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Bruce Mercer
Works at BISD
Attended Penn State
Lives in Bastrop, TX
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Bruce Mercer

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For educators: 3 Reasons for using a Blog as your classroom site 
(posted as a published Gdoc to reserve the link structure)
3 Reasons for Blogging your classroom. 1) You can easily archive, reference and share everything you've ever taught in one location. Here's an example section copied directly from a classroom blog (all links are live): http://308today.blogspot.com/. BLOG ARCHIVE: SEMESTER CROSS SECTIONS (BY WEEK) ...
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Bruce Mercer

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A very useful tip from my GAFE account if you use embedded Gdocs on your sites!
 
Embedded Gdocs timesaver
If you use embedded Gdocs on your sites (and I use them everywhere), you can save a lot of time hunting down file locations in drive, accessing shortcuts folders or editing the ends of your URLs by adding discrete edit/publish links at the top or bottom of your docs. This will allow you to quickly jump right from your site to either of those views for snap edits or sharing elsewhere. This is particularly useful on any site where you have collaborating editors since they can jump directly to edit views too, even if they have no idea where they are located in their drives, if at all (...on a campus website for example). I even use this technique on Blogger sidebar gadgets, since editing a Gdoc is much easier, and then I just paste the contents into the gadget editor). If you're interested, you can see this technique in action at these example sites (the edit link will prompt for an edit logon, but the pub links should work fine for you).

Classroom Blog: http://308today.blogspot.com/

Campus website (you'll have to browse from the homepage... most of the other pages have embeds on them): http://bms.bisdtx.org/

If you don't like the appearance of the links on your pages, you can change them to a very faint, almost indistinguishable font color and size.
 
I hope this saves you as much time as it has saved me!
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Bruce Mercer

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Some fun tech apps classroom activities to explore if interested :)
 
Fun effects with Silk, Snagit, Forms and Slides
This weeks student reflection form background was created using Silk and then altered using the Snagit Noise and Emboss tools... the effect is very interesting to me. Screenshots of the settings and results are included below along with a Slides GIF from part of our project for this week. If you're interested and would like to explore more, here are the related links:

Silk:  http://weavesilk.com/

Snagit (I use the paid desktop version):  https://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html

Live form (still being edited at this post): https://goo.gl/XISwCL

Classroom plan for this week (where these tools were introduced to students):
https://goo.gl/RgEH0d

Weekly project demo slides:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Q8n6jqXFXWQs1nSl77oF8LPl10uu1nFIEnDpkFZagA0/pub?start=true&loop=true&delayms=3000

All forms (for other ideas) which can be copied:
https://docs.google.com/a/bisdtx.org/forms/d/1m5h2ot-_XHv26mOf-5HNft4meyylljDNiLNQh_Mo4IQ/viewform

All tech apps plans and coursework archives:
http://308today.blogspot.com/

Have a great weekend!
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When Google-parent Alphabet Inc. reported eye-popping earnings last week its executives couldn’t stop talking up the company’s investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
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The idea of Google offering its own wireless service may seem like a stretch. But it has the power to make the carriers cave.
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Physicist John Martinis could deliver one of the holy grails of computing to Google—a machine that dramatically speeds up today’s applications and makes new ones possible.
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We're creating custom QR codes and adding them to custom Google Forms backgrounds in our tech apps classes today. If you're interested, you can explore the activities, video help files and example products right along with us here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Pzt6wsUXigHDUkEE6mVyeUofOEYk5g64suRZ3YkrqQo/pub#h.lxp6673bl0uh
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Some thoughts from an earlier GAFE account post for your consideration and feedback, especially if you live near the current hidden pines fire event!
 
Organizing and posting information during an important event
One of the important functions that I expect AI will do for us in the near future is gather, prioritize, and present links and information during an important event (like our current local hidden pines fire event), and update/prioritize/personalize that information in realtime based on a number of parameters like changes in conditions, currency of information, number and frequency of visitors, available drone and webcam video feeds, evacuation routes and traffic, relevance and usefulness of comments, user current location, user device, etc. In the meantime, here's an example public Gdoc which I'm posting with a built-in submit-a-link form which is set to email me immediately when a response is submitted. I'm just posting this as an idea and to incorporate improvements based on your comments/suggestions :)
Hidden Pines Fire: links to updates, resources and general emergency preparation tips. Links and hashtags list (edit/pub). Click here to submit a link which you think might be helpful to add to this list! Thankyou! https://twitter.com/hashtag/hiddenpinesfire?src=hash; #hiddenpinesfire ...
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Have him in circles
926 people
Albert Stein's profile photo
Alyssa Welsh's profile photo
Naeem Adamjee's profile photo
Elizabeth Opena's profile photo
Link Embed Online's profile photo
Part-Time Scientists's profile photo
Halina Ostankowicz-Bazan's profile photo
‫أبو أحمد‬‎'s profile photo
Simcha Hochman's profile photo
Education
  • Penn State
  • TXST
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Male
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Married
Story
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Tech enthusiast, learner & educator
Introduction
Think outside the box...
Green (find yours here!)

Bragging rights
1 Wife (ever), 2 Sons (one working in San Marcos and the other in Houston), 4 dogs, 1 cat
Work
Occupation
Tech Apps learner (with a teacher label! ;)
Employment
  • BISD
    Tech Apps (& formerly Science) Teacher, 1997 - present
  • USMC
    AV-8B Pilot & Flight Instructor, 1984 - 1996
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Currently
Bastrop, TX
Previously
Montvale, NJ - Los Angeles, CA - State College, PA - San Antonio, TX - Yuma, AZ - Cherry Point, NC
Bruce Mercer's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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