Friday, November 6, 2020

Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff - Episode 25!

Yesterday, Rushton Hurley and I hosted the 25th episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff. We took last week off which resulted in us having a backlog of questions to tackle. Neither of us are known for giving succinct answers but we tried our best to cover as many questions as we could. You can watch the episode right here or as embedded below. All of the resources that we shared along with the slides we used can be found here on the Next Vista for Learning webinars page. While you're there you can sign up to join us for episode 26 of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff

Bulk Acceptance of "Knocks" in Google Meet

Some Google Meet users may have noticed a handy little update that was rolled-out yesterday. You can now accept "knocks" in bulk in Google Meet. This means that when students knock to join a class in Meet you can accept all of them at once instead of having to manually accept each individual student. 

While this isn't a major change to Google Meet, it will be helpful to those who have large classes meeting in Google Meet. This is available in all versions of Google Workspaces (formerly known as G Suite). 

If you don't see this new feature today, keep checking as it is being rolled-out over the next ten days to all users. 

How to Keep Students Safe Online While Learning Remotely?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by GAT Labs. GAT Labs offers a good guide to using Google Workspaces in online classrooms. 

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been the year of everything remote, where our digital interactions replaced our physical ones and our traditional classrooms packed and moved with us online. 

And as we carefully prepare and lead through our virtual K-12 classrooms, our students’ online safety and security needs to stay on top of that priority list as they spend more time than ever learning online.

From profane content to cybercrime and hacking schemes, there’s a lot we need to protect them against. That’s why there are Acts like the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) — and schools need to stay compliant.

As teachers, there’s a lot you can do to help — by both educating students on cybersecurity and staying safe online, as well as blocking access to inappropriate content and risky sites.   

Here are 3 powerful ways to help keep your students safe and secure online:

1. Raise their cyber awareness using FUN!

‘Knowledge is power’ — One cool way to teach students about staying safe online is to have them complete Google’s Be Internet Awesome.

It teaches them about digital citizenship and internet safety in a gamified environment, which we all know, Kids love!

The five pillars of the curriculum are:
  • Be Internet Smart - share with care
  • Be Internet Alert - don’t fall for fake
  • Be Internet Strong - secure your secrets
  • Be Internet Kind - it’s cool to be kind
  • Be Internet Brave - when it doubt, talk it out
Remember: raising your students’ cyber awareness is their first line of defense against online danger; or the new ‘Stranger Danger’. 

2.Use Security Tools to enforce Cyber Security Rules

Now on to their second line of defense: Security and Monitoring Tools!

Powerful tools like GAT for Education, offer a layered set of security solutions to help schools stay CIPA compliant with Google Workspace for Education.

They protect students in every site, at all times, while connected to their Google Workspace school account in the Chrome browser.

Such powerful Security & Monitoring capabilities include:
Alerts about bad language
Blocking Unapproved websites
Keyword Alerts
Risky app download alerts: set up a policy to ban or trust identified apps for students.
Alerts about certain search queries
Bulk removal of phishing emails
Complete content searches of all user’s Drive, Email and Calendars.

3. Stick to EdTech tools vetted for privacy

Speaking of tools — while there is a wide spectrum of EdTech tools out there that can help boost your virtual classroom environment (and we highly recommend exploring your options), remember to ALWAYS check their privacy policies for student data.

It’s important to ensure that these policies comply with student privacy laws and understand how your student’s data will be handled.

Flipgrid Text Comments - In Case You Missed It Like I Did

About a month ago Flipgrid added a new option for writing comments in response to videos within a discussion topic. This is in addition to the written feedback option that teachers have had for quite a while in Flipgrid

Now students and teachers can write comments in response to students' video submissions within a Flipgrid discussion topic. These comments are automatically reviewed by Flipgrid for potentially insensitive comments. That's a feature in addition to the manual topic moderation that you can enable on all of your Flipgrid topics. 

Flipgrid's little video overview of using text comments is embedded below. 

Applications for Education
I'm using Flipgrid for daily exit tickets in my freshmen computer science class this fall. Some of my students are prolific in their video production while others only do the bare minumum. I'm hoping that using text comments will enable more kids to participate in the back-and-forth of a conversation started by the exit ticket submissions.

If you're not sure what Flipgrid is or how to use it, here's my overview of the service and how to use it.

Mapping a Thanksgiving Meal

Earlier this week in a blog post about The Great Thanksgiving Listen I mentioned that I love Thanksgiving. So please excuse me if I get carried away with posts about Thanksgiving over the next couple of weeks. 

Where Does Your Thanksgiving Dinner Come From? is an interactive storymap that I've shared in the past and still find to be a neat resource. In fact, I included it as one of my "cool shares" this week during Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. The map displays where eight popular Thanksgiving foods are grown and harvested in the United States. The storymap includes a map for each ingredient. Each map shows the locations of commercial producers. Fun facts are included in the storymap too. For example, did you know that Illinois has at least twice as many acres of pumpkins as any state?

Applications for Education 
Students can create their own storymaps about Thanksgiving with tools provided by ESRI or by using StoryMap JS. In the following video I demonstrate how to create a storymap with StoryMap JS.

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