Category Archives: Google Apps

Back-to-School 2016 * Google Goodness for You!

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your summer days! There have been some exciting updates and releases this summer in the Google Apps ecosystem that I’d like to share with you, along with some other resources to help you jumpstart your technology integration efforts this year!

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Google Forms Quizzes

Google Forms now has the ability to self-grade forms you create as quizzes. Released in June, this post from the Google for Education blog shares this new feature. Step-by-step tutorials can be found here. What can Google Forms quizzes do?

“…we launched Quizzes in Google Forms on Monday to help teachers quickly create, deliver and grade assignments or assessments. With Quizzes, teachers can select correct answers for multiple choice and checkbox questions to reduce repetitive grading. They can also enter explanations and review materials to help students learn. And to make sure students understand the lesson material, teachers can prevent students from sending themselves a copy of their responses. ” via the Google for Education blog

Exciting stuff! Check out a video tutorial here:

If you previously used the add-on Flubaroo to grade student Form responses, this post by Eric Curts gives a great comparison of the two features and when to use each.

Note: Stuck with anything in Google Apps? The Google Help Center is THE place to go to find the answers you need!!

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Image via http://hyperdocs.co/about_hyperdocs

HyperDocs

As someone who built webquests for students in the early 2000s to promote interactivity with the web, HyperDocs appear to be a similar way to help students interact with online content in order to collaborate and create content of their own to build understanding. A HyperDoc is very simply a Google doc or Google Slides set that is built to include hyperlinks to resource sites, videos, images, and more to engage students in learning more about a topic. In order to make them most engaging, HyperDocs should include tasks for students and provide a variety of student-driven choice options when possible. If not thoughtfully designed, a HyperDoc can simply turn into a digitized worksheet. Try to avoid this at all costs by including maximum opportunities for student engagement, creation, voice, and choice!

The term “hyperdocs” was coined by Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis in their book, The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps

Resources for you:

Image via https://futureofstorytelling.org/google-expeditions/

Image via https://futureofstorytelling.org/google-expeditions/

Project Ideas & More

Google Maps and Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions was a new program running at select schools last year, utilizing the latest in virtual reality (VR) applications to take students on global explorations. This summer it was announced that Google Expeditions is now available for use by all students! If you’re interested, talk to your building principal and consider applying for a Spartan Foundation grant to acquire devices and Google Cardboard viewers. The app is free for Android devices and is coming soon to iOS devices as well. Read more to learn about how students are using Google Expeditions!

There are many applications for Google Maps in the classroom. From math to social studies to geography and science connections, students can create custom My Maps, calculate distances, and explore landforms. Check out these resources on ways to use Google Maps in the classroom:

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Fonts for Days!

I know you love beautiful typography for your classroom creations… kiss Comic Sans goodbye with Google Fonts. Did you know that while you’re working in a Google doc, you can click on your fonts menu and browse all the way down to More Fonts…. to be taken to another collection of fonts you can add to your apps?

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You can also visit the Google Fonts website to browse the collection of fonts to find exactly what you’re looking for. From this site you can select fonts by clicking the red + sign next to the font (you can even type in the textboxes to see how they will look with words you type often!) and downloading the font file to your device and installing for use in other applications outside of Google.

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Wishing you a wonderful school year, filled with opportunities for you and your students to connect, collaborate, and create together! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Tim with any questions or needs!

Created by Georgina Tanaka via https://twitter.com/GtanakaTanaka/status/761965169517834240

Created by Georgina Tanaka via https://twitter.com/GtanakaTanaka/status/761965169517834240

#gafe4littles

Follow the hashtag #gafe4littles to learn more about ways to incorporate the use of Google Apps for Education with even the youngest learners! Educators Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler recently held the first #gafe4littles workshop in California and are sharing their resources via the hashtag and elsewhere. Keep an eye out for some wonderful things being shared, and don’t forget to share what’s happening in YOUR classrooms via the hashtag and your blogs as well!

Google Classroom Updates

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Hello, everyone!

