A SPRINKLE OF TECHNOLOGY
Keeping in contact with parents is a necessity in the classroom, but most teachers do NOT want to give out their private number to parents or students who might contact them 24/7. So what's the solution? GOOGLE VOICE!
Google voice allows users to create a separate phone number to share with parents or students that will automatically ring to your personal cell phone or house phone. The best part is that the caller has NO IDEA what your actual personal phone number is!
Worried about receiving calls 24/7? Don't be! You can customize your settings to only receive calls when it is convenient for you! For example, adjust your settings to not accept calls on weekends or after 9pm on weeknights.
Here's how it works:
Parents call the provided Google phone number and the call is automatically forwarded to your cell phone. When the caller dials the number, he or she is asked to record a name before connecting with you.
When you answer the call, a recording is played that says, "You are receiving a call from ____________." You can choose to answer the call or send it straight to voicemail. The caller has NO IDEA whether you picked up the phone and parents will never see your private number!
My favorite part? You can even create a phone number with a specific word or phrase for easy sharing! For example, if your last name is "Jones" you could search for a phone number that contains "Jones" such as 1-555-55-JONES (1-555-555-6637). (Numbers are subject to availability.)
Want more information? Check out the link below to find out how to set up your own Google Voice number!
Have you ever wondered how many emails are sent worldwide in a day? How about how many tweets are posted every second? If so, then Internet Live Stats might be a site that interests you.
Through Internet Live Stats users can watch the Internet grow in real time while monitoring social media usage such as worldwide internet users, Google searches, Facebook and Instagram posts, and more!
Go to www.internetlivestats.com/ and prepare to be amazed!
Want to see how many YouTube videos are viewed every SECOND? Click the link in 1 second and start scrolling!
This site definitely helps put the world's technology usage in perspective for adults and students. The in 1 second option gives users a fantastic visual of the actual usage rather than only a large number that many students, young and old, would find impossible to comprehend. This site could jump start great discussions with students and could even be used as a topic for a writing prompt.
How would YOU use this site in the classroom? Leave a comment below!
For many of us, it's important to know what is happening in the world and, typically, news worthy = lots of Google searches.
Google Hot Trends is a handy visual that displays the latest news trends based on Google searches. If you see a trend and you would like more information, just click the link and a Google search page with related articles will open in a new tab.
To access Google Hot Trends go to https://www.google.com/trends/hottrends/visualize. The site will default to showing one trend at a time. To change this, hover your mouse in the top left hand side of the screen until you see a 3x3 grid.
Then, hover over the grid and highlight the number of trends you would like to see at once.
A really cool feature of Hot Trends is that users can search trends in different countries or regions of the world! I LOVE this feature for the Social Studies classroom! If you are studying a specific region, pull up the Hot Trends in that region and have a class discussion. Compare the trends in that region to the trends in the United States. To change the region, look for the link at the bottom left-hand side of the screen. Trends will default to All Regions until you change it.
If you plan to use Hot Trends regularly, I would recommend bookmarking it for easy access later.
As teachers, we have all struggled to keep our classroom noise level in check at one time or another. Bouncy Balls is a FREE and FUN way to monitor classroom noise and it is guaranteed to make you and your students smile!
This website activates your microphone to detect noise levels in the classroom. The louder the noise, the quicker and higher the balls on the screen will bounce! If the noise level is low, the balls will mainly stay still. You can even adjust the sensitivity of the microphone depending on the level of noise you would like for a specific activity!
This website is very easy to use. Just go to www.bouncyballs.org and click BEGIN BOUNCING!
Be sure to turn your microphone on or the balls will not bounce! If the microphone icon has a line across it, just click it to turn it on.
Adjust the settings and that's all there is to it! You can even change the balls to emojis, bubbles, or eyeballs! KIDS WILL LOVE IT!
Use this tool as students work in pairs, groups or independently! Do you have any cool ideas for how to use it? Leave a comment below!
When I was in the classroom, I used Discovery Education weekly. It is a fantastic resource for finding all types of media to use in your classroom - NOT JUST VIDEOS! You can search for encyclopedia articles, videos, images, quizzes, teacher guides, virtual bulletin boards, and more!
One of my favorite features of DE is the ability to search media specifically by TEKS!
First, log in to Discovery Education. If you need help logging in to your DE account, please contact me! I'm happy to help!
