Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A Few New Search Tools from Google

Those of you who use Chrome as your primary web browser on your computer or phone, that's 75% of all readers of according to my Google Analytics account, may notice a few new search tools the next time you update your browser. 

Yesterday afternoon Google announced new search shortcuts for the Chrome address bar. These new shortcuts let you quickly search your tabs, bookmarks, and history. To do this you simply type "@tabs" or "@bookmarks" or "@history" followed by your search term to search within your tabs, bookmarks, or Chrome browser history. 

The other new search feature that Google unveiled yesterday was an update to mobile search. Now when you conduct a search you'll see some suggested search filters and topics based on your original search. This update is rolling out now to the Google Search Android and iOS apps as well as the mobile browser.

Applications for Education
The new shortcuts to search within your browser bookmarks and history could be helpful to students who have been conducting some long-term research and need to review or revisit some of their findings that they forgot to note earlier on. The new suggestions in mobile search could be helpful to students who need some assistance narrowing the scope of a priliminary search.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

How to File a Copyright Claim With Google

In my previous post I detailed the copyright debacle that has consumed way too much of my mental energy and way too much of time over the last week. As I mentioned in that post, I am trying to make something good out of it by creating and sharing resources about what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation. To that end, I made a video about how to file a copyright complaint with Google.

You can find Google's copyright complaint form here.

As more than a few of you have said to me, this debacle has served as an example that you can use with your students and colleagues when discussing copyright issues.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Google's "Be Internet Awesome" Curriculum is Now Available in Spanish

At about this time last year Google introduced Be Internet Awesome. Be Internet Awesome offers an interactive site called Interland. Interland is a game in which students navigate a virtual world by correctly answering questions about internet safety. Starting today that game is available in Spanish and English.

The rest of the Be Internet Awesome curriculum has been updated along with Interland game. The written curriculum guide has been expanded to 69 pages from its original 48 pages. The curriculum now includes nineteen interactive slide presentations that you can copy and use for free.

The core concepts of Be Internet Awesome remain unchanged. Those five core concepts are:
  • Share with care.
  • Don't fall for fake.
  • Secure your secrets.
  • It's cool to be kind.
  • When in doubt, talk it out. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Collection of Google Drive Templates

Google Drawings and Google Slides are two of the most underutilized of all of the tools in GSuite for Education. They can be quite powerful once you grasp how to use them. I'm not sure anyone has mastered Google Drawings quite like Darren Maltais, a Technology Integration Facilitator from Canada.

Darren has created an extensive collection of activities that take full advantage of the power of Google Drawings and Google Slides. Activities are organized by grade level. There are activities for Language Arts, math, social studies, and science. Even if you don't find exactly what you are looking for, this collection will certainly help you get some ideas for how Drawings and Slides can be used to their fullest potential.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Applied Digital Skills Curriculum from Google

The Applied Digital Skills curriculum from Google helps learners succeed online and prepare them for their careers. These lessons which include topics such as event planning, financial planning, and project management, have students apply problem solving skills to real-life problems. The lessons also help students develop collaboration skills and gather and data. This curriculum has earned the ISTE Seal of  Alignment. The eleven lessons in the unit are appropriate for students in grades 7 through 12 and are designed to have students complete a series of tasks using a variety of Google tools.

Applications for Education
You can use all of these lessons together or pick and choose ones that fit the needs of your students. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Keeping Up With Google

Google is constantly releasing updates to its products. Trying to keep up with all of the changes isn't as difficult as you might think. These are eight official Twitter accounts from Google and they will keep you informed of changes from everything from Docs to Arts& Culture and everything in between.

