Brenham Tech Daily [BISDwired]

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

Fab Find Friday: Seeing AI App

Fab Find Friday: Seeing AI App


Last week at TCEA, we found out about a cool app. This app can do all kinds of cool things.

You can hold your phone over text, and it will read the text out loud. This is great for students who need to have text read out loud to them. It can read documents, too.

You can hold it over a bar-code to know what type of product you are looking at.

You can even hold the phone app over money to know the estimation of currency value.

One of the fun features is you can hold the app over a person to have an estimation of the age of a person. 

*The app is constantly getting new and other features to try out too.

Description of app from website-
"A free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text and objects"

Tech Tip Thursday: Social Media Image & Video Sizes 2019



Have you ever wanted the perfect Facebook header or Twitter header size?  Have you ever wondered how people get their family photos to fit in so well on their social media accounts?  Well, wait no longer!  The @BISDwiredTeam uses this Social Media Image Guide every year it comes out.  What's great about this guide is that it gets continually updated every year due to browsers, websites, and more changing the pixel sizes of their pages. 

Enjoy!

Reminder:  Are you using Google Drawings to make your posters, graphics, social media headers and/or profile pictures, etc?

As soon as you open a Google Drawing, go to <File>, click, scroll down to <Page Setup>, click, choose from the drop down: <Custom>, and change the unit of measurement to pixels.  Then you can change the size of your page to coordinate with the correct sizes from this infographic.   




attribution to makeawebsitehub.com
Link to infographic: https://goo.gl/qssw8L









WOW Wednesday: Wait... What's a Chrome Account?


Wait... What's a Chrome Account?
PC, Laptop, Desktop, ETC.... Not Chromebook (see further down for Chromebook Chrome account info)

Did you know that within the Chrome browser, you can simply switch between multiple accounts?  Whether you have a Chrome account for school, work, or personal use, you can access all your accounts from one browser window.

So? What's a Chrome account?  

A Chrome account is specific to the Chrome browser.  
If you have ever made a Google account for Gmail, or Google Drive, you have access to your Chrome account.  
Once you open up the Google Chrome browser, you will sign into your browser window using your Google Chrome account credentials.  If you have only ever used Gmail via your phone or other browsers like Firefox, Edge, or Safari, your email and password for Gmail are what you'll use to sign into your Chrome account via the Chrome browser.

Why should I sign into my Chrome account?

Signing into your Chrome account is important when using the Google Chrome browser because everything will be saved and stored on your account.

  • All of your search history and passwords will be saved to your account.
  • Save your bookmarks to your Chrome account for quick and easy access.
  • Your Google Chrome extensions will be saved to your Chrome account to help you navigate Google Chrome
  • Take your Google Chrome account ANYWHERE with you!  Log into your phone, and/or onto another computer utilizing your Chrome account to have access to all your history, passwords, bookmarks, extensions, etc.

What happens if I never sign into my Chrome account?

Please, don't think that you're the only one.  This happens to many folks including many of the teachers we work with on a daily basis.  Every 5 years, or so, our teachers switch to a new computer for classroom instruction.  When they get onto their new computers for the first time, and we have them sign into their Google Chrome accounts, they are sometimes surprised to not have any saved history, passwords, bookmarks, extensions, etc.

The REASON?

They never signed into their actual Chrome account on their old devices.  Meaning, nothing was ever saved.  Now yes, it might have saved to that specific browser on that one computer, but all that information was never saving to their Chrome account.  So be sure to ALWAYS sign in.

How can I tell that I'm signed in?

Once you open up your Chrome Browser and are prompted to sign into your Chrome Account, it's very easy to tell if you are currently signed in or not.
Go to the upper right-hand corner of your Chrome browser.
You should see your profile picture or icon.  Click on this and you'll see a drop-down menu with the current Chrome account you are signed into / syncing to.  Below this you will see all your other Chrome accounts.


Need to add a Chrome account?

Click on "Manage people" and add your other chrome accounts (such as a personal account, school account, collegiate account, etc.)

I need to switch to another Chrome account!

Go back to your Chrome account menu by clicking on your profile picture or icon in the upper-right hand corner.  Scroll down to another Chrome account, and click on this account.  

Whoa!  What just happened?

