Google Docs are by far one of my favorite classroom tools to use, but sometimes it may get confusing when it comes to sharing. If you do not have access to Google Classroom, than this blog post will show you how to get a Google Doc to your students without them changing your content.
If you are a Google Docs user, than I am sure this has happened to you as well. Let's say that you type up a study guide for an upcoming test to pass out to your students. When you go to share that, you accidentally chose "Anyone with the link can edit." If you have done that, than you know the pain it caused. ....Now when your students open the study guide, they have the ability to change, add, or delete anything. Say goodbye to your original document.
To prevent this from happening, there are a couple of things you can do.
Do you ever open your email and get overwhelmed? I was at a Google conference this past week and learned a great tip for those Gmail users that want to clean up and organize their inbox.
The presenter took a poll of all the teachers in the room to see how many emails were in our inboxes. I was amazed at the number of emails kept in these inboxes. The teacher who had the most was over 4 thousand....Yup 4K!
One trick to organize your inbox is to use different tabs for different types of emails. Check out the tutorial below to give this a try, or check out these steps to get organized.
Recently, I was at the miGoogle 2015 conference and learned about this awesome add-on used within a Google Doc. This add-on is called "Twitter Curator" and is used to cite tweets.
This tool could be very handy to have in the classroom as your students could respond to tweets made by political figures, professional athletes, or other famous individuals. Using this add-on would allow students to view tweets and respond to them on a Google Doc instead of having to actually use Twitter. This sounds like a perfect idea for a current events class.
To get more help on how to cite tweets on a Google Doc, check out the two minute video tutorial below.
Recently, I have gotten quite a few requests on uploading videos to YouTube and being able to edit your videos. This is something that I do quite frequently because I am always making screen casts or tutorials of various things.
First of all, YouTube is owned by Google, so if you have a Google email, you already have a YouTube account. Now there are two ways that you can upload a video to YouTube:
I have been a Google fan for years now, especially because of the well-known Google Docs and Google Forms. When recently talking to a Microsoft fan, he said that Microsoft has what they call a "Excel Survey", which is similar to a Google Form.
I will say that Google Forms has so much more customization and has the ability to quickly grade your responses using Flubaroo. With that being said, more customization means Google Forms can be more complex to navigate and create. Because Excel Surveys are basic, it does not take much time or knowledge to create one yourself.
First of all, why create a Google Form or Excel Survey? Below are some ways teachers can use surveys in the classroom.
Check out the video below for a 5 minute tutorial on how to make your own Excel Survey, or you can check out the images below as well.
I was recently at a digital conference and was listening to the national known Leslie Fisher. She was giving out a lot of great ideas which I have shared many of, but one of the tools took me back to grade school.
I remember when I was in 5th grade, and whenever we got work assigned in class, the boys would get it done as fast as we could so we could play Jetpack. This was an old game on the even older computers that we were obsessed with. That was one of the best computer games I have ever played as a kid and wish I could play it online these days to rekindle the flame.
Well Leslie Fisher told the audience about a site called The Internet Arcade that has over 600 computer games which are from 1970-1990. So what do you think I did? Yup, I did a quick search for Jetpack, and what do you think happened? I will skip the little details and tell you that I spend a few hours last weekend playing Jetpack! That game is still as fun as it used to be. Thanks Leslie!!
Check out your childhood addiction game and don't waste too much of your live away after you find it.......
I know I have been posting a lot about screen-recording, but these are very essential to use as educators are using multiple types of devices in the classroom. Recordit.co is a very unique screen recorder because it does not require the creator of the screen-recorder to save the recording as a file. Instead, recordings are all saved on the companies end by a URL link, so you don't have to worry about using space up on your device.
The only downside of using this tool is the initial download of the program for your computer. It only works on your computer and it requires you to download it to either your Mac or PC. Once this free and quick download is over, you can fire up the tool and choose the location of your screen to record. When your recording is finished, it creates a video of your screen-cast and you can pass on the URL link to those you want to share it with by copying the link of the video.
This tool also can take your video and turn it into a GIF. Which means.......Graphics Interchange Format. Why would I want a GIF? Well, we all know that sometimes videos take a longer time to load depending on your internet connection. If you take your scree-casting video and convert that to a GIF, your video will turn into a bunch of pictures packed together. Pictures take up less space and load a lot faster than videos do, so if you have a slow connection, try a GIF.
Check out my examples below of a brief screen-cast.
I find myself answering a lot of questions on screen-casting tools for teachers or students to use, so here are a few.
Screen-casting on iPads or Samsung Tablets
I find myself answering a lot of questions on screen-casting tools for teachers or students to use. A year ago I would have recommended EDUcreations, Showme, and even Explain Everything, but there is a new app in town that I like even better for Apple or Samsung devices.
IPEVO Whiteboard is now my new favorite. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but its simplicity is what teachers love. Here is the best part....there are no usernames, logins, passwords, it is free, etc. All students have to do is open the app, create a screen-cast, and it will automatically save to their camera roll. Let me say that again. "There are no usernames, logins, passwords, etc. All students have to do is open the app, create a screen-cast, and it will automatically save to their camera roll."
Again, I like other screen-casting tools, and there are times to use the other apps I mentioned above, but IPEVO is screen-casting at its most basic and simplest form.
Screen-casting on Computers
Screencast-O-Matic is a well known site for recording your computer's screen. There is nothing that you have to download or install. To record your screen, follow the few steps below.
Tax season is around the corner, and I always have a difficult time trying to keep my files, receipts, and documents organized. I have debated on going digital for quite some time now, but the Google Drive app has helped me make this process a little easier.
With a Google account, and the Google Drive app, you are able to scan a document, and it will turn it into a PDF file automatically. This can be stored in specific folders for simple organization.
This tool not only applies to your tax organization, but your overall organization of your teacher documents. Take those old copies that you have stored away in a 3 ring binder and get them digitized.
Check out the following pictures for a quick tutorial.
If you are an educator who likes to pull a lot of videos from YouTube or other online sources for your students, you need to check out EDpuzzle!!
Edpuzzle gives you the ability to search any online video and make it your own by adding personalized audio, true/false, multiple choice, or text response questions during the video, and it allows users to crop parts of the video out. This turns a video into a interactive experience and requires individualized student application while watching the video.
Teachers have the ability to allow students to create a login, which will allow the teacher to view many powerful analytics. If teachers do not want students to have logins, students can still watch the videos and take part in the interactive tools, but responses and analytics will not be saved.
Videos can be found from sources such as: YouTube, Khan Academy, National Geographic, Ted Ed, Vimeo, LearnZillion, and quite a few more sites.
Take flipping your classroom to a whole new level with Edpuzzle. Finding and creating your own personalized videos cannot get any easier, and your students will be more engaged with those videos that you share. Check out a few sample videos I found below.
*The video contains 3 questions, but audio clips can be added as well.