Friday, May 25, 2018

Chromebooks: DO EVERYTHING

2018 has been an exciting year already for G Suite Edu schools, teachers AND students!  

New products, updates and programming are being released at warp speed so I thought to take a few minutes to reflect and share on some of my favorites to date:
It is exciting that we can offer a robust digital skills learning curriculum for all ages with Chromebooks freeing up outdated and laborous to manage resources from the past.  
Reminder to those buying Chromebooks for schools to be looking for those that are touchscreen and if you can pull it off, convertibles are ideal.  As you may already know, I am going to recommend the ACER Chromebooks.  I've been using Acer as my high end laptop and Chromebook. The product is the best investment with the highest quality for the most competitive price.  It was years after being a loyal Acer customer that my team, AppsEvents ,created a professional development partnership with them.  That's great karma!
Here is the video I created several months back that shows how to set up your Android / Play Apps in the Admin Panel.  

Expect updates and improvements forthcoming but this is already a game changer.  On my Acer SPIN Chromebook, I can run FREE Chrome & Anroid apps pushed out from my admin panel such as TextHelp's EquatIO® to make math on my Chromebook a breeze!  

I also have Google's ToonTastic, Google Classroom, Explain Everything, SoundTrap, WeVideo, and that's just for starters!  

I recall having to purchase expensive drawing devices to hook up to expensive computers running expensive software to teach middle school Graphic Arts.  With an Acer SPIN and Adobe Illustrator Draw or the Autodesk Sketchbook Draw you are ready to go!

I can do EVERYTHING but MORE on a Chromebook than I could do on a traditional desktop or laptop. 

Check out the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum from Google that allows you to facilitate a  Digital Skills curriculum in full or in part to middle and high school students (as well as adults and higher ed).  Watch this video to get a better understanding.

For younger students who desperately need foundation education on how to be safe online, check out the Be Internet Awesome program which has a series of lesson plans and interactive online games aligned with the topics of being smart, alert, strong, kind and brave when online.  

That's probably all you have time for today.  If you came this far, I hope you'll back track and click on some of those links above to check out the shared resources.  Stay tuned for my coding and programming resources (all can be done on Chromebooks as well).  

Finally, if you teach in a middle school can you take this survey about what devices you are teaching with?  

Have a great day!  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Doodle for Google ~ Great Creative & Artistic Opportunity for All Ages!

Have you heard of Doodle for Google?

Maybe no, maybe so. Maybe you know someone who won or maybe you are a previous winner! 
Doodle for Google logo

It's a contest with great prizes!

Doodle for Google is an annual contest, celebrating it's 10th anniversary, for students in grades K-12 to enter a Google doodle for a chance to have it go 'live' on Google as well as win a variety of other great prizes.  

There are grade level categories with state/territory winners, national finalists and 1 national 'winner.'  All the winning finalists will get some great Googly swag and have their Doodle Entry featured in the gallery. The 5 national finalists (1 from each grade group) also earn a $5000 college scholarship & a trip to Googleplex in Mountain View (I've been there and it is AMAZING!). The national grande prize winner will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology award to his/her school of choice (incentive for you to encourage your budding artists ;)

Share through Libraries, Extended Learning Programs, Classrooms

Please, please encourage your creative, artistic students who may scribble and sketch as their hobby and possess great talent! Send a note, email, add to your site or blog!   There are teacher guides for each grade category with lesson plans and a downloadable/printable poster.  

This year's theme 'What Inspires' Me will be judged based on artistic skill, creativity and theme communication.  

The deadline is March 2, 2018.   T
here's still time! 

My favorite Doodle taken during a visit to Google NYC in 2013.  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Great Google PD in the USA this Spring/Summer!

Lot's of great opportunities to learn about leveraging Google Tools in your classroom and office this year, even become a Google Certified Educator!

In May, come along to the AppsEvents NH Upper Valley Summit featuring Google for Education in May to learn about the latest updates. Book before March 4th to take advantage of the Super Early Bird promo pricing! Be quick and book now - the discount is only valid for the first 50 tickets sold!

