Brenham Tech Daily [BISDwired]

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

Teaching Tip Tuesday - The Teaching Channel

There are so many great resources out there for educators to find tips, encouragement, and solid classroom advice. One of those sites is called the Teaching Channel.  Check it out if you haven't ever or recently gone to it.  Some entries are short articles with video, some just video.  
Two of the most recent tips that could be used immediately:

Must Know Monday: Lunapic Website

Must Know Monday: Lunapic Website

The best thing about going to conferences, summits, workshops, or any kind of PD, is you usually snag a couple of good ideas, tips, or tricks. This weekend when I was talking to fellow teachers at the TXGoogle 2018 Summit, they were excited to share this Lunapic website. They were talking about one of the sessions that they went to, a presenter had mentioned Lunapic. 

What is Lunapic?
It is a free website that let’s you take a picture with a white background, and it turns the white background into a clear/png background.

How does it work?
1. Find the image’s URL link and copy it.

2. Paste in the URL on the Lunapic website and click go.

3. Go to File-Save As. Then save it as a png to have the transparent background.

*Check out all the other cool tools you can use to adjust your image.

Fab Find Friday: Pic Say App

Pic Say Chromebook App

Have you heard of the Pic Say app? This is a great app to use in the classroom, and it works great on our classroom Chromebooks. In the app, you can take any photo and add a speech bubble. This is great for historical figures throughout history, characters from books, and more!

How do you do it?

1. Open the app.

2. Click “Get Picture”

3. Upload image 

4. Add “sticker” to picture

5. Type in text in the balloon sticker

6. Click “export” to send or save picture.

*You can have students turn it in on Classroom and they could make comments on each other’s picture. Or, you can add it to Padlet or another platform.

*The possibilities are endless!

Tech Tip Thursday: Lock Cells in Sheets

Tech Tip Thursday: Locking Your Cells in Google Sheets

Have you ever shared a spreadsheet with a colleague, friend, parent, or student, and they messed up your columns or rows or changed up all the information or data? If we are honest, we all probably can think of that one time someone changed your spreadsheet. Most likely, it was probably a total accident, too.

Make sure you lock your rows, columns, and cells next time you create a spreadsheet! Then everyone can work in their assigned cell, row, or column.

Here’s how to do it-
1. Highlight your row or column or cell you want to protect.

2. Click on “Data” and “Protected Sheets and Ranges” from the menu on the top.

3. Title the data, and click “save permissions” and then check and uncheck who you want to be able to access that column. Click done to save changes.

You can do this for as many rows, columns, or cells that you want to.

WOW Wednesday: New Tech Gadget to Stay Safe! LYNQ from @lynq_me

WOW Wednesday
New Tech Gadget to Stay Safe!

Yes, almost every single one of our blog post integrates with education in one way or another.  However, sometimes we just like to share with you the latest and greatest tech gadgets whether they relate to education or not.

LYNQ, the newest tech gadget we've come across is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo by a company called, LynQ.  The approximate release date is November 2018. 

So what is this new tech gadget?  Their gadget, LYNQ, is a location tracker.  Here's a description from their website:
  • Location tracking even when cell phones fail
  • Real-time distance and direction. No phones, apps, maps, wifi, networks, or monthly fees.
  • Private and secure
  • Works globally
  • Connect up to 3-mile range

Keep your kids safe on vacations, trips, or even around the house.  As a community of educators, we always like to ensure the safety of our students even when they aren't at school.  This seems like a great way to do that.

Every day, technology is helping us more and more in all aspects of our lives.  Think of all the ways you could use LYNQ in education:

Feild Trips
Nature Walks
Scavenger Hunts

Here's a video from LYNQ that sums up their new gadget:

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Tag Standards in Quizizz

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Tag Standards in Quizizz

We all love Quizizz, and their updates keep getting better and better (like the option to have five answer choices and the option to add images for the answer choices). 

Now Quizizz has made their quizzes useful by adding the option to align questions with the curriculum. Quizizz now lets you tag standards to each question. Go back into your old Quizizzes and tag standards. Or, you can add standards when you create a brand new Quizizz.

Check out how easy it is to add standards to a question (image from's blog)-

After students take a Quizizz, teachers can instantly know what standards were missed. The reports show the standards, and principals and teachers will love the data reports.

Read more about this great update here.

Making It Happen Monday - 6 New Features for Quizzes in Google Forms

Google for Education has announced six new features for Quizzes in Google Forms based on from feedback from teachers over the past two years. They are:

1. Quiz answer suggestions: Forms can now predict the correct answer as you type the question, as well as provide options for wrong answers.

2. Autocomplete answers: After you type one answer, Forms will now propose related answers.

3. Automatically grade checkbox and multiple choice grid questions: Now, in checkbox grid and multiple choice grid-style questions, you can denote correct answers in the answer key, and completed quizzes are automatically assigned points based on answers,

4. Give decimal grades: You can give partial credit in Google Forms. If an answer is partially correct, you can give a half or quarter point.

5. Improve understanding with YouTube video feedback: You can now give customized feedback to students by attaching a video from YouTube.

6. See the total number of points in a quiz: Teachers told Google they would like a way to quickly reference the total number of points in a quiz as they’re editing. Now, there’s a tally of points at the top of the quiz that updates as you create or edit questions.

Fab Find Friday - Assign Random Names in Kahoot

You are trying to review for the end of the year tests and some student(s) try to ruin the fun by using inappropriate names when you are playing a Kahoot game.  Well for some time now, Kahoot has had the ability for you to eliminate that problem.  Though it's been around awhile, I've found many teachers aren't aware of the feature - Nickname Generator.  

