Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a fourth year teacher working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 3 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

#SYD17 Day 1

Earlier this year I applied to the Google Certified Teacher academy and was lucky enough to be accepted.  Part of the program entails an intensive at the Sydney Google offices and that started today.



The day started with an (optional) Amazing Race around Sydney.  In groups of three or four we had a huge number of tasks (worth varying points) to complete in three hours.  While public transport was an option, our team had fun collecting clues as we walked around the inner city. 



While the winner is still unknown (and I'm fairly sure it wasn't us) we had an amazing time and definitely explored some of Sydney that I would never have investigated.


Onwards to Google for the start of our Academy.  It's an amazing group of educators from around the world - supported by great coaches.   We kicked the afternoon off with some Moonwalking and found some new friends - our High Five buddy, our Secret Handshake buddy and our Booty Bump - three new friends!


Then it was time to break out Google style - with an Escape Room challenge, my very first (but certainly won't be the last) time of doing one of these.  Our group would have successfully broken out had the locks not been accidentally switched :) It sure was fun and cracking those codes are hard work  -  thank goodness for phones .... and Google!

We then met our team and coach, who we will be working with closely over the coming days!  Our coach is Justine Driver from Auckland, NZ!  Despite going to school together (many moons ago), I've never worked with Justine before so super great to have a fellow NZer as our coach.  We began with initial introductions and shared a five minute story about what has inspired us - later, over dinner, our team name and chant evolved - looking forward to that tomorrow morning!

Lastly, we had a session about the Design Process where we were encouraged to fall in love with our problems.  We had to design a new chair and then face off with other groups to ultimately find the best "new chair" - a huge shout out to the imaginations of the crew that designed the "Volcano Chair" which ultimately won the prize!




Thursday, 13 July 2017

Unpacking the new technology curriculum ... #CS4PD

After a great first day yesterday, I'm energised and ready to unpack and talk about the new curriculum in greater detail!


Just do stuff!!! Don't spend a long time talking about it - that's not as engaging.  Unpack after you do it and you will engage and motivate your audience.  Give them a toolkit that they find useful and can utilise in their classroom.

Everything we do is about seeing the ingredients and putting them altogether.  Keep track of the big picture but make it real and bite size portions.  

Unpacking the New Curriculum


There is an importance in everyone understanding 'where we are going' - what is the shared vision?  It is a progression with important building blocks to support and enable students to meet the outcomes.

Computational Thinking
The main focus in this area is on:
  • Algorithms
  • Data Representation
  • Programming

Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes
You can be the creator and use these applications in exciting ways.  We can create something new with our knowledge.  Focusing on:
  • Producing quality, fit-for-purpose, digital outcomes
  • Locate, analyse, evaluate and present
  • Knowledge of operating systems, file management and application software

Where to start ... when to start

Next month is Moonhack Day  (August 15th) a worldwide event to encourage programming with projects available in ScratchJr, Scratch and Python.  A great way to launch into coding and starting to unpack computational thinking.  Teachers are able to register their class and the projects provide stepped instructions.  


A career in technology?

Technology companies have an imbalance in male/female candidates in New Zealand because female candidates are not coming through education at the same rates as males.  Interestingly, developers often join as a 'junior' and earn more than the median New Zealand wage.  Why are the girls not looking at computer science/digital/IT as a career?  How can we address this imbalance?  Why did you get into technology - the two most common answers are creativity and problem solving.  

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Computer Science inspirations & ideas @ #CS4PS

After a day of travelling (thanks to the Christchurch fog) I finally made it to the #CS4PS workshops in Christchurch.  I'm excited for a full days of networking and learning.

Computer Science in all curriculum areas .... 

Computer science can be used to reinforce learning in all curriculum areas - it doesn't have to be an extra!

Debugging 

What is debugging?  Locating a problem and fixing it

  • What language are you going to give your students when they have a coding problem? 
  •  Often there are different ways to achieve the same thing - not a bad thing, just an opportunity for learning.

Three questions to ask your learners:
What did you expect to have happen?
What is actually happening?
What does your code say?

Encourage students to critically think and debug together.

