Friday, December 21, 2018

Remove Image Background

So, you have that perfect picture but you really want to have a different background. For example, your students are studying landforms and you want to put a picture of them on the top of a mountain. If only you could take the object of the picture (your students) and put it on a different background. The good news, you CAN! There is an awesome (and free) website that can strip the background of any image away and make it transparent so you can overlay it on a new background. The curricular possibilities are endless! Give a try!

Remove the Background of an Image:
  1. Head over to
  2. Upload your image of the object you want the background removed.
  3. Make sure the object looks like you want and download the new image. Unfortunately, there are no editing tools to remove more/less. Hopefully, your image works well.

  4. Download the image and save it in a place you can easily find.

Add a New Background to the Image:
  1. Open up an image editing tool. If you are a G Suite user, use Google Drawing.
  2. Upload the background image you want into Drawing. You can search for backgrounds by clicking “Insert”, then “Image”, and choose “Search the Web”.

  3. Choose an image for the background and resize your canvas to fit.

  4. Upload your image you downloaded from on top of your new Drawing. Move it to the location you want and resize if needed.

  5. Click on File, Download As, and choose the format you want (I prefer PNG).

You have just transported the object of your image to a new location! Just think of all the curricular opportunities this offers!

If you want these steps in a document, click HERE!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Jamboard: Collaboration Tool

Teachers are always looking for ways to plan, brainstorm, and organize their ideas. These activities even get better when they are collaborative. Google has released their Jamboard with this in mind. Jamboard is a touchscreen monitor, but you do not need all that expensive hardware to use the tool. You can install the app from Google Play or iOS App Store on your mobile device or just go to Chrome and use the web-based platform. The mobile version does allow for more options and tools (and is a better experience) but the web version is still a great tool. The boards you make live in your Google Drive and can even be shared with others. The best part, these can be live collaborative projects! Give the mobile version or the web version a try and start planning!

Get Started:
  • If you have a mobile device, install the app:
  • If you are using Google Chrome go here:
    • You can also find the link in the Google Waffle as well as the “More” in Drive.

Jamboard Tools:
There is a lot that you can do with this tool without the expensive board. Give some of these activities a try.
  1. Create a new board:
    • Click the + icon
  2. Explore the tools on the left side:
    • Pen: used to draw lines and shapes with different styles (pen, marker, highlighter, brush
    • Erase: can be used as an eraser or clear the entire board
    • Colors: only a few to choose from, but makes choices easy!
    • Sticky Note: This is where it gets cool. Add notes, resize, rotate, and drag them anywhere you want.
  3. Add more “Boards”:
    • Do you want more room or pages to work? Add more! On the top there is a place to add more workspaces.
  4. Share this board with others!
    • Do this just like a Google file. Click the share button (web) 

    Mobile vs Web Version:

    There are differences between these two versions. The mobile version does everything the web version does, plus the following:
    • Allow for handwriting to turn into text
      • This is pretty cool. Write letters and they turn to written text if you choose the Aa button.

    • Allow for drawn shapes to be cleaned up
      • This takes hand-drawn images and “perfects” them into a clean drawing. This will happen if you have the shape tool turned on
    • Share Drive files
      • Any Drive file can be added to the board for collaboration.

    • Insert pictures
      • Images stored on the device as well as the camera can be inserted into the board.

    Whether you are using the mobile version or the web version, you will find many uses for Jamboard. Dig in, create a board, and explore all the possibilities!

    If you want these steps in a document click Here!

    Monday, December 17, 2018

    Holiday Google Assistant Fun

    ‘Tis the season…(I will save your ears and not sign to you). It is that time of year again. Time to spend days with families, battle holiday crowds, and enjoy some awesome Google Assistant fun! As always, the Google Assistant can make any time of year fun. All you need is the Google assistant app if it is not already on your phone (Android, iOS) and some time to sit back and enjoy! Enjoy some of these fun activities below. Just say "Ok Google" and then the phrase below each listing.

    Holiday Google Assistant Fun:

    • Give Santa a Call
      • This is one of my favorites! You will be asked some questions to help Santa create a song to suit your mood. Say: “Call Santa”Find Out What Santa is Up ToSay the phrase below to get updates on Santa’s activities.
        • “Where is Santa”

    • Joke Time!
      • Want to hear some seasonal humor? Give this a try!
        • “Tell Me a Christmas Joke”
        • “Tell Me a Santa Joke”

    • Dreidel Time!
      • Give this a try and make the Dreidel DIGITAL!
        • “Spin a Dreidel”

    • Tell Me a Holiday Story
      • Enjoy classic holiday short stories like The Snowy Day, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Swan Lake. Get started with "Hey Google, tell me a Christmas story".
        • “Tell me Twas the Night Before Christmas”
        • “Tell me a story about Christmas”
        • “Tell me a winter story”
        • “Tell me a story about Hanukkah”
        • “Tell Me a Hanukkah Story”

    • Holiday Chill
      • The holidays are stressful. With this Google Assistant app, Jack Frost is here to spread some holiday chill. Zen-out with a Jack Frost guided meditation session or relax with the sounds of winter and have a happy, healthy holiday.
        • “Talk to Holiday Chill”

    For other fun and useful activities that Google Assistant can do, check out this site! More Google Assistant Phrases

    If you want this post in a document, click Here!