Friday, May 27, 2016

Chrome Browser Tips and Tricks - The Omnibox

Did you know that you can search directly from the chrome address bar also known as the omnibox? There are also a variety of very useful quick actions you can complete using the omnibox. You don’t need to go to to take advantage of these quick takes.  Take some of these out test drive in a new tab to see them work. 

Here are a few samples from the document:


Start a countdown timer by typing: timer and a time in the omnibox.
Screenshot 2016-05-26 at 9.44.26 AM.png


Convert just about any units of measure by typing: convert a unit to a unit.
Screenshot 2016-05-26 at 9.46.42 AM.png

What are your favorite features of the Chrome Omnibox?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Awesome Google Updates - Classroom and Slides

Google Classroom Update
Great news....Google Classroom released a new feature last week in order to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week and give thanks to teachers all over the world. You will be happy to read that this update will enhance the use of Google Classroom with our students. You can now schedule all posts (announcements, assignments, and questions) in Google Classroom for a later date and/or specific time. This feature will provide a great opportunity for teachers who like to plan ahead and get organized for the week, month, unit, year, etc. hero_logo.png

Coming Soon...

It is finally happening!!!! Next fall, Classroom will offer parent/guardian notifications in order to keep them in the loop with what is happening in your class.

Click here to learn more about the wonderful Google Classroom updates!

Google Slides Update - Q&A
Google just released a Q&A feature to use with Google Slides to give the viewers an opportunity to ask questions as they view a presentation. Slides Q&A is a back channel and provides a way to interact with audience members.

Click here to read more about these updates.

Wilson's #whatsup Tutorial 

YouTube Video

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Save Your Images & Websites to "Google Save"

Google has quietly rolled out a new bookmarking feature.  It is so quiet that I don't know if it even has an official name.   Let's just call it "Google Save."  "Google Save" is a way to quickly save images and websites in one central location that can be accessed from anywhere.  I first came across this feature while doing a Google Image search.  When I found an image, I saw a "Save" button.
If you click on the Save button, the star turns orange and the image is then saved to your "Google Save" account.   If you click the 'View Saved' next to the Save button, you will access your "Google Save"  items.  The first time you use this service, you will be greeted with a windowing explaining the tool as follows:  

"Your new home for saved images and links - Images you s ave in Google Image Search live here at  Website links you save with the Save to Google extension for Chrome can also be found here.  Tag your saved images and links to easily find them and stay organized."

To save websites to "Google Save,"  install the Chrome extension "Save to Google" . On the site that you would like to save, click the Save to Google extension.  The extension will open a small window giving you the options to add tags.  Click View Saved and your site will be saved in your Google Save.

You may be asking yourself, how is this different from the extension "Save to Drive?"  Well, Save to Drive will save the site/image to your Google Drive. The site/image will become one of the many files in your Google Drive.   With Google Save, you saved images/websites are stored in one central location making it easier to organize and search images and sites.

Monday, May 2, 2016

WeVideo - Powerful Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

In recent years, I've shifted my thinking about content in my classroom. I teach an AP Course and the content is important if I am going to help my students meet their goals for the AP Exam. Traditionally, I've taught the content and then asked students to demonstrate their understanding of the content. This would frequently take the form of a presentation, assessment or visual. Today, I provide them the content upfront and ask students to take that content and use it to develop their creative thinking skills. They don't tell me what they know instead, they show me what they know in their own unique way.

Classroom content can be a powerful resource to help students build skills connected to the 4 Cs. Videos can be one powerful way for students to demonstrate these skills. WeVideo has become one go-to resource to help students develop skills connected to video creation. Content becomes the foundation of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication connected to the videos.

Popular WeVideo Features
  • Different Editing Modes to suit novices and experts alike: Storyboard and Advanced Timeline 
  • Connect Google Drive to easily use your photos, videos, music & graphics files already uploaded
  • Drag & drop media files in any order to assemble your story
  • Easily trim video clips to focus on key moments or set custom durations
  • Add text, effects, music, transitions and more
  • Add animation to videos, photos, text and annotations 
  • Record voice-overs and video directly from the app 
  • Get creative with over 100 royalty-free effects & audio clips 
  • Adjust video speed (SloMo/FastMo) 
  • Add titles and captions in different languages(most languages supported, including Mandarin, Spanish, English, Arabic, Portuguese, etc.)
  • Publish to YouTube, Google Drive, Vimeo, Facebook, Dailymotion and more
  • Take turns editing or simply share each others’ clip libraries 
  • Works with Google Drive - WeVideo adds a folder called "WeVideo" to your Google Drive directory. This folder will contain names of the WeVideo projects and videos you create. 
Click here to learn more about WeVideo and to install the Chrome App.

Additional Resources