Google
 

Friday, February 2, 2018

How to Set a New Default Font for All of Your Google Docs

Last weekend I highlighted ten frequently overlooked Google Docs features. Here's another one that I'm reminded of on a regular basis. The default font for new Google Documents is 11 point Arial. You can easily change that whenever you start a new document, but there is another, better option. You can change the default font for all future Google Documents that you create by changing it in the "paragraph styles" menu. Watch my video embedded below to learn how to change the default font for all of your Google Docs.


Enroll in my G Suite for Teachers on-demand course to learn more about Google Docs and all elements of G Suite.

Five Good Educational Resources to Use Before the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is this coming Sunday. Just like last year, I predict that the Patriots will win. The odds are good that you have some students who are also interested in the game. Try one of the following resources to turn your students' enthusiasm for the Super Bowl into a fun lesson.

The Superb Owl is a cute video about owls. The video presents interesting facts about four types of owls. The whole four minute video is presented as if it is an NFL pre-game show. It's a fun science lesson to close out your week.



NBC's Science of Football is a series of ten videos from NBC Learn explaining and demonstrating math and science concepts as they relate to football. The list of topics covered in the Science of NFL Football includes Torque & Center of Mass, Pythagorean Theorem, Geometric Shapes, Projectile Motion & Parabolas, Vectors, Kinematics, Nutrition, and Newton's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Laws of Motion.

Choosito has a lesson plan that asks students to investigate the causes and effects of concussions. The lesson includes studying the trends in concussion diagnoses and treatments during the last 20 years.

Practical Money Skills hosts a series of eight online games designed to teach students some money management skills. One of the games that is timely considering that the Super Bowl is just a few days away is Financial Football. Financial Football has students answer questions about budgets, savings, and spending to move their football teams down the field against another team. The games use real NFL team logos. Financial Football takes at least twenty minutes to play.

Rob Gronkowski, the start tight end on the New England Patriots, had a concussion last week. Unfortunately, that is one of the dangers of playing football. TED-Ed has a good lesson that explains what happens to your brain when you get a concussion.

My Favorite Screencasting Tool Now Works on Chromebooks

Screencast-o-Matic has been my favorite screencasting tool for years. I use it on my Windows and Mac computers to create almost all of the videos that you see on my YouTube channel. The one knock against Screencast-o-Matic has always been that it wouldn't work on Chromebooks. That has changed. Last fall Screencast-o-Matic launched a beta product that worked on Chromebooks. And yesterday that product left beta and is available to anyone who wants to use it.

To use Screencast-o-Matic on a Chromebook just go to this page and click "launch recorder." You can record your screen or your screen and your webcam simultaneously. You can narrate your videos by using your Chromebook's built-in microphone or by using an external mic like a Blu Snowball.

There is a free version and a paid "pro" version of Screencast-o-Matic. The free version will let you record for up to 15 minutes, record as many videos as you like, save to your Google Drive or local drive, and use your webcam while recording a screencast. The pro version removes the time limit, removes the Screencast-o-Matic watermark, enables cursor highlighting (that yellow circle you see on my screencast videos), enables drawing tools, and enables access to the offline editor. The pro version costs $18 a year. If you use my referral link you can save 20%.

Design and Print Valentine's Day Cards on Storyboard That

If your elementary school was like mine, on Valentine's Day your teacher would have you fill out little sheets of Valentine's Day cards to distribute to classmates or to take home to your parents. Back then our cards all came from the same template and looked more or less the same (at least they did in my class). Today, students can design their own cards to print and sign.

Storyboard That offers templates for designing and printing Valentine's Day cards. To do this your students will first have to create a simple three-frame storyboard. Then they can print the story in a foldable card format. In my video embedded below I demonstrate how to create a Valentine's Day card on Storyboard That.


Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

What is Groundhog Day?

Today is Groundhog Day. Today is the day that, according to legend, a groundhog will predict how much longer winter will last in the northern hemisphere. Your students might be wondering where this tradition originated. The following two videos provide brief explanations of Groundhog Day's origins.

This video from Storm Shield explains a bit of meteorology that goes into whether or not the groundhog will see his or her shadow.


This video from CGP Grey deals mostly with the origin of the tradition. Like most CGP Grey videos there is a fair amount of snark included in the video so review it carefully before deciding if it's appropriate for your students.


At 7am Eastern Time today you can watch the livestream of Punxsutawney Phil "predicting" when spring will begin.