  • Google- News and updates from Google.
  • Google Chrome- The official Twitter account for the Google Chrome browser, OS, Chromebooks, Chromecast, and Web Store
  • Google Drive- Google Drive is a safe place for all of your files. Use Drive for free on all of your devices.
  • Google for Education- Helping prepare students to create the future. The best of Google, for education. Follow for product announcements, program updates, and news.
  • Google Facts- Learn new things every day. When you doubt our facts, Google is your friend.
  • Google Calendar- The official Twitter home of Google calendar.
  • Google Arts&Culture- Where arts and culture meet technology.
  • Google Docs- News and updates about Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Keep, and more. 
Applications for Education
Keep up with changes to Google is important, especially in schools that rely on Google and Chromebooks. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Experience Performing Arts in 360 Degrees

Performing Arts, part of the Google Cultural Institute, is a website that allows you to experience music, opera, theater, and dance in in 360 degree images and videos. Imagine being able to listen to the Philadelphia Orchestra perform at Carnegie Hall or step on the stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company and listen to an actor deliver a powerful monologue. This incredible website includes behind the scenes tours, videos, stories of dozens of performances.

Applications for Education
Performing Arts allows students to experience world class music, acting, and dance performances regardless of where they live in the world. Teachers could use this site to introduce students to a specific performance or they could allow students to explore on their own.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Upload Drive Files to the Google Template Gallery

You probably already know that Google Drive has a template gallery, but did you know that you each school domain has their own template gallery where staff can upload files that are used over and over again? Perhaps it is a report that must be submitted weekly or maybe it is a template for lesson plans. 

Instead of keeping a blank copy of the document in your drive and creating a new copy each time you need it, why not upload it to the template gallery for your organization? There are some instances when it makes more sense to store a document in the template gallery rather than in a shared folder. Adding a document to the template gallery accomplishes two important things. First, it allows everyone in an organization to access the same version of a document. Second, whenever any changes are made to a document in the template gallery, everyone has immediate access to the most up to date version of that document. 

Applications for Education 
The ways that template galleries can be used in schools is unlimited. I know of schools that add documents for lesson planning, bussing, and meetings to their template galleries. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Google Tour Builder

Google Tour Builder was originally created for veterans as a tool to record and preserve their experiences and memories in the military and share them with friends and family. Google made Tour Builder available to everyone because they know everyone has a story to tell.

While Tour Builder isn't as popular as Google MyMaps, it has some features that make it a fantastic option to use in the classroom. Each marker that you add to the map becomes a new place for you to share text and up to 25 images or videos. These markers can stand alone or they can be linked together with lines to help guide people through your story in a particular order.

You do have to have a Google account to create a tour in Google Tour Builder, but you do not have to have an account to view a tour. My favorite feature of Tour Builder is that you can drag Pegman to  any location where Street View imagery exists and explore at street level. One of the other exciting features of Tour Builder that was released recently a feature that allows you to open a tour in Google Earth with just one click! To do this all you will need to do is click the menu button and select the "Open in Google Earth" option.

Want to learn more? Here are some additional resources that will help you get started building your first tour.

Applications for Education
TourBuilder can be used to summarize books, add new twist to current events, tell the story of your life, or anything else you can dream up.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Meet Google Pixel Buds

Pixel Buds, one of Google's latest pieces of hardware, were unveiled yesterday at an event in San Francisco. These wireless earbuds will work with any phone, but provide the best experience when paired with a Pixel phone. When used with a Pixel, the user has full access to Google Assistant through touch sensors located on the earbud. You can control the volume as well as play and pause music. You can also access Google Assistant to send texts and ask for direction, all without removing the device from your pocket. The Pixel Buds will last for about 5 hours on one charge. 

The feature that caught my attention was the translation feature. When the Pixel Buds are paired with a Pixel, the user will have access to a new feature called automatic translation. The video below shows how this works. 

Pixel Buds are not cheap. A pair will set you back $159. There are other viable options for translating conversations. The Google Translate app and Skype Translator translate both text and speech and both options are free. 

Applications for Education
Apps and devices that help break down language barriers have the potential to allow students to learn from more people than ever before. They truly help flatten the world by removing barriers to communication.  

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Grids, Timelines, and Notes in Google Slides

This week Google added a handful of new features to Google Slides. Some of them are features that teachers and students have been requesting for years.

Please note that some of the following new features may not appear in your G Suite for Education account for a couple of weeks. All of these features are available now for users logged-in with a Gmail address.

1. Quickly insert pre-formatted timelines and other diagrams.
Now when you open the "insert" drop-down menu you will see an option for diagrams. Choose that option and you'll be able to insert a variety of pre-formatted diagrams including timelines. All of the content within the diagrams can be edited.

