• 1/7/2020

    You have been working so hard in Chrome, researching and creating. You accidentally close a tab that you need! ARGH.
     
    Ctrl+Shift+T brings back your last closed tab. Check it out, it's a great thing!

    12/31

     

     
    Here's to a great 2020!
     
    See you in a couple of days!

    12/24

    Hope you are having a great break! 
     
    Relax, enjoy your family and friends and stop checking your emails everyday! 😂😂😁

    12/17

    Making our students "Future Ready" is something we have to do! With ever-changing technology, things are not always done the way we learned how. There are some things that have always worked and always will, but we have to be open-minded to reach today's students.Take a few minutes to read through this and think about how you are helping our students to be successful in the future. 
     
    You will notice that they are not all technology-related because technology is a tool, not the education.
     
     
    In regards to #2, yes there are lots of other ways to be productive, but businesses are not going away from Microsoft Office so that is still a valuable tool to know and use.
     
    Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and happy shoveling!!

    12/10

    You may have heard about Seesaw being used in the elementary. It's not just for elementary though, here are some ideas for using it K-12. We have some resident experts in the building. We will set up a training session in January. 

     

    12/3

    Do you feel like your lesson planning is becoming stale and you do the same things over and over? Check out this blog post about creating wildly engaging lessons.

    11/19

    Having trouble deciding on a tool to use to move your lessons up on the SAMR model? Check out this graphic that shows different tools to use for different types of traditional assignments.

    SAMR Student Choice Matrix

     

    11/12

    This is an interesting and funny TED talk about procrastinating. If you have time (14 minutes) to watch it, do so. It makes you think at the end. I am a procrastinator and I'm trying to get better.
     

    https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator?language=en

     

     11/5

    Tune - Chrome Web Extension link


    With all the talk about SEL this year, here is an interesting extension for Chrome that can help you out!


    Tune is a Chrome Extension that allows you to control the level of toxicity in the comments you view online for such sites as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and more.

    You simply turn the dial in the settings to adjust which comments you see, all the way from full comments to no comments in "Zen mode", and everything in between. Using AI, the extension hides comments that are more toxic than the level you set, but always with an option to click on the comment to see it if desired.
     
     
    screenshot of Tune

     

    10/29

    Looking for better design templates for your Google Slides? Slides Carnival is an option bug this blog post goes over several more websites with cool design templates.

     

    10/18 

    You can use the tool Wakelet to create student blogs. Give your students a voice!
     

    http://ditchthattextbook.com/2019/10/15/creating-student-blogs-with-wakelet/

     

    10/15

    Have you seen the Priority setting in Drive yet? You can set up a workspace and put files that you frequently use into it. That way you can find the REALLY important files quickly and easily. It's kind of like Starred but seems to be more organized. You can set up more than one workspace so for example, if you are coaching, working with PBIS and teaching, you could set up a workspace for each of them.

    Priority Drive Image

    10/8

    Need an idea for integrating technology for Level 3? Try having students create a ebook out of Google Slides. Everything you need to know is in this article.

     

     

    10/1

    If you are new to Google Classroom or an old pro, this article has some good tips and tricks for getting started and using Google Classroom.

     

     

    9/24

    Another great new feature in Google Mail. Schedule Send! 

     
    Similar to Boomerang if you used that. You can choose a date and time to send an email. Click the arrow next to the send button and choose Schedule Send. Then you can choose the date and time to send your email. 
     
    I'm using it to send out my weekly tech tips from now on! 

     

    9/17

    Google Mail has been updating its features and Rachel McNally found a great new one!

     
    When you are creating an email that you want to remain confidential you can send it in confidential mode - click the button at the far end of the send menu. This marks the email as confidential in the subject line. This tells you it's confidential so that you don't open it in front of students.
     
    image.png
     
    Try it out the next time you need to send a confidential email.
     
    Disclaimer: If you are opening a confidential email on an ipad or phone there are a couple of extra steps involved. 

    9/10

    Here is a lesson from the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum  on how to annotate text in Google Docs. It is geared towards Middle and High School students but It's possible that teachers might use it for their own purposes as well.

    9/3

    What is a Blind Kahoot?

     
    Watch this video to find out!
     

