Wednesday, December 20, 2017

LastPass - The last password you will ever need.

This post was created for choice PD - LHS

How many passwords do you have right now? Do you just reuse the same password for a million different sites? Do you have to constantly reset the passwords for certain sites because they keep asking for all kinds of numbers and symbols?

What about when you get a new phone and you have to log into all your apps, that is so time consuming! Then sometime in the summer you have to add all the passwords back into your freshly reimaged laptop. Who has time for that?

All of these issues can be a thing of the past once you start using LastPass, the last password you will ever need.

This post will help you:

  • create an account
  • install the browser extension
  • understand how to use the app

Getting Started
Watch this to get started.

Browser Extension
A quick overview of what the extension can do for you.
The add it to Chrome.

Adding Sites to Lastpass
This is the best feature, so simple to add your sites.

LastPass - Android
Download the Android App.

LastPass - iOS

Download the iOS App.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Logging into Chrome solves many issues.

We all log into Google every day to access email, calendar and all the other G Suite apps but have you unlocked the full potential of Chrome? Check out how logging into Chrome makes everything better.

Getting Started
Update Chrome
You really should start by updating Chrome.
1. Open Chrome. Click on the ice cream cone (three dots) in the upper right.
2. Hover on Help.
3. Click About Google Chrome.

Chrome will automatically start checking for updates.
In the image above you can see an update is downloading.
After the process is complete it will ask you to relaunch Chrome.

Logging into Chrome
1. Click the ice cream cone (three dots) in the upper right corner of Chrome.
2. Click Settings.

Click Sign in to Chrome.

The above image shows that I have now logged into Chrome. I did use my personal account but it works just the same for your school Google account.

I clicked Ok, got it to fully sync everything.

Why syncing matters

I use a number of Chrome extensions daily. When my laptop gets reimaged all I do is log into Chrome and all my extensions reinstall. This will allow you to sync your bookmarks and passwords across devices.

Google Keep: An Update

Google Keep is like the ultimate notepad, the only one you will ever need. Check out what Keep can do for you. This post is an update to one we wrote this summer, be sure to check that one out as well.

An Overview

Super quick overview of Keep.

Getting Started with Keep
     Download the Android or iOS app.
     Install the Chrome extension.

App Walkthrough
Open Keep on your mobile device.

1. Click the hamburger (three lines) to access all the various settings.
2. Search for notes using the magnifying glass and click the two rectangles to show notes in list view.
3. Pinned notes. These will always appear at the top of the app.

To start a new note just look to the bottom of the screen.
Click Take a note... or on the icons to the right to get started.

1. Make sure you title your note.
2. To access additional options, click the plus in the lower left.
3. The options that appear are similar to what you saw when first starting a new note.

In the lower right corner click on the three dots for additional options.
Collaborator - similar to Google Docs. Add someone to help create the note.
Label - a way to organize all your notes.
Color Dots - I like to use this to visually categorize my notes.

1. Click the finger with the ribbon tied around it. This will allow you to create two types of reminders.
2. You could set a date and time or pick a place. I picked the high school campus as my reminder spot. This means when I hit the campus an alert will appear on my phone .

My finished note.
I color coded it.
I picked a great title.
I selected checkboxes so I can tick off the tasks I complete.
At the very bottom you can see my reminder pin.

This appeared on my screen as I pulled onto campus.

Keep in the Classroom - by Google

Google Keep official help - use this site for help.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Reading with my ears - free from the county library!

So many books... make more time!

Too many great books to read and so little time. I started to listen to books at the gym and in the car because there was just too much down time.

I used to buy tons of books on tape and CD but after a few months all that starts to add up to serious money.

Did you know that you can download all kinds of audiobooks on your mobile devices? All you need is a St. Louis County Library card and a little storage space on your device. I'm also pretty sure every single student was just issued a new card just last week, why not get them listening before break!

Getting Started
Download and log into Hoopla.
Also check out Libby, the newer version of OverDrive, for additional audiobooks from the county library.

Download and click hoopla.
It should ask you to login with your county library account.

Click the search button or you can choose a category below.

I searched for Freakonomics and this is what I found.
I then clicked on Super Freakonomics.

Click BORROW if this is the book you want to listen to.

Click Play to start listening.
Concerned about streaming the book? Just tap to download so you can listen without being connected to the internet. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Hook me up! How do I automate more of my life?

So I have this blog and a classroom Facebook page, how do I get my blog posts to automatically show up on Facebook?

It is wicked simple if you use one simple site,

Getting Started
Make sure your Facebook page is using your Lindbergh email and a Facebook place page. You will know it is a place page if people can like it, not friend you. These are district requirements to using Facebook for your classroom.

