Tag Archives: Educational Technology

Design Playground with Google Drawing

The next session I’m attending is Design Playground with Google Drawing, by Ken Shelton (the keynote speaker). While I’m familiar with Google Drawing, I have never seen it meaningfully applied, so I’m excited to learn something new.

Ken begins his workshop by telling us how Google Draw can be used for within a rich pedagogy. The first thing he points out is that there is a lot of cross over from other Google Tools (Docs, Sheets, etc) as you can share, comment, and a few other things. We start by inserting our first shape, a rectangle! It’s easy, just click, drag, and draw. I manipulate the image by changing the color of the image and the line; you can even play with the weight of the line. We drew another rectangle, but this time we held down the shift key. This time, it aligned the shape and drew a perfect square. He shows us a few different shortcut tricks that you can find here.

400px-TopologicSpatialRelarions2After we have mastered shapes, we next get to play with spatial relationships! How do shapes work together? What’s the differences between cross and intersect? Touches and connects? Overlap and Overlay? So now we get to play again by scaling our shapes up or down and then creating different spatial relationships. I create a square and then insert a circle and then an equilateral triangle.

By using the guidelines that appear, you can perfectly align these shapes; you’re trusting not your eyes, but the program! By using the Arrange –> Order feature you can select which shape overlaps Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.08.27 PMthe other one. By playing with the alignment, order settings, and color and line settings, I can create an ice-cream cone with a cherry on top! Even though this drawing was simple, I had to play with size ratio, resizing, and manipulate color. Next, by selecting Arrange–> group, all of these shapes are now one! I can resize and align as a single design.

The possibilities of layering provide a a world of opportunities – students can create graphics and other designs (like infographic tools). I have to admit that this is far more flexible than I thought. I can certainly think of some ways to apply this.

One exercise example he gave us was to use the shapes to visually represent concepts, like: resistance, overwhelm, stress, and rhythm. You can even share drawings with those outside of the Google Domain by sharing as a PDF, Scalable Vector Graphics, PNG, and JPEG. You can even import it into

There really are some cool tools, and it’s not just the red-headed step child of Google Apps.

10 Ways to Drive GAFE Adoption at your School

My next session is 10 Ways to Drive GAFE Adoption at your School by Peter Henrie of AmplifiedIT. I have done a little work with the guys at AmplifiedIT (they facilitated our adoption of Cloudlock), so I know I will get some great information from them. Peter tells us that his objective is for us to go back to our schools equipped with a few ideas of how to drive adoption of Google Apps at our schools.

1. Plan your school’s adoption: map out what, who, when where and Identify areas which would benefit from Google Tools. Set milestones, like going paperless or increase docs use by 50% by next semester.

2. When you reach milestones, celebrate them publicly. How do you know if people are using Google Apps or if you have hit your milestones, use the Reports Tab in the Control Panel. Here is a document that can help you navigate the reporting tools.

App Usage report in the Audit Log.

App Usage report in the Audit Log.

3. Help staff transform their current lessons with GAFE, not simply use the technology for technology sake. Focus on curriculum delivery, create champions of various tools, deliver key outcomes, and have department/subject specialization. I think this idea is especially important. Science teachers and History teachers have different needs, as do elementary and high school teachers.

4. Explore external/online training solutions like Synergyse Google Apps Training. These tools (often paid) can allow people to train on their own schedule and on their own topics. Its reporting tools give you up to date information on who has completed professional development. As these tools only focus on PD, so their content is always up to date.

5. Create & Publicize Templates. Templates are kind of hidden away, so you will need to direct people to them. You can create templates for things like course websites, forms, agendas, etc. Teachers can create and add their own templates, which is a great way to sure lessons and other tools. You can learn how to create and submit a template here.

6. Get people to use other services in GAFE: Calendar, Groups, Sites, and Drive. To get people to use these tools, create resources in them. For example, if you want them to use Calendar create a  Test Calendar or a Resources Calendar. For Groups, you can create discussion groups. For sites, use them for course websites or digital portfolios. Drive is a great way to have people share robust files that are too large for email (video).

