Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to use the Research Tool in Google Docs

Did you know you can research directly in your Google Doc? 

First you must login to your Google account and create a Google document.  Next, on the tool bar, select 'Tools', then 'Research' , the Research window will appear on the right side.  Type the topic in the search bar, then you will get a drop down list on what to search for, as shown below.

Here are some examples of the types of search results given by each option.   

  • Everything - will perform a general search on the topic

  • Images -will perform an image search on the topic

  • Scholar - will perform a scholarly search on the topic

  • Quotes - will perform a quote search on the topic

  • Dictionary - will look up the term

  • Table - will perform a search on the topic and display it in a table format

In addition, to performing a search in a Google document, students can preview a website, insert a link, or cite a website.   
  • Preview mode:   will open a small window of the website in your document.
  • Insert Link:  will insert the link of the website into your document    
  • Cite: will insert the citation for the website you at the bottom of the Google document, similar to a footnote

Have your students try it!  It is very convenient and easy to use.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How To View Your Website on any Device?

Whether you are using a tablet, phone, e-reader, laptop or desktop, a website will display differently according to the screen resolution of the device.  By using, Screenfly, you can preview a website on a variety of screen resolutions.

Visit Screenfly, and simply type the URL address of the website.

Next, click on the device on the tool bar and the website will adjust accordingly.

It's that easy!  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quick Guide to Meograph - An Interactive Timeline Tool

Meograph is an online interactive tool that will allow you to create AWESOME timelines.  It is a powerful tool and it is FREE!  However, I highly recommend you create an account.

This past week, I taught 8th grade Social Studies students at the William Davies Middle School how to use Meograph for their project.  I taught this tool during one 80 minute class period.  During the lesson, the learning goal was:  "I" will be able to understand the use of the Meograph application.  The next visit was a follow up to reinforce the tool and to check on the student's progress.  The learning goal was: "I" will be able to organize information into Meograph.

First, I modeled the tool by going over many components of it such as:
  • Create a new Meograph
  • Title/Rename the Meograph
  • Create a cover page, that included an image and a narration with their name and class information
  • Add/Edit/Delete a Moment (which is an event)
  • Include an Introduction and a Conclusion for the Moment
  • Within the Moment, include the following fields:
    • Media - an image or video
    • Audio - narration
    • When - a date
    • Where - a location, which will include a Google Map
    • Text - a caption for the Media
    • Link - a URL address for a website
    • Label - gets populated when a Link is included
This information is shown in the image below:

You can add as many moments as necessary.  Meograph will automatically put the moments in chronological order.

Here is an  example of a completed moment as shown below.

One great feature is the video trim tool that is built into the application. When a video is included, it will give you the option to trim the video to highlight a specific part.  The only information you need to know is the start and end time of the part of the video you want to highlight.  When you play back the Meograph, only that part of the video will play.  A powerful feature!!   

In addition, Meograph, will allow you to share using embed code, share on social media, or by simply copying the URL address of the completed timeline.  

I would highly recommend this tool!  Meograph is a powerful timeline tool that is easy to learn, implement and share.  Instead of using Prezi or Excel to create timelines, try using Meograph, you will not regret it!. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to Boost your Blog Audience?

If you are looking for some ideas to blog about, here are 32 different types of blog entries that you may consider.  I found this information to be simple, helpful and yet to the point. To read more details about each item on the list, visit 32 Creative Types of Blog Posts You Can Write About. 

Another infographic listed below is 74 ways to title a blog post.  You can visit her website at TwelveSkip to find more helpful information about blogging.  These simple tips may help boost your audience! I hope you find it helpful!

Both of these blogs are written by +Pauline Cabrera.  

Windows 7 Tips

Thanks to the Network Administrator at the Hamilton Township School District, Anthony Poretto for providing staff with this Windows 7 Shortcut Keys snapshot.  I thought it would be helpful to share it on my blog.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

From My Classroom To Yours Conference

On March 12, 2014, I had the pleasure to be a presenter at the From My Classroom To Yours Conference at the Richard Stockton College in Pomona, NJ.  This was my first official time presenting and it was amazing!
Last summer, I applied to be a presenter of two sessions, Google This Google That and A Web Tool Smack Down.  I applied for two sessions, only thinking I would be approved for one.  Well, I was wrong, not only did I present for both of mine, I co-presented with Lead Learner and Principal, +Stephen Santilli, on Social Media, Branding vs Communications in the William Davies Middle School.

