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Friday, January 19, 2018

Follow and Archive Twitter in Google Sheets #gafe Using Get TAGS @mhawksey

I'm participating in a Twitter slow chat with educators and technology folks around the world and sometimes it gets hard to follow. Someone tweeted about Get TAGS that allows you to collect and archive tweets in a Google Sheet so you can go back and look at them and interact later, as well as keep them in Drive.

I appreciate that not only are all of the associated tweets in one spot but there are links to the tweets so I can jump to Twitter to retweet or reply to them. Thanks to @mhawksey for creating this.

TAGS is a free Google Sheet template which lets you setup and run automated collection of search results from Twitter.

New Tech Tools to Play With

I'm going to piggyback on my colleague's last post and share some cool tools that I've come to like lately.

One of them is a Chrome extension called Sir Links a Lot and it what it does is take a Google Doc and give you multiple options on how you can share it and what other users can do with that document. For example, you can Force Copy, put the doc in Preview mode, make it a Template or a PDF. It also has a button to copy the link to the Clipboard, put a Google shortened link in the clipboard or open the link in a new tab.

Another Chrome Extension is called Clip it Good and it allows you to quickly save any image online into your Google Photos with a simple right-click. You can even create folders in the Google Photos and drop selected images into different folders. Always remember that images you download are not always available for you to use simply because they are easy to download.

My final tool is called Remote for Slides and the beauty of this Chrome Extension is that it allows you to use any web browser (phone included) to advance your Google Slides presentation.

Shorten it up!

URL Shorteners

An oldie but a goodie.  My tech tip this week for my administrative team is a worthwhile blog post for everyone.  It was a good reminder how tools change and we have to keep spiralling back to show relevant content and possible new tools along with it.

My staff continues to love digital, but we have several who continue to use the paper pencil and whiteboard when training, teaching, meeting, etc.  Posting URLs in a digital space like Classroom, Moodle, Web, or other medium is no big deal and we don't care how long and ugly they are.

But if you want an on the fly formative, survey, exit ticket or have people access something quickly sometimes the quickest is to put up a URL and have them type it in, but with the length of the URLs in Google Apps, or anything else for that matter, is crazy.  I would never put one on the board unless it was SUPER short... 20 characters or less is always my goal.

URL shorteners to the rescue.  Their are tons of them out their and they all have their pros and cons.  PS.  Great for Twitter too with it's limited character count.

Here are a few of my favorites and why:

  • - I love that it is short and if you log into it you can have it store all of them so that you can easily find them again or look at the analytics on whether the short url is being used.  Another bonus is to customize them with real words that make them easier to use than random characters.  An added bonus is that it has a Chrome extension to quickly make them on the fly.
  • - Super short, customizable, and has QR code generator. You can login and save your shortened links too.  Also you can see the hits from which ip they came from.
  • - Super short, customizable, hit tracking, button to make lowercase pronounceable, super quick with no ads.
  • - Google's tool connected with your Google account. Tracks clicks and provides QR code.  Also Chrome extension.  Non customizable.
  • - The one that started it all.  Handy, quick, no customizing links or login.

Enjoy and remember to shorten those links!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Been a long time!

Ok, it has been a while since we have added to the blog.  But we are back.  We have truly been continuing to share with our staff and others, but primarily through Twitter.  Twitter is so convenient and now with the number of characters almost as thorough as this format.

So on to today's tip.  As I prepare to present at the NCCE conference in Seattle in February on becoming a "Digital Administrator", I find myself pondering how with all of the demands on current principals and district office how do they find the time to learn new ways to be efficient and use technology effectively in their role.  This can be a daunting task as their email boxes swell and they just try to get through the tyranny of the urgent.

One strategy I am using is to present 1-3 tools at every leadership team meeting that can be quickly demoed and adopted.  This has been extremely popular with our administration and encouraging to me as I see them using the tools regularly.

Linked here is a slideshow of each of the tips I share with my admin team and keep adding to this so eventually they will have a pretty good set of tools to use, but the beauty of this is that as tools change they will be able to evolve with them and change their practice.

Hopefully as we give time to these practices and value their use the admin become model users and see the benefits of using technology for learning.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

TubeQuizard Use YouTube to Assess Grammar and Vocabulary #edtech #wsdtech @tubequizard

The tool I got excited about today is called Tube Quizard. Briefly, students watch a YouTube vidoe that has subtitles and as they watch it they answer grammar or vocabulary questions about the words. My first thought was that it will be very engaging for students because they spend a lot of time on YouTube but my next thought was how powerful it would be for students to make their own quizzes. That way not only are they in charge of the game but they also have to be masters of the content in order to create a successful game.

The video below shows how it's used, although it's not really a tutorial, just someone using it. A student watches part of the video and follows along with the text. When they get to a blank they have to type in the correct answer and then check to see if they got it right or wrong, then move on through the video. Although the tool is not super flashy it definitely might get kids a bit more excited about grammar and vocabulary if it's based on YouTube.

What is Tube Quizard?

Tube Quizard lets you create interactive listening quizzes based on subtitled Youtube videos.
  • Boost your listening skills. Do you want to understand top frequency expressions and grammar? Using research into listening skills, we've created highly effective listening quizzes that will train you to understand real life pronunciation of high frequency language.
  • Understand Youtube videos. Is there a Youtube video that you want to understand better? Create quizzes for the video, do the quizzes and then watch the video.
  • Learn grammar and vocabulary. Do you want to practice specific words, expressions and grammar structures? Find them in Youtube subtitles and create quizzes based on the videos that you find.
And like all best things in life, Tube Quizard is absolutely free!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Upcoming Coding Nights #hourofcode #coding

There are two upcoming coding nights in the Wenatchee School District. Tuesday, December 6th at Washington Elementary and Wednesday, December 7th at Lincoln Elementary. Learn how to write code and make games.

Both events are from 6-7pm and tablets will be provided if you don't have your own. Lots and lots of prizes will be given away too! Come, have fun and learn a new to code!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Awwapp Collaborative Whiteboard #awwapp #ipaded #wsdtech

I heard about a collaborative whiteboard tool today called (A Web Whiteboard) and gave it a spin. My first impression was that it was very simplistic but also very usable. All of the tools that a teacher or student might need for a collaborative session are there. If you want to sign up as a teacher then you can share it to Google Classroom as an assignment or an announcement. The best part is that it is available on any device.

The tools included a pen, image insert, text, eraser, and pencil color palette. There is also a chat feature on the bottom which seems to randomize the names of the participants

You can use it for free, without a login and even invite others with email, QR code, or by sending the link.

A Web Whiteboard is touch-friendly online whiteboard app that lets you use your computer, tablet or smartphone to easily draw sketches, collaborate with others and share them with the world.