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Posts tagged ‘google’

A boatload of Chromebook goodies

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

Google Classroom. No. I never received an invite. But I forgive you.

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

Smarty Pins – Google Maps, geography trivia, and video games

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

Mobile Google apps – now they’re just showing off

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

More “un-Googleness” and what that can look like in practice

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

Google Maps Gallery: Interactive digital atlas

Google just keeps coming up with more cool stuff. And for all you map nerds, and history teachers, their new Maps Gallery is just the ticket.

Maps Gallery works like an interactive, digital atlas that lets you search for and find powerful, compelling maps. It’s much like the Gallery of tours you can find via the Google Earth tool. One of the biggest differences is that the Google Maps Gallery contains maps created by a variety of organizations, both public and private, and so you can find all sorts of maps, many mostly inaccessible to the public before now. Read more

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