Thursday, April 26, 2018

Meet the NEW Gmail

Self-confession time...I like updates. Ok, more than like them, I love them...I need them...I search them out and am always the first to install them...IMMEDIATELY! Good news for anyone like me...The newest update is coming to your from Gmail. The interface has been pretty much the same for a LONG time, and it just got a facelift! Check out all the new goodies below!

Meet Your New Inbox:
1. If you have not gotten the new update, it is coming. If your account has access you will find it in the gear. Click the gear and choose “Try the new <domain> Mail”.

2. Let the page load and read all the new features, including choosing your view:
    1. Default: lots of white space, can open links/attachments without opening mail
    2. Comfortable: can’t open attachments, but fits more mail on a screen
    3. Compact: even more compact than “comfortable” setting

3. Don’t panic when it looks a little different….remember...we LOVE updates/facelifts!

New Features:
Add-Ons: Gmail has add-ons to make your email experience even better! Click the “+” icon and explore!


Task Integration: Create task lists and organize your life!


Google Keep: Digitize all those Post-Its and have quick access right from your email!


Calendar View: Take a look at what is going on without leaving your email!

Snooze: Set an email to “resend” itself (aka, show up in your inbox as new) at a later time/date! I really like this. It gives me a reminder of emails to deal with.


Smart Reply: This has been in mobile for a while, and I find myself using it more than I thought I would. Click the response and you can edit/add all you want.

There is even more. Check out Google’s Gmail Blog post for more information and updates!

Go to your inbox to see if you have access to the new Gmail. Give it a try. You can always go back to the “classic” by clicking the gear and clicking “Go back to classic <domain> Mail”.

If you want these directions in a document click Here!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Classroom Fun with Bitmoji

As teachers, we are always trying to grab our students’ attention. We create fun activities, engaging lessons, and try to make our time with students meaningful and connected. One way to do this is to put ourselves into our work. An easy way to do this is with Bitmojis. These are easy to use images of ourselves saying and doing everyday things the students can relate to. It is easy and fun (and a little warning here...addictive!). I find I use Bitmojis in many emails, presentations, social media posts, texts, messages...ok in EVERYTHING! Get started! Create your Bitmoji and start getting into your work today!

Create Your Bitmoji:
1. On your mobile device install the Bitmoji app.
  • Google Play
  • iTunes
  • Create a likeness of yourself (face, hair, eyes, wrinkles, hat, clothing, etc) 

Use Your Bitmoji:
1. You can share your Bitmoji with your mobile app. Just tap the image you want and choose what app to use it in. There are categories as well as a search option.

2. The easiest way to use your Bitmoji is to install the Bitmoji Chrome Extension. This will allow you to use your images right from your browser as well as within your email!

3. Click the extension and it opens.

4. Just drag the image right onto where you want it to be (Documents, Social Media, etc).

5. You can also use this extension within your Gmail.

6. Make your documents, posts, signs, or anything more FUN!

Bitmoji in the Classroom:
  • Student feedback
  • Enhance documents, forms, and any digital tool
  • Stickers! (print them on sticky address labels)
  • Add flare to presentations
  • Highlight directions or instructions
  • Use as an instructional hook
  • Comic book characters and digital storytelling
  • Digital badges
  • Avatars
  • Classroom signs
  • Booksnaps
  • Get creative and create your own images using Bitmojis and Google Drawing!

Notice: There are inappropriate images/language in some of the Bitmojis. Be aware of this with younger students.

If you want these directions in a document click Here!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Where’s Waldo in Google Maps

Well, Google never lets us down! Today is April 1st, and Google made Google Maps fun. This week you can search all over the globe (and other secret places) to find Waldo! Go to Google Maps and start having fun!

Find Waldo:
1. Go to or open the Google Maps app on your mobile device.
2. On the left side of your screen you will see Waldo waving to you!
3. Click on him to get started!

4. Follow the prompts to get playing.

5. You will go to 6 different location to find Waldo and his friends. See how many you can find!

6. You also earn badges for finding Waldo and his friends!

What are you waiting for? You only have this week to FIND WALDO!