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Fluco Toolbox: Twitter Archiver

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever wanted to create an archived collection of tweets on a trending topic? What about a conference? Love Tweetdeck, but hate scrolling down through all the images and GIFs? Or maybe you just love looking at tweet data.

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Twitter Archiver

First, the basics:

Name: Twitter Archiver
URL: Link here
Cost: FREE w/ Premium option ($29 yearly)
Problem this tool solves: Use this Google Sheets add-on to archive tweets on a trending topic or hashtag. Customize fetch rules to limit based on language, mentions, user, and more.

Twitter Archiver is a Google Sheets add-on that’s very handy to capture tweets based on a series of rules. It has both a free and premium side, each with their own pros and cons. This tool is a great way to capture Twitter updates when Tweetdeck isn’t the preferred option. Twitter Archiver removes the images and GIFs so that the tweet and links are the priority. Bonus: it works in the background even when the computer is off so the file is constantly being updated!

Before I jump into how to use the tool, I want to share a comparison of the free and premium versions. We all love free, and for most educators, this will be the best option. However, those who follow a lot of conference or popular educational hashtags may prefer the $29 per year premium option instead.

The free version allows the user to create one rule for fetching tweets. This rule can be edited and changed over time, allowing the user to pull different hashtags in as needed. Because of this, it is best for the user to have one Spreadsheet named Twitter Archiver. A new tab is created for each new rule, and old tabs can be deleted when no longer necessary. The free version fetches tweets every hour and is supposed to be limited to 100 tweets. However, my test run of this with a trending hashtag showed that it was able to pull in over 2k the first round, and over 300 the second time.

Upgrading to premium does cost $29 per year. With premium, new tweets are fetched every 15 minutes, allowing you to stay on top of the most recent tweets. It also does not limit to 100 per hour. Multiple rules can be created, which means that the user is not limited to using just one spreadsheet for Twitter Archiver. Finally, technical support is free for 60 days.

To begin using Twitter Archiver, use the link above to add the add-on to your Google Sheets. Open a new Sheets file, and name the file Twitter Archiver. In the ribbon at the top, go to “Add-ons” and select “Twitter Archiver”. The first time the add-on is used, you will be asked to authorize Google to connect to your Twitter account.

Follow the steps above again, this time selecting “Create Rule”.

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Fill in the parameters for the rule. If you are only wanting hashtags, do not add the # symbol to your parameters.

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Note: Mine is set to Manage, as I’d already created an original rule prior to this post. Your screen will look similar to mine.

Once the rule has been created, the Google Sheet will have a tab for a Log and a tab for the rule. As more rules are created (or the original updated), new tabs will be added.

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The tab that houses all of the archived tweets looks like the image below. It is much easier to scroll through and read tweets on a topic without pictures, and with a more compressed look and feel. It is also easier to sort the tweet data, or search for keywords that appear over and over again.

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That’s all there is to it! Don’t forget to manage and update the original file if you are a free user. I love the data this thing collects, but I’m a big dork for all that fun data stuff, too. I plan to use this in the future for conferences because I’m able to see more information at once. Happy tweeting!

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: Tall Tweets

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever wanted to make a GIF of your Slides presentation? Ever wished you had a few sample images to advertise your upcoming workshop? Just like GIFs?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Tall Tweets

First, the basics:

Name: Tall Tweets
URL: http://www.talltweets.com
Cost: FREE
Problem this tool solves: Create GIFs of a Google Slides presentation. Use these GIFs for auto-running presentations, to advertise a presentation, or even to highlight the key points of a presentation. This tool also allows the user to tweet high quality images of individual slides.

Despite its name, Tall Tweets does more than just work with Twitter. It’s a handy tool that can be utilized to create a GIF from a Google Slides presentation. Choose to highlight key slides, or create a GIF of the entire presentation.

To begin, go to the website listed above. The first step is to connect a Google account to the website. This allows Tall Tweets to access Slides presentations stored in Drive. Then click the “Select Presentation” button.

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Search Drive for the desired presentation. Tall Tweets includes all presentations that have been shared with the user, so it’s a good idea to have the name of the Slides file in mind when searching.

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Click the desired presentation and then “Select”. Tall Tweets will import the presentation to the website. This may take some time, especially if the presentation file is large in size.