2. Add-ons for Google Slides.
There are now seven Add-ons available in Google Slides. Those of interest to teachers and students include Lucidchart, Pear Deck, and Unsplash. Unsplash provides high resolution photographs to re-use for free.

3. Grid view of presentations.
There is now a grid option under the "view" drop-down menu. This lets you see all of your slides in a grid and re-arrange slides by dragging them into different sequences in the grid.

4. Google Keep notes integrated into slides.
Google Docs integrated Google Keep notes earlier this year. That allowed you to drag your Google Keep notes directly into a document. Now you can do the same in Google Slides.

5. Skip a slide without deleting it. 
If you are in the habit of duplicating your own presentations then deleting a slide or two for different audiences, the new "skip slide" function could appeal to you. This function lets you specify a slide or slides to be skipped in a version of a presentation. Skipping a slide doesn't delete it, it just prevents it from being displayed when you're in the full screen presentation display.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Be Internet Awesome - Google's New Internet Safety Curriculum

Be Internet Awesome is Google's new Internet safety curriculum. I learned about it from Larry Ferlazzo and then spent some time exploring it myself. The Be Internet Awesome site features a game called Interland. The game is set in a virtual world that students navigate by correctly answering questions about Internet safety. The graphics of the game are great and there are some elements in which students navigate, but there is also a heavy reliance multiple choice questions in the game. Watch an overview of the game in the video below.

Be Internet Awesome is based on five key concepts for kids:
  • Share with care.
  • Don't fall for fake.
  • Secure your secrets.
  • It's cool to be kind.
  • When in doubt, talk it out. 
There is a 48 page PDF containing lesson plans on each concept in the Be Internet Awesome curriculum that teachers can download for free. 

The Interland game featured in the video above can be distributed through Google Classroom. G Suite administrators can push the game to the task bar on managed Chromebooks. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

How Search Works - An Illustrated Explanation

Google search is a part of our students' daily lives (most of them have never lived in world without Google), but often they don't know how the search results displayed before them got there. How Search Works is an animated graphic that reveals the basics of how websites are sorted, ranked, and presented to you in your search results. More information is revealed as you scroll down the How Search Works graphic.

A couple of years ago the folks at Canva created a Google Search Tips infographic for me. You can see that infographic below. Feel free to print it for display in your classroom. 

Last week I hosted a sold-out webinar called Search Strategies Students Need to Know. The content of that webinar is available on demand.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Quick Reminder About Google's Advanced Search Menu

This evening on the FreeTech4Teachers Facebook page someone made the comment that Google removed the advanced search tools. That is not true. The reading level refinement tool is gone, but the rest of the advanced search tools are still available. To access the advanced search menu conduct an initial search then open the gear icon in the upper, right corner of the screen. See my screenshot below for an explanation.
Click image to view full size. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Quick Way to Access a Countdown Timer on Your Computer

This morning on my Facebook page someone asked for a recommendation for a countdown timer. The first thing that came to my mind was to suggest using the timer function built into You can simply type into Google search "set timer" followed by an amount of time and a countdown timer is displayed. An alarm beeps when time is up. You can make the timer appear full screen without advertisements by clicking a little box icon to the right of the timer. You can see this feature in action in the video below.

If you're looking for a timer that has a few more features, take a look at Russel Tarr's Classtools Countdown Timer which has two slick features. You can create and set multiple timers on the same page. This means that if you had students sharing in rapid succession you wouldn't have to reset the timer for each student, you simply move onto using the next timer on the page. The second feature of note in the Classtools Countdown Timer is the option to add music to your timers. You can have your countdown timers set to music. Mission Impossible, The Apprentice, and Countdown are the standard music options. You can add other music by using the YouTube search tool built into the timer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Google Announces Steps to Clean Up Blogger

If you log into your Blogger account today you will notice a new message from Google about adult content. Clicking the link in that message will take you to Google's new policy about posting adult content on Blogger blogs. The new policy will take effect on March 23rd. The new policy bars posting adult content on public Blogger blogs.

