Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Turn Your Blogger Blog Into a Book - Video

Last week I wrote about using BlogBooker to create a physical record of your classroom blog. Since then I've had a few people ask for a little more guidance on how to use BlogBooker. The video embedded below will walk you through the process of using BlogBooker with a Blogger blog.

Making the Most of Google Keep

This is a guest post from Avra Robinson (@AvraRachel) of EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

Google Keep is a program that allows users to quickly and easily create, access and organize information such as notes and lists.  Before discovering Keep, I'd been using a different note-making app on my Android phone.  I made lists, checked items off lists, and colored my notes for easy sorting, but I was so accustomed to the world of sharing!  I really wanted a way to share my notes. I wanted a way to share a to-do list with my team teacher and help students create assignment to-do lists.

 I was thrilled to discover the sharing capabilities in Google Keep.  Sharing looks like any other Google sharing, and the person with whom you’ve shared your note gets an email alerting them to the shared note. Additional features include the ability to set a time or location-dependent reminder, change the color of a note, create a list, add images to a list, and archive notes.

GoogleKeep on EdTechTeacher

There is an Android app for Google Keep.  For my iPad, I discovered an app called, GoKeep and on my computer, I simply navigate to in any browser.  Or, in Google Chrome or on my Chromebook, I can access my notes and lists via the Chrome Web App.  There are even a few extensions such as Panel View for Keep and Category Tabs for Google Keep that create even easier access and organization based on color categories.

Educational Applications

While Google Keep is not meant to be as robust as Google Docs, Evernote, or Microsoft OneNote, it does have basic note-taking ability.

GoogleKeep - External Applications

Google Keep can also be a tool to augment student organization and time-management skills. Students can easily manage their complex lives by creating notes with reminders based on time or location!  For example, when a student arrives at the library, Google Keep on her mobile device will remind her to ask the librarian a question.  When she returns home, Google Keep on her mobile device will remind her to search for an overdue library book.

From basic note-taking to organizational skills, Google Keep capitalizes on some of Google’s fantastic features to help students and teachers keep up with the demands of school life.

Google Keep Notes

To learn more about working with Google Keep and other Google Apps, Avra will be teaching a number of Google and Chromebook workshops this summer with EdTechTeacher.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Try Scratch Jr. for Programming Fun on iPads and Android Tablets

If you're looking for a learning activity that kids can do on their own at home this summer, consider introducing them and their parents to Scratch Jr.

Scratch Jr. is based on the popular online Scratch program in which students can learn to program. Scratch Jr for iPad and for Android uses the same drag and drop programming principles used in Scratch. On Scratch Jr students can program multimedia stories and games.

To program a story or game on Scratch Jr. students select background settings for each frame of the story. Then in each frame students select the actions that they want their characters to take. Students snap programming pieces together to make characters move and talk in their stories and games.

If It Were My Home - Comparisons of Economic and Geographic Information Between Countries

If It Were My Home is a neat site that provides comparisons of countries. If It Were My Home will show you a comparison of geographic size of your country with that of another of your choosing. Beyond the size comparison, If It Were My Home shows you comparisons of twelve health and economics statistics about life in different countries. To view the comparisons just select two countries from the lists and click compare.

Learn more about If It Were My Home in the following Tekzilla video.

Office Lens - Now Available on Android, iOS, and Windows Phones

Office Lens is an app from Microsoft that is designed for converting pictures of notes on whiteboards and paper into notes that can be edited in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. I wrote about the app eight weeks ago when it was still in a limited beta for Android users. Office Lens is now available for all Android users. You can find the app in the Google Play store. The iPhone version is available here and the Windows Phone version can be found here.

Probably the best aspect of Office Lens is that hand-drawn images and figures captured through the app can be separated from the text to move and manipulate as individual objects in PowerPoint slides. See the video below for an overview of Office Lens.

Applications for Education
Office Lens could be a great app for students to use to snap a picture of something on a whiteboard then add their own comments to it in a Word Document.

The option in Office Lens to separate hand-drawn objects could be a good way to digitize a brainstorming session. When I brainstorm I often do it in a paper notebook that has pages of edits. By taking a picture of the brainstorming session I could separate each part of the notes then move them into new positions on slides or in a document.

H/T to The Next Web.

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