Brenham Tech Daily [BISDwired]

Via the @BISDwiredTeam: Tom Spall, Brittni Branton, and Troy Kuhn

Friday Bonus: Tech Shopping Guide Interview with the BISD Technicians (UPDATED)

UPDATED for 2018: Right before Thanksgiving, we asked our technicians about shopping for technology over Black Friday. They had some awesome advice. 

Do you still need gifts for Christmas? Here is what they said when it comes to buying technology devices:

Fab Find Friday: Infinite New Tab

Fab Find Friday: Infinite New Tab

Have you tried the infinite new tab extension? I really like this extension because you can choose what your background picture is on the screen. 

Add, the extension from the Chrome Web Store or click here. Then when you open a new tab, you can click the three dots in the bottom right corner. 

Click background, my gallery, and click "browse" to upload pictures from your computer.

Now, you can see a picture of your family, dog, cat, or anything you want to see all throughout the day.

Tech Tip Thursday: Top 5 Tech Tips To Do Over Thanksgiving Break

Heading into this upcoming Thanksgiving break, we wanted to supply you with some great tips to help get you organized over break!  The provided infographic (below) has our Top 5 Tech Tips for you to do!  

Some extra ideas when cleaning up your Google Drive, Thanks to @brantontech, include:
  • Change folder colors
  • Make folders
    • Use “Uncategorized” folder if it doesn’t fit in another category
  • In “Shared with Me” make sure you have added it to YOUR Drive (Add to My Drive)
  • Use advanced search options
  • Use the preview eye to view docs quickly
  • View details for revisions and who it is shared with
  • Shift + Click to select more than one and move more than one file or doc

We hope that everyone will have an AWESOME Thanksgiving break!  We are incredibly thankful for the thousands of viewers that read, share, and continually enjoy our daily blog!  Please, feel free to email us at if you ever have a suggestion, tip, comment, and/or feedback.  The BISDwired Team is comprised of Troy Kuhn, Tom Spall, and Brittni Branton.  

Click Here to visit our BISDwired Website
Follow Us On Twitter: #bisdwired and @BISDwiredTeam

Tom Spall
Troy Kuhn
Brittni Branton

Web Tool Wednesday - Copy Formatting to Multiple Objects in Google Slides

G Suite is making it easier to copy formatting from one object (like a block of text or a shape) to multiple others in Google Slides. Previously, you could use the paint format tool to copy formatting from one object to another, but you’d need to reclick it every time you wanted to apply it to a new object. Now, you can simply double-click the tool icon to enter “persistent” mode and apply that formatting to multiple objects in a slide. Just re-click the icon or tap Escape on your keyboard to stop.

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Have Others Start a YouTube Video Exactly Where You Want

Have Others Start a YouTube Video Exactly Where You Want

While teaching others about one of Google Chromes newest additions (Picture in Picture.... Check it out, it's awesome!), we discovered another great tech tip on YouTube.  When you have a video open, right-click (Alt + Click on a touchpad) on the video to bring up your YouTube settings menu.  Within that menu is an option that will allow you to share a link to this video starting at the current point.  So, for example, if you are 19 minutes into a 58 minute video and you need to share this video with someone else, but you want them to start the video at this current point, share this link with them.  Great for sharing long videos, tutorials, or when you want someone to watch just a quick portion of a long video.


Must Know Monday: Make Your URLs Look Pretty

Must Know Monday: Make Your URLs Look Pretty

Making your URLs pretty is a simple trick that not a lot of people know or sometimes forget. Have you ever wanted to share a url link in email, on a doc, on a slide, or on a sheet? If so, you probably copy and pasted this long, not pretty looking URL.

No worries, you can fix that by highlighting words in your text and clicking the hyperlink button (broken paper clip).

You can also paste your long url in and highlight the url. Then click broken paper clip and change the text to display.

Fab Find Friday - STEM, Star Wars, and Kahoot

They had me at the mention of Star Wars. 

