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Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Many Faces of Google Searching

If you are like me you are constantly using the search function in Google Drive.  You are also a person that uses Google Chrome’s omnibar for everything.  Did you know you can type in youtube.com and press tab and it creates a search of youtube for you?  Type away your search.

capture

Now there are a lot of search engines listed in Chrome but you can create your own!  Thank you so much ShakeUpLearning for cluing me in.

How to Edit Your Chrome Search Engines:

  1. Right-click on the Omnibox, and select, “Edit Search Engines.” This will open your search engine settings in Google Chrome.
  2. From here, scroll down to the very bottom to add a new search engine.
  3. Name your search engine.
  4. Then choose the keyword you want to use. I use the letter “d.” It doesn’t even have to be a full word.
  5. Then just copy and paste this search URL: https://drive.google.com/#search?q=%s
  6. Click done.

untitled-gif-2Source:  Bell, Kasey. “Did You Know You Can Search Google Drive and Gmail From the Chrome Omnibox? | Shake Up Learning.” Shake Up Learning. Shake Up Learning, 28 June 2016. Web. 07 Oct. 2016. <http://www.shakeuplearning.com/blog/search-google-drive-gmail-chrome-omnibox/>.

 

Searching Tips & Tricks:

When searching if you type in the following items you will get better results.  One of my favorites is Filetype: because when searching for images I usually need a transparent background.  This occurs with PNG images therefore I will search Filetype:PNG to get images that have a transparent background.  Also remember to search only Open Source images that can be modified when doing this though.

  • Filetype:
    • Add the type of file you are searching for such as PDF, DOC, PPT, PNG, etc.
  • Time
  • Weather
  • Define:
    • This will define any word within the Google Search
  • Translate
    • Translate any word
  • allintext:
    • Must have your search term in the website
  • allintitle:
    • Must have your search term in the title of the website
  • ~
    • Use the symbol to look for your search term and others that are related
  • ebook:
    • search for only ebooks
  • inurl:
    • Search term must be in the URL/Web Address
  • daterange:
    • Search for a certain time period
  • movie:
    • Search for movies
  • cache:website address
    • Search for the cached version of a website (cached=stored version)
  • site:
    • Search within a single site.  Put the site in and then your search terms

PostHeaderIcon Live From Olympia

did-earthquake-destroy-ancient-greece-670x440-130426Project Inspiration: Students are fascinated with Ancient Greece and I thought it would be interesting for students to take their inquiry questions and interest video-making and combine it into a collaborative project.  This project could be for grades 6 and up depending on the curriculum.

Essential Question: What if we lived in Ancient Greece? What is the importance of Ancient Greece to us today? What can we learn about ourselves from the Ancient Greeks?

The Situation:  A film crew has been transported back in time to report on Ancient Greece.  It is your job to do research on an aspect of Ancient Greek life for the film crew.  You are also charged with creating the scripts the film crew will follow when they go live with a new program called: Live From Ancient Olympia.

Note: Prior to beginning the actual project students read some ebooks  (Rosen Publishings Interactive eBooks on Ancient Greece) on Ancient Greece to get perspective and background information.  These are fantastic ebooks that are simotaneous use with are my favorite!  Timelines and keywords defined.  There are so many resources.  Full Disclosure: I am good friends with one of the reps.  But it is still an awesome resource and there are no other eBooks out there like it.  The key to the success of the project is organization and the use of  jobs in each group.  The project began with the Marshmellow Challenge to get students to begin to work together and think about each person’s strengths.

Each group includes:

  1. Manager—keeps group members on task; communicates with teacher; provides leadership
  2. Reporter—keeper of all records; manages paper; tracks “who’s doing what”
  3. Techie—manages the group’s technology needs; knows how to use the technology or is willing and able to learn new technology as needed for this project.
  4. Archivist—organizes found stories, photos, and artifacts

Each class (of 4-5 groups) work on one news broadcast.  Therefore, in each class there was one video editor, one camera person, and two anchors.  This worked extremely well for creating the video.  Not all students are interested in video editing and it can be time-consuming so those students interested in the process can be involved.  The feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive.  They enjoyed the process and learned a lot.

You can see some examples of the project here

PostHeaderIcon WeVideo & GreenScreen

maxresdefaultWith the shutting down of Jaycut quite a few years ago I was crestfallen to be able to edit videos with greenscreen (chromakey) online.  On the chromebooks this is challenging.  I did bite the bullet and purchase a pro-account because chromakey was extremely important to me.  However, if it is not the free version really works really well.

If you are a fan of Animoto it is a more robust version.  Students would sometimes get frustrated by the limits of Animoto but were not yet ready for a full-fledged video editor so there are two different modes – timeline and storyboard (easier).  You can easily toggle between both of them.