Using Raspberry Pi, circuitry, robots

Littlebits - really good for inputs and outputs
Arduino - using the specific arduino language but through purchasing a book called Sik Guide you are able to get many codes online.  Uses a breadboard to house wires (prevents soldering). Teach learners the first 12 projects and then ask them what they'd like to make?
Raspberry Pi - recommended for older students - takes about a week to set up but needs a time commitment
Spheros - use an iPad app to move a robot around the classroom
Edison robots

For teachers with iPad classes (which can't used Scratch) these options will both work on iPads and are very similar to Scratch

Picaxecloud.com
snap.berkeley.edu

Kidbots and Fitness UnPlugged

Have learners draw one exercise on a card.  Laminate and keep the cards so learners can program their fitness each week.  Use whiteboards to put each card on so you can write the number of times for each card.  Select a child to be a programmer - use a lanyard.  Reinforce that there is no wrong answer - programming language can be different.

Ideas and ways to use programming in the classroom

Use Scratch to program and say your Mihi
What is a noun/adjective etc - join them together to create a sentence
Site to explore:  Madlibs
Use Scratch to explore your school values - clickable and interactive for the learners to communicate. Learners create the project - when you half make the project, learners will be more creative.
Codeclub.nz - projects learners can work through easily with check boxes so they are extremely learner friendly

Statistics unit - Searching algorithms

Organise your data in a way that it can be easily searched and you can find what you need easily.

Sequential search

An efficient way to search?  Use paper shot glass cups with a number inside each.  Teacher becomes the computer and children guess a number - how many guesses could it take?  What is the largest amount of guesses?  What is the least number of guesses we need? Sometimes it is good to have things out of order.   Use a range of numbers which are mixed up so learners can't just "count" the number of containers.

Binary search

Halve the search criteria by using a binary search.  Use "I'm thinking of a number" to demonstrate a binary search using only 7 guesses if they are in order.   Could use Scratch to make a teaching algorithm using the "higher/lower" game.

Game - find a treasure chest.  Start with a randomized sheet.  Graph the results.  Second time, use binary guessing system and sheets that are in order - most should guess within 5 guesses using this system.  Talk about the differences in the graphs.  Could lead to discussions on probability and validity of the data.

Computational Thinking

Computational Thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions so that the solutions are represented in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent.  -  Cuny, Snyder, Wing 2010


Thinking computationally is about solving problems, by creating solutions that teaches students how to:
  • describe a problem
  • identify the important details to solve the problem
  • break the problem down into smaller, logical steps
  • use these steps to create a process (algorithm) that solves the problem
  • and then evaluate the process
All of the skills are strongly linked.  There is often an overlap in descriptions and in examples.

Algorithmic thinking
  • is the process of creating algorithms
  • is a step by step process that solves a problem or completes a task
  • when we create an algorithm to solve a problem we call this an algorithmic solution
Abstraction
  • is about simplfying things to help us manage complexity
  • it requires identifying what the most important aspects of a problem are and hiding the details/information we don't need to focus on
Decomposition
  • breaking things down into the smaller and simpler parts
  • it helps to make large problems less intimidating!
  • we can break problems down into smaller subproblems and then break these down further and further
  • the solutions to each are smaller and simpler and built up to a solution
Generalising and Patterns

Logic

Evaluation


The Barcode challenge is a great way to challenge your learners using computational thinking.  In the classroom you could amaze your students the first time and then teach them how to do it.  The same concept (check sum) can be used with books.

Internet of Things

Relevant learning through problem solving local issues using the internet of things.  How can you extend past Scratch - coding something for a purpose or to make it 'real' for the learners.  One group of Dunedin schools is working on an issue and using this as the motivation for learning - Picaxe.co.nz.  The project aims to create a website were all the setup and resources are available for teachers to use in their classroom.









Saturday, 8 July 2017

#SYD17 ... let the journey begin!

Totally excited to have been accepted into the Google Certified Innovator program in Sydney next month.


My project focuses on my passion of Personalised Learning.  In order to apply, you need to create a Project Slide deck and one minute video.  It only seems fitting at the start of my journey to begin with these:


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Explain Everything Classic - navigating the major changes

With the recent Explain Everything update, some of my learners are not sure where to locate features that they use frequently.  I've made some easy help cards for them which I have displayed around the room as a visual reference.  They were all created using Google Draw and they may help other teachers who also use Explain Everything in the classroom.  I've shared some of them below, and they are available to be used by other teachers from this Google Drive folder.

