First off just let me say I love GIFs, Giffy, GIF, GIF. So when I found the GIFit! Chrome extension I was like, THIS IS AMAZING! Using the GIFit! Chrome extension I can create a GIF from any YouTube video that I could then add to my website, a Google Doc, a Google Slide, Google Classroom, or any other resource that supports GIFs.
This GIF on this post was created using GIFit! and shows how to install the extension. If you need something a little more in-depth, I created a YouTube tutorial video that shows how the extension works and how to insert it into a Google Doc. You can find the video below.
Ever have too many homepages and/or too many tabs? Toby is a Chrome Extension that can help you manage your browser more efficiently! Toby allows you to create groups of tabs to open all at the same time. This is great for educators who have a group of websites they use to morning and/or afternoon routines.
You can also create categories to further organize your websites. This is a great website for those who are either super organized or need help getting organized. Watch the tutorial below to see how easy it is to setup Toby and get it working.
Often Chrome Extensions can either catergorized as either a great productivity tool or a button that makes something funny happen in my browser. Google's Santa Tracker attempts to be both. On one hand you can make a holiday scence appear on any website, but on the other hand you can learn about coding and world traditions.
Santa Tracker is perfect for just about any grade and can be a teacher driven or student driven activity.
I've had several requests so far this year on how to help students who need the ability to do voice to text on a device. In fact, I had so many requests I thought I would create a brief tutorial on how easy it is to do in Google Docs! So watch the video below to see how a learner or possibly yourself can use Voice Typing.
Nothing is worse than pulling up a YouTube video to show in front of a classroom and then having a very questionable ad starting playing. In fact, I know a few teachers that actually have nightmares about this very situation.
This whole situation can be bypassed if you use an adblocker extension, and the one I am demoing here is uBlock Origin. This is a extension that can be added to Google Chrome to stop ads from loading on videos and websites. In the video below you will see me comparing websites side-by-side to show how effective uBlock Origin can be!
So one of the best features for Chromebooks was the Webcam Capture tool in YouTube. Using the Webcam Capture tool students could film themselves with their Chromebooks and have it uploaded to YouTube. Unfortunately though Google is pulling the plug on this great service on January 16th! So the question is, what do we do now?
Well you don't have to worry, because I found a pretty good alternative. ClipChamp allows students to record up-to five minutes of webcam footage for free. This doesn't seem long, but normally it is more than enough for student projects. If the video needs to be longer, students can film multiple clips and put them together using several different methods, the YouTube video editor, they could put them together in a playlist, or have links to each video in a Google Doc or a ThingLink.
Watch the video above to see how easy it can be to do a ClipChamp webcam capture.
As more and more Chromebooks make their way into the classroom, many teachers are finding they have to find new resources to replace their old. Educators find that some of the good old websites simply do not work on newer technology. One of the areas hit pretty heavy is Science. I had a staff member looking for some resources to replace material they had that simply would no longer work on a Chromebook. So here are some great Science interactives & activities that have been tested and approved for Chromebooks.
Molecular Workbench is a amazing website that offers both educational & fun interactives and STEM activities. These are all HTML5 based, which means they can run on pretty much all devices. One of the other really neat features, is that the interactives can be embedded on your website. You can see an example of this below. This site offers some great resources that every Science teacher really needs to know about, especially since it is free!
Another science website, which I have covered before, you may enjoy is SpongeLab. You can set up classes and assign interactives, activities, and material directly to students for free. SpongeLab has everything from virtual dissections (frog, trout, worm) to building your very own nuclear power plant. In fact in contains 895 graphics & images, 251 games & simulations, 111 animations & video, 623 linked animations & video, 87 lessons plans, and 17 e-textbooks.
Here is one more bonus website, PhET Interactive Simulations from the University of Colorado. They have almost turned all their old downloadable simulations into HTML5 based ones. They have activities ranging from Elementary through College age.
Many of us tend to be creatures of habit and have a certain of websites we use constantly throughout the day. In fact, some of us may never leave these websites.
Well, time to make your life easier by learning how you can use Google Chrome to automatically open a certain set of websites every time it starts up.
One word of warning, on a iMac, Macbook Pro, or Macbook Air, this only works if Google Chrome has been fully closed by using 'Quit.'
Even though many of us would not like to admit it, once in a while we could use the font size on websites a tad (or alot) bigger. Using Google Chrome this can be done quickly and without messing up the webpage.
Watch the tutorial below to see how you can adjust font sizes for many websites to make your web browsing just a tad easier for not only yourself, but also for students with vision impairments.
This blog contains information on Google Apps, Chrome, Chromebooks, and anything else Google related!