In order to connect dots, one must first have the dots
I love when advertisements can take on double meanings. In light of the actions in South Africa, not sure Australia has real openers right now either.
Here is a collection of links and resources associated with GSuite and Hapara for March 2018.
- Inbox types now supported in the Gmail app for Android – If you’ve selected a specific inbox type for your Gmail account on the web, you’ll see that same email configuration in your Android app.
- Menu and toolbar updates in Google Docs editors – Google are making more updates to the menus in Docs and Slides around text formatting, table menu and splitting of text and highlight colours.
- Improve collaboration in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with Activity dashboard – To help inform collaboration, Google are introducing an activity dashboard in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It’s a feature that lets users with edit access see who has viewed the file and when they viewed it.
- Bringing new languages from around the world to Gboard for Android – Google are bringing Chinese (both traditional and simplified Chinese) and Korean—plus twenty additional languages—to Gboard for Android.
- It’s Street View after all: Disney Parks come to Google Maps – Street View is going the distance, from California to Florida, to make Disney part of your world.
- Find shared content with new file organization in Google Drive – Google are going to start intelligently organizing this section so you may also see people listed, along with files they’ve shared with you. The predictions will improve as the system learns how it’s used.
- New ways to secure businesses in the cloud – Google announce a number of enhancements to better manage your data.
- Quickly flip through papers on your phone – Google are making it easier to use your phone to find, scan and star scholarly articles.
- Cloud Identity: Manage users, devices and apps in one location – With Cloud Identity, employees get simple, secure access to their business-critical apps and devices, while administrators get the tools they need to manage it all in one unified location.
- Introducing Subscribe with Google – Subscribe with Google lets you buy a subscription, using your Google account, on participating news sites.
- Elevating quality journalism on the open web – Google are partnering with the Credibility Coalition to drive the development of technical markers that can enable third party assessments of online content.
- The Google News Initiative: Building a stronger future for news – Google are launching the Google News Initiative (GNI), our effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. It’s focused on three objectives: Elevate and strengthen quality journalism; Evolve business models to drive sustainable growth; and Empower news organizations through technological innovation
- Chromebook tablets for versatile learning – Google announce the first education tablet made for Chrome OS, and gives schools the easy management and shareability of Chromebook laptops.
- Subscribe to Highlights notifications for Google+ communities and collections – Google are adding more options for how often you’re notified about new posts in the Google+ communities and collections to which you subscribe. Instead of getting all or no notifications, you can now opt to get “highlights” only.
- Control session length for Google services on the web – Google are giving G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education admins the ability to specify the duration of web sessions for Google services.
- YouTube Studio: Better Insights, New Metrics & Faster Access to News – Google announce features for YouTube Studio including three new metrics that will give you better understanding of how your videos perform, and an all new Dashboard that shows you personalized news and information for your channel.
- Inbox types now supported in the Gmail app for Android – Going forward, if you’ve selected a specific inbox type for your Gmail account on the web, you’ll see that same email configuration in your Android app.
- Get more useful information with captions on Google Images – Google share new changes to Google Images to provide even better visual discovery with more context on the image results page.
- Add a custom favicon in the new Google Sites – To help your site stand out, Google now allows you to customize your favicon—the icon which appears in a browser tab or bookmark list—to match your site.
- Google Home and Bluetooth speakers make the perfect pair – Google announces the ability to connect Google Home with bluetooth speakers, therefore extending the reach of the device.
- Transitioning Google URL Shortener to Firebase Dynamic Links – To refocus Google’s efforts, they are turning down support for goo.gl over the coming weeks and replacing it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). FDLs are smart URLs that allow you to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app.
- New ways to read more with audiobooks from Google Play – Two months ago Google launched audiobooks from Google Play. They have a few updates to make it even easier, whether you like to listen on the go with your phone or at home with the Google Assistant on Google Home.
- 3 Ways Google Drive and MS Office Can Live Together in Harmony – Eric Curts explains how to get the most out of working with both Google Drive and Microsoft Office.
- Deep Dive into Google Drive – GTT047 – Matt Miller and Kasey Bell take a look at Google Drive, including the various shortcuts and syncing documents.
- Got Chromebooks? Student Help Desk Support – Austin Houp discusses how he set up a student help desk as a part of the district-wide Chromebook rollout.
- Previewing Android P – Google has releaseed the first developer preview of Android P, the newest version of Android.
- 3 Website Tricks Using Chrome’s Developer Tools – Chrome’s Developer Tools are great for diagnosing or fixing problems with websites, Logan Booker unpacks three: reveal form passwords, delete obtrusive elements, as well as inspect cookies and local storage variables. — even if you’re not a web developer
- Moving Your Passwords From Google Chrome To A Dedicated App Just Got A Lot Easier – Patrick Lucas Austin explains how to download a CSV of all your logins that can then be used to upload to a third-party password manager.
- The first Chrome OS tablet is here – Jacob Kastrenakes suggests at $329, the Tab 10 is somewhat more expensive than other Chromebooks, which often start below $300. But if schools are looking for something like an iPad, Acer has just given them an option.
- Mute YouTube – Alice Keeler explains how to mute tabs in Google Chrome to stop audio from automatically playing.
- A Cool Kaizena Update – Kaizena have updated the way they handle voice comments, by improving the speed and providing the ability to record ever if your wi-fi drops out.
- GSFE Admin Podcast #20 featuring Cyrus Mistry – In this episode featuring Cyrus Mistry from Google, the panel discuss the development of Chromebooks over time and the steps involved in bringing a new feature to market.
- Goo.gl Is Being Shut Down – 5 Alternatives – Richard Byrne discusses five options to goo.gl which is being shutdown.
- Find out how journalists across the world use technology today – A new interactive explorer produced by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Google News Lab makes it easy to dig into a wealth of new survey data from hundreds of newsrooms worldwide.
- Making it easier to find and share GIFs with Google – Google announce the acquisition of Tenor to support access to GIFs across Chrome.
- How to Add Voice Comments to PDFs and Word Documents – Richard Byrne explains how Kaizena, originally just a tool for voice commenting on Google Docs, can also be used to add voice comments to PDFs and Word documents.
- Make progress (bars) in presentations with Slides Add-ons – Wesley Chun and Grant Timmerman show how to create a progress bar in Google Slides using Google Apps Script.
- The Worst Presentation Ever! – Tracey Poelzer shares the worst presentation possible to highlight aspects to consider when designing a slidedeck.
- 11 tips for creating stop motion in Google Slides – Jake Miller demonstrates how to use Google Slides to create a stop motion video. This is a good way of introducing students to all the different affordances assocaited with Slides.
- Google Slides: Add Slide Numbers – Alice Keeler explains how to add numbers to Google Slides, as well as how to customise them using the master.
- Google Forms: Pre-Fill an Answer – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to combine pre-filled links in Forms with Sheets to generate multiple sheets using variables.
- Quizzes, Quizzes, Google Forms Quizzes – GTT048 – In Episode 48 of Google Teacher Tribe, Matt Miller and Kasey Bell unpack some of the different ways that Google Forms is used in the classroom.
- Creating custom branching in Google Forms with Google Apps Script – Martin Hawksey creates a starting point for generating custom Forms with Apps Script.
