Google apps are useful and Google Classroom has made teaching in a digital environment wonderfully easy. There is a downside though. Teachers are confident with Docs and Slides and too often happy …
Parental consent, while legally sufficient, is an insufficient mechanism to protect the privacy of children and the confidentiality of student records because:
It assumes parents have adequate digital literacy to make informed choices about their children’s privacy.
It assumes school district immunity despite obligations under Section 79.1.b of the B.C. School Act.
It assumes Google has incentive to adequately inform parents about the risks of data retention, profiling and automated decision making.
It assumes computational statistical inferences derived from machine learning algorithms doesn’t threaten the privacy of children.
I offer five recommendations:
Strengthen the conditions for consent to be given.
Expand the definition of digital literacy and offer learning opportunities for parents and teachers.
Make it as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give consent.
Create meaningful alternatives for students of parents who opt out.
Phase out and discontinue use of GAFE in the classroom.
When the technological investment in five million learners is being primarily spent playing games with questionable educational benefit, taking low level assessments, and watching YouTube then we have an edtech crisis on our hands. We can have “certified this” and “distinguished that” honors in our email signatures and be “ambassadors” for a thousand apps and sites but this report shows us the grim reality of how devices are really being used.
A huge amount of Chromebook use is being spent on educationally questionable video games, low level assessments, and YouTube
I think that this all highlights another point, the influence of outside influences on education. Whether it be Go Guardian, Kahoot! or Texthelp, every company is now a data company – a point Genevieve Bell makes. The concern is whose data? I wonder where such collections will sit with the changes associated with GDPR.
N.B. Don’t tell Stager!
- Find exactly what you want in Google+ with new search options and filters – From an updated look of the search interface to search suggestions and domain-only filters, these new experiences can make users confident that the content they see is the content they want.
- 10 ways we’re making Classroom and Forms easier for teachers this school year – There is a range of updates, include single student view, ability to reorder classes, decimal grading, transfer class ownership, import Forms quiz scores into classroom and add feedback by question in Quizzes
- Introducing a new way to share YouTube videos – You can now share videos directly on YouTube. Not only can you share and receive videos in the mobile app, you can also chat about them right on YouTube, reply with another video, invite others to the conversation, and more.
- Better manage large events in Google Calendar – Starting today, event organizers working on large events (200 or more guests) can use Google Sheets to more easily see who is attending and invite large group mailing lists reliably.
- Data Loss Prevention now available in Team Drives – In January of this year, Google announced Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Google Drive, giving G Suite Enterprise edition customers more control over how data is shared beyond their company. They are now bringing DLP to content stored in Team Drives.
- Introducing the Slides API Codelab – The codelab is a great exercise for learning the Slides API, especially if you have an interest in big data, automating the creation of presentations or open source.
- Anti-phishing security checks in the Gmail app for iOS – There are new security features for iOS Gmail customers, including click-time warnings for malicious links and unintended external reply warnings
- Get on the same page: new Google Docs features power team collaboration – Better “version control” to customize tools for your workflows and to help teams locate information when they need it.
- Google Adds Chrome Sync to gSuite for Education Core Services – Recently Google quietly made a change to include “Chrome Sync” in the list of “Core” tools in gSuite for Education. Chrome Sync provides the ability (when you sign in to Chrome or by default on a Chromebook), to sync Chrome data to your Google Account and to any other supported ChromeOS/browser that is signed in.
- Map your site to a custom URL in the new Google Sites – As a professional organization, it’s often important that you host both internal and external info at a well-known URL. Already supported in the classic Google Sites, this is now available in the new Google Sites as well.
- A new YouTube look that works for you – The new look applies material design to YouTube and delivers a fresh, simple and intuitive user experience that lets content shine
Posts & Resources
- Google Document URL Tricks – Tony Vincent demonstrates that by replacing /edit in the URL, you can transform a shareable link into a Preview, Copy, Template, or PDF link.
- Google Drive – Sort the Files – Alice Keeler unpacks the different ways of sorting files in Google Drive.
- Google Apps Version History: Stop Making Copies – Alice Keeler shows how to name versions in Docs, Sheets and Slides.
- Using Named Versions in Docs to Track Writing Drafts – Eric Curts explains how ‘Version History’ makes it even easier to see student progress and provide better feedback and assessment.
