Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Cast your Android device to your computer

Vysor is a program I like because it works with Android and iOS and has wired and wireless options.  Of course, what I like most is that there is a free option.  You are limited to the wired option in the free version, but I actually like that because it glitches less.  Plus you don't have to worry about the devices being on the same wifi network.  I also like that can use your computer mouse and keyboard to control your phone.  One thing to note is that you have to enable USB debugging on your phone.  Here is a quick article on how to do that. 

The free version will display a short ad every half hour or so. If you decide to upgrade, in addition to removing ads, you will get some other features that include fullscreen mode, drag and drop files and the ability to share your screen with someone with the link.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Problem-Attic Test Generator

Problem-Attic is a website that provides teachers with a database of questions from state and national assessments to create tests and worksheets. 

If you are looking for a bank of question from the NYS Regents, SAT, AP Exams or other state assessments, Problem-Attic might be what you are looking for.

The video below will give you a quick overview of what it is all about.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Why you want to check out Microsoft Search Coach

Search Coach is a tool I learned about last year and think it's a tool that everyone should be using.  We use search engines everyday and this tool teaches students how to form efficient search queries and evaluate their results.  What I really like is that the feedback that Search Coach gives you are tips that you can use on any search engine.   The video below gives you a quick overview of what it is.  Microsoft has also created some lessons that you can use with your students. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

How to create an email group in Gmail

Creating an email group in Gmail is a great way to easily email a group of people such as students, parents, clumb members, or deparment colleagues.  Here are the steps to create a group (mailing list) in Gmail as of 2023:

  • Navigate to contacts.google.com 
  • Check off the people you want in the group (a checkbox will appear when you hover over it)
  • Click the icon at the top of the page that looks like a tag (it will say "Mange Labels" when you hover over it) 
  • Click "Create label."
  • Type in the name you want to give the group.  I like to add in the school year as I might have another group with the same name the following year (such as 2022-2023 Parents or 2019-2020 Robotics Club).  Click "Save."
  • You will see your group on the left side under labels.
  • To add people to the group, you can repeat step 3 and select the name of the group to add more people.
  • To remove people from the group, click on the label and check of the people you want to remove.  Click on the label icon and uncheck the label.
  • Your contacts can be a part of multiple labels too.

You can now use the label to send emails to multiple people at once.  In Gmail, start typing in the name of the group and click on it when it appears. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

How to hide part of a picture in PowerPoint

Many of us use animations PowerPoint and Google Slides to strategically reveal specific information.  Usually, you would select the textbox or image, click on the animations tab and select the animation you want.  The trouble lies when you want to do something like hiding and revealing part of an image.  I made a quick video to show you the process I use for this.  (TLDR: use a shape to cover the part of the image you want to hide.)

As you choose your animations, I have some suggestions.  Don't overdo it; too many animations can be districting.  Along with that choose the right animation; you want it to emphasize key points not distract the kids.   Simple is better.


Monday, January 30, 2023

How to Convert Word to Google

You might be in a school that uses both Google and Microsoft or maybe you came from a Microsoft school and are now in a Google school.  Perhaps you downloaded some Microsoft documents and now want them as Google files.  Either way I made a short video to walk you through the process.
The short of it is that you can either convert files individually or set your Drive to automatically convert all documents to upload.  


Monday, January 23, 2023

Did you miss these top posts of 2022?

I always like looking back to see what posts people read the most.  It gives me a good idea of what things people are interested in.  In 2022 the three posts that were read the most were digital exit tickets, works cited, and google forms feedback.

Here's a brief summary of each and a link to read the whole post.

Digital Exit Tickets: 4 Ways to use digital exit tickets in your classroom

Creating an Easy Works Cited Page: 3 ways to create a works cited page

Individual Student Feedback: How to give individual feedback to students using Google Forms

Monday, January 16, 2023

5 Free Programs to create Screen recordings

If you are looking to make a screen recording, there are so many free programs about there that you can use.  Here are my top five.  They are roughly in order of my favorites (it's hard to pick a favorite!)  I've listed some features of each and will include links to more in depth tutorials on each. Let me know what your tool of choice is. 
  • Loom
    • web based and downloadable program
    • freemium (teachers can get the premium version for free)
    • camera and screen options
    • option to highlight cursor and annotate the screen
  • Screencastify
    • web based (extension for Chrome or Edge)
    • must have a Google account, option to connect to Google Classroom to accept video assignments
    • Free or paid options
    • 10 video limit for free version, 30 minutes per video
    • Ability to add interactive questions
    • option to annotate the screen, highlight the cursor and add stickers
    • camera and screen options
  • Powerpoint
    • desktop version only (paid)
    • unlimited time
    • no annotation options
  • Screencast -o- matic
    • web, tablet, and desktop versions (options to upgrade for premium features)
    • option for screenshots and annotations
    • 15 minute video limit
    • connects with variety of LMS
  • QuickTime
    • Mac only
    • Desktop only
    • option to connect iPhone or iPad to record that screen

Monday, January 9, 2023

6 Basic Formulas your Need in Excel

 I know not everyone loves Excel or Google Sheets as much as I do, but it's something that we use often.  Knowing these basic formulas will help you out and save you time as you do some basic analysis. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Ugh, break is over

 Well, it looks like break is over and we are back at school. It’s also a new calendar year, but if you are like me the year really starts when school starts. I’m not big on resolutions, but I do want to focus on sharing science resources with you more.

Hopefully, you’ll be hearing from me more so I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself. I’m a science and technology teacher. I have taught both middle school (7th and 8th grades) and high school (Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, and Technology). I also had a brief stint as an adjunct professor teaching at a community college.

I have an email list where I send a monthly recap of blog posts. If this is something you want to receive, you can sign up for my list here.

I hope that I can provide some tips and tricks that will help make your teaching a little bit easier (because we all know how hard it is).