The ones I have so far created are:

  • adding new slides, deleting, moving between slides
  • exporting a project to Google Drive (or similar)
  • opening a project from Google Drive (or similar)
  • saving and exiting from a project
  • deleting audio/video recordings
  • changing colours



Sunday, 25 June 2017

Exciting changes in Explain Everything 4

I've been a huge fan of using Explain Everything since I started teaching and have definitely enjoyed the new features after installing the update late last week!  If, like me, you love using Explain Everything but are used to the old version, these great videos are worth three minutes of your time as they are a great overview of the new features.




 Having only created a few projects this weekend already here are some of my favourite new additions:
  • The draw/fill option
  • Adding a sound bite from within Explain Everything
  • The ruler feature - my lines have always been just that little bit crooked ;)
  • The eraser - so many times my learners have wanted to remove a part of the drawing they had added earlier and haven't been able to - until now! 
I'm really looking forward to using the new version over the coming weeks!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Interface XPO 2017 - Afternoon Sessions


Creating with iPads - hosted by Cyclone Computers
Moving from consumption to creation!

The SAMR model helps us determine what level of creativity with technology you are achieving. Most learning takes place above the line (transformation) - modification and redefinition!



While there are MANY apps, using a few apps extremely well is better than just touching on many.  Its not about the app - its the task!

PicKids - the same as PicCollage but more child friendly (not internet based).  
Some ideas for using this:
Letter/Number Scavenger Hunt
Story Sequencing
Homophones
Parts of Speech
Book Covers
Writing Displays for publishing
Timeline of events
Character Map

Some ways to use Book Creator:
Collaborative books
Books can include text/sounds/images
Sentence starters

Explain Everything
Some ways to use Explain Everything:
Explain learning by annotating and talking about instructions
Take a photo of a piece of writing to model editing and recrafting
Capture the voice of the learner

Afternoon Keynote
Coding using Gamefroot
A game creation tool for school children and educators to create games.  This web based creation tool uses scripts (similar to Scratch) to enable children to make and share their own games. Learners can draw their own backgrounds and images or choose from a full library.  You are able to have as many levels as you would like in a Gamefroot game.


Afternoon Session
Keeping Students safe using Google Suite for Education (GfE)

This recent report highlights the importance of digital technologies in education.  Various risks for children using the internet.

"More time teaching, less time teching" - Google.

G Suite - different settings for different users within in a domain.  Many of the features for G Suite are underused in GAFE domains and experts such as Cyclone can assist to ensure these are set up correctly.

Google Safety Center - free information for parents/teachers/educators


I've enjoyed my first Interface XPO.  It was also great to network with other teachers and IT techies throughout the day.


Interface 2017 XPO - Morning Sessions

My first visit to the Interface Xpo and I'm looking forward to being inspired with some great ideas.

Opening Session

A fast game of XPO Feud (based on Family Feud) to kick off the day - download the template and many others from Youth Downloads.  The game was followed by a few Keynote presentations:

Creativity in the Classroom with Adobe
65% of learners will end up in jobs that have yet to be created.
Adobe Creative Animator - great for learners who are shy and don't like appearing on camera
Adobe Spark Video - a free creativity tool that allows you to create videos or tell stories - personalise the voice, music, text and pictures to make a short movie.  App for iPad available or can be done online at spark.adobe.com.  Copyright free music is provided.
Adobe Spark Page - a free creativity tool to create a webpage.  Easy to use with free images, texts and layouts which you can include.

Image result for adobe spark video

Breakout Session One

3P Learning - Mathletics and Reading Eggs

Mathletics and Reading Eggs are more than just lessons for students.  Check out the printable resources and group teaching resources (available through eBooks link).  Teaching resources are interactive.
Mathletics:
When completing activities:  "i" button or "?" button shows specific steps on how to get it right.
New questions are generated even if they get it completely right - giving depth of learning.
Demonstrations allows you to teach using the student view.
Reading Eggs:
While there is a focus on reading, it is a broader literacy resource.   Reading Express (focus 7 - 13 years old).  

