Better Searching – Google Drive

Have you noticed that the search options in Google Drive have changed, and by changed I mean greatly improved?! I’m excited to be able to search by owner, and to be able to specify if a search term can be found in the title, or in the content of the file. Check it out when you have a chance. Click on all the drop down arrows to see all the options. To access the search options, click on the arrow beside the search box in Drive.

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Hour of Code 2015

Hour of Code is an annual event, and part of Computer Science Education Week from December 7 – 13, 2015.

Participate in Hour of Code whether you’re an adult or a child. Today (Friday, December 4) is the last day to sign up to win prizes for yourself, classroom or school. Don’t be intimidated even if you’ve never done any programming before. There are a number of resources that you can use. The platforms mentioned are available all year round but many of them have put on special activities for hour of code. Even if you participated in Hour of Code last year, there are a bunch of new and exciting tools that you can use. For example, Code Studio has recently added in an activity where you can code through Minecraft. There are also two Star Wars options where you can build a galaxy with code!

For all ages

Lower Elementary

Upper elementary (Grades 3+)

In Apple stores in the US, and around the world, people aged 6 and over can participate in an Hour of Code event in person. See the schedule here.

Interested in learning more about Hour of Code from a teacher’s perspective? Check out this webinar from Brainpop. Many of their computer science resources are free this week.

How to “Read” an ePub File


ePub is a standard for books published online. It allows books to incorporate multimedia as well as text. To read an epub file, you need to have software installed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.


How to Read an epub (on a mobile device)

  • Check that you have an eReader installed on your device (iBooks or Bluefire Reader are good options), and install one if needed.
  • Open the epub file on your device.
  • If the file doesn’t automatically open in your eReader, find the option to choose where your file opens (Open in … for iOS).


Create a Slideshow using YouTube

Many teachers use Picasa Web Albums to create slideshows for their blogs. However, Edublogs has recently had a problem where the embed code only works if the teacher only stays in Text mode and doesn’t switch between Text and Visual mode.

Creating a gallery of photos is always an option, but if you’d prefer a slideshow mode, use YouTube.

How to Create a Slideshow in YouTube

  1. Go to Upload in YouTube.
  2. Click on Create beside Photo SlideshowScreen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.19.03
  3. You have an option to use photos in your Google + Profile. Otherwise, you can upload photos from your computer.
  4. After selecting or uploading the photos, and confirming the order, click on Next.
  5. You can customize the Slide Duration, Effect and Transition, as well as select an audio track to play with your slide (no audio is an option).Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.30.29
  6. Click Upload.
  7. Make sure your “video” is unlisted.Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.32.48
  8. Check the advanced settings. I suggest turning Comments off, and enabling embedding (so that you can put the slideshow on your blog).Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.33.29
  9. Click Done.
  10. Once your video is uploaded, copy the address, and paste it in your post/page. (Make sure that the link is on a line by itself and that you are working in Visual Mode.)

IT Integration Walls

An IT Integration wall is a great way to support student use of technology for learning in the classroom. There are many different approaches that you can take. One approach is to create a poster of Just Right resources for your grade/students. Here’s an example from a grade 2 classroom.

Example of an IT Integration Wall

Example of an IT Integration Wall

The teachers included instructions of how to use Dropbox, as well as QR codes to resources appropriate for this unit. This space can be aa big, or as small as you want it to be, and you can involve student “experts” in creating it, especially at older grades. I’m also creating tutorials for some classes/grades, and those types of resources can be incorporated into the space.

If you’re looking for resources to create QR codes, here are some resources.