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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Google Keep

Update: Google Keep just came out on iOS.

This is an oldie but a goodie.  Back in November 2014 we blogged about a couple of sites for keeping tasks and lists.  One of them was Google Keep.   With summer upon on I had a resurrected need to keep track of some task lists, projects, to-dos, and reminders.  If I don't go into July with these out of my brain and on a list, I will assuredly forget them in August when returning. is the root site for this tool and you can use your school or home gmail account.  I love its ability to have several lists, colored, with checkboxes, and they look good.  The best features for me though are its ability to share a list/note with anyone that has a google account. This would be a great strategy to teach students to use for keeping track of anything, but also for the busy professional, and nobody is as busy as a classroom teacher.  Also it's ability to set reminders of many kinds on the item within the list is perfect for me, since I don't act until my phone buzzes and tells me to!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Great Google Sheets Add-on - Mapping Sheets #edtech #gafe #wsdtech

I'm preparing a presentation I'm going to be giving at a few conferences in the future and am surfing around looking for great Google Add-ons.  I came across Mapping Sheets today and fell in love with it.  It's not often that I say out loud to my computer, "That's awesome."  She rarely answers back.

Mapping Sheets allows you to take a list of addresses in a Google Sheet and by triggering the add-on, create a Google Map that shows the location of every entry with a pushpin as well as other data that you have collected.  I tried it with some very broad locations like China, Australia, and Montana and it pulled a map just fine.  Then I tried it with some Washington city names and the state and it did that fine too.

I can see the applications of this in a few ways, one being in a social studies class to track where items we buy are from.  Another might be in an English class to track the movements of a character in a book.  Or if you're giving a presentation, like I will be, to show the location of all of the attendees.  It's fun just to play around with too!

Check out the video below or watch it here

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Quizizz for Real Time Classroom Quizzes #edtech #changingeducation #ipaded #wsdtech

Playing games in class is always a good motivator for students and gamification is starting to take root in a lot of classrooms because teachers are seeing that kids can learn AND have fun at the same time.  Imagine that.  Kids learn better if they're engaged and having fun and, more importantly I believe, that kids who create games for other kids get a double benefit.  Not only do they have to become masters of their content in order to create and administer the game, but they get immediate feedback and satisfaction from seeing their classmates play the game they've created.

I've recommended Kahoot! since it came out as a great way to deliver multi-player, game-show style games to students but I read a Tweet about today and gave it a shot and I really like it.  It's very similar to Kahoot! in that it has pre-made games available and it lets you create your own games, plus it also is a free service.

The teacher get the game ready and students simply go to and enter the code for the particular game, put in their name, and they're in.  The teacher starts the game and the fun begins!  Check out the video below:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mute Unwanted Sound on Tabs in Chrome #edtech #chrome #gafe

This is a great tip and although it's in beta it works really well.  I often work with a lot of tabs open, especially when I'm reading the news.  I'll open five or six tabs of stories I want to read but I hate it when there is a video that starts playing on one of the tabs and I have to dig through all of them and figure out which one it is.  Grrr...

But there is a trick you do to Chrome that gives you the option to click on the little audio symbol that shows up on Chrome tabs and mute the audio on that tab.  Follow the directions on this site to activate it.  Happy muting!

Monday, June 8, 2015

3D Printing at Washington #edtech

I got a guided tour this morning of students at Washington Elementary doing some 3D printing and it was great to see.  Students were designing things using the 123D Design iPad app.  They were in the process of printing a chess piece while I was there.  Students are engaged and excited and it's great to see our schools using technology that is engaging and also on the forefront of where they should be.  Here are some photos Sara Rolfs shared with me:

School Spirit from Foothills Middle School #edtech #schoolspirit

Here's a great school spirit video shot, edited, and produced on an iPad entirely by students at Foothills Middle School.  Go Falcons!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Use Notebookcast for Collaborative Whiteboards #edtech #ipaded #education @notebookcast

One of the best features of having connected devices is the ability to simultaneously work on a project or document at the same time, like collaborating in Google Drive.  I've always been a fan of collaborative whiteboards for a few reasons:

  1. they're fun and it's cool to see your stuff on someone else's screen
  2. they create a place where students have to learn to cooperate and work together
  3. they help create a collaborative environment
I came across one today called that is fairly simple not only in it's functionality but in it's ease of use.  Simply start a session, invite others via email or a code, and you're suddenly working together.  It has the ability to change the background, add images and shapes, and one of the best features...a laser pointer!  Here are some details from their website:

  • Real-time shared online whiteboard in your browser supporting up to ten users simultaneously
  • No need to install any software, compatible with modern browsers
  • Write and Sketch with you tablets PC digitizer or touch screen
  • Draw shapes or add pictures to your board
  • Integrated chat
  • Save your boards for later use
  • https secured connection