I know many of you are using Google Classroom with your students, and perhaps more of you are looking to use it next year! Because Google values feedback from teachers, there have been many enhancements made to Google Classroom this year.

  • You can now schedule assignments, questions, or announcements to post at a later date!
  • Use questions to poll students!
  • Coming in the fall: parent notifications!

Read all about the updates here.

The Google Classroom team is also planning to offer developers deeper integration among their services and Google Classroom, so you may see more opportunities for using Google Classroom in different ways in the future.

The What’s New in Classroom help page from Google lists each update with more details about each. Keep that page handy along with subscribing to the Google for Education blog so you never miss any news about Google Classroom or other Google products! You can also follow Google for Education on Twitter!

If you’re not currently using Google Classroom but you are taking advantage of the collaboration and communication suite of Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms, I highly encourage you to give Classroom a try next year! Reach out to a colleague using Classroom, Tim, or Lyn, and we’ll be happy to support you getting started! All of the Google Classroom support resources can be found on our tech blog here.

P.S. For you Google Slides fans… there’s now an integrated Q & A feature! Great to engage students and obtain feedback during lessons!

May 2016 Updates

Thanks, Mr. Leister! 

As the end of the school year approaches, please take a few minutes to complete the survey and explore some new technology resources:
 
  • Digital Learning Tools at ELANCO Elementary – At the end of each school year, teacher input concerning the paid educational programs at ELANCO is very important.  Please take a few minutes to complete the Elem Digital Learning Tools Survey to share your opinions on current programs, as well as to offer suggestions for future programs and professional development needsOne of our August in-service days will have sessions based on your suggestions. 
  • New Q&A Feature in Google Slides – A newly released feature in Google Apps for Education provides the option for presenters to allow their audience to submit questions and vote on them during Google Slide presentations.
  • Quizizz now integrates with Google Classroom – so that you can use the Google Classroom Share button to easily send out Quizizz games to your students.
  • Subscribe to your School’s Calendar in MS Outlook – Follow these directions to add the your school building’s calendar to your Outlook Calendar. 
  • End of the School Year Backups – It’s approaching the end of the school year and teachers will soon be packing up their classrooms for the summer break. However, teachers should also consider packing up (or backing up) their digital classroom as well.  Consider some steps that you could take to cleanup and secure your computer files, browser settings, and Email.  Yes, email….Take the ‘Inbox Zero’ Challenge and get to zero emails in your Inbox before leaving for the summer and claim your ELANCO Credly Badge here.  Remember that you can claim other Elanco Digital Badges for your many tech skills. 
  • May Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Check out posts and pictures of the Blue Ball Big Read, our HS spring sport athletes, GSHS Prom 2016, GS chorus concerts, and more. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.

April 2016 Elem Tech Updates

April 2016 Updates from Mr. Leister

While the students are testing this week and next, perhaps you’ll have some time to explore some new technology resources:
 
  • Quizlet Live is a new feature from Quizlet that allows teachers to play an in-class game using existing online flashcard study sets. The game requires students to collaborate in small groups to find the term that matches the definition.
  • Google Classroom has added a new polling feature!  A recent blog post from Google for Educationshows some creative ways teachers are using polling in their classrooms.
  • Kahoot has added a new ‘Team Mode to their online game system to better “nurture collaboration, teamwork, leadership skills and good communication.”
  • ThingLink is an online tool for teachers to create interactive images by adding ‘hot spot’ buttons to overlay text, images, videos and more.  Here’s one example for learning about the U.S. Presidents
  • Nearpod is a great classroom presentation tool with the formative assessment tools are built right into the presentation allowing students to respond on their computers with open-ended answers, multiple choice questions, or the use of drawing tools.  I have 2 Nearpod Teacher accounts that were paid for by the district for any Elementary Teacher who is interested in having the full version of the program through February 2017. First come, first serve!
  • April Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Check out pictures from our guidance department of the Class of 2016 accepting their college admission offers. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.
  • Remember that you can claim your own Elanco Digital Badges for your many tech skills. 
 

