Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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πŸ’₯ Tech items - Some great tips and tools to check out πŸ‘€ in this weeks post!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Google releases Chrome Canvas web app for drawing with ‘Ink’  - Just visit this site and start drawing! More info here.   (We have added a direct link to this and the AWW App in Clever) 
  • -Save drawings
  • -Export file if needed (PNG picture file format.) 
  • -Easy, Simple, & Fast!
I have added this one along with some other great ones to my doc: Use your iPad or Chromebook (Android app) as a Whiteboard <---Check it out! 

Free app! For kids in grades K-3 - Quality reading practice has never been easier.
Rivet is a free (Developed by Google Labs) program that provides access to  3,000+ free books across 14 categories in a kid-friendly interface. More info about the app can be found in our info document.  (Feel free to share this with parents tool) 

EdPuzzle has some great new features.  (This is an awesome tool for videos in your classroom.) It integrates with Google Classroom too!  Great for making sure students have watched the assigned video. You can even quiz them along the way! 

Here are a few of the new features:
Live Mode 
Project your edpuzzle for the whole class while your students answer live on their own devices… watch together, have fun and spark discussion!

Open Class 
Now students can watch videos without having to create an account – perfect for quick practice and elementary students! 

Are you using Comments in Google Classroom with grading assignments/Docs? 
Remember, the # will bring up your list of comments to insert. It's a nice time saver!  More info in this short 2-minute video. 

Display the word count as you type in Google Docs - New feature 
(Starting gradual roll out on 9-9-19.)  Instead of going to Tools > Word Count each time you want to view this information, now, you can simply select Tools > Word count > Display word count while typing to continuously display it in the lower-left corner of your doc:


Here's one for the math teachers - Need to do equations in Google docs?
Give the Auto-LaTeX Equations add-on a try. This add-on lets you automatically convert every LaTeX equation in your document into beautiful images! Simply enclose your math equations within $$ ... $$ and click the button in the sidebar, and all of your equations will be rendered in LaTeX!

3 easy strategies to organize your Google Classroom - This article has some great tips on getting your classroom organized.  Note - I have added this resource to our Google Classroom tips and trick doc

New Features coming - Switch to a Blank Screen and Set Advanced Time Options for Presentations in Google Slides
Via G Suite Updates | Google is adding two new features in Slides Present mode to help you better control and customize your presentations: keyboard shortcuts to switch to a blank screen and looping and auto advance time options for presentations. More info here. 

Some great resources from Matt Miller's Ditch that textbook email:
Check out his site with some amazing resources that grow each week! 
Here are just a few: 
20 Seesaw ideas with Chromebooks for K-12 classes  We are pushing every K-2 teacher at Norris to use SeeSaw - but check out these great ideas for everyone! 
Signup on the right-hand page of his website to get a weekly email with some great resources. 


Great email tip if you do not really want to give out your actual email address. This avoids creating a junk email address for conferences, etc...

Have you ever signed up for a conference, newsletter, or other services as a requirement or to get a discount Instead of setting up a different Gmail account for that unwanted Spam give this a try!

By simply adding a + to the end of your username (but before the "@") you can create infinite variations of your Gmail address. For example, ted.smith+norris@nsdtitans.org will direct email to your main address (ted.smith@nsdtitans.org) without giving it away to spammers. You can then filter messages containing "username+norris" into your junk or trash folder so you never have to be bothered to delete them again.   (Do this using Filters in Gmail.)  As shown above, this will work for EDU domains like our nsdtitans.org or for regular Gmail accounts as well.) 

Google Drive tips:

Share for a limited time - You can make a file in your Drive storage available to someone else only for a limited period of time. Right-click the file and select “Share,” Type in the name or email address of the person with whom you want to share and click the “Send” button.

Fax a file from drive - Need to send a fax from your Google Drive - No problem with the HelloFax add-on.  (Free and paid plans.)  Click the big “New” button in Drive’s upper-left corner, select “More,” and then “Connect more apps.” Search for “HelloFax” in the window that appears, then click the green “Connect” button and follow the steps to authorize the service.

Maintain different versions of files -  With Google Docs you have version history as well as named versions right inside of the doc.  But with non-google files like PDF's Pictures, etc... did you know you can keep up to 100 different/older versions of the same file?  In Drive right-click on a file to upload a new version or to download an older version of the file.  This how-to article will help if you have further questions. 

Color code folders or add emoji to the names of folders.  Right-click (or Ctrl-click) any folder and look for the “Change color” option.  Right-click to rename the folder and past the emoji as a part of the name. 

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