Once you are in, you can always search for media based on a keyword such as weather or planets by typing the keyword or phrase in the search box. BUT, if you click the Curriculum Standards Search link under the search box you can actually bring up pieces of media for specific TEKS!
Select your state, standards, document, subject, and grade level.
All of the TEKS for that content and grade level will appear. Click on the "+" next to each strand in order to see specific Student Expectations (SE). If a SE is hyperlinked, that means there are pieces of media attached to it! Just click the link to see the media!
Are you looking for something specific? Maybe you only want to see images or encyclopedia articles? Narrow your results by media type in the menu to the left of the search results.
Click on a result to view, download, or find more information. That's all there is to it!
Most teachers, at some point, have shown a YouTube video in class. YouTube always made me a little nervous as a teacher because while the video I was showing was totally appropriate, the ads, icons on the side, and the recommended videos at the end of the finished video were NOT always student friendly. A very EASY and FREE solution is ViewPure!
ViewPure is a free website that allows users to watch any YouTube video without the comments, ads, or any other distractions. All you have to do is go to YouTube and copy the video's URL. Then, go to ViewPure, paste the video's URL and BINGO - a totally pure view of the video!
Video Playing on YouTube
Same Video on ViewPure
And my FAVORITE feature? Check out what happens when the video is over! View Pure just shows a screenshot of the video and no recommendations! I LOVE THIS!
We've all had the experience of visiting a website only to find that the site doesn't load. Typically, we immediately reload the page and hope for the best. When it STILL doesn't load properly, instead of freaking out, you can find out if the site is really down OR if it's just you!
When you're having trouble with a site, go to Down for Everyone or Just Me?, enter the troublesome URL, and see if others people around the world are having trouble accessing the site as well.
The site will determine if the site is actually down or if the problem is on your end.
Who doesn't love emojis? They are an easy way to add a little bit of fun and humor to a conversation. Now, you can quickly create a personalized emoji of yourself FOR FREE using the Bitmoji extension! Just download the Bitmoji extension, connect your Google account, and create your personalized emoji! #EasyPeasy
You can edit your emoji anytime and there is a large variety of images for all occasions and emotions!
You can use the emojis in Gmail and in Google Docs. Once you are in Gmail, compose a message and you will see the emoji icon on the bottom tool bar. Just click the emoji that you would like to use and it will automatically be added to your message!
To use the emojis in Google Docs open the Doc, click the extension, and drag the emoji into your document!
What a fun way to communicate or respond to student work!
I am NOTORIOUS for leaving my phone at home...AND leaving it on silent...AND losing it. Most of my friends and family know this about me and, thankfully, they love me anyway. However, thanks to a VERY handy app called Pushbullet, things have changed!
Pushbullet allows users to send and receive text messages directly to their computer! In other words, if I leave my phone at home, I can still receive (and send!) text messages from my desktop - even though my phone is 30 miles away!
If you would like to pair an Android phone with a Windows computer OR an iPhone with a MAC, Pushbullet will work for you. However, if you would like to pair an iPhone with a Windows computer, as of right now, Pushbullet will not work. Hopefully they will be able to offer this soon because I know many of you have an iPhone and a Windows computer! Again:
Andriod + Windows = WILL WORK
iPhone + MAC = WILL WORK
iPhone + Windows = WILL NOT WORK
For Pushbullet to work, first download the app to your phone.
After the app is downloaded you will need to sign-in using your Gmail or Facebook. Be sure to sign in with the SAME Google account on both the app and extension!
Next, you need to enable your phone's notifications to be sent to your computer. Click Enable.
Then, select Pushbullet to give the app access to your notifications.
Finally, enable the text feature from your computer or tablet.
Now, just download the extension on your desktop, sign in with the SAME Gmail address as the app and your done!
I LOVE IT!
Have you ever accidentally left the caps lock on while typing a document? Would you like to convert a sentence, paragraph, or entire document from CAP LOCKS or another case?
DO NOT start all over - just use CONVERT CASE!
Easily convert text from different cases including lower case, UPPER CASE, Sentence case, Capitalized Case, and even aLtErNaTiNg CaSE!
I am a teacher, Digital Learning Specialist, presenter, wife, mom, Google nerd, and life long learner. I am dedicated to finding and sharing easy, quick, and engaging resources for use in every classroom!