Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mash-Up: Keep + Docs = Instant Photo Transfer

One of the latest updates to Google documents is that you can now bring in your notes and lists from Google Keep. The part that has me the most excited is the ability to take a picture on your phone or tablet and instantly add it to a document, without having to upload it Drive first.  

For years, I have been taking pictures, especially during conferences, and uploading them to Drive in order to insert it into a document. This had been my number one way of taking notes during sessions. Inevitably, I miss something the presenter is saying or miss the opportunity to take another picture because am focused on the upload process. In addition, all of these pictures are taking up space on my phone, until I take the time to go delete them. 

With Google Keep, my life and phone storage just got a whole lot happier. In the Keep app, you can take a picture using your device and now it instantly will appear in the Keep sidebar of your Google document. Drag and drop the picture onto the document, and any title or note you included in Keep with be included on the document, with editing ability. Plus, these photos are stored in keep and not in your camera roll. #spacesaver 

In the Google Keep app:

In Google documents:

What a great way for students to quickly add images to their stories, to the notes they are taking, or lab reports they are composing. There are a ton of possibilities with this new update. Thanks Google!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tab to Search on Chrome

One of my favorite Chrome features is the ability to search websites directly from the omnibar with the 'tab to search' feature. 

Note: this feature only works if you have Google set as your default web browser. 

Chrome will automatically add this feature to any website it determines to have a search engine. To activate the feature, open a new tab and go to the website. Once you go, if Chrome recognizes it, the next time you go it will automatically add the 'tab to chrome' feature. 

Here is a list of some websites Chrome automatically detects and adds for you (remember you have to go to the website one time for the feature to be activated):
  • Facebook
  • Google Translate
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

I wish this would work for every website, but it currently does not. In some cases you are able to manually add a website to 'manage search engines' with a quick code. Please note, that this trick does not work for every site. 

Steps to manually add a website:

  1. In Chrome, go to Settings
  2. Click on 'manage search engines'
  3. Add information in all three fields
    • Box 1: Name of the website (ex: Google Drive)
    • Box 2: type in the keyword you use in the omnibar to activate the feature (ex: drive)
    • Box 3: In some cases, simple add ?s=%s after the websites search URL (ex:
  4. Click done

Here are a couple codes that don't follow the basic rule above. Copy and paste the URL into box 3 of the 'manage search engines' section.
  • Amazon: 
  • Expedia: 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Google Photos Animation

With Google Photos you can take a series of photos, minimum of two and maximum of fifty, and put them together to create an animation. 

Photos put together to create animation

Quick video showing you steps to create animation:

While this is great for sports type videos, you can also use this feature in the classroom. For example, you can capture a series of photos to create an animation of:

  • a science experiment
  • solving a math problem
  • creating a piece of artwork

The important part is remembering to take a photo after each step. 

Not using Google Photos, check out the help section

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Create "Google Expedition" Style Experiences

While you can not currently create your own Google Expeditions, you can create a 360° photo using the Google Street View app. This same app also allows you to view the photo using the Google cardboard. So while the teacher can not control the students experience, they can provide a experience to the students. 

There are already a ton of 360° photos in the app, so creation might not be necessary. 

Create 360 Photos with Google Street View App

  1. Download the Android App or iOS App
  2. Steps to Create a 360° Photo
  3. Steps to Publish a 360° Photo
  4. Steps to Share, Transfer, or Embed 360° Photos
  5. Steps to Blur or Remove a 360° Photo
Use Google Street View App with Google Cardboard
There is a mini cardboard icon on the top right corner of the street view image. Click on the icon, place the device in the cardboard and enjoy the experience. 

Integration ideas:

  • Have students create the 360° photo to showcase various concepts (science, math)
  • Create the 360° photos while visiting locations to share new cultures, surroundings, etc.