Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to Create a Bibliography in Google Documents

One of the most useful new Add-ons for Google Documents is the EasyBib Bibliography Creator. The EasyBib Bibliography Creator makes it easy to properly cite resources and format a bibliography in APA, MLA, or Chicago style. The screenshots below provide directions for the process. (Click the images to view them in full size).

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New Features Added to Haiku Deck's Web App

Haiku Deck's web application is a great tool for designing visually-appealing slideshows. The latest update to the Haiku Deck web app includes support for charts and graphs. Now in your Haiku Deck slides you can create bar graphs, pie charts, and stat charts. You can adjust the values in bar graphs by clicking and dragging each column. Pie charts are made by typing percentages. Stat charts are simply captioned columns of statistics.

The latest update to Haiku Deck also includes support for multiline slides. This is a feature that I'm not terribly excited about because it allows students to write more text on their slides than they could before. One of my favorite features of Haiku Deck has always been the text limitations which forced students to choose their words carefully.

New Features Come to Google Documents in the Form of Add-ons

Google Drive has supported 3rd party apps for quite a while now and many of those apps are quite helpful to students. Beginning today Google Documents and Google Sheets now contain a new way for students to add even more functionality through 3rd party services. Add-ons for  Google Docs and Sheets allow any Google Drive user to add new functions to their documents and spreadsheets. To access Add-ons just open a new Google Document and open the new "Add-ons" drop-down menu to browse for add-ons.

Applications for Education
Some of the Add-ons for Docs and Sheets that jump out as being particularly useful to teachers and students are EasyBib for creating bibliographies, Kaizena shortcut for adding voice comments to Google Documents, and Table of Contents.

Planet Nutshell Releases New Math Shorts Episodes

Late last year with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Planet Nutshell launched a new series of educational mathematics videos. Math Shorts will eventually have twenty videos in the series. With the release of the latest episodes the series now contains ten animated videos for elementary school and middle school students. Each of the videos has a Common Core standard aligned to it. All of the videos have supporting materials from PBS Learning Media attached to them. The latest episodes are embedded below.

Snagit for Chrome Now Supports Screencasting on Chromebooks

Five months ago TechSmith launched Snagit for Chrome to enable Chrome users, particularly Chromebook users, to easily create screen capture images. Today, TechSmith launched a new beta version of Snagit for Chrome that supports creating screencasts that you can save into your Google Drive account.

To use the new screencasting option in Snagit for Chrome you will have enable the "beta" version of both the Snagit for Chrome extension and Chrome app.  The Snagit Chrome extension is what allows you to capture your screen. The Snagit Chrome app allows you to save your screen captures in your Google Drive account. You do have to install both the extension and the app for Snagit to work correctly. The video below provides directions on how to enable the beta mode of Snagit for Chrome. The video also shows you how the screencasting works.

Applications for Education
Snagit for Chrome screencasting is still a beta product and the set-up of it could definitely use some enhancement. That said, if your school is using Intel-based Chromebooks and you're looking for a screencasting option, Snagit for Chrome could be a good option to pursue.