- Weather API + Google Sheets – Tom Woodward shares a script for saving weather data to Google Sheets.
- Google Script – Plain Text – Tom Woodward shares a script for adjusting the data formatting in a Google Sheet produced from Google Forms.
- Learn the QUERY function in Google Sheets – Ben Collins provides a walkthrough of the QUERY function in Google Sheets.
- Google Forms: Pre-Fill an Answer – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to combine pre-filled links in Forms with Sheets to generate multiple sheets using variables.
- GroupDocs: Randomly Assign Groups With a Template – Alice Keeler provides a guide to her add-on for allocating students to random groups.
- Slow Google Sheets? – Ben Collins provides 27 ideas to speed up slow sheets.
- Recording .mp3 audio in Google Add-ons/Google Apps Script to Google Drive – Martin Hawksey provides a boilerplate for recording audio to Google Drive with Google Apps Script.
- Coding with Conditional Formatting by @bmossholder – Beth Mossholder explains that conditional formatting uses If/then statements to code the spreadsheet. To introduce If/Then statements, have students try paint by numbers.
- Google Sites: Copy Site Link – Alice Keeler explains which link to share when it comes to the New Google Sites.
- How to Add an Image Search Box to Google Sites – Richard Byrne demonstrates how to add a search widget to the New Sites.
- How to add a blog or comments box in New #GoogleSites using @Padlet – Jeffrey Bradbury suggests embedding a Padlet into Google Sites to make it more dynamic.
- Google Classroom: Email a Summary of Student Work – Alice Keeler explains how to send parents a summary of student work within Google Classroom.
- Google Maps learns 39 new languages – Google are making Google Maps even more useful by adding 39 new languages—spoken by an estimated 1.25 billion people worldwide: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bosnian, Burmese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Georgian, Hebrew, Icelandic, Indonesian, Kazakh, Khmer, Kyrgyz, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Mongolian, Norwegian, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Zulu.
- Machine learning meets culture – Art Palette lets you choose a color palette, and using a combination of computer vision algorithms, it matches artworks from cultural institutions from around the world with your selected hues.
- Develop bot integrations with the Hangouts Chat platform and API – Google have added the ability to craft your own bot integrations using the Hangouts Chat developer platform and API.
- 10 Practical Uses of VR in the Classroom – Bob Hand provides a range of possibilities associated with VR, such as visualising maths and assist students with disabilities.
- Write Notes and Save Bookmarks to Sync With Google Docs & Slides – Richard Byrne discusses how to use Google Keep to takes notes and keep bookmarks that are accessable in a number of applications.
- ViewPure Now Offers Curated Playlists – Richard Bryne discusses some recent additions to ViewPure of curated playlists.
- YouTube, the Great Radicalizer – Zeynep Tufekci highlights the problems with YouTube’s algorithm and the way that it supports the extremes.
- Mute YouTube – Alice Keeler explains how to mute tabs in Google Chrome to stop audio from automatically playing.
- One of the Biggest Violators of YouTube’s TOS Changes Its Tune – Richard Byrne announces that KeepVid are now respecting the terms of service and no longer allowing people to download all videos.
- How to BE a Better Leader – Jay Atwood provides a number of leadership tips and where technology can fit,
- Machine Learning Crash Course – Google has created a Machine Learning Crash Course.
- The Building Blocks of Interpretability – Google has published “The Building Blocks of Interpretability,” a new article exploring how feature visualization can combine together with other interpretability techniques to understand aspects of how networks make decisions.
- Classroom Hacks: Google Edition – GTT045 – Matt Miller and Kasey Bell share seem simple strategies for getting more out of instruction and interaction in the classroom, such as using Hangouts as a document camera or changing the url for different purposes.
- Your G Suite Helpline – GTT046 – Matt Miller and Kasey Bell provide a guide to keeping up with Google.
- Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you – Dylan Curran shows how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.
My Month of February
Wow, it’s March already. At work, I have been supporting schools getting attendance and reporting up and running. I was also lucky enough to attend another session of a collective looking at ongoing reporting. As far as possible, I feel it is important to have a wider perspective as to how all the parts are working together as a system.
On the family front, our eldest has started the year well. We were unsure how she would respond to a teacher whose every step involves Star Wars. Prizes. Class pet. Table ‘systems’. I have therefore answered endless questions about characters and various storylines. Why is Anakin also Darth Vader? Who is the nicest character? Why does Yoda die? If Yoda is the leader, why does he live alone on Dagobah? Why does Kylo Ren have to be bad, because if he wasn’t so bad I think I would like him more. This is taking classroom themes to a whole new level!
For my focus on ‘intent’, I have been writing less longer posts, instead focusing on my exploration of microcasts. This included a response to Tom Barrett on blogging initiatives and a reflection on #engageMOOC. I lurked in the MOOC, spending more time reflecting on the readings, rather than actively responding. In part, because I am not sure I have much to add. I also continued developing my ‘collect’ blog, bringing together various responses and reviews.
In regards to my writing, here was my month in posts:
- Know Thy Limit – A Reflection on Myths and Solutions – This post is a reflection on the wolves introduced into Yellowstone National Park and the problems associated with focusing on supposed simple solutions
Googling Libraries – A collection of ways Google G Suite for Education can be used in the library, including the creation of digital spaces, supporting research, organising thinking and making connections beyond the classroom.
Toca Boca and Digital Toys – Toca Boca is a suite of applications that provides spaces within which to explore and play.
Here then are some things that have also left me thinking this month …
Learning and Teaching
Mulling Time – Emily Fintelman reflects on the need to find time to mull over things. To do this, she suggests scheduling time, finding a challenge partner and recording your thoughts. Coming from the perspective of comprehension, Julie Beck argues that unless we do something with what we have read within 24-hours then we often forget it. She recommends slow reading to provide time to take things in. This builds on Ryan Halliday’s point to do something with what you read. I am left wondering about the place of digital literacies to support all of this.
To mull, we need to think deeply, and at length. This can be difficult if we don’t set aside time or make a plan for it. Perhaps your school or organisation isn’t able to provide you with this extra time to mull but it is integral you find a way to process what you have experienced. With schools doing so much, we need to avoid going ‘an inch deep and a mile wide’. We need to make space to think deeply and at length.
Assessing students as they read, research, & respond in Hypothesis – Ian O’Byrne explains why Hypothes.is is different to usual social bookmarking sites. He also provides a demonstration for how he uses it teaching his university courses. I think that Jon Udell’s demonstration of Hypothes.is with Wikipedia is a good example of a use case, while Kris Shaffer has created a WordPress plugin that allows users to curate annotations in their blogs. I have written in the past about Hypothes.is as a modern form of commenting, I just get frustrated that there is no form of notification or webmentions associated with the platform. Another potential annotation tool associated with WordPress is Fragmentions and the ability to save segments of the text. Interestingly, Diigo includes many of the features too.
An annotation service like Hypothesis allows you to highlight, save, and (possibly) share individual lines from a text. This allows for saving this content across a page, and across multiple pages for themes. Used in discussion, this allows for collaborative reading exercises, or group annotations. This also allows for conducting research while you write and annotate. Since Hypothesis will import PDFs, you can annotate in the tool, it will give you a digital trail of breadcrumbs as you’re reading online to see what you found to be important. After you are finished reading and researching, you can go back and see what texts you’ve read, and the important elements from these pieces. Furthermore, if you effectively tag your annotations, you can look for larger themes across your readings.
