Monday, December 28, 2015

So many pictures! How do I find what I want quickly?

I currently have 134 gigs of pictures in my Google Photos. I'm not sure of the math but I'm pretty sure that is tens of thousands of pictures. Sometimes it can be really difficult to find what I am looking for.

I used to open up the Google Photos tab in Google Drive. Scrolling through the endless photos isn't the best use of time.

Here are a few ways I have found to make the hunt slightly easier.

I start by visiting -
I am presented with a new screen full of various options.

By clicking on the search bar the screen changes and presents you with a number of options. Most of these choices are self explanatory. I do love the idea of click on the faces of my children, I get all kinds of images I had totally forgotten about. It is similar to that Facebook feature but so many more images to view.

Another option is search by date. I typed in July and up popped a huge number of vacation images from the past ten years. 

Click the hamburger icon in the upper left corner of the main screen and you will be presented with a pop out menu. Check out the options presented for new ways to view your images.

Interested in more Google Photos posts? Let us know!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Chrome: Check this out!

A tiny number of tabs... but soon it becomes out of control!     

     Here are two Chrome extensions I find super useful. By the end of the day I usually have 30-50 tabs open which can cause issues. I would highly recommend using them even if you don't collect tabs like I do.

The Great Suspender
     Too many tabs can cause a drain on your system resources. This extension will suspend, put to sleep, any tab that is left idle over time. To awaken the tab just click in the middle of the page. You can add any page to the whitelist so it never gets suspended. I usually just add my calendar and email. I would assume teachers would also add SIS.

     I just added this one recently. When I find myself with too many tabs I can just click one button and all the tabs will be put on one page in a simple list. I think this is a great way to save my thinking after a long period of researching a topic.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Warm Up with Reading!

Did you know the amazing new Grant's View branch opens on Tuesday? Someone shared with me about a dozen images of what this new space looks like and it is beyond comprehension! You really need to swing by and take a look.

While you are there why not sign up for their winter reading program. It is open for everyone, kids and adults. The kids and I are signed up and have been reading a bunch today.

Sam and I reading at Starbucks today.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Help! Why is Google Music/Spotify/etc blocked? (It really isn't!)

Take a look at the screenshot above. 
Both are for Google Music.
The first result is an ad. If I click on that link it will come up as blocked. I can tell it is an ad by the little tiny yellow icon that says ad. Those generally won't ever open on campus.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google Music - An Introduction

Getting Started

Image result for google music

Google Music is like many of the other streaming services. This post will introduce you to some of the free aspects of this service.

The main screen is somewhat similar to Spotify. When you login you are presented with a changing list of stations to pick from. One difference is when you click on a tile you are presented with a few stations to choose from. 
*If you are using Google Music in a public setting be mindful of which stations you choose.

To find additional stations start by clicking on the hamburger icon in the upper left corner of the screen. In the pop out menu click Browse stations.

I clicked on Activities and scrolled way down. I selected Working/Studying (Instrumental Music).

This is just a tiny sampling of the stations you could pick from in the instrumental stations.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quizizz - an update

Fun Formative Feedback!

What is Quizizz?
     Check out the post we wrote a while back. Quizizz is very similar to Kahoot! but it appears to be a little more friendly with out network.

Getting Started (in a snap)

Quizizz Walkthrough (by Quizizz)

Why Quizizz?
  • network friendly
  • fast to set up
  • fast for kids to use


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Poll Everywhere - Perfect for fast formative feedback

Fast Formative Feedback!

What is this Poll Everywhere you speak of?
     Poll Everywhere engages your class in deep learning by creating live word clouds, collects anonymous feedback, or through check-ins on learning goals. All of this happens at the speed of light and with a simple click of a button.
     This post will step you through the process of using Poll Everywhere for fast assessment. You can always extend this idea by adding a series of complex questions but don't get too carried away.

Getting Started
A short video to get you started using Poll Everywhere.

A demo on how to use Poll Everywhere inside your Google Slides presentation. You will need to download this Chrome extension to activate this feature.

Why Poll Everywhere?

  • fast!
  • easy for you
  • easy for your students
  • integrates directly into Google Slides

Poll Everywhere

Monday, December 7, 2015

On a limited data plan? Try this.

Chrome - Data Saver!

Image result for chrome

Follow these steps to turn on Data Saver in Chrome.

Open Chrome on your mobile device.
Click the three dots on the far right of the address bar.
Click Settings in the pop out menu.

Click Data Saver near the bottom of your screen.

Toggle Data Saver on.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chromecamp - all thing Chrome and Google

Join many educators from the area on Jan 16th from 8:30-12:00 for some exciting session based on all things Chrome and Google. This event is 100% run by those who attend making it a very unique learning event. We would highly recommend checking it out.

Sign up here. This event is free!

What is an edcamp?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Autoplay is driving me a bit nutty!

Want to stop the autoplay feature?
Start playing a YouTube video.
Look in the lower right corner of the video.
Click the autoplay button.
Green - autoplay all day
Gray - no more autoplay

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Songza - It was nice to know ya!

All things come to an end.

On Jan. 31, 2016 Songza will shut down for good. I kinda saw this coming when Google bought them over a year ago.

No worries. Just surf over to Google Music and check that out. Google music is free but they do have an upgrade for $9.99 a month and that comes with YouTube Red! Seriously! No more ads in or on your videos.

Should we do a blog post about Google Music? Leave us a comment on the blog or the Facebook page.


Fast Formative Assessment!

Over the past couple of weeks we have helped a number of teachers set up and use flubaroo. This tool is so quick and easy we thought it wouldn't hurt to create another post about it.

All it takes is 2-6 clicks and BAM! your Google Forms quiz is graded. This gives you back valuable classroom time to spend differentiating, teaching, etc...