I have found this to be a superior product when trying to do Book Trailers with students.  The free version allows downloading of 5 minutes a month.  Book Trailers should be around 60 seconds so this works perfectly for me.  I do not have such restrictions with the paid account.

The Chromakey (green screen) is pretty good.  It is not Photoshop or Camtasia but it really does the job pretty well.  For student’s beginning experience with chromakey it works very well.

PostHeaderIcon Google Classroom: Share to the Classroom

google_classroom_logoI was very excited about Google Classroom when it first came out and was one of the few that got access pretty early on.  My Tech coordinator was intrigued as was I.  I started to play with it and found I could not do everything I wanted to do:

  • More than One Teacher
  • Online Rubrics (Goobric)
  • Comment on Documents when first created
  • Add students outside my domain

I am happy to say that these issues have been fixed.  It is not the robust LMS of something like Schoology but it really gets the job done very relative ease.  Co-teachers can now both be in the class (as educators/admins) within Google Classroom under About (button is Invite a Teacher on the left-hand side).

My biggest pet peeve was that you could not add students outside your domain.  Our district when creating our GAFE accounts decided to put students and adults in two different domains.  So we had to have two accounts if we wanted to use Google Classroom.  Thank goodness they have fixed this by allowing GAFE admins to add other GAFE domains to a whitelist.

Goobric now works with Google Classroom so all the online rubrics you created with Docotopus will now work with Google Classroom Assignments!  YES!!  Video on how it works.

Documents.  Comment access is available as soon as the student opens the document for the first time.  This is ideal when helping students in real-time.

adokjfanaflbkibffcbhihgihpgijcei-logoLastly, they recently added something that just blew my mind.  How many times have you had issues with students copying down URLs and messing it up?  Even if you used bitly or tinyurl or QR codes?  I have so many times I have lost count.  Now you can have your GAFE admin add the Share to Classroom Google Extension (How to add it to your domain globally).  Of course you can have your students do it individually as well.  This extension changed my life.  You can push out pages to your students!  From Google, “The extension allows you to push webpages to your any of your Classroom classes, so they open instantly on your students’ computers. With this extension, you can get your students on the right page, quickly and reliably every time. You can also post announcements, create assignments, or save webpages to post to Classroom later.”

PostHeaderIcon Slides Carnival

Slides Carnival Templates for Google Slides Google Slides is a wonderful tool to use with students for presentations.  However the selection of created templates is rather limited.  You can of course go to the plethora of templates @ Google Templates however they tend to be more of the same.  Slides Carnival has created professional looking templates that are very easy to use.  A few clicks are you are on your way to a professional looking presentation with all the unique slides many have expected from Microsoft Powerpoint.  In all my research the presentations remain totally free.  

 

PostHeaderIcon EasyBib & Google Addons

 

Easybib Icon

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1yePTHL

EasyBib is a great app and it has recently been included in Google Docs Addons.  Addons are a recent addition to Google Docs and a great one.  I can only assume that more addons will be added in the future.  Students can easily add their citations in their papers with the add on.  The addon allows students to stay in the same window.  You are able to achieve a lot with the free version.  The paid version gives you more options including taking notes.  Though I will review Evernote very soon and I am starting to prefer this to noodletools and other notetaking sites.

Citation is the bread and butter of librarianship along with research.  Anything to make the process easier for students is key for me.  Bibliographies and giving credit is a big problem for students.  It is imperative for us, as teacher librarians, to instill in students an understanding of digital ownership.  If we are going to go to Google Images use creativecommons.org.  Okay, I am off my soapbox.

EasyBib is an app that takes the wonderful free citation creator website and repackages it as an app.  You can keep track of your bibliography and email it to yourself and it is even easier with the addon.  It is very easy to use on an iPad because you can save to the app and access later if you are logged in.  Three styles are included on the site: MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian (however to use all the types you have to pay).  (From Appstore: Create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Build and manage your works cited. Once done, email your citations and then export your citations to EasyBib.com’s popular bibliography management service.)  The scanning of the barcode is exciting to me.  It is also a GoogleApp.  Your Google Administrator can add it to your Google Apps account.  The App is free and has MLA styling.  

There are, of course, other options out there including:  Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) Citation Maker

 

PostHeaderIcon Apple vs. Android

Apple Logo vs. Android Logo

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1m8XIpY

So I was reading a blog that did a nice job laying out public opinion on the Apple vs. Android discussion.  Should schools get iPads or Android Tablets?  Which is the best solution?

One of the big concerns with Apple is the way they are marketing the iPad.  Users seems to be looking for a netbook replacement.  They want to be able to hook in their peripherals.  They want USB, HDMI, & SD Card ports, not to mention the limits of Google Apps on iPads.  Android allows users to use Flash and other popular tools.  Though with the transition to HTML5, maybe Flash will not be such a big deal in the future.