When hosting a game in Classic mode, the nickname generator feature gives you the option to assign a random friendly and funny 2-word nickname to players such as Wise Turtle or Charming Cheetah. There are over 800 unique combinations available so no worries of running out of options. 

Here’s how you can turn it on:

  • Launch the Kahoot game you want to play.
  • In the lobby, toggle on the Nickname generator feature from the game options menu (it supports Classic mode).
  • Players will join at or in our app as usual. After entering the game PIN they have up to three tries to choose a nickname generated at random, before joining the game.

Time to VOTE Thursday: Doodle 4 Google National Finalists #doodle4google #google

Vote for the Finalists of this year's Doodle 4 Google Contest!

Many students, including some amazing Alton Elementary Students from Brenham ISD, entered pictures into this year's Doodle 4 Google Contest.  Even though we didn't have any of our students selected, we are still encouraging you to go vote for this year's Finalists!

Go HERE to cast your vote!  Cast your vote before May 18th, 2018 at 12:00 am PDT.

Web Tool Wednesday: EOY Google Classroom Clean Up

Web Tool Wednesday: EOY Google Classroom Clean Up

It is almost that time of year again! It is getting near the end of the year, and it is time to start cleaning up your Google Classroom for next year. 

What can you do to get your digital classroom ready?

*Archive your classes

*Return Student Work
#1- Frees up/Cleans up space in your Drive
#2- Students can edit assignments (like websites they created or resumes they made)

This screen will confirm that you want to return the work to the students.

*This semester, Mrs. Lynch and I helped the students create websites about themselves with resumes, experience, work, skills, and more. When the students turn it into classroom, then the teacher becomes the owner/editor. Students can view only, so this would be a good assignment to return to the student, so they can be editor again.

Teaching Tip Tuesday - Quizlet Live NOW with MUSIC

Try Quizlet Live with music!
Play Quizlet Live — now with music!
End this school year on a high note 🎶
Your next round of Quizlet Live is going to be even more fun thanks to new musical tracks and sound effects that add anticipation and energy to every part of the game!

Learn More

Want to hear the music? Just start a game as you normally would by choosing the Live button on any set with six or more terms.
If you'd rather play some rounds without music, you can easily turn this feature on and off via your in-game options.

Must Have Monday: Texting Story App

Must Have Monday: Texting Story App
This app has been one of my favorites this semester. Have you tried the Texting Story app? It is an app that is available on the Google Play Store and Apple Store. I have talked about iFake Text before. This site is fun to use, but if you want to expand on that, then try Texting Story. Texting Story let’s you create a story of texts, and then it makes it into a video that you can share.

Mrs. Ruiz showing students how the Texting Story app works.

We first tried it in Mrs. Ruiz’s classroom with her World History sophomore students, and they LOVED it. After learning about the French Revolution, Mrs. Ruiz had her students partner up and have a texting story between the Government and the Commoners. One student played the Government character and the other student played the Commoner character. The students were creative in how they would act if they were that character. 

Then we tried it in a finance lesson in Mr. Kenjura's classroom. It was a success there, too. 

However, these are the tips we learned-
*Have students write out what they are going to say on paper before typing it in app because it doesn’t delete anything you type.
*Show an example, but then let students be as creative as they want.
*Give plenty of time to finish it. It takes a while for students to come up with their texting conversation.

*We used this app on our Chromebooks through the Google Play Store!

How to use the app (download on Chromebook or iPad)-
1. Open app.
2. Clear story if there is a previous story written in app.
3. Click on settings to change the names in the texting story.
4. Click on name at the top right or left to change who is speaking.
5. Type texting story. Click right arrow to enter text in conversation.
6. When finished, click create story.
7. Share with teacher or classmates.

How can you use Texting Story?
*Have students create a conversation on what you just learned as an exit ticket.
*Have students pick two characters from a book to have a texting story in between each other.
*Have students listen to a texting story that you wrote on a concept that you want them to learn.

Here are some examples-

How would you use it?

Fab Five Friday -

There's really nothing fancy about digital flashcards.  It's one of those moving it from paper to digital format tools that is definitely on the lower end of Bloom's Taxonomy. But they are so useful in so many subjects that to not use them is missing out on an effective way for your students to study. So as we near the end of the year testing period, here are FIVE easy to use sites (besides great ones we have covered before like Flippity, Quizlet, and Study Stack) for making those digital flashcards:

    1. Braineos -  lets you not only create flashcards by signing in your Google account (or you can use another email), it also has a large database of pre-made flashcards on many subjects. 
    2. Brainscape - This site and app applies decades of cognitive science research to make higher end flashcards.  These are geared for secondary education and again you can log in with your Google account. 
    3. Flashcard Flash - Don't have time to make flashcards, then use this innovative search engine designed for finding publicly shared flashcards.
    4. GoConqr - GoConqr is a great site and app for creating not only flashcards, but quizzes as well (Sign in with Google again).
    5. Study Blue - Use this site to create flashcards from photos, audio, or notes. The mobile app is great for students to use on their phones to study. 

    Hope you find these useful and May the 4th be with you. 

    Tech Tip Thursday: Clear Out Your Browsing Data

    Tech Tip Thursday: Clear Out Your Browsing Data

    Have you cleared out your browsing data lately? If not, go into Chrome, and clear it out. I always see a difference in my Chrome web performance when I clear out my data.

    Here is one tip to help it run smoother:

    *Clear browsing data--

    1. In Chrome browser, click the three dots.
    2. Click "More Tools" from the drop down menu.
    3. Click "Clear Browsing Data" from this menu.
    4. Decide what you want to clear out.

    *I like the clear out from "All Time" option.