Friday, March 16, 2018

Now You Can Add a Custom Favicon to Your Google Site

Now that Google is allowing you to embed third-party content into your Google Site, it's time to update your site with a custom favicon. The favicon is that little icon that appears in your browser tab next to the title of a website. This week Google announced that you can now customize your site's favicon. Directions for adding a custom favicon can be found here. If you don't see the feature right now, you will see it within the next couple of weeks.

Applications for Education
By no means is this a significant update to Google Sites. But it is a nice update for students who are using Google Sites as digital portfolios. It gives them another way to customize their sites to make them stand out from the crowd.

Learn more about Google Sites in my online course, G Suite for Teachers.

How to Add an Image Search Box to Google Sites

Late last year Google started to allow you to embed content and widgets from third parties into your Google Sites. One of the things that you might consider adding to your classroom or library Google Site is the Photos for Class image search tool. Adding that search tool to your site will make it easy for your students to quickly find Creative Commons licensed and public domain images to use in their projects. Watch my new video to see how you can embed the Photos for Class search tool into your Google Site.

Disclosure: Photos for Class is owned by the same company that owns Storyboard That which is an advertiser on this blog. 

Write Notes and Save Bookmarks to Sync With Google Docs & Slides

This morning I was browsing Product Hunt when I saw someone pitching a Chrome extension that promised to let you write notes while browsing the web and save those notes to Google Drive. As I read the description I thought to myself, "that's what Google Keep does."

The Google Keep Chrome extension will let you bookmark websites and take notes about the site you're bookmarking at the same time. You can also use the Google Keep Chrome extension to highlight text on a page then right-click to save it as a note along with a bookmark. All of your notes and bookmarks will sync with your Google account. Once those notes and bookmarks are synced you can access them from the "tools" drop-down menu in Google Docs and Google Slides.

Google Keep can be included in your G Suite for Education account. That's why my G Suite for Teachers course now includes detailed instructions on how to use it.

Echoes of the Great War - Online WWI Exhibition

Echoes of the Great War is a fantastic collection of videos, audio recordings, and pictures about WWI. This online exhibition created by the Library of Congress.

Echoes of the Great War is arranged thematically. Those four themes are Arguing Over War, Over Here, Over There, and World Overturned. Within each of those themes you will find galleries of visual and audio artifacts. You can also skip directly to the video and audio gallery. The exhibition also includes a timeline of WWI. Some images with links to more information are included in the timeline.

Applications for Education
Years ago I used some of artifacts that are now in the exhibition to help students understand how print media influences perceptions. I printed some of the artifacts that are in the Arguing Over War theme and distributed them to my students. They then had to find classmates who had artifacts that supported the same position as the one that they had been given. Finally, based only on the artifacts at their disposal, they had to make a case for or against U.S. involvement in WWI.

13 Free Typing Games for Kids

TypeTastic is a service that currently offers thirteen free typing games. The games start with basic skills like identifying the letters on a keyboard and build up to touch typing skills. Unlike some other typing games services, all of the TypeTastic games are designed to work equally well on laptop as they are on a tablet. Although one might argue that learning to type on a tablet makes it more difficult to develop touch typing skills.

TypeTastic has its games divided into three sections. The first section called "Let's Build a Keyboard" features games for the youngest students who are just learning to recognize letters on a keyboard. The second and third sections called "Hop Onto the Keys" and "Keyboarding Kickstart" feature progressively more difficult games intended to help students develop their touch typing accuracy and speed. Each game within each section contains multiple levels for students to work through. Each game could take students an hour or more to completely master.

Applications for Education
TypeTastic is offered in two versions. There is an ad-supported version that anyone can access and a schools version. The schools version is free for teachers who register with a verified school email address. The schools version removes advertising and gives you an access code that you can share with your students to access the ad-free version of the games.

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