Creating a Welcome Slide for Online Classes

Some of my favorite teachers were the ones that stood outside their classroom door to greet each student. When teaching online, I like to start the Zoom session in a similar friendly fashion. I want to have a welcome slide appear when students enter the Zoom call that includes:

  • a countdown timer to the start of our class
  • a list of what students will need to be successful for the daily lesson
  • an inspirational quote (just because I love quotes!)
  • a joke/riddle 
  • play music – usually a tune from Springsteen or Billy Joel

The below image was created by using Google Slides. It may be fun to create a welcome slide to match your lesson theme or the season. Google Slides lends itself to creating an image because of the design elements included in the program. The welcome greeting may help set the tone for an enthusiastic discussion. #MakeLearningFun read more

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New Citation Tool Coming to Google Docs

Earlier in the summer we heard from Google that they were planning on adding a citation tool to Google Docs. Now those of us who have been using it for a while remember the Research tool which let you add citations to documents with footnotes. Google replaced the feature in 2016 with the Explore tool which includes the ability to add citations as well as pictures to items referenced in the document that were sourced online.

Fast forward to October 2020 and by now most of you will have a brand new citation tool available to you in Google Docs. This tool is much more robust and for all you language arts teachers, yes you can now use it to create proper bibliographies and not just footnote references. read more

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Screencasting Tips

A screencast is a video recording of your device’s screen. A screencast is a fantastic way to create instructional videos, short “How-Tos,” and share ideas. If you are looking for a free screencasting app, you may want to try Screencastify, Screencast-O-Matic, or Flipgrid Video Shorts.

When creating a screencast, educators want to hold students’ attention and foster understanding of the material. The following tips may help you create instructional screencasts:

Organize Your Thoughts

By creating an outline, storyboard, or complete script will save you time in the long run. Your explanation will be more concise and clear. As teachers, we always recommend our students to create an outline. Let’s follow our sage advice. read more

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Four New Features in Seesaw

In a post just over a year ago I recommended you take a look at Seesaw. Since then they have made some more improvements. Here I will list 4 of them for you.

Multiple URLs on the Canvas

Multiple URLs on the canvas makes using Seesaw to create choice boards super easy. Any object on the canvas can have a link applied to it. Just select the object and click the three dots menu and choose the link option.

Adding Videos

The second new feature is that you can now add a video to each page of the activity.  The video can be recorded using your webcam (up to 5 minutes) or uploaded from your computer (up to 500Mb in Size). read more

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Tame that wild Google Sheets data!

If you’re like me, you get some really messy data in Google Sheets. I have found some very easy ways to clean up this data and make your sheets look really nice. In this Tech Tip, I will focus on three topics – split columns, CONCAT and CONCATENATE, and removing text using the find and replace feature.

Before I get started, I do want to remind you that Google Sheets has TONS of help built in. Under the Help menu, click Function list and you will be taken to a searchable list of functions that are built-in to Sheets. For each function, there is the syntax and a link to learn even more.  read more

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