Thursday, November 15, 2012

Google+ Added to Google Apps for Education

When Google+ first came out I was excited about the prospect of using the Google+ Hangouts as a way to host online tutoring sessions. Unfortunately, at that time Google+ could only be used with personal Google (@gmail.com) accounts. Today, that changed as Google announced that Google+ can now be activated for Google Apps for Education users.

Applications for Education
Enabling Google+ in your Google Apps for Education domain will allow teachers and students in your school to take advantage of all of the Google+ features like screen sharing and Hangouts to host online tutoring sessions. You can also activate third party apps like Concept Board to host online collaborative brainstorming sessions.

Vaccines in the U.S.

Today on Facebook my friend Walter Perry posted this infographic about vaccine effectiveness in the United States. The infographic didn't have a link to the source so I did a little research and I think that it was created by Leon Farrant. The infographic compares morbidity prior to "vaccine era" in the U.S. to current reports of cases of diseases that we commonly vaccinate against.

Applications for Education
As you can see above "vaccine era" is not defined in the infographic. The lack of detail in the infographic opens it up to being a source of potential research questions for your students. Ask your students to define "vaccine era" or have them research when the various vaccines became commonly available.

How Solar Eclipses Happen - An Infographic

Solar Eclipses - How They Happen is a nice infographic from Turu. The infographic provides short explanations of three types of solar eclipses, how they happen, and how often they happen on average. The infographic also presents some information specific to the recent solar eclipse over Australia. I've put the infographic in a Zoom.it frame to make it fit below.
Applications for Education
Solar Eclipses - How They Happen could make a nice supplementary resource to support a lesson on eclipses and orbits. The infographic could be printed and posted in your classroom or just posted on your class blog.

H/T to Cool Infographics

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

26 iBooks Author How-to Videos

iBooks Author is a great tool for creating interactive ebooks. Unfortunately, creating content with iBooks Author isn't always as easy as you might hope it is. Back in June I shared a free 110 page book about using iBooks Author. However, if video tutorials are more helpful to you I have found twenty six videos that you should look at.

Kinetic Media has a nearly one hour video that takes you through every aspect of creating an iBook with iBooks Author. The video covers everything from choosing a template to using custom HTML5 widgets in your iBooks. That video is embedded below.


If sitting through a one hour video like the Kinetic Media iBooks Author video is a bit too much for you, take a look at this playlist of 25 iBooks Author tutorials from DIY Journo. The videos cover the same things as in the Kinetic Media tutorial, but each tutorial is its own short video.

Handy New Ways to Organize Files in Google Drive

For years now almost all of my documents have been created and stored in Google Docs and now Google Drive. Over the last year I've moved more files into Google Drive for storage. Today, Google added some new features to Google Drive that will make it easier to store, organize, and locate your files in your Google Drive account.

In Google Drive you can now view KML and KMZ files. If you have folders on your desktop you can down drag them directly into your Google Drive account when you're using the Chrome browser. And a very useful feature for people working in groups is the option to search for files according the the names of the people who have access to a file. Even if you don't know the name of the file you can locate it by searching for your collaborators' names in Google Drive.

Applications for Education
In my experience a lot of students don't use good file naming conventions. This creates a problem when they go to share files with other students or with their teachers. The option to search by collaborators' names could be a small solution to the problem of locating shared files. Of course, teaching students to use better naming conventions is something that we should also be doing.