I was so excited to be apart of the +SRI & ETTC conference and to share my experiences with other educators, technology personal, etc in New Jersey.

My first session, Google This Google That was in a computer lab where every seat was taken.  I spoke about how Google apps can be used to help flip a classroom, allow for a green classroom, implement the use of scripts, and Google tips and tricks.  For example, I had the attendees complete an online quiz using a Google Form and demonstrate the use of Flubaroo on grading it.  The presentation took the entire session, which was an hour.  I was pleased to see people asking me questions and speaking to me about their issues after the session was over.

The next session, Social Media, Branding vs Communications at the William Davies Middle School, I co-presented with +Stephen Santilli.  It was amazing to be able to share our experiences with so many people! Steve explained how we brand our school using the school's name, logo, mascot, crest, and hashtag. He mentioned the influences of BrandEd, which is an educational channel found on BAM radio, that encourages schools to get involved with branding.  Of course, while branding, we are also communicating our messages too.

Next, I explained the implementation and workflow process of managing all of our social media platforms for the William Davies Middle School. In addition, we mentioned the acceptable use policy, positive feedback from parents and other community members, types of posts, the reach and results of using social media on a daily basis, especially during unforeseen incidents, (which was a factor a few times during the school year.) Basically our message was, by using social media and managing it carefully, our message is quickly and efficiently delivered to our school audience.  You can find our school on, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and Pinterest.  

In addition to this experience, Diane D'Amico from The Atlantic City Press newspaper watched our entire session and interviewed us afterwards.  She published an article in the newspaper about our topic.  I was completely shocked and amazed!   Here is the link to the article:  Stockton offers teachers a lesson in social media.

The final session I presented was, A Web Tool Smack Down.  It demonstrated the use of web tools and gave ideas on how to implement them into the classroom.

Overall, I am honored to have been apart of this day in the way I was. It was great to be able to see many of my peers such as Kyle Calderwood, Liz CalderwoodKate Baker, +Michelle Wendt, Frank Pileiro, Kevin Jarrett, Dave Hewitt and many more.  Plus, I finally got the chance to meet Faisal Youhari, the coordinator of the event.  Thank you Faisal and the +SRI & ETTC for accepting my application. I look forward to future presentations!

In addition, I would like to thank my Hamilton Township School District, +William Davies Middle School family +Stephen Santilli, +Joe Knopp+Lew Improta and +Leanna Mullen for their support. #WeAreDavies

Finally, I would like to thank my husband for being my "rock" and biggest supporter.  Thanks for putting up with me and listening to me.  You are the best and I love you!!!

Check out my new website I created just for this conference: The Tech Lady Express

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TTT - Google Finance

In Google Spreadsheets, you can use the GoogleFinance formula to obtain a stock price.  However, you need to know the stock symbol.

For example, create a Google Spreadsheet for Stocks and provide a list of stocks for your students to inquire about.  Allow your students to look up the stock symbol and enter the formula into the spreadsheet. Be sure you enter the stock symbol in quotes as shown below.

In this example, you are inquiring about the stock price for Google.  The stock symbol is GOOG which is enclosed in quotes.


Enjoy, this great function that Google Spreadsheet offers.  Lots of ideas for this formula, especially in  math class.

Monday, March 10, 2014

From My Classroom To Yours Conference - March 2014

I am happy to have been chosen to present at the annual From My Classroom To Yours conference at the Richard Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey on March 12, 2014.  Here are the sessions I will be presenting:

The first session that I will present is called 'Google This Google That'.  The description  is as follows: "Save a tree and use cloud based storage and applications.  Google offers many tools that will allow you to have a paperless and flipped classroom.  In this session, I will introduce some tools and scripts that will provide you with the power to go paperless!"

