Posts

Showing posts from March, 2016

iOS Update to Google Slides

Image
Google recently announced a nice update to Google Slides for iOS. If you have used this App in the past, you may have noticed that you were unable to change the background theme of slides. With this most recent update, you are now able to create amazing presentations with just a tap! How does it work?  1. Open up the Google Slides App on your iOS device 2. In the top-right corner of your screen, tap on the three vertical dots. This will open up a side menu. 3. Select "Change Theme" 4. Choose the theme that works best in your presentation. Now all of the themes that you love in the web version of Google Slides are available on your iOS device!

Make a Dollar out of Fifteen Cents: 4 Apps to Learn How to Count Money

Image
Teaching students how to count money is an important skill - even though many of us hardly carry cash and change. How can we give our students the practice that they need to master this valuable skill?  Many of us turn to tangible play money, which is important but not always effective for all students. I want to offer you a few iPad Apps that could help students master the concept of counting money: 1. Count Money ! Count Money ! is a simplistic app that could easily be used for whole class instruction, small group instruction, or for individual practice. This free App challenges students to make the correct amount of change by tapping on a plus or minus sign above the proper coin. Students are timed on how quickly they can make change for ten different money problems. I like that you can set the difficulty level from easy to medium. You can also change the number of problems assigned to students (10, 25 or 50). The full version of the App provides more difficulty levels, no

A Google A Day Keeps Students Engaged

Image
You might have heard the expression, "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away," but a Google a day can keep students engaged! What is A Google A Day? A Google A Day is a free site aimed at sharpening your students ability to search and find answers through a game-like format. I love the site's motto, "there's no right way to solve it, but there's only one right answer." It is very simple. Each day, you are asked three different questions and you have to find the answer by any means possible. The quicker you find your answer, the more points you earn. Need help? A Google A Day can provide you with hints, such as key words and the first letters of the term. How it Can Benefit Students? Problem solving has become an essential skill for students (and teachers) in the era of grit, the growth mindset, and STEM. We are constantly looking for ways to challenge our students, grow their abilities, and sharpen their skill sets. Google introduced us to &

Grade Individual Sections of Google Forms

Image
I recently had a reader contact me about how they could link multiple Google Form Quizzes and have each quiz or part graded individually with Flubaroo. As far as I am aware, Flubaroo treats an entire form as a Quiz; therefore, grading each section individually will not work with Flubaroo. I came up with a few work arounds that you might want to try. Each option requires that you make a separate quiz for each section. For example, if you wanted three sections for your quiz, you would need to create three different quizzes. Idea # 1 - Create individual quizzes in Google Forms, but link everything in a Google Doc.  Idea # 2 - After each "quiz" or section is finished, created a custom message with a hyperlink to take your next "quiz" or section. Here are explanations of the two options:

Scaffold Instructions with Google's New Document Outline Update

Image
Navigating long documents can be challenging. Google Docs just created a cool new update called Document Outline, which collates all of your headers within your document into a sidebar. Users can uses the sidebar to navigate from header to header within their document. This amazingly simple-to-use feature can provide teachers with a valuable tool to scaffold and support learning! Read on to learn how. How Can I Access Document Outline?  Accessing this feature is very simple! Go to the Tools menu and select Document Outline.  NOTE: This feature is only effective if you use the Heading formats in Google Docs. How Can I Use This With Students?  Not every student learns the same way, which makes providing students with scaffolds and supports are important part of giving instructions. Whenever I have given assignments in my classroom, I have always found that there are three types of students: The experts who wish you would go away and disappear.  The students who need yo

Google Image Quiz: An Engaging Way to Teach Search

Image
Teaching students how to search for information is a valuable skill in the 21st Century. I'm amazed at how many students do not know how to search effectively. Instead of using keywords, they type full questions (punctuation and all).  The Google Image Quiz is a valuable resource, which takes the form of a game aimed at helping students learn the power of queries. This resource is designed by Silvio Lorusso . How does it work?  After visiting the website, you will see a random image appear on your screen. Below the image, you are asked to guess the keyword or query used to find the image in Google.  Not sure where to start? Google Image Quiz gives you with several hints. First, each box represents a letter in the query.  Need a little more help? Click on the Hint button to reveal one letter at a time.  Want to start over? Click on the Show New Image button for a new image to search for.  Why is Searching Important? Information is a valuable commodi

Increasing #Accessibility with Improvements to Google Voice Typing

Image
Several months ago, Google launched its Google Voice Typing tool in Google Docs. This free tool simply takes voice to text technology to help your students compose a writing assignment. Although not 100% accurate (when you think about it, what is?), it is still a valuable resource built into Google Docs. Over the past several weeks, Google recently made several improvements to this awesome resource. Users can now make the following edits and formats in their document with voice commands: Select Text - you can use your voice to select a specific word, character, item, paragraph, or select all. Change Formatting - use your voice to change the alignment, text formatting, text color, or highlighting. Add bullets, indent paragraphs, change font size, or remove formatting.  Edit Your Document - copy, cut, paste, add headers / footers, and insert a table of contents.  Add / Edit Tables - insert rows, columns, and tables.  Navigate around your document Open Voice Typing h

Kiddle: Kid-Friendly Visual Search Engine

Image
There has been a lot of buzz about a new kid-friendly visual search engine called Kiddle. Take one look at the site and you may think it looks like another familiar search engine; however, it is NOT currently one of Google's products. Search Results: Kiddle searches are handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors or filtered by Google safe search. Most search results contain a thumbnail, to makes it easier to scan results and help students who need visual clues as they are searching. Inappropriate query results are filtered and blocked by Kiddle's friendly robot. Caution: Although this is a safe search engine, keep in mind that no search engine truly replaces adult supervision. This search engine does NOT block out all inappropriate pictures (neither does Google Safe Search). For example, if you look up Kim Kardashian, it brought up sex tape references. Kids can get very creative when searching for inappropriate things and search engines don't always bl