Slides Timer Extension

Two and a half years ago, I made an #EduGIF about adding timers to Google Slides using YouTube Videos and posted it on my site. Well, it’s time to introduce a new option.

Clay Smith is an educator in New York City. He’s also a talented coder. And that coding talent extends to gSuite Add-Ons and Chrome Extensions.¬† The newest in his repertoire of projects is Slides Timer, an extension that makes certain text placeholders in Google Slides text boxes come to life as timers when in present mode.

As Clay’s site explains, the extension accepts 3 different placeholders:

  • <<5:00->> will count down starting at 5 minutes.
  • <<2:00+>> will count up starting at 2 minutes
  • <<time>> will display the current time in AMPM format

Judging by the feedback form on Clay’s site, I’ll guess that this extension is still a work in progress. There are a few things that I’d change, if I could, but it’s already an awesome option as it is!

Check it out in the #EduGIF below!

Animation shows the use of Clay's Slides Timer Extension in action.
Pausable version of this #EduGIF available here: youtube.com/watch?v=16iqS5cWVZ0

Lunapic – Create Images with Transparent Backgrounds

When presenting about #StopMotionSlides, someone inevitably asks about cutting the background out of a picture so that it has a transparent background.¬† Up to this point, my answer has been Microsoft Word, but I wasn’t satisfied with that since it wouldn’t work on Chromebooks or on computers without Microsoft Word.¬† And then I listened to Episode 13 of the Shukes¬†and Giff Podcast.¬† In it, Kim Pollishuke shared about Lunapic.

Lunapic is a free, web-based photo editing platform.¬† Along with a lot of other features (seriously, go to it and explore!), is the ability to make the background transparent.¬† If it’s a solid colored background (i.e., green screen), there are tools that automate it.¬† For images that don’t have a solid colored background (or have backgrounds that include colors that are in the main part of the image), you can also do it manually.¬† Check it out in the animated GIF below!¬†¬†Side note: there’s even a Chrome extension so that you can edit images you find online more conveniently.

Lunapic Transparent Background Animation

Clear your Cache & Cookies

It’s important that you clear your browsers cache and cookies regularly. ¬†Doing it daily isn’t necessary, but doing it monthly (or even more regularly) would be wise.

In layman’s terms, cache and cookies are like little pieces of the websites that you visit. ¬†In the short term, they help you load that site faster when you visit it next. ¬†In the long term, however, as the sites change, the cache & cookies start clogging up processes (often because they are no longer part of the sites that you visit). ¬†Clearing them will help your browser run more smoothly!

Here’s how to do it in Google Chrome:

Clear Cookies and Cache Animation

Note: it was really hard to make it through this post without using¬†a lame pun with the words¬†cache or¬†cookie.¬† ¬†In fact, I think that my self-restraint earned me a cookie…. oops.

OneTab Chrome Extension

The OneTab Chrome Extension¬†(one-tab.com)¬†is typically¬†recommended¬†as a way to free up processing speed and reduce clutter when¬†attempting to have a tab-tervention with a tab-crazy browser user. ¬†And, well, that’s a true, but it doesn’t tell the full story of OneTab . . .

OneTab is actually a fantastic option for organizing, categorizing and sharing the sites that we mean to look at, read or follow up on, but just don’t have time – as well as ones that we intend to come back to repeatedly.¬†Think of it as your website to-do list manager. ¬†Check it out in the video below.

Pro Tip: At the school that I work at, our students are doing Passion Projects. ¬†Each week, they have to reflect on their progress and growth in a Google Doc. ¬†For 12 of the kids, I’m tasked with looking at that reflection weekly and providing feedback. ¬†So, I keep the links to their reflections in a locked OneTab Group.