Saturday, February 25, 2017

Google Slides - New Video Options - Finally!

Recently Google Slides (Presentations) received an update that students and teachers are going to love!  


Finally, the ability to embed videos from Google Drive is here! Up until now, only YouTube videos have been able to be inserted into a Google Presentation. But now, students can insert videos that are saved to their Google Drive directly into a Google Presentation. This is such a fantastic update for students in any district that are restricted from creating their own YouTube channel.

Here is a look at how to insert videos from Google Drive into Google Slides.


It is important to remember that share settings do apply. If a person viewing your presentation does not have permission to view the video, they will be prompted to request access. Make sure your video is set to anyone with the link can view to prevent any problems.
*Remember, videos only play in presentation mode.

Advanced Video Settings! 
In addition, there is the ability to right click on a video once it is inserted to bring up advanced video settings.  This will work for a Google Drive video or a YouTube video. 


Three advanced options:
1 - One option is to choose the exact time (minutes and seconds) you want the video to start and end. This is a great way to show only a part of the video you want to use in your presentation. 
2 - Another advanced video option is to select autoplay when presenting. This will start the video as soon as the slide is presented. 
3 - A third option is to select mute audio. Sometimes the video can speak for itself or perhaps students want to annotate the video themselves in person.

The ability to insert a video from Google Drive is a game changer for students and teachers. And the advanced options are super useful. Please share what you learned with your peers and students and enjoy the update!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Learning with Data


This Saturday, February 11th, 2017, I will be hosting a webinar for SimpleK12 on Learning with Data. The webinar is free and you can sign up to register here

In this webinar, I will share all different types of tools and sites for teaching and learning about data. 

Here are a few of the resources I will be sharing in the webinar:

1.  Collecting Data- I've started compiling a list of sites that allow students and teachers to find and download data.  I'll be sharing the collection in the webinar.  It probably isn't too surprising that Google Trends is one of my favorite sites to find interesting data.

Here is a graph I created using the Numbers program on my Mac after exporting data about Valentine's Day from Google Trends--
In the webinar, I will show several other sites that can be used to collect and compare data. 

#2 - Graphing and Charting Tools- 
It doesn't get much easier than this Easy Bar Graph site. Elementary students will be able to use this independently.
Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 11.07.54 AM.png

Create a Graph from Kids' Zone is a wonderful site for seeing sample graphs as well as creating different types of graphs. 



In the webinar I will also be demonstrating how Google Sheets, Docs and Slides integrate together for showing data, tables, charts and graphs.

3.  Story Telling and Data Visualization- I think this is the best part! Infographics, animations, and unique types of graphs can be really fun. 

Check out this interactive map from the United States Census Bureau. It allows for filtering of data as well as comparing data of different states.  There are many other interactive maps to explore on this site as well.


Did you know that you can use Piktochart to import your own data from a file or from a Google Sheet and create various types of graphs and charts to include in your infographic, presentation or printable poster? I will be demonstrating how to do this in the webinar.  Here is an example Piktochart I created from a Google Spreadsheet I made about SnapChat usage.
Click here to view the Piktochart


FlowingData has so many interesting and uniques graphs, infographics, videos and visual stories about data. I know students will enjoy exploring this site and sharing some of the data stories found here.  

Check out these interactive visuals that tell data stories. 

When do Americans Leave for Work? Click here to see the map and then click on the play button to see the animation.


Growth of Walmart. Click here for the interactive map.

This history of Earth in the Context of a Football Field.  Click here for the video.

I will be showing additional storytelling and data visualization tools in the webinar this Saturday. 

Remember, complex data is all around us
  • online
  • in the news
  • in our environment
Students can develop critical skills in making meaning from complex data and emerge better prepared for a data-rich world.

Do you have any great sites or tools for working with data? Please share with me. I would love to add more tools to my toolbox.

Please feel free to join me in the webinar for SimpleK12 and take advantage of some of the other wonderful webinars happening this Saturday as well.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Four Sites to Try with Your Students - Inspired by my Colleagues

Lately I've been using various sites and activities with students in our high school classrooms. Many of these are inspired by the amazing and creative teachers that I work with. They come to me with an idea of what they want their students to accomplish, and I help them find the right tech tools to use.  Kudos to Kerry, Alexis, Dave and Jennifer who inspire me every day to use various technology tools in the classroom.

Here are some of the sites we've been using lately:

Storyboard That - comic strip creator 


The free account allows for 2 boards per week with the ability to create either 3 or 6 cell comics. Learn more about the free and paid versions here. There are some fantastic teacher resources and guides. Check them out by clicking here.  I love these examples of possible student activities for the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 


Thinglink - create interactive images and videos to tell a story or deliver a lesson





I love the possibilities of Thinglink for student creation and learning. Students can put interactive tags on images and videos to Google Docs, Drawings, images, audio, videos; anything with a URL.  

What I really love is the ability for teachers to create a Thinglink to deliver a blended lesson to students.  In this example I used a 360 degree image to take students on a virtual field trip. The 360 degree image import is part of the premium feature. If you are a teacher or student at our high school (EHS) I can give you access to the premium account for you and your students. 



Tagul - inspiring and creative word clouds




Click here for the actual word cloud

Create a word cloud in a shape by copying and pasting text or by using the URL to a website. There are many different settings that students can use to customize their Tagul. Easily download, print or share the link to a Tagul.  And the best part is that this site is completely free and works on Chromebooks.

Sway - Microsoft's version for making presentations
If you are a teacher in our AASD district, you will want to log into Sway using your Microsoft Outlook 365 account and click on the nine boxes in the corner.  Anyone can use Sway for free using an email account.  
Students and teachers can create attractive scrolling webpages by adding various types of "cards" such as a heading, text, video, image, etc. The presentation will play like a slideshow or a vertical or horizontal webpage. A few features I really like are the ability to add voiceovers right within Sway and also to add focal points to images and emphasis to text. Presentations made with Sway look modern and visually pleasing.

Here is a Sway (vertical scroll) on educational trends. 



I hope you are inspired to try one of these sites with your students. If you do, let me know how it goes.