Yes, don't freak out, all that happened when you clicked on your other chrome account was a NEW WINDOW has opened with your other Chrome account now signed in.  All you bookmarks, history, signed-in accounts, passwords, extensions, and more are now syncing to this open Chrome account.
Don't Worry!
Your other Chrome account window is also still opened.  Look down at your task bar... both Chrome browser windows are still opened.
Are you done with this account?  Just click on the X in the upper right hand corner of this Chrome browser window and exit.

REMEMBER
Whatever Chrome account browser window you close out of last will be the first to open next time you open up a Chrome browser window again.

Scenario:

  • Currently I have open my work Chrome account.  I can access all my bookmarks, extensions, history, etc.
  • Ooops, I forgot that I need to send an email from my personal account and check my personal Twitter account.  
  • No worries, from my work Chrome account, I will click on my profile picture or icon in the upper right-hand corner of my browser window, scroll down to my personal Chrome account, click on it, and open my personal Chrome account browser window.  
  • From here I can access all my personal bookmarks, signed-in accounts, check my personal twitter, gmail, google drive, and utilize my personal extensions.  
  • When I'm finished, I can close this whole personal Chrome account window.
  • My work Chrome account window is still open, so I can continue working in my work account.
Switching between accounts this way will help you stay organized, and keep all your accounts separate without having to log in or out of your accounts like drive, gmail, or any other websites that need account credentials.  

I hope this helps!


Quick, Final Tip:

Needing to sign into your chrome account on a public computer?  Open up an INCOGNITO window under your Chrome Settings (3 vertical dots, upper right-hand corner of your Chrome browser window).  This will allow you to log into any accounts and or sites without having any of your accounts, passwords, or history saved.  Great for quickly checking your email.






























Tech Tip Tuesday: Shortcut to Make a Doc

Tech Tip Tuesday: Shortcut to Make a Doc

Last week, at TCEA, we learned something cool from Leslie Fisher. We learned a shortcut to make a Google Doc. 

How do you do this? 
1. In the Chrome Browser, open a new tab.
2. Type "doc.new" in the URL bar.
3. Then a new document will appear.


This saves time from having to go into your Drive, click new, and then click the type of application you want. Teachers and students can now save time.

*This will work with other Google Applications, too (sheets, slides, and forms).

These are the ones that I have tried:
doc.new
slides.new
forms.new
sheets.new


Must Know Monday - Smart Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

These tips can be used for your student as well. 


TCEA Tuesday - #TCEA19


It's that time of year again when the best in all areas of educational technology gather together for the annual TCEA convention (this year in San Antonio).  
Follow us on Twitter using #TCEA19, #TCEA, and #bisdwired to get all the latest updates throughout the week.  
And if you able to attend TCEA then stop by one of the sessions our team is presenting:

02/05/1912:00 PM - 12:50 PM190456Top Tech Tools for TeachersRoom 214C-Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center
02/05/1903:45 PM - 04:35 PM190595Amazing Digital Feedback and Assessment ToolsRoom 214C-Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center
02/06/1908:30 AM - 09:20 AM190574Be Fully Charged in Tech Strategies for ELLsRoom 214D-Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center
02/08/1908:00 AM - 08:50 AM190525#WeLead the Change: A Tech Mentoring InitiativeRoom 213-Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center

Must Know Monday: Get Ready to Learn at TCEA

Must Know Monday: Get Ready to Learn at TCEA
TCEA is here, and it is time to learn some new instructional technology. If you are headed to TCEA, be sure to collaborate with others, go to a session you normally would not go to, and try out that new tech tool you just learned about. 

It can be exhausting, so be sure to write down notes of everything you learn (presentation links are great to keep). 

I have only been here for two hours, and I have already learned about a website called Which One Doesn't Belong, and that yes, my camera can read QR codes (late to the party on that- thank you, Amanda D.). 

Come check out our presentations, too--

Fab Find Friday: Career Resources

Fab Find Friday: Career Resources


Our English III classes at Brenham High School were in the library last week doing research on careers for a paper they were about to write.


Mrs. Logan showed the students two informative websites/databases for career information. 

One of the websites was EBSCO Learning Express.
This website has a Career Exploration page (create a free account). Once in the Career Exploration page, you can learn about different careers. In addition, this website has amazing SAT, EOC, and other test prep, as well. If you have trouble finding it or accessing it, contact your school librarian.

