Friday, May 31, 2013

Chrome Tips Blog

I am a member of a few circles on Google+ and check there often to see what friends from around the county are sharing.  Sometimes it is great and sometimes it is just "brain candy".  Today I found some awesome resources and all of them came from the site Chrome Story .  On this site there is some really great stuff.  Today they launched a free How to Use the Chromebook FREE eBook.  Yes, FREE!  The book appears to have been written in true Google fashion, collaboratively.  Love that!
Also on this site is a section called 100 Chrome Tips that is worth looking through.  This is a fantastic list organized by topics.  Some things get a little technical but it was great to see some things that reinforce what we have been working with in our district.
Finally, the site includes a page called 75 Chromebook Tips.  All of the things on the site encourage you to spend a little time and look a little deeper.  Hope this resource is one you can make good use of!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Citelighter Extension for Google

Citelighter, one of the most useful extensions I have seen in a while is one I cannot wait to see working in a classroom with Chromebooks!  This extension, or add-on to the Chrome Browser, allows students to highlight information as they research on the web, annotate and remark about the information and then send the information to a Google Doc or Microsoft Word. As students gather information Citelighter actually creates a bibliography for the students in the style of the students' choice.  This awesome resource is free!
Check out the video about Citelighter for a really good idea of what this can do for you and your students ad they research.

Great video about Citelighter HERE

iPad Resources

Every so often I come across a great list of iPad resources.  This list was created by Kelly Tenkely and posted at is a compilation of iPad apps as organized by Blooms Taxonomy.  While this is not the only list like this I have seen, I think this one is quite well done.  This list was created in Issuu, an e-publishing service which give is a "book-like" or magazine feels, it does require you to create an account to save the file.  I prefer to view it online, bookmark it for ideas or make a list of the apps within I would like to review.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Google Search Lesson Plans

I recently came across a resource that is valuable to all of us as we turn our attention to all things Google in the 2013-14 school year.  Google has created a series of lesson plans around assisting students becoming better Web searchers.  The materials provided on Google's Search Education Site are developed with the intention of helping students at all levels make better use of the Google search engines and tools.

Lessons are organized as Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced.  The lessons are focused on the following skills:

  • Picking the Right Search Terms
  • Understanding Search Results
  • Narrowing a Search to Get the Best Results
  • Searching fro Evidence for Research Tasks
  • Evaluating Credibility of Sources
Check these out as you plan for next year~

Friday, May 24, 2013

Visual QR Codes

QR codes  or Quick Response codes are great fun for kids especially in a BYOD environment when students can scan a QR code and head out to a location you have selected for learning.  A QR code works to send information to the person who scans the code.  In many cases it is a link to a website and businesses love the QR code because the mystery of where it leads is often enough to encourage people to scan the code and arrive on their website.  In schools QR codes are used by educators for many different creative tasks.  They can:

  1. Lead to a teacher's class blog or website.
  2. Lead learners to a page of selected research sites for students working on research papers.
  3. Lead students through a virtual scavenger hunt.
  4. Advertise a school performance, game or event.
  5. Excite and engage learners!!!
I recently found a new tool for creating a QR code called Visualead.  Visualead is unique in that it allows you to create a QR code within an image or logo.  An account is free and the directions are pretty simple. I tried it and created a QR code that when scanned will lead to this blog using a modified version of the Muskego-Norway Logo used for our Twitter account badge.  Here is the result:

You can scan this code using any QR scanning app.  The one I use most often is called QRReader.  I have had pretty good success with it, but I know there are many others to try as well.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Flowcharts create a clear visual explanation in a variety of situations.  Give a set of instructions to your students. Have students describe a chain-of-events or a key decision.  Elaborate on a process.

The Chrome Web Store (the first module in the Google Apps training, by the way) includes so many powerful tools for you and your students.  LucidChart allows to easily create and share a variety of diagrams quickly.  The tools are click-and-drag intuitive, and it's loaded with options.  Great for flowcharts, it also builds other diagrams, mind maps, etc.

Like many of the apps you'll find in the Chrome Web Store, LucidChart integrates with your Google Drive, allowing you to easily save your diagrams in with all your other docs, presentations, and other files.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fun Finds from the Staff!

As the staff begins to move through the Google Apps for Education learning modules we are beginning to collect some great responses from the Module Two Task that asks that you find a Google App or Extension and share it in our shared Google Doc. While everyone who visits the page can see what people are sharing you might have forgotten that this resource is one you can look back to and check again for great finds.  While I know you can all look back I thought it might be really helpful if I share some of them in the blog on occasion.  Enjoy these ideas from the staff!

myHomeowrk - this Chrome App is a student planner built to help students sty organized in their studies.  It appears the app just went free which is GREAT!  Students can track classes, homework, tests etc.  I like that it is available on multiple devices and that it teaches kids the idea of prioritizing their time.
Thanks Liz W.!

Doremi - This Chrome App is a music app that will be great for those students working to develop ear training.  There are many options within the program that allow you to alter the difficulty as well as the clues that you are given as you use it.
Perfect for music classes!  Thanks Sarah M.

Typing Club - Can' we all use a little typing refresher?  This app is one that might be a great supplement to encourage students to practice their touch typing skills.  It allows you to practice your normal typing activities or move through a series of lessons.  Reviews of this app are very positive and even show kids and adults found this app to be useful.
Great for all our students, Mike W.!

Zondle - This Chrome App is one with a claim I love... FREE!  This game-based platform supports students in lesson review and preparation for tests.  Teachers can create the reviews and then the students play the games to review!  Fun and easy to use on any topic, game, level, language.  Wait! Language?  I bet you could use this in foreign language classes!
Thanks Abby V. for finding this one!

Temperature Converter - This simple app will help student quickly convert between Celsius  Fahrenheit  Rankine  Reamur and Kelvin scales.  It includes a direct link to the page that did the actual conversion so that you can share ti with others too!
Great app for science classes!  Thanks MikeS!

Check back soon for more finds!  RY

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I thought I would share a blog post that is about you, the individual rather than you as the teacher.  I am not delusional.  I do know that part you "you" is the teacher so I know as you read this you will apply it to yourself as a teacher as well.
I read many blogs, articles and resources.  One that I have never seen before appeared on a reader list and the title caught my eye, 5 Core Skills Your Life Depends On.  Truthfully I thought, "Yikes, I better read that one!"  So, off I went to the link of this new blog.  The first thing that caught my eye was this fantastic quote:

I may not have gone where I intended to go,

 but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams

So, I read on.  The blog speaks to building on your purpose, to taking care of yourself and bringing meaning to what you do.  The author writes:

"It’s just a matter of accepting opportunities, implementing ideas, 
taking action, and actively expressing the purpose that is uniquely YOU."

I'll let you investigate the blog here, but I am sure you are dying to know what the 5 core skills are right? They are listed below with a quote from each description, but do read the blog itself and enjoy the encouragement and good advice that is shared by these bloggers, Marc and Angel Chernoff.

  1. Curiosity - "Look forward, open new doors and experience new things.  Do so because you're curious and because you know that today's journey is always just beginning."
  2. Creativity - "When it comes to human growth, if curiosity is the engine, creativity is the steering wheel."
  3. Resilience  - "As you progress, life will inevitably challenge you on a regular basis.  NO matter how much falls on you, keep your head up and plow ahead.  That's the only way to keep the road to your dreams clear."
  4. Patience - "Ultimately the two hardest tests on the road to personal growth are the patience to wait for what you want and the courage not to be disappointed when it doesn't arrive as soon as you had expected."
  5. Self-reliance - "Be the hero of your life not the victim." "Accept life's invitation."
Have a fantastic week!