Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Now You Can Fix Images in Google Docs

Google Docs has offered handy image editing tools for years. But until this week Google Docs hasn't offered a good way to fix images in place. On Monday Google announced an update to the image editing tools in Google Docs. That update includes the ability to fix or lock an image in place in your documents.

The option to fix an image in place in Google Docs can be found when you highlight an image and then select "image options."

As is the case for most updates to G Suite products, this Google Docs update will roll out over a couple of weeks. If you don't see it today, you will see it soon.

Teamimg - Collaborate to Make Interactive Images

Teamimg is a free tool that is a bit like Thinglink and Classtools' Image Annotator without the hyperlinks. Teamimg lets you upload an image and share it. Once uploaded you can click on the image to write comments and reply to the comments that other people have written. The comment threads can be expanded or collapsed to depending on your viewing needs.

In the following video I demonstrate how to use Teamimg to collaboratively comment on images.


Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing Teamimg in one of his recent Ed Tech Digest posts.

Applications for Education
Teamimg could be a good tool for students to use to annotate all kinds of images, diagrams, and maps. As it doesn't require an email address or any student information, it can be used at any grade level. I can see Teamimg being used in a geography lesson to have students create annotated maps. In a biology lesson students could use Teamimg to make interactive diagrams of cells. In an art lesson students might use Teamimg to identify and label techniques or important aspects of a work of art.

How to Use Watch2Gether to Host Live Online Discussion About Shared Videos

As I wrote on Saturday, Watch2gether is a nice tool to use to have students share observations, ask questions, and answer questions while watching video clips in your classroom or as part of a flipped lesson they're completing at home. The service is free to use and doesn't require registration in order for you or your students to use it. In the following video I demonstrate how to host live online discussions about videos through Watch2Gether.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Three Free Webinars About Transitioning to Teaching Online

In my previous post I mentioned Rushton Hurley's Emergencies and Switching to Online Learning. Later this week Rushton is going to host three free webinars on the topic. The webinars are Wednesday at 4pm ET and 7pm ET and then again on Friday at 4pm ET. You can register for the webinars here.

In describing the webinars Rushton wrote, "This program is not a simple collection of web-based tech tools, but rather one which will focus on how to help prepare your team in this difficult time."

Rushton will be using Zoom to host the webinars so this is a good opportunity to see Zoom in action from the viewer/ student perspective. I demonstrated the presenter's perspective in this video.

Two More Guides to Transitioning to Online Instruction

Last week and again this morning I published my top tips and tools for teaching remotely if your school closes due to COVID-19 outbreak. And as I mentioned on my podcast, Larry Ferlazzo has a good list of resources going too. Now there are two more guides that I'd like to draw your attention to.

Rushton Hurley is the founder of Next Vista for Learning, a video sharing site that I've featured dozens (hundreds?) of times over the years on this blog and in my workshops. Before focusing on Next Vista Rushton was the principal of an online school in Texas. He has published Emergencies and Switching to Online Learning. In that guide Rushton outlines how to try to maintain continuity in making the switch to online classrooms and recommends a series of free and low-cost tools to make the switch. What I like about his guide is that many of the tools he mentions are ones that are already popular in classrooms, he just does a good job of framing their use in context of making a quick transition to online classrooms. (One quick logistical note about Rushton's guide, the links for each section of the guide are in the upper-right corner of the guide's landing page. They might not jump out at you if you're on a tablet or phone).

Kathleen Morris at The Edublogger (an Edublogs blog) has assembled an extensive guide to teaching online. What I like about Kathleen's guide is that she specifically addresses the needs of elementary school students and teachers whereas Rushton and I didn't do that in our guides. Kathleen's guide also provides some great tips on how to structure the school day if you have to move to teaching online.