Part II of the series All Things Google webinars with AT Specialist Mike Marotta, focuses on the software aspect of the Chrome browser. This presentation includes a quick glance at the Chrome Store and the SETT framework as the basis for selection of apps. Marotta covers the topics of the differences between Apps and Extensions, the power of Extensity , Readability, Dictanote and MicNote.
- [voiceover] Okay everyone, I'll get started. And yeah, I realize the folder didn't have any sound, that's because there was no sound to be had at that point. But, hopefully you can hear me now. I'll make sure I've unmuted myself, yeah? You guys can hear me, alright. Good afternoon everybody, or good morning, depending on where you are. Very good, I'm glad you can hear me. Welcome to Part Two of our little Google Chrome extravaganza that we are doing here. Hopefully you were with me last week when we looked a little bit at, we kind of focused on energy last week on the Chromebook itself, the browser and ways to kind of interact with those devices. More on the hardware side of looking at things to plug into it, using it with alternate access pieces, things like that. Well, today, we will focus on the part that most people like to focus on anyway which is the apps and extensions. So, we'll look at that today.
But, for anybody who wasn't with us last week, here's your brief little intro into me, there's my information if you want it or need it. My website address, my email address and my Twitter handle which is @mmatp. Please feel free to connect with me in any way, shape, or form, I'd love to chat with you about things. Not even just Chrome, I would be happy to talk to you about other stuff, too. As we go through this, I will give you a short shameless plug one more time for the Chromebooks in the Classroom Quick Guide that I have coming out soon. Which is a laminated guide to kind of get you started with everything you need to know to get up and running quickly with a Chromebook and or the Chrome browser. So, there's the information if you want more it's at tinyurl.com/chromecard. That's where that information is. Whew, that was fun. I don't know what that was that wasn't me I promise. As we go through this, please make sure you participate within the chat window.
We had a great conversation last week, I expect to have a great conversation again this week through the chat windows, so share resources you might have, apps or extensions that you have used. I would be as of the ways if you'd maybe use the ones I'm going to show. Anything you wanna share at all, I'd love to hear from you in the window. I think as we go through webinars and thing like this, that's the part that makes webinars great is that interaction between all of us is through the chat, and since nobody else can talk except me, the chat is the best way to do that. And so hopefully, we are able to share some good resources today. I have a bunch of extensions I plan to go through, we'll see how far we get in this list. If you can hear me, I purposely ripped me out a piece of paper below text, but I have a couple pages with secret things I wanna look at. And go through with you in the hour. I didn't wanna spend too much time kind of prefacing that with much, but I do feel like there's a couple things we need to talk about before we jump into the apps and extensions. So, giving you just a little idea of our agenda for the day. We'll talk a little bit about the Chrome store, and I'll take you there and we'll go through it just so you get kind of an idea what it looks like.
We'll talk about the idea of evaluating what apps and extensions are appropriate for your situation. I think that becomes a critical part of this. Anytime we're using any mobile device, not just Chrome but tablets or anything else, making sure that what we're using is appropriate for the person we're using it for. And then finally, we will spend the majority of our time today just diving straight into as many apps and extensions as we can get to. But I would be remiss if I didn't remind you one more time, and anybody who ever sees me present you know that I constantly will bat you over the head with this, but the reminder of making sure you match the person and their needs to the technology tools and supports, and looking at the SETT framework to do that, making sure you have that future match process in place. Because not everything I show you today is going to be appropriate for every person you work with. It may be appropriate for quite a few, but that's because the features of the tools I show you match the needs that that person has.
And so that's always just a nice, fresh reminder of that. I never miss an opportunity to drop that on people one more time. But as we go through and we talk about Chrome extensions and apps, that's where we will spend most our time today as we move through things, I just wanna give a quick little kind of understanding of what apps and extensions are within the Chrome browser. Just to kinda paint the picture a little bit. And so, as we are living in our Chrome browser, whether you're doing that on your laptop that runs Windows or a Mac OS, or if you're running that on your Chromebook, so regardless of where you're running it, apps and extensions do different things. Apps are what's shown on the picture on the screen, when I launch a new web browser tab, the apps that I have can show up in the tab window. And what happens is when I click on an app to launch it, it launches a brand new browser tab for me to perform some work in. So think of an app as very close to like a software program that you would be using on your standard PC or Mac. By clicking on an app, something loads and it works in a brand new browser tab.
An extension, which is the tools that are shown in that slide on the top alongside your address bar where you would type in your URL for wherever you were going to visit, the apps show up as little pictures along the side there, and the apps perform some task within the tab that you are currently in. So, wherever you happen to be at any given time, those extensions will perform their work within that tab. That's kind of the difference, and just kind of understanding where your supports will show up when you download them. That's always important for people to recognize. Well I downloaded it, I have no idea where it went, once they downloaded it. So there's two different spots those things tend to end up in. I will show you this live when we start talking about some of the apps and extensions, but I just wanted to point out that everything we do in the Chrome browser, the tools and supports that we get to put in it come from the Chrome Web Store. So, I'll show you where that lives in your browser just so you get kind of a sense of how to get to it.
