For all you teachers who use Google Forms, there is an exciting update to allow for nice customizations. Forms now allows you to modify the backgrounds or make your own background! Gotta love it! Check out the tutorial video below by "Ask the Google Gooru".
Hey everyone! I just wanted to make a note that Google has changed up how you can created Docs, etc on mobile devices. The Drive app is still operational, but to create new Docs, Sheets or Slides you will need to download and use their new apps. When you are in Drive and try to create a new item, it should prompt you to download the new app. One of the best features of this is that you will be able to create while off-line! Yea!
I have been playing around with a new app today on my iPad. I read about it and thought this could be a great way to draw attention to sections of a picture when I am doing tutorial PDFs. This app takes any color picture and converts it to black and white. Next, you simply swipe the areas where you want the color to show.
You can connect to several photo sites besides the photos on your iPad.
So how many charging cords do you tote around? I know I have several, but the one that I am afraid to leave home without is the one to charge my iPad. For you it might be your smart phone (it will be for me when I get mine this summer!). I found a "must have" item that will allow me to leave that cord at home - yea!
ChargeCard is a product that is the size of a credit card that lets you plug in your iPhone/iPad or Android into any USB port to charge up! Talk about convenient! The price isn't too bad, but it could lower in price when it gains popularity. I think it is great and can't wait to get one.
Check it out at BiteMyApple.co
Social Media....you know what it is, but do you use it? Why, yes, you say? Most of us use social media for just that - socializing online! But there are many other ways that you could be using social media to connect with your students. I don't want you to think that you should use Facebook and friend all your students - hey, I have my limits and that wouldn't be wise. What you can do is use some of the vast array of social media sites to have a professional account that you could use with students only or professionally.
I ran across this great infographic that shares many ways you can use social media in the classroom. I am not a big fan of using Facebook with students, but there is another site called Edmodo that has a similar look and feel as Facebook.
Click here to see the original post.
RIP Google Reader
Google is doing some more "Spring Cleaning" and Google Reader is getting the boot! It is unfortunate for those of us who use Google Reader to keep up with the news and updated blog posts. However, I can see the demise of most of the early RSS readers with some of the new tools that are out there.
I am probably part of the reason Google has decided to end Google Reader. I too have started using another tool to read news feeds, but this tool pulled from my Google Reader account. So now what do we do when Google turns off the switch?
From what I have been reading around the web, there is a solution for "moving over" our feeds to another service, though there is some chatter in the wind about those being shut down too. Feedly is the site that most are talking about, as it is most like Google Reader.
Some of the other sites that are being mentioned have little sticking points like only working on Windows. Check them out for yourself and see which one works best for you! We have until July 1, 2013 to move over to another service.
Whitson Gordon wrote a great article explaining how to go about switching to a new service and list some alternatives as well.
Hey Teachers! Searching for "stuff" online can sometimes be quite aggravating - but it doesn't have to be. Google is offering a free workshop for teachers for effective searching. The Google search engine has many features not available through other search engines that make it quite "user friendly". You will get a certificate for your participation so it is good for professional development points.
The session is live and Google staff will be available to assist you. You will get to practice the skills as you go along and get immediate feedback to simple assessments. I took this workshop over the summer and learned a few new things about Google search. Being a computer teacher, I adopted some of these ideas into my own lessons.
This session begins on September 24, 2012 and has 6 "classes" ending on October 10, 2012. When I took the workshop I was able to work at my own pace. If I missed the start date for the class, I was still able to look at the class later.
Sign up today - http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/course
Again, I have to credit one of the techie people that I follow on Twitter, Leslie Fisher. I always attend her talks at FETC each year as she is not only informative, but also funny! Her latest find that I am sharing with you if IFTTT.com. If you are using several sites to share information as well as learn information, you probably want to post certain things in several spots - IFTTT can do that for you.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it works just like that. If you post a picture with Instagram, you can have it post to Flickr at the same time without doing anything extra. Within IFTTT, you create a "recipe" for whenever you post in Instagram, also post to Flickr. Same goes for if you post to Twitter, have it also post to Facebook. If you bookmark a webpage, you can have it post to Evernote too. There are lots of different social websites to choose from and you can create your own recipes.
What's more is that you can look in the gallery and find "recipes" that others have created and use those! My first recipe was to post to Twitter any website that I bookmark to Delicious. And so it begins...
Summer school is here and almost done for me. I am teaching my Simulation and Game Design I course this summer - a whole semester in 3 weeks. It is quite fun and fast paced. The students love it and I actually have to tell them to leave at the end of the 4 hour class time!
But let me get to a cool thing for your digital camera. I know so many of us are using the cameras on our smart phones and uploading to various sharing sites. However, some of us enjoy using our digital camera and then must plug it in to a computer to upload to our sharing site. There is a remedy for this and it is not a new item, and not often talked about. I found out about it a few years back and find it to be wonderful. It is the Eye-Fi Wi-Fi memory card for your camera. You use this card in place of your memory card and it can send your pics to your computer, tablet, etc or upload to many different photo sharing sites. When you upload the pictures, it automatically takes them off the memory card, freeing it up to take more pictures. With so many places having Wi-Fi available it is an excellent way to make your digital camera even better!
This week has been so busy that I can't believe it is only Wednesday! Classes are coming to a close for the semester and we all seem to be on edge a bit, but a little fun is just the distraction to help with that stress!
I have been playing with Go!Animate.com to spice up my website as well as my Moodle pages. If you are familiar with Voki.com, then you will recognize the similarity. However, you can do much more with Go!Animate. Go!Animate allows you to create movies with already created characters and backgrounds - for FREE!. You can narrate with your own voice or choose from one of the computer voices. There are some limitations to the free account - but hey, it's free to do some simple videos to add a little pizzazz to your stuff. I put a Go!Animate video on one of my lesson direction pages in Moodle. The movie shows a teacher answering questions that are most commonly asked about that particular lesson. It was easy to do and fun. There are several ways to share your video including embedding code, which is what I did below.
Susan B. Bardin
As a computer science teacher, I find many cool new things in the way of educational technology. This is where I share what I've found.