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Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Enable Offline Use of the Latest Version of Google Drive

Last year I posted directions on how to enable offline use of Google Drive. Those directions are still valid for anyone using the older version of Google Drive. If you're using the latest version of Google Drive, the process is slightly different and much easier.

To enable offline use of Google Drive on a laptop or Chromebook open Drive in a Chrome browser window. You will want to be signed into your Chrome profile while you do this. Now follow the two steps pictured in the screenshots below.

1. Open the gear icon in the upper-right corner of Drive. Select "settings."

2. In the settings window select "Sync your work to this computer so that you can edit offline."


A few things to note about using Drive offline.
  1. Drive will only work offline in a Chrome browser window.
  2. You can use Drive offline on multiple computers, but you need to enable it on each computer individually. 
  3. If you share computers with another person, you may not want to sync to that computer as it could give both people access to the files.  
  4. If you are using Google Drive within a Google Apps for Education domain, your domain administrator will have to enable the option for users to use Google Drive offline.

Video - How to Restrict Access to Edublogs, Blogger, Kidblog, and WordPress Blog Posts

It is always my preference to guide teachers in the direction of teaching their elementary school students not to reveal personally identifying information on classroom blogs. That said, I also recognize that sometimes the only way a teacher will try blogging is if they can restrict access to just students and their parents. The directions in the video below cover the steps you can take to restrict access to Edublogs, KidBlog, and Blogger blog posts. Edublogs and KidBlog run on WordPress. If you're using a WordPress blog, follow the steps outlined for restricting access to Edublogs posts.


You can find screenshots of the process here.

OpenEd Launches a New Site for Finding and Sharing Lesson Materials

OpenEd is a service that has offers a huge catalog of educational videos, games, and practice assessments that you can browse by topic, grade level, or Common Core standard. The service allows teachers to create collections of resources that they share with their students in an online classroom. This week OpenEd released a new beta version of their service.

The beta version of OpenEd includes a selection of pre-built lesson plans full of videos, games, and quizzes for grades 6 through 12 for math and Language Arts. When you create a class on the beta version of OpenEd you will asked to select a grade and the standards that your course addresses. If your selections are math or language arts standards for students in grades six through twelve, you will see the pre-built lessons immediately appear in your OpenEd classroom. You can remove the pre-built lessons and or add more content to them.

Applications for Education
My favorite aspect of OpenEd.io is still its search tool. Rather than searching and hoping to find a video on YouTube that matches the standard(s) you're addressing in a lesson, you can start with the standard and have OpenEd locate videos for you.

Making the Invisible, Visible with iPads

This is a guest post from Maggie Keeler (@KeelerMS) and EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

Microscope work in science class is often a solitary endeavor. Traditionally, one student searches to find a seemingly invisible organism while patiently waiting for the teacher to come confirm that they’ve found it. Not anymore! With the MotiConnect App from Motic, this isolated experience becomes collaborative. MotiConnect allows you to connect up to six iPads wirelessly to a Moticam X camera or digital microscope with Moticam software. Each student is then able to capture images, record videos, annotate, and measure images from the microscope.

The video below captures Osmosis in a Red Onion through a MotiConnect microscope.


Top Five Reasons Why I like MotiConnect?

#5. Unlike some other iPad Microscope cameras, MotiConnect does not require a hardwire connection to iPad. This allows multiple students to access the camera simultaneously and to independently choose when/what images or video he or she wants to capture.

#4. Moticam cameras generate their own Wi-Fi signal, so you don’t have to worry about whether your school network is running slowly or might go down during class.

#3. The Moticam X camera works on microscopes and dissecting scopes. It also has a macro setting which makes it possible to document experiments that wouldn’t be safe to observe up close. For example, the process of making alum from aluminum cans in a fume hood in chemistry class.

#2. MotiConnect makes microscope work accessible to more students. Traditional microscopes can be very difficult for students with visual or motor disabilities to use. By using MotiConnect and the iOS accessibility features, more students are able to experience the microscopic world first hand.

#1. Because the MotiConnect app saves images and video to the camera roll, the possibilities for sharing and app smashes are endless.  

MotiConnect App Smash

Maggie will be leading an iPads in the Middle & High School Pre-Conference workshop at the November 12-14 iPad Summit in Boston. She will also be presenting "How to Bring Your Lab Notebook into the 21st Century: The Ultimate STEAM App Smash." I will also be a featured speaker at this event.