Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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💥 Tech items - Free templates, new features, tutorials, originality reports beta, and more....

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Norris students have now added over 20,049 posts to their Seesaw digital portfolios! K-6 teachers... now may be the time!
Are you a part of the success?  I know many of you are already using Seesaw, but if you have not had a chance to check it out yet, now may be the time!  Give Jason a call and he will be happy to visit with you about what Seesaw can do for you and your students.  Parents love it. Kids love it.  And yes... our teachers love it too. 

Autocorrect and Smart Compose now available for Google Docs on web -  Last year, Google announced improved as-you-type spelling and grammar corrections in Gmail. Now, they are bringing that functionality to Google Docs on the web. This will start rolling out in the next few weeks.  More info here on Autocorrect.  More info here on smart Compose. 

Some great Google Slide Templates and ideas in this one!  Grab them now: 

Are you getting some web pages blocked? If so, let us know!

If you see a warning similar to above, please let Bryan know.  If you can take a screenshot that is helpful. (Use the Print Screen button on your keyboard to use the Greenshot tool.)   We recently replaced our old firewall with a couple of new ones.  In the process, some updated firewall rules and signatures may block a few things.  Let Bryan know and we can slowly get those corrected.

Side note on the firewall - Our old firewall served us for almost 8 years.  That's unheard of in terms of "firewall years".  One more way the district tries to make the pennies stretch.  Also - Kudos to Williams.  I am not sure if there is another school network admin that can swap out a firewall with two new redundant firewalls and see almost no interruptions within the network.  This guy truly rocks!  

How to Add Audio to Google Slides – And an Updated Tool for Easy Recording checkout the tutorial here.  And if you need some audio or music for your presentations checkout Nine Good Sources of Public Domain & Creative Commons Audio. 

12 Alternatives to Google Images Check them out here. 

20 digital bell ringer activities to kickstart class - Check them out!

[HEADS-UP] Famous 'Shark' Got Hooked and Lost 400K in an Embarrassing Email Phishing Scam - phishing emails and scams are something we all need to constantly be aware of.  In this story, they even asked the right questions but that was not enough!  Read the short story here

Turn a video clip into a looping animation by uploading it to You can choose start and end times, crop, add effects, change speed, write text, overlay images, and optimize the file size before saving as a .gif file.  Great tip from @tonyvincent 

Resources from Shake Up Learning! 
You will find hundreds of free resources for using Google and G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, how to get Google Certified, free lesson plans, templates, downloads, tips, tricks, cheat sheets, online professional learning courses for teachers, and much more!

Great tip from @alicekeeler 
I have one Google Sites I use to make lesson tutorials. I just make all the pages hidden from navigation so I can just link to that specific page.    

20 ways to use Pear Deck to engage students

Here's another great tip from Matt at DitchThatTextbook!  Actively engage your students through PearDeck.  It uses your Google Slides presentation.  The free version is enough for most of us!   

13 Tools to Record Audio on Chromebooks and Other Devices 

6 clever Gmail tricks to minimize regret, frustration and spam
Gmail can help keep your inbox -- and your reputation -- clean by giving you control over what comes in and what goes out of your Google account. This is a nice list of 6 tips that I am sure many of you will find useful.  

Google's Teacher Center offers free professional development resources to help educators grow their skills
The Teacher Center houses a variety of free PD resources to help teachers feel confident using Google tools in the classroom. Google’s Teacher Center is a free, interactive online platform with a curriculum developed by educators for educators. Whether your staff is savvy with classroom technology or just getting started, they’ll find courses that expand learning at any level, including video tutorials and multiple certifications to demonstrate mastery of Google tools. The Teacher Center is the go-to spot for educator resources and professional development.  Check out these great resources here

📢 If you use Google Classroom - Check this out! --New Originality reports feature in Classroom  
I know I sent something out in August about this... but I figured I would remind everyone about this feature and now is the time to try it out.  (Unlimited reports are free.)  This could be a great tool if you have students to reports, research papers, term papers, etc..

Our District recently joined the Google Classroom originality reports beta. This is a unique opportunity for you to pilot a new unreleased feature in Classroom and help shape the development. For more information, see this blog post. <--- you will want to read this for more details.

What is Originality Reports in Google Classroom?
Originality reports is a new feature that brings the capabilities of Google search right to your student assignments and grading interface through Google Classroom. The learning tool helps both teachers and students thoroughly review and analyze coursework to make sure it is properly cited and avoid unintentional plagiarism. This feature was designed to help students improve their writing and spot potential issues while saving you time while grading.

Getting Started and FAQs:
  • Share this post via Classroom announcements with your students to help them learn more about how to use the tool for their assignments 
  • Check out instructions for Originality for instructors on the help center
  • For additional support reach out to the Classroom Community Forum

Submitting Feedback
Did you know you can send feedback directly to the Google for Education team via the “Send feedback” button within Classroom? Feedback on products in their early stages have big impact on product design. When submitting bugs, feature requests, or user confusions, be sure to start with Originality Report.” Always include screenshots with feedback.

This feature was designed to help students improve their writing and spot potential issues while saving you time while grading. NOTE - When an instructor enables originality reports for an assignment, all students will be able to create reports up to 3 times for Google Docs files before they turn them in to spot check and correct potential missed citations.

Once the feature is generally available, instructors will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to 3 assignments in each course they teach. Schools that would like unlimited access can upgrade their instructors to G Suite Enterprise for Education. During the beta, all users can use originality reports as much as they need. NOTE - During the Beta, you will have unlimited use of this. After that time, you will be limited to using it on 3 assignments, so using it on major papers or reports would be the way to go.)

If you have questions or need help... let us know.

And another reminder... Tech training opportunities this summer!  
As noted in my email to staff earlier this week, I am starting to get a few questions about the Google Summit, Doane Classes and more... so I figured I would share what we have. 
  • Doane Classes - For credit (Norris teachers can sit in for free without credit.) 
  • Google Certification classes and stipend.
  • Google Summit - Registrations are due March 30th at 8 am.
  • Tech boot camp.
  • And more...


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