Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Week in Review - A New Team Member

Good morning from Maine where I'm writing my first blog post since Tuesday morning (yes, I write and schedule posts in advance). I haven't written a post since Tuesday because I've been a bit busy as my partner Jess and I welcomed our daughter this week. Isla was born on Tuesday evening. The room that she was born in overlooks the Portland Sea Dogs baseball stadium so on Wednesday evening we watched our first baseball game together. The Sea Dogs won and fireworks were displayed. Maybe years from now I'll tell her the fireworks were for her.

And for those who have followed my dog stories over the years, the dogs are adjusting well to have a new little sister.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Create a Simple Check Out / Check In System in Google Forms
2. 15 Google Forms Tutorial Videos
3. How to Create a Map and Timeline Mashup
4. 11 Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed This Summer - PDF
5. Google Expeditions Will Soon Be Available to iPad Users
6. How to Impose Time Limits on Google Forms
7. Remember to Sleep - A Lesson for Students

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Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Haiku Deck offers the best alternative to PowerPoint.  
Pixton provides a create way to create comics.
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.
D2L offers a great LMS and they want your input to make it even better.
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.
Buncee offers a great tool for creating visual stories.

How to Import and Convert PowerPoint to Google Slides

One of the questions that I often receive when I conduct Google Apps workshops for schools goes something like this, "what do I do with my old PowerPoint slides? Aren't they useless now?" The answer is, "no, they're not useless. It's easy to convert PowerPoint to Google Slides." In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to import and convert PowerPoint to Google Slides format.

A Good Way to Refine YouTube Search Results

When you search on YouTube the results will be a mix of current videos along with videos that could be many years old and no longer relevant to the topic you're researching. There is a quick and easy way to filter the results to show just recently published videos. I demonstrate how to do that in the video embedded below.

Friday, August 26, 2016

How to Use Simplenote to Take Notes

Simplenote is a free service for taking notes on just about any device. You can use it in your web browser, on an Android device, on a Kindle Fire, and on an iOS device. Simplenote also offers free desktop apps for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Simplenote is different from tools like Evernote and OneNote in that it doesn't offer any kind of web-clipping or bookmarking tools. It's just a pure note-taking tool. In the video embedded below I provide an short overview of Simplenote's key features including the very simple printing option.

Applications for Education
Simplenote is worth a look if you or your students are looking for a simple, straight-forward notes tool that works on almost every device. The simple nature of it lets students focus on taking notes without being distracted by other features. The default structure of notes could also help students organize notes across multiple subject areas.

Cite This For Me - Cite Websites In One Click

Cite This For Me is a free service designed to help students keep track of the resources that they use in their research work. Cite This For Me offers a free Chrome extension that lets students cite a webpage with just one click. The free extension will format citations in APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago style. Students can also use the extension to highlight and save portions of the webpages that they are citing.

All Cite This For Me citations are saved in students' free Cite This For Me accounts. In their account dashboards students can edit citations as well as manually enter citations of books, journals, and other references.

Applications for Education
As with all automatic citation tools, you will need to remind your students to double check that the citations created are properly formatted. Aside from that little quirk, Cite This For Me could be a great tool for students to use to keep track of the webpages that they use while conducting research online.