The other awesome website was the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
This website lets you search for your career. Then it will tell you the median wage, the jobs offered in this career, and the path you will have to take. 

These are great resources for our students looking into their future career. 

Tech Tip Thursday: Getting Cheeky with Graphics


Getting Cheeky With Graphics

Whether it's creating a graphic organizer, a poster for a school function, a vocabulary card with a QR code, an invitation, a student created digital poster, a newsletter, or more... the @bisdwiredteam has you covered with some of our favorite tools we use to create dynamic graphics!  Check out some of the resources below that our team uses with creation of these graphics:

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Yes!  By far our favorite go-to tool when creating graphics, Google Drawings is incredibly easy to use for both educators and students.  Create graphics, infographics, templates, concept maps, logos, advertisements, posters, social media headers, and so much more!

Google Drawings is part of your G-Suite core apps.  Whenever I need to create a new graphic, I go straight to Google Drawings.  Bonus Tip:  Having trouble creating newsletters in Google Docs?  Switch over to Google Drawings, change the page layout size, and start creating your newsletter.  Much easier to overlay graphics, text, borders, pics, and more within a Google Drawing than a Google Doc.  Not sure what size your graphic needs to be?  No worries, use this social media graphic size site to set up the page layout of your Google Drawing.  Change the page set-up from inches, to pixels and voila! 


 Here are our Top 6 Google Drawing Hacks

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Another great tool for when you need to create graphics is Canva.  You have to pay for some templates, themes, and/or fonts on Canva, but many of their templates are free.  Great, neat looking templates where you just need to add your info and/or content, choose a font, and your done!




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ColorPick Eyedropper

This is such an awesome Google Chrome extension!  When enabled, this extension will allow you to find any 6 digit color code from any website.  You need to know the exact color codes of your school districts colors?  Want to know what colors your favorite website uses?  Use ColorPick Eyedropper to find out!    



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This neat chrome extension will allow you to highlight text on certain websites and tell you what text font it is.  Very cool tool when needing to find out what type of font your favorite websites chose to use.  Fontface Ninja is a browser extension that will let you inspect, try, bookmark, and buy fonts on any website.

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This website is great for getting some sweet font graphics for your website, project, poster, infographic, etc.  Go to cooltext.com, choose your text style, then choose your font for that text style.  Copy and paste into your website or straight into a Google Drawing.  Very easy to use and modify your text styles.  


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Bitmoji.com is a great site if you want to create a personal emoji!  These emojis can then be put directly into a Google Drawing, social media posts, etc.  Once you go to bitmoji.com, create your free account, and create your bitmoji, you can then also get the Chrome Extension, Gmail extension, and app for your phone.  I text my bitmoji to my friends all the time.  I especially enjoy responding back to emails using my bitmoji.

Customize your bitmoji to look exactly like you, and choose from hundreds of different outfits, designs, and various options.  Go get yours today!


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This website is a blast to use!!!  Upload any picture into Photofunia to turn it into a magazine cover, a billboard, a coffee table book, etc.  You can even type in a word and/or phrase and have that turned into a street sign, trail sign, cloud text, etc.  Best thing I can tell you about Photofunia is just to play around with it and check out all your options.  




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This last tool we wanted to share is called remove.bg.  This is an amazing website!  Upload an image and within 5 seconds it removes all the background.  Very easy to use and it's FREE!  Check it out!

Read our recent blog post all about this amazing tool!


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We hope you enjoyed all these great tools to help you and your students create exciting posters, graphics, infographics, projects, and so much more!


















The 5 "V's" For Building Positive Relationships With Your Students


The 5 "V's" For Building Positive Relationships With Your Students

The Super Bowl is here!  It's time to brush off that old playbook, and bust out a refreshed game plan!  

Building positive relationships and trust with your students during the school year will help ensure successful instruction, discipline, communication, and mediation with that student during both the good and bad moments of their educational journey throughout the year.

We have laid out a solid game plan for you with our list of 5 "V's" you can use to build positive relationships with your students.

Vent
  • Give students time to vent.  We all come to school with extra baggage, emotions, and frustrations.  Sit down with the student, get rid of any distractions (grading papers, or being on your phone) and truly listen to the student.  Allow them to open up to you, even if this means teaching them how to control their frustrations and discuss them in a calm manner.  We all want to be heard, sometimes we just need an educator to listen.  


