Wednesday, October 23, 2013

YouTube Editor and Slideshow Maker


Today I am sharing with our staff YouTube Editor and YouTube Slideshow Maker. If you need a quick way to make a slideshow or if you need to edit one of your videos, these are great tools! Naomi Harm is the inspiration behind sharing this blog post with all of you. 

To access both of these tools, first sign into your YouTube account and then click on the UPLOAD tab.


First, lets look at YouTube slideshow maker.
Here is a slideshow that I made.  I used pictures from Pixabay, which is a site that provides copyright free images.  Thanks to Naomi Harm for tweeting about this site.





Watch this short video to see how I made this slideshow.





Now let's look at YouTube Editor.



I highly recommend giving YouTube Slideshow Maker and YouTube Editor a try.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Google Docs Research Tool, Glogster, and Common Core


This past week my students worked on a cultures project.  In our reading series we have been reading about how different cultures have unique celebrations, traditions and foods.

To extend what we read and to meet the CCSS, the students each chose a culture to research and gather information on.  We used the research tool in Google Docs to find our information and search for images.  Prior to this lesson, we did a lesson on finding reliable websites called Detecting Lies from this collection.

Watch the video to see how the research tool works.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Click here for the Cultures Research Doc if you would like to use it in your classroom.

After the research was completed, students took the information and created a Glogster to display the information.  Here are some examples:








Our last step is that we need to link our research document to our Glogsters.  Then we plan to present them in class.  I like that this project incorporated Google Docs and the research tool as well as a multimedia Glogster.  My students LOVED using all of the technology and were enthusiastic about the project as a whole. And we worked on several CCSS.  Success!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tab Cloud Chrome Extension

How many tabs do you have opened in your browser?  Yes, I'm asking you right now; how many tabs?

I personally have quite a few:





Perhaps the Tab Cloud extension could be helpful to you.  
Here is how it works:
You are at work and you have several tabs opened on your Chrome browser that you are working on.  It's time to go home and you want to continue working with the same sites you have opened when you get home.  Or perhaps you are taking a night off and you want to come back to the same tabs the next day.  The Tab Cloud extension will save your opened tabs for you and allow you to reopen them another time and place.  Even on a different computer!

To get the extension, visit the Chrome Web Store and search for Tab Cloud.  A quick way to find extensions is to click on the extensions tab at the top.



Once installed, you simply need to click on the Tab Cloud extension in your extensions bar to save the tabs you have opened. You can even name the collection of tabs.  This is very useful if you are a presenter and you need a certain collection of tabs for your presentation, or a teacher and you need a certain collection of tabs for a lesson.

If I want to save the collection of tabs that I have opened, I will simply click on the save icon at the top.  Each opened tab is shown with a small icon showing what the web page is.  In this case I have Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive, Chrome Web Store, Blogger, Gmail and Google opened.


As you can see below, I have saved several collections of tabs with the extension.  The top one was for a site with microscope pictures, then a collection of tabs for the Google Summit I presented at and another collection for a presentation for my students.  Then if I click on the green plus, a new window will open with the collection of tabs.  If I click on the red minus my collection of tabs will be deleted.  

This extension has been very helpful to me and has saved me a lot of time.  I highly recommend trying the Cloud Tab extension!

Monday, October 14, 2013

UW-Oshkosh Google and Intel Mini Summit

This past Saturday I presented at the UW Oshkosh Google and Intel Mini Summit organized by Innovative Educator Consulting CEO Naomi Harm.


As always, Naomi brought in an amazing team of presenters and gave attendees more than they bargained for in terms of the greatest technologies in the edtech world.



One of the presenters was Ben Hommerding, a Google Certified Teacher,  from the Winneconne School District.  Ben presented on Google Glass and he was fantastic.  Ben wore his Google Glass and did live demonstrations through out his presentation.  I must say that I am quite envious of the fact that he has Google Glass and I don't.  This technology is going to change the educational world in the coming years. 
 Click here to view parts of Ben's presentation.



