Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Free coding app, Web tools, Dinosaurs, Google tools and more... in this weeks tech tools.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Norris YouTube Channels - Subscribe now! 

Did you know we have over 10 YouTube Channels that broadcast a variety of sports and activities?  If you subscribe to a channel, you will get a notification when we are broadcasting on air!  (You can also follow Norris160 on Twitter or Facebook for notifications and more. Complete listings and directions can be found here!  <---Check it out! 

Free IOS coding app for kids!
Tynker for School - Learn to Code for iPad is free today-  12/5; Reg. $5.99: IOS/iPad app. Made for Ages 9–11.

Web tools, websites, resources... and more:

Sumdog contests: 
To take part, students simply play Sumdog's online maths games, any time during the contest week.  They run free local contests for schools in Southeast Nebraska three times a year - the next one starts January 13th  Enter the contests here. Sumdog's Holiday Contest starts December 9, at 8am. 

10 Alternatives for the Readability Extension - (As this article states... this was one of my favorite apps for teachers/students.)  (I like the Announcify extension, but it also adds the ability to read the page to you or your students.) 

11 Free iBooks for K-12 Students (More K-6 on the list) 

Dinosaur apps and websites:
  • Dinosaur’s Among Us: The special exhibition at the Museum of Natural History. 
  • Kids Dinos: Full of information and games. 
  • 123 Dinosaur Coloring and Alphabet writing Book Games for kids
  • By Nuttapong Tongrungsri (IOS APP - Free) Kids can access digital coloring book pages with this simple and straightforward app.
  • Dinosaur Park: A super fun fossil discovery game is a playful introduction to dinosaurs. (Free - IOS) 
  • World of Dinosaurs: The Ultimate Dinosaur Resource - is the comprehensive dinosaur resource for iOS and features original HD Illustrations, and a wealth of scientifically verified information about all dinosaurs past, their history, extinction and modern day ancestors. (Free - IOS) 
  • The Dinosaur Museum: Lots of fun facts and information about dinosaurs. is the Safest way to watch and share YouTube and Vimeo videos to eliminate distractions.  Use it to send a video link via your Google classroom or via email. 

The new Google Templates have been launched.  Simply submit files to shared template galleries in the DocsSheetsSlides, and Forms home screens for your co-workers to adapt and use as needed. With these customizable templates, your teams can focus less on formatting and more on driving impact and sharing success. (Note: For Norris we have turned on moderation so all templates will first be approved before making it to our template gallery. 

Create an eBook with Google Slides -  Via BetterCloud Monitor | Google Slides can be an incredibly simple and easy tool for creating eBooks. This video shows you a couple of tips to get started.

How to Create Custom Maps in Google Maps -  Via BetterCloud Monitor | Custom maps are a great way to easily organize and view your favorite locations on one map. The possibilities for customization are almost endless.  Think about all of the uses in the classroom... this can be a gem for student projects! 

Gmail tips and tricks:

Clean Up Email Addresses in Your Gmail Auto-complete List -  Via BetterCloud Monitor | When you write an email, you probably depend on Gmail to auto-complete the recipient’s email address in the “To” field. But if that address is no longer in use, you can remove those auto-complete addresses from the list so they won’t pop up anymore.

Design Emails in Google Docs, Convert Them to Gmail Drafts with 1 Click - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Goodbye, wonky formatting. Hello, beautiful emails. Here's how you can design emails in Google Docs and then convert them to Gmail drafts with one click–all without losing any formatting.

Google Docs:

How to Quickly Copy Formatting in Google Docs - If you have never used the format painter, it may be the single best tool, that few people know about.  To speed up your document formatting, you can use this easy trick to copy formats instantly.

How to Search For (and Add) Free Images Right Within Google Docs -  Via BetterCloud Monitor | If your document needs some imagery, you can insert free images right within Google Docs. You don’t need to be out scouring the Internet every time you need an image.

The new Explore Tool in Google Docs (Formally the research tool.) now includes the ability to cite your source.  This feature was in the research tool, but initially left out of the Explore Tool.  Google listens... and has added it back!  MLA - APA - Chicago ... you choose!  More info on the new feature here

Google Drive:

Prevent Files from Being Downloaded in Google Drive - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Sometimes sharing files in Google Drive can make people worried because they feel like they don’t have true control of the data. We’ve put together a helpful trick to keep shared files from being downloaded in Google Drive.

Some New announcements from Google:

Parents no longer need Google accounts for Classroom email summaries!  (The Google help page still mentions they need Gmail accounts, but this should have already changed as of this Dec. 5th, 2016 writing.)

Graduating students can move email and Drive files to personal accounts!  Sometime in early 2017 we will now get a new tool that will let students transfer their emails and files.  Prior to this, it was kind of a pain using Google Takeout to transfer your data. 


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