    8/27

    Organize your bookmarks on the bookmark bar by deleting the name and only using the icon (if the bookmark has one that is easily distinguishable.)

     
    To do this, right click on the bookmark on the bookmark bar and choose to edit the bookmark. Delete the name of the bookmark.
     
    image.png

    2018-19

    5/20

    Are you using Google Forms for Quizzes? Are you worried about students cheating on them? This article gives ways to prevent cheating  on a Google Forms Quiz.
     
     

    5/13/19

    As I was researching a blog today one of the extensions that was talked about was the TooManyTabs extension for Chrome. If you have a lot of tabs open on your screen and can't see what they are, this extension gives you all of the tabs open in file folder format, you just click on the tab you want and it opens up the site. As of this picture, I have 14 tabs open and it is a lot easier to see them this way.  

    image.png

    5/6/19

    Kids are getting antsy with the end of school coming up. 

     
    A Digital Gallery Walk is a good way to give peer feedback on an assignment and gets the kids moving.

     http://ditchthattextbook.com/2019/02/20/the-digital-gallery-walk-collaboration-on-their-feet/

     

    4/22/19

    In the Mystery Animal game you get 20 questions to determine what kind of animal it is. You need a microphone to play the game. Try it out, it would be a good Science game.
     

     

    4/15/19

    Check out this website, it has all the pictures from Life Magazine. You search by your subject and it comes up with multiple images.
     
     
    Make sure if you use these images anywhere, to cite your source correctly!

     

    4/8/19

    The SAMR Model

    The SAMR model shows the stages of integrating technology into your classroom. Take a look at it and estimate where you are on the model. As we go forward with integrating technology, we will use this as a guide for trainings. 
     
    image.png

    4/1/19

    Ways to Zoom Using Your Keyboard

    Magnification: 4 convenient ways to zoom

     

    1. Increase the size of browser content

    Press Ctrl + to increase or Ctrl - to decrease; Ctrl 0 to reset

    1. Increase size of all items on the screen

    Press Ctrl Shift + to increase and Ctrl Shift - to decrease

    1. Utilise magnification at the operating system level

    Settings > Accessibility > Enable Screen Magnifier

    To adjust, hold Ctrl and Alt and scroll 2 fingers on the trackpad

    4. Docked Magnifier Settings > Accessibility > Docked Magnifier

    3/25/19

    Interactive Notebooks in Slides

    Slides can be used for Interactive Notebooks with your students.

     
    Check out Matt Miller's blog post that has lots of templates to use!
     

    3/18/19

    Skip easily through a YouTube video with the number keys

    There’s a good chance you’ll watch a YouTube video that has some content you don’t really need. The number keys on your laptop, computer or Chromebook can help you breeze through the video by skipping unnecessary content. Try it out …

    1. Open a YouTube video on a laptop, computer or Chromebook.
    2. Use the number keys to skip through a percentage of the video. (i.e. the “1” key skips to 10 percent through a video, the “5” key skips to 50 percent through a video, etc.)
    3. The zero “0” key restarts the video.

    If you’re using a mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.), there’s a solution for you, too! Double-tapping the right side of the screen in the YouTube app skips forward 10 seconds. (Left skips back 10 seconds.)

    Information taken from 

    http://ditchthattextbook.com/2018/10/24/the-secret-menu-for-google-slides-docs-drawings-and-more/

    3/11/19

    Icon Boards can be helpful for students to understand information, demonstrate their knowledge of a subject and you could also use it as a page for links to different resources that they will need in class.

     
    Matt Miller from Ditch that Textbook has some great ways to use Slides for Icon Boards. Check them out!

    2/25/19

    Here are some good Art Education tools that you can use in your classroom. Some of them could be related to any subject matter, like Math.
     
      

    2/18/19

    Here are some great ideas for using Google Tools in the primary grades. I like the one for Read Across America. Some of these could be used across the board K-12 but they are listed as primary grades.

     

    1/28/19

    Have you ever made a Word Cloud for your classroom? Here is a link to a Google Doc add-on that will create Word Clouds from your Google Doc.
     

     

    1/21/19

    If you are using Google Classroom, you may have noticed that they updated the appearance of it. It kind of surprised me today!

