Monday, December 15, 2014

Skype Translator Preview

Skype Translator gives you the ability to speak another language without learning one. Simply set up a Skype video or voice call with someone who speaks another language and start talking. Translator is currently available in English and Spanish. More languages are coming soon.

You can communicate between two classrooms and get a live translation during your call. This will allow amazing possibilities to break down the walls and allow students to become global learners.

Monday, December 8, 2014

GAFE Summit Montreal 2014

This weekend, I went to the Google Apps for Education Summit in Montreal, presented by Ed Tech Team. I walked away with a lot of ideas and resources to share.

Thumbs up to the team for all the resources and especially Tim Lee @AmplifiedIT for the great demos and chats. As well as Rushton Hurley @rushtonh for the presentations and next vista web site.

If you are interested in the actual presentation slides  click this link for more information.

This video shows how Chrome apps are installed and the way I organized them for you to get to them easily.

Here is the list of links and resources I got at the
Google Apps for Education Summit in Montreal 2014.

The Chrome Extension and Apps can only be installed and used if you are using a Chrome browser, they are not compatible with firefox or internet explorer. Keep in mind that Google App Extensions and Apps are not working yet on the Chrome Mobile App.

A Description of each link...

Chrome Apps Store

Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate
Allows you to take a picture of a site, not just what you see like a screen capture but the whole site and you can annotate and save your modifications.

This will check to see how many trackers are located on the site your visiting, trackers keep track of everything you click and look at, and build a portfolio to use for advertising or to push products you are interested in. You may expect Expedia to have 1 or 2 but it actually has 17 different trackers. Ghostery will list them for you and allow you to block them if you want.

One Tab
Allows you to collect a whole bunch of tabs that are open in your browser and squeeze them onto one page to share easily using either a QR code or link. This will allow you to make a list of sites to share with students and colleagues more easily. As a bonus it helps boost the speed of your browser since you don’t have to keep all your tabs open.

Project Naptha
This chrome plug-in allows you to take text from images, usually you cannot take text from an image but this plug-in acts like an OCR scanner and takes the content out of the picture.

This adds a text to speech to every page to visit, you can change the speed at which it reads, along with a whole bunch of languages it can read in as well.

PDF Mergy
Easily merge PDFs into one file, so you can easily print multiple PDFs or combine a bunch of PDFs to avoid having to open each file one by one.

Biodigital Human
A Detailed look at the human body, bone structure, blood vessels, organs…

Print Friendly & PDF
Allows you to print web pages more easily by allowing you to remove content, compress the text, remove images, great to save on paper.

Easy to use 3D Model maker that has loads of templates and can create 3D print files to use on our 3D Printer.

Google Dictionary
Adds a dictionary to your chrome browser, highlight a word you don’t know and you can click google dictionary to get a description, adjectives and even how to pronounce.

Clipboard History
Keeps a history of all your copied text, easily get back a copied piece of info you replaced by copying something else.

Google Chrome Apps

Daum Equation Editor
Allows you to build complex equations in a browser to use with different programs, you can save as text, image or straight to google drive.

Desmos Graphing Calculator
Add a full fledged graphing calculator for free to your browser, loads of graphs are already programmed. if you want you can also save your graphs if you have a google drive.

Individual web site

Next Vista for Learning
A curated list of resources and videos for learning, visit the resources page and get inspired page for some great videos to share with your class.

What do you love?
A great search tool that searches many different areas for what your looking for.

A great geography game that drops you in google street view somewhere in the world and you have to find out where you are, you can get points for being close to where you drop the pin on the map.

Smarty Pins
A Trivia game that ask you questions about places in a wide range locations around the globe, and you must guess where it is and drop a pin to win points.

A website that allows you to have a back channel during presentations or to interact as a group.

Digital Citizenship
The Lester B Pearson School Board Digital Citizenship program is great and will be a great resource once we get our official program going next year.

Wordsift takes a collection of words and will generate a word cloud ( an arrangement of words based on size that demonstrate how often they are used). Its great to see which words are used too much in a text or have students submit answers and see which one is the most popular.

Google Cultural Institute
A Collection of art, sculptures and places you can explore or examine in superb detail.
-Google Art Project
The Art Project is part of the Google Culture Institute is a collection of high res images of famous pieces of art that you can zoom in to great detail, you can even see the direction of the brush strokes.

Jam with Chrome
Allows you to join people together to produce music in a completely web based. The Instruments are played using a computer keyboard or mouse but could be a fun activity.

Audiotool is a web based music maker that allows to combine sound samples with modifiers and multiple tracks to create music.

A complete assessment portfolio system that is free to use and includes a place to put your documents, rubrics, share with parents so they see the progress. Visit the support page to get started.

