Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chrome mystery solved: Where are my Embed Gadgets?

Oh where, oh where have my embed gadgets gone? Oh where, oh where can they be? For several months now, I've noticed that some of my embed gadgets that used to work in my Google sites show up as big blobs of nothing.

Blob. Ugh.
See? There should be a blog where the white space is. I was in the middle of our Rock Star blogging session when a teacher asked if she could embed her blog in her Google site. Hmmm. I didn't know, so I googled it. Sure enough, you can! I found this awesome video that showed just how to do it.

And then it didn't work. Big white blob where my blog should be. I spent a good part of my lunch trying to figure it out. Finally, I read that Chrome had updated some setting that made the browser think the embed gadget was unsafe, and was blocking it. See the little shield in the address bar below? That's how you know it's blocking script.

See the shield?

Unsafe! :( But click it! 

Hooray! The embed gadget appears where it should be!

Gettin' crafty: QR code dice for practically free!

This past week I spent 3 days in Truckee at the CUE Rock Star teacher tech camp. The Rock Star camp format is by far my favorite with two hour, hands-on sessions that give teachers time to explore and create. Each day has a different theme and each session is repeated in the morning and afternoon. So the only downfall (if there is one) is that presenters don't get to attend any other sessions. There were so many amazing sessions that I would have loved to attend! One of these was Melissa Hero's day 3 session "What to Do Once You Flip". Her session resources can be found here. One of the teachers who attended Melissa's session was raving about the QR code cubes with questions. I had to learn more. Melissa shared her blog post on the topic. 

Inspired by her post, I decided I would try to make my own. However, the first thing I discovered was that 10 wooden blocks cost around 12 bucks on Amazon. Not super expensive, but it meant I would have to wait. I asked my husband if we could just buy a 1x1 piece of wood and cut it with the table saw. That had to be cheaper than 12 bucks and I could get it right away! Patience is not a strength of mine. 

As luck would have it, we had a 1x1 in our back yard. My husband says it's 10 years old or so! Free! Awesome. He cut off the concrete and started cutting it into cubes. And then sanded them all with our little motorized sander. We ended up with 38 cubes! Cost so far? Nothing!
Got power tools?
Cut and sanded!
While he was hard at work cutting and sanding, I made the QR codes. You can read Melissa and Krissy's posts for more details, but basically I created 6 Google slides, each with a reflection question, and made it "view only". Then, I created a QR code for each slide. I use the Chrome extension Shorten Me, but you can also go to to shorten your url and create a QR code as well.

Here is an example of one of the slides.

Then, I created a Google Doc with a table for the 6 different questions and QR codes and printed it out. 

Off to the store for Mod Podge and brushes. Total cost?
Or just 33 cents a cube. 

The coolest thing about this project is the Google slides. That means you can change the questions. Or insert an image. Or add a video! The possibilities are endless. 

Now, if only the glue would dry!