Nimbus for Screenshots and Screencasts #CoolChromeExtensions

Getting feedback and ideas from others is one of the biggest reasons why I love writing blog posts. I recently shared a blog post about Share and Send Screenshots. After making the post, I received a comment from Kevin, who suggested that I take a look at Nimbus.

Nimbus is an awesome tool to annotate screenshots or create your own screencast! Just like Share and Send Screenshots, this tool is very simple to use; however, it offers more features like:

  • Recording Video
  • Blank Screen
  • Capturing a Fragment 
From an annotation standpoint, I love some of the tools it offers. One of my favorites is the Draw a Note tool. It combines the power of a post-it note with an arrow attached to point to your object. 

After you have created your annotated screenshot or screencast (video), you can easily save and share. You can save to:
  • Nimbus by creating an account
  • Your computer
  • Google Drive
Nimbus also gives you the option to print too! Do you have any other ideas? I would love to feature them in my blog!

#CoolChromeExtensions: Share and Send Screenshots

Sharing directions can be challenging, especially if you are not an auditory learner. Tools to annotate and share are especially helpful inside and outside of the classroom.

Explain and Share Screenshots is a simple and effective tool to use to annotate and share screenshots of your favorite webpages on your Chrome browser.

The simplicity of this tool is one of its strengths. You can use it to take a screenshot of a selected area, visible part of the screen, or the entire screen.

Once your picture is downloaded, there are many different options and tools to annotate your screenshot.

How Does It Work? 

Prior to using the extension, make sure that you have downloaded it from the Chrome Store. Watch this helpful video on how to use:

How Can I Use It? 

Annotation tools are a great way to give directions, demonstrate understanding, or explain a concept. You could easily use this tool to:

  1. Put together directions for student's to follow
  2. Annotate a website
  3. Find and label objects in photos
  4. Create directions on a Google Map 
  5. Annotate and label an article

Learn a New Language with HelloTalk

In an increasingly global world, it is more important than ever to communicate across languages. A good tool to do so is the HelloTalk iOS and Android App.

While our schools are often limited to teaching languages like Spanish, French, and German, choose over 100 languages to learn instantly on the HelloTalk App.

Once you register, you will be able to quickly meet native-speaking language partners from around the world. Users can connect and communicate via the App in numerous ways:
  • You can make and receive free calls to and from your learning partners over the Internet
  • Send and receive text messaging
  • Create a library of favorites in the place of foreign language words, sentences, audio files, grammar corrections, pictures, etc. 
Want to learn more? Check out HelloTalk's website

Grade It Now App

Teachers are always looking for different ways to assess students. Here is another assessment App available on the iOS, Android, and Chrome Stores called Grade It Now.

What is Grade It Now?
Essentially Grade It Now is the equivalent of an electronic Scantron sheet. Teachers create an assessment and develop an answer key filled with multiple choice questions. 

What Do I Like? 
  1. Once teachers have purchased the App, they can make an unlimited number of assessments. 
  2. Multiple choice questions can be anywhere between 2 to 6 choices with one or more answers.
  3. You can set a time limit for students to complete
  4. Assessment instantly and provide scores to both student and teacher. 
What I Don't Like

I have to admit, when I first saw this App, I was excited at the possibility of another App like Socrative, Kahoot, or Quizziz; however, I was very disappointed that it is the equivalent of a scantron sheet.
  • Obviously, this is not a UDL-friendly App because it provides students with only one type of question (multiple choice / true false). Unfortunately filling in bubbles does not demonstrate whether students have mastered content. 
  • The App states that students and teachers get instantanoues feedback. Essentially they find out which bubble they missed, which would be no different than handing someone a marked up Scantron sheet. I'm not sure a bubble can help students understand "why" they got a particular question wrong - if they cannot even see the question.
  • You have to pay for the App and get very little in return. $1.99 in the iOS store and $9.99 in the Chrome Store. 
  • Apps like Socrative, Quizziz, NearPod actually put the question on the student's screen, provide feedback, and help students go beyond "what" the answer is to "why" the answer is what it is. They even provide students with visuals to understand the question better. 
  • If you read the user agreement, the company is NOT responsible for any of your data. In other words, if you don't back up your answer keys, you are out of luck. It seems very difficult - if impossible - to easily backup data. 
  • It is hard to believe that teachers still use Scantrons, but in many districts where technology is not as prevelent, this is the case. It would be nice to see if this App were able to integrate with scantron technology. Could this App scan and grade actual scantron sheets, much like other Apps do?

