Monday, October 7, 2019

5 Handy Google Slides Features You Might Be Overlooking

Like any good presentation tool Google Slides has lots of little features that often go overlooked even by students who have used it for a long time. I was reminded of this today while helping students in one of my classes put some finishing touches on presentations that they're going to give later this week. On that note, here are five helpful Google Slides features that you might be overlooking.

1. Custom sizing
2. Slide navigation options
3. Hiding speaker notes
4. Enabling rulers and guides
5. Automatic slide numbering

You can see all of these features in action in the following video.

How to Make the Home Button Appear in Chrome

This morning I had a colleague come to me in a bit of a panic because the home icon in Google Chrome had "disappeared from her computer." I was able to quickly relieve her panic by showing her the settings options in Chrome. If you find yourself in a position like mine or like my colleague's the following video should help you out. In the video I show how to make the home button and the bookmarks bar appear in Chrome.

Microsoft Forms Will Soon Have a Read Aloud Option

Earlier today Microsoft announced a slew up updates to popular classroom tools including PowerPoint, Word, OneNote, and Forms. The update that jumped out at me is the addition of Immersive Reader to Microsoft Forms.

Microsoft Forms is the Microsoft equivalent of Google Forms. Teachers can use it to create surveys and quizzes including automatically graded quizzes. Immersive Reader is Microsoft's free accessibility tool that will read pages aloud. It can also be used to alter the form, spacing, and color scheme of pages that students read online.

According to today's announcement from Microsoft, Immersive Reader will be available in Microsoft Forms in the next few days. This will enable students to hear questions and answer choices read aloud from Microsoft Forms.

If you have never tried Microsoft Forms, watch my video below to learn how to get started using it today.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Online Safety Tip Sheets, Posters, and More

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Stop.Think.Connect. has a large collection of posters, tip sheets, and videos that you can use to promote good online safety practices in your school or office. You can find all of them in this gallery which can be sorted according to resource type (poster, tip sheet, video, meme).

The Stop.Think.Connect. tip sheets can be previewed online then downloaded as PDFs to print and distribute to students and adults. Many of the tip sheets are available in Spanish, French, and Turkish in addition to English. Likewise, the posters in the collection are available in multiple languages.

Here's a couple of the videos from the Stop.Think.Connect. resources gallery.


Lesson Plan Submit - A Handy Tool for Reviewing Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan Submit is a Google Docs add-on that is designed to make it easy for student-teachers or teachers to submit lesson plans for someone else to review. That other person could be another teacher or a supervisor.

Lesson Plan Submit is easy to use. Once the add-on is installed you simply click the "prepare submission" button in the add-on, answer a couple of short questions, then enter the email address of the person who is going to review the lesson plan. That person doesn't even need to have a Google account because he or she will receive an email that has a Google Docs copy and a PDF copy of the lesson plan to review.

Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how Lesson Plan Submit works from the perspective of the lesson plan writer and the reviewer.