     
    There are new designs, you can drag and drop topics and assignments on the Classwork page and you can easily see and share the class code. (Handy when kids are absent the first day or two!
     
    If you use it on your mobile device, you can also delete or edit posts by swiping left on the screen.
     

    1/15/19

    Another good one from Eric Curts! Have you thought about integrating creating music into your classroom or how sound waves look visually on a spectrogram? Google Music Lab has a lot of different tools that allow you to connect your math and science lessons to music. There's even a Rhyming lab for English. 
     
    Check out the link below to investigate some of these features.
     
     
    Have a great week!

     

    1/7/19

    I decided to change the day of the Weekly Tech tip for 2019. 
     

    In researching new tools to use, this one caught my attention. The information here is copied from Eric Curts Control Alt Achieve blog. He has a lot of good information and tools to use in the classroom. This is an add-on to Google Docs so you have to click on the link and then add it. As the website says, it is free for now but there is an offer for getting it free for life!

     
    Let me know if you use this tool and how it works for you!
     
    WriQ
    Google Docs Add-on link
    WriQ is an add-on that can help with both proofreading and grading with a rubric. When you run the add-on it will start with a quick grammar check of the document, highlighting issues with grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Next it will let you choose from one of several pre-made rubrics to assess the writing and provide feedback. The completed rubric is inserted at the top of the document for the student to see. (For more rubric tools see my blog post here.)
     
    Have a great week!

     

    12/20/18

     
    I have been getting some questions about why you should consider becoming a Google Certified Educator. I found this infographic that sums it up.

    I hope you all have a relaxing and fun Christmas break! Enjoy your family and friends this holiday season.

    Infographic about Google Certified Educator

     

    12/12/18

    This website is one of many that I have found that have teacher templates for free. Most use Google Slides or Google Docs. Check them out to see if there is one that you can use or let me know what you're looking for and I will do my best to find you one!

     

     

    12/5/18

    On the Google Classroom Android app there is an option to use a Student Selector. It allows you to randomly select a student from the list of students in your class. 

     

    11/29/18

    Have you tried a breakout game (similar to an escape room but with a box and locks. Mr. Blithe has one in his classroom.) Here is a link to a digital breakout template on Flippity. 
     

     

    11/16/18

    My weekly tech tip for this week is to take one day over break to not use any technology! Shut off your phone or only answer the truly important texts/calls, don't go on social media, enjoy some time without constant interruption. Go outside (with blaze orange on) to get some fresh air or just veg on the couch with a good book (a paper copy!). Think about the things in your life you are thankful for.

     
    Have a great break and a Happy Thanksgiving!
     

     

    11/8/18

    There are a couple cute Thanksgiving activities at this link. One is creating a turkey and writing about it. The other is to help the turkey hide from becoming turkey dinner. 
     
     
    Check them out! They look like fun!

     

    11/2/18

    Here is a tutorial on how to create comic strips in Google Slides. This would be a great way for students to show their learning in a different way.
     

    10/18/18

    Richard Byrne is a tech guru! He has a YouTube Playlist of a lot of Google Tools Tutorials. Check it out sometime when you need to know how to do something. 

     

     

    10/11/18

    You can create Story Cubes for creating stories or as a game for a vocabulary review. The following link has templates and instructions for how to make your own Story Cubes.

     

     10/4/18

    Here are some fun activities to create with you students for Halloween. Creating a Halloween Rebus Story and Using Google Slides to draw a pumpkin and describe it.

     
    Maybe an upper elementary, MS or HS class could create a Rebus and share them with the lower elementary kids. 
     

     

    9/27/18

    Google Voyager is a great place to teach different aspects of the earth in almost every subject area. Check it out at https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/earth/education/explore-earth/

     

    9/20/18

     
    We have switched over to the new Gmail so your email may look different than it did before. If you haven't switched, you may want to soon. 
     
    Some new features are that you can access Calendar, Google Keep and Tasks by clicking on the right side of the screen. 
     