I had the pleasure of teaming up with a good friend of mine, Tim Neilsen.  Tim works for Innovative Educator Consulting as is a Google Power Searcher.  I always learn a ton of tricks and new applications when I spend time with Tim.  
We presented on Google Apps and Extensions.  The feedback from our audience was great and I feel we did a nice job of giving them a huge variety of tools to add to their digital toolboxes.  I will be blogging about many of the apps and extensions in the near future. 
Click here for our page of resources. 





Finally, I was lucky enough to present along side the amazing Naomi Harm.  She is one of the most dynamic presenters I know. A person can learn so much from Naomi's vision for mobile learning and educational technology.  We presented on Flipped Teaching as well as YouTube editor and other useful YouTube tools.


The summit took place at Sage Hall which was just built in the past two years.  The technology and set up of the rooms in Sage Hall is unbelievable.  Duo projectors, full sound system, touch screen controls of the entire room, adjustable presentation table that can be raised or lowered to your preference, hook ups for every device, and a document camera that rocks!  I did NOT want to leave my classroom and would love to teach in an environment like this every day.  WoW! It was really impressive!

I feel so fortunate when I am given opportunities such as this one; presenting and spending a day with people from all over the state. Educators that are coming together to learn new technologies and pedagogy for bettering their teaching profession.  And I felt an appreciation for my knowledge and willingness to share what I know.  It just doesn't get any better!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mind Map Chrome App


Mind Map is a nice Chrome App that lets students EASILY create a mind map.




To get the app, first visit the Chrome Web Store and search for MindMap.

Because the developers have recently upgraded the app, you will want to click on the newest version, MindMap 2.



Once the app is installed, you can easily create parent, child and sibling boxes.  Changing colors and adding text is simple.  There are a lot of choices with the simple tool bar.




MindMap is simple and easy for students to use.  Here are some additional features that are really great!


  • Extensions 

Working in a collaborative mode would be very useful in the classroom.

  • Sharing options
Embedding the mindmap on a blog or website is a great option.

  • Saving options
The ability to save the mindmaps to Google Drive is a huge timesaver!
  • Export options
Download your map as an image or to the MindMaze website.

I highly recommend giving the MindMap Chrome App a try!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Make a Rubric with Google Forms

This week our students have been working on reader's theater projects to perform at our first ever MPES Reading Night.  Since we are spending quite a bit of class time on this project, the students will be assessed on their work.


So I decided to make a rubric to make assessing the project manageable.  To do this, I used a Google Form.  It looks like this:





Here is how I made this rubric:



After I made the first question "Name", I then created the second question using the choice "Grid".  I then chose my criteria for the rows and my scale for the columns.  

One other thing I did was to mark all of the choices at the bottom of my Google Form.  

This allows me to choose to submit another response directly after scoring one student.  I can also quickly edit my response or see the previous responses.  

If you are planning to use a rubric to score an assignment or project, I highly recommend using Google Forms.



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Turn off the Lights

Have you heard about the Chrome extension called Turn off the Lights?  I just heard about this from my friend Tim Nielsen of Innovative Educator Consulting.  Thanks, Tim!

Turn off the Lights is used with You Tube videos and it's purpose is to block out everything except for the video.  

Usually your screen would look like this if you opened a You Tube video:

With the extension it looks like this:



or this:

or this:

Turn off the Lights allows the user to change the look and feel of how the background appears.  In the top screen capture I have a plain black background, in the middle one I have changed the background to pink, and in the next screen capture I have animated bubbles in the background.  I can also change the opacity of the background like this:

or this:




Turn off the Lights is very easy to install and use.  Simply visit the Chrome Web Store and search for Turn off the Lights.  After the extension is installed, a small light bulb will appear in the address bar next the the bookmark icon, which is a star.

When you are ready to watch a video on YouTube, simple click the lightbulb icon and Turn off the Lights will highlight the video and block out the rest.  Click on the lightbulb again to turn off the feature.

This is a great extension for teachers using You Tube in the classroom.  I highly recommend you give this extension a try!