Explore a whole new galaxy of kahoots from Star Wars™!
Ready to hop on an exciting space journey together with your students? STEM, Star Wars and Kahoot! – all in one mix! Make STEM even more fun and engaging for learners with these awesome Star Wars kahoots. Together with Lucasfilm, Kahoot has created a collection of ready-to-play kahoots covering different topics in science, technology and trivia for grades 6-12.

There are several games to choose from and as always they can be played as Player vs Player or 
Team vs Team.  

Check it and remember and may the Force be with you. 

Tech Tip Thursday: Connect Your Tabs and Ranges in Google Sheets

Tech Tip Thursday: Connect Your Tabs and Ranges in Google Sheets

Thank you to Coach Roberts for helping me discover this great trick. Coach Roberts was working on a spreadsheet for her parents to sign up with Google Sheets, and then we discovered this awesome linking option.

How does it work?
When you want to link a range, tab, or cell, then you click on what you want to link first (the cell). Then you click on the hyperlink button (broken paper clip). Then where it says link, you can connect to the tabs in your Sheet or you can click "Select a range of cells to link" option. Then it will let you highlight the range you want to link. Click okay in the box to link.

This is helpful to link tabs, other cells, ranges, so students, parents, and colleagues can easily find tabs and ranges.

Web Tool Wednesday: Picture in Picture via @Google Chrome and @YouTube

Picture in Picture 
via @Google Chrome and @YouTube

With the new Chrome 70 build, you are now able to have a new video mode called, picture-in-picture.  This new mode will allow you to to overlay an online video onto your desktop, across multiple Google Chrome accounts, and while your flipping through your tabs.  

You can go check it out right now!  Go to YouTube, and find a video you'd like to watch.  Right-click on any video twice and click "Picture in Picture" from the context menu.  When this new mode is enabled, you will see an icon on the tab that indicates the video is now being played in the "picture in picture" mode.  The video overlay can be moved anywhere on the screen when you drag and drop.  Currently, YouTube supports this functionality, however, it's up to the developers to decide when to add it to their websites (facebook, twitter, and other locations where you have videos).  

This new function is great for having you or your students watch video tutorials while also working on the project, website, and/or application.  For example:  The other day I was trying to figure out how to create a table of contents within a Google Doc, so, I looked up a great tutorial on YouTube, enabled "picture in picture" and was able to work along with the video tutorial while working directly on my Google Document.  #MindBlown

This is also GREAT for anyone not able to have two monitors while working.  Now you can watch the video and work at the same time!

So, for review:

Find a YouTube video, right-click two times.  The first right-click brings up the YouTube video settings (which are actually VERY useful.... including the copy video URL at current time, and some sweet stats for nerds)

On the second right-click you get the Chrome Settings for the YouTube video

And Presto!!!!  You now have your very own "picture in picture" mode enabled!  Enjoy!!!

Click Here to visit our BISDwired Website
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Tom Spall
Troy Kuhn
Brittni Branton

Teaching Tip Tuesday - Google Timer

Sometimes you quickly need to display a timer in your class.  While there are many resources like Classroom Screen or even Youtube that offer such tools, there's an even quicker way if you need it. Simply type the word "timer" into your Google search followed by the amount of time you want.  A timer is displayed and automatically begins to countdown. 

It comes with an alarm and can go to full screen if desired. 

Motivational Monday: Motivational Quotes for Your Monday

Motivational Monday: Motivational Quotes for Your Monday

From: Dupe Aleru, Michael McFarland, John Villarreal, and David Schuler--

"Don't dim your light to make others comfortable." 

"You can control your attitude."

"You cannot lead without love."

"Everyone is allowed to fail."

"Don't be a thermometer; be a thermostat."

"There is always a way."

"Don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk."