    You can also minimize the left side of the screen (like mine is in the picture below) by clicking on the three lines next to the Envelope. 
    image.png
     

    9/13/18

     
    You can use Google Forms for an exit ticket in your classroom. This tech teacher created a slide to ask a question, then has a google form attached for the students to answer the question as well as give additional feedback. Click on the link below to get a copy of her slide and her Google Form. (Why reinvent the wheel!)
     
     

    9/6/18


    Here is your tech tip for the week:
     
    If you are presenting in PowerPoint and you want to bring everyone's attention to you instead of the slides, you can press the B key and it will black out your screen. Just press the B key again to bring it back up.
     
    I found this information at the following link. It talks about why you would use this feature and how it will make your presentations better.
     
     
    This being said, it DOES NOT work in Google Slides. (I tried it. 😁)

    As always, if you need any assistance with technology, please let me know!
     

     2017-18

    4/17/18
     
    Let's force some spring cheer! The link below takes you to a spring poetry template and directions on how to use it. It utilizes Google Draw to create a magnetic type poem.
     
    This can be used at any level and any classroom!
     
    http://www.controlaltachieve.com/2018/04/spring-poetry.html
     
    4/3/18
     
    There is an add-on for Google Slides that gives you access to 300,000 copyright free photos. To find it, 
     
    • Click the Add-on menu item in the top menu bar.
    • Click Get Add-ons from the drop-down menu.
    • This will open the Add-ons window.
    • You can scroll through the available Add-ons, or narrow down the choices with the filter menu, or type in a search term.
     


    If you need help with this, please let me know!
     
    3/27/18
     

    Google Docs has made some changes and one of the changes is they separated the highlighter and text color tools.

    Google Docs has made some changes and one of the changes is they separated the highlighter and text color tools.

    I don't know if this is something that you use, but I use the highlighter all the time in rubrics so it is a great change to me!

     
    3/20/18
     
    Information copied from Control Alt Achieve Blog by Eric Curts
     
     
    Uses for Video Dubbing

    Microphone
    There are many creative ways video dubbing can be used by your students. Below are just a few ideas:
    • Practice translation - Students can take a video in a foreign language and speak the dialog in their own language, or vice versa they can take a video in their native language and speak it in a language they are learning.
       
    • Interpret a story - Students could act out a scene from a movie or show verbatim. This would give them the opportunity to act out the text to express their understanding of the story.
       
    • Reinterpret a story - Or students could rewrite the original dialog in more modern language, or in simpler terms, or just in a new style. Again this would allow them to show their understanding of the purpose and themes of the original story. For example, they could write contemporary dialog for Hamlet.
       
    • Tell a whole new story - Or students could be totally creative and make up a completely new story, replacing the original dialog with a new narrative that fits the actions being shown on screen.
       
    • Create commentary - Finally students could make their own commentary track for a video. This could be them describing what is happening, or offering their critique, telling a historical backstory, or explaining a scientific concept that can be seen in the video
     
    1/30/18
     
    I have been a bit lax on the tech tips lately, but here is one that is VERY helpful to me!
     
    In PowerTeacherPro you can copy assignments from one term to the next. I have provided a mini-tutorial for you if you are interested in doing this.
     
    1/2/18
     
    This is a good Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety piece. Well Worth the read and hopefully you can use some of it in your classes to remind students to be safe and responsible on the Internet.
     
    http://brittanywashburn.blogspot.com/2017/12/digital-citizenship-and-internet-safety.html?mc_cid=124fd9cdc2&mc_eid=d9f5ac7bd7
     
    12/12/17
     
    Staying current with Technology. It's hard to keep up sometimes with the tech that is out there. This article has some good tips for how to get yourself on track.
     
    http://brittanywashburn.blogspot.com/2017/09/5-tips-for-staying-current-with.html?mc_cid=cde4a77e76&mc_eid=d9f5ac7bd7
     
    12/12/17 - 2
    Another way to screenshot something on your computer is to use the Snipping Tool.
     
    The snipping tool can be found in Accessories (Click on the Microsoft (Start) button and find the Accessories folder). You can then use your mouse to select what you want to screenshot. You can save, copy and paste, or print the screen clipping. 
     
    Inline image 1
     
    Inline image 2
     
    I keep my snipping tool on my taskbar because I use it a lot!
     
