Friday, September 18, 2015

EasyBib - A bibliography generator and great chrome extension

First off, let's make perfectly clear that this is not fair. I had to type citations for papers by hand, in the snow, by candle light, uphill both ways and usually on this ancient torture instrument called a "typewriter" (ask your grandparents). My works cited pages frequently looked like a 3D relief map from all the correction fluid build up on the surface. For you youngsters, "correction fluid" was the backspace key and spelling correction of the early 1980s. Imagine painting over your mistakes so you could make more mistakes on top of your previous mistakes. Also imagine that "paint" flaking off if you folded the paper. I can only imagine the challenge my teachers faced trying to make sense of  my papers (content aside). I do know my grades sometimes did not reflect a positive reception to my work.

Youngsters today ("Get out of my yard!") have it easy.
A great extension for Chrome called EasyBib Tools makes creating bibliography entries quick and easy.
If you want the extension to "follow" you in Chrome on other computers/Chromebooks, be sure you are logged into your Chrome browser. Click here to see how. This is not required but highly recommended.

Follow this link to get EasyBib Tools form the Chrome Web Store. Click the top right button to "+ ADD TO CHROME".
An orange book icon for the extension will show up at the top right side of your Chrome browser. When on a webpage you wish to cite, click on the orange EasyBib icon then click "Cite on EasyBib". There is no need to register to get MLA citations.

A window will pop up providing some options to edit the citation. 

Once edits (if any) are complete, click the Create Citation button. A Success! notice will appear with a link to view your bibliography.

Click the link and the citation can be viewed.

But wait, that's not all! 

The export feature allows the citation page to be downloaded as an MS Word document, saved to Google Docs, Dropbox or OneDrive, emailed or copied for pasting.

What did I say? Totally unfair.
Now excuse me, I have to tell the neighbors to turn down their "music".

If you would like more information on Chrome extensions or Google Drive, please contact your Instructional Technology Specialist.

EasyBid Chrome Extension - free to install
MLA format is free. 
APA, Chicago and a plethora of additional formats are available for $19.99 yearly or $39.99 for life.

Manage The Saving of iOS Products With Multiple Users In The Classroom

Our previous post demonstrated how to upload items in the iPad's Photo Roll into the user's Google Drive.  This works great for the single-user iPad, but presents workflow issues for the shared classroom iPad.  Students would need to learn a classroom procedure for using multiple Google Drive accounts on the iPad. This post presents one possible solution.

Teachers have been known to login on a classroom device with their own teacher credentials so that students can use the greater teacher privileges or the teacher's personal accounts.  This is not recommended for various reasons, the main one being that all AISD staff and student have accepted the Acceptable Use Policy that prohibits the sharing of one's username and password.

One possible alternative solution could involve using a classroom Google ID setup by the teacher using a personal Gmail account and not a school district account.

Setting Up Google
The teacher can login to the Google Drive app on the classroom iPad using a non-district Gmail account different from their own personal Gmail account. Do not share the password for that account with students. Do not let students create new Google Apps documents on the iPad using this account.

From your AISD Google Drive, create a folder that you will use with students. Your AISD Google ID will retain all ownership of the folder.  Share that folder with your new non-AISD Google ID. You can now login to Google drive on the iPad using your new Google ID and you should see anything that is saved into that folder.

Now, using your computer, make this folder accessible to your students by sharing it with them from your AISD Google ID. Only your AISD Google ID will be able to share with the student Google IDs. You can share it with each student specifically or use the group ID for your students. *Ask Instructional Technology more about that.

Sharing From iOS Devices
Students can use any creative app that will allow them to save their product to the Camera Roll on the device.  Save images created in Skitch, PDF copies of comics from Comic Maker, videos from PhotoSpeak, ChatterKid and others directly into the Camera Roll of the device.

Once they have a product in the Camera Roll, the students can open Google Drive. (The teacher already logged into the new Google ID created for the class.) The students will see the My Drive of the Google account.  Clicking the red + circle will provide the Upload option we need.

 After clicking Upload, the red circle will provide access to your Camera Roll in Photos and Videos.

Select Camera Roll to find your recently created items. Select what you want to upload and touch the checkmark at the top right.  The item(s) will be uploaded into your Google Drive account.

Organize The Google Drive Folder
One additional nice touch is to train the students how to organize the items that they upload into the class folder.  The teacher could create a folder for each student within the shared folder.  Once a student uploads an item into Google Drive on the iPad, they can touch the 'i' icon on their product, click Move in the info window, and then select their named-folder to have the product moved into that folder. 

This is just one option for quickly getting items off of an iPad and available to students and teachers from any computer. 

What other ways do you find effective in transferring iOS products from the iPad to your computer? Is it a free or paid app?  Does it work on the AISD Wifi network?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sharing iOS Products With Your Google Drive

A classroom iPad is a very creative device. Students can independently create products like comics, images and videos.  The often-asked question is, "How do I get their work from the iPad to my computer?" Sharing this work is not difficult and one solution uses your Google Drive account.

The video below (hosted by AISD's MyTraining in the AISD Cloud) demonstrates how one can get products from an iOS device and save into the user's Google Drive.  

This method does require the user to login to their Google Drive and only one Google Drive can be logged into at a time. For the shared classroom iPad, the teacher will need to establish procedures for the students to follow to effectively save to their Google Drive.   A future blog post here will demonstrate a very workable solution for multiple users saving to Google Drive.

Alternatives would include using DropBox, Box or other cloud storage services.  Sometimes, the free storage service limits your monthly uploading bandwidth, but Google Drive will not.  What alternatives have you used effectively?  Share your experiences in the comments below!