Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Three Good Tools for Creating Screenshots on Chromebooks

Capturing an image of your screen as you see it at a particular moment in time can serve a lot of purposes in a school setting. You can use screenshots, particularly annotated screenshots, to show students where to click on a page. You can use a series of screenshots to show students the steps necessary to use a program like Scratch or Thunkable. And from time to time you might need to capture a screen image to preserve an email or social media post that you need to discuss with a student. If you're a Chromebook user, the following three tools make it easy to capture a screen image.

Nimbus Screenshot & Video Recorder
This is currently my favorite option for capturing screen images on a Chromebook. I use it more than any other option because it also offers an excellent, high resolution screencast video creation tool. Nimbus Screenshot lets you capture images of a section of a page or screen or an entire screen. A "select & scroll" option lets you capture an image that is longer than what you can see in your web browser. In other words, if you need to capture an entire webpage in one image, you can do that with the "screen & scroll" option in Nimbus Screenshot. You can draw and type on the images you capture with Nimbus Screenshot.

Capture, Explain and Send Screenshots
This extension requires fewer permissions than any other screenshot extension in the Chrome store. You can connect it to your Google Drive account to have all of your screenshots instantly uploaded to Drive. Once those screenshots are saved in Drive you could easily share them with your students in Google Classroom. Capture, Explain and Send Screenshots will let you capture part of a page or all of a page. All of your screenshots can be annotated with text and drawings.

Awesome Screenshot
Awesome Screenshot is the Chrome extension for screenshots that I've had installed longer than any other on this list. With Awesome Screenshot you can to capture a page or region on a page, draw boxes, draw lines, blur out information, and add text to your screenshot. When you're satisfied with your screenshot you can save it locally, save it to Google Drive, or share it via the URL provided by Awesome Screenshot. "Delayed capture" is one of the neat features of Awesome Screenshot that is not found in the other tools in this list. "Delayed capture" lets you select a portion of your screen and move things around a little bit before the image is actually captured.

At the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp we'll cover lots of little tips and tricks like how to capture screenshots as well as dive into bigger ideas about teaching with Chromebooks. Earlier registration discounts are available now.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Duolingo Tinycards - Quick Review Activities

Tinycards is a free service from Duolingo that provides quick review activities in your web browser or on your iPad. Tinycards are essentially multimedia flashcards with a few quiz questions interspersed between them. The idea being that students will flip through a few digital flashcards then answer a question or two to test their recall of the topic at hand.

Here's an example of how Tinycards works. In the geography section there is a collection of cards about the continents. Students flip a couple of cards that show students the name and relative location of a continent. After a couple of cards are flipped students are then asked a multiple choice question about the location of the continents. Then a few more cards are flipped and students have to answer a fill-in-the-blank question.

Applications for Education
There are Tinycards sets for practicing many languages including Chinese, Spanish, French, and German. History, geography, and science flashcards are also available in Tinycards. Registered Tinycards users can create their own sets of flashcards.

H/T to TechCrunch

Why Do We Get Sick? - A Lesson for Little Kids

My daughter and I have colds right now. While she's still too young to understand why she has a cold, it won't be that long before she does. When she's older, I might show her this SciShow Kids video that explains to kids why we get sick and how to prevent getting sick.


Applications for Education
You might use a tool like Vizia to have students answer questions at various points in the video. You could have them answer the questions individual or you could have them answer as a group. Learn more about Vizia in my video below.

How to Quickly Total a Spreadsheet Column

Google Sheets and spreadsheets in general offer a good format for organizing numerical data. If you have a lot of cells in a Google Sheets column there will be times when you want to quickly get the sum of all of the data in the column. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to quickly get the sum of the cells in a Google Sheets column.

Winning Blog Strategies - Webinar This Thursday

Helping teachers create blogs and or re-start dormant blogs is one of my favorite things to do. In fact, last week I ran a three hour workshop for that purpose. If you don't have three hours to invest in a workshop, join me online on Thursday at 4pm EST to learn about winning blog strategies that you can use right away.

Based on ten years of blogging professionally and personally, Winning Blog Strategies is an interactive webinar in which we will look at the reasons why so many blogs don’t last long and what you can do to make yours work better than ever. Whether blogging is a classroom activity that you do with students or a personal activity that you’re doing to enhance your professional life, you’ll learn strategies to make your blog a winner. Register here.


In this webinar you will learn:

The biggest mistakes people make when starting a blog.
Strategies for developing blog topics
How to get people to stay on your blog longer (the longer they stay, the better).
Blogging activities you can do with your students.
Techniques to encourage people to interact with you and your blog.

Join me on Thursday at 4pm EST.

The webinar will be recorded and sent to those who register but cannot attend the live session.

The cost for this webinar is $20 which includes the live session, unlimited access to the recording, handouts, and a PD certificate.

If you're wondering why I charge for the Practical Ed Tech webinars, please watch this short video