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.03.39 PM7. Browse the EDU sections of Chrome Webstore and Google Apps Marketplaces. The Chrome Webstore allows you to add extension or add-ons to Chrome and has an education extension. The benefit of using these add-ons is that you can not only access a myriad of tools (paid and free) and automatically have single sign-on. The Google Apps Marektplace is a feature that your administrator will need to enable and tends to include more robust tools that are often tied to third party tools (like an LMS).

8. Remove Obstacles: Don’t make it hard for people to use these tools. Make sure that GAFE is configured correctly, create a browser policy (to facilitate Chrome adoption), delegate admin rights, and use Groups for easy sharing.

9. Create a Teacher Dashboard. Peter recommends Hapara. If the cost is prohibitive, try Google Classroom (which has fewer functions). The dashboard makes GAFE more usable and easier to navigate.

10. Lead by Example: Model effective integration of GAFE by using Google Docs, default to Chrome, and practicing what you preach. If you draft the minutes of a faculty meeting on a Google doc and share it out with faculty to revise or view, then it not only forces them to log in to that Google Doc, but demonstrates application and learning.

AmplifiedIT has also drafted a couple of ebooks on Google Apps adoption: 14 Ways to Increase Google Apps Adoption at your School and 9 Expert Pieces of Advice for Adopting Google Apps for Education at Your School.

Use Zaption to Enhance Video Content

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers.

Video has become a more ubiquitous element in education today: YouTubeVideos, Kahn Academy, Flipped Content, iTunes U, and more. However, most teachers don’t want their students passively absorbing content. Rather, they want to make sure that students are engaged with the material. A great tool for incorporating more responsive features in your lessons is Zaption, which you can use to create interactive videos via a web browser or their free iOS App.

Take the Zaption Tour to see what’s possible.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.55.49 PMWhile Zaption does offer a robust, subscription model, the free tool will allow teachers to do a lot with both existing videos as well as those they create. After you sign up for an account, select “New Tour” on the top left of your screen. This will open the editing screen. The great thing about Zaption is that everything is drag and drop. So if you’re a bit lost, just try clicking and dragging something! If you want to add video, you can search for content online (YouTube, Vimeo, PBS, Nat Geo, etc), the Zaption library, or upload your own videos…

Read the rest of the article here: Use Zaption to Enhance Video Content.

5 tips to help school administrators make the most of Google Calendar

The is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius

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One of my favorite Google Apps resources is Google Calendar. If your school has enrolled in Google Apps for Education, it is part of your GAFE suite of tools. With a Google Calendar, you can more effectively organize and plan your administrative tasks. Here are some quick tips to help you to effectively wield your Google Calendar tools.

Use a Shared Calendar

With Shared Calendars, multiple people can view and even edit the same calendar. It’s easy to manage a shared calendar with your Administrative Team, Clubs, Faculty, or even parents using Google Calendar.

create shared google calendarYou can give members the ability to subscribe to the calendar to view updates or even grant them the ability to edit it. To do this, simply open up your Google Calendar and scroll down to “My Calendars,” press the down arrow and select “Create new calendar.” Give the Calendar a Title and include a brief description. Next, check the box “share this calendar with others” and select your sharing settings. Do you want it to be a public calendar that others can only view, share it out publicly only with people in your organization, or do you want to invite specific people who can then add items to the calendar?

Google Calendar Sharing Settings

Google Calendar allows you to be flexible here with multiple levels of access and sharing; for example, you can allow some people to view and others to edit. As the creator of the calendar, you can always change or revoke another person’s access to it. This is a great way to keep a group organized. By keeping a shared calendar with faculty, you can schedule tests and major assignments to make sure students don’t get overwhelmed. If you have resources, like computer labs or iPad carts, you can allow faculty to “reserve resources” on a campus calendar.

