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Posts tagged ‘google’

Nerdfest 2015 Day Four: Google Apps and Extensions for the Social Studies

The last day of any conference is always a bit bittersweet. You’ve had a great time. You’ve learned a lot. But, man, Sunday mornings are rough and a large piece of my brain is suggesting -loudly – that I should have stayed in bed.

Yeah, I know. #firstworldproblems.

But this session looks like it’s right in my wheelhouse. If using Google apps and tools to teach social studies doesn’t wake me up, then I’m in the wrong job.

We start by agreeing that Google is a great entry point for using lots of tools that helps students do social studies. Why should we be using Google?

  • supports the reading of non-fiction and content texts
  • encourages deciphering primary sources
  • applying social studies concepts
  • it’s more fun

They suggested buying their own website domain for using with kids. In fact, they suggest having two – a public one and private one for the teaching and learning. They can be connected but the private domain allows for specific filtering and controlling access. There was some discussion about why a separate private domain for individual classes adds value past what a district or school wide GAFE account might add.

They’re a Chromebook school so the Chrome Browser is already built into those laptops. But if you’re not using Chromebooks, using the Chrome Browser is still probably your best option if you plan on using tons of Googly things. Read more

Google Cardboard, VR, and the future of social studies

I got my first Google Cardboard just a few weeks ago. And if you got your Cardboard this spring or summer and have already been using it, seriously. No heads up on how cool this is? Cause it really is a lot of fun to play with.

Google Cardboard was released last year but iOS / iPhone apps for it have been slow in coming. So . . . being an Apple guy, I hadn’t jumped onboard yet. But I am full on Cardboard mancrushing right now. I’m sharing some Cardboard ideas at the Kansas state social studies conference in Topeka today and I figured I should share some of those resources with you.

Not exactly sure what Google Cardboard is? Read more

Tip of the Week: Google Collections equals GAFE Pinterest

A couple of days ago I had the chance to watch Kori Green and Adam Topliff in action. As board members of the Kansas Council for the Social Studies, certified state standards trainers, and experienced middle school teachers, they know a thing or two thousand about what quality history instruction looks like.

They spent the day here at ESSDACK, tag teaming with a group of secondary folks in a discussion about best practices and the upcoming state assessment. In those sorts of conversations, I always walk out smarter. I get to see what Kori and Adam are doing. I get to sit down with classroom teachers and chat about what they’re doing. It’s basically a smash and grab of all of their best stuff.

And Wednesday was no different. I was able to leave with a couple of new ideas including my new favorite, Google+ Collections.  Read more

Tip of the Week: Google adds Templates, Voice, and Explore

I’ve always been a fan of the goodness that is Google. And I like when all of a sudden my GAFE tools have extra features.

For some of you, this all may not seem like a big deal. But recent small changes by Google in their online tools have made my life just a little bit easier. For those of you in GAFE schools or whose students use Google, these changes can also impact how you both interact with content and data.

The first change is  Read more

Tip of the Week: Google Keep comes to iOS

I know that many of you already ask students to organize evidence and information for a variety of reasons – lecture capture, short-term and long-term research, group work, basic data collection, primary / secondary source analysis. We want kids to analyze evidence, validate resources, search effectively, and appropriately cite their data. And for, well . . . forever,  paper and pencil was basically the only option for this sort of thing.

Nothing terribly wrong with paper and pencil but that medium is tough to edit, update, and share. So a lot of us and our students are taking our stuff to a variety of online tools. In the last year or so, a new option has become available. Read more

Google+ pages and communities every social studies teacher needs to follow

Okay. Full disclosure.

I have a Google+ account. I don’t use it very often.

I spend time lurking on Twitter and certain Flipboards so my social media time is pretty spread thin. To be even more transparent, there was that whole Google Wave social media experiment a few years back. So . . . I’m personally not 100% sold on the idea yet.

But I do know of teachers who’ve really bought into the Google+ universe. And I am convinced that to be a great teacher, you need to be a connected teacher. That almost always means some sort of social media. I don’t care what sort of social media. Everyone is different and finds tools that work for them.

So I’m going to keep poking around the edges of Google+. I like some of the features, Read more


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