Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Read & Write for iPad and Android - Text to Speech and More

The popular Chrome app Read & Write for Google is now available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app. According to the email I received from Read & Write's product manager the new apps are essentially keyboards that allow users to access the support tools that have made Read & Write for Google popular over the last couple of years. Some of those popular tools include text-to-speech, a talking dictionary, and a picture dictionary.

The Read & Write iPad app and Android app provide text-to-speech functionality for free forever. The other features are free as a one month trial. But teachers who use their Google Accounts to sign into the apps (use your school-issued Google Account) can get all of the features for free. Click here for information on getting a Read & Write account with your Google Apps for Edu account.

Applications for Education
Just last week a reader emailed me looking for a suggestion for an app that would read Google Documents aloud on her students' iPads. Read & Write for iPad could be the perfect tool for that need.

Create, Integrate, Demonstrate - Slides from My Workshop at #OETC15

This afternoon I conducted an afternoon workshop at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference. I promised a bunch of folks that I would post the slides from the opening of the session. You should be able to see the slides embedded below.

As always, if you're interested in having me speak at your conference or school, email me at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com. My speaking page contains more information on the workshops and presentations that I frequently conduct.

Insert Graphs and Equations Into Google Docs and Forms

One of the most frequently asked questions in my webinars and workshops about Google Drive is, "how can I add math problems to my Form?" Thanks to Google Forms Add-ons there is a rather simple answer to this question now. g(Math) is a Google Forms Add-on that allows you to insert graphs and mathematical expressions into your Google Forms.

To get the Add-on select "get Add-ons" from the Add-ons menu in Google Forms. Then search for g(Math). Click the install button, give the Add-on permission to access your account, and then you're ready to go. To insert graphs and equations into your Form select g(Math) from your Add-ons menu and follow the directions that pop-up on the right side of the screen.

g(Math) is also available as an Add-on for Google Docs. The process of installing it and using it is the same as it is for the Google Forms versions of g(Math).

Six Online PD Opportunities With Me This Spring and Summer

Last week I worked with the Midwest Teachers Institute to create a schedule of spring and summer online courses. This spring I will be offering two sections of Getting Going With GAFE (Google Apps for Education) starting on March 23rd and one section of Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders starting on March 24th. Three graduate credits are available for each course.

Email subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter receive a discount on course registration.

More about Getting Going With GAFE:
Is your school transitioning to Google Apps for Education? If so, this course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that GAFE offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With GAFE is a Practical Ed Tech webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using Google Apps for Education. Getting Going With  GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice.

Getting Going With GAFE costs $147. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. Graduate credits require an additional fee and completion of weekly assignments.

Course dates:
Spring section 1: March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20
Spring section 2: April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26
Summer section 1: June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Summer section 2: July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

More about Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders:
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is designed to help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) to enhance communication between school and home. Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a five week webinar series during which teachers and school administrators will learn the how to choose the best blogging platform for their situations, how to set-up a blog for classroom and school-wide use, and learn about strategies on how to manage blogs in classroom and school-wide settings. Participants will also learn how to avoid the mistakes that often lead to blogging endeavors being abandoned. After establishing blogs we’ll jump into using social networks like Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to reach out to parents, students, and other members of school communities.

This course costs $147. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. Graduate credits require an additional fee and completion of weekly assignments.

Course dates:
Spring section: March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21st.
Summer section: July 6, 13, 20, 27, and August 3rd.

About the costs and my decision to advertise these opportunities on my blog:
Sometimes when I advertise one of these webinars I get messages from people who are upset that I am advertising it here and or that I am charging for it. I understand why some people feel that way. I thought long and hard about how to offer these opportunities. In fact, I thought about it and talked about it with trusted advisors for a year before offering the first webinar series last year. The purpose of this blog and my goal for years has always been to help people use free technology in their classrooms. The tools and strategies featured in my webinars and at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp are free to use. However, my time for teaching isn't free. Further, I pay licensing fees to GoToTraining and to Wistia for hosting all of the media content of the courses.

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