If you’re a teacher in a Google Apps for Education school and you’re not using Google Classroom, just a quick suggestion.
You need to be.
Especially if your students have a lot of online access with carts or in a 1-to-1 setting. I know that there are similar tools out there already but because Classroom integrates all of the Google tools so easily it’s a no-brainer for just about any face to face, flipped, or blended class.
(Need a little support getting started? Head over to Social Studies Central and browse through some suggestions and support articles.)
And this week, Google Classroom just got more awesomer. So there’s not a lot of reasons left for not using it.
Google gave Classroom a quick visual makeover with a new simplified design for creating and posting assignments, announcements, and questions and for viewing assignment details. The design encourages quick and easy access for teachers and students.
And it’s more than a simple visual change. Based on teacher requests, Google has made some pretty sweet updates.
Several months ago, I was in beautiful Fremont, Washington, a community north of downtown Seattle. My son had just graduated from Seattle Pacific and we had the opportunity to spend a few days exploring the metro area. We had already done all of the typical Seattle touristy things – Pike’s Market, Space Needle, the icky wall of chewing gum.
While looking for lesser known attractions, Jake suggested Fremont. Every Sunday, Fremont hosts a huge flea market / delicious food truck / arts and crafts extravaganza that attracts thousands. I went for the food and stayed for the old books and super cool old maps.
While browsing through one particular booth looking for artistic inspiration, my daughter ran across a box full of old photographs. No names. No dates. So we practiced our primary document sourcing skills, deducing that they must have been taken in the late 1940s / early 1950s by American soldiers and their families. Scenes of the Eiffel Tower, festivals complete with lederhosen, and celebrations with uniformed Americans were prominent.
Erin selected a pile of the most interesting images – picking quite a few that seemed to be from the same camera roll and photographer.
Okay. Your daughter found some old photos. And . . . so what?
It took me a while to figure out the so what. The so what started to develop when she became intrigued with several of the images, particularly with one that showed what seemed to be a Gothic cathedral. Read more
Okay. Life changing might be a bit extreme. It’s not like these things are gonna solve that problem we always seem to be having in the Mideast or help the Kansas City Chiefs find a better quarterback. But they are all very slick and can change how you and your students interact with content.
I’d been a hardcore Firefox user for years and slowly started shifting to Chrome a year or so ago. And unless Firefox gets some sort of awesomeness overall, I’m not going back. The reason? Chrome offers too many options for integrating Google tools and third-party apps / extensions into what I do everyday. I’m constantly making connections between my C4 Framework and how Chrome supports that idea of Collect, Collaborate, Create, and Communicate.
The three examples listed below are just a taste of how Chrome extensions can help you and students align teaching and learning to the four C’s. Read more
Is there a better way to start the week than by spending all day talking and learning about more effective ways to do social studies? You’re right. There isn’t. I had the sweet chance to spend yesterday with a small group of social studies teachers as we discussed ways to use five under-appreciated Google tools to teach social studies.
Most of us are familiar with the typical Google tools: Search, Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms. Been there. Done that. But there are lots of other very cool tools that often slide in under the radar that we need to be using. And I’m convinced that the following Google goodies will make your life easier and your students smarter. Read more
Day two of #iste2015. I had meetings all morning and did a podcast with Dr. Curtis Chandler, formerly of ESSDACK. Now prof at BYU North in Idaho.
Spent some time at the ESSDACK booth and an incredible hour in the ISTE Playground listening to Matt Farber and Greg Toppo share their thoughts about gaming and technology. More on that in tomorrow’s post.
Today’s first actual session focuses on using Google apps. Aaron Svoboda is planning to share how Drive Apps can get teachers and students to address the toughest digital age skill – creativity.
I work with a ton of districts who are moving to GAFE and Google tools. So I’ve got high hopes for some very cool stuff because the session will focus on third party apps. You know. Not the typical Docs, Sheets and Slides that we all use. Or even the Forms, Drawing, or Maps apps that not very many of us use. But those apps that you can find under the More option in the New dropdown menu. Read more
A good day so far. A few sessions this morning. Some great conversations with a some poster folks. I scored two free tee shirts and a cell phone battery charger from Google. And I spent two hours at the ESSDACK vendor booth.
Last session of the day before the awesome Tweetwood Mac / Otus / ESSDACK reception tonight? Jenn Judkins BYOD session on creating and using Google MyMaps. One of the first things I learned this morning was that MyMaps is now an option on the GAFE Google Drive Create dropdown menu.
So I am pumped that I’ll learn some new stuff this afternoon. I have my fingers crossed. If nothing else, Jenn is incredibly perky for 4:15 pm. She seriously just said
The IT guy’s name is Merlin. Shut the front door! He’s literally a technology wizard.
So . . . it’s gonna be awesome. Read more