The next session I will be co-presenting with Mr. Steve Santilli, Lead Learner at the William Davies Middle School in Mays Landing, NJ, is called 'From Our School To Yours, The Use of Social Media: Communication vs Branding' .  This session will provide insight on how we manage our social media platforms for our staff, students, parents, community and in addition to branding our school.

My last session that I will present is called 'A Tech Tool Smack Down'. The description is as follows: "Are you confused on which tech tool to use with your students? Not sure how to implement it in your lessons? This session will present a list of commonly used tech tools and lesson ideas on implementing technology into your classroom."

I am very excited to be presenting.  This will be my first time "officially" presenting at a conference.  I co-presented with my Steve Santilli in November 2013 on Social Media, Communication vs Branding at Edcamp NJ in New Brunswick, NJ.  That conference is an "un-conference" where anyone who is attending can present on any topic they choose.  The sessions are posted during the event. It is very informal and a great conference to attend.

For the My Classroom To Yours conference, I applied to be a presenter in July 2013 and I was so excited to find out that both of my applications for my sessions were accepted. I am attaching my presentations to this blog. I hope you find them helpful.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: Flippity

Flippity is an online tool that works with Google Spreadsheets that will allow you to create digital flash cards. This tool is a simple and quick tool that will aid students in studying.

NOTE:  You can only use this tool with a Google Account using Google Spreadsheets.

The process:

  1. First, you must click on this link to copy the template to your drive
  2. Then you can rename the spreadsheet to the set name of the flashcards
  3. Modify the spreadsheet with your terms and answers
  4. Publish the spreadsheet
  5. Copy the link and Paste it on your website, etc.
Here is my keyboard shortcut flash cards: 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Google Apps Individual Qualification Exams

I am happy to announce that I passed all of my Google Apps exams, which awards me with a Google Apps Qualified Certification.  The next step is to apply to become a Google Certified Trainer.

The process:  I had to take five exams, 4 out of the 5 exams are required and 1 is an elective.  The required exams are Drive, Calendar, Gmail, and Sites. The last exam can be one of your choice.  I choose the Admin exam.

Once you purchase an exam, which is $15.00 per exam, you have 48 hours to complete it.  There are 60 multiple choice questions with a time limit of 90 minutes.  You have up to 3 months to complete all of the exams.  If you fail an exam, you must re-take it and pay for it again.  After you pass all of the exams, you have up to 1 year to apply for Google Certified Trainer status.  However, the training center accepts applications every quarter, so it is recommended that you check back often for updates. I will be waiting for the application process and its requirements.   For more information visit, Google Training Center.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Google Maps

Sixth grade students in Mrs. Conrad's science class, at the William Davies Middle School, used their Google Apps for Education account and the Google Maps app to complete an assignment called Duck Duck Go.  

In this assignment, the students used Google Maps to find the locations of where toy ducks washed ashore. The shipment of toy ducks started at Hong Kong, China and for some reason, the toy ducks were found washed ashore in different parts of the world in the early 1990's.  The task:  the students had to find the location's latitude and longitude coordinates and create a Google Map with these placemarks.

They discovered they needed to find the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of the locations first because when searching with whole numbers they were not able to find the correct location. For example, 57,168 is in Russia and 57.12514,168.251 is in the middle of the ocean.  

After we discovered this, the students needed to search for the city, state/county, right click on the placemark balloon, and select 'What's Here'.  This would provide them with the exact coordinates of the location.  

After they found the exact coordinates, they created a Google Map in their Google Apps for Education account.  I showed them the following features of this application:  
  • Name the map
  • Enter a map description
  • Search for the location using the exact coordinates
  • Add the location to the map. (placemark)
  • Customize the placemark icon
  • Insert a placemark title, description, and image
  • Navigate through the map using the zoom tools
  • Delete a placemark
  • Observe the placemark list
  • Delete the map
  • Navigate back to the map
Once I modeled the procedures on about 3 locations, the students were able to work independently to plot the rest of the locations.  Some students were even able to help others during the lesson.  

Before the lesson, I scanned the students on their prior knowledge about Google Maps.  Many only knew about using the direction feature on Google Maps. Some of the students knew about the street view feature, but really most of them did not know you can create customized maps.