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Friday, July 17, 2015

Join Me Next Week for a Morning and Afternoon of Free Webinars

On July 22nd Simple K12 is hosting a morning and afternoon of free webinars about Google tools for teachers. The webinars will start at 10:00am Eastern Time and run until 1:30pm Eastern Time.

There will be four webinars on July 22nd. I will be presenting sessions on YouTube tools, Blogger, and Google Drive Add-ons.

These free webinars are designed for folks who are new to using Google tools.  Teachers who would like to pick up some tips for teaching others how to take advantage of the great things that Google has to offer will also enjoy the content of these webinars. Click here to register.

FAQs About Simple K12 Webinars:
1.) Is this free?
a. Yes!

2.) Can I have the recordings after?
a. We will make the recordings available for 2 weeks following the event.

3.) How do I access the recordings? Do I need a SimpleK12 membership?
a. No, SimpleK12 will share the links with Richard Byrne / FreeTech4Teachers.com and all of the registrants following the event so you can view for 2 weeks following the event. But be sure to register so you will be notified.

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my time presenting these webinars. 

How to Prevent Downloading of Shared Google Docs

One of the best aspects of Google Drive is ability to quickly share documents and presentations with a large group of people. Sometimes when you share your documents or presentations you only want people to view those files, not edit or download them. You could share Google Docs as view-only but people can still make a copy of their own and download it. Recently, Google added the option to prevent downloading of shared files, even files shared as view-only.

To prevent downloading of shared Google Documents open the "advanced" menu that appears in the sharing dialogue box. Then inside the advanced settings choose the option to prevent download. The screenshots below illustrate how to find these settings.

Click image to view full size.
Click image to view full size. 
H/T to Lifehacker

An Interactive Video Series About the Search for the Northwest Passage

Journey Into the Arctic is a neat choose-your-own-adventure series of videos about the search for the Northwest Passage. The series of videos, produced by Canadian Heritage, puts viewers in the role of an explorer leaving England in the 19th century to search for the Northwest Passage. At the end of each segment in the series viewers have to make decisions about navigation and logistical concerns. Each decision will lead to another segment in which viewers can continue or turn back in the exploration.


Applications for Education
Journey Into the Arctic could be a nice resource to use in an elementary school history or geography lesson.

The series itself is a good example of how you can build an interactive video series in YouTube through YouTube annotations. Click here to learn how to use YouTube annotations.

Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for sharing Journey Into the Arctic on Twitter.

A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Explanatory Animated GIFs

When it comes to crafting explanatory videos and images no one does it better than Lee and Sachi at Common Craft. Recently, they published a comprehensive free guide to creating animated GIFs as explanations.

In How to Create ExplainerGIFs you will learn how to create animated GIFs using software that you probably have already. Through the guide you'll learn how to publish and share your explanatory GIFs. If you need images to use in your GIFs, How to Create ExplainerGIFs has a section devoted to finding images appropriate for crafting explanations.

Applications for Education
Having students create an animated GIF to explain a concept could be a good way to get them to think about how the individual parts of a concept come together to form one cohesive process.

The examples section of How to Create ExplainerGIFs are a good source of ideas for using animated GIFs in school. In the examples you will see animated GIFs used to bring graphs to life, a GIF used to explain how a sewing machine works, and a GIF to illustrate a soccer rule.

New Content Notifications in Google Classroom

Students who use the Google Classroom mobile apps (iOS and Android) will soon be able to receive instant notifications when new content is added in their classrooms. Students will receive notifications of new assignments from teachers, new announcements, grades becoming available, and new comments in the Classroom stream.

The new announcements feature could help students stay on top of course content. However, it could also become just another alert on their phones that they mute or ignore.

Source: Google Apps update blog