And then it's similar to the app store, you search for any other mobile device you have it will delineate things as apps or extensions, it can break things down into categories for us. And so I'll give you a little run through of how that works. But that's how we get all of our tools into our browser. And remember from our conversation last week, the idea of putting things in our browser so when we put tools or apps or extensions into our browser, we are actually attaching them to our Google profile, so that those tools will follow us regardless of the device we are on. That's always important to remember too. Once we install it once, and attach it to our profile, there it will live and it will follow us along. If your apps and extensions are not following you, I'm gonna show you real fast when we pop out of here where you can go in your settings to make sure that you're syncing your data across to make sure all of your apps and extensions follow you. So we'll look at that in a second.
Every trick to remind people that as you go through this there, and this is a picture I use a lot mostly for iPad apps, but you know what, when we think about this in the broader scope of things, whether we're talking about iPads, Android tablets, Chromebooks, it doesn't matter, the point is the same that there are thousands of choices out there, and to try to get them all you will make yourself... Well, you'd probably just end up in a corner somewhere just kind of crying to yourself. But really what we're talking about here is making sure that not, making sure we get every single app that's out there. It's not just work to download everything. But instead, looking at it efficiently and saying, "What are the apps that we need "to perform the task for our individual?" Whether they're for ourselves personally, or whether they're for someone we're working with. So think about that. In our next couple of slides, and don't worry, we're coming to the end of our little slide presentation I promise, and then we'll just dive in. But the idea is, 'cause it is important to remember, the idea of thinking about Bloom's Taxonomy and what we're looking at and kind of... The slide here, the picture on the slide here comes from Kathy Shrock, and she's done a really nice job of kind of breaking down the ideas of apps and mobile devices, using apps to support learning.
And I think if we start thinking about that we don't look to get every app that's free and just attach it to our profile somehow, just because who knows, maybe one day three years from now I might need that mapping app for whatever reason. No, but instead, let's think about the apps that support the students we're working with in these areas of helping with evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding, and remembering. Looking at those little gears that are going around that picture representation there, and ultimately finding tools that allow our individuals to create something to promote learning. And so this is a lot of what Kathy focuses on on her information when she starts talking about this. And I've given you a couple of screenshots of some of her evaluation rubrics, which are really great. And now, I know we're talking about Chrome today, so as soon as you see the picture in the center of the screen you're gonna say, "Well that says "iPad and iPod." I'm gonna say to you, ignore that. Don't worry about that, because ultimately, the information is the same.
It's similar to when I think about the people who look at the set framework in the first letter of the set framework says "student", and they say, "Well I work with adults, "so that won't work for me." No, it's replace the word "student" with the word "skills". Still intranets, and you still are ultimately getting to the point of what is a value there. And these are the same, and this comes from Kathy's iPad website, which the reference is at the bottom, it's ipadsforteaching.net. When you go on there, you can actually download this as a PDF and this is her guide and it's called "The Critical Evaluation of a "Content Based App", and I love this because this gives us an opportunity to go through the criteria for an app and determine if it's going to be appropriate for our individual. And you know, a lot of times when I'm at schools and I'm working with staff in a school as a consultant, a lot of the times people will say, "Well I need to have that app.", whatever that app might be, it doesn't even matter what app it is. I'm sure you've heard that statement before, "I need that app." And then the standard response that typically right away is, "Well, why? "Why do you need that? What are you hoping "to accomplish with that?" And so, with something like this with this form that Kathy has kind of put together here, what's nice is that you can share this with individuals, with teachers, or with people working in a program and say, "Explain to me "what that app is going to do for you. "And tell me about the parts of the app and how "they're gonna fit into your overall instruction. "Tell me about what levels or what areas of that "Bloom's Taxonomy do they reference "or do they build on."
And finally at the bottom of this sheet which is the part you didn't get on this screen capture, but if you go to her website you'll get it, the bottom part is talking about ways and having people identify ways they would use that app in their instruction, and I think that's the part that's so important is getting people to think broader than, "I just have to have another app.", but instead, thinking about ways that they're actually going to use that constructively in the classroom. And so it's a great guide for that and so what I would say is, "I'll show you some tools in "a little while that allow you to take PDFs "and modify them." Download this to your Chrome browser, modify it and take out all the references to iPad and just put in basically any device you're gonna work with there. Put in "Chromebooks", put in "Android tablet", it doesn't matter to me, just take it out completely. But just giving them the opportunity in that framework and that structure of thinking about how to look at that.
