Friday, January 27, 2023

How to Add Checkboxes to Tables in Google Docs

Earlier this week when I was looking back at The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators I noticed that Google Docs was still a beta product back when that book was written. Google Docs has come a long way since then. Today, Google Docs is packed with some many handy little features that it's hard to keep track of them all. One way that you could try to keep of them is to make a table with checkboxes inside it. That's what I demonstrate in this new video

Video - How to Add Checkboxes to Tables in Google Docs

Applications for Education
I recently used this combination of checkboxes in a table to create a document in which I keep track of who is present for the ski lessons that I teach and the skills each student is working on developing.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

How to Find the Source for Images in Google Slides

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about using the explore function in Google Slides to find images to use in presentations. Since then I've had a few people ask for clarification about how to use the image source when using the other image search option in Google Slides. The process of finding the image source is the same whether you use the Explore function or you use the Insert Image option in Google Slides. Watch this video to see how that process works. 

Video - How to Find the Image Source in Google Slides

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

AI Writing Check

AI Writing Check is a free tool created by the collaborative efforts of the non-profits and CommonLit. AI Writing Check is a tool that was created to help teachers try to recognize writing created through the use of artificial intelligence. 

To use AI Writing Check you simply have to copy a passage of text of 100 or more words and paste it into AI Writing Check. The tool will then tell you the likelihood that the writing has or has not been created by artificial intelligence. That's all there is to it. 

AI Writing Check isn't foolproof and as is pointed out on the site, students can still develop ways to get around tools designed to detect AI-generated writing. It's also worth noting that it can't handle more than 400 words at a time. 

Applications for Education
A couple of weeks ago my Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week was to get to know AI writing tools before your students use them to turn in an essay. In that newsletter I explained and demonstrated two AI writing tools. The first was ChatGPT and the second was Canva's Magic Write tool. In response to that newsletter I got at least two dozen notes from teachers who were concerned about students using those tools to "cheat." If that's one of your concerns about AI, you may want to take a look at AI Writing Check

How to Clean-up Image Backgrounds in Canva Designs

Last week someone reached out to me after watching my original video about using Canva's image background removal tool. She was having a little trouble because the automatic background remover was leaving a few patches of the original image intact. To help, I recorded a new video that demonstrates how to clean-up the parts of the image that Canva doesn't automatically remove. 

Video - How to Clean-up Image Backgrounds in Canva  

Applications for Education
One of my favorite ways to use Canva's background remover is to remove the background from an image of yourself and then put a new background in its place. I put an image of Mount Everest in the background of my picture. One way to use this with students is to have them place themselves in front of landmarks of the world then write about their virtual visit to those landmarks.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

45 Digital Mapping Tutorials

This month I've been spending some time organizing the tutorial videos on my YouTube channel. To that end I'm creating playlists that are organized thematically. The latest playlist that I've created is titled Digital Mapping. The playlist currently contains 45 tutorial videos covering more than just Google Maps. In the playlist you'll find tutorials on things like NatGeo Mapmaker, Felt Maps, USGS map tools, making animated maps, and much more. Some highlights from the playlist are embedded below.