Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snagit for Chrome: Free and Easy Image Capture for Chrome

I have been a TechSmith Snagit and Camtasia user on my Mac for 2 years. I absolutely love these products. I use Snagit for image editing (it also does video screencasting) and Camtasia for all my screen captures and video editing. I was thrilled a few months ago when Snagit for Chrome was released. It allows Chrome users to capture images from a web site and download them as a PNG, all for free. The best past, these images go directly into a folder in your Google Drive. The Snagit Extension and Application (you will need to have both installed) have some basic editing tools (shapes, text, and callouts...all with colors to choose from). It works great within the Chrome Browser (yeah for all those Chromebook users) and the images are very easy to share. I use this often when creating screencasts, images, or help tutorials for teachers. 

Steps to how to capture with Snagit for Chrome:

Here is the Extension in Chrome. Click it to capture.

Capture lines will appear. Drag to select what you want to capture. 

This box appears. Now you can name it and start adding annotations, shapes, or callouts.

 Here are the colors you can choose from for all shapes and text.

Add Arrows, Boxes, Ovals, and Text in your choice of color.

Find your image in your TechSmith Folder and Share Away! 

Download the Snagit for Chrome Extension and Application and get Capturing!

Monday, February 17, 2014

DENSI 2014 Application

Well, it is off! My DENSI 2014 application is on its way to Discovery Education! I am now in that excited nervous waiting period. It is not too late for all those DEN STAR teachers out there! You have until March 24th to apply. Give it some thought! This is the best Ed Tech PD I have ever experienced. Need to know more about what the DEN Summer Institute is all about? See my DENSI 2013 blog post here (DENSI 2013 Reflection) or look at the links below. 

Important links:

Important Dates:

March 24 (8am ET): Applications are due
March 31 (by 6pm ET): Acceptance/waitlist notifications sentApril 4: Confirmations dueApril 7- July 10: Waitlisted applicants notified if openings occurJuly 11-12: PreConference for DEN Leadership Council membersJuly 13-18: DEN Summer InstituteJuly 19: #napchat for DENSI attendees

Here is my Video Application

Consider applying if you are a DEN STAR teacher (as long as you don't take my spot, that is!). It is an experience you will never forget!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Password Protect Google Forms

I know that Google Forms is a lifesaver for a classroom teacher. Forget grading all those pesky multiple choice, short answer, or matching quizzes. With Google Forms and the Flubaroo script they are graded for you. The problems...but...how do I post a link to these assessments and not have someone from 3 states away find it and take it, messing up my data? Hold on! Now there is a way to stop this! I know, now I have your attention! This is not the "end all" for password protecting, but it is a simple and effective way to do it. This will help keep those you don't want in your forms out. Check out the steps below and watch the screencast to see how this can be done.

Steps to Password Protect Google Forms Submissions:

  1. Create a new form (or edit an existing one)
  2. Add a question named "Password" as a text answer (first question)
  3. Click "Data Validation"
  4. Choose "Regular Expression" in first dropbox
  5. Choose "Matches" in second dropbox
  6. Enter your chosen password in third box with ^ at start and $ at end Example: ^password$
  7. Enter error text (what they will see if wrong password is entered) in fourth box
  8. Make this a required question.
  9. Click "Add Item" and choose "Page Break"
  10. Now continue with your form as you wish.

This works well and will help keep your data based on responders you really want accessing your forms. 

Need to see it in action? Check out the video below:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Class Badges: Online Rewards for Students

Admit it. We all like them. Badges! They are everywhere: on papers, shirts, folders, cars, and even online. Class Badges let you make student account to store earned badges for any teacher created even, assignment, action. Best of all, it costs nothing to create and send these inspiring trinkets to your students. Creating an awesome multi-paragraph writing sample and need to encourage them as they work? Create a badge for each paragraph rewarding success in that paragraph's purpose. When a student achieves the expected outcome, reward them the badge! Kids love it (and admit it, so do adults...I can't tell you how gratifying it is seeing all the badges I earn in a Moodle course...).   

So...what type of Class Badges could you use?
  • Completing a task 
  • Reaching a goal 
  • Reward for achievement 
  • Reward for behavior 
  • The possibilities are endless! 

The best part (aside from being free) is that once a badge is created, you can keep them for later. Each year you add your new class into your roster and start rewarding. All they have to do is log into their account and view earned badges. 

Class Badges is easy to use, and everyone loves getting rewards. These are like “virtual” stickers (and the sticky part never loses tack)!

Here is a sample of some class badges I made:

Log into www.classbadges.com and start rewarding!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Canva: Graphic Creation Tool

I use images all the time in class, and when creating blog posts, documents, videos, and presentations. With the focus on citing sources and the threat of copyright infringements, it is just better to make my own. I found a great (and best of all free) site that lets me do just that. Going to www.canva.comand creating an account allows users to make almost endless images with their templates and vast stock of text images. 

Creating Images:

Creating your own images is easy. After creating an account, you can get started. You can create images from the set templates to help if you like. Here are the sample templates they offer: 
  • Social Media
  • Presentation
  • Poster
  • Blog Graphic
  • Facebook Cover
  • Document
  • Card
  • Photo Collage
  • Business Card Invitation

These are great places to start, but each and every one is very customizable. After choosing a template, you can add layouts, images, text, backgrounds, and more. Images can be your own uploaded or selected from the stock images. There are a ton of stylish text boxes ranging from postage stamps, movie tickets, vintage signs, and many more. Almost everything you can imagine is available. You may be asking, “How is this free?” (like I did). There are some images that if you want to use them they cost $1. I have created a number of images and never needed a paid image (and don’t ever see having to do so). This is great for the teacher that wants to create professional images with boarders, style, and flair for free. Here are a couple samples I threw together in just minutes:

Here is a small sample of the text boxes available:

Quick images:

Give it a try at www.canva.com.