And then finally, one of the other ones that Kathy has which is becoming another one of my favorites to start handing out to people is this is a student app review rubric. And so this gives the students an opportunity to have a say in whether these apps are working for them or not in their learning. And this way is really fun, I just started using this one last week in the classroom because they were trying to do something in Chrome and the teacher wasn't sure that the app was the right match for the kids in her class, so we tried this, and each of them got to answer this and they came up with their own review of this app, and kind of just as the teacher kind of expected the app did not work. It was not in the "bad" category, but it was right around that "needs work" to "average" category. So it wasn't quite working for the students in her class, but that's okay. That's the whole point of that is trying to understand what worked and what didn't, so she had an opportunity to actually put that into place and let the students kind of rate that, and then they had a nice discussion in class about "Well if this one's not doing what we want, "what do we need one to do?" And then they were able to take that list and then go out and search for some other apps that might work for them instead. So think about that getting people involved in the process, understanding that this app is not gonna be great for everyone for every situation, and letting people have their say. So I just wanted to share those couple. That comes from Kathy Schrock again, that's from one of her other websites.
Kathy has a handful of websites. They're all kinds of interconnected, but this one comes from her schrockguide.net website. Kathy's got a bunch of 'em so check those out. Alright, see I promised you you were getting close to the end of these slides. So, let's jump out, we'll go through some of the apps and extensions. I see the chatroom is flying, and all I see is it's flying and I see tons of information and I'm glad you guys are talking to each other 'cause I think I'm missing some of it. I see Karen, hi Karen. Good to see ya. Karen commenting on a lot of stuff and so I appreciate that. As I take a break or something, I'll read some of these, but continue to post things up there 'cause if nothing else I'll review this stuff later as we go through. So, don't stop talking on my account just keep continuing to talk. Alright, so let me bounce out of this and let's go into the browser. Let's talk about some apps and extensions, and see what we can find as we go through.
What I had mentioned to you before, the idea that sometimes people report the novel of their information is coming through to different devices they connect to with their Chrome browser, and so there's instances where their apps don't follow them, the materials might not follow them. My first comment to people is always, "Well make sure you're signed in first of all.", because it's gonna know you're you unless you're signed in. 'Cause as we know all of these supports are attached to your profile, so it needs to know you're there, but if you're signed in and you're still not seeing all of your information come across, what I would suggest is in your Chrome browser click on the "settings" button, which is to the far right, directly underneath the X to close the window. And then go down to settings. When you're in settings, and it'll take a minute to pop up. Give it a second to populate. When you're in settings, take a second, first of all make sure you're signed in, make sure it sees you and that it's attached to you, and then if you wanna adjust your settings check on the button that says "advanced "sync settings".
When you click there, it has a check box that shows you what kind of things do you want to sync across devices, and make sure that you have those checked off. I'm a person who very much believes in having my supports available to me so I have saved everything across. But you can choose, you can pull down the arrow there and say choose what I want to take and then pick and choose what you'd like. But take a second to go through that. Make sure that's selected because that will allow you to see your information as you go across devices. And if you're not really syncing your information across the devices that you log in, you're kind of losing one of the key big features of Chrome in the sense that your tools aren't gonna follow you regardless of where you go. And isn't that part of the fun? To have them follow you across. Alright, so as we go through now that we've figured out our syncing issue hopefully, let's start talking a little bit about apps and extensions.
I'm gonna start with organization. So remember that slide I showed you a handful back with the person in the spiral of apps around them, and I think with this like anything else we can have those opportunities to get completely buried in our apps and extensions. So, one of the first ones that I tell everybody to download the second we start talking about Chrome, is an extension called "Extensity". Now, as we go through these let me stop before I start spouting out names and everything else. Everything that I show you as far as that extensions and the apps that I go to, all of those things live on my webpage. So as we go through, don't feel the need to write a lot of them down, here's the web link, mmatop.com/chromeAT. As you go through, and you see one that you like make note of it somewhere, but then come back to this page because as long as you're in your Chrome browser and you're viewing your page all of the apps and extensions are linked directly to the store where you can download them. So if for some reason you want to download the extension that I just mentioned which is called "Extensity", which is right here at the top of the page, it's one of my ones that I always tell people to download. If you click the name of it it will bring you right to that part of the store so you can download it into your browser. That's a good chance for us to go to the Chrome Store real fast as we see things. But there you go.
So it will launch up automatically to whatever app or extension it was that you were searching for, it'll give you a little description of it, it'll give you the reviews. Same warning I would give people in the Apple App Store, is the same thing I would say here. Read the reviews. Don't just start randomly downloading things, but then read the reviews, see what people have said, they could have some adverse reaction within the Chrome browser when you're using something else. I found in the beginning when I started doing a lot of Chrome browser add-ons and extensions, I found I had a lot of instances where Chrome would crash because these things were conflicting with each other. Which seems to be a little better now, but there was some moments for that. And so I used to tell people, "Go to them one "at a time and play with them." Try it, make sure it works and then load another one, don't feel this need to...
Even though I know somebody out there will, and maybe you'll be honest and admit it at some point, but I know one of you will. You'll just add every single thing we go to today, but be careful 'cause those things might actually crash out your computers, just beware. But here we are in the store. If you're looking to get to the Chrome Store, and you're on a PC, when you're in your browser among your toolbars to the left will be a button that says "apps", and it'll have nine squares and it'll show the apps. It'll bring you to your apps that you have installed, but most importantly the top one on the left will always be the web store, the Chrome Browser Web Store. If you're on a Chromebook, that same nine square button will be at the bottom left, similar to a start button on your PC, and that will launch your app browser as well as the store. So, as we go through here, here we are in the store. We can find apps and websites under categories. Here's some examples, we'll go to education. And then so here's some of our education choices, and we could scroll though here, we can look for apps or extensions, we could just let it search for everything. See here we can go through and I will just randomly I'll just randomly pick something just because. Chem reference, period table.
