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The "new" version of Google Sites (it has been out for two years) has a new design component that you can use to make navigation of your site a little bit easier for visitors.



As Google announced yesterday, you can now add buttons to the pages of your sites made on Google Sites. Buttons are small, highlighted or colored areas intended to make links stand out from the rest of the text on a page. You will find buttons in the insert menu in the Google Sites page editor.



Applications for Education

When used sparingly, buttons on the pages of your Google Sites could make it a little bit easier for your students to and or their parents to find the most important information on the pages.



If you have not made the switch to new Google Sites from the old version of Google Sites, you will want to do so sooner than later. Watch this video to learn how to migrate a site from the old version of Google Sites to the new version of Google Sites.



Tomorrow at 7pm EDT I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar titled Get Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep. In the webinar I will showcase the new features that were added to Google Classroom for the 2018-19 school year. We'll then dive into how you can use Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep to stay organized throughout the school year.



Five Key Things You’ll Learn In This Webinar:

1. How to streamline your workflow through Google Classroom.

2. How to organize and share resources with students.

3. How to keep track of goals (yours and your students’) through Google Keep and Calendar.

4. How to manage multiple course calendars without losing your mind.

5. How to streamline meetings and meeting scheduling.



Click here to register today!



Yes, the webinar will be recorded for those who register but cannot attend the live broadcast. Everyone who registers will be sent a copy of the recording of the live webinar.



About this post: The sale of my professional development, webinars, online courses, and my on-site professional development services provides the funding to keep Free Technology for Teachers running. The resources that I feature in my online courses and webinars are free. However, there is a significant cost associated with creating, hosting, and managing the courses and webinars which is why I am not able to provide them for free.  

In the last year Anchor.fm has become my go-to recommendation for easily creating podcasts with students. The web version of Anchor.fm lets you record, edit, and publish podcasts in a matter of minutes. The Anchor mobile apps are even easier to use.



This week Anchor added a couple of new features to their free iOS and Android apps. In addition to recording and publishing, the apps now let you trim the beginning and end of your recording, split your recordings, name segments of recordings, and flag recording segments. Naming and flagging recording segments can make it easier to edit your podcast because you'll be able to easily jump to a flagged segment rather than having to play through your recording to find the segment you need to edit.




Applications for Education

If you have ever wanted to create podcasts with your students, but you got discouraged by the thought of dealing with technical complexity of publishing the podcasts, Anchor.fm is the tool for you. I've never found an easier way to create a podcast than to use Anchor. Click here for ten ideas for classroom podcasts students can produce through Anchor.

Since Sunday evening when I published the 2018-19 Practical Ed Tech Handbook I have had a couple of people ask how I added the page numbers to it and kept them straight in Google Docs. The answer is found in a simple, but often overlooked function in the "insert" drop-down menu in Google Docs. Simply open that menu then choose "header & page number" to have page numbers automatically added to the pages of your document. Watch my video that is embedded below to see these steps in action.



Last year Google added the option to insert your Google Keep notes into your Google Documents. That feature made it easy for students who use Google Keep to bookmark resources while conducting research to then insert those bookmarked resources into their Google Documents.



This week Google changed the way that you can access Google Keep in Google Documents. Previously, you could access your Google Keep notes through the "tools" drop-down menu in Google Docs. Now you can access your Google Keep notes through the side panel located in bottom, right corner of your Google Documents. Watch my new video to see how to access Google Keep through Google Docs.




Learn more about Google Keep in tomorrow's Practical Ed Tech webinar, Get Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep

A new little side panel option recently appeared in my Google Docs. In fact, it appeared while I was in the middle of a workshop in which I was showcasing some Google Docs add-ons.



The new side panel in Google Docs provides quick access to Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Tasks. You can view items from all three services in the right-hand side of your screen while you're working on a Google Document. You can access any and all of your upcoming Google Calendar events, including Google Classroom assignments, while working on a document. Watch my video that is embedded below to see how you can access upcoming Google Classroom assignments through Google Documents.




