Saturday, April 16, 2016

Three Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed This Week

This week Google rolled-out updates to Google Calendar, Google Drive for Mac & PC, and Google Drive for Android & iOS.

The most exciting of the three updates this week is the addition of a goal setting and tracking feature in Google Calendar for Android and iOS. Earlier this week I wrote an extensive overview of this feature. The highlight of the goals feature in Google Calendar is that Calendar will help you identify times to work on your goals.

The Google Drive desktop app for Mac & PC was updated this week to allow you to sync sub-folders instead of just top-level folders. You can now choose which sub-folders to sync so that you don't have to sync the entire contents of a folder if you don't need everything else that is within its parent folder.

The Google Drive Android app had a couple of updates this week. First, now when you upload a file from your phone or tablet it will appear in your chosen folder instead of just a generic "uploads" folder. The second update added support for inserting Google Drive files into Whatsapp and or Yahoo Mail on your Android phone or iPhone.

Expedition Earth Day - An Exploration of Coral Reefs

Next Friday is Earth Day 2016. Discovery Education has a great Earth Day resource for you to use with your elementary and middle school students. Expedition Earth Day is a free set of resources for teaching students about the world's coral reefs. A 30 minute is the central aspect around which the lessons are designed.

Through Expedition Earth Day students can learn about the biodiversity of oceans, ocean biodiversity preservation efforts, and threats to fish in the Atlantic Ocean. Students will also learn about the differences between coral reefs in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Register on Discovery's Eventbrite page to receive all of the Expedition Earth Day resources.

Disclosure: Discovery Education is an advertiser on this blog. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

20 Videos and a Poster Explaining Logical Fallacies

Last November I featured a series of videos from PBS Learning Channel that contained eight concise explanations of logical fallacies. This morning, thanks to Larry Ferlazzo, I learned about another series of video explanations of logical fallacies. Wireless Philosophy offers a playlist of twelve videos on logical fallacies. The playlist is embedded below.

The fallacies covered in the PBS videos are Strawman, Ad Hominem, Black and White, Authority, and No True Scotsman. I have embedded the playlist below.

Your Logical Fallacy Is is a website that provides short explanations and examples of twenty-four common logical fallacies. Visitors to the site can click through the gallery to read the examples. Your Logical Fallacy Is also provides free PDF poster files that you can download and print.

Applications for Education
When teaching current events courses, I always begin with lessons about about recognizing bias, propaganda, and logical fallacies. All three of the resources featured above can help students recognize logical fallacies and hopefully avoid using logical fallacies themselves.

Kahoot Adds a Team Mode

This week Kahoot, the wildly popular quiz game platform, released a new team mode. The new team mode is designed to be used with students who are sharing computers, tablets, or phones. In team mode students arrange themselves in teams around a shared computer or tablet. When you start a Kahoot game you'll now choose "team mode." With team mode selected your students will be prompted to enter a team name and a list of the team members.

After the teams have entered their names you will be ready to start the game. One of the nice features of team mode is that students have time to discuss their answer choices before they are allowed to submit a response. From there the game is played and scored as any other Kahoot game is.

Applications for Education
Kahoot's new team mode could be a great option for teachers who have wanted to try Kahoot but didn't have enough devices for all of his or her students to play along. Even if you do have enough devices for every student the team mode could still be a good way to promote collaboration and a little less competition in your review activities.

Take a look at Socrative's Space Race mode if you are looking for a review game that students can play in teams with individual devices.

How to Make Your Google Sites Mobile Friendly

Google Sites can be a good platform on which to develop your school, library, or classroom website. It's a flexible platform that you can use for a variety of purposes including creating blogs, portfolios, and wikis. All that said, if you're accessing a Google Site on a mobile device you may have trouble navigating it unless the site administrator has made it mobile-friendly. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how quickly you can make your Google Site mobile-friendly.

You can learn more Google Sites tips and tricks in my online course Getting Going With GAFE or by browsing through my YouTube channel.