So when I see something I want, I'm just gonna bring it up. And again, like I said before it gives you the short, little overview. Sometimes you may see a little video here that you could watch from YouTube. It will give you the reviews and any of the other pieces of information. If you want to add this to your Chrome browser, there's a button on the right that says "free" most times. Some things cost, but most of them are free. I'm gonna click that. And it's gonna check to make sure I can install it in my browser. It's at some point gonna tell me I hope that it's okay. Or else this will go horribly wrong for us as we're sitting here, but let's see. Isn't this fun? Just right on the fly, let's just randomly leg one. Okay, so it's popped up and asked me if I want to add that to my Chrome browser profile, I say "Sure". And then... It will then add that into my apps that I have, and then that will be available for me as I go through. And so you see that it popped up and it's adding this right into my Chrome browser as we speak, and then I'll have access to it.
Again, going back to this to appear on my laptop, I'll have access to it on my Chromebook if I don't open that up and then So as we move through, and thank you guys for answering your own questions 'cause I had popped out of the chat window, but I see everybody has gotten themselves to the Chrome Store, that's perfect. Those are your ways to get there. So the easy, simple way would be to follow it right from the list that I put together for you and just click them as you go. And then you'll have that access to all of them as you move through. I'll show you some examples of that, there you go. And so as we go through, the first one that I mention was this extension called "Extensity", and what this does is when installed, it puts a little icon on my toolbar, and here it is, it's the one I put right next to my URL bar, 'cause it's the one I use all the time. And it looks like a little yin and yang symbol. When I click that, what it does is it pops open a box of every app and extension that I have installed in my Chrome profile.
And so what I have is a quick, easy way to navigate through. Sorry. That was a dramatic pause I though it would pop up but... Not so much. I may have to close some of this stuff I have open. Let's close my email, you guys don't need to see that. Let's see if it pops up now. Try to save some of my space here. But what happens is as it pops up it gives me... Oh that's never good. Give it a second please. There we go. Alright. As it pops up, let's try that again. You get a large box that'll pop up which will have all of your extensions and apps listed and you can scroll through your list and turn tools on and off. There we go. Now as it goes through. And part of this you'll see in a second why it might take so long and will probably judge me silently at your little computer station there, but that's okay. What it does is it will list all of your extensions, and then as you move down... I feel you judging me. That's okay. And then it'll move to your apps, and then there's the rest of the information that I have installed. These are all the tools that I have attached to my profile. And what's nice about this is sometimes I find when they start to conflict with each other, you can turn tools on and off right from this little extension.
And so you'll notice anything right now that is bolded is on. Anything that is grayed out has been turned off right now. And so what it gives me is a lot of control to turn these things on and off. Especially for a profile like mine, if I'm gonna go out and do a lot of evaluations or training, I need to have a lot of the tools there, but I don't necessarily use them all the time. And so what I've done is turned most of them off so that they're not constantly running in the background. And so they're able to do that quickly to turn them on and off. And then what you'll see is as you turn them on... As you turn one on, it's little icon will pop up and it will populate in the bar up at the top, so now that little bar populated up there. On my address bar for the Chrome base, and now I can click it and it turns it off and it goes away. And so I have that nice way to organize myself and not rely on having to go all the way into the settings to turn things on and off. And so that's a nice one, I always like to use that. Especially for the students I work with.
Give 'em an option to quickly and easily get to things that they have and click on it and load them. The other one that I use all the time is another extension called "One Tab", and this is again, directly next to the one I just showed you. It looks kind of like an upside down teardrop or an upside down beaker or something like that. And what it will do is, when I click that it takes all of my open tabs and collapses them down. And this could have been a horribly bad mistake too, but let's see. And what it will do is it will collapse everything into one single tab that will just show me a list of everything I had open. What's nice about this... Couple things, first of all if you're using Chromebooks, a lot of times they're not very powerful Chromebooks sometimes. So when you start to have multiple windows open, it tends to slow your computer down a little bit and it gets a little sluggish. So with this, I can collapse everything down and what the... The creator of this app says...
Of this extension, sorry, says that once you collapse them down you should be able to reduce the power consumption of your Chromebook by up to 95%, because not all of these tabs are running simultaneously. And then so what I have is now links of all the different windows that I had open. I can click any one of 'em and it will launch back up, but the thing I've been using a lot with the teachers I work with, is there's a choice on this OneTab that says "shares a webpage", and when I click that, it creates a shareable link to this view that you are seeing right now. So what's nice is in the classrooms where I'm working where a teacher is using the Chromebooks with the students, instead of having that process of telling everybody, "Okay, we're gonna open "our Google Drive. We're gonna open these "Google Docs. You're gonna open this article. "Then I need you to get to a web research tool, "and then I need you to have a secondary article." And all of this information that could take 15 minutes for everybody to get where they need to be, the teacher can create this list in OneTab and then share a single weblink out with the class.