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat has become a popular messaging application that our kids are using to send and share self-destructing pictures.

Who is using it?

The majority of Snapchat's users are between the ages of 13 - 34 years old. There are over 100,000 users of Snapchat are called "snapchatters," who use the service to send pictures, videos, and stories with other snapchatters. Businesses are even turning to Snapchat as a way to connect with potential customers

What is it? 

Snapchat gained popularity as a messaging application that allows someone to send and receive "snaps" (pictures, drawings, and video) that self-destruct from 1 to 10 seconds. It is very similar to sending and receiving text messages; however, the biggest advantage is that messages self-destruct.

When was it created? Where is it available? 

Snapchat was created in 2011 as a free application available on the iTunes and Android store.

How does it work? 

After you have downloaded the application from the iTunes or Google Play store, you will need to create an account. Once the application is open, it will ask for access to your camera, so that you can begin taking "snaps" or pictures or video. After you have taken a "snap," you have the ability to customize the message, annotate, set the time length (between 1 - 10 seconds), and decide who you are sending it to.

There is also a feed with all of your sent "snaps,"  and "snap" replies known as "snapbacks." There is also a "story" feature, which is a way of sending and grouping multiple "snaps" to a mass group of your friends. It only lasts 24 hours long and disappears after this time.

Items for Parents to Consider:
  • Although not all kids are using it inappropriately, it has been known as a platform for sexting. Make sure that your child realizes what types of pictures should and should not be sent. 
  •  Even though pictures "self-destruct" after a certain amount of time, users could still take screenshots of the picture to save on their phone. 
  • Snapchat has made it easy to add contacts, which can be added from their contact lists and users who are nearby. 
  • A one-to-one chatting feature was recently developed. Once users leave the chat, the chat will disappear unless users decide to save the chat. 
  • Know the privacy settings. By default, anyone who knows your username or phone number can send you a message. A Snapchat account can be customized to accept messages from users on your “My Friends” list in the settings menu.

Good Resources for Parents:

What is the AfterSchool App?

There has been a lot posted recently about the AfterSchool App after several incidents have emerged.

Who is using this App? 

The AfterSchool App is currently being used as a way for high school students to annonymously express their thoughts and feelings. It is very similar to another App called Yik Yak that is used primarily on college campuses. The App is currently available on over 22,000 high school campuses across the United States.

What is it? 

The AfterSchool App is an anonymous message board app available on iOS and Android devices for high school students. Students can make anonymous posts for everyone at their school to see.

When was it created? 

This App has actually been around since November of 2014, but was pulled from the Apple after several concerns about safety appeared. It reappeared with several safety improvements in April of 2015.

Where is it available ?

As of December 2015, the AfterSchool App is an iOS and Android App available to high school students across the country.

Why was it created? 

The App was created to be a "safe" place where they can express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions without adult supervision on anonymous message boards.

How does it work? 

Students select their school from the list and the App uses their Facebook account to verify that they actually attend the school. The App then verifies friends, education, and location information from their Facebook accounts.

Many adults have tried signing up for the App; however, the App uses algorithms to determine whether the person is an "imposter." The algorithm searches Facebook friends and profile information and even the language that you use in posts.

