Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Amazing web tools, several free apps and more in this week's posting.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Thanks for attending the tech sessions on our 2-17-17 PD Day!
Here is a link to the topics that I covered in my Google Session. (Some are just talking points I used during my presentation/demo so some of it may not be helpful.)   Thanks to all of the presenters for their willingness to help and share! 

Summer tech classes offered at Norris:
I have had several staff members ask if classes were going to be available again this year.  The answer is yes, and we would love to work with you! 

You can take the classes for 3 graduate credits through Doane College.  

Here is a direct link to a Google Doc that lists all of the offerings. Fee free to share this with other teachers/schools. 

GP Summit -  Last Call for Norris Registrations!  (We pay for your $219 fee!) 

Norris staff - If you are interested in attending, complete this form.  <---- Register now! - Due Monday, March 6th

Are you still a reply all kind of person?

There are times it's very appropriate..... but other times it's not....

As you know my office is right next to Dr. Skrett's and Dr. Maschmann's office... and I recently overheard a conversation about a new guy they are hiring to address this.... I figured I had better warn everyone.  

 (I know... It's only funny if you have seen the movie Taken.) 

Web sites, tools, and resources:

Learn how your students can use Adobe Spark (I love the Spark Tools!) to easily and creatively tell their own stories to the world. (I love the free Spark tools.)  (This article mentions the app, but they are great web tools for Chrome on the Chromebooks, Mac's and PC's. And yes... their apps rock too!) 

Here are some other great ideas for taking Kahoot! to the next level.

There are now over 13.9 MILLION public Kahoots created! ... Are you using this fun, free, online assessment game?  6 Creative Ways to Use the new Jumble Feature on Kahoot

Krita Is a Fast, Flexible, and Free Photoshop Alternative Built by Artists.  I Have not had a chance to try it out... but the price is right and looks great! 

Even though President's Day is over,,, check out these resources - 9 Presidents’ Day Apps and Websites

Lantern - Search Thousands of Media History Documents  The Media History Digital Library is a massive archive of books and magazines about the history of film, television, and radio.

How do I import my Google Classroom roster to Khan Academy? Two powerful tools working together! 

Google templates:

Google Templates for Students - Looking for a template to get your students started on a project? We’ve found some great Google Docs templates to use as they are or change up to match your classroom.

Google Slides:

Google Forms:

How to Use Google Forms for Your Business - (Great applications for schools too.) 

Google Sheets:

5 Great Google Sheets Add-ons for Teachers (There were a couple new ones for me in this list!) 


10 great websites to access and find quality audiobooks for your students.

Remind - nice tool for reminding student's and parents via text messages.
They do not know your cell number... and you do not know their number!  It's free for teachers to use.  (They charge for a district plan... but we use School Messenger for those needs.)  Check it out. 

Free Apps -


Turns your iPhone or iPad into full-featured PDF document scanner.

Moose Math is a cute free app from Duck Duck Moose and Khan Academy. The app is designed to help young students learn how to count, how to add, and how to subtract.  Note - IOS & Android

Some great web sites, tech opportunities, tips, a couple handy apps that are free for a limited time.. and more in this weeks tech tips!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A note to just my Norris staff, but aplicable to most school districts...Please print to the copiers when possible!
Are you sending your print jobs to the copier? If so... you are saving the district money!
It costs a lot more to send print jobs to the HP printers than to the copiers.  Many districts limit the amount of prints and copies teachers can make.  This is something we have avoided, but we do appreciate anything staff can do to help out.  The printers are there for a purpose so feel free to use them.  But if you are printing a lot of copies... please send the jobs to the copiers.  (The copiers also duplex... so it saves paper as well printing costs.)

Hope this is not you:

I hate to say this... but you know me... never a shortage for words!  The above statement is true for almost everyone, not just educators. (Para's, Custodians, Bus Drivers, etc...) 

The Nation Needs More Cybersecurity Teachers - Great opportunity for you and your students!

Receive 8 Clock Hours of CEU Credit - Online and Free! 

Corporate-Funded Scholarships Enable Cyber Teacher Professional Development At No Cost to You or Your School. Be Part of the Solution to the Cyber Skills Shortage.
1 Million Open and Unfilled Cyber Positions in 2016. Cyber job growth is on the rise.

Norris teachers - If you are interested - Let me know! (There will be a reward for any teachers completing this!)

