Sunday, May 7, 2017

7 Ways to Use Google Keep in Your Classroom

This week's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week featured a demonstration of how to use Google Keep to annotate images. That is just one of many ways that you and your students can use Google Keep. G Suite for Education users, remember that Google Keep is now a core product in G Suite.

1. Create bookmarks with Google Keep.

2. Add Google Keep notes and bookmarks to your Google Documents.

3. Use Feedly with Google Keep on your Android device.

4. Use Google Keep and Feedly in your web browser to keep track of news stories.

5. Share notes and task lists through Google Keep.

6. Use Google Keep to help you work toward your goals.

7. Annotate images in Google Keep on Chromebooks and on Android devices.

Phishing Explained by Common Craft

Last week's viral Google Docs phishing scam provided a good reminder to many that we should always give a critical eye to emails and social media posts that don't look quite right. It also served as a reminder that we need to educate students and, sometimes, our colleagues about phishing attempts. Common Craft has an excellent video on the topic. You can watch the video as embedded below or on the Common Craft website.

On a related note, if you get a Facebook friend request from someone you're already friends with, it's likely a scam. Your best bet is to delete the request. But for some folks it's an opportunity to have fun with a scammer as one of my friends recently did when she suspected a scam. See the screenshot below for an explanation.

Disclosure: Common Craft videos require a subscription to be used in classrooms. I have an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Connecticut where we're visiting my brother and my newest niece. We spent a good chunk of the afternoon attempting to get a picture of Isla and my niece, Kierra, looking at the camera at the same time. We were unsuccessful in that effort, but we had fun trying. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you're having some fun too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Google Product Updates You Might Have Missed in April
2. How to Create a Google Classroom With a Gmail Account
3. Kahoot Announces New Windows 10 Apps
4. Check123 - A Video Encyclopedia
5. 5 Good Resources for Teaching and Learning About World War II
6. 5 Resources for Learning About Aviation - How Airplanes Fly
7. Chromebook Camp & BYOD Camp Discounts Extended

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Two Free Apps for Capturing Immersive Imagery

In 5 Good Resources for Teaching and Learning About World War II I mentioned that I captured some photospheres at the WWII Museum in New Orleans. I created those photospheres for use in virtual reality viewers. The tools that I used for creating those photospheres were the Google Cardboard Camera app and the Google Street View app. Both apps are available for Android and iOS.

With the Cardboard Camera app installed on your phone or tablet you can capture 360 degree panoramic imagery. If you choose to keep your phone's microphone turned on, you can capture sound with your imagery. To capture imagery simply open the app, tap the camera icon, then start recording. Slowly move your phone from left to right and turn 360 degrees to completely capture the images around you. Cardboard Camera will tell you if you are moving too quickly or too slowly. Once you've captured your imagery you can view it through the Cardboard Viewer. It is possible to make your own Cardboard Viewer.

The Google Street View app lets you create true 360 degree photospheres. You can use the app to publish images that you capture with a spherical camera. If you don't have a spherical camera you can use the camera in your phone to capture 360 degree photospheres with guidance from the Street View app. When you use your phone's camera to capture imagery through the app, you will see small targets appear on your screen. Line your camera to those targets as you pan horizontally and vertically. The photosphere that you create can be saved privately or you can publish it to Google Maps.

Applications for Education
If you teach social studies, you shouldn't go anywhere interesting without one or both of these apps installed on your phone. These apps make it easy to create immersive imagery of notable landmarks or interesting museum displays to share with your students.

Math Pickle - Fun and Challenging Math Puzzles

Math Pickle is a free site that offers dozens of fun and challenging math puzzles for students of all ages. The puzzles are designed to foster collaborative problem solving over the course of 45 to 60 minutes. Almost all of the puzzles are presented as a series of small, connected problems that students need to solve to complete the puzzle presented to them. The puzzles can be viewed as slides and or downloaded as PDFs.

Applications for Education
Math Pickle arranges puzzles by grade level and topic. The puzzles can provide you with a new way to challenge your students to use their mathematics and reasoning skills.  The puzzles are designed so that all students eventually experience a "failure" and a "break-through" during the process of completing the puzzle with a group.