Google Extension of the Week: Clearly- by Evernote

For the next few Apps of the Week (when it is my turn to post), I will focus on Google Apps and Extensions for Education, GAFE for short.  I know, one question that comes to mind, for me anyway, is what is the difference between a Google app and a Google extension?  One presenter made it abundantly clear to me last weekend at the Northern Virginia GAFE Summit.  A Google app serves as a map to an actual website that can be used as a tool. A Google extension enhances the functionality of the Chrome browser.

The Google Extension I would like to share with you is Clearly.  Created by Evernote, this app removes web distractions from your websites to keep content free and clear from ads and pop-ups.

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Once you download the extension on your Chrome browser, a small icon will appear next to your address box, also know as an omni box.  The icon we are looking for is the mini table lamp. See the image below:

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Here is website before Clearly:

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Here is the same website after using Clearly:

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All ads and distractions are removed.  In addition to a distraction-free site, one can change the font for reading ease. One can even highlight text.  Saving a “clear” website in Evernote for future reference also and seamless reading is a matter of logging into your Evernote Account and selecting the Evernote elephant icon.

Clearly is a free extension that will prove beneficial to you if you don’t like to navigate through noise and clutter on your websites.

Learn more about Clearly here:

Download the Clearly extension here:


Fall 2015 Academic Success Conference!

Hope you are able to join us this week for our first Academic Success Conference!  Funded by Student Life and Powered by the Collaboration of Learning Technology Resources, this 3-day conference will allow you to:

  • Meet Fellow NOVA Students
  •  Meet your Partners in Success
  • Explore NOVA Alexandria
  • Find beneficial resources

There are a number of workshops offered throughout the day accross the campus.  None will exceed 30 minutes.  For every workshop attended, you will get a chance to win prizes (book scholarships, books, and an iPad!)



Here is the schedule:




We hope to see you there!

Go(ing) Pro

Check out our last post from student contributor, Annie Birge.  We wish her the best on her next endeavor at University of Virginia.  A Pathways  graduate and student leader, Annie has left an indelible mark on this campus and Team TILT especially.  In this post, she contemplates the benefits of Go(ing) Pro.


I have a special place in my heart dedicated to photography. Not like I’m really good or anything but I have always loved taking pictures. I love art in general but I have always gravitated toward photography because I feel like my fingers are incapable of painting or drawing what my brain wants to produce. Yeah I know what you’re thinking… Art has no boundaries, no rigid rules or expectations but that mantra doesn’t offer me any solace when I look at my doodles and realize they look like the work of a kindergartner. I guess my self-conscious mindset will always in some ways prevent me from feeling totally satisfied with whatever I produce, especially by pen, pencil, or brush.

But cameras, on the other hand, have been able to provide a necessary artistic outlet for me- free from the pressures of wobbly lines and bad shading. Instead of forcing my hands to follow my imagination and create a picture, a photograph takes only a click of a button. With that very click comes a snapshot of time, a capturing of emotion, that offers your mind a conversation they say is worthy of a thousand words. Cameras are so rampant in today’s society and culture, we photograph nearly every moment of our lives and I mean every moment. Including all of our special occasions, be them weddings, proms, or (of course) all of our gains at the gym. We photograph our nights out with friends, birthdays, and vacations. We post pictures of ourselves, definitely some more than others (come on, admit it, we all have that one friend on IG who will #selfie back to back to back). And don’t forget about the “foodgasms” we undeniably have from all of the #foodporn we scroll through in a day. Read more

App of the Week: Talkboard

Photo Source:

Photo Source:

Looking for a quick way to provide remote assistance to students who need homework support? Talkboard, created by Citrix, may be the app for you.  Talkboard allows users to sketch and talk at the same time in a live virtual collaborative setting. Sharing a Talkboard with your fellow collaborators takes place by copying and pasting the link or emailing the link directly from the app.

Talkboard may prove beneficial to students who brainstorm, storyboard, demonstrate learning in real time, take notes with audio, create review guides,  or collaborate with one another on projects.

The interface is quite simple and one can annotate imported images too.  When finished, you can export and share the final project.



Learn more about Talkboard here:


This app is currently free and only available for iPad/iPhone users. To download go to:




App of the Week: WeLearnedIt


WeLearnedIt is project based learning platform where teachers can create and share content and assignments with their classes.  Students can complete given assignments/projects and upload on the same platform.  In exchange, students can track their progress and receive feedback from  teachers, students, or peers. Each student would have a digital portfolio on this platform to track and showcase their work.  WeLearnedIt also provides useful analytics and data to drive instruction.

