Google
 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Week in Review - Preparing for Camp

Good morning from Maine where I am spending the weekend putting together all of the finishing touches for next week's Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp in Portland, Maine (one seat became available at the last minute). This is the third year in a row that I've organized this event and this year's event should be the best one yet.


Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Use a Semicolon - A TED-Ed Lesson for Almost Everyone
2. Habitats - An Educational Game from the Smithsonian
3. EdTech Start-ups - Stop Talking Down to Teachers
4. How to Manage Classroom Digital Portfolios by Using Page-level Permissions in Google Sites
5. How to Create a Moderated Classroom Backchannel
6. A Nice Tool for Creating Animated Maps
7. How to Create a Multimedia Timeline

Summer PD Opportunities With Me.
Teaching History With Technology begins on July 16th.

Would you like to have me visit your school? Click here to learn about my PD services.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
HelloTalk is a mobile community for learning a new language.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.

3 Helpful Google Drive Settings You Should Know

To get the most out of your Google Drive experience there are some basic settings that you should know how to enable or disable if you don't want to use them. Those settings are using Google Docs offline, file conversion, and photo folder creation. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to enable and disable those settings.

One Strategy for Keeping Track of Students' Google Sites

This morning I answered an email from a reader who was looking for a little advice on keeping track of more than 150 Google Sites maintained by students as their digital portfolios. Here's the scenario that was described to me,
I have more than 150 students using e.Portfolios and I struggle with finding different students' work. I ask students to name their GoogleSites specifically so I can sort them. I have created a form for student to complete to keep a record of the links. Maybe you have a better way?
This was my suggestion for attempting to keep track of all the sites. (I used this method myself with about 100 students a few years ago).
To make it easier to sort submissions I create student groups (not for collaboration, just for sorting) and make a different form for each group. Students have to submit their updates to the form that is assigned to their group. That way instead of having 150 students making submissions to one form I have 25 students making submissions to each of six forms. It's a little easier to sort through 25 students making submissions than 150 students making submissions to one form. I make it the responsibility of the students to enter their submissions on the correct form. 

A Short Explanation of Google Apps Terminology

Earlier this week I received an email from someone who was looking for clarification on the differences between Google Apps for Education, Google Drive, and Google Docs. That request for clarification isn't uncommon. Here's how I typically try to explain the differences between Google Apps for Education, Google Drive,  and Google Docs.

Google Apps for Education:
Google Apps for Education (commonly referred to as GAFE) is a free service that Google provides to schools. Within Google Apps for Education students, teachers, administrators, and support staff can use Google Classroom, Google Drive, Google Sites, Google Calendar, Gmail, and many other Google products. Google Classroom is only available to GAFE users. It provides a mechanism for teachers to distribute to and collect assignments from students. GAFE operates through a school/ school district's registered domain which means that user account names are typically structured as "username@yourawesomeschool.org" instead of "username@gmail.com." A domain administrator can set permissions on each account within a GAFE domain.

Google Drive:
Google Drive is a cloud storage solution offered by Google. It is available to anyone who has a Google Account of any type. Within Google Drive you can store any kind of file. Through Google Drive you have access to Google Documents, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Drawings, and Google Forms. Think of Google Drive as a garage in which you can store things and in that garage you also have tools (Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Drawings) for creating new things.

Google Documents:
Google Documents is a free tool for creating and editing documents. It is designed to be an alternative to Word and other word processing programs. Google Docs can be used online or offline (provided that you use the Chrome web browser). You can share and collaborate on the creation and editing of documents with other Google Documents users.

To learn more check out my playlist of tutorials on Google Apps, Google Drive, Google Documents, and other Google services.