And when they click it, it will open this page with all of those links already there. So they don't have to worry about getting into all of those pages and making sure they get the right URL to login. It's a nice organization tool that helps kind of facilitate work in the classroom also, which is what I really like about it. So that's two of my favorite organizational ones. One that I just learned about last week or week before last, and really nice from my co-presenter we presented on Chrome and she showed me one called "Session Buddy", which is very similar to the idea of using OneTab, in a sense that it opens up a list of all the websites you've gone to and you can share them and name them. And so I can create a session and have it go through and then just share that link out with people, so that's called "Session Buddy" which is actually really nice. Does very similar things for sure. And so, as we go through, those are your organization tools, help facilitate work completion.
So there's a couple to move you through and I'm sure there's more, people mail and please share 'em, I would love to hear 'em. But as we go through I'll show you some of the other ones that I have which tend to be a lot of supports for reading and writing, and then I'll show you a couple tools that you can use for kind of facilitating your students making things with the Chromebooks or using that in some way. And so as we go through, let me show you what that looks like. Because you're watching my computer I have all these little fits 'cause I open and close things a little crazy. Okay, there we go. So as you go through, some of the most simple reading ones that I like to look at with people are tools to facilitate reading in a way that it's going to promote engagement. I'm trying to think of a good way to say this. Promote engagement to the reading, but eliminate distraction. And so right now I'm on a page where it's a great article, it's one I share all the time. Talking about a case for a tablet that will recognize sign language and then translate it to text, that's really cool. But it comes from the website Wired, and as you can imagine as a company that's trying to sell things, they have a lot of banners around their websites.
Perhaps you might wanna buy this little Tiffany necklace for someone for Valentine's Day. Maybe you see one of these other stories that's interesting to you. Maybe one of the things at the bottom of the page is interesting to you that's popped up. So basically what I'm saying is everything except the article I've asked you to read when we're here. And so what we can do is, by using an extension, this one's called "Readability", here it is on my toolbar it looks like a little couch. By clicking that, I can choose to read this article again now, save it and bookmark it for later, or if I have a Kindle I can send this directly to my Kindle. But right now I'll choose "read now", and what this extension will do is clean that page up into just the text that I need. So now you get kind of the idea, all of that other information is gone, and now I have just the text. And the picture. I find that the pictures don't always come over, but sometimes they do, and so that's a good thing is that you may get the picture to follow, but other times you might now get so lucky.
You can adjust the size and the contrast of the page. You can adjust the font, the size of the font, making it larger or smaller, whatever you wanna do, you can adjust the margins. All the way out or all the way in. Whatever works. And I found that this was an extension I started using with a young girl I'm working with who has an eye condition that she doesn't need print in large, but what her issue is is that she needs her print to show up in a single column on the page so that she doesn't have to scan across the screen, and so we use this for all the websites she goes to 'cause we can adjust the margin and give her her information straight down the middle of the page in one column. So this works really nice for her. The other thing is that your ability to transfer this information out of your web browser, whether you wanna send it to Facebook, tweet it, or email the link, you can send this page to your Kindle as a book, but you can also send this page out as a EPUB file. Which is really nice if you're in a mixed device classroom and you have some laptops, some Chromebooks, some iPads. I have some classes that I work with where they got a large pile, I couldn't think of a better word, but a large pile of Nook tablets. And so, the Nook tablets don't connect to the WiFi for whatever which I have yet to figure out, but if we create these articles as EPUB files, we can download these documents right to those Nooks and the students can read them on that, and they don't have to be connected to the internet. Which is huge because now I've kind of extended out that usability of materials in the classroom. And if we wanna hear things read I could use some extensions to read this out loud, so if I'm looking for text to speech, maybe I highlight this and I can right-click on that and one of my options is a really simple extension called "Speak It".
- [Computer Voice] New tablet case recognizes sign language and translates it into text.
- [Mike] Okay so that's one simple extension to use. And so it speaks that out loud. If you notice as it was reading it did not highlight as it moved through. So we didn't get that single word highlight, but maybe what we do in order to facilitate that is we use another extension maybe. I saw you guys talking about it in the box which was perfect, in the chat box. Looking at the idea of using something like "Reading Link" for Google, which would give you a little bit more control over your text to speech.
- [Computer Voice] New tablet case recognizes sign language and translates it into text.
