Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Free family movie on Google Play, tech tools, Google tips and more in this week tech tips!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

For a  limited time, get the new movie Bunyan & Babe free before theaters, only on Google Play. Watch the hilarious new family comedy now. Add this to your Google Play account today for free!  (I added it my personal Gmail account and my school account.)

Misc. websites and tools

Want to create or scan a QR code on your Chromebook?  This extension is for you. 

YouTube Kids - App<---Great for parents! Dive into a world of discovery, learning, and fun.  YouTube Kids gives your family an easy way to watch their favorite shows, or explore anything that captures their imagination. It’s free, simple to use, and full of family-friendly videos. This is a great app for parents and control over what videos your kids can watch! 

The New York Public Library just released a treasure trove of images you can use for free.

Create Audio Recordings and Save Them In Google Drive via Free Technology for Teachers 

Don't get scammed!
Savvy phishing attack targets Gmail accounts with high success rates - We have warned you about these... but some are still getting compromised!  Another article just came out on this one - There's a new Gmail phishing attack going around, and it's fooling everyone.  The irony of this is that before I sent this email and posted this on my blog, (Was sitting in my drafts for a while before I sent/posted this.)  we had a staff member's account get compromised.  I put together this document to assist our staff members, so maybe it will help you as well. 

Website and tech tools:

Check out it is killer.  Our very own Jason Cullison (@cully11 uses this site and loves it!  (Visit with him to help get you started.)  Create your own Cartoons. 

Google Docs:
How to Use the Google Docs Outline Feature on Your iOS Device - Via BetterCloud Monitor | The outline feature in Google Docs is a great time-saving tool for navigating through long documents. If you do a lot of work on your phone, then this can make working on-the-go even easier.

Google Sheets:
The Power Tools add-on for Google Sheets is a must if you are doing a lot in sheets! (Adds a ton of features that many power users will want.) 

How to Automatically Alternate Row (or Column) Colors in Google Sheets - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Applying some color to alternating rows in a spreadsheet can make it easier to read. Here’s how to use conditional formatting to automatically create a colorful and attractive spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

Google Classroom: 

Updated and improved Google Classroom cheat sheet (Great use of Google slides and how you can jump to other slides in this cheat sheet. Check it out1) 

Google Slides:

How to Use Speaker Notes in Google Slides - Via BetterCloud Monitor | If you want to add extra notes that only you can see during a presentation, try using the speaker notes section in Google Slides.

Google Forms: 

Google Forms: Choose a Random Winner - Choose a random winner from those who fill out your Google Form. 

Google tools, free apps, tech tips and more in this week's findings.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The 11 Best G Suite Updates of 2016  - Any that you like in this list?  Via BetterCloud Monitor | 2016 was an exciting year for G Suite! Whether it was improving existing features with machine intelligence or rolling out new products entirely, there were lots of updates that are helping us work faster and more efficiently now. Here’s a roundup of our favorite updates from 2016.

Randomize Answer Options for Google Forms - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Randomizing the order of answers is great because it can remove some of the inherent bias that comes with a survey. This way, you can get a more accurate depiction of how your survey takers feel.

This chart features over 30 educational YouTube Channels for teachers. 

How to run a Mystery Google Hangout/Skype. This doc will get you started.

Instantly Access Over 20,000 Books for Kids 12 and Under, Epic! is Free for Elementary School Teachers and Librarians!

Elementary technology favorites by grade level. (Free and Paid resources.) There are a ton of great resources... Make sure you check out See Saw (free version) under the second-grade section! SeeSaw Now Supports Text Labeling - 15 Lesson Plans for Using Labels. Connect Your Classroom Through SeeSaw Connected Blogs - Another nice feature of this product. 

MoocNote Offers a Chrome Extension for Taking Notes on Videos

This one is a Winner!  We were going to have a session on this during our PD on the 16th, but icy weather won out.  Apparently, teachers across the nation think it's a winner too... EDpuzzle - Readers' Favorite App

Google Classroom:

Every student is unique. Use today's new Google Classroom feature to assign work to individuals based on their needs. (Assign to a group.)  Check it out<--- New 1-11-17

Google Chrome:

Tip:  Customize Chrome To Always Open Specific Pages (or Wherever You Left Off)  Via BetterCloud Monitor | Chrome can automatically open specific pages (like your email, calendar, news, etc.) every time you open it. Chrome can also automatically pick up where you left off, opening the same tabs you were viewing when you closed it.

How to Uninstall Chrome Apps and Extensions Via BetterCloud Monitor | Sometimes, that Chrome app or extension you installed just isn’t doing it for you. Things don’t work out. Here’s how to remove it in a few easy steps.

Ten free ways to create videos on Chromebooks.  Via Richard Byrne ‏@rmbyrne As Richard mentioned at the end... YouTube is often overlooked and they have some great creation and edition tools. 

Google Sheets:
Sparklines in Google Sheets - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Want a quick look at data trends in Google Sheets? Check out the Sparkline function, which creates a miniature chart inside a single cell.

Split Names Into Two Columns in Google Sheets - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Have you ever had a spreadsheet containing a list of names and needed to split them into separate columns for first and last names? You usually would have to write a complex formula to orchestrate such a simple task, but the Split Names add-on for Google Sheets removes the need for formulas.

Google Expeditions:
If you have not had a chance to experience this... talk to Josh Murtaugh to see this in action.  Here is a list of Google Expeditions.  More info on Google Expeditions can be found on their home page


Amazing new Toontastic 3D storytelling app for Android and iOS now available, and it's free!  GET CREATIVE IN CLASS... With Toontastic 3D you can draw, animate, and narrate your own cartoons. It’s as easy as play. Just move your characters around onscreen, tell your story, and Toontastic records your voice and animations and stores it on your device as a 3D video.

Math Master IOS app (Free or a in-app purchase to remove ads.)  There are 7 challenging games in 1 single app.  Students can play basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as well as other math applications.   

Free IOS app, some great tech tools, and some surprising findings in tech and schools - In this weeks tech posting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

IOS Apps:
Great Free IOS app for audio recording and editing. TwistedWave Audio Editor  (Reg $9.99) - Free today! (1-10-17) 

Math Resources:

G Suite for Education - Recharge Learning - Digital Math Resources for K-12 A really nice document of resources.

Misc. Web tools and resources:
TechNotes - Our 2016 Google Resource Roundup. A really nice list of tools! 

This interactive website lets students listen and learn about animals and habitats around the world. The great animal orchestra.  - Pretty cool!

WriteReader - Collaborative Book Creation for Elementary School Classrooms.

Mercury Reader for Chrome provides ad-free, distraction-free reading. (Similar to the old Clearly extension, and others.)  Great to have in the toolbox! 

Google Apps: 

Crop, Rotate, and Add Borders to Images in Google Docs - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Along with the ability to crop images into slightly smaller versions of themselves, you can also crop them into specific shapes, called masks. Pairing this with the ability to add a custom border to your images definitely gives you a lot more flexibility in Google Docs.

Got Google Photos? This guide will help you get around the service like a pro: 

Google Drawings cheat sheet for teachers and students.

Should kids have school-issued devices?  Should we be using YouTube?  Surprise.... top parent concern is...... 

Over 100,000 people have shared their views on education via the Speak Up survey, and here is what they are telling us:

10 Things Parents Told Us About Digital Learning
10 Things Students Told Us About Digital Learning

10 Things Principals Told Us About Digital Learning