Did you know Google Translate cannot only be used to translate your emails, documents, and random text?! Google can actually translate an entire webpage for you! Now you cannot say that THAT is not cool! Why is it so cool? Well, if you work with students and parents who prefer another language you can use Google Translate to send them a translated link of websites that you share with students or even to make a translated copy of your own website for them! Now how cool is that?! Check out how easy it is to do to! It literally takes less than a minute to do it! I'd even venture to say it takes seconds. Check it out in the video below!
Cheap, Cheapskate, etc... I prefer resourceful or frugal even, but yes I LOVE FREE! You know like in the cartoons when you have that character go "Ooooh shiny", that's me when I hear FREE! So I've been looking for resources and in my quest, I always lean towards being frugal and I have found some great resources that can be used in the classroom! So behold a list of some neat resources I have found thus far. Again as with my list of Chrome Extensions, this list will probably expand as I find and add more resources. Have fun looking at them and even more using them!
Science & Technology
Kids National Geographic
Lawrence Hall of Science
Interactive Periodic Table
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Words with Friends App
Power My Learning
Ok, confession, for loving technology I am often a late adopter of what are those "fad" type technologies. Twitter was one of them especially considering who and what was being tweeted on the news media outlets. I'll be perfectly honest and say were it not because my job required me to create a Twitter account, I never would have. My favorite Twitter quote was often "Tweet, tweet, twit...Twitter is for twits". Ok, so there is my disclaimer on Twitter.
That being said, since I need to use it for work purposes, I've been exploring and it can actually be a pretty useful tool if you make it one. You control what you "need" to see. That means the following:
1. Begin with the end in mind - My twitter account will only be used professionally
2. Only follow people that will help your professional growth
3. Use it to network with like-minded colleagues and associates
4. Tweet informative things you find on your Google searches (this includes RT - aka Re-Tweeting)
5. Get familiar with the # (hashtags) - they can really be your friend
6. Create great lists so you can organize your feed
If you're one of those that hates the thought of having a Twitter account, but feeling the pressure to get one professionally, the list above will greatly reduce your adversity to the thought. After initially creating my account it was easy to just feel bombarded and overwhelmed by all the tweets. That's when I started on #2 above and started deleting people that were just clogging up valuable screen real-estate. #5 & #6 are also great tools to prevent Twit...I mean tweet burnout. If you stick to these simple guidelines, your Twitter acceptance will go much smoother - I promise! To see my list and people I follow, click on the little Tweety bird above and check me out on Twitter!
I love learning, but I often run into issues of scheduling, costs, boredom, etc. So, aside from lots of reading, I find the below sites really great at picking up new skills or enhancing existing ones! A lot of these places even offer courses from top universities ---- and it's all FREE! Some of the sites do have some paid classes, but I have found they often do send out codes for anywhere up to 90% off certain courses and the selection is still pretty great. Happy learning!!
Open Education Database
I found the blog below with an extensive list of links broken down by subject.
What are Google Extensions you may ask? They're basically add-ons for Google Chrome and they are awesome! Think like apps for your browser. I've been sorting through a couple of them and here are some that you definitely should take for a test drive. (Note: This list may expand as new extensions are created and/or test driven by yours truly.)
Google URL Shortener - Shorten URL's with the click of a button! It even has a QR code generator!
Save to Google Drive - Save web content or screen captures directly to your Drive with a click of a button!
GMail Checker - Receive desktop notifications, read, listen, archive or delete emails with ease right where you are. No need to open your Gmail tab!
Send From Gmail - Share links via email with a click of a button!
Convert to PDF - Easily convert files to PDF.
Webpage Screenshot - Don't have SnagIt? Try Webpage Screenshot, it has the basic functionality of what you need. Or try Awesome Screenshot
Google Dictionary - Double click on any word in a webpage to see it's definition.
Office Editing - Tired of having to download Office docs from Drive to edit and then reload. Now you don't have to. Edit Office Docs from within Drive with this extension!
Extensity - Need a manager for all those great extensions you've added? Try Extensity to easily enable/disable extensions.
IE Pages in Chrome - Tired of needing to open up IE for certain websites and programs? Try this extension to enable Chrome to open up those pages & programs.
Explain & Send Screenshots - No SnagIt on your computer? Explain & Send lets you quickly take a screenshot and annotate it. It's SUPER Easy!
Introducing Google Apps For Education. What are they and who are they for? If you haven't already used them, they are pretty cool and make collaborating and sharing so much easier. Gone are the days of deleting old files to make space for new content. Gone are the days of searching for the latest and greatest revised version of a shared document. Gone are the days of attaching files to email only to be told the file is too large. With Google Drive you no longer have to worry about any of these things! It comes with UNLIMITED space...you got that?! UNLIMITED! That is not all though, when sharing in Drive you can choose who has editing and read-only rights and you can collaborate on a document simultaneously! How awesome is that?! Drive has built in features to create any document that you could create with Microsoft Office:
Word = Docs, Excel = Sheets, Powerpoint = Slides, InfoPath = Forms
If you haven't tried it yet, you don't know what you're missing. Check out online training at the Technology Training & Development website under Google: http://www.nisd.net/technology/training/.
Let me know if you want additional help with getting your Drive in gear!