- [Mike] Okay so now we have that function of the highlighting, it's a duel highlight so I see the sentence in one color, the word being spoken in another. And so now what we get is that ability to provide that support in these websites as we move through them. So "Reading Links" for Google is one of the examples of an AT extension for Google. This one has a free version and a paid version. And with the free version you would be able to have the text to speech and some of the other functions as well as your highlighting, which I'm gonna go through in a second and show you. But thinking about looking... Oh, I just caught the whole discussion of Nicole saying, "Smashing.", thank you. Yes, Nicole, the idea of smashing apps together is looking at ways you can use them and combine those, their functionality and work together. When it works it's great 'cause it gives you that extra power. Sometimes you see some of your apps or extensions don't want to smash together and work. And so you sometimes lose that ability, but I agree, that's a great way to look at it. It's find the features and use different ones that work, and then find a way to use 'em together. To give you that level of support you need. So as we go through we'll continue to look at this and I'll stick with the read and write for a second.
If we're looking for ways to pull information from a document, I now have the opportunity to highlight things. So I'm gonna go on through and I'm gonna highlight some chunks of information. Again, don't judge the information I'm highlighting, just go with me. Just to see what we're doing here. So I can go through and I have all different kinds. I have four different colors, and I can highlight them. So now I've gone through and I've pulled some information out of my document that I think is important that I might need to now write about. So I'm gonna move forward and write. If the rewrite extension, what's nice about that is there's an option to collect highlights and when I click that and say "okay", what it's going to do is pull that information out into a separate document that now I can write from. So what it does is it pulls those highlights out into Google Docs, and now there they are. So there's all of my highlights as well as the link back to the article that I took them from.
And so now, my student could move from a reading task right into a writing assignment by using those highlights and using that support to continue that process. As we go, and I'm gonna jump back to reading part for a second. But in Google Docs, you may notice that my little rewrite for Google Flag is at the top of the screen and if I click it and pull it down, there's my supports again for writing. But we'll get to those in a second. I'll come back to them. Let me get rid of all my highlights. So I'm gonna highlight everything and just get the little brush to brush it away. One of the other parts that's interesting about this, is if I start highlighting again... Just gonna pick some single words and I'm gonna highlight them, you can also close things out in a vocabulary list for your students. Let me find one more word. Gesture, and I'm gonna confine that 'cause that's a good one. Alright so now I've picked some single words, and instead of pulling up the highlights like I did previously, I'm gonna pull it out of vocabulary words. Again, it goes through and it pulls that information out into a Google Document. And what that does is not only close out the words that I highlighted, but it tries to find the definition of them in it's dictionary, a picture support, and then it also gives me a column to write some notes.
And now you have the opportunity to see the words, the meaning, symbols if you have them if they're in there and then write any of your notes. So, now you have this, again this extension activity that you can move from one component, the reading part, into our writing part as well. And it's huge, and so this gives you the idea, a vocabulary list. And see, that's mentioning about the free version versus the paid version. If you go to the Texthelp website, and you can register as a teacher you can get access to the premium version of this stuff. You would have that. Which I think you guys already answered, but now I feel like I'm part of the conversation. So, thank you. But yeah, that's a good way to look at it as well. It's nice to use our vocabulary list and our ability to do that. One of the other tools that I'll show you, I'm just trying to make sure I get to my list, which I knew I would never get you the complete list, but that's ok. One of the other tools that I like to look at for students... And I'm gonna bring us back to the original document that I had.
So here, we're back to our original article. So again, all of the distractions, all of that information is there, a lot going on. If your article is too long for someone, so if they're a reader that needs things summarized for them, there's another extension, and it's called TLDR. Which stands for "Too long didn't read". Which I think is probably the greatest name ever. But when you click the TLDR, it's going to adjust this article, and it's going to summarize it for me. So, now the box pops up in front of my article and gives me a summary, then I can change that to a short summary, a medium or a long, and so it's changing the length. I always try to remind people this is not adjusting the reading level of the article. The article reading level is still the same, it's just creating a shorter article. So, it's really all about size. And one of the things that's interesting, and as you guys were talking about the idea of smashing apps together, one of the things you should start to look at is that Ok, now I have my little summary here, my TLDR. But what happens sometimes is some of the apps don't see it, and some of the extensions. So, now my read in rate for Google sees the page behind it, but doesn't see this page that pops up in the front. And so what happens is if I want to read this I might have to go back to my "right click" and then "speak it" and then it'll read it.
- [Computer Voice] Because there a for any key word, users can help promote reason using a feature call sign builder
- [Mike] So, that' something to remember too, and it's something to consider as you start looking to smash these things together. But, if you're looking to have supports that were in your read and write tool, highlight the text that's in the summary, and copy it out and drop it into Google Docs. And then you'll be able to read it as well. There's simple ways around that to solve that, but just know sometimes, if you're an app smasher sometimes your smashing might get limited by they way things work. So, just be careful about that. So we see that, that's one of our choices. I'll jump over and show you a couple of things for writing and then a couple of extra little bonuses as we move on. As we look to write, I will go back to the break for Google support that's popped up. I can have the ability to have word prediction support, so as I click somewhere I've got word choices that I can select and drop into my boxes as I write. The other thing that's built into the writing part of it, is the ability to do speech input. I can't do it now because of my microphone clipped in my laptop here so I apologize but on the premium version I click that wherever my cursor is it'll start typing text as I go. So if you're looking for options for speech input on the Chromebook in the browser, that's a nice option if you have the premium version. That's one of the premium archives.