CHROME & BOOKS
- Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts – Karly Moura has created a simple graphic collecting some of the more useful shortcuts associated with Chromebooks.
- An ancient Chrome tab trick just blew my mind – Peter Bright explains how you can use the standard selection modifiers—ctrl-click for multiple non-continuous tabs, shift-click for multiple continuous tabs – to tear off entire groups of related tabs in a single action.
- Chromebook Tips – Wanda Terral collects together a number of tips associated with using Chromebooks in the form of sketches.
- Kinders Log Into Acer Chromebooks 2nd Day of School – Christine Pinto outlines her steps to getting students in the early years onto devices.
- 10 Ways to Google-fy Your Open House and BTS Night – Stephen Mosley provides some suggestions for showing off GSuite and Chromebooks during events such as open nights.
- What Happened to Google’s Effort to Scan Millions of University Library Books? – Jennifer Howard discusses the impact that Google’s scanning has had on scholarship and the ability to engage in textual analysis.
- Making Visible Watermarks More Effective – Tali Dekel and Michael Rubinstein discuss how Google has shown how it can remove watermarks and what needs to change in order to make them stronger.
- 9 Alternatives to Google Image Search – Richard Byrne created a chart to give students some options besides Google Images for finding images that are either in the Public Domain or are labeled with a Creative Commons license
- How to Add a QR Code to a Google Document – Richard Bryne demonstrates how to use QR Droid to generate a QR code for a Google Doc.
- How to Print a Guest List From a Google Calendar Event – Richard Byrne steps through the new feature in Calendar to print out a guest list.
- 5 Tips for New Google Calendar Users – Richard Byrne provides a range of simple tips, including how to create an event, how to set calendar reminders, how to color code icons/events, how to use the agenda view and how to print your calendar.
- Versatility of Google Slides – Emma Cottier collates a number of uses for Slides, including examples for each.
- Google Slides: Add Your Webcam – Alice Keeler shows how to use the Webcam Record Extension to add commentary to Slides.
- How to Collect Files Through Google Forms – Richard Byrne demonstrates how to collect files through Google Forms.
- How to Add a Google Form to Google Classroom – Alice Keeler provides a step-by-step guide to incorporating Forms within Google Classroom.
SHEETS & SCRIPTS
- Show data from the GitHub API in Google Sheets, using Apps Script and Oauth – Ben Collins demonstrates how to retrieve data from GitHub using Google Sheets.
- My Google Apps Script app isn’t verified: Understanding why and how to fix – Martin Hawksey explains how users can take steps to dismiss the warning and authorize Google App Scripts, alternatively developers can submit their app to Google to become verified.
- Filtering with dates in the QUERY function – Ben Collins provides a guide to a few extra steps involved in using dates with the query function.
- Welcome to your first day of Classroom – There’s been such an outpouring of instructional videos, blogs and resources associated with Classroom since it was released, Google have curated some of their favorites into a new collection called #FirstDayofClassroom
- NEW! Google Classroom: Rearrange the Class Tiles – Alice Keeler shows how you can now rearrange the tiles on the Google Classroom home screen by simply dragging and rearranging.
- NEW! Google Classroom: Individual Student View – Alice Keeler demonstrates how the new single student view in Classroom works.
- NEW! Google Classroom: Display the Class Code – Alice Keeler shows how the new whole screen display of the class code works.
- Impact Learning with Google Classroom – Alice Keeler explains how Classroom allows teachers and students to engage more with each other. Whether it be collaborating in a Doc, sharing a video with students or engaging with questions, Classroom provides a number of ways to interact.
- Google Classroom: Make Learning Better with Conversations – Alice Keeler explains how Private Comments in Google Classroom allow for fast specific feedback and builds relationships with students since the student has the opportunity to reply back, thus having a conversation
- Google Classroom: Reply Notifications for a Question – Alice Keeler unpacks the question function in Classroom and how notifications work.
- 3 Chrome Extensions that Make Google Classroom Even More Awesome! – Kasey Bell highlights three Chrome extensions which can help make Classroom even easier to use.
- Google Classroom: Invisible Feedback – Alice Keeler explains how feedback disappears in a document when a student turns it in and shares how she gets around this by turning it back to students as quick as possible.
- Google Classroom Mobile App – Alice Keeler highlights some of the benefits of the Classroom Mobile App.
