Monday, November 9, 2015

10 Things Students Can Do With Google Keep

At the end of October Google added a drawing option to Google Keep. The drawing tool in Google Keep offers a large variety of line colors and thicknesses. Drawings can be added to existing notes or can be created as stand-alone notes. And like other Google Keep notes, drawn notes can be shared from Keep to Google Docs. Creating drawings is just one of many ways that students can use Google Keep. Here are ten ways that students can use Google Keep on Android devices.

1. Draw notes.
2. Make to-do lists.
3. Type notes.
4. Color-code and sort notes.
5. Create reminders.
6. Share notes with other students.
7. Share task lists.
8. Record voice notes.
9. Take picture notes.
10. Send notes to Google Docs.

By the way, this post was drafted in Google Keep.

4 Math Add ons for Google Docs

This is a guest post from Jennfer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

Google Docs is a popular word processing tool. However, many people don’t realize that there are 4 great add-ons for Math that allow teachers and students to harness the power of Google. You can add any of these features to a Google Doc by selecting Add-ons → Get Add-ons.


g(Math) is a popular tool for Math students and teachers. It allows you to create robust expressions and graphs that you can insert directly into your Google Doc. Input expressions using LaTeX, select pre-built formulas which gMath will convert to LaTeX for you, draw your own formula, or even speak to insert math equations (in Chrome Only). Check out the g(Math) guru for extensive tutorials.


Sometimes you just need a simple calculator to check your work or perform calculations. Add a calculator to any Google Doc by adding the Calculator Add-on. Now there is no need to switch back and forth between apps or windows.

WizKids CAS

Wizkids CAS allows teachers and students to harness the power of a graphing calculator in any Google Doc. Students can solve equations, plot graphs, find numerical and exact solutions, simplify and factorise expressions with variables, and drag and drop results and graphs from the sidebar.

Formula Editor

Formula Editor is a simple tool that lets you type and edit mathematical equations in the sidebar of any Google Doc. You can input data using the mathematics input box or by using LaTeX. After you complete your edits, the formula is converted to an image that can be inserted directly into a document.

By incorporating Add-ons, teachers and students can expand the power of Google Docs beyond word processing and editing.

To learn more about working with Google Apps consider attending EdTechTeacher's upcoming Google Jamboree. I will be a featured presenter at their December 5th event in Medfield, MA. The Call for Proposals is open for their February 1-3 event in San Diego.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Week in Review - Epic Adventures in Educational Technologies

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers World Headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. This week I had the privilege to give the luncheon keynote at the Illinois Education & Technology Conference. Thank you to everyone who came to my presentations and especially those who took the time to say hello afterwards. Getting to meet teachers all over the country is my favorite part of speaking at conferences. If you would like to speak at an event near you, please get in touch by email at richardbyrne (at)

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Seven Web-based Tools for Delivering Flipped Lessons
2. A Delicious Science Lesson - The Chemistry of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
3. VocApp - Create Multimedia Vocabulary Flashcards
4. The First Thanksgiving - Lessons and Activities for Elementary School Students
5. 75 Google Apps Video Tutorials
6. Create Great Visual Stories on Adobe Slate
7. An Illustrated Mathematics Dictionary

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
AlfaTyping offers great, free typing lessons for kids. 
MasteryConnect offers a series of apps for identifying standards. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers. 
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

Friday, November 6, 2015

YouTube - It's Not Just Cats & Khan Academy

Early next month is hosting their second annual Google Jamboree in Medfield, Massachusetts (not far from Boston). When I was asked to present at the event I immediately said yes. It's going to be a great day of learning about all things Google Apps in education. My workshop is titled YouTube - It's Not Just Cats & Khan Academy. In the workshop we will learn how to use many of the frequently overlooked features built into YouTube.

Some of the things that you'll learn in my workshop at the Google Jamboree on December 5th include the following:

1. Creating photo slideshows. The YouTube photo slideshow creation tools allow you to specify the length of time that each image is displayed for. After uploading your images you can use the annotations tool to add as much text as you like to each frame of your video. See the video embedded below for a primer on this.

2. Create slow-motion videos. The most recent addition to the YouTube editing tools is an option to record videos with a regular speed camera and then turn that into a slow-motion video. Directions for doing this are available here.

3. Blurring faces in your videos.

4. Stabilizing shaky footage and adding color/ light filters to your videos.

5. Privacy settings for sharing videos. 

Colds, the Flu, and Flipped Lessons

I love everything about the change of seasons from autumn to winter except for the onset of cold and flu season. A couple of my friends have already reported having sick students and or getting colds themselves. What is a cold? What is the flu? And what are the differences between the two? Those questions and more are answered in the videos embedded below.

How is a cold or flu passed from person to person and what exactly is it doing to your body? NPR answers those questions in the following animated video.

What is ‘flu? - Explania
If you want to use any of these videos in flipped lessons, take a look at the tools featured in my playlist of tutorials on creating flipped lessons.