Monday, April 27, 2015

SMS - April 27, 2015

There was a lot of great information going around at SMS from Chrome Web Store Apps and Extensions and Google Add-ons in the English Department to Google Sites and Calendar.  WOW!

Google Classroom

Last week Google Classroom came out with some great new features such as allowing co-teaching rights and the abilities to create drafts of assignments.  They were highlighted in a blog 

Chrome Web Store Apps 

Chrome Web Store Apps are applications that you can run inside your browser.  They can include websites, games, photo editors, video players, etc.

A few apps spoken about today were:
  • DocHub - DocHub is a free online PDF editor that lets you view, edit and sign PDFs without leaving your browser. This editor allows you to also "white out" different parts of the document.
  • Edpuzzle - EDpuzzle empowers teachers to make any video your lesson by cropping a video, explain it with your own voice and embed quizzes at any time. If you use videos in the classroom, EDpuzzle is a must have. Take any video from YouTube, Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, etc. make it perfect for your classroom and more engaging for your students. Make any video a true lesson by making it to the point, personal and effective, plus get all the data about your students so you know if they truly understand the lesson.
  • Remind101 - Remind offers teachers a free, safe and simple way to instantly text students and parents. Teachers can send or schedule reminders, assignments, homework, assessments, or motivational messages directly to students' and parents' phones. Interactions are safe because phone numbers are kept private, and messages are sent with no open replies. Teachers, students and parents see mobile messages from all their classes in one place.
  • Micnote - Record voice while taking notes, embedding pictures, and syncing to Google Drive.  

Chrome Web Store Extensions

Chrome Web Store Extensions extend the functionality of Google Chrome and the websites being viewed in it.  For example, if you were using an extension like Awesome Screenshot Capture, Annotate and Share, it would carry through to all sites you were looking at and you would be able to screenshot, annotate and save these images to your Google Drive (or local drive if necessary).  

A few of the extensions spoken about today were:
  • Clearly - Clearly eliminates all distractions from your online reading experience, and even allows you to browse multi-page articles in one, seamless view.
  • Awesome Screenshot - Capture all or part of any web page. Add annotations, comments, blur sensitive info, and share with one-click uploads.
  • Speak it - Tired of reading? Select text you want to read and listen to it. SpeakIt converts text into speech so you no longer need to read. SpeakIt reads selected text using Text-to-Speech technology with language auto-detection. It can read text in more than 50 languages.
  • Screencastify - Screencastify is a simple video screen capture software (aka. screencast recorder) for Chrome. It is able to record all screen activity inside a tab, including audio. Just press record and the content of your tab is recorded. So you can easily create a screencast for video tutorials, record presentations etc. It also supports desktop capturing, allowing you to record anything on your screen (not just tabs).
  • Notable - View, annotate, share and collaborate your PDF files on Chrome. With Notable PDF, you can do more with your PDF files. 


Add-ons are tools you can install to bring more functionality to Docs, Forms, and Sheets. Examples of add-ons could include a document approval system, digital signature app, or mail-merge app.

Google Docs

  • Easy Bib - Allows you to easily create a bibliography for your research paper. Automatically cite books, journal articles, and websites just by entering in the titles or URLs. Format citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago style. Generate Bibliography, alphabetize citations and add them to the end of your paper.
  • Speech Recognition- Use speech recognition to write your Google Docs documents. Express yourself as you've never done. Be free from the keyboard and faster than ever.
  • Kaizena Mini - Highlight and speak your comments instead of typing. Track skills so students know what to improve. Avoid repeating yourself with quick links to any online resource.

Google Sheets

  • Save as a Doc - Convert any Google Sheets spreadsheet into a Google Document for improved legibility of lengthy cell text entered manually or through a Google Form submission. Basically, this will make Google Forms submissions readable!
    1. Choose "Save As Doc > Start." 
    2. Select the cells to include or choose "Select all data". 
    3. Enter a file output name. 
    4. Modify the output settings in the sidebar. 
    5. Choose Save as Doc.

  • Random Generator - This add-on will be at hand whenever you need a random set of data in your sheet.
  • Split Names - Click once to split full names to several columns with first, middle, last names, titles and/or post-nominal letters.
  • Remove Blank Rows - Got too many blank rows scattered in your sheet? Delete or hide them with 1 click.
  • Template Vault - Access a wide range of professionally developed spreadsheet templates and documents by to make your life easier.

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