Validation
  • Students don't just want validation, they need it.  Providing students validation teaches them empathy... something that is extremely difficult to teach students.  Providing validation at times will model empathy, build trust, and show that you care.  One of the best articles I've read recently was from Jennifer Gonzalez (@cultofpedagogy) via her blog, Cult Of Pedagogy.  She discussed, providing excellent examples, the "Magic of Validation".  Jennifer states in her post,
  • "Validation is the act of recognizing and affirming the feelings or perspective of another person. It’s acknowledging that these thoughts and feelings are true for that person. It’s a very simple, astoundingly fast way to make progress in a conversation: It eases tension, builds trust, and gets you and the other person to a solution more quickly."


Victories
  • True, in my opinion, not every child should get a ribbon.  But students still need minor victories to feel successful in school.  Whether that's celebrating their work, allowing moments to teach the class something, or tell about a recent story/success, give them a victory and let them feel accomplished.  In my class, we had a "cheer box" with cheers on laminated card stock.  Even my most difficult students couldn't pass up the opportunity of receiving a class cheer for answering a question right or following a procedure they finally conducted correctly.  I wrote about these class cheers in a blog post last February, here:




Valued
  • When building positive relationships with your students, remember that they need to feel valued.  Students need to feel as if they are a part of the school, they need to feel included, and they need to know that they are an integral part of the class.  Give them a class job, have students provide positive comments and feedback to each other (digitally or non-digitally).  Greet them at the door every morning with a smile and a greeting.  Tell them how happy you are that they are a part of your class.  Call on them during class instruction, listen to their thoughts and opinions, and make positive phone calls home acknowledging to their guardians that their child is valued in your class. 


Voice
  • Lastly, allow your students to have a voice!  Listen and let them talk when needed.  Give them voice and choice when it comes to their learning and engagement with digital and non-digital learning menus (Here's our recent Fortnite digital menu).  Allow them to talk, collaborate, and share in groups.  Students need to feel heard, be heard and have a voice in class discussions, decisions, and their education.  


Enjoy!

















Teaching Tip Tuesday: New Ways to Comment in Google Drive


New Ways to Comment in Google Drive

You can now comment on Google Drive files without having to open them in other apps.  The commenting abilities and organization options in Google Drive keep getting easier and more convenient.  Via your Google Drive, you can now quickly comment on image files, PDFs, animated GIF's and all your connected application files.  

Want to quickly comment on an image that is stored in your drive?  Click on the image in your Drive (basically preview mode), click on the comment icon (upper right-hand corner of screen), and highlight your image.  This works the same for a PDF and even animated GIFs:

Images in your Google Drive:


 PDF's in your Google Drive:


You can even comment on animated GIFs in your 
Google Drive:



Monday Motivation: 7 Teacher-Tested Hacks For Elementary Classrooms from @edutopia


7 Teacher-Tested Hacks For Elementary Classrooms from @edutopia

A couple days ago, while searching Twitter, I came across this awesome resource from my favorite team over at @edutopia!  Check out these awesome 7 Teacher-Tested Hacks that you can implement into your classroom right now!  

We also had a blog earlier this school year that discusses different ways to use lights in your classroom.  Check that blog post out right HERE.

Enjoy!!!


Fab Find Friday: Google Classroom Classwork Page Has an Update

Fab Find Friday: Google Classroom Classwork Page Has an Update
Google Classroom came out with another nice little add. You can now move assignments by dragging and dropping. This only works on the Classwork tab.


Click on an assignment, and drag it to a different topic or a different spot on the Classwork tab. This is great when students cannot find an assignment, you can quickly drag it to the top. 

It saves time, and it will keep your Classwork page more organized.



Teaching Tip Thursday - Student Videos using HypeType

Having students create their own videos for school projects is a great way to demonstrate how creative they can be. In ELA classes at Brenham JH, students were asked to create campaign ads as they "ran" for election for several positions such as Mayor, County Judge, Governor, etc. 

In a very clever campaign ad, one student, Avery, made great use of Hype Type in her video.  

Hype Type is an app that lets you design motion typography and incorporates into your videos. Open a video you want to use, double tap to add text to your screen, and choose the font style and color.   A simple, yet effective tool that you or your students can use on their phones.