Oh no! I forgot something in my template before I shared it!

A colleague of mine had to come up with a way to insert student names into a folder full of documents AFTER they had already been shared. She had no interest in opening 100 different documents one at a time, so we came up with a way to do it programmatically.

Becoming little while reading The Littles

In my language arts class we are currently reading The Littles by John Peterson. A fun way to involve my kids in the reading is to write our own stories as if we were small enough to live in walls. Plus we have the benefit of living in an age with 1-to-1 iPad programs. Technology allows us to go a step beyond creative writing. We can add a visual creativity to our stories with nothing more than Apple Pages. Here are some that my students made:

[su_slider source=”media: 1032,1037,1041″ link=”lightbox”]

The steps to create your own transparent images with Pages are very simple. You need to start with an image that has a mostly solid background. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but the more solid and better lit you start with, the better product you will end up with. There is a reason that studios have tons of lights and giant green screens! We usually aren’t that lucky in a classroom, so we have to make do. See my example below.

First, add the picture to your document by clicking on the + in the upper right corner:

Next, select the image and click on the paint brush icon. This will open some editing options. You want to chooose ‘Instant Alpha’.

You will need to select parts of the image to remove. Depending on the colors, you can do this little by little or in giant globs. The background that will become transparent will be shown in below as you can see below. Be careful not to remove any of your main image.

In the end you will have something like below. This can be placed on top of another image. TADA! You have superimposed an image on top of another.

 

Caption Creator for Google Drive

Creating captions for videos is a great way to create accessibility in your classroom. YouTube has a system that works very well for their videos. However, in Google Drive you don’t have this option. Melissa Oliver wanted a way for her students to write captions as they watched a video. We worked together to come up with this prototype.

Create subtitles for videos in your Drive and save the output into Google Docs to make shared videos more accessible to students.

bit.ly/captioncreatorforgoogledrive (Shout out to Melissa Oliver for the project idea!)

Email Summarizer

Create document summaries from Gmail labels. This is an apps script that I deployed as a web app. It allows you to create a daily trigger that will create a document based on labels in your Gmail. You just need to create a filter that applies a label to incoming emails. bit.ly/emailsummarizer (Thanks to Educator Alexander for the idea in our Google Innovator group!)

Import Data from Achieve3000 into a Google Sheet

I wanted to create a sidebar that would allow me to take one of the CSV files from Achieve 3000 and import the data that I need right into a Google Sheet. I am also going to be using this as part of the #GoogleEduOnAir event on Saturday, December 3rd.

What else do you want to track from A3K? There is a huge range of possibilities I can think of, but I would like to hear how others track data!

How do you track reading logs in your classes?

This is a joint effort between myself and the librarian at my school. She wanted a way to more easily recommend books to students, and this is the first result of our ideas. How can we improve upon the idea? What other tools can we incorporate to make it a more effective tool for engaging young readers?

In the interest of being completely open source, I am posting the code below. However, it is already out of date! The code will change significantly in the next few weeks as we try and get this project built in time to start the second term. Please feel free to give me a show on twitter for help/ideas/feedback.

ClassDojo Attendance Extension UPDATES!

I have made some updates to what my extension can do. The first update is that you no longer need to have the attendance screen open. You ONLY need to be in the class window. So you just need to put in your attendance and save. Then you are good to go!

The more important updates are that you can save your data into a spreadsheet on Google Sheets now!

There is a little bit of a setup that I will explain here.

First you need to create the sheet. This can be a brand new spreadsheet, or just create a new sheet inside an existing spreadsheet. Follow the format below:

spreadsheet-setup

Then you need to open the options menu:

open-options

Finally, select the spreadsheet with the file picker.

select-spreadsheet

You are now good to go! You can use the ‘Update Spreadsheet’ button inside the extension. This will grab the most current attendance information for the class you have open and post it into the spreadsheet.

This new feature will also grab the student’s current avatar and point information. I added these for a long-term goal of gamify-ing some of the tasks in my classroom. Since my students already love the avatars that they get from ClassDojo, I figured I would be able to use them for a more visual appeal to whatever gamification I add later.

How would you use ClassDojo avatars for gamification?

Google Innovator Dashboard

Add a little more functional information to your new tab pages.

[su_button url=”https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-innovator-dashboar/hfadelfcjkdfldjajgnlcakfnfecbpcg” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#f7294d” color=”#ffffff” size=”8″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: calendar-o” text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Install the extension here.[/su_button]

Wonder Wall for Google Sheets

Display responses from Google Forms in real time!

The idea sprung from a professional development meeting I was having on inquiry based learning (IBL). Several apps were discussed as ways for students to share their questions in real time. I immediately thought that using Google Forms and Sheets would be a great project. My friend Daniel Sharpe who I do a weekly hour of code with thought the same thing. So we devoted two hours to making it a deployed add-on in the add-on store.

Install the add-on from the Chrome Web Store!

Check out the project, and let us know how we can improve it!

After you have installed the add-on, the first step is to create a Google Form with the correct questions. You can create your own or make a copy below.

[su_button url=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ufeASeFlwc-cJhV16FHtzgc4A_mgNQn8kn8iDyBofqg/copy” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#f37c2d” color=”#ffffff” size=”8″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: users” text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Make a copy on your drive.[/su_button]

form-setupNext, create a spreadsheet for responses and open it. Once you have done that, all you need to do is open the add-on menu and run!

open

 

 

 

 

The page will update itself every 10 seconds with responses. We tried to make it look like Pinterest or Padlet style sites. However, neither of us is that great at CSS styling. So we used Bubble CSS for the text bubbles, and a codepen.io project for the columns.

Send some suggestions to @rheajt or @get_sharpe, and feel free to check out any of our other projects!