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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Updated 63 Page Guide to Google Drive and Docs

Back in May I published a 57 page guide to Google Drive and Docs. That guide was well-received by many people some people even used it in their own presentations at ISTE 2012 (in some cases with permission and in some cases without). Since I originally published that guide Google has added a couple of new features to Google Docs. Therefore, I have updated my guide to Google Drive and Docs for Teachers. I've embedded the new version below. If you have used Scribd to embedd the older version in a webpage somewhere, don't worry the new version should automatically appear for you.


I have stopped giving away downloads of this document. I have adopted this policy for two reasons. First, I have found many instances of people not honoring the Creative Commons license of my previous works. Second, pageviews and in turn ad revenue, are the only way that I am compensated for the many hours that I put into creating these resources. I apologize if this policy causes an inconvenience for you. You are free to use Scribd to grab the embed code and place the document in a non-password protected webpage.

Skitch 2.0 - Available For All iOS Devices and More

Skitch is one of my favorite drawing and image annotation apps for iPad and Android. Many people love using it on the Macs too. Today, Evernote (owners of Skitch) announced that now Skitch is available for iPhone and iPod touch.

In addition to the announcement that Skitch can now be used on all iOS devices, Evernote announced some other new features of Skitch 2.0. Now that Skitch is fully integrated into Evernote all of your Skitch projects are automatically synched to your Evernote account making your drawings available to you any time you connect to the web. Skitch 2.0 has a new tool for pixelating parts of an image.

Applications for Education
The pixelation feature could be obscuring faces in pictures that you post online. If you have pictures of classroom activities that you want to post on your blog but you don't want students' faces to be seen, use the pixelation tool to obscure them.

For more ideas on using Skitch as a teaching tool, check out Skitch as a Teaching Tool.

DIY for Kids - Do Challenges, Earn Skills

DIY.org is a neat website on which kids can find dozens of DIY projects that they can do on their own or with their parents. DIY.org provides videos and instructions on how to do the projects. After going through the directions kids then try to complete the project. When they've completed the project they can take a picture and upload it to their DIY.org portfolios. Kids can share examples of their projects through DIY.org.

Kids cannot register on DIY.org without a parent's permission. Parents have their own DIY.org dashboards that they can use to track the activities of their children. Children registered on DIY.org have aliases and cartoon avatar pictures.
Applications for Education
DIY.org could be a great source of project ideas for parents and their children to work on together. Through the project challenges students can learn about biology, electricity, music, computer science, physics, geography, and more.

Interactive Map - Who Is Protesting Where

The Daily Beast has published an interactive map of protests in North Africa and the Middle East. Hovering over a country on the map reveals a short description of the current state of protests in that country. Clicking on a country will take you to news articles about protests in that country.

Applications for Education
When I saw this map I immediately thought of students who are studying current world events in their classes. The map could be a good way to find some background information and have a geographic context for stories that they're discussing in their classes.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

Money Metropolis, Financial Football, and More Money Skills Games

Money Metropolis is an educational game hosted on Practical Money Skills.   In the game students choose savings goals then navigate their way through a virtual town to earn money toward those goals. Some of the earning opportunities are more lucrative than others. And some earning opportunities are easier than others. As you might expect, the easier tasks are not as lucrative. Along the way they are presented with some opportunities to spend the money that they've earned, but spending at those opportunities sets students back on their progress toward their goals.

Money Metropolis is one of eight similar games hosted on Practical Money Skills. Another game that your students might like is Financial Football. Financial Football has students answer questions about budgets, savings, and spending to move their football teams down the field against another team. The games use real NFL team logos.  Financial Football takes at least twenty minutes to play.

Applications for Education
The Practical Money Skills games require students to have some prior knowledge of financial basics. These games could be good review activities after a lesson that you teach about budgeting, saving, borrowing, and spending.

When Plagiarism is Funny and What To Do About It

The Rant
I'm sure that the person behind the blog TeachersTech.net (hyperlink intentionally left out) will blame the auto-posting software that he or she is using, but that blog is doing nothing but copy and pasting posts from other blogs. Usually plagiarism ticks me off, but the example that I found today was almost funny. Why was it funny? Because the person plagiarized my post from last week about how to connect with me on social networks. And even included the picture of me. So to whoever is behind TeachersTech.net, thank you for the laugh and please stop plagiarizing.

My original post.

The plagiarized post.
Update: after publishing this post I took my dog for a walk. When I came back the post had been taken down along with some of the other plagiarized posts. 

What will be truly funny is if this post is plagiarized too.

What To Do About Plagiarism
Now to make this post more than just a rant below I've included some advice about what to do when you see your work being plagiarized online.

What To Do When Your Work Is Plagiarized
How To Share The Blog Posts You Like

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