I do wonder if jumping on the tablet band wagon is necessary….could education wait until the price goes down?  Are there cheaper options such as the Nook Color adding Android accessibility options?   Companies are rushing to come out with the next solution.  Is the first solution the best?  Should schools even be buying these things when students can bring them in to school to use on a wireless network?  Not all students have these tools…so buy a few instead of for all students.  Cellphones are quickly replacing laptops for simple and general computing.  Things change every day…I look forward to the next advance with interest.

Another user notes the ease in which Google makes app creation.  In the Google App Inventor, users can easily create apps.  This is ideal for students.  However, Apple caters to education and has a variety of educational apps.  Android needs to catch up to be a threat in that field.

To create an iPad, iTouch app there are a few more steps.

“First start by joining Apple’s iPad Dev Program ($99).  With your membership you will get iPhone SDK with Xcode, interface builder, ipad simulator, sample codes, video guides, forum, and performance analyzer.  Download and install the latest version of the iPhone SDK. Note, you will also need a MAC or  Mac Mini with the freshest Snow Leopard installed in order to run it. If you cannot afford a MAc. you may try to develop on a Hackintosh PC. Here is a tutorial on building a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard, no hacking required that might help you in your project.  There are some great places with tutorials and guides or forums to ask for help from other developers: Apple Dev Forum
What will you choose?  Will your choose?  Take a look at your needs and reasons and then decide.

PostHeaderIcon HTML & CSS CodeAcademy

Students are always asking me how to code HTML and CSS.  In the past there are very few places to send them to go step by step in understanding how it all works.  Thankfully this has changed with the recent update to CodeAcademy.  CodeAcademy is an interactive site designed to help people understand and create HTML, CSS, and much much more (including

Codeacademy Photo

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1rjAVNw

Coding Java).

I am so excited to share this site with my students.  Thanks Technology for Teachers for pointing out the update in the site.  I can see myself using this site to brush up on some basics and beyond.  The lessons in basic HTML really break down the component parts of creation.  It is a language unto itself and this allows students to learn by doing.  Reading a website giving me HTML tags does not really prompt higher level thinking and experience.  I would just have to keep going back to that site rather than retaining the understanding and information internally.

PostHeaderIcon Meograph: Timeline Creator

Source of Image: http://bit.ly/U2NMr7

Timelines are a staple in social studies and ela.  They help students keep track of dates and facts.  I have been searching for a good online-timeline creator for a while.  I have tried Dipity which is good but I find that it is very slow to load and is limited to the number you can create and information mediums.  So I searched and searched for an alternative and lo and behold I found Meograph.  Not only is it free (YAY!) it can embed videos, text, audio, and uses Google Maps.  I was in heaven.  I did this with a class and it went smoothly.  Well almost smoothly (internet went down once).

Example of a Moment on Meograph

Source: Meograph by Heather Turner

As you can see at the left you can add an event, then a when (date), where (location), link (with more information).  You can also add a photo, youtube video, and even narration.  The narration online is limited to 30 secs.  However, you can upload unlimited audio.  I used Audacity (remember you need the LAME encoder to save as MP3) and had the students record and publish as a MP3.

A note on location:  You must use the current name of the city or town.  Therefore if you are talking about Ancient Persia you need to find the modern country.

PostHeaderIcon Livebinders

Livebinders Uses

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1qWGAcY

Quite awhile ago I talked about how I found the livebinders site a bit clunky.  Well I must revise my statement because the site has worked very well for several research projects I have been doing.  It is so nice to be able to embed websites within one website.  This is extremely helpful with databases because no one can ever find the sheet with the passwords.  We want students, staff, and parents to access and utilize the resources we sink tons of money into.  They are fabulous resources and anything I can do to increase use and accessibility is key.

In terms of how I have been using the product.  I have embedded those databases relevant to the research as well as websites I have  come across that are relevant to the project.  I even embed EasyBib so they can begin thinking about the Bibliography at the beginning of the project.  It does not matter what the end product consists of because citing sources is pivotal in my mind and that of the common core.  In the following example, the students were researching for a Roaring Twenties Glog.  I love Glogster Edu for poster projects because you are not limited by paper.  Adding videos and audio are a welcome perk.  Not to mention adding document, drawing, and much much more.  However, back to Livebinder.  I was able to embed my video/audio converter, video resources, audio resources, databases, and well researched websites.  The goal of this project was to have students be successful locating information within a bunch of good resources.  This is challenging for students.

If you want to create a project based resource for your students, LiveBinders is a great choice.  It is flexible for and above all extremely easy to use and create on the fly.

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