to your smartphone Experiencing the world’s art just got a little easier, thanks to Google’s newly launched Arts & Culture application which puts works of art from over a thousand museums across 70 countries into the palm of your hand.  

7 Favorite Apps to Use with Book Creator  - Did you know we have licenses for Book creator for use on our iPads?  It's an amazing tool!
This si a great list!  The Explain Everything app is one that we provide free to teachers!  Need a code... drop me an email. 

Android Apps:

Google makes working on mobile easier with new Android Add-ons for Docs & Sheets