One of the best ways to check for understanding is to ask a student to explain something. Why not ask students to add an audio explanation to something they have created using digital tools? A great tool for adding an audio explanation is the Chrome Extension Simple Audio Recorder. The extension records your voice and automatically saves the recording as an audio file.
After successful installation, a small pop-up will ask you to allow this extension to use your microphone. Then, a microphone will appear at the end of the omnibar when the extension is ready to use. To create a recording, click on the mic icon that lives at the end of the URL address bar. A small timer will appear to inform you of elapsed time. Click the mic again to end the recording and there will be a prompt that suggests you save your recording as an audio file. Choose where you would like to save the recording. Then, simply link the recording to whatever you want to explain. This YouTube video shows just how quick and easy it is to use. Audio recording is that simple!
How many times have you been working on a project and needed a bit of training in order to effectively use the digital tool?
Really? Me too!
Almost every single time.
And down the rabbit hole of learning I go with lots of lost time.
The folks at Google must have realized that and created the G Suite Training Extension for our Chrome browser. It offers simple, interactive training where you can learn and take action all at the same time. Adding the extension makes the training available within whatever Google App you are using. So, leaving the application to learn how to use it is never necessary. Continue reading
When note-taking for research, it is generally better to avoid highlighting, copying, and pasting. This makes it easier for students to report information in their own words while creating notes. At times, like when doing research, it helps to have a resource open on one half of the screen and a place for note-taking open on the other half. The note-taking half might be a tool like Google Keep, a Google Document, or a Google Slide. Tab Scissors and Tab Glue are great Chrome Extensions for such a task.
Tab Scissors is an organizational tool which splits one window into two smaller side-by-side windows. When creating a split screen with one click, all the tabs to the left of the selected one will remain on the left. The rest will move to the window on the right. Tab Glue brings the two split windows back together in one window.
URL shortening is a technique in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) can be made shorter and still direct users to the required page. It is especially helpful when posting a URL for people to enter because the web address is so much shorter, requiring less input, and provides for fewer mistakes. This is especially helpful when there are character limitations such as with Twitter. Shortening a URL helps students get logged on to the same page more quickly.
Take something long and unwieldy like this: https://www.lifewire.com/google-url-shortener-1616794
to this: https://goo.gl/CIXQ6X
One such URL shortener is Goo.gl (Goo.gl Chrome extension) This shortener provides analytics that will show you how many times the shortened URL has been used. It lets you create a QR code for any web link. Save time, save keystrokes, track interactions, use Goo.gl! Short! Sweet!
Diigo has a helpful Chrome extension which allows users to bookmark, then add digital highlights and interactive sticky notes to webpages and articles. Annotated items can be shared with other Diigo users and groups.
It allows users to collaborate and share what they are reading and notes users attach. The material can be accessed online, anywhere, using most any device. Both public and private groups can be created which allows for specificity in sharing. Items can also be tagged making it easy to search and find materials relating to a certain topic.
The Diigo Chrome extension is an exceptional tool for the classroom! Reading and research materials can be bookmarked, highlighted, annotated, and notes added. Web resources can be shared with the whole class or used for differentiating with small groups and individuals. Check out this video for an overview of its features.