Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Search Strategies Students Need to Know Now - Webinar This Thursday

The beginning of the new school year is a great time to introduce students to some new search strategies and to give them refreshers on techniques they may have forgotten about during the summer. That is why this Thursday at 4pm ET I'm hosting an updated version of my popular Search Strategies Students Need to Know webinar.

I've updated this webinar to include new activities that you can use in your classroom to teach students how to employ multiple search strategies. The webinar also includes strategies for getting students beyond the first few pages of search results. We'll look at some of the powerful, but overlooked search tools that students have at their disposal. Finally, we'll dive into activities that you can use to help students become better at discerning good information from bad.


The webinar will be recorded for those who register but cannot attend the live presentation.

An Easy Way to Send Links From Your Computer to Your Phone or Tablet

If you're like me, you probably have a smartphone and a laptop and perhaps a tablet that you use throughout the course of your day. And at least once a day browsing on my laptop when I realize that it's time to go to the dentist or another appointment and I need want to take an article with me (true story, I had to get fillings yesterday). It's then that I either bookmark the article with Google Keep or I send the article to my phone using Chrome's built-in "send to device" on my Mac. That's a simple process that I demonstrate in the following video.


StudentCam 2020 - Student Documentary Contest

Every year C-SPAN hosts the StudentCam video contest for middle school and high school students in the United States. This annual event invites students to produce short videos about current issues related to United States government and politics.

This year's C-SPAN StudentCam contest asks students to produce a 4-6 minute video about the issue they most want presidential candidates to address during their campaigns. C-SPAN suggests that students include historical context of the issue and various viewpoints of the issue they choose.

The StudentCam contest is open to U.S. students in grades six through twelve. Submissions will be accepted beginning on November 1st. The contest deadline is January 20, 2020. All videos must include some C-SPAN footage. This year more than $100,000 in prizes will be awarded. There are separate judging categories for middle school and high school submissions. Students can work individually or in teams of up to three members. Complete contest rules can be found here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

How to Add New Fonts to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets

Last week Google announced the addition of a new series of fonts that you can add to Google Docs, Slides, Sheets. The new fonts are called Lexend fonts. They are designed to improve reading speed by avoiding the visual crowding that is associated with some font styles and types. You can read more about the development of Lexend fonts here.

Adding Lexend fonts to Google Documents is done the same way as adding any other font to Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets. To do this you simply open the fonts drop-down menu in Docs, Slides, or Sheets and then choose "even more" to search for the Lexend fonts and add them to your document, slide, or spreadsheet. Once you've added the Lexend font in Docs, it will stay in your fonts drop-down menu in all future Google Documents, Slides, and Sheets that you create. Watch my short video that is embedded below for a tutorial on how to add fonts to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.


On a related note, in a couple of weeks I'm launching an on-demand version of my popular Getting Going With G Suite course. Sign-up here to be notified when it is available. 

Truth or Lie Comics - A Lesson Plan

Pixton is a service that teachers and students can use to create comic strips by selecting customizable drawings and adding them into comic frames. This enables even those of us who don't have any drawing skills to make comics that look great. Pixton provides an online classroom in which you can view all of your students' work and give them assignments. For back-to-school season Pixton has a free activity for teachers and students. That activity is called Truth or Lie.

Truth or Lie is an activity designed as an ice-breaker or familiarization activity for your class. In the activity students create a short comic strip in which they create frames that represent either a truth or a lie. They then share those comics with classmates who have to guess if the comic represents a truth or a lie.


You can create a free Pixton account and log-in by using your G Suite credentials, Microsoft credentials, or by using a standard email address then setting a password.

Disclosure: Pixton is currently an advertiser on this blog.