Friday, June 18, 2021

Icons8 - Easily Add Icons to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets

Icons8 is a new Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets add-on that offers a large gallery of free icons that you can easily insert into your documents, slides, and spreadsheets. Within the Icons8 gallery you'll find thirty-five categories of icons. All of the icons are available in a variety of sizes from as small as 50x50 pixels to as large as 500x500 pixels. And once you've added an icon to your document or slide you can still use Google's built-in image editing tools to further alter the size and transparency of the icon. 

To use Icons8 simply install the add-on from the Google Workspace Marketplace. Once it is installed you'll find it listed in the add-ons drop-down menu in Docs, Slides, and Sheets. Open it from the drop-down menu and the gallery of icons will appear on the righthand side of your document, slide, or spreadsheet. From there you just need to click on an icon for it to appear in your document, slide, or spreadsheet. It should be noted that the icon will appear wherever your cursor is in your document at the time that you select an icon. Of course, you can always move the icon by just clicking and dragging it to a new part of your document. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Icons8 in Google Documents. 



Applications for Education
Icons8 provides an easy way for teachers to add icons to documents. Those icons can be useful in creating activities that utilize visual prompts for students to respond to. For example, I might use the house icon in a document in which I want students to spell the words "house" and "home." Icons8 could also be handy for students who are looking to add some "hand-drawn" images to Google Slides presentations.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image created by Richard Byrne using Canva.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Sharing vs. Publishing Google Documents

A couple of days ago I Tweeted my video about how to find public Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. That Tweet prompted a couple of people to ask me about publishing Google Docs compared to sharing Google Docs and why you'd use one option versus another. To answer those questions I made this short video




The Difference
  • The key difference is that publishing a document creates a simple webpage that is devoid of any of the Google Docs editing or sharing menus while a shared Google Document displays those menus.
Which one should you use?
  • I'll use the option to share Google Document when I have a document like a syllabus or permission slip that I want students and or parents to be able to easily print and or save in their Google accounts.

  • I'll use the "publish to the web option" when I have a document that is a newsletter or similar that I don't need or want students and or parents to make copies or save in their Google accounts. 

It's Sea Turtle Week - Five Short Lessons

Earlier this week when I was checking the weather forecast on NOAA.gov I noticed a banner announcing that this week is Sea Turtle Week. Prior to that I didn't know that there is a Sea Turtle Week. None-the-less it reminded me of the time that I witnessed sea turtles nesting in Costa Rica and it prompted me to look at some resources for teaching and learning about sea turtles. Here's what I found.

Sea Turtles 101
Sea Turtles 101 is a video from National Geographic's 101 series. As you might expect, the video covers the basics of the life and evolution of sea turtles, the number and kind of sea turtles, reproduction of sea turtles, and the environmental challenges facing sea turtles today. While not terribly engaging, the video is short and informative.



Turtle Travel Tips
Turtle Travel Tips is a cute SciShow Kids video about how leatherback sea turtles navigate thousands of miles of ocean to return to nesting sites.



Google Arts and Culture Turtle Stories
Google Arts and Culture offers this collection of imagery and videos about five different types of sea turtles found off the coast of Brazil. The imagery is nice but the collection is a little light on information.

7 Sea Turtle Facts
7 Sea Turtle Facts is an informative page published by NOAA. The page includes a couple of videos about sea turtle habitat, life, and environmental challenges facing sea turtles.

Traveling Turtles
Traveling Turtles is an ESRI Story Map, produced by NOAA, about three types of sea turtles found in the waters around Cape Cod and how people work to rescue cold-stunned sea turtles on the beaches of Cape Cod.



Two More Padlet Updates to Note

Last week Padlet implemented four important updates. This week two more updates have been rolled out. Both of this week's updates address previously common concerns about multimedia notes added to Padlet walls. 

The first update to note is the implementation of link scanning. This is being done to prevent malicious links from being added to Padlet notes and walls. 


The second update is a tweak to the attachment picker for adding materials to Padlet notes. You now have the option to drag and drop files into notes rather than just using the standard file select and upload option. In some cases this should make adding attachments to notes a little quicker than before. 



To learn more about Padlet and how it can be used in your classroom, please take a look at this playlist of tutorial videos.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Just Five Days Until...

It is just five days until the first session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp begins. If you haven't registered for the session of your choice, you can do so up until the day before it starts. While the early-bird discount has passed, you can still get group discounts. 

There is a June session, a July session, and an August session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. In all three sessions we'll cover ten key topics over the course of ten live webinars (recordings will also be available). 

These are the topics for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp:
  • Teaching Search Strategies & Digital Citizenship
  • Video Projects for Every Classroom
  • Classroom Podcasting 101
  • Building Digital Portfolios
  • Fun Formative Assessment Methods
  • Using AR & VR in Your Classroom
  • Making Virtual Tours
  • Easy Ways to Make Your Own Apps
  • Simple and Fun Makerspaces Projects
  • Blending Technology Into Outdoor Lessons

Register online or email me to register your group of five or more. 


Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a group discount?
Yes, there is a group discount available. You can save $50/person if you have five or more people registering from your school district. Email me for a discount code to apply to online group registrations or to initiate a PO registration.

Can I register with a purchase order or check?
Yes, you can certainly register with a purchase order. Send me an email or have your business office send me an email to initiate that process. Because of the additional paperwork and delay in receiving funds, the early registration discount doesn't apply to purchase order registrations.

Can I get CEUs/ contact hours?
You will receive a certificate from me indicating that you participated in ten hours of professional development time. Whether or not your school, state, or province will accept it for license/ certificate renewal is a determination that you will have to make. The rules about CEUs vary widely from state-to-state and I can't possibly keep track of them all.

What platform are you using for the webinars?
All of the webinars will be conducted through the GoToWebinar platform. I've tried many other webinar services, but I keep coming back to GoToWebinar because of it's reliability. I've used it for almost a decade for hundreds of webinars. You can access GoToWebinar on any computer or tablet.

Will the sessions be recorded?
Yes, all of the live webinars will be recorded. If you have to miss a session, you'll be able to watch the recording. That said, I find that people get the most out of webinars when they can attend live broadcasts and ask questions in real-time. Therefore, I encourage you to pick the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp session that works best with your schedule.