Middle Keynote

GEO A.R. Games - Magical Park
Digital mobile outdoor games using augmented reality.
Different aspects to augmented reality - image recognition; tracking; geospatial (using GPS co-ordinates); 
Examples of augmented reality:
AR Book - Quiver Education
Skills Training - Zapbox

Benefits of Augmented Reality:
  • More student engagement and higher motivation
  • Learning at the student pace
  • Higher creativity
  • Solution focused thinking and problem-solving
  • Leadership and collaboration











Friday, 21 April 2017

GAFE - Closing Ignite sessions

The GAFE Summit experience today finished with a Ignite session. Ignite is a series of speedy presentations. Presenters get 20 slides, which can automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes.

Beginner Code - Switching - Jim Sill

Past performance is no guarantee of future results!
Sucking is the first step to being sorta good at something - Alexis (founder of Reddit)
You need to switch your code to try something new.
To adapt you have to change your attitude, language and thinking.

Hardwiring Happiness - Rick Hanson Ph.D
Do a beginners mind - challenge yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Reaching the Summit (and surviving) - Stuart Kelly

What does it take?  Citizenship; Culture; Connectivity; Celebration; Cash; Communication; Community;
Infrastructure is everything  -  the backbone of success!
Recognise the talent within your own school.
Remember:  students, students, students!  Think, move, grow in teams!

My Digital Journey - Angelnella Tupua-Wilson

Angelnella is a student at Aorere College and shared her digital journey.  When she was 8 or 9 she could not imagine having her own Chromebook or device.  She finds having digital devices in classes great for communicating and sharing ideas even outside the classroom.  Its a move away from the traditional classroom.  Last year she took robotics as it was something she knew very little about and wanted to prove that anything is possible.  She hopes her future will revolve around technology.

More than a coincidence?
 
- Chris Betcher

When you mix with the right people, your success exceeds the chance of statistics.
Chance favours the connected mind. - Steven Johnson









GAFE Day 2 - Afternoon sessions

This blog reflects the afternoon sessions I attended on Day 2 at GAFE.

Exploring Google Expeditions with Cardboard - Jim Sill

WOW!  First time really playing with cardboard and was great to get a free one - thanks Jim!
You will need to download the Expeditions app to your phone or iPad.  Virtual Reality is a chance to scale experimental learning.  This allows the teacher to bring the lesson to the learner.

The expeditions have some leading information and guiding questions (and answers) to assist the teacher in leading your journey.  The teacher can pause the journey.

You need to build a kit - you need devices (e.g. iPads, phones).  Ask for donations of old phones. You need a teacher device (e.g. iPad) and the device will push the image out to the learners.  You need to use a router (not connected to the internet) to share the images to your learners (as most schools block peer to peer sharing on their wi-fi networks).  Expeditions doesn't require the internet to work when we are running Expeditions.  Teacher is able to press and hold and direct learners to any part of the image.

Expeditions are able to be searched or you can browse different Expeditions on the first screen.

The teacher is able to use the experiences from the Expedition in the classroom to encourage rich discussions, great writing, extensive oral language and opportunities for further questions and explanations.

During the session we explored El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, USA; Observing the Gorilla in the Congo; 

Where to next? Google Teacher Certification - Kimberley Hall

Link to the Google for Education hub is here.


When doing the exams register for them using your personal gmail account as you are less likely to change your name than your school.

A few helpful hints for the Level 1 and 2 exams:
The exams are 3 hours long so you need to plan your time as once you start you can't pause.
The exam can take 24 hours to be sent to you after purchase to plan carefully.
Once you have purchased the exam, you have 7 days in which to complete it.

Recommendation:  Check out the review questions and exam sample questions first - it does help.







Presenting at GAFE - Day 2

Our second session that Clarelle and I presented today was our learning looks in the classroom.  Our full presentation is available here:


GAFE Day 2 - Opening Keynote



An amazing performance by Fa Man, Aorere's premier Barbershop quartet kicked off Day 2 of the GAFE summit.  It certainly put everyone in the mood for a great Day 2.

Let Learning T.R.U.M.P. Teaching and Tech - Richard Wells


"I hate it when he just keeps talking"
"They just keep throwing random stuff at us"

"I wish I could just work on the thing I need to"
Quotes from teachers on PD

Strategies help learners when they are stuck.  e.g. when you get stuck on a word .... and allow learners to find their own answers.

Learners like playing games because they know the rules, how to play and what to expect from others that are playing the game.  They have the strategies they need and know what they are doing.

We need to worry about the strategies we are giving kids so we can see the Key Competencies happen.  This will help them make their message clear - they can "play on the pitch without the coach!"  

