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Saturday, July 14, 2018

An Easy Way to Create a GIF from Google Slides

A simple animated GIF can be useful for things like showing how a simple system works, illustrating the steps to solving a math problem, or showing a sequence of before and after pictures. A few months ago I shared three easy ways to create animated GIFs. This morning I discovered another easy way to create a GIF.

Docs365 GIFmaker is a free Google Slides add-on that you can use to turn your slides into a GIF. To make a GIF with Docs365 GIFmaker first create a set of slides in the sequence in which you want the parts of your animation to appear. After making your slides run the Docs365 GIFmaker add-on. The add-on will then turn your slides into a GIF. You can specify the dimensions that you want your GIF to be or you can use the default sizing. Your GIF can be downloaded directly to your computer or you can save it to Google Drive right from the add-on.


Forms, Games, and Timers - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we have a busy Saturday ahead of us. Our little Tinkergarten class starts up again this morning. It's a fun time of exploring and learning with friends in an outdoor setting. If you have kids between ages 18 months and six years, consider joining a Tinkergarten group in your area. After Tinkergarten I have to mow the lawn then pack for a trip to Virginia where I will be speaking at the TechSplash conference on Monday morning. I hope to meet some of you there.

But before I do any of the things on my list for the day, I have this week's list of the most popular posts to share. Take a look and see if there's an item that piques your interest.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Google Forms Features You Should Know How to Use
2. 51 World Geography Games for Kids
3. Educational Games for Elementary School Science Lessons
4. PhET PowerPoint Add-in - Add Science & Math Simulations to Slides
5. TypingClub's Typing Jungle Offers Hundreds of Typing Lessons
6. How to Add a Timer to PowerPoint Slides
7. 7 Places to Create Your Own Educational Games for Students to Play at Home

Bring Me to Your School
My fall calendar is almost full! If you would like to bring me to your school for a professional development day, please get in touch. I offer professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, and many other topicsClick here to learn more or send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to book me today.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Kami is a great tool for annotating and collaborating on PDFs. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

Friday, July 13, 2018

13 Great Drawing Lessons for Students

ShowMe is a popular app for creating whiteboard style instructional videos on iPads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks. ShowMe users have the option to publish their videos for inclusion in a public gallery of instructional videos. It was in that gallery that I found thirteen videos published by an art teacher named Nikkie Milner. The topics of her instructional videos include how to draw hands, portrait proportions, and shading techniques.



Watch all thirteen videos right here.

How to Add a Timer to PowerPoint Slides

I recently received this email from a reader who was looking for help adding a timer to her PowerPoint slides,

"I need your help adding a timer to already made quizzes in PowerPoint. I need a timer that shows 30 minutes. I would like the timer to be seen at the top right corner on all slides so students can see how much time they have left during a quiz."

My suggestion is to try the Timer Slice PowerPoint Add-in. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to add a timer to PowerPoint slides by using Timer Slice.


There are other methods for adding timers to PowerPoint slides. You can use this animation method described in detail by Microsoft. You can also use and modify the timer templates available in the PowerPoint templates gallery.

Flippity Fun With Words

In my excitement about Flippity's Google Sheets Add-on working again I forgot to mention that they have new template available for all Google Sheets users. The latest template in Flippity's gallery of Google Sheets templates is called Fun With Words.

The Flippity Fun With Words template creates printable word art from the words that you have listed in a Google Sheets column. To do this simply make a copy of the template, enter words into column A in the spreadsheet, and then select "publish to the web" from the "file" drop-down menu. Once you do those three steps Flippity will generate a link for you to view your words as word art. There are seven word art styles that you can use. Those styles are Nature, Signs, Blocks, Lego, Scrabble, ASL, and Periodic Table. As you can see in the picture below, I chose to have my name displayed in ASL.

Applications for Education
Flippity's Fun With Words template could provide you with a great way to print your students' names for display in your classroom at the beginning of the school year. Using Flippity's word art to print their names is a nice way to break out of the typical fonts that you might use to label desks or cubbies in your classroom.