So as we look through and look for some of these other choices, you might wanna just have a speech to text tool as you go through and one of the choices for that... Let me go to my apps list here so I can pull it up. One of my favorite ones for that is something called "Dictanote". It's dictation note. What's nice about that one... I'm just searching for it, sorry. Now as you watch me scan through all of my choices here. So as we... Ah, sorry. Here it comes. What's nice about this is this is a paid app also. It's Dictanote. This is the one I've had the best success with with dictation into the Chrome Browser. It has a free version and a paid. I have to tell ya, I don't use the paid version because I realized that every time it loads it loads me a fresh blank note, and when I have my person dictate right into the blank note and in the demo version you can't see or do any other notes, so we just copy and paste it out into something else. And I feel horrible admitting that I just admitted I'm cheating them out of four dollars, but that's what I do. And so it works really well.
It does work well with commands, it does have pretty decent recognition. And so this is the one I tend to use for a lot of involved speech to text writing and it's been very efficient. So, look at that one as a speech to text app. Some of the other ones that I start looking at is finding tools that will allow me to annotate information on the screen. And so, if I'm in this document and I wanna write some things on here or I like things on this document, there is an extension and it's called "Awesome Screenshot". And what it allows you to do... It better work or I'm gonna be mad. It's got this little piece here that's popped up, let's see what it does. Let's all stare at it while we Let's do it differently. Get off of that. We will go to... We will use that as an app. So, this is one of those that has an app and an extension. Which you will see sometimes where they are both. They might function slightly differently, but as we go through this is the app version of it which pops up in front of wherever I am and I can drop an image in here or select something from my computer, or take something right from the clipboard so if I've copied and pasted something I can drop it in here.
Or I can capture the desktop. So I'm going to choose the entire screen right now. This is my capture. There's my capture, and now what I have the ability to do is crop out pieces of information. So I can do that. I'm giving my computer a workout today. Having a hard time. So then I crop that information out. I can draw on the picture. I can draw on the picture. So I can do that. If there's something on the page that I don't want my students or person to have to deal with, I can blur that out so it's not there. I can add in boxes to type text. So I have that ability too. And now, when I'm done I click "done", it has captured all of this and I can save it locally, I can print this document out, I can save it to my Google Drive. So I have a lot of options of things I can do with this picture.
Now, it's important to remember this is really just a picture from the screen. So if I'm gonna try to read this with some of my tools it's not going to work, I'm not gonna get text to speech support here, 'cause it really is just a picture of the page, and I think it's important to remember. It's just giving you that picture. But if we're looking for ways to do that, and you wanna be able to interact with something that started its life as a picture, TextHelp has a really nice tool. I don't like having to show everybody my Google Drive 'cause again, you will judge me like my apps but that's okay. TextHelp has another tool called Snapverter. Which when you install it it's an app and what happens is when you install it, it creates a folder in your Google Drive. And what you can do is you can snap a picture with your phone or your tablet and upload that picture into the Google Drive folder, it will process that picture, it will do the OCR to find the text on that picture, and then when you're done... Pardon me, I forgot to show you what it looks like. And so what happens is, it's taken this picture and it's OCR'd all of the text that's found on the screen and now I can read it. So what you're seeing is as it pops up, this is the view of the replay for Google and it's PDF support in the Google Drive. So now we're in the actual PDF that I took a picture of, and you can see I purposefully took a bad picture too, it's really crummy there was junk on the table, the lighting was horrible. Taking the picture is not my thing, but once it does the OCR, I can highlight text on my document and I can have it read that out loud to me.
- [Computer Voice] We've set the following as not an acceptable instructional material in format. Audio, B pictures,
- [Voiceover] Okay, so we won't read the whole thing, but you get the idea. So now, it moved right through that and provided me that text to speech support. You can see from here, that I've played with this file before. I can add in my own text that I can type it in. If I want to highlight things I can do that also. So as I go through I can find things and highlight them. So if I wanna take this and highlight it yellow I can do that. If this is my cue and then this is gonna be... I should probably answer it the right way. And there's my proper answer. So now I can highlight that so it's there, and what's nice is when you're done having this web filling in all your information and highlighting things, whatever it is, I can print this out as a document I can save it to my Google Drive, or I could just print it out as a regular document and then go through that and share it back out that way. So, a really nice option to go through and get interaction with those materials, especially worksheets or tests. If someone forgets that they needed to make them adaptive materials for a student and suddenly the quizzes that day, you can walk up and take a picture with your phone and then send it to yourself and then it's ready. You can share that with a student, that becomes a really, really nice setup to do it like that.