Complete the following three steps:

Connecting through
First step is to copy the address of your blog. Make sure you copy the correct address.
Examples: - address of our blog - this only links to a post, not the full blog

Log into
1. Click Automated or Feeds at the top.
2. Paste blog address.
3. You should see your blog pop here after a minute or so.
4. Click the plus symbol that appears.
5. Click Next: Connect Socials.

I'm already logged into Facebook so my page already appeared.
I just need to click Start Posting.

Nothing will post on Facebook until you create a new post on your blog.

Moving from Drive to FilmoraGo

Check out how to get a video that was shared with you on Drive into FilmoraGo.

Start in Google Drive on your mobile device.
Click on the video you want to add to your project.

Click the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen.

Click Send a copy.

Click Save Video.

Open FilmoraGo.
The videos should be the first on the list.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Helping kids discover new things to read. (Flyer Time)

Do you find kids struggling to find things to read? I'm sure you have seen someone pick up a book read a page then discard it. They might repeat that cycle over and over again. This isn't isolated to just books, reading magazines and things online fall into the same wandering pattern.

There might just be a way to help some of the kids discover new things to read based upon what others in Flyer Time, or class, are reading.

Padlet To The Rescue
What is padlet
Think of it as a simple Post-It Note board but totally online. To add a note all you need to do is click, it is really that easy.

Padlet Examples
  • Reading - this example shows how the kids share what they are reading week to week. Check out week seven.
  • What are you reading this week? Similar to the above, kids posting about what they are reading. These types of pages help others discover great books and magazines to read. Here is another example of kids sharing.
Creating A Padlet
Visit and create an account.

You should see the big pink button in the upper left, click to create a Padlet.

There are five different types of Padlets to choose from. My personal favorite is the wall or grid. Not sure which one to choose or what it will look like? Just click on the PREVIEW button on each layout to see what they look like on the web.

Above is my brand new Wall Padlet page.
1. Fill out the title and description. I like to think of the word description is really code for directions. Write some directions because humans often forget what they should do next.  Whatever you write here will also show up in the upper left corner of the Padlet.
2. Click Next.

1. Privacy (access) - I would recommend making it either Secret or Public.
Secret - anyone with the link can access. The link won't be accessible by Googling or on Padlet's site.
Public - Anyone could access it. I like to think finding it is similar to finding a needle in a needle stack. That is way harder than finding that same needle in a haystack. When the Padlet public it is wicked hard to just stumble upon.
2. Make sure you allow them to write on the Padlet you created. That is kinda the whole purpose, kids writing and sharing with other kids.
3. Click Next.

Kids need to type this WHOLE address into their browser to access the Padlet.
Does it look kinda long? Check out how to shirk the URL, wicked easy!

Posting to Padlet - BYOD
I used my phone to post on the wall. Below are screenshots of how I did it.
Navigate to the Padlet page. 
Click the plus symbol in the lower right to add to the page.

1. Add a title and a description.
2. Click to add an image.

To add an image - aka shelfie
1. Click Choose File.
2. Click Camera.

Click DONE when you are ready to post.

It is not enough to just post to Padlet. You need to take time to talk about what was posted, time must be dedicated to allowing the kids to scan what their peers posted. Reflection is key to making it all work. The Padlet will not help kids discover if you don't take 2-3 minutes to draw attention to it.

I saw a teacher using a similar tool in her classroom. While everything was running smoothly the tool wasn't making the impact we all thought it would. One day she made one tiny instructional move, she pulled up what the students submitted and they talked about it as a whole class. By taking just 3-5 minutes a day to reflect, the learning forever changed the rest of the year.

     Whenever I am looking for examples or ideas to jumpstart my thinking I turn to Twitter. I used the search window to look for anything referencing Padlet. At the very top of the page you do have a few categories to choose from, I usually stick with Top and Latest to start with.
     Change it up a bit, try Padlet math or Padlet science and see what you get. I use Twitter as it will usually give me many more usable and actionable ideas than just a search on TpT or Google.
     I will search for math/science/writing Padlets even if I am looking to create one for social studies. Looking outside a content area will usually spark fresh ideas.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How to make a QR Code

A Quick Response, or QR, code allows the user to access something in a snap. Creating the QRs are as easy as scanning them. Check it out!

How To

Pull up the page you want the kids to access.
Copy the web address.

1. Visit This is Google's URL shortening tool.
2. Paste address.
3. Click Shorten URL

Click Done in the lower right corner.

1. Click on the ice cream cone (three dots) at the far right side.
2. Click QR Code.

Right click to copy/paste the code.

Just take my money!

There are things that I just buy without a second thought, this was one of them. While I have no idea how to make it all work it can't be that hard. Just watch the video and see what you think.

A simple processor, motor and voice. That is all you need. Check it out.
I wonder if you could alter the programming to tell you if it was indoor or outdoor recess. So many ideas to help introduce the students to IoT (internet of things).

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...