An Interesting Visual Map Featuring Key Higher-Ed Edtech Conferences Taking Place in 2017

December 8, 2016
For the folks in higher education looking for some notable Edtech conferences, Edsurge has this wonderful graphic featuring some of the key Edtech related  events that will take place in 2017. The graphic includes a set of data related to each conference such as its location, date, a short description and a link to the conference website where you can access and learn more about the conference. This work is  available for free in a high-resolution PDF format (with clickable links). The print version is not free.

The content of this conference map is arranged into the following categories: “Blue events are built around educators, but some of these events involve exhibitor halls. Red events emphasize the business of edtech more than pedagogy. Orange events are more tightly focused around a topic or specific audience, such as libraries or community colleges. Gold events are usually oriented a specific product or company.”

6 of The Best iPad Apps for Annotating and Marking Up PDFs for Teachers

December 8, 2016
Throughout our blogging experience in reviewing educational mobile apps and web tools, we come to compile and arrange what we believe are the best apps to use for a variety of educational purposes. In today's post we are sharing with you an example of such collections. This is a selection of our top six iPad apps for annotating and marking up PDFs. As a teacher, you can use these apps to help you: annotate PDFs; sign, fill in and merge PDFs; mark up text using highlights and handwriting; add comments and notes to PDFs; scan and convert images to PDFs and many more.

6 of The Best iPad Apps for Annotating and Marking Up PDFs for Teachers

1- Adobe Acrobat Reader

This is one the most popular PDF apps out there. Besides reading PDFs, Adobe Acrobat also allows you to annotate and sign PDFs. Other features it offers include: add comments to PDFs using sticky notes and drawing tools, highlight and mark-up text with annotation tools, convert pictures taken by your phone’s camera into PDFs, scan several document pages into a single PDF and many more.

2- iAnnotate PDF

‘Use iAnnotate to read, mark up, and share PDF, DOC, PPT and image files! …Choose from the pen, highlighter, typewriter, stamp, straight-line, note, underline, strikeout, photo, voice recording, and date stamp tools. Copy and paste annotations, even from one document to another. Additionally, Use keywords to search the full text or filenames of every document downloaded to your Library, or limit your search to unread, annotated, or favorited documents to refine your results.’

3- PDF Expert

‘PDF Expert 5 is a must-have app for anyone who reads, annotates or edits PDF documents on iPad or iPhone. It allows you to mark up documents with highlights and handwriting, insert text and stamps, sign and even merge PDFs. Moreover, PDF Expert 5 is the best choice for filling out PDF forms right on your iPad and iPhone.’

4- Foxit PDF

‘This is an easy-to-use PDF reader which allows you to view, annotate, and protect PDF files on iOS devices while on the go. Unlike other PDF readers, this app comes with ConnectedPDF, a breakthrough technology that brings new levels of accountability, collaboration, and productivity to the sharing and tracking of PDF documents worldwide.’

5- PDF Forms

‘Fill, sign and annotate Adobe PDF forms and documents. PDF Forms is a powerful processing app for anyone who has to deal with PDF forms and legal documents. With its help you can fill forms, add remarks and notes to the ready document, sign agreements and notices. Moreover, the app offers a choice of handy sharing options such as email, Google Drive or Dropbox and lets print documents via AirPrint.’

6- Notability

‘Students, teachers, and business professionals use Notability daily to take notes, sketch ideas, annotate PDFs, mark-up photos, record lectures, provide audio feedback and more. It is uniquely designed for each device to provide the best note taking experience at school, at home, and at work. And with iCloud, your notes are always up to date.’

Seesaw released 3 Important Features for Teachers and Students

December 7, 2016
Seesaw is one of our favourite digital portfolio tool/app that we have covered in numerous posts in the past. A few days ago, Seesaw launched a number of interesting updates that we have just discovered through a buried email in our ‘pregnant’ inbox. The main updates are :

1- Translation into 50+ languages for families & teachers! Tap “See Translation” under notes, captions, & comments to instantly translate Seesaw content into your preferred language. Making Seesaw accessible to all families is a priority!

2- Text labels annotation tool so students can add text labels onto any photo, drawing, drawing+voice video to better show their learning.

3- Add Text Labels to Any Photo, Drawing or Drawing Video on iOS: Annotate any photo, drawing or drawing+voice video with customizable text labels. Choose from 8 preset styles or customize completely.

And as for the Computer Science Education week, Seesaw has this collection of resources for teachers and students:
  • Webinars and Live Q&A with the Seesaw Team
  • Interactive Seesaw Coding Class chock full of resources
  • Printable, offline "design thinking" exercises.

7 Excellent Chrome Tools to Enhance Teachers Productivity

December 7, 2016
While the digital world provides us with immense opportunities to enhance our learning and hone in our intellectual skills but it does also pose some serious challenges that can severely undermine our overall productivity. Procrastination and distractions are two of the social ills, among many others,  that have been amply aggravated with the growing use of web technologies. To this end, the purpose of our post today is share with you this selection of excellent Chrome extensions that you can use to help you focus and be more productive while browsing the net. We have included add-ons that touch on different areas from time and task management to note taking. Check them out and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

7 Excellent Chrome Tools to Enhance Teachers Productivity

1- Prioritab

‘A new tab page that emphasizes setting priorities. Set your priorities for the day, week and month, and be reminded about them every time you open a new tab!’

2- Google Keep

‘Found a webpage, image, or quote that you want to save for later? With the Google Keep Chrome Extension, easily save the things  you care about  to Keep and have them synced across all of the platforms that you use — including web, Android, iOS, and Wear. Take notes for additional detail and add labels to quickly categorize your note for later retrieval.’

3- Add Tasks to Do It (Tomorrow)

‘Using this extension makes it way faster to add simple tasks to your Do it (Tomorrow) todo list. This simple extension adds a button to your browser to quickly jot down a task to do.’

4- Wunderlust New Tab

‘Ideas can strike like lightning. Now when they come to mind, you can instantly capture them just by opening a new tab. The Wunderlist New Tab extension replaces your stock “New Tab” page, so you can easily create and check-off a to-do from your Wunderlist Inbox.’

5- OneTab

“Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once.”

6- Save to Google Drive

‘This extension allow you to save web content directly to Google Drive through a browser action or context menu. You can save documents, images, and HTML5 audio and video all by right clicking and selecting 'Save to Google Drive'. You can save the currently viewed page using the 'Save to Google Drive' browser action. The directory location and format of saved HTML pages can be controlled with the extension's options page (Choice of Entire image (default), Visible image, Raw HTML, MHTML, or Google Doc). You can automatically convert Microsoft Office files or comma separated files to Google Docs format.’

7- Print Friendly

‘Print Friendly removes ads, navigation and junk before your print. Pages are optimized for the ultimate print reading experience…Click-to-delete any content before printing; remove images or individual images; change the text size from larger to smaller; and generate PDFs for archiving, sharing,’

3 New Google Drive Features Teachers Should Know about

December 6, 2016
Over the last few weeks, Google Drive added a number of interesting features to its main services Docs, Slides and Sheets. The most recent addition was announced today and concerns Google Sheets settings (see number 2 below ).  If you have missed any of these updates, here is a quick overview of the three most important new Google Drive features that are especially useful for us as teachers and educators.

1- Adding citation feature to Explore in Google Docs 

A citation feature has been added to Explore allowing users to easily cite their sources with the click of a button. This is especially useful for students working on writing projects (e,g research papers), citations are added as footnotes and students have the option to change citation formats (choose between MLA, APA, and Chicago Styles). However note here that this feature is only available for Explore in Google Docs in the web and it will take from one to 3 days for this feature to be visible to all users.  Here is how you can use citations in Docs Explore:

  • Open a Google document
  • Click on Explore at the bottom right
  • To add a citation from the web, hover over the search result and click Cite as footnote Cite as footnote. To set the citation style as MLA, APA, or Chicago, click More More.

2- Interesting features added to Google Sheets settings

‘To prevent the errors that sometimes plague complex calculations, today we’re launching a new setting in Sheets on the web (File > Spreadsheet settings > Calculation > Iterative calculation) that allows you to set the maximum number of times a calculation with a circular reference can take place. In addition, you can specify a “convergence threshold,” and when results from successive calculations differ by less than that threshold value, the calculations will stop (even if the maximum number of calculations has yet to be reached).’

3- Export Google Slide presentations in OPD (OpenDocument Presentation) format

Google Slides users can now easily export their presentations in OPD format. This is how to do it: ‘From a Google Slides presentation, click File > Download as > ODP Document (.odp) to download your presentation as an ODP file. The file will be saved to your default download folder.With this update, you can now import and export all three major OpenDocument file formats: .odt files for documents, .ods for spreadsheets, and .odp for presentations.’

A Handy Chart Featuring Some of The Best QR Code Apps and Tools for Teachers

December 6, 2016
If you are planning to use QR codes with your students in class the chart below provides you with some of the best web tools and mobile apps for generating and reading QR codes. And as we have argued elsewhere, there are several ways to integrated QR code technology in your teaching. In this excellent video tutorial, Red Squirrel demonstrates 11 ways you can use QR codes in your class (e.g: create handouts with links to online content; enrich your content by adding links to online videos, documents and PDFs where students can access more information about topics taught; create QR codes that can show answers to a specific exercise or instructions on how to carry out a certain activity …etc, make books interactive and many more).
Note here that for you to use QR codes you will need :
  • Mobile devices with QR code readers/scanners installed 
  • QR code generators to create QR codes to share with students.
To learn more about how to use QR Codes in class, check out these guides:

QR Code Generators and Readers to Use in Your Class

QR Code creators for the web
QR Code creators/Readers  for iPad
QR Code creators/readers  for Android