Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Getting Going With GAFE - An Online Course - Earn Three Graduate Credits

During the past summer over 100 teachers earned graduate credits and or professional development hours by participating in my online course Getting Going With GAFE (Google Apps for Education). Throughout the fall I've had requests to offer the course. Last week I got together with the fine folks at Midwest Teachers Institute and we scheduled another section of Getting Going With GAFE.

Getting Going With GAFE is a Practical Ed Tech five week webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using Google Apps for Education. In Getting Going With  GAFE you will learn everything you need to know 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:
November 24, December 1, 8, 15, and 22nd. All classes meet at 7pm Eastern Time. All classes are recorded.


Course highlights:

  • Get to know Google Drive.
  • What makes Google Docs better than your old word processor.
  • Tips & tricks for getting the most out of Google Docs
  • The ins and outs of Google Slides.
  • Using Google Drive to store and share all of your digital creations (even those old files you made years ago in Word). 
  • Take control of your schedule with Google Calendar.
  • Using calendars to keep your students, their parents, and your colleagues informed about happenings in your classroom.
  • Using Google Calendar as a reservation system for parent-teacher conferences.
  • Google Sites As Your Online Hub
  • Create a website that students and their parents will want to visit.
  • Using Google Sites as a blog.
  • Designing and developing digital portfolios in Google Sites.
  • Using Google Sites for wiki projects.
  • Google Classroom to streamline your workflow. Organizing assignments for distribution.
  • Managing multiple classrooms from one place.
  • Giving feedback through Google Classroom.


What’s included? What does it cost?
Registration is $147 (subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter receive a discount code). Click here to register for the webinar series today.

The graduate credit option costs an additional $450. Click here to register for graduate credit.

Note: students pursuing the graduate credit option must register for the webinar series first, then complete the MTI graduate credit registration form.

Registration is not confirmed until payment has been received. Cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the start of the course will not be refunded. All live sessions are recorded.

The recordings are made available to all participants to stream and or download. Participants will receive digital handouts with directions for everything demonstrated in the webinars. Participants have access to a dedicated discussion forum to use throughout the course.

This sounds great! How do I register? What will I need to participate? 
The easiest and cheapest way to register is by completing the registration online with a credit card or PayPal.  To register for graduate credit, first complete the webinar series registration then complete the MTI form here. Purchase Orders and school checks will only be accepted if four or more people from the same district register together. The courses will be hosted through GoToTraining. To participate in the course you will need a laptop or desktop computer with an updated browser (Chrome or FireFox is ideal).

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 advisers 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.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Great Thanksgiving Listen - An Oral History Project

Thanksgiving can present a great opportunity for kids to talk with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other family members that they don't frequently see during the rest of the year. StoryCorps recognized that and this fall launched a project called The Great Thanksgiving Listen.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is an initiative intended to facilitate conversations between students and adult family members over Thankgiving weekend. StoryCorps has released a toolkit for teachers to use to guide students in the process of recording interviews with family members. The toolkit recommends using the StoryCorps mobile apps to capture the conversations. The StoryCorps mobile apps includes question prompts and a suggested script for conducting interviews.

NPR's Steve Inskeep offers five interview tips in the video embedded below.

A Small Collection of Resources for Teaching About Veterans Day

Wednesday is Veterans Day and schools across the US will be closed. Try one or more of the following resources to help students understand the origins and meaning of Veterans Day.

Bet You Didn't Know: Veterans Day. The video explains the origins of the holiday and why its date of celebration has twice shifted in the United States. The end of the video includes an explanation of the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. PBS News Hour has a basic lesson plan about Veterans Day. That lesson plan includes giving this quiz to students before showing them Bet You Didn't Know: Veterans Day


NBC News offers the following short audio slideshow about the history and meaning of Veterans Day.

ReadWorks offers a selection of texts about Veterans Day. The passages include questions for discussion. ReadWorks offers texts for all grade levels.

For more resources on Veterans Day, see this list created by Larry Ferlazzo.

10 Things Students Can Do With Google Keep

At the end of October Google added a drawing option to Google Keep. The drawing tool in Google Keep offers a large variety of line colors and thicknesses. Drawings can be added to existing notes or can be created as stand-alone notes. And like other Google Keep notes, drawn notes can be shared from Keep to Google Docs. Creating drawings is just one of many ways that students can use Google Keep. Here are ten ways that students can use Google Keep on Android devices.

1. Draw notes.
2. Make to-do lists.
3. Type notes.
4. Color-code and sort notes.
5. Create reminders.
6. Share notes with other students.
7. Share task lists.
8. Record voice notes.
9. Take picture notes.
10. Send notes to Google Docs.

By the way, this post was drafted in Google Keep.

4 Math Add ons for Google Docs

This is a guest post from Jennfer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

Google Docs is a popular word processing tool. However, many people don’t realize that there are 4 great add-ons for Math that allow teachers and students to harness the power of Google. You can add any of these features to a Google Doc by selecting Add-ons → Get Add-ons.

g(Math)


g(Math) is a popular tool for Math students and teachers. It allows you to create robust expressions and graphs that you can insert directly into your Google Doc. Input expressions using LaTeX, select pre-built formulas which gMath will convert to LaTeX for you, draw your own formula, or even speak to insert math equations (in Chrome Only). Check out the g(Math) guru for extensive tutorials.


Calculator


Sometimes you just need a simple calculator to check your work or perform calculations. Add a calculator to any Google Doc by adding the Calculator Add-on. Now there is no need to switch back and forth between apps or windows.


WizKids CAS


Wizkids CAS allows teachers and students to harness the power of a graphing calculator in any Google Doc. Students can solve equations, plot graphs, find numerical and exact solutions, simplify and factorise expressions with variables, and drag and drop results and graphs from the sidebar.


Formula Editor

Formula Editor is a simple tool that lets you type and edit mathematical equations in the sidebar of any Google Doc. You can input data using the mathematics input box or by using LaTeX. After you complete your edits, the formula is converted to an image that can be inserted directly into a document.

By incorporating Add-ons, teachers and students can expand the power of Google Docs beyond word processing and editing.

To learn more about working with Google Apps consider attending EdTechTeacher's upcoming Google Jamboree. I will be a featured presenter at their December 5th event in Medfield, MA. The Call for Proposals is open for their February 1-3 event in San Diego.