Comments For Kids Still Count: Teaching And Promoting Quality Commenting – Kathleen Morris wonders about the changes to blog comments over time. Thinking about the classroom, she provides some tips, including setting guidelines, being consistent, using explicit lessons and involve parents. A recent innovation that I think has potential for supporting comments is Micro.blog. As a platform, it allows users to share a feed from their blog in a central space and converse there.
While we can’t control what goes on in the larger blogging community too much, we have much more control over our classroom blogging programs. The comment section is an excellent place to connect, learn, and grow. Who wouldn’t want to tap into that?
Problem Finding – Based on the methods of Design Kit, Tom Barrett breaks the process of framing a problem into eight steps: describe the problem, list the stakeholders, re-frame the problem as a ‘How Might We’ statement,
describe the impact you are attempting to have, who needs your help the most, what the possible solutions are, describe the constraints associated with your idea and rewrite the original HMW question. I remember when I ran Genius Hour, I used how might we questions with students, however I struggled with a process supporting students in developing these. I think Barrett’s steps would have helped with that.
The framing and re-framing process forces us to loop back into the process of defining the problem a little longer. It slows us a little and checks our enthusiasm to rush ahead and ensures we have carefully crafted our problem statement and it is an accurate reflection of a worthwhile issue.
The #1 reason Facebook won’t ever change – Om Malik explains why Facebook will not be changing, as it is not in its DNA to do so. This is epitomised by recent spamming of two-factor authentication users and the skimming of VPN data only adds to this. Even with the personal adjustments to the feed in response to issues with fake news and manipulation, this is akin to the spin by the tobacco industry to hide the effect of smoking. On a side note, Douglas Rushkoff made the case in a recent episode of Team Human that other than teaching media, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) should never be used by schools. Use blogs or a space you manage yourself and your story – something that I have touched upon in the past – but to feed the ad algorithms as a way of ‘connecting’ is the wrong approach according to Rushkoff.
Facebook is about making money by keeping us addicted to Facebook. It always has been — and that’s why all of our angst and headlines are not going to change a damn thing.
The Case Against Google – Charles Duhigg takes a look at the history of Anti-Trust laws and the breaking up of monopolies. From oil to IBM, he explains why it is important for large companies to be broken up. Not for the consumer, but rather for the sake of development and innovation. He uses the case of the vertical search site, Foundem.com, to demonstrate the way in which Google kills competition by removing them from searches. Rather than living off their innovation, Adam and Shivaun Raff have spent the last twelve years campaigning against Google. Supported by Gary Reback, they took their case to European Commission in Brussels. If such changes and challenges are dependent on individuals like the Raff’s standing up, it makes you wondering how many just throw it all in? Cory Doctorow captures this scenario in his novel, The Makers.
Antitrust has never been just about costs and benefits or fairness. It’s never been about whether we love the monopolist. People loved Standard Oil a century ago, and Microsoft in the 1990s, just as they love Google today. Rather, antitrust has always been about progress. Antitrust prosecutions are part of how technology grows. Antitrust laws ultimately aren’t about justice, as if success were something to be condemned; instead, they are a tool that society uses to help start-ups build on a monopolist’s breakthroughs without, in the process, being crushed by the monopolist. And then, if those start-ups prosper and make discoveries of their own, they eventually become monopolies themselves, and the cycle starts anew. If Microsoft had crushed Google two decades ago, no one would have noticed. Today we would happily be using Bing, unaware that a better alternative once existed. Instead, we’re lucky a quixotic antitrust lawsuit helped to stop that from happening. We’re lucky that antitrust lawyers unintentionally guaranteed that Google would thrive.
Small b Blogging – Tom Critchlow provides a case for network blogging where your focus is on a particular audience. For me, I often have at least one person in mind when writing, whether it be a reply to another idea or something to share. This approach however seems to stand in contrast to the suggestion that blogging is first and foremostly personal.
Small b blogging is learning to write and think with the network. Small b blogging is writing content designed for small deliberate audiences and showing it to them. Small b blogging is deliberately chasing interesting ideas over pageviews and scale. An attempt at genuine connection vs the gloss and polish and mass market of most “content marketing”. And remember that you are your own audience! Small b blogging is writing things that you link back to and reference time and time again. Ideas that can evolve and grow as your thinking and audience grows.
The Tyranny of Convenience – Tim Wu plots a convenient history, with the first revolution being of the household (Oven, Vacuum etc) and then the personal (Walkman, Facebook etc). He argues that the irony of this individualisation is the creation of ‘templated selfs’. Wu argues that struggling and working things out is about identity. I recently reflected on the impact of convenience on learning. I am wondering how this relates to mental and physical automation?
All the personal tasks in our lives are being made easier. But at what cost?
Three years after publishing the first version of Another Web Bites The Dust (35 corpses), it was time to update, and add 24 more dead web sites to the video.
Storytelling and Reflection
Building Staff Culture: The Importance of Gratitude – Chris Wejr reflects on his efforts to be more grateful and embed opportunities for his staff to do the same. He provides a list of possible activities to use. I have written about improving staff morale in the past. Wejr’s list provides some new ideas to explore.
I am retraining my brain to see the positives (which I used to be so good at). Looking for the positives does not mean we ignore the challenges… but embracing the good things in life sure give us more energy to deal with the ‘not-so-good’ things when they happen!
China’s Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious – Adam Greenfield discusses China’s move to measure ‘social credit’. He explains that there is nothing within the context that would stop the trend spreading globally. This is a position supported by Bruce Sterling. One of the consequences that Greenfield shares is the stifling impact such changes would have on urban environments. I am reminded of Steven Johnson’s discussion of where good ideas come from. This is one of many measures that states are using to gain control.
As private enterprise takes an increasingly prominent role in the creation and management of ostensibly public urban space, as neo-authoritarianism spreads unchecked, and as pervasive technology weaves itself ever more intimately into all the sites and relations of contemporary life, all of the material conditions are right for Chinese-style social credit to spread on other ground. Consider what Sidewalk Labs’ neighborhood-scale intervention in Toronto implies—or the start-up Citymapper’s experiments with privatized mass transit in London, or even Tinder’s control over access to the pool of potential romantic partners in cities around the world—and it’s easy to imagine a network of commercial partners commanding all the choke points of urban life. The freedoms that were once figured as a matter of “the right to the city” would become contingent on algorithmically determined certification of good conduct.
The Cost of Reporting while Female – Anne Helen Petersen documents a number of examples where women have been threatened while working in journalism. This includes a series of historical cases. This reminded me of Lindy West’s confrontation of troll and why he chose to do what he did. I am always left wondering what the answer is, sometimes fearing that such thinking creates more problems than solutions. Maybe there is something in Sherri Spelic’s suggestion to ‘think small’.
Over the course of nearly 200 years, female journalists have been under threat because of their gender, race, beat, views, and coverage.
