Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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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 
--Animoto 
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:
http://animoto.com/education/classroom  (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! https://goo.gl/AzDnMj   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 Dictionary.com 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

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