Set up Appointment Slots

Google Calendar also allows you to set up appointment slots without sharing your whole calendar with others. This is a great way to hold open office hours or allow people to book time with you; it will also let your faculty, students, other administrators, and parents know your availability without publishing your entire calendar. Note that you can only use this feature with a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) or a Business account; it will not work on a personal account.

When you open your calendar, switch to Week or Day view. Click on your Calendar anywhere and select “Appointment Slots” from the pop up bubble. From the drop down menu, select the Calendar you want to use. I recommend using the calendar you use for professional appointments – rather than a shared calendar – so that you don’t inadvertently schedule a conflicting event. Remember, sharing appointment slots will not reveal your whole Calendar only the time slots you designate available for appointments. Give your Appointment Slots a name, such as “Ms. Carey’s Office Hours,” and set the times for your appointments. When you have finished, copy the appointment page URL and click save. When you share the URL with others, they will be able to schedule appointments with you. If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, check out this great video by The Gooru

Sync your Calendar Across Devices

If you’re like me, you’re always on the run; going to a meeting, a class, or just trying to grab a bite of lunch. My Smartphone is my organizer on the go because it’s readily accessible and I can see my schedule at the touch of a finger. One of the great things about Google Calendar is that it resides in the cloud, so you can sync it wirelessly across devices without thinking about it! If someone emails you a calendar invite and you accept it on your desktop, it will populate your calendar on your laptop, smartphone, and/or tablet. Likewise, if you are stopped in the hallway and someone asks for a meeting, you can schedule it on your Smartphone and it will then appear on your calendar across all of your devices. Here are the instructions for setting up Google Calendar syncing with your with Android & iOS devices. If you need a little extra push to keep you going, you can even have Google Calendar send you a reminder with a text message directly to your cell phone (price subject to your texting plan).

Schedule a GHO Video Call

GHO Link in CalendarsVideo conference calls are becoming more popular as they allow you to engage beyond a disembodied voice. Google Calendar allows you to not only schedule a video conference call, but to include a link within the calendar appointment that users simply click to join. This is much faster than logging into Google Hangouts or Skype and inviting people manually. With aGoogle Hangout, you can have up to 10 people in the same call; so you can easily navigate remote meetings, interviews with multiple participants, and more.

Add Attachments to Calendar Events

Often, our calendar events include meetings to review different documentation, such as policies and procedures, or to discuss a specific agenda. To keep everything organized, you can attach a document to your event. This is a feature that requires you to enable “Labs” in Google Calendar.

goole labsNOTE: Labs are features that have not yet been broadly rolled out and are still in beta. It is important to know that sometimes Labs features are buggy. If you experience problems, simply disable Labs. To enable the “Event Attachments” Lab click on the the gear in the top right corner, then select Labs, scroll down and enable “Event Attachments.”

Now when you create a new event you will have the option “add attachment” available. When participants log on to the calendar, they will see the attachment and have the ability to download it.

There are a lot of great ways that Calendar can make your administrative duties more organized and streamlined. Explore other tips and tricks as well as more Lab options.

Learn more about Google Apps this Summer!

Google-Workshops

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  • The Chromebook Classroom
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View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

4 Ways Administrators can use Google Drive

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

google_drive-810x456

One of the most effective ways for Administrators to empower and encourage their faculty to use new and innovative tools is to model best practices by employing them in their own administrative duties. Google Docs, a tool withinGoogle Drive, includes a number of robust features that can streamline teacher’s administrative tasks and highlight their ability to foster collaboration among peers and students. If you need a quick tutorial on Google Drive, check out this article on Daily Genius. Here are four ways that Administrators can use Google Docs to both streamline their own administrative tasks and model effective use of technology.

Real-Time Collaboration

One of the most time consuming administrative tasks is writing policies, drafting communications, and updating school documents. Often this is done in a collaborative setting with other administrators, educators, students, and/or parents. Rather than email files back and forth, draft your work on a Google Doc and share it with others for their input. You can share at different levels, giving your collaborators the ability to “view,” “comment,” or “edit.” This can give you control over who makes changes before a final draft. To review changes in a document, go to File → See Revision history. This will allow you to see what edits were made and by whom.