- Google Classroom: Returning Optional Work – Alice Keeler explains how to manage and return optional tasks and challenges in Google Classroom.
- Add Google Drawing to Google Slides – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to insert a Google Drawing into Slides by publishing to the web and then inserting by URL.
- 2 Truths/1 Lie: Other Grades – Lisa Nowakowski explains how Maps can be used to collaborative plot out information.
- Simple Virtual Reality In The Classroom With Google Streetview And Google Cardboard With Donnie Piercey – Vicki Davis and Donnie Piercey discuss using Google Streetview to create your own 360 degree images.
- Top 10 Google Expeditions & Cardboard Tips – A range of tips collected by Monica Martinez.
- Virtual Reality Showcase at the Young Creators Conference – Lee Hewes discusses the potential of creating virtual reality content with applications like Minecraft for facilitating community and conversation.
- Ten Things Students Can Do With Google Keep – Richard Byrne lists ten uses of Google Keep for students.
- Google Keep – Narrative Feedback for Students – Tom Mullaney shows how to use Google Keep to facilitate and organise feedback adding in such elements as audio and images.
- Alternatives to YouTube’s Video Editor – It’s Going Away – Richard Byrne provides a list of options for creating video slideshows and editing video.
- Exploring and Visualizing an Open Global Dataset – Reena Jana explains that by releasing the Quick Draw! dataset, and tools like Facets, Google hope to facilitate the exploration of more inclusive approaches to machine learning, and to turn those observations into opportunities for innovation.
- Introducing Android 8.0 Oreo – An overview of the new Android operating system.
- EDU in 90 – A new video series from Google for Education for educators, administrators, and school leaders on things like product updates, new programs, and helpful resources for the classroom.
Originally posted on the eLearn Update blog.
Connecting Learners with Google
Google’s answer to other social media platforms, Google+ provides many of the usual features, such as hashtags, the ability to tag users and a news stream. Where it is useful is the potential to organise information using Collections, as well as to foster collaborative spaces with Communities.
- The Beginner’s Guide to Google+ – This post from Ryan Lytle provides a step-by-step guide to support new users in getting started.
- How Google+ is Rethinking Social Media – Shay Meinecke provides an update on Google+ and introduces some of newer functions, such as Collections.
- Learning professionally with Google+ Communities – Camilla Elliott explains some of the benefits of Google+ Communities for sharing and collaborating. This is seen as an alternative to other spaces, such as Facebook Pages.
- Get Connected wtih Google+ – Heather Baille created a video that showcases some of the potential associated with Google+.
- 8 Ways Teachers and Students Can Use Google+ – This post provides a range of activities which clearly demonstrate the potential and possibility.
- How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook’s War to Crush Google Plus
Another possibility when it comes to the connected classroom is Google Classroom. It provides many of the same features as Google+, such as feed and topics. With the recent addition of Gmail accounts, it is possible to connect between schools, as well as bringing in experts. It needs to be noted that Classroom also provides a range of other features designed to support instruction in the classroom, such as setting assignments and doing quizzes.
- Teacher Tech (Google Classroom) – Co-author of 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom, Alice Keeler has shared a plethora of tips, tricks and resources associated with Classroom. From a list of 50 things you can do, 8 essential tips and a quick-sheet guide for students and a three step guide to getting started.
- 10 Ways Google Classroom Will Make Learning Better and 10 Things You Might Not Know About Google Classroom – Matt Miller identifies some suggestions, as well as a summary of a resource created by Kasey Bell.
- Triple Differentiation in Google Classroom – Beginning, Middle, and End – Eric Curts demonstrates how Google Classroom can be used to differentiate learning. This is a useful exploration of many of the new features, such as setting specific work for individual students, incorporate different resources and allow students to submit a wide range of products.
- Everything You Need To Know In Google Classroom – David Wolford has written a series of posts for Better Cloud unpacking the basics, creating an assignment and exploring the stream.
- Google Classroom Experts – A Google+ account designed to share all things associated with Classroom. A useful place to pose questions and find specific resources.
- Google Classroom for the Principal – Lisa Meade describes some of the ways that principals can use Google Classroom in and out of the classroom to connect with staff and students.
- 100+ Great Google Classroom Resources For Educators – Vicki Davis collects together a wide range resources in one spot.
- G Suite: Google Classroom Top 10 Web-Based Tips – An infographic created by the EdTechTeam to share the top 10 tips when using Google Classroom.
