Monday, June 18, 2018

Grackle - Assess the Accessibility of Your Google Docs & Slides

Grackle is a service that will check your Google Documents, Slides, and Sheets for accessibility. It is available as an Add-on for Google Docs, for Google Slides, and for Google Sheets. With the Add-on installed Grackle will run a check for visual accessibility then make suggestions for improvements.

When you run Grackle's accessibility checker it will identify places where your document, slide, or sheet doesn't meet accessibility standards. It makes suggestions for improvement on the areas in which your document, slide, or sheet doesn't meet accessibility standards. Some of the suggestions can be implemented with just a click from the Grackle Add-on menu while others are changes that you will have to make yourself. For example, if your document lacks a clearly labeled title, Grackle will suggest and let you implement a title with just one click. Changing the color contrast is an example of change you would have to make manually.

Applications for Education
Grackle could make it quick and easy to ensure that your documents and slides meet your students' accessibility needs. In addition to using it myself, I would consider having students use it on their Google Slides presentations just to help them evaluate their color and font choices.

Google Tasks to Become a Core G Suite Service

In late April Google launched a new stand-alone app called Google Tasks. Last week Google announced that at the end of June Google Tasks will become a core service of G Suite. It will be on by default for all domains.

Google Tasks is kind of like Google Keep without a bookmarking function. At its most basic level Google Tasks lets you create lists of tasks that you need to do and check them off as you complete them. Dig a little deeper into the app and you will find that you can create multiple lists for different projects or goals. Within each list you can create tasks and sub-tasks. Google Calendar is integrated into the app to let you set due dates for each task and task list.

Get the Google Tasks Android app here and get the Google Tasks iOS app here.

Huge Flipgrid News! - All Features Now Free

Flipgrid has been acquired by Microsoft. That's good news for the founders of Flipgrid and great news for all of us who enjoy using Flipgrid. As of this morning all Flipgrid features are now free for all users! If you are a person who paid for a Flipgrid Pro account, you'll be getting a prorated refund of your subscription.

Some of the features of Flipgrid that are now available to all users include:
  • Unlimited grids!
  • More time limit options
    • Set a time limit between fifteen seconds and five minutes. 
  • Scheduled launch and freeze dates.
According to their statement Flipgrid will continue to work and Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets, and in the web browser on your Windows or Mac computer.

If you haven't tried Flipgrid, take a look at my video to see what it's all about.

A Quick and Easy Way to Create Printable Mazes

Maze Generator is a free site that does exactly what it says on the tin, it generates mazes. To make a printable maze on Maze Generator just select the shape, size, and style you want your maze to have. The shape options are rectangle, triangle, circle, and hexagon. You can also choose the level of difficulty and starting point for your mazes. After you have made all of your size and style selections just hit the "generate" button to get a printable PDF.

Applications for Education
From time-to-time we all need a low-tech to no-tech activity for our students. You might need a no-tech activity for students to do after finishing a test. Completing a maze on paper is a decidedly no-tech activity for students. But making the maze on your computer for to replicate, modify, and print is low-tech activity. If you find yourself wanting to make a maze, take a look at Maze Generator.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Games, Screencasting, and Ducks - The Week in Review

Good evening from Maine where we had a great day exploring the Maine Wildlife Park. My older daughter loved feeding the ducks! And we all enjoyed seeing the deer, moose, lynx and bears up close. It was a great way to relax after a long week on the road during which included seven workshops in South Carolina and one all-day workshop in Boston. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you get time to relax and unwind too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. An Easy Speech-to-Text Option for Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint
2. Educational Games for Elementary School Science Lessons
3. Camp GoNoodle - Four Weeks of Fun and Educational Summer Activities
4. Three Ways to Use Screencasting In Your Classroom
5. The Economics of Seinfeld - Lessons Based on Seinfeld Clips
6. Now You and Your Students Can Create Quizzes in Kahoot's Mobile App
7. Crayon - Super Simple Collaborative Whiteboard

Bring Me to Your School
I have three openings left in my summer schedule for on-site professional development workshops. I can provide professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, and many other topicsClick here to learn more or send an email to richardbyrne (at) to book me today.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) book me today.

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.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
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.