One of the long-standing problems with using Blogger in schools is that school district web filters have often blocked it because Google has allowed Blogger to be used to host adult-only content. Hopefully, this policy change by Google will clean-up Blogger and make it easier for schools to use. Blogger provides one of the easiest ways to create blogs, especially if your school is using Google Apps for Education.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Google Search Tip - Use the Dialect of the Community

In a few weeks I will be flying to Australia to speak at the Future Schools Expo in Sydney. This will be the first time I have flown to Australia. Since Sydney is just about as far away from Portland, Maine as I could go and stay in the planet, I did a bit of research to find the most comfortable (by relative airline standards) plane and seat to choose to fly to Australia. (Yes, I realize that is the definition of first world problem).

To do my research I turned to the message board community on (it's kind of like Consumer Reports meets Trip Advisor for airlines). Once it was determined that I would be flying Qantas (I didn't have much choice on that matter) from Dallas to Sydney I set out to see what people were saying about seats on the A380 that flies on that route. I started out using the name Dallas in my search, but I didn't see nearly as many posts on the topic as I had hoped. Further, the posts that I did find were written by people who had made relatively few contributions to the community. After reading some not-so-helpful post I realized that most frequent contributors to the community don't actually spell out full city names. Instead, they use airport abbreviation codes like DFW when writing about Dallas. As soon as I switched out Dallas and for DFW in my search I found a lot more posts from frequent contributors to the FlyerTalk community.

How this applies to students:
A few years ago I heard my friend Tom Daccord at (an advertiser on this blog) give an example of social studies students researching films of the early 20th Century. In his example Tom mentioned that the students who insisted on using the term "movies" in their searches didn't get nearly as far as those who used terms like "talkies," "moving pictures," and "cinema." This was due to the fact that "movies" wasn't a part of the common dialect of film critics in the early 20th Century.

For students to understand the dialect of the topics that they are researching, they will have to do some prior reading and learning on the topic. One thing that I've asked students to do when reading primary sources that I've distributed to them is to highlight or write down the terms and phrases that are new to them. Often those highlighted terms and phrases often end up being a huge asset to them when they are trying to choose the best terms to use in Google searches.

By the way, if you copy and paste a primary document into Google Docs then share it with students, it is very easy for them to highlight new-to-them phrases and for you to see what they've highlighted. That is one of the activities that I model in my online course Getting Going With GAFE.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to Monitor the Devices Accessing Your Google Account

Google Accounts are great because they allow us to connect to much of our work from almost any mobile device. Of course, the more devices that you connect to your Google Account, the more opportunities there are for your account to be compromised. To help you monitor the devices that are being used to access your Google Account, Google has added a new Devices and Activity section to your Google Account.

To see a list of the devices that have been used to sign into your Google Account, open the security section of your Google Account then select Devices and Activity. If you notice something suspicious, reset the password for your Google Account.

Read more about the new Devices and Activity settings on the Google Apps Updates Blog.  

Watch these videos for help on creating a strong password.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Manage 3rd Party Apps Accessing Your Google Account

One of the most convenient ways to sign into a lot of popular websites and apps is to use your Google Account credentials. If you do this a lot, you may want to periodically review the list of services that you have accessed by using your Google Account. As you go through that list, revoke access to services that you haven't used in a while. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to do this.

Screenshots of this process are available here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Have You Tried the New Google Maps?

Last spring Google announced the availability of a new desktop version of Google Maps for those who wanted to try it out. I've been using it since then and occasionally reverting to the old version. This week Google announced that the new Google Maps desktop version will be rolling out to all users over the next couple of weeks.

In the new version of Google Maps you can quickly find Streetview imagery, videos, and panoramic imagery by opening the "Explore" tray at the bottom of the map. Simply click the "Explore" link in the bottom, right corner of the map to open a menu of imagery. Placing your cursor over one of the images will generate a line that shows you where that image was captured in relation to the center of your current view of the map. Clicking on an image in the Explore tray will put you into Streetview or showcase the image if it is not a Streetview image.

Applications for Education
For classroom settings the best feature of the new Google Maps is the enhanced Streetview imagery which students can use to virtually explore interesting places all over the world.

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