I’ve been on a bit of a Chrome browser / Chromebook / Google Apps for Education kick lately. There’s always been a strong connection between me and Google but we’ve been hanging out a lot more the last month or so.
Firefox has been ticking me off since last spring and so I migrated over to Chrome during the summer. I got my first Chromebook in July. Had the chance to do some training on using Google Drive mobile apps. And we’re hosting an awesome GAFE/Chromebook mini-conference in October. So it’s past the tipping my toe in the water stage. I’m at least waist deep and then some.
As a result of all the Google love, I’ve been spending hours in the Google Web Store. Trust me . . . it’s a quick way to lose all sense of time. But I have found some useful stuff in there. Today? Two of my latest finds that I think you might like too.
I’ve always been an Apple guy. Way back in the early 80s, I got started on an Apple IIe and nine-pin matrix printer before spending a few years in the wilderness with a clunky HP laptop. I’ve been part of the MacBook world ever since.
And while I don’t see myself moving from my MacBook / iPad / iPhone trifecta, some recent experiences with an Acer Chromebook might open up a bit of space somewhere in the margins for a JV player. I started playing around with my Chromebook this summer and have had the chance to work with some teachers over the last few weeks. Ease of use, Google Classroom, GAFE, handy Google Store apps all make the Chromebook a nice option for both individual and instructional use.
If you and others in your district are playing with the idea of using Chromebooks or are already in the pool, here are a few goodies that might help you along: Read more
Curse you Google.
I have consistently pledged my allegiance. Starting with Search, jumping into Google Earth, then Drive, and continuing through Google Plus and Hangouts, I’ve been a fan. Even when you discontinued Notebook, Wave, and Reader, I stuck around. (Okay. I’m actually fine with your Wave decision. That was not the best use of your 20% creative time.)
So I’m was a bit dismayed that I hadn’t yet received my invite to Google Classroom. Seriously? Where’s the love?
Of all of the present and past Google Tools, Classroom seems like one that could be incredibly useful for teachers. And I’ve been waiting all summer for my beta invite. But all is forgiven. Starting this week, Google Classroom is open to all users of Google Apps for Education. Read more
Google Maps. Geography trivia. And video games. Three of my favorite things. And now, they’re all together in one place.
Google’s new Smarty Pins. (Get it? Smarty Pants – Smarty Pins? You nutty Google engineers!)
Smarty Pins is basically a simple trivia game that asks questions with geo-tagged answers using the Google Maps interface. Read more
I think Microsoft hit a Google nerve. Just weeks after Microsoft posted new mobile tools for its office suite, Google comes back with handy mobile apps for each of its Google Drive tools – Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
The Drive app is still around and still a handy place to store your stuff but the individual mobile apps make it easier to find, edit, and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Starting today, you can download standalone mobile apps for Docs and Sheets – with Slides apparently coming soon.
So. Need to mess with a document? Read more
Several months ago, I posted some thoughts about the importance of creating better problems for our kids to solve. Basically I asked:
“If a kid can Google whatever you’re asking, what value are you bringing to the process? If they can ask Siri the answers that are on your test, why do they need you?”
The value we bring is a deep understanding of not just the content but the process needed to understand and apply that content. And the ability to create authentic and engaging questions that lead your kids into that content and process.
In the earlier post, I listed a few suggestions about what those sorts of questions might look like. I called them “un-Googleable” questions, the kinds of questions that Siri can’t really answer: Read more