- Exploring Virtual Teaching Environments – Miguel Guhlin compares Google Classroom with Microsoft Classroom.
- A Timeline of Google Classroom’s March to Replace Learning Management Systems – Antoinette Siu provides a summary of how far Google Classroom has come in two years. There is also a great use of TimelineJS to represent these changes.
- Communities, Networks and Connected Learning with Google – This post unpacks all the different collaborative spaces associated with Google, including Groups and Blogger.
- 5 Ideas To Connect Your Classroom – A Conversation between TW Williamson from Taiwan on The 10-Minute Teacher #45
YouTube Live allow for synchronous video connections beyond the four walls of the classroom. There is the means to run a video chat or schedule a recorded event using YouTube Live. This can be used to connect different classrooms, conduct virtual debates or provide an alternative point of access to classroom material. For example, the students at St. Mark’s broadcast their Genius Hour presentations via YouTube Live. There are also many other possibilities beyond Hangouts / YouTube including Skype, Twitter and Touchcast.
- Let’s Hangout! – Jen Zurawski identifies a range of examples for how to collaborate with Hangouts.
- How Educators and Schools Can Make the Most of Google Hangouts – Mary Beth Hertz provides an introduction to the possibilities of Hangouts.
- Seven Steps to Scheduling YouTube – A guide from the EdTechTeam associated with the new YouTube Live. For another resource, there is this too.
- A virtual field trip to CERN, via Google Glass – Andrew Vanden Heuvel uses Google Glass to provide students from the other side of the world with an insight into a place they would not normally have access to.
- Learning with Skype (or Hangouts) in the Classroom – A collection of resources associated with using Skype.
- The Google+ community Connected Classrooms Workshop offers a platform for connecting with other classrooms around the world via Mystery Hangouts.
Data and Ideas
Originally Maps Engine Lite, My Maps allows users to create their own maps within G Suite. My Maps allows you to easily make layers, add place marks, draw shapes and create directions. To take this to the next step, users can also import information via a spreadsheet or KMZ files from Google Earth.
- Create and manage custom maps in Google Drive – News update from Google outlining the initial release of My Maps.
- 5 Easy Steps to Design the Google MyMaps Lesson of Your Dreams – A list of tips and tricks associated with using My Maps, including links to a range of examples.
- Google My Maps – Jim Sill provides an introduction to the various terms and constraints associated with using My Maps.
- Exploring Your World with My Maps – A short guide from Chris Betcher with ideas and activities associated with using My Maps.
- How to Create Custom Maps with My Maps – Richard Byrne has made a series of tutorials associated with creating map, importing data and sharing information
- Use Google Maps to Tell a Story Within a Story & A Great Example of Using Google Maps in Science – Richard Byrne outlines how maps can be used in dynamic ways.
- Literary Landscape Map – Kevin Hodgen collaboratively shares different settings within books.
- Natural Resources – Austin Houp has created a map representing natural resources.
Trends and Correlate
Google Trends is based on Google Search data and allows users to see what search terms are trending. It shows how often a particular term or phrase is entered into Google Search compared to all other searches across different parts of the world at different times and in different languages. Google Correlate reverses Google Trends and allows users to start with a trend and find searches that match.
- Although not specifically for education, here is a video by Steve Dotto introducing Google Trends.
- How To Use Google Trends to Find Hot Content Topics – Steve Dotto provides a video introduction to Google Trends.
- Think with Google – a great way to see Google Trends and related stories.
- Google News Lab: The Year in Language – A collaboration between the Google News Lab and Polygraph, this project leverages Google Search Trends to identify new words in language.
- Visualise Hot Trends – A link to a live visual of Trends.
- Origins and the creation of Google Flu – A comic from the Google team demonstrating how Trends and Correlate were used to predict flu outbreaks.
N-Gram viewer is a tool that searches Google’s digitised printed material to determine how frequently particular words or phrases have appeared over a particular time in literature. These results are then displayed graphically. Users can compare the frequency of different terms in printed material over time.
- This video by Richard Byrne gives a basic introduction to N-Gram viewer.
- Lifewire introduces N-Gram viewer and describes how to use it.
- The EdTechEnthusiast describes a number of ways N-Gram viewer can be used in the classroom in his video.