March 2016 Elem Tech Updates

Thanks, Mr. Leister!
With Lyn out on maternity leave, I thought that I’d send out an update with some new resources that are available to Elanco Elementary Teachers and Students.  Some to the links below will direct you to Lyn’s Elem Tech Blog, while other will go to my Garden Spot Tech Blog that I use with the secondary teachers. 
 
  • Recent Updates to Google Drive – Voice typing in Google Docs makes typing easier, especially for those students who struggle. New templates in Docs, Sheets and Slides allow for quick access to pre-formatted, professional looking documents. Google Keep for all those reminder sticky notes that have in the past only existed on your desktop.
  • Kiddle is a new safer and more secure version of the Google search engine. A great way to better eliminate those unwanted Internet search results for young students. 
  • The Student Blogging Challenge, which happens twice a year, is starting up again in March and includes a series of 10 weekly tasks created by Edublogs which you can customize for your class. For more information about Elanco’s Edublogs, visit the Edublogs & Blogging page. 
  • Quizalize your Formative Assessment by using the online tool called Quizalize to randomly assigning students to teams while answering questions that accumulate points for their team in real time.
  • TED-Ed explains the answers to some of life’s most basic questions, such as “Why are there so many insects?”, or “What does outer space do to your body?”, or “Why are manhole covers round?” with short video lessons using animation and simple terminology for students.
  • March Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.
 
Please contact me if you have any questions about any of these updates or want to discuss methods to integrate technologies into your classroom.
 
Thanks.

Kiddle – A Search Engine for Kids

kiddleEven the best school district Internet content filters will sometimes allow inappropriate content in the search results for teachers and students. Kiddle is a new customized search that uses the Google search engine, created just for young kids. Using Kiddle will allow students to still utilize the search power of Google without receiving some of the unnecessary information that comes along with their search results.

Below, you’ll read the benefits of using Kiddle with young students as described on the Kiddle About Page.

1) Safe search: sites appearing in Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, as we filter sites with explicit or deceptive content. 
2) Kids-oriented results: the boxes below illustrate how Kiddle returns results for each query (in the order shown):

  • Safe sites and pages written specifically for kids. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 1-3.
  • Safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but have content written in a simple way, easy for kids to understand. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 4-7.
  • Safe, famous sites that are written for adults, providing expert content, but are harder for kids to understand. Filtered by Google safe search. Typically, results 8 onwards.

3) Big thumbnails: most Kiddle search results are illustrated with big thumbnails, which makes it easier to scan the results…..
4) Large Arial font in Kiddle search results provides better readability for kids.
5) Privacy: we don’t collect any personally identifiable information, and our logs are deleted every 24 hours. Please read our full privacy statement here.

To make Kiddle easily accessible for students, an icon has been added on the new Elanco student gateway homepages (here’s Blue Ball Elem) with the Google Search icon. googlesearch

This free resources might be one to share with parents as well. Keep in mind that as with any search engine, there is no 100% guarantee that all search results yielded are child-friendly. Continue to be vigilant about assigning meaningful online work for your students and supervising their activity.

It’s Digital Citizenship Week! And some updates!

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October 18-24 is Digital Citizenship Week! As educators we need to model strong citizenship, both online and off, and provide our students with the support and knowledge needed to be skillful and safe contributors in digital learning spaces. Check out these resources to support your ongoing digital citizenship and safety talks with students. Great talking points and graphics to share at an upcoming class meeting!

Resources for educators from Common Sense Media, videos, and classroom posters

6 Digital Citizenship Resources from Edutopia

Citizenship in the Digital Age infographic from ISTE

The 7s of Meaningful Learning Start with Citizenship by Shelly Terrell


Our next Wired Wednesday will be held on October 21 at Brecknock Elementary, from 4-5 PM. The topic is Elementary Research! We’ll review key copyright topics, explore the built-in research tools in the Google Apps suite, and check out other elementary-friendly research sites. Please register in My Learning Plan!


