Sunday, June 11, 2017

Diigo vs. Google Keep - A Comparison of Bookmarking Tools

During Practical Ed Tech Live last Thursday afternoon I answered a request for a comparison of Diigo and Google Keep as alternatives to Delicious. The video of that explanation was a little muffled by some background noise so I decided to write out my explanation of the key differences between Diigo and Google Keep.

Social Sharing
Diigo was designed for sharing bookmarks.  You can create groups in which group members share some or all of their Diigo bookmarks. You can also choose to make all of your bookmarks public so that they can be discovered by others. In fact, discovering other users' bookmarks might be the best aspect of Diigo.  

Google Keep wasn't originally designed for social sharing of bookmarks. Yes, you can share individual bookmarks, but you cannot share entire collections of bookmarks in one swoop as you can in Diigo.

Annotation
Diigo offers options for highlighting passages of text from a page while bookmarking that page. (The free Diigo plan limits you to 100 highlights). Google Keep doesn't offer that option in the exact same way. With Google Keep installed in the Chrome web browser you can highlight text then send it to Google Keep with a right-click.

Diigo provides an option for adding sticky notes to pages. Google Keep does not have that option at this time.

Cross-platform Accessibility
Both services are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Diigo has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. The only official Keep extension is for the Chrome browser.

Other Considerations
Google Keep is now integrated into G Suite. You can access Google Keep notes/ bookmarks within a Google Document. That means that you can quickly insert your bookmarks into a document.

Diigo has special plans for educators that allow you to manage your students' Diigo accounts.

Bottom Line
If you're already using G Suite for Education, I would give the slight edge to Google Keep because of the integration with Google Docs. If you're not married to G Suite, Diigo has a few more options for you and your students.

5 Google Docs Formatting Tips

Some of the first questions that new Google Docs users ask are usually centered around formatting options in Google Docs. The stress of the transition from Word or Pages to Google Docs is eased once some of the basics are addressed. In the following videos I provide demonstrations of five Google Docs formatting options.

How to Insert Columns Into Google Docs:


How to change page orientation, image placement, and text prediction:


How to use strike-through formatting:



Learn more about Google Docs and all parts of G Suite in my online course, Getting Going With G Suite. The next class starts on July 6th. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Create Simple Animations With ParaPara Animation

Parapara Animation is a free animation creation tool developed and hosted by Mozilla. The tool is easy to use and it does not require registration in order to use it. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create an animation with ParaPara Animation.


Applications for Education
I first learned about ParaPara Animation when Kevin Hodgson posted some of the creations that his students made. As you can see in those animations, students can use ParaPara Animation to tell short stories through their drawings.

Mozilla offers some lesson plan suggestions based on the use of ParaPara Animation. You can find those lesson ideas here.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where it is starting to feel like summer. Some of us were starting to go a little nutty with the constant rain and cold. The sunny, warm weather has me thinking forward to July when I'll host the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps. There are some seats available for both the Chromebook Camp and the BYOD Camp. I hope that you can join us.

In other news, on Monday I will be in Milwaukee to speak at the University School of Milwaukee's Summer Spark conference. The following Monday I'll be speaking in New Hampshire. If you're interested in having me speak at your school, please get in touch with me.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Be Internet Awesome - Google's New Internet Safety Curriculum
2. 4 Good Formative Assessment Tools for Classrooms That Aren't 1:1
3. 5 Neat Things You Can Do With Google Sheets
4. Easier Data Interpretation and Visualization in Google Sheets
5. 10 Good Options for Creating Digital Portfolios - A PDF Handout
6. How to Quickly Download Google Drive Files
7. A Convenient New Way to Search for Educational Videos

I am currently offering four online courses:
Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
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.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

Six Hours of Professional Development for $25

During the school year we tend to think to ourselves, “I’ll do some professional development during the summer.” Then the summer arrives and we find our schedules a little more busy than we expected. That’s when on-demand professional development is handy.

I offer six on-demand professional development webinars. You can download them and watch them when it is convenient for you. Some people watch in chunks while others will watch all at once. Either way, the choice is yours.

For two more days all of my on-demand professional development webinars are available in one bundle for just $25. That’s six hours of PD that you can get at your leisure. This offer is valid until midnight on June 11th (Eastern Time).

The webinars included in this package are:

  • Search Strategies Students Need to Know
  • Fun Formative Assessments
  • Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners
  • Quick & Powerful Video Projects
  • Winning Blog Strategies
  • YouTube, It’s Not Just Cats & Khan Academy

This discounted bundle of professional development webinars is available until midnight (EDT) on June 11th. Click here to purchase today.