Tech tools and websites: 

How to Create Gorgeous, Professional Graphics in Minutes - Via BetterCloud Monitor | Don’t have professional design chops? No worries. With Canva–which has been dubbed “the easiest to use design program in the world”–it’s super simple (and free) to create beautiful graphics. (Canva is one of my favorite tools!)

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

Alice Keelers 892 Quia Math Activities - You can copy to your Quia account and edit, or just use them as-is without an account. 

Save your screenshots instantly to Google Drive with this Chrome extension

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

5 Secret Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts to Impress Your Friends With - Via BetterCloud Monitor | To get the most out of Google Drive, there are a few little-known keyboard shortcuts you can use. Here are five shortcuts for common tasks that’ll power up your productivity (and impress your friends).

1-2-3 Easy Drag & Drop Website Creator for Teachers and Students - (This article features Adobe's free Spark Page App/Site.  Great for creating online fliers, online posters, etc....  VERY easy to use!) 

Some great resources from out very own Katie Elder. She participates in the Technology Leadership group at our ESU 6. Check out her top 8 resources in this Google HyperDoc. (Interactive Google Document that allows you to link to websites and resources,) 

9 Ways to Create Videos on Chromebooks - Some new one's on this list. Via Free Technology for Teachers. (Richard Byrne - a tech rock star.) 

A Great Example of Using Google Maps in Science via Free Technology for Teachers. 

Use this Awesome Tool to Take Notes While Watching Videos - Via BetterCloud Monitor | lets you watch any video and take notes side by side on the same screen. It also automatically syncs your notes and video. Plus, your notes are stored in Google Drive for easy access and sharing.  Article here  and short video (2 Min.)  I have promoted this one in the past... it's a winner for any class assignment where you want kids to watch a video and take notes on the video. 

Six Tools for Collaborative Brainstorming - A Comparison Chart

Eight important Google Docs tips for teachers and students. I bet there are a few you have not used with your classes. 

Google Chrome Extensions: A Big Ol List - Alice Keeler's list of useful Chrome Extensions.  (Notice how she used OneTab to simply create this list and share it with one simple URL.) I love OneTab. 

Know Students Better: 17 Tools for Formative Assessment  (Some great ones in this list (Plinkers, Socrative, Seesaw) and some new ones!) 

Internet Archive's Wayback Machine is a digital time capsule of the World Wide Web...

Turn Google Sheets into an Automatic Bookmark/Citation Tool - When you’re doing research online, you don’t have to manually collect and save information. Try Citable, a helpful Chrome extension that simplifies how you gather research.

Download YouTubes - I was recently asked what my favorite site/tool is for accomplishing this.  Check out this site. 

Ultimate TCEA 2017 Ed Tech App Roundup. (Many new sites & Apps in this list!) 

Reading & Math Websites for Parents
Thanks to our very own Alisha Bollinger and staff for putting together this great list for parents.  It includes websites that are useful for parents looking for additional resources for home. 

Google Drive:

To Find Files in Google Drive, Search Like You Talk - Watch this short 2 minute video to get to started. 

Google Drive:

Google Sheets:

Link to cell ranges in Google Sheets - Because it can be difficult to navigate large and complex spreadsheets, we’re introducing the ability to link to specific cell ranges in Google Sheets on the web.

Google Sites:

How to Organize Pages in the New Google Sites - Via  BetterCloud Monitor | New to the new Google Sites? Don’t worry. Let’s go over some of the basics. We’ll cover adding, deleting, hiding, nesting, and reordering pages.

Google Slides:

How to Use the Q&A Feature in Google Slides  Via BetterCloud Monitor | With this interactive Q&A feature, you can collaborate with your audience by allowing them to submit questions and vote on them during Slides presentations.

Google Forms:

Add Images to Questions and Answers in Google Forms - Via BetterCloud Monitor | With this feature, you can insert images into survey questions or add images as multiple choices options. (This was released in the fall of 2016.  Great for quiz questions, etc... Hopefully you have already used this feature!) 

Your Computer is Infected - Please call this number!

Do not fall for this one... but people do.... 

Basically,  you have been directed to a site that will display this page or pop-up and get you call a number so they can get your credit card number, and charge you a fee to "Fix" your problem.  Be smart... do not fall for these scams!

Some free apps:

RadioApp - A simple radio for iPhone and iPod touch by Tal Shrestha gone FREE

Price Drop: $1.99 --> FREE  Easily tune in to local radio stations and to radio stations from all over the world, using a unique analog-like tune

Magnifier Flash - VERY HANDY! A magnifying glass with light by Tekton Technologies (P) Ltd. gone FREE

Price Drop: $0.99 --> FREE