CM 097: Sam Walker on Creating Outstanding Teams – In an interview with Gayle Allen, Sam Walker argues that successful ‘captains’ are not what we usually think. In his research, he identified seven key behaviours: they are relentless, aggressive, willing to do thankless jobs, shy away from the limelight, excel at quiet communication, are difficult to manage and have excellent resilience and emotional control. Moving forward, he suggests dropping your preconceptions about leadership, looking for those who deflect praise onto others and are focused on team goals, even if this is critical of current practices. This has many correlations with the work of Leading Teams.
Sam Walker lays out his findings in his latest book, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force that Creates the World’s Greatest Teams. Initially, he expected to find a magical combination of factors such as exceptional skill, brilliant coaching and remarkable strategy. Instead, he discovered something completely different: the 16 teams with the longest winning streaks across 37 elite sports succeeded because of a single player — the captain of the team. These captains were not only not the best player, but also possessed all or most of seven characteristics rarely associated with great leaders.
FOCUS ON … Polarisation
There was a short pop-up MOOC, Engagement in a Time of Polarisation,running over the last few weeks. When it was announced, I had every inclination to participate, yet it just has not happened. There are a range of reasons, some of which are captured in my short microcast. However, I have been engrossed in the various texts shared throughout. I have therefore collected some of them here:
- Antigonish 2.0: A Way for Higher Ed to Help Save the Web – This is Bonnie Stewart’s call to action. She outlines a way to develop the local and global literacies needed to foster functional democratic participation. This model involves three layers: a distributed international network, institutional capacity-building and local study clubs. This post is supported by the opening webinar in which a range of guests explore the question of enagagement.
- Recognition Is Futile: Why Checklist Approaches to Information Literacy Fail and What To Do About It – Mike Caulfield provides context to his work with web literacy, four moves and the need for info-environmentalism. This post was supported by a webinar, in which he elaborated on a number of points, including why web literacy is different and how we can better understand Google search.
- Power, Polarization, and Tech – Chris Gillard explains that polarisation is always about power. It is a means of garnering engagement and attention. In many respects, social media and silicon valley promotes polarisation for its own good. This is best understood by considering who is protected by these spaces. This is often a reflection on the inequality within these organisations.
- It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech – Zeynep Tufekei explains that just because we can all create a social media account in seconds this supposed ‘democracy’ is a phantom public. Although it may seem that we can all ‘connect the world’, each of the platforms is controlled by algorithms designed to keep the prosumer engaged and advertised. This is something that Tufekei also discusses in her TEDTalk. The change needed is systemic.
- Education in the (Dis)Information Age – Kris Shaffer reflects on the abundance of information on the web. He suggests that the hyperlink maybe ‘our most potent weapon’ against disinformation.
- The Problem with Facts – Tim Harford explains that the solution for fake news is not simply more facts, rather we need to foster a culture of curiousity.
- Inclusion Again – Sherri Spelic discusses staying quite or taking a small step in an effort to include others.
- The Digital Poorhouse – Virginia Eubanks compares the restrictive nature of the poorhouses of the nineteenth century with the digital spaces of today. In conclusion, she says that we need to work together to solve this crisis.
- Why we need to understand misinformation through visuals – Hannah Guy discusses the impact of images on misinformation. This is not just about fake photographs, but graphics and memes too.
- Why Less News on Facebook Is Good News for Everyone – Will Oremus reports on Facebook’s flip to prioritise the personal over corporation. This move isn’t to repair the damage done to democracy, but rather to limit the damage done to its users.
- That Doesn’t Mean Dumbing It Down – Anne Helen Petersen explains how to work with and in journalism to extend the reach of academic ideas.
- Academic Outrage: When The Culture Wars Go Digital – Tressie McMillan Cottom discusses the challenges of being critical in online spaces. She suggests learning how to organise before getting out there to organise.
READ WRITE RESPOND #026
So that is February for me, how about you? As always, interested to hear.
Also, feel free to forward this on to others if you found anything of interest or maybe you want to subscribe? Otherwise, archives can be found here and information relating to the images can be found on Flickr.
Cover image via JustLego101.
Technology is not the sum of the artefacts, of the wheels and gears, of the rails and electronic transmitters. Technology is a system. It entails far more than its individual material components. Technology involves organization, procedures, symbols, new words, equations, and, most of all, a mindset.
Watters explains that this includes many elements within schools and should not be merely reduced to ‘computers’. In a second post, she explains that:
“Hardening schools” is an education technology endeavor, whether or not we take seriously anyone’s suggestions about giving teachers guns. For now, “hardening schools” explicitly calls for hardware like those items listed by Governor Scott: metal detectors and bulletproof windows, as well as surveillance cameras and various sensors that can detect gunfire. It also implies software – social media monitoring and predictive analytics tools, for example, that claim they can identify students “at risk” of violence or political extremism.
Coming at this problem from a different perspective, Genevieve Bell responded to questions of data and ‘neutrality’ in the Q&A associated with her Boyer Lectures. Given the example of the supposed innocence of a train timetable, she explained how Amazon use variables such as timetables to continually adjust the price of goods.
Write everyday for 28 minutes for 28 days. #28daysofwriting
via Tom Barrett
Tom Barrett has started up #28daysofwriting again. This is my reflection on the idea of a habit and a sustainable blogging practice.
My Month of January
I have been back at work for few weeks now. No extended summer holidays in my current role. My work this month has involved reviewing our reporting solution in light of recent changes, as well as supporting schools with their start of the year setup.
With the move from ten weeks of holidays to four, I have learnt to appreciate every minute. Whether it be going away for a few days to explore Bendigo or building endless flat pack furniture, my time was occupied. Looking back at my few weeks at home, we managed to get so much done, even in the insipid hot and humid weather.
Personally, I have spent the month head down in the world of the #IndieWeb. In particular, I have continued to craft my second space: collect.readwriterespond.com. This effort to better control my existence on the web fits with my focus of ‘intent’ this year. I sometimes find myself using the word deliberate, but it all feels far too adhoc for that. With all this in mind, I contributed to a collective podcast that Benjamin Doxtdator put together. I also got to catch up with Richard Olsen for lunch, which was nice as well.
In regards to my writing, here was my month in posts:
- Read Write Review – Voices from the Village in 2017 – A curation of my year and keeping a monthly newsletter.
- My One Word for 2018 is Intent – My ‘one word’ for 2018 is intent. For me, this is about many things.
- Reflecting on the Voices in the Village 2017 – A collection of comments from my blog(s) that have pushed my thinking this year.
- Reclaiming My Bookmarks – A reflection on using my own blog to reclaim my bookmarks and then syndicate them to other sites, such as Twitter and Diigo.
- A Kind of Emoji – A reflection on using emojis as a way to provide visual information about blog posts.
- Hidden in the Code – A collection of short codes that I often turn to when working with WordPress
- Microcast #005 – A Day in the Life of a Blogger – A recorded response to Richard Byrne on blogging, which he kindly responded to.
Here then are some of the thoughts that have also left me thinking this month …
Learning and Teaching
My Favourite Inquiry Journeys of 2017…. – Kath Murdoch stops and reflects on twelve projects she has helped with in 2017. In summary, she pulls out some of the key aspects that went across all the different inquiries, such as authenticity, integrative, involves experts, learning is shared and emergent. This post is not necessarily a list of driving questions and/or units to roll out, but rather a source of ideas and inspiration. Along with her post on ten practices of an inquiry teacher and AJ Juliani’s reflection on choice-based learning, they provide some guidance going into the new year.