    11/28/17
    You can rearrange your icons in the Google Apps grid by dragging and dropping them in the order that you want them. Put the ones you use the most at the top so you can quickly access them!
     
    Inline image 1
     
    11/7/17
     
    New feature of Google Slides
     
    Google Slides now has a diagram feature (works like SmartArt in Word) that has a number of options for creating Venn diagrams, hierarchies, and timelines. 
     
    To use it, in Slides, click on Insert  - Diagram and the dialog box for diagrams pops up. 
     
    10/30/17
    Is your bookmarks bar filling up? Do you know how to access your bookmarks bar? The Bookmarks bar is located under the Omnibox (where you find the URL).  If you don't have a Bookmarks Bar go to the three dots right below the exit button and click it. Hold your mouse over Bookmarks and make sure that Show Bookmarks Bar is selected (checked).
     

    You can customize the sites on this bar so that you can have more icons on it. To do this, right click on an item on your Bookmarks Bar and choose Edit.
     
    You can delete the information in the Name to just show an icon or you can customize what it is called.
     
    10/23/17
     
    You can pin tabs in Chrome to automatically open websites that you frequent often.
     
     
     
    To do this, right click on an open tab and choose Pin Tab.
     

    ​The tab will become smaller and move to the left. It will show the icon for the website and will open the next time you go to Chrome on that computer.
    ​​
     
    10/6/17
    Google Earth Voyager is an extension of Google Earth and Google Cardboard. It gives you a live earth view combined with information about different topics. Click the link below and check out a few topics. 
     
    https://earth.google.com/web/data=CgQSAggB
     
     
    9/25/17
    Google Drive has a new feature called Quick Access. It shows the latest files that you have worked on in case you want to open them again quickly.
     
    Inline image 1
     
    9/15/17
     
    I missed last week's tech tip so here are two!
     
    Tip #1 -- How to screenshot a webpage.
     
    If you need to screenshot (copy what is on your screen) a webpage, press the Print Screen button (located above the Insert key on your keyboard). You can then paste the image into an email, document, slide, sheet, etc. by using CTRL V.
     
    Tip #2 -- Refresher on finding important Docs in Drive.
     
    Remember that if there is a document that was shared with you that you know you will need later, you can star it. Then in Google Drive, just click on Starred and it will show up in that list.  MUCH faster than searching!
     
    Inline image 1
     
     
    9/1/17
     
    Here are some great ways to use technology for a bell ringer in your classroom! Enjoy your weekend!
     
     
    8/21/17
     
    Do you use Google Keep? Google Keep is great for creating lists, taking notes, and staying organized. Check out this post from Google for ways that Keep can help you stay organized.
     
    https://www.blog.google/products/g-suite/8-tips-help-you-keep-google-keep/
     
     
    3/28/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip
     
    When you are scheduling a recurring meeting on Calendar, you can set it to end on a specific date. By doing this you won't have meetings scheduled when we aren't in school! 
     
     
    3/17/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - Google Images
     
    At the Google Summit this week, I learned a quick way to use a picture from Google Images in Slides, Docs, etc. 
     
    Search for the image that you want to use. (Remember to model appropriate use by using the Usage Rights setting under Tools!)
     
    Click on the image to open it and then drag the image to the tab that you are placing it on. Remember to cite your source!
     
    Click on the attached video for a demonstration!

    YouTube Video

     
    3/3/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - App Issues
     
    After School App - This an app that students can use to anonymously post things about anyone they want. Several adults in the building and community have recently received text messages from this app stating that "An anonymous [boy/girl] has chosen [the person's name] on the app." These are auto-generated messages so just delete the message if you receive one. 
     
    The app is only available to students, you have to verify your age with a facebook account. I have talked with several students about the app and some use it, some don't. The little bit I saw was not very appropriate and some of the research that I did say that kids are bullied on the app. 
     
    2/21/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - Video 
     
    Here is a short (11 min) video about how we need to be responsive, collaborative and innovative to connect with today's students. The presenter is from Australia so there are some references to Australian education but it is SO relevant for everyone!
     
    https://educationonair.withgoogle.com/live/2016-dec/watch/keynote-au/talk-6
     
    There are other videos as well, mostly from New Zealand and Australia presenters about how to better serve students. 
     