What tools have we given our students to manage their time and their learning?  Are you managing your tools and your time effectively?  How are you giving feedback and at what speed?  It is hard to give a rapid feedback loop in the classroom.  In a computer game the feedback loop is so fast and it is why they are popular.  To speed up the feedback loop, use your other students.  As part of the Keynote, Richard used a Google Form to collect many ideas from his audience of tools that can be used.  

https://eduwells.com/2017/02/05/make-a-student-centred-classroom-part-1/


How can we integrate Google into our classroom?  Richard would suggest;

  • Google Keep - gather data but ensure your students understand how and what they need to collect?
  • Google Slides - present your data but ensure you have a tool on how to collate and use the information you are presenting.  Use a template so that people are able to read the information that is provided.  
  • Google Sites - put it out there and make something of the connections you are making to extend your understanding.  But unless you have a tool on how to extend the thinking, the Sites won't have an impact.

What tools are we providing to Relate to Others?

  • Google Docs - work on your own or use the share feature to work together.  The ability to make comments and have a discussion doesn't mean you are 'good' at working together.  What tools have we provided to help with this?
  • Google Hangouts - a great tool to get outside the classroom but how do we make the most of the moment?  How are we best going to carry this out?
  • Google Cardboard - put your students in the shoes of another.  They explain to you what its like to live in your world.
What tools are we providing to Manage Self?
  • Google Countdown Timer - great for teaching boys.  If you want something done, get it to countdown on the TV and boys will be more productive.
  • Google Calendar - colour your week and manage your time.
  • Google + Communities - allow for the management of work for learners (13+) as well as your own professional development and conversations.
What tools are we providing for Participating?
  • Google Forms - putting your hand up and answering questions - an effective way to encourage participation in your classroom.
  • Google + - contribute as a team, particularly applicable for secondary school learners.
  • YouTube - change the world using videos
Before you are able to effectively to use any of the Google tools it is important to teach the "How to?" How to behave as an individual, group and with others?  Then you are able to add the Google Tool as they are equipped to use the tool properly.  How to talk?  How to critique?  How to best present images?





Thursday, 20 April 2017

GAFE Day 1 - Demo Slam Reimagined

This year the Demo Slam was slightly different to previous years.  Each presenter was given 2 minutes to prepare and then 2 minutes to present after being given one of the random Key Competencies to present on based on Richard Well's KC image:


The Demo is extremely fast paced, so I've tried to include as much detail as possible for each:

Demo 1: Participate 
Import an HTML table directly into Google Sheets directly from a website.
Into a cell type the following:  =IMPORTHTML(URL, query, index)
URL - The URL of the page to examine, including protocol (e.g. http://).
The value for URL must either be enclosed in quotation marks or be a reference to a cell containing the appropriate text.
Query - Either "list" or "table" depending on what type of structure contains the desired data. index - The index, starting at 1, which identifies which table or list as defined in the HTML source should be returned.

Demo 2: Participate
Use a table in Google Docs to encourage participation - each learner can then type into their own box.
Todaysmeet.com - open a new room and determine how long its open for.  Learners are able to select a nickname and post comments in the room - extremely engaging for learners.

Demo 3: Clarity
Google Image Search extras.  When searching for an image, select the more button to access these options.  Under colour, select "transparent" to search for only images that give a transparent background or "animated" to select .gifs which are animated.
CraftyRights chrome extension - the ability to set your image search to only produce images that are free to use.

Demo 4:  Manage
Using Google Forms to encourage learners to be reflective and show progress over time - the example showed how their reflections changed from just a simple sentence, or even N/A to full paragraphs over a term.

Demo 5:  Empathy
Do you struggle with showing YouTube clips in the classroom because the "up next" suggestions are inappropriate, or the comments are not appropriate for your learners?  These great ideas remove the 'other videos' suggestions and comments.
viewpure.com - simply copy in the YouTube link to play or
put in "_popup" to in the URL to achieve the same effect e.g. from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmJ-4B-mS-Y to https://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=OmJ-4B-mS-Y

Demo 6:  Participate
Te Kete Maori app is an introduction to Maori culture and some of its key phrases, customs and songs. The kete includes commonly used words and phrases, some basic written greetings, and helpful tips such as how to greet visiting business delegations, and steps for a basic powhiri. To aid pronunciation, audio guides are also provided: simply touch on any Maori word, phrase or song to hear it said out loud.

