Monday, January 30, 2017

Google Arts & Culture

I attended several 30-minute webinars from Simple K-12 over the weekend. Simple K12 is usually membership based one demand lesson plans and webinars and more, but they do offer free webinars as well that anyone can sign up for.

One of the sessions I attended was “Virtual Explorations and Field Trips with Google Tools” with Jerry Swiatek. @jswiatek

He talked about Google Maps and Google Earth, but he could have spent way more than his 30 minutes on just the Google Arts and Culture site. What an amazing resource.

Art classes can zoom in to famous paintings to see brush strokes.
Make sure to check out the projects section for curated media over various topics.

Look up Historical events and figures.

Look at all of the Partner websites associated with this cultural institute site.

See content curated by place.

So much to explore on this site. I strongly urge you to take a look. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Microsoft Photo Apps

My district has been moving more into the Google world so a lot of my posts and tweets are about Google. Today, I want to share some of my favorite Microsoft camera apps.

Office Lens(iOS | Android)
Office Lens trims, enhances and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable. Have you ever been in a meeting or at a conference and someone has a lot of information either on a whiteboard or projected onto a screen. In my case, it is hard to write everything down quickly enough. I've tried taking a picture with my phone, but usually, there is a glare or I am standing at some angle that just makes the picture hard to read. That is where Office Lens comes into play. Office Lens will take the photo, crop, enhance, and straighten the picture and allow you to save in a variety of formats.

Microsoft Pix - (iOS)
Pix is one of the easiest camera apps for the iPhone and iPad. Just snap the picture, compare the images to select the best photo to edit, and save and share to the apps already on your phone. Pix has face recognition, selects the best image out of a photo burst and works with live photos as well.

Microsoft Selfie - (iOS)
Microsoft Selfie is a selfie and photo enhancement application available on iOS, web and WeChat. A simple tool for creating seflies. The app comes with Intelligent enhancement, noise reduction, and auto exposure editing features.

So if you are looking for ways to use your camera, give these three apps a try. I believe they are worth a look.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New update to Google Classroom

A welcome update to Google Classroom has arrived. Teachers now have the ability to differentiate assignments in Classroom. When a teacher adds an assignment, that assignment can be assigned to one student, multiple students, or all. Many teachers have asked for this and it finally has been added. Great new addition to a wonderful product.

1. In the class in your Classroom, hover over the Add plus button and select Create Assignment

2. Enter the title and any instructions needed.

3. To post an assignment to individual students, click the Down arrow next to the All students.

4. Click All students to deselect it.

5. Select the student(s) by checking each student's name.

6. Add the due date, topic, and materials as needed for the assignment.

7. Click the Assign button.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Creativity Apps for iPads

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017. Time to start using that technology in your classroom to allow students to be creators of knowledge instead of consumers of knowledge. For those with iPads, I have a blog post from Jonathan Wylie titled Getting Creative with iPads in K-12 Classrooms. This is a wonderful list. I have used or heard of most of these apps. Some of my favorites from the list:

  • Green Screen by Doink
  • IPEVO Whiteboard
  • ChatterPix
  • All of the Adobe Spark apps
  • Snapseed
  • Canva
  • Sock Puppets

Check out Jonathan's blog post and see if you can find a few favorites of your own.