Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Excellent Extension: Extensity

So if you are anything like me, any time you hear about a great Google Extension, you add it right away! You play with it, see how it works, and then you end up with a toolbar that looks like this: 

You have far too many extensions open, and you don't even use most of them! You can't even remember why you added them in the first place! And it is a pain to go into your settings and turn them on and off when needed. 

Well never fear, there is an awesome extension that can help keep your extensions organized, access your apps, and let you add them/take them off your toolbar with one simple click! This extension is called Extensity.  The icon is dark blue with a white circle (similar to a yin yang). When you click on the Extensity icon, you see a full list of all your extensions, then your apps. To remove an icon from your toolbar, simply click its name on the list, and it will immediately leave the toolbar. To add an icon to the toolbar, again a simple click on the name will bring it back. 

Add Extensity today, and let me know how you like it!

Until next time, 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Teaching the Drag and Drop in Google Drawings, or "Wait, you actually USE Drawings?"

One of the most under-utilized tool in the Google suite is Google Drawing. In my experience, most people who use Drawing use it out of necessity due to other Google tools not having the ability to create Word Art. However, Drawings has many classroom applications. Here is one of my favorite applications, which is also a way to practice all important "Drag and drop" functionality for online testing such as PARCC and Smarter Balanced.

To begin, create a Venn Diagram by using the Shape drop-down menu and selecting the Oval.

Click anywhere on the screen and drag the circle on the canvas until you have the size you want. The circle will default to a light blue filled color, but you can make it transparent if you prefer. You can add the second circle by going through the same process, but I find it easier to copy and paste the original circle, which ensures that the circles are the same size. 

From here, you may want to label the parts of your Venn Diagram. For example, the Venn diagram I created was used to compare plant and animal cells, so I placed different colored text boxes at the top of each sections of the Venn Diagram to differentiate between the sections. 

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Finally, use text boxes to place different word phrases around the Venn diagram. Each word should be it's own text box! I know this may seem tedious, but if all the words are in one text box, the whole box will drag along with the long list of words. This would obviously defeat the purpose. Below is the final product of my Plant vs. Animal cell Venn Diagram. I am also posting a link so you can make your own copy to use in your own class! 

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Until next time!