Tony Vincent

Tony Vincent Follow

5th grade teacher sharing friendly tech tips and ideas

http://learninginhand.com/

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MysteryScience.com has become one of my favorite resources! It’s free for teachers to use this school year. The site has dozens of lessons and mini-lessons for each grade level. Every lesson has a video narrated by Doug. Doug loves science and uses photos and video to present a science mystery. Mystery Science videos pause for discussion opportunities. Lessons guide students through hands-on activities. The lessons are “open and go” as long as the teacher has the supplies ready. Mini-lessons do not require any supplies since they are answered without a hands-on activity.
Remove.bg is a free website that anyone can use without logging in. It works on desktop and mobile devices. Simply upload a photo where there is at least one person. Within about 5 seconds, Remove.bg’s artificial intelligence separates the people in the photo from the background. You can download the resulting image or drag and drop into a document.
CuePrompter.com is a free online teleprompter. There’s no login required–just type or paste your script. Click the Start Prompter button to enlarge the text on a black background. Click the Forward Button or press the spacebar to start and pause scrolling. Click a number at the top of the screen to adjust the speed.
If your Apple device is running iOS 12 or later, you can switch from entering text to moving the cursor by long pressing the spacebar. The keyboard will become blank to indicate that it is in trackpad mode. Drag your finger around the keyboard area to move the cursor. Lift your finger from the screen to return to keyboard mode.
I’m excited to once again offer my Classy Graphics online workshop. For a detailed description of the class and to register, go to learninginhand.com (my profile link). The class gathers in Google Classroom, and I post a new video each week for six weeks. The videos lead into optional assignments, all of which help you practice design skills while you make something you can put to good use. Classmates post their assignments so that everyone in the class can see their creations and provide feedback. The class will help you step up your graphics game on Instagram and in the classroom.
Go to andtheniwaslike.co in your computer’s web browser to make a moving selfie. You’ll need to give the site permission to access your webcam. Then be ready to record a quick video. Your video might be a reaction, an explanation, or encouragement. Click Record, and you’ve got three seconds to do your thing. You can choose to trim your video or start over. After trimming, click Save. You can copy the link, get the embed code, or download the animation.
Google keeps a log of every change to a Google document. The complete history of a document’s revisions can be found in the Version History. It’s reassuring to know that you can always retrieve a past version of a document. This is particularly handy if you would like the original version of a document. You can see what the document looked like before you made changes and get a copy of that the original version.
Point any web browser to brush.ninja. Yes, that’s a real URL. You won’t have to log in, so you can immediately get started drawing on the first frame. Then you duplicate the first frame and make minor changes. Then you duplicate and make changes again and again. When played in sequence, you’ve got yourself a basic animation. Brush Ninja has the option to adjust the frames per second, so you can change the speed of the animation. There is a limit of 50 frames. Click Export when done to save your creation as an animated GIF.
Google has set up some time-saving URLs. When typed into a web browser, these these URLs start new documents. For example, type doc.new into your browser’s address bar and a new Google Docs document will load. There are .new URLs for Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and Forms.
Color plays an important role in my social media posts and in the digital documents I design for students. I often get my colors from materialui.co/colors. It’s a simple page with a color palette full of shades, tones, and tints. These colors have been chosen by Google’s design team for the company’s Material Design aesthetic. Each time I click a color, its hex code is automatically copied. I can then go to Google Slides, Google Docs, Google Drawings, Keynote, PowerPoints, etc and paste the hex code to use as a custom background, fill, or text color. The colors give my documents a happy and modern feel. I like that the colors are different from the default colors.
Google Classroom’s To-do page gives students an overview of missing and upcoming assignments for all classes. Students access the To-do page by clicking the menu icon at the top-left corner of Google Classroom and selecting To-do. Additionally, clicking the Done tab lists assignments a student has turned in.
PurposeGames.com is a great place to find online labeling games. You can find activities like labeling continents, recognizing kitchen utensils, and identifying simple machines. And if you can’t find a game that exactly matches your needs, you can make your own! Simply upload an image, add and label hotspots, and publish your game. If you’re like me, you’ll end up using Pic Collage, Keynote, Google Slides, or PowerPoint to create and save your image before uploading to PurposeGames. To play a game, click the correct hotspot that corresponds to the label that is displayed at the top of the screen. Games can have an optional timer to encourage speed. Each game has its own URL, so you can get students to a specific game through a weblink or QR code. PurposeGames uses HTML5, which means it works on the desktop and on mobile. It’s not great on a small mobile phone screen, but it does work.