Learn more about Google Classroom and Google Calendar in tomorrow's Practical Ed Tech webinar, Get Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep

For many years Book Creator was my go-to recommendation for teachers who wanted to have their students create multimedia ebooks on iPads. So when the folks at Book Creator launched an online version to use Google Chrome I quickly added it to my list of recommended web tools too. Book Creator can be used by students to create multimedia ebooks that include video, images, audio, text, and free-hand drawings. You can watch an overview of Book Creator here. After getting familiar with Book Creator consider having your students make one of the following types of ebooks.



1. Multimedia Comic Books

Book Creator offers a half-dozen page layout templates including three specifically designed for students who want to make their own comic books. Within those comic templates students will find options for adding speech and thought bubbles, word art, comic stickers, and clip art to the pages of their comic books. They can also add utilize all of the other Book Creator tools like recording audio and inserting videos into the pages of their comic books.



2. Digital Portfolios

Book Creator supports uploading many kinds of media and then adding that media to the pages of an ebook. This can be a great way to have students build digital portfolios of their best work.



3. How-to Guides

Combining text, pictures, and video on the same page can be an excellent way to build a how-to guide for everything from conducting science experiments to tuning a lawn mower's engine.



4. Creative Writing

Students can enhance their creative writing by adding sound effects, mood music, or spoken words to the pages of their Book Creator ebooks. Students can do this by selecting the option to import media into any page of their ebooks.



5. Multimedia Reports

Watching videos and listening to podcasts is increasingly a part of the research that students do when beginning a research assignment. Rather than just writing summaries of the content of those videos or podcasts, students can embed them into the pages of their reports written in Book Creator.



Book Creator is available for individual registration as well as school-wide registration. From now until the end of September Book Creator is offering a great discount on their school-wide package









Disclosure: Book Creator is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Accessibility options for G Suite for Education services and Google's Chrome browser have improved in the last couple of years. If you use these services with students who need improved accessibility options, the G Suite user guide to accessibility is a resource that you should bookmark. The user guide is divided into sixteen sections. In the first section you will find recommendations for the best screen readers to use while using G Suite on Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS computers. The other sections of the guide are devoted to specific products within the G Suite including Google Classroom. Each section contains information on accessibility shortcuts, screen reader instructions for each app, and in some sections you will find how to videos like this one for using a screen reader with Google Docs.






The Chrome Web Store includes a small collection of recommended extensions that can improve content accessibility.



If you're a ClassDojo user, you should have recently received an email about three new features that have been added for the 2018-19 school year. One of those features is significant and two are just convenient.



The significant update is found in ClassDojo's new Student Portfolios service. This free service was announced at the end of the last school year will soon be available to all users. ClassDojo Portfolios are student-led portfolios. Students can choose the items that they want to include in their portfolios. They can include pictures, documents, videos, notes, and drawings in their portfolios. Just like in the current Student Stories teachers will have to approve all submissions before they are shared. Parents are be able to see only the work of their children and not of other children in the class. The best of ClassDojo Student Portfolios is that the portfolios can stay with a student from year-to-year even when they change teachers.




Class Stories is the ClassDojo feature that teachers can use to distribute pictures, videos, and written updates about their classes for parents to see. Student Stories is updated for the new school year with an option to share multiple pictures in a story. This feature is kind of like including multiple pictures in one Instagram post.



Finally, ClassDojo now gives you the option to display all points, only positive points, or no points when sharing updates with parents.

The "new" version of Google Sites (it has been out for two years) has a new design component that you can use to make navigation of your site a little bit easier for visitors.



As Google announced yesterday, you can now add buttons to the pages of your sites made on Google Sites. Buttons are small, highlighted or colored areas intended to make links stand out from the rest of the text on a page. You will find buttons in the insert menu in the Google Sites page editor.



Applications for Education

When used sparingly, buttons on the pages of your Google Sites could make it a little bit easier for your students to and or their parents to find the most important information on the pages.



If you have not made the switch to new Google Sites from the old version of Google Sites, you will want to do so sooner than later. Watch this video to learn how to migrate a site from the old version of Google Sites to the new version of Google Sites.



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