- The Best Posts To Help Understand Google’s New ‘Books Ngram Viewer’ – Larry Ferlazzo curates a range of links to go further with Ngram Viewer.
- Phil Nast has collated a number of ideas for lesson plans using N-Gram Viewer for the National Education Association.
Google provides a number of way to engage with virtual reality including YouTube videos, various mobile apps, Street View and treks. The Expedition app (available for Android or iOS) takes treks and provides viewers with a choreographed experience.
Some ideas include exploring vocabulary, engaging with real life problems, telling stories and sparking curiosity. There are also a range of options for users to add their own images to Street View, as well as record their own 360 Minecraft videos.
- Google Maps Treks – A link to the various treks around the world, including places like the Angkor Wat and Petra.
- (Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard – Clay Bavor provides an update on the take-up of Google Cardboard.
- Best VR Apps To Try With Google Cardboard – Ryan Stone provides an overview of the apps that are available for Google Cardboard.
- VR in the Classroom: Early lessons learned from Google Expeditions – Google I/O 2016 – Google Expeditions team will share what they’ve learned about making compelling VR apps for the classroom
- A list of all available Expeditions – A curated list of all the available Expeditions.
- Weekly Teacher Tips for Using Google Expeditions in the Classroom – A weekly set of tips provided by Google around the use of Expeditions.
- Have iPads? Use Them For Google Expeditions! – Tom Mullaney explains how to use iPads with Expeditions
- Create Street View In A Snap – A list of tools and techniques for publishing your own photos and videos to Google Street View.
- Tool Review: #GOOGLEEXPEDITIONS Virtual Reality App and Getting Real? Google Cardboard and Virtual Reality in Education – Bill Ferriter and Ronnie Burt provide reflections on Google Cardboard and the virtual reality experience.
- Creating Virtual Reality Content in Minecraft with Year 4 – Lee Hewes explains how his students created virtual reality content within Minecraft.
- Is Using Google Cardboard for the Classroom Anything More Than a Gimmick? – Rachel Jones provides a useful critique of Google Cardboard and questions what it has to offer.
- Don’t Forget the Greater Context on Your VR Trip – Richard Byrnes and Greg Kulowiec suggest using the virtual to hypothesise about what they might see based on physical maps.
Arts and Culture
- Google Arts and Culture (currently in beta) is the latest iteration of Google’s Art project. It currently allows users online access to high resolution images of artwork found in 46 museums around the world. Virtual tours of many of the museums are available (using Street View technology) along with a range of educational resources.
- An eye for detail: Zoom through 1,000 artworks thanks to the new Art Camera from the Google Cultural Institute – Ben St. John discusses the Art Camera and its ability to capture artwork in high resolution, therefore allowing viewers to zoom right in, providing a perspective that is otherwise unavailable.
- The new Google Arts & Culture, on exhibit now – Originally the Cultural Institute, Duncan Osborn provides an overview of the new Google Arts and Culture project.
- Google Arts and Culture YouTube Channel – There is a collection of shows and documentaries on everything from explorations of natural history to kids describing famous pieces of art to experts.
- Google Cultural Institute Puts Us All Onstage – Michael Cooper explains how the cultural institute allows you to go beyond a simple walkthrough of places on YouTube to being able to move around the ballet or through a gallery using the technology developed for Google Street View.
- Step on stage with the Google Cultural Institute – Amit Sood outlines the possibilities associated with Cultural Institute, from zooming in on costumes to going backstage.
- Google Cultural Institute – A Fascinating Place – Marcus Lilley explains how the cultural institute and the new digital exhibition are allowing for a reimagining of Shakespeare’s work by actually position ourselves within the performance.
Connected Classrooms in Action
Below is a list of examples of connected classrooms:
- Connected Classrooms on Google+ – A Google+ Community dedicated to connecting classrooms to different opportunities.
- Our Genius Hour Expo and Google Hangout – The students at St. Marks share their Genius Hour projects via Hangout and then answer questions ask via Google Forms. 10 groups of students presented. More than 1500 students, teachers and parents registered for the Hangout from Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
- #ProjectDreamtime: connecting with Arnhem Land and learning about culture – Lee Hewes documents a Project-Based Learning unit focusing on bringing stories of the Dreamtime into the digital age.
- Smarter Than You Think Collaborative Reading – A collaborative reading and exploration of Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think as a part of a Theory of Knowledge unit. The space also also involved the author.
