Monday, April 2, 2018

Fast Advanced Google Search

Google's advanced search tools can help students find useful information that doesn't necessarily appear at the top of search results pages. Unfortunately, students often forget about the advanced search options or don't even know where to find them. There is a Chrome extension that aims to help alleviate those problems.

Fast Advanced Google Search is a Chrome extension that puts a shortcut to the advanced search tools right next to the URL field in Chrome. Click the extension once to open Google's advanced search options without leaving the search results page that you are currently viewing.

Applications for Education
Fast Advanced Google Search could be useful for quickly showing students the differences between search results with and without advanced search filters applied to a query.

Learn more about search in my on-demand webinar Ten Search Strategies Students Need To Know

By Request - 5 Task Management Tools for Students

This morning I received an email from a reader seeking suggestions for to-do list management tools her students can use to keep track of assignments and other things that they have to do during the week. Here are my suggestions for task-management tools for students.

If your school uses Microsoft products, I'd take a look at using OneNote for making to-do lists and keeping track of tasks. OneNote has task list templates that you can use on your desktop or use on your mobile phone. Like anything else in a OneNote notebook, you can share those task lists.

Google Keep
If your school uses G Suite for Education, Google Keep is good option for making and sharing to-do lists. Like OneNote, task lists created in Google Keep can be shared with others. You can have your Google Keep notes trigger reminders on your mobile phone and or desktop computer.

Dayboard for Chrome Dayboard is a free Google Chrome extension that opens your daily to-do list every time you open a new tab in Chrome. When you open a new tab for the first time Dayboard will appear and ask you to enter your to-do list for the day. After creating your to-do list for the rest of the day whenever you open a new tab you will see your list. You can place a checkmark next to items as you complete them. Dayboard does not require you to create an account, it works offline, and when I installed it it only asked for permission to view activity on the Dayboard website.

Any.DO is designed for creating to-do lists and sharing them with your friends and colleagues. On Any.DO you can type out a list of tasks or enter tasks by speaking into your phone. Once you've entered your task you can assign it to a day and time for completion. After assigning a completion deadline you can share that task with anyone in your contacts list even that person doesn't have the Any.DO app installed on his or her phone. Any.DO also gives you the option to attach notes to your tasks, set reminders for your tasks, and put notes into folders that you've created. For example, if I have notes of a personal nature like my grocery shopping list I can put that list into my "personal" folder instead of my "work" folder.

For something a bit more robust and complex than the tools listed above, take a look at Notion. Notion is an interesting service that combines elements of project management with elements of a wiki service. At its core Notion is designed for teams to work on projects together. You can create sections for each of your projects. Within each section you can create a list of tasks. Notion also lets you add sections that include links, videos, images, and documents that you have written outside of the service. Of course, you can write directly on a page in your Notion account too.

Reminder - The Library of Congress Seeks a Teacher-in-Residence

Last month the most visited post on this blog was the announcement that the Library of Congress is seeking a teacher-in-residence for the 2018-19 school year. Applications for the program are due by next Monday, April 9th.

The 2018-19 Teacher-in-Residence program is open for applications from visual and performing arts teachers in the United States. The selected teacher will be able to do some or all of the following: lead professional development workshops, conduct original research, developed teaching materials, lead and support projects to reach a diverse audience of educators. Complete details and the application can be found here.

Again, applications are due by April 9th. The application requires two letters of reference, three essays, and a project plan.

How to Quickly Create a QR Code for Almost Anything

Over the weekend I shared the news that Google is shuttering the service. In that post I shared a handful of alternatives to This morning someone emailed me to ask about an alternative to for creating QR codes. My suggestion is to use QR Droid Zapper. With that tool you can create QR codes to direct people to websites, to share contact information, to share files, or to just share a chunk of text. In the following video I demonstrate how to create QR codes with QR Droid Zapper.

Applications for Education
QR codes are useful for getting all of your students on the same page at the same time, provided they all have an iPad, an Android tablet, or are allowed to use their mobile phones. While the name QR Droid Zapper might imply that you need an Android device, it works on all operating systems. Once your QR code is created you can project it for students to scan and or print it and post it in your classroom for students to scan.

Two Easy Ways to Create Printable Storyboard Templates

Next week Common Craft is hosting a free webinar about their video creation process. I attended one of their webinars last summer. In that webinar Lee LeFever stressed the importance of planning and using storyboards as part of that planning process. Both PowerPoint and Google Slides can be used to create online and printable storyboards to plan a video. Watch my videos embedded below to learn how to create printable storyboards in PowerPoint and in Google Slides.

How to create a storyboard template in PowerPoint.

How to create a storyboard template in Google Slides.

The Lives of Teenagers and Soldiers in Ancient Rome

One of the earliest TED-Ed lessons was about teenage life in Ancient Rome.The video and its associated questions feature the story of seventeen year old Lucius Popidius Secundus.

Last week TED-Ed published a new lesson about life in Ancient Rome. In A Day In the Life of a Roman Soldier students learn about a soldier named Servius who joined the army as an eighteen-year-old and has been in the army of eight years. Through the video students learn why some soldiers are in the army, their pay, and how long they had to be in the army in order to retire. And true to the title, the lesson teaches students about what soldiers carried, who they served with, and who they served under. Find the full lesson here or watch the video as embedded below.

On a related note, National Geographic 101's Ancient Rome 101 provides an excellent introduction to the origin, rise, and fall of the Roman Empire. The length and substance of the video makes it an ideal candidate for inclusion in an EDpuzzle lesson.

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