Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sign-up Now for Google Forms Locked Mode

Back in June Google teased us with an announcement about a locked mode for Google Forms. All summer and fall I got questions about when it would be available. Today, Google announced that G Suite for Education users can now sign-up for early access to Google Forms locked mode. Sign-up here. Locked mode will allow you to restrict students to viewing only your Google Form while taking a quiz that you have given to them in Google Forms.
GIF courtesy of Google for Edu marketing team.
Before you get too excited about locked mode there are a couple of things that you need to know. The first is that it will only work on school-managed Chromebooks. Second, your Chromebooks need to be updated to Chrome OS 68.

Slides and Notes from LACUE

I've just wrapped-up two days of giving presentations at the LACUE conference in New Orleans. A huge thank you to the conference organizers for inviting me and to everyone who came to my presentations. If you're curious about what I spoke about at the conference, my slides and brief notes are included below.

Best of the Web
I'm asked to do this presentation at every conference I go to. It highlights some of my favorite new tools and favorite tools updated in 2018.


5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons
This is a presentation that I started giving at conference during the summer. It is increasing in popularity every time that I do it. Highlights of this presentation include incorporating augmented reality into outdoor lessons.


Fast & Fun Formative Assessments
This is a perennial favorite that includes quite a bit of audience participation in the demonstration of various formative assessment tools.


Worlds are Colliding: Introduction to AR & VR in Education
This presentation is exactly what it says on the tin. I feature some of the best ways to get your feet wet with augmented reality and virtual reality in education. I also include a bit of research in these fields in the presentation.


Quick & Powerful Video Projects
This presentation features five classroom video projects that you can do in a relatively short amount of time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sites in VR - The VR App for Those Without VR Headsets

Sites in VR is a free Android and iOS app that provides a 1700 virtual reality views of significant landmarks around the world. The app is a good one for those who would like to experience a bit of virtual reality without having to use a virtual reality headset. Sites in VR provides imagery that you can navigate through by moving your phone or tablet in a manner similar to that of using a virtual reality viewer like Google Cardboard.

To use the app simply open it then select a country, city, or landmark type. Then on the next screen select from a menu of landmarks to view. Once you've made a selection you will be able to view the imagery and navigate through it by moving your phone or tablet.

Applications for Education
Sites in VR is a good app for those who would like to try using virtual reality in their geography lessons, but don't want to or can't make the investment in virtual reality viewing headsets.

Sites in VR is one of the resources that I featured today in my Introduction to AR & VR presentation at the LACUE conference in New Orleans. The slides from that presentation are embedded below.

Google Classroom is Now Open to All G Suite Domains

Today, Google announced that Google Classroom is now available to all G Suite domains including non-profit and business domains. This follows last year's addition of Google Classroom to personal Google accounts. Today's announcement essentially makes Google Classroom available to anyone and any entity that wants to use it.

I wasn't able to turn on Classroom for the business domains that I manage today because this update is on the "extended roll-out" plan. But I'll guess that if this is anything like the other versions of Google Classroom, everyone who participates in a Google Classroom on a business or non-profit domain will need to have a Google account issued by that domain.

Google is Removing Annotations from YouTube Videos

Eighteen months ago Google removed the annotations editor from YouTube. Today, I logged into the YouTube editor and saw an announcement that Google is going to remove all existing annotations from YouTube videos on January 15th. Google states that viewers don't like annotations and typically close twelve of them for every one that they do interact with.

What this means for you:
If you never used YouTube annotations, this means nothing to you.
If you used YouTube annotations to make a linked series of videos or a choose-your-own adventure series, all of those links will be broken on January 15th.

Personally, I'm disappointed by this because I always felt that using annotations was a great way to build a choose-your-own-adventure series of videos. Google suggests using end screens and cards as an alternative to annotations, but it's not quite the same.