- What’s it like to host a Skype-A-Thon? – Ben Lennon reflects on the experience of being a part of a Skype-A-Thon. He shares the logistics involved, as well as the learning gained.
- Google Earth Walks – Students engage in real-world problem solving as they work their way through a virtual tour on Google Earth (and within My Maps). Each placemark offers an engaging, geotagged image as well as a compelling question, challenging students to apply what they’ve learned in the real world.
- Epic Class of Radness – This YouTube Channel contains a number of 360 YouTube videos made with Minecraft. For more details, see Lee Hewes’ reflection.
Google for Junior Teachers
Here are some ideas of what can be done in the Early Years:
Drawings and Shapes
Drawings allows for a range of possibilities, whether it be using shapes to make a theme, playing a collaborative game, filling in a weather chart or labeling an object. Coming from a maths perspective, Eric Curts collects together a range of the possibilities associated with using Drawings, including working with shapes, representing fractions and sorting objects, More examples can be found within the Drawings presentation.
Choose Your Own Adventure
G Suite offers the potential to use hyperlinks to make connections between parts. Although this can be an individual task, it is also something that has the potential to be done collaboratively as a whole class. Eric Curts has created a guide for making a Choose Your Own Adventure with Slides. However, he has also documented how to develop one using other applications. Going a step further with hyperlinks uses Hyper Docs to guide learning.
Google has a number of ways to support students with writing, as well as providing different forms of engagement. The Docs Story Builder application provides the means of writing a story and having it played back on the screen. Kasey Bell has shown how to use magnetic poetry to provides students with a creative way to play with words. Another useful feature within G Suite is the Personal Dictionary. Accessed across all the different apps, it is designed to store words that the spellcheck usually sees as incorrect. However, it is possible to use it to develop a personal list of commonly misspelt words.
Working with Sheets
For many Sheets may not seem to be the right application for young learners. However, there is the potential to use formulas and conditional formulas to simplify their use. Alice Keeler has created a range of resources to support graphing and measurement using Sheets.
John Hattie speaks of the power and potential of ‘self-reported grades’. This can be a challenge for younger learners, especially when they may not have the language skills to place their learning. One answer is to provide students with a basic rubric made with Google Drawings and use this to place a character on a continuum. This provides a useful reference point for students to talk about their learning.
At the heart of many of these ideas is the use of templates to scaffold learning for students. By providing the beginnings, it allows students to get on with the act of making and creating. Alice Keeler has collected together some templates to use with students in Early Years, while Eric Curts has made a collection of graphic organisers. For more templates, check out this folder.
A useful application for allocating tasks and copies of files for assignments is Google Classroom. Alice Keeler and Christine Pinto have unpacked some of the possibilities associated with Google Classroom in the Early Years. Another feature is the Google Classroom Chrome Extension and the ability to send a site to the whole class. An alternative to Classroom is Hapara. Whether it be Highlights or Smart Share, Hapara offers a number of ways to support learning and instruction.
Another application for allocating tasks and copies of files for assignments is Google Classroom. Alice Keeler and Christine Pinto have unpacked some of the possibilities associated with Google Classroom in the Early Years. Another feature is the Google Classroom Chrome Extension and the ability to send a site to the whole class. An alternative to Classroom is Hapara. Whether it be Highlights or Smart Share, Hapara offers a number of ways to support learning and instruction. The other option to using either application is to share a folder with students in which they keep all of their work. However this can be problematic as it requires students to maintain this.
Not every classroom has access to the same technology. Some teachers only have access to a few desktop computers or an iPad. There are still a range of tools that can be used to support learning. One application that can be useful is Google Keep. It provides a number of options including photos, sketches and audio recordings (on mobile). Hollie Sisk has provided an overview of the features and affordances and how they integrate with G Suite. There are also other options, such as Seesaw, Book Creator and Adobe Spark Video. Each providing different ways of celebrating learning and identifying future areas for growth.
Integrating technology into the early years comes with its challenges. These include:
Logging on & Passwords
One of the first challenges is getting students to log on. How students go about this will depend in part on what type of devices they are using. If they are using iPads then it is usually recommended that they are 1:1, therefore somewhat alleviating the need to continually log on and off all of the time. However, Apple recently added the functionality to have multiple Apple IDs for school purchased iPads. They only requirement is that the device is registered through Apple School Manager and deployed via a mobile device management system.
