TEACHnology Today

Technology Integration Newsletter-September 24, 2015

It's FINALLY Here! Google Calendar Now Syncs with Google Classroom!

Big image
Click on the blog entry below to find out how to access your calendars and share them with parents! Let me know if you would like assistance by booking an appointment and I'd be happy to help.

All About Google Chrome Extensions

Big image
Many of you may or may not have noticed that I added a few new extensions to your Chrome browser. If you aren't yet working in Chrome as your default browser, I'd recommend checking out for a few different reasons that will make your job a little bit easier!

First of all, I should explain myself. What is a Google Chrome Extension you may ask?

Google Chrome Extensions modify your browsing experience on the internet by adding some form of functionality. For example, for my Pinterest users out there, you can install a Pinterest browser extension that allows you to add a website you are visiting instantly to one of your Pinterest boards without ever leaving the website you are on. Pretty nifty, right? Aside from Pinterest, I want to highlight 3 INCREDIBLE Chrome Extensions to take a look at!

  • Share to Classroom: Any Google Classroom users in the district will be able to instantly send websites out to their students as long as that student has Google Classroom open in front of them. It's an amazing extension that can avoid having students type in long hyperlinks or hunt for the right website to click the hyperlink to the website you want them to access. It's also very handy as a quick bookmark to each of your created classes, making it easy to switch classes with a click. If you open your Chrome browser and login, you should see the green and yellow chalkboard icon. Click on it and you will see your options!

  • Synergyse: I am beyond excited about this one. Ask Nick...I was practically jumping up and down with glee when I showed him. Synergyse extension is basically your Google Apps tutor. After you add the extension, it automatically shows up the top right side of page near your Google Apps email address. You can be on any Google page, whether it's editing your Google Site, working in Google Classroom, checking your Gmail, creating a Google Doc, or saving a file in Google Drive. If you click on "Training," a menu pops up with short little tutorials on how to do anything you might want to do in that program. For example, when I'm working in Google Drive and want to know how to share a folder, there's a short tutorial for that. What makes Synergyse REALLY COOL is the fact that it takes control of your mouse over your own page and shows you what to click.

**A quick note of caution: When I installed the extension, there was a period of a few minutes where it loaded on each window I had open that was a Google App. I had to choose "allow" in order for it to work. It does seem to slow down the loading of my Google Apps by about 5-10 seconds because the training also loads for that page.**

  • Read&Write: Anyone familiar with the Read&Write program on our desktop computers will love this incredible little extension. Once added, it provides you with some powerful tools for helping students to organize and process information on a webpage. On any webpage, they can click the purple puzzle piece at the top right side of their screen. The tools will pop up that allow a Google Doc or webpage to be read aloud or highlighted with a dual-color highlighter. When you first install the extension, you will receive a 30-day free trial of some extended tools as well, but beyond the first 30 days you will still have access to the basic tools mentioned above.

  • Fluency Tutor for Google: This tool is great for helping students who need extra support. It’s a big help for struggling and reluctant readers, as well as students learning English as a second language. This easy to use tool allows students to record themselves reading and share with the teacher - away from the pressures of reading aloud in the classroom environment. Fluency Tutor for Google also integrates seamlessly with Google Drive and Google Classroom. And since it works with almost any online content, it’s great to use alongside your favorite sites.

To add any of these extensions to your Chrome browser, click on the appropriate link below.

Request a Technology Integration Session Here!

Interested in integrating technology but are unsure of what to tackle first? I'd love to come and chat! We can go over your objectives for the lesson or goals for students, and I can help make a technology recommendation.