Just take two minutes to watch this flubaroo demonstration to get you on your way.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Google Photos - An Update

These are all the random MicroSD cards I found on my desk. Seriously. Why so many? I take a million pictures on my phone and I keep filling up the cards. Instead of sorting through and deleting various images I just buy a new card. Deleting is just so time consuming!

This week Google released an update to the Photos app. It is only available on Android but soon it should be released for iOS devices. This update will solve my issue of the full SD card and might just prevent me from buying more cards.

What magical feature is this? The app will scan your phone and let you know how much space you will save if you delete the images and videos you already have backed up to Google Drive. Follow the steps below to run this feature on your Android device.

Open the Google Photos app.
Click the hamburger icon on the upper left side. (Three lines.)
Click Settings

Click Free up device storage

The app will start scanning your device and comparing it to what you have saved online.

My phone took an hour or so for this alert to pop. 

Click DELETE to remove the images from your phone. I was able to free up almost a whole gig!
It will only delete the videos and images from your phone and not the exact copies you have backed up in your Google Drive.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Yes! Yes! Print on sticky notes!

So, I wanted to print on sticky notes.

I have been teaching growth mindset strategies and philosophy to teachers in the Lindbergh School District for the past couple years.  In addition to studying Carol Dweck's Mindsets: the new psychology of success, we've moved onto reviewing a resource book by Mary Cay Ricci called Ready-to-use resources for mindsets in the classroom.  

With more than 60 resources to examine and just six hours of class time, I was looking for a fast, clean way for teachers to share their experiences implementing the mindset resources.  Inspired by Yelp, I created my own customized resource reflection sticky notes:

Here is my step-by-step sticky note printing procedure:
  1. Select your sticky notes (the stickier and flatter, the better) and get their dimensions.
  2. Recreate the outline of one sticky note with proper dimensions using Microsoft Publisher.
  3. Create a text box inside your sticky note outline.  Build your custom template.
  4. Click-and-drag to select all objects in your template, including the outline.  Select Group to make all objects part of the same image.
  5. Copy and paste your template as many times as needed to create your page template.  Here's what mine looked like:
  6. Print out your template once without sticky notes.  When you do this, mark the top side of the paper as it rests in the printer.  Note the direction the paper flows out through the printer.
  7. Here is the key step in the process: It is critical that the adhesive side of the sticky note is on the leading edge of the paper as it flows through the printer.  As a result, you may need to rotate your templates on Publisher so that the top edge of the template will print out on the sticky side of the sticky note.  This is why, in the image above, I rotated my templates so that top of the printing and the sticky side would both be on the right edge.  Print a new test page if you made any changes.
  8. Place one sticky note on the test page directly on one of the images, checking alignment.  Adding a small piece of tape to secure the opposite side is recommended. 
  9. Place the test page, sticky note and all, into the printer, revisiting step 6 to make sure the paper is facing the correct way with the correct side face down.
  10. Print.  (Note: I chose the least used printer in the district for my printing in case I jammed up the machine.)  Deep breath...
  11. If it was successful, fill the template with sticky notes in proper alignment and repeat the process.  If you want mass production, you can print several templates and run several sheets at a time.
Happy sticky note printing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New to Google Slides - Live, embedded polling with Polleverywhere

You can now embed live polling questions into Google Slides using PollEverywhere!  Here is how to make it happen:
  1.  Download the PollEv Presenter Google Slides Extension to your Google Chrome browser.
  2. Refresh your Chrome browser and open Google Slides.
  3. You should now see PollEverywhere tab in your Google Slides presentation menu:

  4. When you're ready to insert a question (make sure you're logged into PollEverywhere), select the PollEverywhere tab and choose to insert a poll or create a poll.
  5. When you have finished, you will see a slide that looks like this:
  6. When you run your Google Slides in Presentation mode, this slide will turn into a live, embedded poll.  You can even change the results display to fit your purposes.  
 There is no need to "Alt Tab" or exit out of you presentation to introduce live student polling.  Enjoy!

What the advanced version of PollEverywhere? Just email Doug or Colin and we will hook you up! We have a district account that gives you access to many features. 

How do I add more times to my parent volunteer list on SignUpGenius?

After setting up your initial list of slots you now need to add additional dates. All you need to do is edit your current list and click, simple as that! Follow the below steps to update your form.

Log into SignUpGenius
Open your volunteer form.
Click tab 3 -  Dates/Times
Add dates and times at the bottom.
Click Add New button on the right.

The newest dates will show up on the bottom of the list.
Click tab 4 at the top of the screen.

Add title, # needed and assign it to a date and time. 

An example of what it looks like when making your selections.
Click Update at the bottom of the screen.

Now when I click on my signup link this is what I see.
New dates and slots to pick from.

Creating a parent sign up has never been this easy. (Sign Up Genius)

I'm sure we all have parents who are willing to help us in our classrooms but organizing the sign ups can be a little challenging. Check out this post detailing how to easily create a system to help your parent volunteer system run smoothly.

This will be a two part post. This post will detail how to set it up. The follow up will show you how to edit and add additional dates to your existing volunteer list.

Thanks to Christina Jaggie for this idea!

Navigate to
Click Login/Join

Fill out the highlighted information.

Pick a theme. There are about a billion of them. 

Click custom and continue.

Enter the dates and exact times you need people to come in and help.
Click continue.

Name the time slot.
Select how many volunteers you need.
Pick the exact date you want this event to occur on.

Feel free to check/uncheck.
Then continue to the next screen.

Click Proceed.

Click the center green button.

Paste that address into your email signature or somewhere the parents can find it.

This is what they will see when they click on the link.

Seesaw - Summer 2018

This post was created to help guide our Seesaw session. Seesaw is a student-driven online portfolio which can also be used for parent c...