    2/3/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - RSVP to Calendar Invitations
     
    When you receive an email invitation there is usually an RSVP section at the bottom of the invitation. It is helpful to the person issuing the invitation if you take a few seconds to respond either Yes, No, or Maybe. 
     
    The invitation automatically puts the event on your calendar and if you respond with no, you won't get a reminder and the event gets crossed off of your calendar.
     
     
    1/31/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - Free Lesson Plans and Resources on WiseLearn
     
     
    Find free lesson plans on the WiseLearn Resources page. You can search by subject, grade level, media types and collections. 
     
     
    1/24/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - Citing Sources Using the Explore Tab
     
    You can now use the Explore tab in Google Docs to cite your sources. Look for the quotation mark in the Explore window and you can choose whether to cite in MLA, APA, or Chicago format.
     
    Inline image 1
    1/18/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - WTI useful links
     
    The Wisconsin Technology Initiative organization has a number of resources for using Interactive white boards (Smartboards). The link below will take you to their resources page.
     
    http://www.wisconsintechnologyinitiative.org/about-resources/useful-links/
     
    1/11/17
     
    Weekly Tech Tip - New Features in Google Classroom
     
    There are new features for Google Classroom including adding assignments for specific students for differentiating learning. Check out this link for more information on this and other new features. 
     
     
    On a side note, a Library Media Specialist from Hudson is quoted in this article!
     
    1/6/17
     
    This week's Tech Tip is:
     
    To help organize your Google Drive, you can use colors to color code your folders. Click on the folder, choose the three vertical dots in the menu bar and click on Change color. 
     
    Screenshot of Google Drive
     
    12/16/16
     
    NEW GOOGLE SITES!!!
     
    Google has upgraded Sites and it is easier and more responsive to use. Right now there isn't a way to convert sites created in classic but from what I've heard, they are working on a way to convert them. 
     
    If you are creating a new site in Google Sites, try out the new sites. 
     
    11/30/16
     
    Tech tip for this week!
     
    If you receive a shared Google Document of any kind and you know you will need to access it later, the STAR can help you find it later. Just click on the STAR .
     
    Later when you need to find the document, go to Drive and click on the Starred section. Anything you star will be there and probably a lot easier to find.
    Inline image 1
     

     
    2015-16
     
    5/10/16
     
    Smart QRCode Generator - This app allows you to turn just about anything into a QR Code that can be scanned by a smartphone. Make your parent newsletter a QR Code so that parents can access it from their phones. Make a QR Code link to your website for people to easily access it. There are so many more uses!
     
    5/4/16
     
    Google Classroom - They finally put in a scheduling feature so that you can plan out assignments ahead of time.
     
     
    4/27/16
     
    This week's tip:
     
    I was wondering about the noise level of my 8th graders today so I did a search for a noise meter. This is pretty cool! I have attached the website I got it from, there is one on there for ipads as well as another type of noise meter.
     
    "Bouncy Balls shows students the volume of the noise in your classroom by displaying a set of colorful bouncing balls. The higher the decibel level goes, the higher and more frequently the balls on the screen bounce. To use Bouncy Balls simply go to the website, click "begin bouncing," and then click the microphone icon to allow the site to access your computer's microphone."
     
     
    4/13/16
     
    ​Drive Word Cloud​ - Create your own word cloud from any text or Google Drive file to visualize word frequency.
     
    This app would be great for teachers and students to use on student assignments to determine if words are over-used in the document. 
     
    4/5/16
     
    Skim It - Skim.it turns webpages into skim-readable summaries so you can quickly decide if you want read the whole thing. You do have to sign up for an account but it is free.
     
    3/29/16
     
    iChrome - This is an extension in Google. It lets you set up a home page for some of the apps available in Google. You can customize it to how you want it to look with themes, which apps you see on the first page, you can have multiple pages, etc. I included a screenshot of my iChrome setup so you can see what it looks like.
     
    If you are interested in learning about this, I can come to your classroom/office and help you get it set up. 
     
    Inline image 1​      Inline image 2
     
    Reminder if you want help implementing technology into your curriculum or need to learn how to use tools, please contact me and set up a time. 
Last Modified on January 7, 2020