Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Google Unveils Google Play for Education

Back in May Google teased us with a preview of Google Play for Education. Today, Google Play for Education went live for K-12 schools in the United States. Google Play for Education features curated collections of apps, books, and videos appropriate for students. The collections can be searched by grade, subject, and Common Core standard.

Google Play for Education offers more than curated collections of apps, videos, and books. Google Play for Education will allow administrators to distribute apps to students' devices. Volume purchasing of apps including via purchase order is available through Google Play for Education.

Two of Google's Google Play for Education demo videos are embedded below.

The Android robot is reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

Long-click to Find Definitions, Pictures, Videos, and More

Curiyo is a browser extension, available for Firefox and Chrome, that makes it easy to quickly find definitions, videos, pictures, and related reference materials for any word you select in your browser. When you're reading an article online and come across a word that you don't recognize or a word that you're just curious about, long-click on it and a pop-up box containing definitions, pictures, videos, and more will appear. The video embedded below provides a demonstration of Curiyo in action.

Applications for Education
Curiyo could be a good tool for students to have at their disposal while reading difficult passages online. The option to see pictures and videos to help students can a better understanding of new-to-them terms.

Otter - Create a Simple Page for Distributing and Collecting Assignments

Otter is a new service that makes it easy to create simple webpages on which you can distribute information and collect assignments from students. Otter provides four widgets that you can add to your page. Those widgets are announcements, calendar events, hosted documents, and homework uploads. The widgets appear in that order on your page. Hosted documents can be uploaded from your computer or imported from Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. Students can upload their assignment submissions through your Otter page.

Applications for Education
Otter doesn't allow you to change layouts or customize color schemes. It's just a no nonsense tool for quickly building pages through which you can distribute information and collect assignments. If a simple tool is what you need in order to develop a web presence for your course, give Otter a try.

Otter was developed by Scurry Labs who also developed a neat bookmarking tool called Sqworl

Try Knoema's World Data Finder to Fact-check Articles

Knoema is a service that offers a huge collection of data sets and maps for public use. Recently, Knoema introduced a Chrome extension called World Data Finder. World Data Finder will correlate information from Knoema's data sets and maps to articles that you read online. Here's how it works; when you're reading a news article, reference page, or opinion piece a World Data Finder icon will appear in your browser's address bar. When the World Data Finder icon appears, click it to open data sets, charts, and similar related reference sources. The screenshot below illustrates what the World Data Finder Chrome extension looks like in action.

Applications for Education
Knoema's World Data Finder Chrome extension could be a handy tool for students to use to fact-check articles and or to learn more about the information they're seeing in an article.

Video - How to Create Tours With Google Earth Tour Builder

Earlier this week Google released a great new tool for creating Google Earth tours. Tour Builder makes it easier than ever to create Google Earth tours in your browser. In the video below I offer a demonstration of how to use Tour Builder.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned on Monday, Tour Builder could prove to be a great tool for students to use to create geo-located book reviews, to tell stories from their own lives, or to develop geo-located research projects. One of the US History projects that I've done with Google Earth is to have students create a series of placemarks about battles of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.