Learn to Love Google Drive with Rob Lowe

Here is the slide deck for Wednesday Morning’s session on embracing Google Drive. We’ll have a little help from Rob Lowe who uses Google Drive and from Creepy Rob Lowe, Meathead Rob Lowe, and Peaked in High School Rob Lowe as well.

EdTechnocation: Get your FREE Google Classroom iPad App User Guides!

If you are still on the fence about trying the Google Classroom app or fledgling along trying to figure it out on the fly, Michael Fricano’s new resources for you and your students may just be the resource you need for moving all-in on the classroom and document management tool.

Get your FREE user guide for the new Google Classroom iPad App!

Google just released an Android & iOS app for Google Classroom. It’s not full featured (yet) so it’s important that teachers and students understand exactly what you can and can’t do with the app.

Get the guides and read more at EdTechnocation: Get your FREE Google Classroom iPad App User Guides!.

5 Easy Tech Projects for Kids to Give Thanks

Here are five technology infused ways for kids to show their thankfulness as we head into Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Canadian friends can file this one away until next Fall.

The great thing about each of these activities is that thoughts and ideas are not only shared with the whole class but also an authentic audience across the web. Publish a link in a newsletter or on a class blog and invite the outside world into your classroom and the hard work of your students.

1. Blog Comments: One of the fastest ways for kids to give thanks is on a class blog. Create a post as a writing prompt and then open up the comments to your students. In Blogger and other platforms there are various settings to allow anonymous comments but have students sign each one with a first name. It is a good idea to watch each new addition closely to ward off any pre-holiday hi-jinx or silliness. It is neat to see all of the ideas in one group spot. Students can also comment on each other’s thoughts.

2. Build a Shared Class Slide Deck: If your students all have Google Apps for Education accounts, you can create a presentation that has a blank slide for every student. Just share the deck with the entire class and each student can work in his or her own little corner of the collaborative project. It is a proactive idea to designate each slide ahead of time with a student name or class number. This greatly reduces students interfering with one another. Each can create a slide that has textual and visual expressions of what makes them thankful. The finished deck can be embedded on a class webpage for everyone to easily view.

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Haiku Deck helps you makes stunning slides.

3. Get Artsy with Haiku Deck: Students will need an account in Haiku Deck, but they can do that with their Google Accounts as well. Haiku Deck is available free as an iOS app or on the web at HaikuDeck.com. There isn’t the option of all collaborating on the same deck of slides like in Google Apps, but there are a number of sharing options that easily let students email links or embed codes to a teacher so all of the work can get compiled in one publicly accessible spot. Students can upload their own background photos or select from the beautiful free collection that Haiku Deck offers.

4. Create a Pic Collage: This a great free app available on iPad and Android devices. It has an easy to use interface for dragging and dropping a number of pictures into a collage and accenting with text and borders. A number of frames are available that makes the maneuvering even easier. Non-linguistic representations of concepts are often the most powerful connections to really understanding something. A collage showing thankfulness really gets kids thinking about what they have special in their lives, but also how to effectively communicate that visually. Collages can be saved as images and then posted by the teacher.

5. Let Them Show it with ShowMe: ShowMe is a great whiteboard recording app for the iPad. Students can upload a picture or draw one and then create a voice over track telling for what they are thankful. One advantage that ShowMe has over some of the other whiteboard apps is that if logged into a teacher account, the quick movies generated can all be easily posted to webspace that ShowMe provides.

None of these techniques take a tremendous amount of tech skills and don’t require a lot of planning on the teacher’s part. Give one a spin this week and you are likely to wind up thankful you did.

Explain Everything + Google Drive = Awesome

I saw today via the Twitterverse that the whiteboard app Explain Everything  (iOS|Android) connects with Google Drive. I have primarily been a user of ShowMe when it comes to whiteboard apps but this might be the tipping point for me to move over to the EE side of the fence. Add in the fact that Explain Everything is also the only whiteboard app currently available on Android and it becomes even more attractive since I use devices on that platform as well.

When starting a new project, Explain Everything allows users to access photos from the device’s internal media storage but also makes materials and docs in iTunes, Dropbox, Box.com, Evernote, and OneDrive available in addition to what you have in your connected Google Drive account. With some of the other whiteboard apps, I would get frustrated because something I wanted to annotate in a video wasn’t in the camera roll on that one particular device.

Those multiple cloud-based options are also available when it comes to saving your project video with the additional benefit of exporting to Vimeo. On the iPad, there is even the option to open the project in other apps like iBooks as a .pdf or iMovie as a .mp4.

Here is a video I created from family pictures housed in Drive and then saved back to Drive. 

Here is a scenario where Explain Everything connected to Google Drive could be very handy for a teacher. A fourth grade teacher is trying to figure out why many of her students are struggling with long division so she has them each complete one long division problem on the tablet in the hallway while narrating their problem solving with Explain Everything. By having students save their videos to her Google Drive or a classroom Drive account, she can later watch those videos on her computer. She can analyze exactly where hangups are happening for each student and organize all of those pieces of formative assessment into one folder. She could conference the next day with each student as they watch the video together and address the specifics of the problem. She can also share that video with a child’s family very easily to help explain where the student needs work.

One drawback of Explain Everything is that the app does not provide users an online space to post their videos like ShowMe does. With all of these other options, that is quickly becoming a moot point.

The app costs $2.99 but is easily worth every cent.

 

Only 2 weeks left to register for the Michigan Google Conference

Register NOW for the  2014 Michigan Google Summit (miGoogle) at Brighton High School on November 3-4, 2014. Registration deadline is 12pm, October 30, 2014.

 

Four conference highlights you DONT want to miss:

  • 8 Full and half-day Hands on Workshops! Additional sections added due to high demand. REGISTER NOW!
  • Opening Keynote – Cyus Mistry, Senior Product Manager, Chromebooks for Education, Google. LEARN MORE
  • 95 breakouts sessions on every imaginable Google topic. Click to view sessions!
  • Closing demo slam featuring 8 top technology using educators and product give-away! LEARN MORE

 Click to register 

Registration deadline is Thursday, October 30, 12:00 pm.

Use Google Slides as an online Academic Vocabulary Notebook

In Hamilton, part of our district and building improvement process includes increasing student academic vocabulary capacity.

John Marzano has laid out six steps for teachers to follow when introducing new content-specific words.

 

Marzano’s six steps  – fhsdvocabulary.pbworks.com

In my elementary technology classes, third and fourth graders are performing step 4 now in Google Drive with a digital notebook.  All I did was adapt one of Marzano’s notebook templates and created it in Google Slides. I made the deck public and kids created their own copies and shared them with me.

Kids write the definition in their own words, they rate their understanding of the word, and also find a non-linguistic representation of the word. The template I created makes it really easy for the kids to add and record their knowledge of the words.

Doing it this way takes advantage of all of the benefits of Google documents like ubiquitous access and sharing.

Find and create a copy of the slide deck here.  Feel free to use it and share it.

Academic Vocabulary Template
Academic Vocabulary Template