This is, Jennifer, this one is called "Snapverter", than you Tiffany. You guys are good. I should just sit back and let you guys just talk in the little box, you guys are doing great. So this is a little nice one as well. Okay I got five minutes. I'll show you two more and then we will wrap up. Getting close. As we go through, and like I said, you should see my list here, we didn't get to three quarters of them, but that's okay. One I do wanna show you for note taking 'cause it's a great one because it does some similar things of other tools we're familiar with as far as using AT. And this is an app called "Mic Note", like microphone note, and this basically when it opens, this acts like a LightScribe pen. So if you're someone who's familiar with the LightScribe pen and how that functions, as you write notes your notes are synced to the audio that was happening in the room at that moment, and you have this ability to facilitate note taking for someone because they don't have to worry about getting every single thing down, but instead they can just rely on putting little prompts for themselves and then that prompt is audio tagged to the exact time that happened in the moment they were on. I'm sorry, I'm just trying to figure out why none of my stuff has followed over. That's strange. That's okay. So, this is an example of a webinar, you can see that I was just writing myself single word reminders as I went through, and those reminders...
- [Recorded Mike] S reading, and I'll probably talk about a handful of text to speech apps, mic notes app as well. This time we'll wrap up with some other things. looking at some general...
- [Mike] So what I was able to do was hit the "play" button, and then if I clicked on any of the time stamps that showed up in the lefthand side it brought me to that moment in time when that was recorded. And so now you have that functionality of audio synced notes to your typing on the Chromebook, which is nice. And like anything else, we could spend an entire hour talking about whether a tool like this or the LightScribe will be allowed in the classroom, but that's a whole other hour for a whole other time. Thinking of the functionality of it itself, I think is really important to remember. This one is called the Mic Note. And this is a paid one also, so there is the pro version which I think is five dollars for the year. And then there's the free version. The free version allows you to record a short time. I think about three minutes or so. And so that's about what you get from that. The paid version will give you three hours.
Rebecca had a great question in the chat box, is, "Will that be acceptable to a screen reader?" I don't think so. If using it on a Chromebook, I haven't had success with the Chromebook built in screen reader to do it. I haven't tried it on my laptop yet, 'cause I don't have Jaws. I'd be curious to see if Jaws actually saw this pop up. I have a feeling you'd have more success with Jaws, then with the Chromevox, which is the built in screen reader for the Chromebook, so I think it's a really good question. And then Michelle asked, "Has anyone bought apps "like this for students, and how that works?" I think a lot of things that we're seeing with these apps, are similar to the issues we saw with the iOS store, and the app store, where we start looking at how to purchase things like this. The schools that I'm working in, if they're buying the apps like the Read and Write for Google, or Collator Universal, they're buying a subscription for a certain number of seats and so those then get attached to a student's profile.
For an app like this where it's a five dollar app that connects itself to your Google profile, the way that the school I'm working in does it is they just have the Google Play and they get giftcards and they do it that way, they pay for the apps that way. It attaches to the student's school profile. So I think it's a good question. Thank you for your question, I appreciate it. I see we are at the end of our time. And I didn't get to show you my favorite app, so I'm gonna do it 'cause I'm still in charge here, so why not? Let me do it. Let's see if I can find it. And I like showing it just because I think that as you think about the power of all these apps and what they allow you to do. And the way you can interact with some of these tools, there are instances where you can see the real power of using the computer for something, and so this is one and I'll show it quick and then I'll stop talking I promise. I was in a classroom and they was building things. Part of the activity was they had to take Legos and build something and then explain it to their classmates, and the student I worked with has a physical disability and was unable to build with the Legos.
And so what we were able to do was find him this Lego builder app that goes on the Chromebook, and he was able to build his piece of information of whatever he wanted to build. And this is a horrible example, but okay. Let's see. And what's nice is that it also allows you to adjust it so he could then work on this at his desk and then he brought his Chromebook up to the front and they connected to the projector and he was able to present his information. Just like everybody else came up with their actual Lego that they built, he was able to show his in the same way. And this is called the "Lego Builder". And so this is just another one to remind you that, look a little broadly in some of these apps and think about how you would use them to meet that person's needs. Because on the surface it was a tough sell to convince people that these are the kinds of apps and extensions that are needed in a school, but it was exactly what was needed in that moment for the classroom activity.
So, please think broadly of these. And come on, who doesn't like Legos? This is probably one of the most fun apps you'll ever play with at all. I could sit here for another and just do this while you guys just talk in the chat box. But that's Lego Builder. I hope you found some that work for you today. Please remember that all of these and then some are listed on my website so please feel free to go there and just download them to your own Chrome profile and play. As we wrap up, 'cause now it's a few minutes after so thank you for staying for a couple minutes more, I appreciate that. The only other thing that I would say is that... I would remind you that we still have a Twitter chat next week, so I hope that you'll join me. I don't have the date on their sorry. The date is, I wanna say the 19th. Sorry about that, I didn't put the date. The date is the 19th, Thursday, February 19th at 8 o'clock eastern. And we'll talk more about Google, so please join me then. There is the discussion forum that happens at the ctdd website. Which is And then go to the cafe and search for the forum. So please join me, ask questions, we can continue the conversation there throughout the week. I'm looking forward to chatting with you there. And otherwise, thank you guys I appreciate all of your interaction. I'm looking forward to going back to the chat and reading it. So thank you. I will see you next week in the Twitter chat, or I will talk to you in the forum. Thank you guys, have a good week.