Allows you to take any video on youtube, vimeo, khan academy,etc... edit it, add audio note and add questions for your students. Then share the new video to your students. Its also completely free.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tech Tips Nov 2014

Sorry for not sending the tech tips more regularly but I will now try to send them more often.

1. Noisli

A collection of Noises and atmosphere to help with Productivity, Relaxation and Concentration. If your more confortable working in a cafe with a small wood fire you can program it very easily using sliders. It could beneficial for yourself or your class. Make your class sound like a forest to change the atmosphere. Also available for iphone, ipad for 1.99.

2. Class Dojo
I have sent this website out before but it has really improved over the last year and added great functionality with ipad and iphone apps. Its a free classroom management system. I know Elisabeth Jean and Gabriel Maynard have used it with elementary and middle school with some good results. Each student gets a character that will get more or less points depending how they perform in the class. Not only is this a great visual effect to motivate students but also it keeps a record or their progress during the semester and could be helpful to learnign specialist or even to the parents to see how the student is performing.

3. I may have said this one before but you can use Google to have a quick timer just search:     timer     in the google search bar to have a programmable timer. Its great for showing time left on exams or orals, it can even have an alarm.

4. Build with Chrome, have students build landmarks, maybe even selwyn house on top of google earth using LEGOs. Its free and you can connect and share your work.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Livestream from mobile with Google Hangout

As you may or may not know Google Hangout has a cool feature know as Hangouts on Air, it allows you to broadcast your google hangouts to Youtube live and in realtime and save them afterwards. Now this is great but what if you wanted to broadcast a football game or an event far from any wifi. Well ios and Android devices cannot start a Hangout on Air but they can join one.

You need to be two to do this but you can start a google on air using a computer, have the person using a mobile join the conversation. Then simply click on them so they are fullscreen, you are now broadcasting live from a mobile. I am hoping that the feature will soon come to the mobile app but in the meantime this is a great work around. 

I did not make a video because Ronnie Bincer who has a youtube channel full of tips had already made a good example of what I am talking about.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Augmented Reality Project "Dragons"

Augmented Reality Project "Dragons"

We did a project in kindergarten that required the students to draw a dragon and write up a story. We then had the students come into our media studio to use the green screen. We then used Puppet pals an app on the iPad to animate the dragons and chose backgrounds. We edited everything using iMovie and added titles and sound effects.

At our Art Fair, I prepared 10 iPads with the app Aurasma, this allowed me to use the drawings the kids made originally as a sort of QR code trigger to show the movies on each drawing. You only need to create the trigger once and make it public and it will work on all the ipads.

I made a short making of video that shows all of these steps. If you want any additional information or have questions about how to do this in your school, just email me and I will be glad to help.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aurasma - Augmented Reality

Aurasma is a free service that works with iPads, iPhones and android devices. If allows you to create trigger images out of almost any picture. These trigger images can launch a web site or a video. These are called auras and you group them by channel on the Aurasma system.

Do give you a quick demo of how this looks

The only thing the users need to do is download Aurasma for free on their device. Then they need to follow the channel that is hosting your auras. The rest is automatic and easy to use.

The easiest way to create auras is to use an IOS or Android device and create your auras using the built-in wizard.


Remind101 is a great way to keep in touch with students and parents via text messaging. The service is free and works great to send school closing notifications, events or even send a reminder for an exam.

You can event schedule messages in advance. Take it for a spin, you will be surely impressed.

I recommend you make sure to check with your director or supervisor for permission to contact students in this fashion and see if it aligns with school policies.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Educade - Lesson Plans with Games

I found this cool web site that offers lesson plans for teachers that are gamed based and with Gamification becoming a big thing in education due to Minecraft and others. I thought this could help teachers build up a library of cool activities.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

360 degree Spheres

We have been experimenting with 360 degree Spheres to create a virtual tour of our school.

I used the free application on the itunes App Store called Sphere and purchased a small device from Motrr called Galileo this device only facilitates the process of creating the 3D spheres.

It can also do cool time lapse videos.

If you want to check out our school tour simply click on this link, we are still adding new locations so some pages are empty.

TED-Ed Clubs

A new initiative from the TED is for schools to built TED-Ed Clubs within their schools, the site provides guidelines on how to create small groups that have meaningful discussions. If you have a great talk from one of your students you can submit it to the TED ed Club site and that student could be invited to the TED ed Youth conference.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Padlet Blog/Web site creation

Padlet is a great platform to start creating Blogs or a simple Website, you can also choose to create a sharing platform for anyone to connect and contribute work, ideas, answers,etc... Its quite simple and powerful for education.

Padlet runs directly within the browser and does not need any additional installation.

You can also take your Padlet and get the iframe data to incorporate it directly in your school website, so the users can edit the page directly without needing much experience with HTML or complicated software.


October 2020 Tech Tips

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