Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hour of Code is Coming Dec. 4-10, 2017. What will you be coding?

Computers are everywhere, changing every industry on the planet. It is up to us as educators to help prepare our students to meet the technology challenges of the future. If you've heard about the Hour of Code before, you might know it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code.

The Hour of Code 2017 is happening again this year, during Computer Science Education Week, December 4-10. What will your class do?

You may be saying to yourself...I don't know anything about computer science, how can I teach my kids this? Good news? There are so many wonderful opportunities out there that are student directed, that you do not need to know ANYTHING about computer science in order to give your students this opportunity. Below are some excellent resources for getting your kids excited about CS!

Hour of Code: The Hour of Code site from Code.org has many wonderful projects to get student started, including Minecraft, Star Wars, ​and Muana! My current favorite project to do with my students is coding the Google Logo!​

Code.org: Appropriate for Y5 through Middle School students. Provides four self directed courses, along with many other outstanding activities including Play Lab and Project Studio.

Made w/ Code by Google: ​Check out some amazing coding mentor videos and code some great beginner projects with Made w/ Code, including Wonder Woman.

For those of you that want to get into the Christmas spirit, check out these coding activities on the Google Santa Tracker.

Disney Hour of Code: Get started coding with some of your favorite Disney characters, including the new Moana, Star Wars, Anna and Elsa, and Big Hero 6.

CS First: Appropriate for 4th Grade through Middle School students. Start your own computer science club with the Computer Science First curriculum provided by Google. Learn more about this awesome opportunity here: http://ppstechtraining.blogspot.com/2015/11/google-computer-science-first-program.html

Khan Academy: Appropriate for our secondary students. Learn how to program drawings, animations, and games using JavaScript & ProcessingJS, or learn how to create webpages with HTML & CSS. You can share whatever you create, explore what others have created and learn from each other!

Scratch: Developed by MIT, this blockly programming site allows students to createtheir own programs. Scratch is a very popular programming site used both by CS First and Project Lead the Way.

Tynker: Appropriate for K-8th grade students. Explore the great Hour of Code activities on Tynker.

Do you have a favorite computer science tool to use with students? Please share!

Get started at http://hourofcode.com/us

Monday, November 13, 2017

Google Drive: Printing Multiple Docs at Once

Need to print this tip?  Click here for a printable version.

Although the need to print student documents has significantly decreased, there are still times when you want to print multiple student docs at one time.  For example, maybe you assigned a writing assignment in Google Classroom that you want to print for their writing folders.  You could go into each document individually and print it, but this can be a time consuming process.  Instead try using the app PDF Mergy to combine the documents into one PDF.  Then you only need to print one document. 

WARNING: Just because you can print lots of docs at once, doesn't mean you should!  Please use this tip with caution and save paper whenever possible!

To get started, you will need to go to the Chrome Web Store and add the app PDF Mergy. Once you have the app added to chrome, you are ready to go.

Find the documents you want to print.  

Here are some tips to finding the documents.

If You Assigned the Docs in Google Classroom
Go to the assignment in Google Classroom. Open the assignment so you see the thumbnails of all the students’ documents. Click on the folder icon. This will open the folder for that assignment in Google Drive.



If Students Share the Docs with You
Go into the Shared with Me section of your Google Drive and select the documents. If you need to search for the documents, you can narrow down your search by using the advanced search features. For example, if you know it is a Slides presentation, you can choose Presentation for the type, or if it is a Google Doc, you can choose Text Document. If it is a student’s document, choose Not owned by me for the Owner. If it was a document they turned in recently, choose Last 7 days for the modified date. Put the title of the document in the Has the words section. Then click the blue search button. This will narrow down your choices.

Select the Docs you want to Print

Once you have found your documents, you will need to select the ones you want to print. If you want to select them all, you can use the keyboard shortcut (ctrl+a), or you can click and drag to make a box around all the documents. If you only want to select a few, you can hold down the ctrl key while you click on the docs you want.

Open Docs with PDF Mergy

The next step is to open the docs with PDF Mergy.  To do this, right click on the selected documents.  Choose Open With and select PDF Mergy.  If this is the first time you are using PDF Mergy, you may need to give the program permission to access your files by clicking Allow.


PDF Mergy will open in a new tab.  After a moment or two, your files will appear in the tab.  Click and drag on the name of the files to reorder files, if needed.  You can also delete a file if you don't want it included by click on the trash can that appears when you hover over the file name. Once you have them in the order you want, click the Merge button.

The merge may take a couple minutes depending on the number of files. 
Once your files are merged, you will be asked to Save the document.  You can save it to your Computer or to your Google Drive.  Click the button for your preferred choice.  Name your file and click save.  Open the saved file - it will be in PDF format.  Print as normal.  Done!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Google Slides, Adding Start and Stop to Video

View Post as a Google Doc

Okay, so, you're using YouTube videos in your classroom and you’re wishing for a couple features…

  1. I wish there was a way to remove all the suggested videos and other distractions so my students could concentrate.
  2. I wish my students could watch a couple of videos in sequence in a self-paced manner.
  3. I wish I could show just a portion of a video, starting at one point and stopping at another.

Wishes answered!

Solution #1

Here are a couple of solutions for this first wish.

  1. Visit our tech tip on YouTube: A Gift and a Curse, and scroll down to option number two.
  2. Or...Embed your YouTube video into a Google Slide from the menu, Insert > Video.

Yep, that’s right! Put your YouTube, or Google Drive Video, into a Google Slide and the only distraction in the room will be that one bee that gets in the classroom that causes students to run and scream. Aahhh!

And, embedding your video in Google Slides leads us to…

Solution #2

There are a couple of methods you can use to help students self-pace through content.

  1. You can create a Google Slide with “buttons” that link from one slide to the next, like this one.
                Learn how to create your own, here or here.
  1. You can create something called a HyperDoc. Learn “What is a HyperDoc?

And, on to our last solution, again, using Google Slides.

Solution #3

Now, if you should want to use another solution to only show a portion of a video, no worries from me. I would recommend, Edpuzzle. (You can even add questions to this great tool!)

However, should you want to remain in Google Slides, then all you have to do is determine your start and stop and enter those into Video Options. Here’s how…

After you have inserted your video into Slides (Insert > Video), move your mouse over the video, select it, then right-click > Video Options.


I have previously determined that I want my video to start at 28 seconds from the start and end after 38 seconds. I enter those values into the “Start at:” and “End at:” and you’re DONE!

Note: You may also consider using the options to autoplay when presenting or to mute the audio by simply checking those boxes.

I say experiment! It can’t hurt...too much!

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This presentation has a couple videos with the start and stop set so you can see what it might look like.