Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tips and Tricks for Teachers

This week's post is a compilation of some of my favorite Tips and Tricks that I share with my teachers.  Hope you find them useful!

Love YouTube but hate the advertisements and suggested videos that go with it.  Try ViewPure.  ViewPure allows you to view YouTube videos without all the added garbage!  
 - http://viewpure.com/


Need to edit pictures online?  PicMonkey is one site which is easy to use.  It's also a Chrome App and Extension.  You can save your image directly to Google Drive, too!
 - http://www.picmonkey.com/


Ever have long URLs that you want to share with your students????  TinyURL has been great in the past but now their is another URL shortener which is even easier!  goo.gl will shorten the long URLs into something simple.  If you are logged into Chrome, you can add it as an extension or just visit the goo.gl website.  Paste in the URL you want to shorten and voila!  Short and sweet!
 - http://goo.gl/


"Save to Google Drive" is another popular extension.  It allows you to save an image or screen capture directly to Google Drive.  You can get this extension from the Chrome Web Store. 
 - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/save-to-google-drive/gmbmikajjgmnabiglmofipeabaddhgne


Puzzled with how to use Google Forms?  Lindsay Fuller posted "79 Interesting Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom" on her blog "Tales of a 6th Grade Classroom".  There are a lot of great suggestions here.
 - http://area3ltc.wikispaces.com/file/view/79_Interesting_Ways_to_Use_Google_Forms_in_the.pdf

Get rid of your paper planner and use Google Calendar and Tasks!
http://blog.edtechteam.com/2014/09/google-calendar-and-tasks-new-online.html


Try a Scavenger Hunt with your classes using QR codes.  CJ has done this and it's worked out well.  We have iPads with a QR reader on them .  Use this app (QR Code Generator)  to create QR codes and this app (Scan QR) to scan QR codes. 


Ever thought about collaborating with classes from around the world?  Use Google + to join Connected Classrooms Workshop.  Teachers from all around the world in different content and grade levels are looking for other classes to collaborate with!  You can use Google Hangouts to do this!  How do you get to Google +?  Up by the App Launcher, you'll see the + with your name next to it (ie - +Nickie).  Click on this and create your Google + Profile.  See the website below for ways to use Google Hangouts.
http://www.edudemic.com/4-ways-enhance-class-google-hangouts/
http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/09/a-must-have-google-hangout-tip-sheet.html


Ever wanted to work on SMART Notebook™ but didn't have the software on your laptop.  Maybe you had your iPad with you and didn't want to buy the app.  Now there is SMART Notebook Express™!  You can go to this website on your laptop, iPad, Chromebook, etc. and create SMART notebook files.  No more software to install!  I am in need of some beta testers for this program so please let me know if you are interested......  there may be some food/sweets involved as payment!!!!!
 - express.smarttech.com


Need to create a video for your class because you are going to be out.  SnagIt is now available as a Chrome App/Extension.  You must install both on your laptop/Chromebook in able to use it.  You can also take screenshots of your screen as well.  This could be useful in creating your SMART Notebook Express presentations.  There is training available on YouTube on how to use this program or come ask me!
 - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/snagit


Do you ever have a student bring you their Chromebook and their screen has been rotated +/- 90°?  If you are like me, you are probably wondering how the heck that happened!!!!!  Here is a link to a Google Help page with many useful Keyboard shortcuts, including how to fix the notorious rotated screen (hint - press Ctrl - Shift - ↻ until it is the right layout).
 - https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/183101?hl=en

While writing this blog, I've used a number of special characters like ™ and °.  I have no idea how to create these using a Chromebook!!!!!  The website copypastecharacter.com makes using symbols, some common fractions,  and special characters so much easier.  Simply visit the website, find the character you are looking for, click on it, and then paste (or Ctrl-V) it into your document, blog, etc.  Voila!

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