Thursday, May 5, 2016

Often Overlooked When Using Google - Templates!

With all the updates to many of the Google tools, many of us miss out on the templates that docs, slides, etc.. have to offer.  

How did you miss them?  That's easy!  Many of us access docs, slides, forms all through our Google Drive.  When we do this, a new document just pops up and is ready to type.  If we open our new document or slide through the icon in the app (or waffle) menu near your name in the upper right hand corner you will find an amazing library of already created templates!

Tip:  Make sure to click the "MORE" in the right hand corner to check them all out!

These templates are available in forms, sheets, docs, and slides.

Why not just start from scratch?  If you are new to the tool or in a time crunch and need a quick exit ticket, using the template of the form allows you to simply change the words and push it out to students.  If students are working on a project and the many different fonts, funky colors, and wonky visually unappealing presentations are eating at you, have them start with a template and discuss the graphic design of the template that makes it more visually appealing.  Have fun exploring the templates!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Push a website out to your students with Share to Classroom extension!

"Share to Classroom" is such a great extension for any teacher who is using Google Classroom with their students.

One extra feature that this extension can do that I wanted to share requires that students are in class - logged into their chrome on a desktop or on a chromebook AND the students have this same extension installed.

The PUSH option in the "Share to Classroom" extension allows the teacher to instantly push a website to the students on their computer or chromebook.  It instantly opens a new tab and the website appears in front of the students.  This is an easy way to get students to a site without having to post a link, or worse, have the students type the address in the browser.

It took less than 5 minutes to walk a classroom of 3rd graders through adding this extension to all the chromebooks.  If your chromebooks are set up through a management system the extension can be added that way as well.  Once the extension is added it will stay with that student's log in on both the chromebook and in the chrome browser when on a desktop computer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Must have Extension for Google Classroom!

Using Google Classroom with your students?  There is a must have extension to help streamline the process for creating assignments and announcements.  

The “Share to Classroom” extension allows for teachers instantly link a website that they are visiting to their Google Classroom wall as either an assignment or an announcement.  

You can post directly from inside the extension or ‘save as draft’ to post later or add additional resources.  

Another use is if you have a google document open that you are creating to use in an assignment, using the “Share to Classroom” you can instantly attach the document in the extension and create your assignment.  This saves you from needing to log into classroom and find the document in your drive.  

This productivity tool is essential for any teacher that is using Google Classroom!  There's another cool use for this extension coming in the next blog post!

Not sure how to add an extension? Or what is an extension? Here's a older Youtube video to help explain.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chromebook Basics - Thinglink

Just wanted to share a quick resource that awesome edtech guru Melissa Lim from Portland Public Schools created to help explain the ins and outs of Chromebooks.   Check it out!

If you have never played with Thinglink before - check it out! It's a fun twist on making interactive images.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Student Character Word Cloud

It's the end of the year.  Students creating a collection of works as a scrapbook reminding them of their journey.

One elementary teacher had students create character trait word clouds for their covers.

The students began by brainstorming a list of positive character traits.  From this list they could choose one trait that represented each student.

To automate this process a Google form was created.  This way we could copy/paste in results from the Google form into Wordle to create a quick cover.  To get the name larger we simply typed it in enough times to create desire look.


Now if only there was a Google Add-On that created a "word cloud" from results provided by a form submission.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

KidKam - Videos for Kids

I hear this debated topic often, do we allow students access to Youtube?  Some say sure, as it's a great opportunity to discuss many digital citizenship topics while the other side of the coin prefers to regulate what is available for students to view.

KidKam is a free online website that allows students to search through videos without the worry of accidentally coming across the inappropriate.  The videos will be tailored to elementary aged students from Pre-k through 6th grade.

The first step is for the teacher or parent to create an account. Once logged in videos can be searched for under a variety of categories, or tagged by specific age groups.

While searching you won't run across any comments by Youtube viewers.  Just instructionally appropriate comments by peer teachers recommending the video.

As a teacher you can create playlists of similar videos for students to quickly retrieve and watch.

As a parent or teacher you can go into parental controls and tighten restrictions to the website, like only allow the website to be viewed for a specific amount of time during the day or only allow videos in a particular grade level.

Basically, this is Youtube for kids, Youtube for the Elementary Classrooms.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Classroom Updates - it just keeps coming!

A few new features rolled out in Google Classroom to make this tool even more teacher friendly!   As this tool has developed over this year, the features added continue to make Google a key tool in today's classroom.

Save an assignment for later posting...  Not much explaining on this as to how this will save teacher time! Add your links, documents, instructions and choose to save as draft.  This allows you to post it when needed.    

Multiple Teachers.... These still have to be from teachers in the same Google domain but it allows for team teachers and student teachers to all post and take care of assignments, all the same tasks as the teacher who created the class except delete the class.   Perfect opportunity to set up book studies or projects with buddy classrooms in your district!