To learn more about WeLearnedIt, go to:

The WeLearn.It app is available on iTunes.  To download, go to:



App of the Week: VoiceThread


VoiceThread is an app that combines the ability to collaborate, share digital stories (visual content), and participate in asynchronous digital conversations within one platform.  This free app is available on iOS (Apple), Android, and Chrome.  With this dynamic tool, one can upload, images, diagrams and videos and create audio, video, or written commentary. Sharing your VoiceThread can be as easy as sending an email. Imagine a space where one can create a digital story or presentation where global feedback and commentary are welcomed in various formats.  You can even call in with your commentary!  VoiceThread gives you the power to lend your voice in engaging discussions beyond flat written commentary.  This tried and true app has been used by Kindergartners as well as adult business professionals.  Take a look at how one can use voice thread in the embedded thread below:


Google Play:

Chrome Store:

App of the Week: iBooks Author


Are you considering publishing a digital textbook, novel, or publication? iBooks Author, a free Mac App, allows you to create eBooks for iPad and Mac.  Using this tool will enable you to incorporate video, interactive content, graphics and more to give life to content that is typically flat. iBooks Author offers beautiful templates you can use and customize.  Adding content can take place by a simple click, drag, and drop process.  Imagine taking your completed Word or Pages file and dragging into a beautiful iBooks Author template to create your very own digital publication.  This is not your average ePublisher.  In addition to creating engaging digital content your students will not want to put down, students can highlight, take notes, create flash cards and share content with classmates.  iBooks Author is definitely an app you should consider highly if you are looking to publish you own content in a compelling way to enhance instruction.  To download this onto your Mac, go to


If you would like to know how to get started, check out this comprehensive 30 minute tutorial:



App of the Week: RefMe

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 5.13.44 PMImagine with me, if you would, the ability to curate and cite resources using the reference style of your choosing (6500+ styles), with the simple use of a barcode scan or search.  Congratulations, one does not have to imagine anymore.  The app RefMe is the free tool for you.  RefMe allows you to use barcodes, ISDN numbers, URLs, and DOIs to create bibliographies and citations.  You can cite 35 different types of referencing sources (i.e., CD’s, Legal Cases, Journals).  All of your bibliographies and citations are stored in a cloud and easily accessible using any web-enabled device.  You can export your citations and bibliographies to Evernote, email them to yourself, or sync them to your account so you can export to Word or Google Docs.  To download this free app, available on iTunes and Google Play,  click on the hyperlinks listed:


Google Play

2014 Year In Review: NOVA Event of the Year!

This year, team ISD, supported a number of events on the NOVA Alexandria Campus!  We were reflecting and determined our Top 4.  Out of our Top 4, we collectively voted on our #1.  I have the pleasure of sharing with you our NOVA Campus Event of the Year.  But first, let’s re-cap our Top 4:

NOVA T.E.A. – Partnering with Amanda Trostle (Liberal Arts) and Kelly Hebron (Science Technology and Business), Team ISD worked collaboratively to host 2-3 informal professional learning communities centered on student engagement and success.  Kelly and Team ISD presented this strategy, “Building Communi-‘TEA'”as a best practice at JMU’s TLT Conference. This semester, we hosted the following events:

  1. Ode to the Whiteboard
  2. Leveraging Social Media Appropriately for Classroom Engagement

We look forward to next semester’s collaboration!


Adjunct Professional Development Day – During the Spring Semester, Learning and Technology Resources, under the leadership of Dean Frances Villagran-Glover hosted an Adjunct Professional Development Day.  “Sailing Towards Student Success”, Adjunct Faculty participated in workshops to learn about the new Achieving the Dream Policies, S.A.I.L.S., Panopto, Dealing with Difficult People, Interactive Formative Assessment, and much more.  This event was the catalyst that birthed the Alexandria Campus Adjunct Development Project, an initiative that hosts professional development workshops and opportunities throughout the semester.


SMASH Pub – This Halloween, NOVA Students, Faculty, and Staff got App Smashed. Team ISD established a “pop-up” experience in the halls to release the power of smashing by re-mixing and synthesizing Apple Apps to create awesome multimedia products.  We provided a menu of “Tech Tricks and Treats” to choose from.  Some of the mixes included:

  • The NOVA Dew – Tellagami and DoInk
  • Writer’s Block on the Rocks – Dragon Dictation and YouTube
  • The Contestant – Tellagami and Kahoot
  • Traveling Artist – Garageband, iMovie, and Aurasma

The SMASH Pub will make a second appearance at ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia!

The award for the NOVA Event of the Year goes to…

Fall 2014 Convocation – Team ISD collaborated with the Provost’s Office  and the Fall Convocation Committee to make this year’s convocation, engaging and fun through the use of multimedia!  Using Camtasia, iMovie, Photoshop, and YouTube, Team ISD re-mixed television opening credits, past and present, to introduce NOVA Alexandria to its newest Faculty and Staff.  Students used multimedia tools (PowerPoint, MovieMaker) to present about their summer experiences conducting scientific research and study abroad.  We also got a taste of IGNITE; 2 students enlightened us and made it quick about something they were truly passionate about- Disney and Community Service.