Community Whiteboards

Faculty live a life on the go and as such, it is easy for them to become isolated from their community. A solution to this is posting an embedded Google Doc on a blog, website, or other digital bulletin board. By selecting File → Publish to the Web and select the “embed.” You can then include this on your electronic medium of choice. Faculty can leave notes, engage in discussions about ideas, etc.

Make Comments for Evaluations

Narrative comments are an important component of evaluating faculty. With a Google Doc, you can share your reviews with Department Chairs, HR, and the Faculty being reviewed. You can even populate a document using a Google Form with the docAppender add-on.

Newsletters

Google Docs allow you to include images, live links, and more. You can easily format a school newsletter (using Google’s collaborative features with contributors) and then share it with your Faculty, Staff, Students, and Parents. With “view only” privileges, individuals can still read content, click on the links, and make a copy for their own records. An electronic newsletter saves on printing and mailing costs and allows you to easily catalogue and digitally archive content for later access.

These are three simple tips to help you get started using Google Docs to complete administrative tasks. By harnessing the power of its collaborative tools and ability to share with people both inside and outside of your community, you can streamline your own work while modeling effective and powerful technology use for others.

Learn more Google Docs this Summer!

administrative tasks

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View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

An Administrator’s Guide to Google Forms

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

google-forms

The Google Apps for Education suite includes a number of robust tools that can streamline administrative tasks. In addition to making your job as an administrator easier, using them allows you to model effective technology adoption with your staff. One of my favorite tools to tackle this type of tasks isGoogle Forms, one of tools within Google Drive. Here are five ways that Administrators can use Google Forms in their schools.

Google Forms for Classroom Observations

Classroom observations are a key tool for evaluating faculty and providing them valuable feedback. One way to make providing feedback faster and easier is to turn your classroom observation forms into Google Forms. Having the form in an electronic, interactive format will make the process less cumbersome and store the data digitally for future access. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can complete the form easily from your portable device. Also, by using a Google Form, you can quickly email the contents to faculty, department chairs, and HR. Here is an example form for observation.

Faculty Sign Ups for Events

If you need chaperones for a school dance or field trip, lunch duty, or even detention, Google Forms is a simple way to have faculty and staff respond and sign up. You can easily share a form via email or post it on your school’s website. With the new Google Forms Add-Ons, you can limit responses by automatically turning off the form when you reach maximum participation, set up notifications when someone completes a form, and export the results to a shareable Google Doc when you need to dispense information to others (such as chaperone contact information or time slot sign-ups for an event).

Collect Info from Parents

When you schedule field trips or other activities, you often want to collect parental contact information in the event of an emergency. You can easily collect information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and emergency contacts using a Google Form. Because the information automatically aggregates into aGoogle Sheet, you can then share this information with chaperones and sponsors. As it can be accessed digitally, a chaperone can easily access the spreadsheet with their smart phone and contact the appropriate individual wherever they are.

Schedule Meeting Times

Everyone in a school has a busy schedule and finding a time to meet can be a challenging endeavor. You can send out a Google Form for people to indicate their availability. To do this, create a form, use the “checkbox” question option, and list available dates and times. Individuals can select all of the dates and times they are available to meet.

After all of your participants have responded, you can easily view the responses as a spreadsheet. To more easily visualize the results, select Form → Summary of Responses to pull up a visual graph

Summary of Responses Graph

Survey Your Community

Google Forms is a quick and easy way to survey your community both formally and informally. Many schools survey their faculty, students, and parents on topics ranging from experiences at the school, health and wellness, professional development, communication, and more. With Google Forms, you can easily create and distribute surveys, collect the data in a Google Sheet, and share it with appropriate personnel to analyze and assess.

These are five simple ways that administrators can employ Google Forms to facilitate their role as well as model technology use at school. For even more ideas, you may also want to read this article or watch Leading Change in a 1:1 Classroom.

Learn more about working with Google this Summer!

Google-Workshops

  • The Chromebook Classroom
  • Google Apps & iPads
  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org