Buying Chromebooks next year? ORDER NOW!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

This is more of a PSA than an opinion or review. If you are a school who buys/leases Chromebooks every year go ahead and order them now! From vendors I’ve talked to there is a backlog of Chromeook orders waiting to be filled. In fact we ordered 10 replacement Chromebooks in November of 2020 and are still waiting on them on now at the start of February 2021. Continue reading “Buying Chromebooks next year? ORDER NOW!”

Social Media – Cautionary tales

Before I get into the meat of this story I just want to say that I am not condoning any action taken by any party. This is not the point of this post.

This post is just to talk about how anything that is posted online is not private, does not truly delete itself and can be easily copied and shared at a later date. Be careful! Continue reading “Social Media – Cautionary tales”

Royalty Free Images – Where to find them

If you are still using the old “copy and paste” method from random websites to add images to your blog, worksheets or websites then you should stop. It’s probably a violation of copyright but there are better and more legal ways.

People are paying more attention to where photos come from and what they are being used for. Basically, if you have done the old copy and paste you may have committed a copyright violation. đŸ˜¦ You can always try and ask for permission but those requests usually go ignored.

A problem before was where do you find these images? Where can you go to safely and confidently know that you are downloading an image that is safe to use?

You can always sign up for an image repository website like stockphoto.com, gettyimages.com or shutterstock.com. These sites have millions of photos and you can either purchase them individually or sign up for a subscription and just download away, but if you’re a teacher and are just looking for something fun to drop in the corner of a worksheet this seems a little over the top. Not to mention these sites can get expensive fast.

Luckily, there are sites out there that can help you with this little predicament. These sites offer royalty free images that are also free to download and use. As always be sure to check each individual photo for its licenses or restrictions. Some may allow for download and use but won’t let you modify it, some may let you do whatever you want to it but require attribution. At any rate, here are four sites that I like to use. Continue reading “Royalty Free Images – Where to find them”

Chromebook + Wacom tablet? Interesting

I am quite interested in this. I have seen some Chromebooks with touchscreens and even a few of those may have a stylus, but the quality of those Chromebooks may leave a little something to be desired.

Then I saw this article in Engadget that says Wacom now has a drawing tablet that works with Chromebooks – no drivers or software installation needed! If you’re not familiar with Wacom, they make some of the best drawing tablets in the world. They also have some entry level tablets too which is where the One by Wacom (lousy name) comes into play. Continue reading “Chromebook + Wacom tablet? Interesting”

Mote – Chrome Extension review

OK, it’s a weird name but it has a pretty cool function.

This is an extension you can add to Chrome and use on a variety of Google products to leave audio comments. If you mark up an essay or digital document, all too often students will just take a look at the score at the top of the first page and maybe leaf through the rest of their work and then stuff it in a folder, trashcan, or some other dark region never to give it another thought.

This is obviously a problem as feedback is a pretty crucial part of the teaching-learning process. mote allows you to record audio feedback and add it to Any type of Google document (Docs, Sheets, Slides) and it also allows you to add comments on Google Classroom as well. Continue reading “Mote – Chrome Extension review”

ChronoFlo timeline maker – Review

To check out my sample timeline click this link.

https://www.chronoflotimeline.com/timeline/shared/4076/IT-Babble-Rocks/

I have to admit I am a sucker for a good timeline maker. Way back in 2011 Omar Ghosn (the co-founder) and myself decided to review a bunch of timeline generators to find the best one (at the time). You can find all those articles here.

Sadly many of those are no longer (RIP Dipity and TimeGlider) but now there is a new contender:

ChronoFlo Timeline Maker

This review will take a look at this new site and see if it is worth your time.

Continue reading “ChronoFlo timeline maker – Review”

YouTube – How to make a playlist

This is pretty easy and certainly not a new topic but YouTube does change a bit over time so I thought I would put together this hand dandy little guide (with beautiful pics) to help you out.

Keep in mind you must be logged into YouTube in order to create your own playlists to share with your students or to to keep for your own teaching (or personal enjoyment) needs.

Why make a playlist

If you’re big into lesson/unit planning this is a great way to organize these resources and have them on hand year after year. It’ll save you a bunch of time so you won’t be scrambling around for the last minute. I’ve perused YouTube plenty of times, stumbled across a great video that would assist my class and just dropped it into a playlist and keep on perusing.

Continue reading “YouTube – How to make a playlist”

Funny spam comment

We use wordpress.com for IT Babble and have from the start. It’s solid, reliable and they block a bunch of spam comments from finding their way onto our posts. Every now and again I like to go in and just take a look at what these say and usually I can find some funny. ones (like the one above).

I’ve grabbed just the comment and pasted it below for easier reading.

Enjoy and happy Friday everyone.

Mic Tests!

We have some teachers who need to teach from home even though we are teaching in person. So I worked with them and worked out a solution with the devices we currently have on hand. The teachers will want to Zoom in to do their instruction so the students need to see and hear them and the teacher also needs to see and hear the students. Seeing isn’t too difficult with built in webcams but hearing the students is a different problem, so I tested a few mic options. In this test I test the following mics:

You can check out the results in the video below. I read the same description of a book around the room in a normal speaking voice to make sure the test is pretty fair. You can also check out Tony’s post about his Hi-Flex iPad option.

Continue reading “Mic Tests!”

Google Classroom and Multiple Accounts

There are a lot of people out there using the Google Classroom app. We have encouraged our parents to log into the app as their child. That way they can see what their kid sees and have a real understanding of what is happening in the classroom.

A question we have received is “What do I do if I have more than one child?” or “How can I view all of my children’s Google Classroom assignments and materials? These are good questions and while it is pretty easy, it may not be the most obvious thing. Continue reading “Google Classroom and Multiple Accounts”