Have your students begun blogging and now you’re in need of some ideas to help them take their blogging to the next level? Check out this recent post from Edublogs, 50 Ideas for Student Blogging and Writing Online!  


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BrainPOP is offering a free webinar on how to get started with My BrainPOP on Wednesday, October 21 at 4 PM. These sessions are archived if you can’t watch live. Click here to learn more!


In case you missed it, Elanco STEM featured in Lancaster Online this week!  

Google Classroom now has an integrated Calendar!

Free printable calendar : February

Anne-Caroline Alard via Compfight

Help your students stay organized by making use of the new Calendar integration in Google Classroom!

You/your students can view the class calendar directly in Google Classroom. You can also view the calendar in Google Calendar. Each class has its own calendar. This allows you the opportunity to publicly share a Calendar, if you choose, with your students’ parents so they can be informed about upcoming due dates and assignments you list in Google Classroom.

Read this informative post by Michael Fricano to learn more! Includes step-by-step directions and visuals for setting up your calendar.

Here is more information from the Google Classroom help center if you need step-by-step directions to access your class calendar either directly in Google Classroom or via Google Calendar.

Contact me if you need help with anything!

Some September Stuff

Aaaaaaaaaaaand we’re off. It’s been a fun few weeks thus far! Here are some updates for you from elementary tech! 

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Our next Wired Wednesday is tomorrow, September 16, at Blue Ball Elementary, from 4-5 PM. Topic: Google Classroom! Come one, come all! Please register on My Learning Plan.    P.S. A whole slew of new Google Classroom features were updated in late August. Click here to learn more!

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The Global Read Aloud is coming! This is an exciting, worldwide, collaborative event designed to bring together readers of all ages. Many Elanco classrooms participated last year. Books have been chosen. You can sign up here (see form on right-hand side), and you can make arrangements to connect with another class via shared blogs, Edmodo, Google Hangouts/Skype, or any other format that would allow you and another class to discuss the book you’re reading. See the book choices here and read more info about the event.  Here is the form to complete if you’d like to connect your class with another! Here is the link to important FAQ/info for participants. Let me know if you need assistance with this, I am happy to help! #gra15

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Edublogs student passwords have now been updated. Please consider the following information when deciding how you’d like to organize student blogging this year:

Students are currently assigned to the blog class they used in 2014-15 until this year’s teacher alerts me that they will begin blogging in a 15-16 class.

How we set up and manage your students’ blogs will depend on a few things:

  • Do you want your students assigned to your “My Class” by homeroom and only you, as the homeroom teacher, will manage their posts?
  • OR by language arts roster, and only you, as the language arts teacher, will manage their posts?
  • OR does your team want to have all students involved with blogging across content areas and therefore all team members need access to every students’ blog in the grade level for moderating purposes?
  • OR do you want students to be added to a teacher/team blog so they can post and add comments, but not have their own individual sites?
  • OR a unique scenario, such as assign certain rosters of students to certain teachers for blog moderation? We can also set up group blogs for projects like literature circles and the Global Read Aloud!

Please discuss student blogging plans with your teammates and the options above. If not all members of the team are interested in having their students blog, you can certainly move ahead with plans for your homeroom or your language arts class.

When you are ready to begin blogging with your students, please complete this Google form so I can begin the process of building your student blog sites.

 

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IU13’s Elementary Technology Conference is coming this December! Please consider requesting to attend this conference! Talk with your principal and register in My Learning Plan! It’s always a great event, with a lot of teacher-led sessions, specifically focused on elementary! The keynote speaker this year is an inspiring teacher from Illinois, Josh Stumpenhorst!  More info here.  WE NEED PRESENTERS FOR THIS CONFERENCE! Please consider submitting a proposal! The reason this conference is so special is because sessions are led by teachers, for teachers. Please share your expertise with colleagues by submitting a proposal! 

Enjoy the milder weather and hope to see you soon at an upcoming Wired Wednesday workshop!