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.

Monday, November 16, 2015

I cried tears of joy.

The Hour of Code is coming up in the next few weeks. A few years ago they released an Angry Birds version and then an Elsa skating challenge. Those were pretty neat. This year they released a Star Wars challenge, I guess that is kinda cool.

I saw this today and I am wicked excited! Minecraft challenge!

Go check it out. I would think every student young and old would be pumped about this one. - Every student should have the oppotunity to learn code.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Google Keep - An Update from the PDC

Above are some ideas the PDC shared on how you might use Keep to stay organized.

How can the notes Get Gas and Need to get outside! remind you to do just that?
1. Hover over the note.
2. Click the little hand with a string tied around the finger icon.
3. Click Pick Place.
4. Choose the location. When you are near that location a notification will pop on your phone. This method works wonders for a grocery list.

Add a Snapshot to a note while on your mobile device.
1. Click the note.
2. Click the ice cream cone. (3 small dots)
3. Add image.

Google Keep is one of those apps that keeps getting better over time. Download it to your device and start creating!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My kids are using this app and I'm wondering what they are up to.

What could my next steps be?

You have some of your students using apps and you are wondering what they are doing. There just isn't time to sit down with each of them to have a conversation every time they use the iPads. Are you looking for a super simple solution to this issue?

Seesaw is it!

Before the students move off the center or close out the app have them follow these simple steps and watch your concerns melt away.

Take a screenshot of something that represents what you have been working on.

Open Seesaw.
Click Camera Roll.

Open Photos.
Click Camera Roll.

Select the image you want to upload.

The image will open.
Click the pencil icon.

Now the students can annotate and record their voice.
This will allow the students to reflect on their learning and allow you some insight into what they are doing!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Google Keep: An Update

Post-It notes are fantastic for quickly brainstorming ideas. Google Docs is amazing for writing things that are slightly longer than what a tiny note can contain.

Check out how easy it is to move what you have in Keep directly into a Doc!

Click the ice cream cone (3 dots) at the bottom of your Keep note.
Click Copy to Google Doc.

Above is the note transferred into a Doc.

What about the apps? 
Look for the same ice cream cone icon inside the note and follow the above procedure.

Check out our other post about Google Keep.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's like a Google search only customized just for you! (and your students)

Custom Search Engine

This amazing tool allows you to prioritize or restrict what sources your students use to search. It is like you limit Google to only search the sites you have preselected. Setting this up is as easy as 1,2,3.

What does it really mean? Your students are researching about the butterflies or the Civil War but just Googling these topics return a few hundred results which is a tad overwhelming. Creating a CSE allows you to preselect the best resources and enable the power of Google to scour these sites to give relevant results quickly.
1. Start at
2. Click New search engine.

1. Start by adding a website you want your students to search.

1. Continue adding sites.
2. Name your search engine. It is recommended to name it after that project or unit the students are researching.
3. Click Create.

1. Get the Public URL and share it with the students.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Google Keep - Capture what's on your mind.

Keep - Always Within Reach

Google Keep is one of those simple apps that integrates into every part of your mobile and desktop life. This post is dedicated to showing you a few ways you can use Keep today.

Getting Started

4 Note Types
  1. Basic Note
  2. Checkoff List
  3. Image
  4. Voice

1. Basic Note

Click Take a note... to start creating a basic note.

Start typing to begin your note.
It is recommended you add a title to your note.

2. Checkoff List

Click the icon shown above to start a new note with checkboxes.

Each entry will be accompanied by a check box. Click the box when that task has been accomplished. It will then be moved to the bottom of the list with a line through that entry. You can uncheck the item and it will move back into the note.

Click the ice cream cone (three dots in the upper right corner) to open the menu.

With one click you can copy your note to a Google Doc. This is a great way to start brainstorming ideas and later move it all into a doc.

3. Voice

The app will record your voice and translate it into text. While the translation isn't always perfect you can click the play icon to listen to exactly what you said.

4. Image

Take a picture with the app.
You can keep the image as is or use the ice cream cone menu to select Grab image text.

The above text came from a Smoothie King ad I had on my desk. While the text conversion isn't always perfect it is pretty good.

Google Keep is an app that is available to you and your students today.

Other useful feature not mentioned in this post:
     set a time reminder
     set a location reminder - this might be the most impressive type of reminder
     organize your notes with labels
     Create a note and share it with anyone. A nice way for students to give you some feedback.
Drawing (Android only)
     Scroll down this page to find the information about this new feature.

Recent Lindbergh posts about Google Keep:
Google Keep: An Update
Google Keep - An Update from the PDC

Additional Google Keep Resources
Google Keep Help - the official help site from Google
4 Google Keep Tips and Tricks For Better Notes, Lists and To-Dos - from MakeUseOf
7 Reasons You Might Actually Want to Use Google Keep - a PC mag article

Tasty FACS! (2018)

This post is to support the LHS FACS students creating their Tasty final.   We stumbled upon this app a while ago and it just keep...