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Once the presentation has been loaded, the user has two options – Create a GIF and Tweet Slides. To create a GIF, fill in the information in the Create a GIF box. Choose the image width for the GIF, what slides to feature, and how long each slide appears. Then click “Create GIF”. A preview of the GIF will appear just to the right, where it can be saved to the computer or tweeted. There is also an option to select a different presentation with the “Change” button.

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Users can also tweet individual slides at high quality. Switch to “Tweet Slides” by clicking the gray box just below the “Make a GIF” one. Each individual slide will be loaded as an image, and can be saved or tweeted directly from the page. To use Twitter, permission must be given to connect the site to a Twitter account. The only part I did not like about the tweeting section was that it did not pull any info from Twitter, such as alerting if a user was correctly tagged. If you are tagging individuals, make sure to know their handles, as Tall Tweets does not auto-predict.

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If you often present or share ideas with others, this is a great tool to try. Try it the next time you are sharing conference or presentation information.

Resources

How to Create Goal Trackers & Behavior Plans in Google Forms

Recently I’ve been tasked with helping special education teachers and case managers create behavior plans and goal trackers for students. It’s a process that has always been done via paper and pencil, or by collecting data via emailed questions. The process has its flaws of course. Students lose papers given to them, teachers don’t always email back, and it’s hard to track all of the data in one place.

One teacher asked if there was any way to turn this into a digital process so the data could be stored and gathered in one location. Through our collaborative effort, we began playing with Google Forms, and thus, created a behavior form that would work for the student. After working out the kinks, and training the teacher to analyze the collected data, we were rolling. And now she’d never go back to the old way.

Word got out about the process, and I was soon approached by case managers at the high school needing to track data on student IEP goals from teachers. These case managers didn’t see the students and relied on the information from teachers to help track student progress. I began helping these teachers create goal trackers in Forms, using the same process.

I’ve finally had a chance to create a series of tutorial videos for those teachers needing to know how to make them, but that I may not have a chance to see. I wanted to share this series with everyone else as well because I believe it’s very helpful. The tutorial series is broken down into sections so that viewers can easily skip to the part needed, rather than watching one long video.

Creating Goal Trackers & Behavior Forms Video Tutorials

My First Google Summit

It’s been awhile since I’ve written an actual post, but I have to make an update about my first Google Summit! I attended one in Staunton, VA over the week and I must say, I am hooked. I would love to go to another in the future. Heck, I’d love to be a part of EdTechTeam for that matter! I had a fabulous time getting to know the team sent for this Summit, and I enjoyed presenting 2 different sessions. I even got asked to quickly demo a tool during lunch the second day.

The two topics I was able to present on were Ramping Up 1:1 PD with Google Forms and Calendar, as well as Google Calendar Tools for the Busy Professional. My PD one was a teaser of what I plan to do at VSTE on it. The biggest difference was that this time it focused on the tools, and at VSTE it will focus on the history and planning. Google Calendar is a favorite of mine, but it’s an often underutilized tool in my experience. I was able to show ways to make it work better for the user, including color coding, organization, and settings. Both of my sessions were pretty well attended for such a small summit. I had around 30 in my calendar session, and about 15 in my PD one. Overall, my feedback was 4.8 in both, which I think is great for a first Summit!

I found the atmosphere of the Summit to be very energetic. I was the only one from my district to attend, so I felt like I had a lot that I needed to take in and absorb. I was watching the presenters from EdTechTeam themselves, and noting the passion that they infused their presentations with. I feel like it will help me become a better presenter, and (hopefully!) Google Trainer in the future.

The sessions I attended on the second day were full of information, and I was on overload trying to absorb it all. I definitely took some good notes, and have already sent things to my staff. I tried not to send too many things, but just enough to whet their palette. I’m sure quite a few will save it for later to read, which is what they do with a lot of my emails. I just love being helpful. If you want a copy of the emailed resources, grab it here.

Since returning to school today (We had Monday off for Columbus Day), I have been working on organizing everything and planning my next steps in terms of what I do with my staff. After all, attending is one thing. Now it’s time to share my newfound knowledge with the rest of my staff. I have new ideas to add to my Fluco Toolbox posts, new ideas for PD for my staff, and new resources to send them periodically.

