Saturday, November 2, 2019

My Updated Five Favorite Google Slides Add-ons

Earlier this year I published a rundown of my five favorite Google Slides add-ons. Since then a couple of those add-ons have gone the way of the 5.25" floppy disk. Fortunately, I've recently discovered a couple of new Google Slides add-ons that I really like. Here's the updated list of my five favorite Google Slides add-ons.


Slido Polls
Slido is a polling service that offers a free Google Slides add-on and companion Chrome extension. The combination of the two tools makes it easy for anyone who uses Google Slides to quickly create and launch polls directly within the Google Slides editor. The thing that I like about Slido is that you can see your students' responses without having to toggle between presentation and editing modes in Google Slides. Your students' responses pop-up on the screen in realtime. Your students respond to your Slido poll or survey by simply going to Slido.com on their laptops or phones and then entering the code that appears on your polling slide. Watch my short video below to see how easy it is to create, run, and respond to a poll made with Slido in Google Slides.



Grackle
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. When you run Grackle's accessibility checker it will identify places where your slide 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.

Slides Randomizer
Slides Randomizer is a Google Slides add-on that will randomly shuffle a set of Google Slides. It's easy to use the Slides Randomizer add-on. Once you've installed the add-on simply select Slides Randomizer from the add-ons drop-down menu while viewing your slides then click on "randomize presentation." Right before the slides shuffle you'll be asked if you want to include the title slide in the shuffle or leave it at the beginning of the presentation. You can always undo the shuffling of your presentation by reverting to the previous version in the "version history" menu found in the "File" drop-down menu.

Unsplash Photos for Google Slides
Unsplash Photos Google Slides add-on gives you instant access to Unsplash's collection of free, royalty-free photographs. In the following video I demonstrate how to add the Add-on to your Google Slides, how to use Unsplash Photos, and I explain the licensing of Unsplash Photos.



Easy Accents
This add-on appeared in my list of recommended Google Docs add-ons. I recommend the Google Slides version of it too. Easy Accents for Google Slides is easy to use. When you have it installed you can launch it on any slide. Type as you normally would until you need to add an accent mark that isn't easy to create on your keyboard. Then just insert the letter and accent mark that you need from the Easy Accents keyboard. After inserting the letter and accent mark you can go back to typing on your physical keyboard.  Easy Accents for Google Slides currently supports more than twenty languages.

Formative Assessment, Search, and Listening - The Week in Review

Good evening from Maine where the sun has set on the first Saturday in November. Tomorrow the sun will set an hour earlier after we turn our clocks back tonight for the end of Daylight Saving Time. On that note, here are three short lessons about Daylight Saving Time.

My kids, dogs, and I had lots of time outside today. We're all happiest when we can play outside. I hope that you got to do whatever makes you happiest this weekend too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Slides Randomizer - A Neat Google Slides Add-on
2. Two Ways I'm Using Pictures in Formative Assessments This Fall
3. How to Adjust the Captions on YouTube Videos
4. How Vocabulary Lists Help Students Conduct Better Searches
5. The Great Thanksgiving Listen is Back!
6. How My Students Are Using Google Sheets With Their Arduino Projects
7. A Five Minute Explanation of How Google Search Works

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
I'm already booking my 2020 workshop and conference schedule. This will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more.

On-demand PD
On PracticalEdTech.com I have seven professional development webinars available to view whenever you like.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides FreeTech4Teachers.com and the daily email digest, there are other ways to keep up with what I'm publishing. 
  • Practical Ed Tech Newsletter - This comes out once per week (Sunday night/ Monday morning) and includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com.
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 16,000 are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
  • Facebook - The FreeTech4Teachers.com Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Slide Tricks, Candy, and Maps - The Month in Review

October has come and gone. As I do at the end of every month I have looked through my Google Analytics account to find the most read posts of the last month. The most popular posts in October centered around Google Slides tricks and tips, making educational games, and a source of historical maps. Take a look at the list and see if there is something interesting that you missed in the last month.



These were the most popular posts in October:
1. 5 Handy Google Slides Features You Might Be Overlooking
2. Slido - Create and Run Polls Within Your Google Slides
3. Educandy - Quickly Create Educational Games from Word Lists
4. Math & Science Halloween Lessons
5. Actively Learn - Find & Create Engaging Reading Assignments and More
6. How to Find and Edit Thousands of Halloween Games for Your Classroom
7. topoView - View and Download Thousands of Historical Maps
8. Kami - Annotate PDFs in Google Drive
9. How to Create Vocabulary Games on Educandy
10. Using Google Slides to Design a Mobile App

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
I'm already booking my 2020 workshop and conference schedule. This will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Send me an email at richard (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more.

On-demand PD
On PracticalEdTech.com I have seven professional development webinars available to view whenever you like.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides FreeTech4Teachers.com and the daily email digest, there are other ways to keep up with what I'm publishing. 
  • Practical Ed Tech Newsletter - This comes out once per week (Sunday night/ Monday morning) and includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com.
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 16,000 are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
  • Facebook - The FreeTech4Teachers.com Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing. 

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is Back!


For the fifth year in a row StoryCorps is hosting The Great Thanksgiving Listen. This annual event is an effort to get families to talk and record their stories around the Thanksgiving table. The project was originally developed to get high school students to record the stories of their parents, grandparents, and other older family members. It has expanded over the years to be open to anyone who wants to participate. You can contribute your stories to a national collection or keep them private for just your family to enjoy.

StoryCorps provides materials to help students and teachers get involved in The Great Thanksgiving Listen. The resources for teachers include lesson plans, handouts, and even letters and a permission slip that you can send home to help explain the project to parents. To record interviews students can use the StoryCorps mobile apps (iOS version, Android version) or any other recording tool that you feel is appropriate for your students.

Applications for Education
I love Thanksgiving and I love oral histories. If I was still teaching social studies (I teach computer science now) I would have my students participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen as a way to have them gather local history stories in the context of personal stories. Before The Great Thanksgiving Listen came along I did this kind of project with a social studies class by having them record their parents' and grandparents' stories about going to our local county fair.

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast Episode #17 - Ninjas, Gladiators, and Copyright

It's Friday afternoon and I've just finished recording the seventeenth episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In this episode I address some questions around a Tweet I made last Saturday, discuss my infuriating experience of defending my copyright rights, and share my thoughts about talking with students about topics that can be a bit polarizing. As usual, the podcast begins with some news and notes from the world of ed tech. The episode ends with my answers to a handful of questions from readers, listeners, and viewers like you.

You can listen to episode 17 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your podcast network. The show notes are available in this Google Doc.



You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks: