Friday, September 5, 2014

My Top 5 Technology Bloggers/Websites for Google, Green Market, Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Math: My Top 5 Technology Bloggers/Websites for Google

Do you remember the commercial Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? I think that, in a good way, our school has gone Cuckoo for Google. Last year, we changed our email from Outlook to Google, we started using Google drive instead of our then beloved h: drive, and this year we are learning how to implement Google Chrome, Google docs, Google sheets, Google forms, etc. in our 1:1 classroom. With our buzzword "collaboration," many of us now see the benefits of creating a lesson in Google docs, in which all students (or teachers!) can work on at once. In fact, as the math department is up for our review this year, we will be using Google sheets to collaboratively enter the concepts our students are expected to know by the end of each course. And we just revamped our Math Lab sign-in by having students sign into a Google form on a computer or iPad--no more running out of sign-in sheets and easy access to see who attended...I am in awe of how we have been growing technologically!

This summer, I went to a Google 101 course at ISTE 2014, and it only touched on how Google can empower both teachers and students. I came home excited and found webinars and youtube videos about cool extensions, apps, etc. Completely geeky. I know. If you want to "Go Google" with me, here is a list of the top 5 websites and/or bloggers I discovered and learn from every time they post. I may never use Safari again!

1. by Amy Mayer @friEdTechnology. Watch these two videos just to get an idea: Smarter Chrome Lesson 2: Themes and Extensions, and Smarter Chrome Lesson 3: Favorite Google Extensions. These are just simply awesome. I learned so much just from watching her videos. Extensions are kind of like apps, and they can be added to Google Chrome right next to the omnibox. They make work life SO. MUCH. EASIER. And who wouldn't want easier? You can make your chrome screen unique to your particular needs. And I love the Kate Spade colorful theme for my background :)
Extensions help you do things you need quickly and easily.
They appear to the right of the "omnibox," or search bar.
There are many more videos from friEdTechnology, and I encourage you to look them up.

2.  Richard Byrne, author of this site, is an incredible resource, and I can't stress enough to follow his blog. He is often the first to blog about new technology features that are free for educators. You can also follow him at twitter here: @rmbyrne. This is one of his Google Tools Tutorials. I attended his webinar on blogging, and he has given me great ideas, one of which is to make a top 5 list. He has also taught me a bit of html. Thanks Richard!

3. Alice tweets AWESOME quick facts that help with anything and everything about Google. I learn things from her whenever I check my twitter feed. If you only have a minute to learn, follow @alicekeeler and you will definitely learn something. She is a "Google Gooroo!"

4. Kasey Bell creates FABULOUS Google Cheat Sheets that help to navigate anyone from beginner to expert. I often pin these sheets on Pinterest. You can follow her on Pinterest here, and learn how to navigate through Google.

5. SimpleK12 is a teacher learning community that can help you to Transform your Google Classroom with SimpleK12 . They offer free webinars weekly. They are great! The webinars are 30 minutes long, and they cover topics such as:
  • How to use google forms
  • How and why to get a google phone number 
  • Quick start guide to using Google tools
  • How to use Google chat
This list is endless. I have gotten so much out of just 30 minutes. I strongly recommend these not only because they are free, but because the speakers are excellent and you can pick and choose which webinars to watch. They are GREAT for beginners, but everyone can learn from them.

Through SimpleK12, you can gain access to tons of resources by purchasing a membership...but the webinars I mentioned are FREE! And everyone talks about getting the "bunny slippers." I want a pair!! 

And honestly, I learn a TON from my colleagues. Whenever I show them something I learned, they share something with me that they discovered, and therein lies the collaboration. It is really an exciting school year!

Play: The Green Market

My husband and I went to a Green Market in Palm Beach Gardens this Labor Day weekend. That's what they are called by us, but I think in the north, they are called "Farmers' Markets." I don't often have the chance to buy local, and it does feel good to support these small, fresh businesses.

I got an AMAZING smoothie from this guy:

I told him I like papaya, and he concocted his own blend for me: a ton of beets and carrots in a juicer, then poured into a Vitamix filled with papaya and banana. 

The samples of freshly made hummus, artichoke dip, pepper relish, and more from this guy below were so yummy. We bought a bunch home and served them as appetizers with the fresh pita chips we purchased. 

We bought bread from this shop, shown below. We were told to keep the bread sliced in the freezer to keep it super fresh. I've been taking out a slice every morning for breakfast, and it tastes amazing.

It's great to just walk around and take in the sights and smells. Highly recommended to do on a weekend were you just want to get away for an hour.

Eat: Cheesecake Brownie Bites

I know I just posted about Ghirardelli brownies last week, but I had a request to make cheesecake brownies for a Labor Day get together. So I searched Pinterest, as usual, and came up with this recipe from I changed it up by using one bag of the Ghirardelli brownies from Costco rather than make the brownies from scratch, but I did use the cheesecake recipe. Mine took a little longer than the 12 minutes suggested.

Have a great week!


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