Safety Features:

As mentioned earlier, there have been several safety features since its relaunch in April 2015. Here are a few:

  • Text and image filters to catch inappropriate posts
  • Every piece of content is reviewed by human moderators to moderate content
  • Improved reporting features. Posts that are reported get removed from the feed. Those who abuse content can now be banned from using the app.
  • 24/7 support.Whenever anyone writes a distressed post, they are contacted to see if they would like to talk with someone. 
  • A service named First was created to detect and alert schools of possible threats. School administration and local police departments are notified by the service. 

What can parents do?
  • Learn more about the App on its website
  • Talk with your child to see if they are using the App. Reiterate appropriate and inappropriate behavior online. 
  • Realize that kids are going to make mistakes. Try to avoid condemning your child's mistakes and create an open environment where they can be honest.
  • Be open to helping them navigate through the waters of the digital age. 
  • Check out Common Sense Media. It is filled with great resources to help you and your child navigate through the digital age.  

Good Resources for Parents:

Tweeter Board Google Form

Want to get your student's tweeting without Twitter? Use this amazing Google Form resource is called Tweeter Board, which was developed by Tammy Worcester Tang. This amazing resource is a Google Form that collects data into a Google Spreadsheet. It is a great resource to use the power and engagement of social media without needing to use social media!

How does it work? 

You will want to visit: to make a copy of the Google Form Template. Once you have made a copy, you will want to begin setting up your form by following the step-by-step instructions found in the Spreadsheet.

Need help? Check out my helpful video:

Once you have the sheet up and running, you will want to share the Google Form with your students. Tammy's Spreadsheet actually generates a shortened URL and QR code to make sharing easy.

The form can be set up so that you can approve and moderate comments or have comments appear on the Tweeter Board tab (tab number 4) at the bottom of your screen.

How can I use it? 

Use this as a tool to collect valuable information from your students. Have students summarize today's lesson (in 140 characters or less of course!). Have students give back feedback, make predictions, share what they have learned.

Create Your Own Google Dropbox with The Work Collector

Work flow is always a discussion in 1:1 and BYOD environments. Tools like Google Classroom, Edmodo, Schoology, and Dropbox are great ways to collect student work, but I want to introduce you to another excellent tool that combines the power of a dropbox and Google Drive.

The Work Collector lets you collect student work on a computer or tablet, then place it automatically in your Google Drive. I first learned about this tool from The Techie Teacher, who introduced it in this blog post. Thank you!

How does it work? 

First you need to create your own work collect by following the instructions to install this script. It is very easy to do!

Next, you will need to share the link to The Work Collector with your students. The Techie Teacher recommends bookmarking the URL or developing a QR Code for student's to access. Need more info on QR Codes? Check out my post.

Finally, have your students add their name, choose the image or file from their device, and upload. Student work will be placed into a Google Drive folder, much like Google Classroom does.


What are your favorite ways to collect student work? The Work Collector may need to be added to your arsenal. Not only is this a great way for students to turn in work, but it can be a great way to collect files and images during professional development.  student work

Create Amazing Picture Collages with Loupe Collage

I know it may sound cliche to say a picture speaks a thousand words, but Loupe Collage actually makes this expression true! This web-based application and Google App literally turns your pictures into a shape (or word) collage.

You choose the pictures, then you choose the shape, image, or word you would like to make a collage. Loupe Collage can access photos from your computer, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, and even more!

Here are some ideas that you could use Loupe Collage for!

  • Music Classroom - let's say that you are talking about famous composers. Why not have your students locate the pictures of famous composers and put them together in the shape of a musical note? 
  • History / Language Arts - are you talking about biographies on famous historical figures? Why not gather pictures about that person's life and place pictures to form the letters of their last name? 
  • At the beginning of the school year, have students put together a collage in the form of their name. This is a great way to learn names and learn more about your students! Check out the example I posted above. I used pictures from Facebook to compose it! 
You can easily save your photo without an account - if you don't mind a little watermark! 

Have you ever used Loupe Collage? Have you ever used other programs like it? I'd love to hear more!

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