Demo 7:  Thinking
An online quiz maker (similar to Kahoot) quizizz.com/

Demo 8:  Participate
Google Forms using "Get a Prefill Link".  Using Google Sheets you are able to simply change for each learner and automatically create a QR code for each learner.


Following this initial round of Demo Slamming, the four winners then competed again, this time with  1 minute to prepare and 1 minute to present.


Demo 9:  Manage
Bitmoji to share how you are feeling.  Bitmoji's drag easily into the Google Suite e.g. Hangouts, Slides, Docs

Demo 10: Manage
StayFocused chrome extension - block websites you set for a nominated period of time.  Chrome will prevent you getting access to the websites, allowing you to complete your tasks without distraction. Google Calendar - find a time in others calendars quickly using the find time feature.

Demo 11:  Thinking
Do you struggle with drawing?  Using autodraw it a quick and easy way to turn yourself into an artist.  My second look at this website today, and I can think of many ways it will be really effective in the classroom.

Demo 12:  Thinking
How many times have you been asked by a colleague, "how do you recover a deleted file in Google Drive?"  Have you ever wanted to just say "lmgtfy"!!  There answers is as simple as this!

A great way to end the first day at GAFE 2017 and I'm really looking forward to Day 2!



GAFE Day 1 Final Session

Story Writing in the Digital Classroom - Kimberley Hall

Creating a Choose your Own Adventure story using Google Slides.  If you don't do some level of planning, learners will struggle to achieve success.


This hands on session encouraged us to create our own Choose Your Own Adventure story in just 1 hour.  There were a range of great ideas to use to animate our story which are detailed here.  Despite the limited time frame, I managed to complete a quick story, inspired by some of today's session.


GAFE Sharing - Creating Google Sites to Lead Learning

This year I'm presenting two sessions with Clarelle Davis - our first session is how to Create a Google Site to Lead Learning!


GAFE 2017 Day 1 - Morning Sessions

Session One:  Experiencing a Student Led Classroom - Today! - Richard Wells

"Teachers struggle with modern learning environments" - headline in Stuff just last week.

"Students must have strategies for meeting challenges" - NZ Curriculum, Managing Self
The curriculum encourages all students to reflect on their own learning and use self-assessment. so students are able to assess how they are doing.

The key word for student-centred learning is: negotiate

How can we equip learners to do the things we need?  They may not be the 'normal' tools. Learning tools come in all shapes and sizes.

This Key Competency image, created by Richard Wells:

https://eduwells.com/2016/11/26/21st-century-key-competencies-for-learning/

Ideas for learning using the Key Competencies

Operate classrooms like a sports field - the coach steps off the field for the match so the players need to know all their moves in different situations before they take the field.  How can we empower our learners to be this way in the classroom?


Session Two:  A-Z of lesser known Googley Goodness - Kimberley Hall


I really love Kimberley Hall sessions and once again this one did not disappoint.  So many great ideas and apps to explore.  

The full list is here and  my blog post will focus on my favourites or ones that I'm really keen to explore and use in my classroom or personally.

A great way to start a session - Google Feud which is fun and engaging.  You need to remember that it is based on world answers, not just New Zealand.

androidify - the ability to  personalise the character which will play on presentations, websites or can be used in character animations to help with writing.

Boomerang for Gmail - ability to schedule emails or boomerang the email back to your inbox as a reminder.  New feature for Boomerang, how likely are you to get a response?

Explore Function in Drive (Slides, Docs, Sheets) - in Slides it will suggest layouts, allow you to research or suggest charts based on the data that is in your sheets.

HelloSign for Gmail - add a signature to a contract or document digitally.

CraftyRights - automatically shows you images which are free to reuse

Audio Library on YouTube - a great resource when movie making or for background music

Autodraw - very brand new!  It will give suggestions and draw for you

No formatting button - this button will clear the formatting of anything you have pasted into your doc/blog/sheet/slides.

Piktochart chrome extension - great to have this as an extension rather than using an alternative website.

The Great Suspender - suspends activity on every tab except the one that you are working on.


Zoom feature on a Mac - enable under Mac Accessibility feature and then can use Ctrl and two fingers to zoom into where you mouse is.