In regards to other devices, the process is usually dependent on how things have been set up. For example, it is common for Preps to be given a standard password when logging on to the system, preferably something that will not create confusion between lower and upper case. A site that can help with this process is DinoPass. In recent times, Google have started offering more options to connect with the Chromebook, such as Clever Badges and Cool Images.
Associated with passwords is the issue of workflow. Once logged in, there is the challenge of backing up work. Unless the school has 1:1 devices, this is going to involve compromise. For example, some schools create class accounts and have students share work to a central repository. Although this simplifies the process, it also restricts access to various applications and features. Another alternative is to setup something like WebDav. Although this is useful when working with iPads, it involves setting up and does not necessarily provide students with the power to collaborate. Too often this decision is either assumed or ignored. It is important to consider your own context and start there.
Another challenge when it comes to younger students is searching for content online. There are are numerous ways of placing restrictions on searches. Firstly, the process could be automated. This may involve turning the safesearch feature on automatically in GSuite Admin or using an extension like CraftyRights to send students straight to images appropriate for reuse. This approach is to provide students with sites that allow them to search through curated content. Some options include Junior Safe Search, Watchkin and Photos for Class. For iPad, there are a number of browsers that can be downloaded which help refine searches. John Johnston has worked out a way to send image searches straight to reuse.
Whether it be advertisements or other content, the web is full of distractions. Chrome has a number of extensions designed to improve accessibility and block advertising. One of the biggest distractions comes in the form of YouTube. Richard Byrnes has collected together a number of sites and solutions to support appropriate use of YouTube. They include Google Slides, Watchkin, View Pure and SafeShare.tv. These are not only useful for students, but also teachers when showing content to a whole class.
Making the Most of Chrome
Turn Off the Lights: Works on all known video sites, the entire page other than the video fades to black with a single click allowing students to focus on the video only.
Just Read: With one click, you can remove distractions such as advertisements and pop ups allowing articles to be read in a customisable, simplified format.
Read&Write: Read&Write for Google Chrome™ offers a range of powerful support tools (such as having words, passages or even whole documents read aloud or the meaning of words explained) to help students gain confidence with reading, writing, studying and research.
High Contrast: Change or invert the color scheme to make webpages easier to read.
CraftyRights: Forces all Google Image searches to be for images free of copyright restrictions.
Grammarly: Adding Grammarly to Chrome means that spelling and grammar will be vetted on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else writing on the web occurs.
1-Click-Timer: A quick and easy timer for Google Chrome.
Goo.gl: Allows current website URLs to be shortened with the Google URL Shortener service. Makes it easier to share long website addresses with others.
Screencastify: A simple video screen capture software which links with Google Drive.
Save to Drive: Save web content or screen capture directly to Google Drive.
Padlet Mini: Collect and bookmark the best of web content including images, video and audio using Padlet.
- A Guide to Chrome – A post that goes deeper into many aspects of Chrome.
- Google Plus Collection – A collection of links and resources associated with Chrome.
TRY THIS… Use a shortcut
- Go to the Chrome Help center and search for ‘shortcuts’.
- Look through the various lists and identify three shortcuts that might help you in your work.
- Copy these shortcuts into the Google Doc created at the start of this module and briefly explain why these might be helpful to you.
TRY THIS… Saving tabs as bookmarks
- Open a new window in Chrome.
- Open up several tabs related to a current topic being covered in class.
- Right click on any of the tabs and bookmark them all by selecting Bookmark all tabs (CTRL+SHIFT+D).
- Choose a name and location for the bookmark folder.
- To open the links again, right click on the folder and open all bookmarks.
- Capture a screenshot of your bookmark folder and add this to the Google Doc created earlier.
TRY THIS… Changing your theme
- Navigate to the Chrome web store.
- Select Themes from the list provided.
- Browse the different options and try out some of the themes, then select a favourite.
- Install this theme.
- Take a screenshot of this theme and add the screenshot to your Google Doc.
- Provide a title and link to the theme in the Chrome web store.
TRY THIS… Adding an extension
- Go to Chrome Web store.
- Search for extensions that might be useful for use in the classroom.
- Install three of these extensions.
- In the Google Doc created earlier, write down the titles and explain how these extensions could be useful in your classroom.
What If – Ignite
Notes can be found here.