Fab Find Friday - Scrible

As many students at my campus are researching for Science Fair or History Fair projects, I came across this tool that could be extremely useful in that process (or any research at any grade).  Scrible Toolbar is a Chrome extension that lets you highlight, bookmark, and take notes on the various websites that will be used as sources in your research.  
At the bottom of the page, once you enable the Chrome extension, you'll see a toolbar.

This is where you turn on the 4 different color highlighters or comment sticky notes. On the right sidebar

you can comment, share, tag, and gives you citation information.  All this information is saved and can be accessed either automatically in the Scrible website 

or add the Scrible Writer Docs add-on and you will have that information on the right side of your Google Doc. 

Citations and bibliography can be inserted into your Doc via the add-on.  You will need to create a free educational account with Scrible, but this can be done through your Google account. 
Scrible has taken what other add-ons have offered for research but added more layers to it.  You and your students should give it a try. 

Throwback Thursday- Don't Forget to Utilize KhanAcademy- Technology Teaching Tip Thursday: Using Khan Academy in Your Classroom

Throwback Thursday: Don't Forget to Utilize Khan Academy
We know that Khan Academy is amazing from core classes to AP classes. However, did you know there is SAT prep, personal finance prep, college admission prep, and Hour of Code?

Using Khan Academy in Your Classroom
I have had several teachers (Mrs. Fielding, Mrs. Markos, Mrs. Dismukes) tell me that they love to use Khan Academy. I had heard of Khan Academy a few years ago, and I thought they were a great resource for instructional videos. However, I never gave it another thought until this year when I heard my teachers talking about using it. Mrs. Fielding told me that her students use it for extra practice in Economics, Mrs. Markos said there was a lot of information out there for her AP classes, and Mrs. Dismukes and I dove in and found tons of math videos and practice.

Why use this?
*It is FREE
*It is extra practice
*It is an accurate, reliable resource for every grade level
*It works with Google Classroom
*There are tons of subjects-

How does it work?
This website can be used for extra practice. Anyone (parents, students) can go to this site and search for the topic that they want extra help on- DNA, solving quadratics, etc. There are practice problems, practice questions, and tutorial videos.

Teachers can even assign practices with Google Classroom, and they can track student progress.

Web Tool Wednesday: Create a Timeline with Flippity (@Flippitynet)

Create a Timeline with Flippity

Flippity is such an amazing tool for educators to use! is now up to 19 different activities for teachers to use in their classrooms.  Each activity template is a Google Sheet.  Easy to change, update, and add your own content.  If you haven't been using it, start now!  We've been blogging about this resource for years, check out our past blog posts here.

There are two brand new activities that have been added to including a Flippity Scavenger Hunt (which was duscussed in a recent blog post by Brittni Branton), and a Flippity Timeline.  This visual timeline is easy for students to edit and create.  Expanded and non-expanded view for condensing your timeline.  Embed a Google slideshow, add pictures and/or YouTube videos, and so much more.  Check out the instructions below: 

Want to Make Your Own Random Name Picker?

Step 1: Modify the Google Spreadsheet Template

  • Make a copy of this template. (You'll need to sign-in with your Google account.)
  • Edit the Names. Enter as many as you wish.
  • Label your roster by changing the name of the worksheet (at the bottom).
  • Do not edit any cell with a blue background.

Step 2: Publish Your Spreadsheet

  • Go to FilePublish to the Web…, then click Publish.

Step 3: Get Your Link

  • Click on the Get the Link Here tab of the template (at the bottom).
  • Click on the link to pick a random name, lineup, group, team, or seating arrangement.

Step 4: Bookmark and Share

  • Bookmark the page to find it again quickly.
The other activities include:
  • Flashcards
  • Quiz Show (a great version of a Jeopardy type game)
  • Random Name Picker
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Fun with Words
  • Timeline
  • Badge Tracker
  • Spelling Words
  • Typing Test
  • Crossword Puzzle 
  • Word Search
  • Bingo
  • Hangman
  • Progress Indicator
  • Memory Game
  • MadLibs
  • Mix and Match
  • Tournament Bracket