Thanks for helping me feel rejuvenated, EdTechTeam!

Fluco Toolbox: Easy Clipart (Google Docs Add-on)

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever been working on a Google Doc, and needed some quick and easy clipart? Sure you can search online for some, but did you know you can use an add-on to cover most of your needs?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Easy Clipart

First, the basics:

Name: Easy Clipart
URL: Go to Add-ons in Google Docs, and search for it by name
Cost: FREE
Problem this tool solves: Use this Google Docs add-on to search for and insert free clipart directly into a Doc.

There are many times we need free clipart for documents, and often this means doing a search online to see what’s available for free. However, one doesn’t always need to go to the web to search for clipart, especially within Google Docs. Instead, install the “Easy Clipart” add-on and search for clipart files right in the sidebar!

First, go to the Add-On menu at the top of the Docs screen and scroll down to “Get Add-ons” From there, search for Easy Clipart and install the add-on. Make sure to give all necessary permission requested.

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Once the add-on is installed, it can be loaded from the Add-on menu at any time. Opening Easy Clipart in Google Docs loads a sidebar on the right side of the screen. Use keywords to search. Once an image is found, simply click on it to insert it into the document.

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That’s it! It’s a really simple add-on that can make a difference. Make sure to share this one with students, as it will be handy for their documents as well!

Resources

Chrome Web Store Link

Fluco Toolbox: Power Thesaurus Extension

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever been browsing online and needed access to a thesaurus without all the bells and whistles, and without needing to go to a new webpage?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Power Thesaurus

First, the basics:

Name: Power Thesaurus
URL: Link
Cost: FREE
Problem this tool solves: Quickly look at antonyms and synonyms while browsing online by simply selecting a word

Power Thesaurus is a very simple tool, but very handy. This particular website has created an extension for Google Chrome that allows the user to view synonyms and antonyms for a word while browsing online.

First, install the extension from the Chrome web store. Provide any necessary permissions for it to run. Once installed, it will appear as a blue P icon among the other installed extensions.

To use Power Thesaurus, simply select (or double click) a word. A sampling of synonyms and antonyms will appear. The user can change the settings by clicking the gear icon on the lower left of the pop-up. This small preview will not show every antonym and synonym, but it will tell how many of each there are. Click on the blue “View All” link to be taken to the website to see all of the results.

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This tool doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but it is handy to have installed as an extension for research and browsing purposes.

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: Sir Links-A-Lot Extension

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you needed to change the URL of a G Suite app file to make it force copies or show in template mode? What about auto shorten the link, or download as a PDF? Today’s tool can do that and then some!

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Sir Links-A-Lot

First, the basics:

Name: Sir Links-A-Lot extension
URL: Link
Cost: Free
Problem this tool solves: Use this extension to automatically create URLs for Google Suite apps – template, force a copy, download PDF, and preview. Turn any G Suite app file into a shortened URL.

I recently discovered this gem, thanks to some research and a post from ShakeUpLearning. I had no idea this extension even existed, and as I waited for it to install, I hoped it would do exactly what it promised.

Spoiler: It does!

The Sir Links-A-Lot extension is handy to have when a file needs to be force copied, a template, or even automatically download as a PDF. No more do you have to remember the text to add to the end of a G Suite app URL to make the file do one of these options. Nope, all you need is the click of a button! G Suite apps include Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings.

First, navigate to the Chrome web store using the link above and add the extension to Chrome. Give any necessary permissions as prompted. A white icon with gold links for eyes and a black hat will be added to the other extensions already installed.

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Any time a Google app file is open, this extension can be executed. Simply click it and the following options appear:

  • Force copy – page loads without preview and button that makes users create a copy first
  • Preview – view file without menus and toolbars
  • Template – preview file & easily create a copy
  • PDF – when entered, URL will automatically download the file as a PDF

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Sir Links-A-Lot also provides a few more handy buttons. These buttons quickly copy the new URL to the clipboard, shorten it with goo.gl, or open a link to the new URL in a new tab

Hopefully, this extension will make things a lot easier when sharing G Suite files, especially if sharing them for trainings or conference resources. No more having to remember ways to fix URLs. Just click a button! Sir Links-a-Lot has your back.

Resources