Yeah, I know. Not the most engaging title. But it’s been a busy day so . . . just a little brain dead.
But not so dead that I can’t appreciate the coolness of the latest update from Google. Back in the day of the first iPad and even into the iPad 2, Google Docs wasn’t really an option. Stuff didn’t work well on the browser version and there wasn’t an usable app. But over time, you just knew Google would step it up.
And with the move from Google Docs to Google Drive and separate apps form Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Google is truly back in business on mobile devices. Yesterday, they added the Slides app to the iTunes App Store so that iPad and iPhone users now have access to all of the Google Drive Big Three. (You Android folks have had this for a few weeks.)
With the launch of the Slides app for iPhone & iPad and updates to the Docs and Sheets apps, they’re delivering on an earlier promise to make it possible for you to work with any file, on any device, any time.
Here’s the skinny from the Google folks on the latest update:
It’s a Monday, it’s summer, and my brain is still working to wake up. So much of what you’ll read below is from an official Apple press release concerning the recent update to the mobile iTunes U app.
My own words on the subject?
If you have Apple devices in your building, you need to be using iTunes U as an instructional and learning tool. It’s a great way to push content out to students and, now with the recent update, pul content in from kids.
iTunes U – together with the free iTunes U Course Manager – helps you create courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and more for your face-to-face students as well as students outside your classroom. With over 750,000 individual learning materials available on the iTunes U app, iTunes U is the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent organizations. You can access the work from thousands of educational institutions hosting over 7,500 public courses.
The new in-app updates Read more
It’s Podstock week. I’m sure you’re all coming, right? I mean, it’s Podstock. Nobody wants to miss that. Part of what I’m doing for the conference is to present a quick three-hour iPad 101 workshop during the pre-con and then host a digital make-it, take-it session.
The idea is that we review the basics of the iPad – the settings, buttons, multi-finger gestures, App Store, default apps, etc – in the morning and then facilitate a fun, supportive sandbox where participants can work together to actually use their iPads to create stuff. Stuff they can use at a personal level and in their classrooms.
We’re calling the afternoon sessions iPad Learning Labs and decided that we would provide a series of challenges as a starting point for participants. By working with a bit of structure and with others, teachers can practice hands on learning in a safe environment. The cool thing?
The Educational and Mobile Learning site highlighted a great step by step iPad task tutorial by the folks over at iSupport. They outline five tasks that “every modern teacher” should be able to do and use in their classrooms.
It’s a great list:
- A PDF
- A presentation
- An interactive book
- A podcast
- A movie
I really like how they put together an easy way to see how using iPad tools can lead kids through low level to high levels of thinking and doing.
But the list isn’t comprehensive. And it might start past the point where some teachers are right now.
So I’ve added five extra iPad basic skills that I think every teacher using iPads needs to have: Read more
June used to be the slow month. School got out. I’d grab a book and a cool beverage. Play some softball. Do a little life guarding at the pool. Drive to the mountains for a week. If you’re old enough, you probably remember that sort of summer.
June is a busy month for many educators. Conferences. End of the year professional learning. Curriculum alignment. Standards training. In my case, June is full of mobile devices training. Over the next six weeks or so, I get the chance to spend time with a variety of folks around the country, working with schools that have latched onto the idea of tablets, clouding computing, and educational apps.
But in the rush to get the latest shiny tools, I think it’s easy sometimes to forget that the end in mind is teaching and learning, not the gadgets. So today a few things to remember when using apps in the classroom: Read more