Using an inquiry based approach to teaching and learning is multi-faceted. At its heart, inquiry is a stance – it’s about how we talk to kids and how we think about learning. It is also about how we plan and the contexts we both recognise and create in which powerful inquiry can thrive. These contexts can be highly personal (one child’s investigation into their passion) and they can also be shared contexts that bring learners together under a common question. These shared inquiries form a powerful ‘backbone’ of the primary classroom.
Google Maps Moat – Justin O’Beirne discusses the addition of ‘areas of interests’ to Google Maps. He wonders if others, such as Apple, can possibly keep up? The challenge is that these AOIs are not collected — rather they are created. Added to this, Apple appears to be missing the ingredients to develop their own AOIs to the same quality, coverage, and scale as Google. Google is in fact making data out of data. For a different take on Google 3D imagery, watch this video from the Nat and Friends.
Google’s buildings are byproducts of its Satellite/Aerial imagery. And some of Google’s places are byproducts of its Street View imagery. So this makes AOIs a byproduct of byproducts. Google is creating data out of data.
Four Moves – Mike Caulfield has released a new site containing a series of activities to support the development of web literacy and fact checking. It focuses on the four moves: check for previous work, go upstream to the source, read laterally and circle back.
The Four Moves blog is based on research conducted by Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, which found that students lack knowledge of basic web techniques for verification and source assessment, which puts them at the mercy of misinformation. Instructions are written for students using the Chrome browser due to the popularity of that platform in schools and among students. However, the features we are using are in general not browser-specific; faculty and students using different browsers should translate actions where appropriate by looking at your own browser’s documentation.
Explainer: the evidence for the Tasmanian genocide – Kristyn Harman provides some background to the extermination of indigenous people in Tasmania. Along with the map of genocide, resources like these are central to a call to change Australia Day. In another post on remembering, Louise Raw highlights why Winston Churchill was and is not the saviour of democracy he is sometimes portrayed as.
Whereas the master narrative framed this state of affairs as proof of a benign government caring for unfortunate victims of circumstance, the colony’s archives reveal that Aboriginal people were removed from their ancient homelands by means fair and foul. This was the intent of the government, revealed by its actions and instructions and obfuscations. In the language of the day the Aboriginal Tasmanians had been deliberately, knowingly and wilfully extirpated. Today we could call it genocide.
How To Digest Books Above Your “Level” And Increase Your Intelligence – Ryan Halliday says to read above your level you need to ‘read to lead’. This involves ignoring the facts and storyline to focus on the key messages. Reading all of the introductions, prefaces and translators notes as they often provide context to the book. Make notes in books and write out quotes, physically. Apply what you learn. I am not sure I completely agree with everything Halliday suggests, but it does provide a useful provocation to think about the art of reading. For some just reading is what matters.
In short, you know the books where the words blur together and you can’t understand what’s happening? Those are the books a leader needs to read. Reading to lead or learn requires that you treat your brain like the muscle that it is–lifting the subjects with the most tension and weight.
Panicked about Kids Addiction to Tech? – danah boyd suggests that there is a lot of hype associated with kids addiction. Some of the problems may be associated with parents themselves. In response, she provides two activities for parents: verbalize what you’re doing with your phone and create a household contract. Mitchel Resnick’s provides a different perspective, suggesting time on task is not the problem, it is rather what is done with that time, for Cory Doctorow it is all an arms race focused on control, while Audrey Watters paints her own complicated picture of addiction. Each of these pieces add to a wider dialogue around moderation and other such technical answers currently being suggested as soutions to our digital overload.
Many people have unhealthy habits and dynamics in their life. Some are rooted in physical addiction. Others are habitual or psychological crutches. But across that spectrum, most people are aware of when something that they’re doing isn’t healthy. They may not be able to stop. Or they may not want to stop. Untangling that is part of the challenge. When you feel as though your child has an unhealthy relationship with technology (or anything else in their life), you need to start by asking if they see this the same way you do. When parents feel as though what their child is doing is unhealthy for them, but the child does not, the intervention has to be quite different than when the child is also concerned about the issue.
Arguing with the Digital Natives guy in four vexations – David White reflects on a debate with Marc Prensky in which they discussed the future of our digital world. White shares four vexations from the conversation, but the one that stands out to me is his concern about ideas associated with ‘effective and successful’ being separated from a discussion of equality. This links with Alvin Chang’s post looking at school borders and segregation, a topic also discussed on the Have You Heard podcast. It is also interesting to think about this alongside Simon Longstaff’s discussion about the technology and the design of a more ethical future.
My concern is that we rush to ‘make the world a better place’ without reflecting on who we might be doing that for and why. Action without reflection (or thinking) is of little value
The human solution to Facebook’s machine-produced problems also won’t work – Responding to Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious pledge to fix the statistical behaviour-modification machine that is Facebook, Doc Searls explains why Zuckerberg will fail. He suggests that changing facebook is like turning a cruise ship into an aircraft carrier, Searls argues that what has been gained though is a realisation that we all live in the digital world now. It is for this reason that it is important to support children with their online presence and making sense of social media. Alternatively, Dave Winer believes that Zuckerberg’s year will be complete once he lets Facebook rejoin the open web. We can only dream.
The best thing for Zuck to do is get the hell out, let it finish failing, and start over with something new and better, based on what he and others have learned from the experience. (Which tends to be the best teacher. And hell, he’s still young.) It should help him—and all of us—to know that all companies fail; they just fail faster in Silicon Valley.
EdTech Factotum #12 – Clint Lalonde reflects on blockchain. Rather than focusing on whether or not everyone should embrace it, he instead suggests that it is something that we need to be aware of. This is a similar point that Audrey Watters made during Episode 74 of the Contrafabulists podcasts, that it is not necessarily about which technology to choose, but asking why and how things actually work. For more on the blockchain, watch this attempt to explain it to a five year old, read Alex Hern’s analysis of Bitcoin or reflect on Leda Glyptis’ unpopular opinions.
Asking why is important and does often get lost in the rush to something new and shiny. But let’s keep asking how as well. In my mind, these are companion questions because, even though you or I may never use blockchain in our day-to-day life, there is a very good chance that it will be used on our behalf in the future. And there is already more than enough unknown technologies running our life right now.
Should Your Class Or Student Blogs Be Public Or Private? – Kathleen Morris unpacks the benefits of both private and public blogs. She provides a number of arguments with clear points evidence to clarify her points of view. This is particularly pertinent to schools and educators at the start of the school year. Personally, when I supported classroom blogs they were closed as I was not comfortable everyone who needed to be fully aware of the consequences was. I think though that Kin Lane’s advice on APIs can also be applied, that is, approach everything as if it is public even if it is not. On blogging in general, Chris Aldrich wrote a reply on the potential of blogging as a commonplace book, while Jim Groom suggests that it is an investment in your soul.
A dilemma that faces many educators new blogging is the question of whether they should be publishing their students’ information and work online. They might wonder if their class or student blogs should be public for anyone to see, or private for a limited audience (or no one) to view.
