Archive | February 2014

Remind101…Only the Best Thing Ever!

Remind101 is a way for teachers to communicate, through text messaging, quickly and safely with students, after-school groups, or parents. And it’s FREE! Remind101 was designed specifically for teachers. Creating an account takes less than two minutes. This amazing resource is currently being used by over 500,00 teachers, students and parents and millions of messages are being sent each month!

Click on this video for an Introduction:

Once you have signed up an account, create your first class by giving it a name and class code (this code is what students and parents will use to join your class).

Screenshot 2014-02-11 at 9.00.59 PM

Remind101 has apps available for both Apple and Android devices. If you prefer, Remind101 can also be used from your PC by visiting www.remind101.com.

 You can also check out Remind101’s YouTube Channel by clicking here for helpful “how to” videos.

Remember,  students will NEVER see your personal cell phone number and you will never see there’s. Messages are one-way, students can’t respond back to you. Did I mention it is FREE!?

Advertisements

Chrome Extensions That Will Melt Your Face

First things first, let’s try to distinguish the difference between a Chrome Web App and a Chrome Extension. Chrome’s Web Apps are basically links to websites. Powtoon is an example of a Web App. You can install it as an app from the Chrome Store, or you can simply visit www.powtoon.com for the same experience. Some apps do cost money, and the Chrome Store provides a platform for users to make purchases. An extension affects your interactions with all websites through your browser. For example, an extension may allow you to highlight a word on a website, and find it’s definition. Once you install this extension, it will work on any website you open inside the Chrome browser. Here are five Chrome Extensions Educators should never go without:

TechSmith Snagit

The TechSmith Snagit Chrome extension uses are endless. It allows you to capture a screenshot and add your own arrows, circles, rectangles and text. Once your screenshot is complete you can save and/or Snagit even gives you a link to share your capture.

Snagit also creates a TechSmith folder and saves all images automatically to your Google Drive!

I am constantly taking snapshots and annotating to give directions or how to’s. What a great way to help get your point across to students, or better yet, have students to get the point across to you!

Check out the video below to learn more.

Save to Google Drive

 This Chrome extension give you the ability to take a snapshot of an entire webpage and save it directly  in your Google Drive. You can also save links and images as well. Once you have installed the extension the Google Drive icon will appear just after your URL address box.

By simply clicking on the icon, the web page will be saved as an image file into to your Google Drive.

This handy window will pop up and allow you to rename, or trash your image. To find the image go to “My Drive” in your Google Drive and there it is! 

You can also save links and images by right clicking and choosing “Save Link or Save Image to Google Drive.” 

You can find the Save to Google Drive extension by clicking here.

Read & Write for Google

 Read & Write for Google is a great extension for all students to use for their writing. Once installed, students can open a Google Doc and choose to have it read aloud to them. Hearing their own writing out loud is all some students need to take their editing to the next level. In the past I have had students record themselves reading their own writing for playback, or they have read to a peer. I still have the ability for students to continue those practices, but  now students can plug their earbuds in and hear what their writing sounds like on their own without distracting others. This extension also offers the ability to use multi color highlighters on Google Docs. After the initial install Premium features are available for 30 days. You do have the option to purchase the Premium package after the 30 day trial. Don’t worry! Read & Write for Google will allow you keep the read aloud, highlighter, and even a translator tool after the 30 days. Below is the toolbar that will be available at the top of your Google Docs (If you already have a Google Doc open before you install the extension, you’ll need to close and reopen it to access the toolbar): 

Split Screen

I normally have several tabs open at the same time on my browser. The Split Screen extension lets me copy and paste the two URL addresses I am wanting to look at, then opens them in one window. It’s great for studying, note taking, or if you’re waiting for a video to buffer. This extension makes searching multiple websites a breeze!

 Note Anywhere

Note Anywhere allows you to put notes anywhere on any web page! You can click and drag the note wherever you want. If you close the page and open again later, the notes are still there! If you want to delete the note, click the top left-hand corner of the note, and it’s gone!

Honorable Mentions:

One Tab

This extension can help your computer run more efficiently. If you usually work with a lot tabs open (I currently have 23)  One Tab compiles them all into a list and makes surfing multiple sites much easier.

 Google Dictionary

This extension allows users to double click on any word on the web and view its definition. Google Dictionary will also pronounce the selected word and foreign words are translated to the language of your choice.

 Make GIF Video Capture

GIF is an acronym for Graphic Interchange Format. All you need to know is that GIFs are short, looping, soundless videos that can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. And they are tons of fun! Once you’ve installed the Make GIF Video Capture extension all you have to do is find the YouTube video you are wanting a snippet of and click on the sweet hat and mustache icon in your Omnibox. It will walk you through the steps of creating your very own GIF! You also have the options of speeding up, slowing down, or adding text to you GIF. Have fun!

Double Secret Bonus:

Once in a generation an extension is created and changes the way you see the world. This is that extension…nCage

My Simple Thought About Teaching…

Find out what your students need and give it to them.