Tuesday, September 16, 2014

News for You & Your Students

As most of you know, I like to start each day with my caffeine addiction boost from Starbucks.. but you may not know that I also start it with a little website called theSkimm. It's straightforward, witty, and short-and-to-the-point news. Perfect for me, since I never have time to pick up a newspaper or watch the news! 

Each morning in my inbox I get theSkimm's newsletter. 

I can easily browse through their quirky headlines, such as...



and even...


Paleo diet: Eating like a caveman. The reason you don’t go out to dinner with your friend who’s into P90X, because she basically only eats meat and nuts. Hold the cheese and bread basket and dessert and happiness.

So, while the headlines are catchy and grab my attention - yes, there is in fact real news from around the world included, with links to credible news sources - like CNN, NBC, Reuters, and CBS to name a few- in case you doubt their reporting :)

Looking to share current events with your students as well? We have an app on our iPads called News-o-Matic, which is a daily newspaper that's full of information and fun! 

Each day there are 5 articles that are made just for kids. But, the additional features are oh-so student-friendly:
  • Interactive maps that locate the story relative to the child – with integrated geography and math facts
  • In-app audio playback of complete articles via a Read-to-Me function
  • Definitions and pronunciation support for difficult words
  • Games that relate to the news of the day
  • Translations to Spanish – with Spanish language audio – at the tap of a button

Watch this video to learn more and check out an iPad to see for yourself!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Google Forms - New Themes!

For a long time, Google has not updated the "themes" for their forms. We had a very limited selection, but today that all changes! 

Google Forms now has 24 new themes to choose from, as well as the option to customize your own theme by choosing a heading and background image. 

To choose a theme, click on the usual "Change Theme" button in the toolbar, and you will get a sidebar with new options:

Once you click on "Customize", you get several options:

You can choose an image from your computer for the header and page background, as well as customize font options. 

So you can go from old:

To new!