IRL Podcast – Bot or Not – This episode of In Real Life is dedicated to bots. Along with Crofton Black and Abigail Fielding-Smith’s investigation into the influence of Twitter bots, Kris Shaffer and Bill Fitzgerald’s guide on how to spot a bot, Kin Lane’s reflections on the waves of bots and Nicholas Confessore’s exposé into the follower factory, these resources provide a useful starting point for understanding bots and there implication on society today.
From politics to poetry, bots are playing an increasingly visible role in culture. Veronica Belmont investigates the rise of social media bots with Lauren Kunze and Jenn Schiffer. Butter.ai’s Jack Hirsch talks about what happens when your profile is stolen by a political bot. Lisa-Maria Neudert measures how bots influence politics. Ben Nimmo teaches us how to spot and take down bot armies. And Tim Hwang explores how bots can connect us in surprising, and meaningful, new ways.
Storytelling and Reflection
Social Media Has Hijacked Our Brains and Threatens Global Democracy – David Golumbia discusses some of the changes to democracy associated with social media. He argues that we have lost the ability to think slowly, therefore making us more susceptible to irrational decisions. This touches on some of Peter Skillen’s points from a few years ago. Along with Zeynep Tufekei’s concern about free speech and Jordan Erica Webber’s look into micro-targetting, these posts paint a grim view of the future.
Those who celebrated the Facebook revolution and the Twitter revolution were celebrating the replacement of (relatively) calm reflection with the politics of reactivity and passion. This domination of System 2 by System 1 thinking is the real social media “revolution.” The question that remains is whether democracies have both the will, and the means to bring considered thought back to politics, or, whether digital technology has made politics impossible.
Facial recognition’s ominous rise: are we going too far too fast? – This is a strange article documenting the rise of NEC. In it, Ben Grubb provides a range of examples, including Crown Casino tracking VIPs and Westfield estimating age, gender and mood. On the one hand, it can be read as being positive – which you would assume as the author’s expenses to iEXPO2017 were paid for by NEC – in that we can now do all these things with technology, but at the same time it asks the question as to whether we ought to? It reminds me in part of the post discussing Hitachi’s use of cameras to improve student life at Curtin University. My question is probably, “why would you?”, as Tony Longstaff warns can does not equal ought.
Already facial-recognition technology is being used at Crown Casino in Melbourne to identify VIPs and banned guests. Australian state and federal policing agencies are also deploying it, with South Australia Police using it to identify criminals and to search for missing persons.
The best thing ever written about “work-life balance” – Austin Kleon discusses work-life balance. Reflecting on Jocelyn K. Glei’s supercut on the subject, Kleon notes the difference in responses between men and women. For men it is often about creating the write conditions, while for women it is making do with whatever spare moments there are. For the late Ursula K. Le Guin it is not about spare time, but rather occupied time.
You can have it all, just not all at once – Kenneth Koch
The Line 6 DL4 Is Quietly the Most Important Guitar Pedal of the Last 20 Years – Dale Eisinger takes a look at the influence of technology on music, in particular the looping pedal. From Radiohead to Battles, Eisinger lists band after band influenced by the features and constraints of the humble pedal. There is a long history of technology influencing music. An example is the BBC documentary Synth Britannia which describes the influence of synthesiers on bands like Depeche Mode and New Order. It is also interesting to think about the DL4 as a ‘non-human’ actor and unpack what this might mean, especially for the modern busker.
As technology democratized around the turn of the century, digital audio workstations like Pro Tools revolutionized the home studio, and ultimately changed the course of music with their boundless potential. A less commonly discussed breakthrough of the era involved musicians’ outboard gear, such as guitar pedals, which moved from analog to now-inexpensive digital architectures. Chief among the hardware that benefited from this shift were delay pedals, a class of effect pedal that gives an echo or repeating effect to a sound. Delays were generally expensive, since they required either actual tape loops or expensive memory within their makeup. Digital technology changed that, introducing with it the kind of lower-priced loop pedals that encouraged experimental strains of ’00s indie rockers to recreate with live instruments a similar effect as sampling. There was one pedal in particular that emerged as a favorite: the Line 6 DL4 delay modeler.
The Victorian State Education System…from the inside out and the outside in – Former principal of Templestowe College, Peter Hutton, reflects on his connection with the Victorian Department of Education. It is a real insight into a part of education that many teachers never really experience. It will be interesting to see where his ‘EdRevolution’ goes and grows.
Unless there are parental complaints, if the school’s numbers are stable or growing and your data is tracking ok, essentially DET allow you to innovate and do as you please. I have loved this level of professional autonomy and dare I say trust shown by DET in its’ Principals. Not really the ogre that people sometimes suspect. In fact many senior staff have provided me with encouragement and professional support during the more innovative years at TC.
FOCUS ON … Digital Hygiene
There are so many posts out there which support users with reviewing their digital presence online. See for example Boost your digital fitness with a data cleanse and Digital Trace Audit: A #clmooc New Year’s ‘Unmake’ Cycle. Ian O’Byrne though has spread his out across the whole month. Unsure which link to include, I have instead provided a summary of all the posts here. I think that the statistics are clear, we could all do more.
- Understanding the differences between privacy and security – Ian O’Byrne explains how privacy is like closing the curtains or blinds on a window in your house, whereas security is like locking the doors and windows on your house.
Three steps to develop a system to take control of your passwords – Ian O’Byrne suggests that changing your passwords frequently is one of the simplest things you can do to protect yourself from digital threats
How to use two factor authentication to protect yourself online – Ian O’Byrne shows how two-factor authentication uses your password to log in to your accounts and services and then requires a a randomly generated (usually) six number key as well.
Backup your digital information and devices – Ian O’Byrne talks about the importance of backing up three ways: the original file on your computer, a local backup and a backup in another location.
Clean out your browser extensions – Ian O’Byrne argues that one of the best ways to mitigate risk is to regularly clear out your browser extensions that you don’t regularly use.
Review & Revoke Social Logins & Third Party App Access – Ian O’Byrne raises several concerns with social logins for new accounts, such as trusting one site with personal or private information that you gave to another site.
Protect your connection to the Internet – Ian O’Byrne says it is important to maintain an up-to-date router and consider the use of a VPN when using public wifi networks.
Encrypt your devices – Ian O’Byrne looks at the options for encryption provided by the popular devices and explains why it is important.
READ WRITE RESPOND #025
So that is MONTH for me, how about you? As always, interested to hear.
Cover image via JustLego101.
- What’s New in Google Data Studio? – There have been a number of updates to Data Studio, including the ability to coordinate colours, field reports editing and the display of images in tables.
- Improved accessibility for Google Sheets, Slides, and Drawings – Google has added Braille support for Sheets and the option of magnifiers to Slides and Drawings.
- New navigation menu for Admin console – Google has grouped menu options based on how customers use them to create a logical multi-layered menu. This makes the menu shorter and more scannable, helping users find things quickly.
- Additional Changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to Better Protect Creators – Google has announced that new channels will need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for ads. We will begin enforcing these new requirements for existing channels in YPP beginning February 20th, 2018.
- Share a Copy of a Google Form – Alice Keeler has coded an Add-on for Google Forms that creates a copy of the Form you are using and asks who you want to share the copy with
- Introducing the security center for G Suite—security analytics and best practices from Google – Google are introducing the security center for G Suite, a tool that brings together security analytics, actionable insights and best practice recommendations from Google to empower you to protect your organization, data and users.
