Teachnology Today

January 24, 2019

Favorite Things (Tech Edition)

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Chrome Extensions

If you use the Chrome browser when online, there are some truly phenomenal extensions that can be added with a click that can save you time and energy! Here are a few of my favorite ones:

  1. One Tab: If you ever feel like you have way too many tabs open, then this extension is a game changer! Once it's added, you can click on the funnel icon and it will take all of your open tabs and move them into a single list.
  2. Keep Awake: This one is great for Chromebook users! Every 7 minutes or so, Chromebooks that have been inactive will lock and require a password. This app can be used to keep the Chromebook awake!
  3. Wrapper: This is another tab manager, like One Tab, but it does a great job of letting you group tabs for a project and then share ALL of the them with others for awesome collaboration!
  4. Tab Scissors: This extension will take two tabs in your browser and automatically split them into two smaller side-by-side windows. It's awesome if you have a reading on one side and want to take notes or edit a document on the other!
  5. ColorZilla: ColorZilla lets you point your mouse at any color in your browser and use that color in another program. It's awesome for use with Google Apps.
  6. Save to Keep: If you have never used Google Keep, keep scrolling because I introduce it below. The save to keep button lets you save and organize links within that program.
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Like using Virtual Reality in the Clasroom? Try Google Tour Creator!

This tool allows you OR your students to CREATE immersive 360 tours from a Chromebook!

Teacher Creations

If you've ever searched Google Expeditions for a topic and didn't find what you are looking for, you could create a VR trip for your students using Google's enormous bank of images or even with your own 360 pictures.

Student Creations

Students can also use the 360 images found in Google Street View to put together their own tour. Tours can be enhanced with text, pop up images, and even audio and voice narration!

The final product can be sent to Google Expeditions and used in VR with the headsets, or the link can be opened on any Chromebook!

Implementation Ideas:

  • Reading a novel or story? Have students create a virtual tour of the locations in the novel to bring the story to life.
  • Studying a region of the world? Have students each choose a location, create a tour, and present them to the class or share them with their peers.
  • Have students create a virtual tour of their school building.
  • Going on a field trip? Have students take some 360 pictures while on the tour, so that they can be compiled into an awesome tour that can be reviewed and remembered or even shared with parents!
  • Doing some creative writing? Have students create an imaginative virtual story!

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Google Expeditions ON CHROMEBOOKS!

If you love the idea of virtual reality but aren't sure how to use the headsets and devices, then check out the Google Expeditions that can be visited by hyperlink from student Chromebooks! If you click the Expeditions spreadsheet below, you can search for ones you want by typing "CTRL+f" and then searching by keyword. Scroll to the right, and if there is a link in the field under "View on the Web" then you can share that link to student devices.
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Google Keep: A Teacher's Best Friend

Google Keep is an amazing app that helps me to organize my busy personal AND work life. I love that it is accessible on all of my devices, including the sidebar of my Google Calendar, Gmail, and Google Docs! Have you noticed the little yellow light bulb icon hanging out on the right side of your page when you use those apps? That's Google Keep.

At the surface, it looks like a place to keep different colored Post-It Notes. These notes can be plain with just a title and text, or can have check boxes that can be checked as you complete the tasks on your note.

Images: I will often take a picture on my phone, then send it to Google Keep because I can instantly add it to a Google Doc or Drawing from the sidebar! It's so fast and easy to use!

Drawings: You can sketch and take notes in Google Keep if you have a stylus! Those drawings can be used in other apps as well.

Collaboration: You can quickly and easily collaborate with others by sharing a note! This way, multiple people can see a to-do list and check off items as they are completed.

Voice Notes: You can click the microphone, and your audio note will be saved as well as the text from your message!

Bookmarks: Every so often, I come across an article or recipe that I want to save for later. You can save your links in Keep, and even add a label so that resources are grouped together.

Transcribe Text From a Picture: To capture written information, like your whiteboard notes, a poster or a memorable book quote, snap a picture and then click the “grab image text” button. Keep’s unique technology, called Optical Character Recognition (OCR), will transcribe the text from the picture for you. No need to try to type the words.

Set Time and Location Reminders: You can set a note to remind you at a specific date or time, or even put in a location reminder. To set a reminder, click the finger icon on your selected note. A pop-up window will appear with options for date, time and even place! Need to pick up more pencils next time you run to Target? No problem. Keep will remind you when you pull into the parking lot!

Go to keep.google.com to get started today.

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