- More menu improvements in Google Docs and Slides – Based on usage data and your feedback, Google are making some changes to the menus and toolbars in Google Docs and Slides on the web.
- Exploring art (through selfies) with Google Arts & Culture – Google has created an experiment that matches your selfie with art from the collections of museums on Google Arts & Culture
- Legacy Google Drive desktop sync client now shutting down on May 12th, 2018 – Google is shutting down the legacy desktop sync application.
- Google Earth Pro 7.3.1 Released – Google released a new version of the desktop version of Google Earth Pro version 7.3.1 (which is free despite the confusing “Pro” name).
- Improved attachment compliance in Gmail – Gmail Data Loss Prevention (DLP) has been identified to not only check for certain attachment types, but it also checks the attachments in case they have been falsely renamed.
- A new year for Chrome video – Google have begun adding support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) to get vibrant colors, darker blacks, and brighter whites from the latest HDR displays.
- Tools for every school: G Suite for Education updates – Jonathan Rochelle discusses the addition of some enterprise features, such as encryption and cloud searching, to GSuite for Education.
- Tailoring education for the 21st century: perspectives from educators – Google’s latest study ‘Fostering exploration and excellence in 21st century schools’ found that a holistic approach is key. This includes integrating different educational strategies and techniques, and empowering teachers with greater autonomy.
- Three new ways to manage files and free up space on Files Go – Files Go is our new app for freeing up storage on your phone.
- Pioneer new lessons in your classroom with Google Expeditions – Google announce a beta program that allows schools and educators to create their own expeditions.
- Publish sites to a specific audience in the new Google Sites – Google have added the ability to share sites with specific audiences.
- Gmail contextual gadgets going away on August 1st, 2018 – With the launch of Gmail of Add-ons, Google is closing down contextual gadgets.
- A reintroduction to Google’s featured snippets – In this post—the first in a new series going behind-the-scenes on how Google Search works— Danny Sullivan explores when, where and why we provide featured snippets.
- Take your Blocks models to the next level – Brittany Mennuti explains that the latest release of Blocks, available on Steam and the Oculus Store, has lots of new features that make it more powerful and even easier to use
- How to Embed MP3 Audio Files In Web Pages with the help of Google Drive – Amit Agarwal provides a step by step guide for adding and embedding audio from Google Drive.
- Backup your digital information and devices – Ian O’Byrne talks about the importance of having important information backed up three ways: the original file on your computer, a local backup and a backup in another location.
- View your Slack activity from within Google Drive – Google is adding activity events to allow you to see, in Drive, when a file is shared or discussed from within Slack.
- Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6 – Tom Warren says that Microsoft might have celebrated the death of Internet Explorer 6, but if Google isn’t careful then it might just resurrect an ugly era of the internet where “works best with Chrome” is a modern nightmare.
- How To Set A Default User In Chrome – Patrick Lucas Austin explains how to set a default user with Chrome.
- Chrome extensions galore! – Matt Miller facilitated a chat associated with Chrome extensions, with teachers sharing their perspective.
- Clean out your browser extensions – Ian O’Byrne argues that one of the best ways to mitigate risk is to regularly clear out your browser extensions that you don’t regularly use.
- Another round of click-fraud extensions pulled from Chrome Store – Richard Chirgwin reports that Icebrg’s Justin Warner and Mario De Tore have claimed that a cumulative half a million Chrome users have been hit by four malicious browser extensions pushing click and SEO fraud.
- Nasty New Chrome And Firefox Addons Won’t Let You Uninstall Them – Logan Booker explains that viruses don’t want to be removed, so the nastier ones will fight to stay put by disabling protection software, cloaking their presence and even generating fake windows and dialog boxes to give you a bum steer.
- How Google Fights Password Thieves – Kate Conger sheds some light on how Google accounts become compromised, as well as how Google finds new ways to fight back.
- Manage Multiple Google Accounts – Alice Keeler provides a quick reminder on the importance of adding multiple accounts to the browser.
- Taking Notes on a Touchscreen – Three Options Compared – Richard Byrne compares Zoho Notebook, OneNote and Google Keep for taking notes on a touchscreen.
- Try These 5 Keyboard Shortcuts – Alice Keeler provides an array of shortcuts for Windows, Mac and Chromebooks.
- All types of Chromebooks for all types of learners – Cyrus Mistry discusses the release of a new generation of Chromebooks, as well as ways that they are being integrated with STEAM.
- “Ok Google, read my book”… Introducing audiobooks on Google Play – With audiobooks on Google Play, rolling out today in 45 countries and nine languages, you can turn your time stuck in traffic, on the treadmill, or waiting in line into reading time.
- No, Google’s Arts & Culture app isn’t secretly evil – Karen Hao explains that the Arts and Culture app is set up in a way that prevents Google from feeding its algorithms as there is no built-in feedback loop
- Every Lesson is a Search Lesson – Alice Keeler discusses the importance of searching and why we need to teach it explicitely.
- The Shallowness of Google Translate – Douglas Hofstadter demonstrates the problems with Google Translate based on the lack of understanding and meaning within the process.
- The Engaging Lesson: How to Combine Mind Mapping & G Suite – Nancy Morris explains how to combine mind mapping with Google Docs in the creation of ideas and knowledge.
- Control F: Replace the Extra Space – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to remove double spacings from your text using find and replace.
- All Kaizena features now available inside Google Docs – Kaizena announce an update to Google Docs Add-on allowing students to record voice messages, embed lessons and track skills right inside a Google Doc
- Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features – Richard Bryne shares ten features that are often overlooked, such as the ability to restrict sharing and adjust page layout.
- Delegate additional Gmail privileges to users – Google have introduced three new Gmail privileges that G Suite super admins can grant to other users—without needing to give them super admin status: (1) Email Log Search, (2) Access Admin Quarantine, and (3) Access Restricted Quarantines.
- 15 Gmail Hacks for Busy Teachers – Reuben Yonatan provides a series of tips associated with Gmail and supports this with easy to follow graphics.
- How to Create & Send Screencasts from Your Inbox – Richard Byrne demonstrates how to generate and send screenshots from your inbox using Loom.
- How to Send Emails with Google Forms Based on User’s Answers – With the Forms Email Notifications add-on, you can automatically send emails to anyone each time a user submits your Google Form.
- New Google Calendar web UI to begin automatically upgrading users on January 8th, 2018 – From January 8th, Google will begin auto-upgrading users whose domains are set to the automatic (default) rollout option.
- Make Appointment Slots in Google Calendar – Alice Keeler provides a how to make appointment slots in the new Google Calendar.
- Everything is Digital When You Can Take a Picture of It – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to use Slides to capture work and then provide feedback.
- 21 New Free Interactive Pear Deck Templates for Google Slides – Eric Curts says that wth the new version of the Pear Deck add-on a few things have changed, including 21 pre-made interative templates.
- This Add-on Makes It Easy to Create Photo Slideshows – Richard Byrne explains that Photo Slideshow is a free Add-on that makes it quick and easy to import an entire Google Photos or Google Drive folder into Google Slides
- Free Music to Use In Google Slides Presentations – Richard Byrne provides a guide to an add-on for inserting music and some links to some free repositories.
- How to Create an Interactive Diagram in Google Slides – Richard Byrne shows that by linking slides you can create an interactive diagram in Google Slides.
- Ten Overlooked Google Slides Features – Richard Byrne discusses a number of features assocaited with Slides that will let you accomplish the things that you used to do in PowerPoint or Keynote while others will just save you a bit of time
- Google Slides: Collaborative Meme Template – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to include all 4 C’s in an assignment involving the creation of a meme.
- How to Add Q&A to Your Google Slides Presentations – Richard Byrne creates a short video documenting how to add Q&A to your Google Slides presentations.
- formRecycler – Easy Reuse of Google Forms Questions – Richard Byrne shows how to use the formRecycler add-on to copy questions from one form to another.
- Google Forms: Require a Valid Email Address – Alice Keeler steps through how to require a valid email address to be submitted via Google Forms.
- 3 new tools to help improve your Apps Script development and management experience – Google are providing three new tools to help further improve your workflows and manage Apps Script projects: Apps Script dashboard, Apps Script API and Apps Script Command Line Interface.
- BigQuery + Data Studio (pricing, upload limits, formatting) – David Krevitt addresses some questions associated with BigQuery and Data Studio.
- Conditional color formatting with custom formulas in Sheets – David Krevitt discusses custom formulas for conditional formatting.
- An easy formula: 5 reasons your business should try Google Sheets – Google provide a guide to why Sheets is so powerful, bringing together a number of updates and improvements, such as automation and artifical intelligence.
- How to use Google Sheets: A Beginner’s Guide – Ben Collins provides a tutorial that will help take users from being an absolute beginner with Sheets, through to a confident, competent, intermediate-level user.
- Google Classroom Tips – Tony Vincent collects together a number of his graphics assocated with Google Classroom in one space.
- Google Classroom: Edit Class Name – Alice Keeler provides some guides on naming Google Classroom’s and how to modify them.
- Google Classroom: Submit a Screenshot and use DriveSlides – Alice Keeler discusses the use of DriveSlides to collect together student screenshots.
- Use Google Drawings as an Alternative to Thinglink – Richard Byrne discusses how Thinglink recently made some changes to their free plans that further limited access for students and suggests using Google Drawings instead to create hyperlinked images.
- Caption This! A fun, deep-thinking Google Drawings activity – Matt Miller and Laura Steinbrink provide a series of visual activities to do with Google Drawings to support deeper thinking.
- Add an Image to Your Tweet – Alice Keeler has shown how to create a graphics to add to Google to share on Twitter.
- Resize a Google Drawing – Alice Keeler explains how to change the size of a canvas in Google Drawings.
- Google Maps No Longer Lets You Post Negative Reviews About Your Crappy Job – Sidney Fussell explains how Google has updated its Maps policies to ban certain business reviews left by former employees.
- Polar Bear “Street” View Lesson Plans – Richard Byrne discusses Polar Bears International offer of lesson plans designed to help students learn about polar bears and their habitat.
- Hanging Out with Google Hangouts – GTT038 – Kasey Bell and Matt Miller discuss Hangouts and its potential in the connected classroom.
- Finding a class to partner with virtually AND activities to do together – Matt Miller provides twenty activities to do with virtual partner classes.
- Hangouts Meet metrics in Reports API; tablet support now available – To help you better understand Hangouts Meet usage within your domain,Google are introducing more than 50 new metrics in the Reports API Customer Usage report. These new metrics provide details on the duration, size, and device-specific characteristics of the Meet calls across your organization.
- Google’s art selfies aren’t available in Illinois. Here’s why. – Ally Marotti explains why the Arts & Culture Selfie feature is banned in Illinois due to laws around biometrics.
- Google Is Testing a New App That Would Let Anyone Publish a Local News Story – Bulletin is an app for contributing hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone. If you are comfortable taking photos or sending messages, you can create a Bulletin story.
- Google Home in the Classroom? – Holly Clark discusses the possibilities and potentials associated with Google Home.
- Google Keep: Quick Student Feedback on Google Docs and Slides – Larry Goble suggestions making your own lists, stickers and comments in Keep to use when providing feedback in Docs and Slides.
- The Social-Media Star and the Suicide – People may want to punish Logan Paul’s crassness and disrespect in posting a dead body, but he, like every other social-media star, was responding to the incentives that have been set up for them.
- When Playing a YouTube Video – Tony Vincent provides a simple graphic with three useful shortcuts to use when playing video on YouTube.
- It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech – Discussing the democratic problems with YouTube and Facebook, Zeynep Tufekei argues that we can decide how we want to handle digital surveillance, attention-channeling, harassment, data collection, and algorithmic decisionmaking, we just need to start the discussion.
- Transcribing audio with less pain – Christian Bokhove explains how he uses YouTube to transcribe audio.
- My Unprofessional Videos – Richard Byrne explains that he makes ‘unprofessional’ videos for three reasons: best use of time, value and modelling a meaningful process.
- 10 Interactive Tools for Students to Create How-To Videos – Farid Gasim lists a number of applications that students can use in the creation of videos.
- YouTube to fund videos that ‘counter hate’ as pressure over extremism grows – Alex Hern reports that YouTube is to spend more than $5m funding creators who “counter hate and promote tolerance.”
- Content moderation is not a panacea: Logan Paul, YouTube, and what we should expect from platforms – Tarleton Gillespie explains there is no simple answer as to where such lines should be drawn in regards to YouTube, as every rule associated with content moderation will be plagued with “what abouts”
- Now even YouTube serves ads with CPU-draining cryptocurrency miners – Dan Goodin reports the use of malicious adds within YouTube that are being used to support the mining of bitcoin.
- When It Comes to Gorillas, Google Photos Remains Blind – Tom Simonite explains that Google’s caution around images of gorillas illustrates a shortcoming of existing machine-learning technology. With enough data and computing power, software can be trained to categorize images or transcribe speech to a high level of accuracy. But it can’t easily go beyond the experience of that training. And even the very best algorithms lack the ability to use common sense, or abstract concepts, to refine their interpretation of the world as humans do.
- Go-to Google Photos tips for 2018 – Daisy Lui provides some tips associated with Google Photos, including the ability to share, remove clutter and organise using labels.
- EdTech Trends for 2018 with Martin McKay – Martin McKay discusses the use of data from 12 million users to develop a set of nationalised writing norms.
- g(Math) Has Been Deleted – Try These Three Alternatives – Richard Byrne provides some other Add-ons students might consider using for inserting graphs and equations into your Google Documents and Google Forms.
- Answering your questions about “Meltdown” and “Spectre” – Matt Linton and Matthew O’Conner provide a Q and A associated with the impact of Spectre and Meltdown.
- Review & Revoke Social Logins & Third Party App Access – Ian O’Byrne raises several concerns with social logins for new accounts, such as trusting one site with personal or private information that you gave to another site.
- How Google Keeps Our Data Safe- Teaching and Learning Webinar – Lisa Thumann leads a webinar discussing data and the protections put in place by Google to protect it.
- 15 Ideas to Google-Fy Student Projects – Whoos Reading curates a list of activities that Google can support.