Not sure whether it’s for you? Here are some feedback from our event in Albany, GA last month:

Otherwise, check out all of our upcoming events happenng all across the US below. Keep an eye on our website for more events to be released.

May 4th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 Bootcamp

May 5th 2018
1-Day Google Summit

June 6th - 7th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 Bootcamp

June 11th - 12th 2018
2-Day Google Summit

June 26th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 Bootcamp
June 27th - 28th 2018
2-Day Google Summit

July 17th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 & Level 2 Bootcamps
July 18th - 19th 2018
2-Day Google Summit

September 28th - 29th 2018
2-Day Google Summit
Are you a budding trainer? If so, we are also accepting summit session proposals. It’s a really great way to raise your profile and practice presenting in front of people outside your school. What’s more, if your sessions are chosen, you’ll get free entry to the summit!

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our USA Director, Allison Mollica, by emailing 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Google Slides Updates 2017

Google announced new Slides features on September 27th.   I've highlighted some of the newest (and not as new but useful) features that teachers, learners, administrators can all benefit from knowing about!  The video playlist at the bottom (broken into short intro's and how to's) include the following:

slides icon
Keep Notepad
Now you can insert a note from Keep directly in Google Slides.   This can be good for notes, images, drawings (from mobile) and items you've collected using the Save to Keep Chrome Extension.  As students use keep more and more they will find these integrations invaluable.

Insert Diagram
New addition ~ diagrams templates you can add and modify directly from the Insert Menu.  Diagram options include Hierarchy, Timeline, Process, Relationship and Cycle.  

Insert Chart
Not as new but seriously useful.  You can insert a chart and modify data from scratch.  Most of the time, however, we have collected data and created charts that need to be included in presentations.  On the Insert>Chart menu is the option to Insert>Chart>FROM SHEETS.  You can then search Drive for a specific sheet that has said charts.  If you update the data in the sheet make sure you select the update chart button on the slide to accurately reflect the updates.  

AddOns & Explore
Add Ons are now available for Slides.  If you have not used Add On's before they have been available for Docs and Sheets for a while now.  They provide 'added functionality / features' by selection.  On the Slides menu you will find a link now to Add On's. Click on Get Add Ons to explore the 'marketplace' of free offerings.  In the video I demonstrate the Unsplash Photos and Icons by Noun Project.  

A not as new feature (Fall 2016) is the Explore tool for slide formatting.  In the video I highlight using it with the Unsplash Photos to quickly format a nice looking slide.  These are two unbelievable features that will make any slide creator more efficient and happy.  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Android Apps on Chromebooks and How to Set Up in your Edu Domain

Android coming to Chromebook has been talked about for over a year now.  It is now here and ready for you to use in your Edu Domain!  It is in BETA mode but it is VERY FUNCTIONAL and if you have a compatible Chromebook (running Chrome 53 or later) you can configure your domain to put a 'PLAY' store of APPS available to your teachers and students.

Here are the steps to set up Android in Admin Domain for Chromebooks.

In short, you need to login to  Go to Device Management > Chrome Devices and then select Android Applications.  Next, accept the Android for Work Agreement.  When that is enabled you can select and configure Android Apps.  

Click to Configure the Apps.  Click on the + sign to shop for the apps.  Select an app you want to make available to your students.  Once you APPROVE it you need to CONFIGURE IT!  If you don't configure it then it won't show up in their SCHOOL PLAY STORE as an option.

When you configure the app you have a choice to Force Installation, Pin to Taskbar (which I recommend for Google Classroom, for example) BUT you can simply make a tool like Toontastic, WeVideo, etc as an install option.  

Once you set up your store, you probably want to know what the user experience looks like.  I've created a video below to show you how the student experiences the play store accessing and using apps.

With the PLAY store app pinned to the student task bar they can open and see what is available in the store and install as needed:

I would LOVE to hear your feedback!  Are you as excited about the potential as I am?  What will be your first apps to send out and how will this change how you are DBA at your school?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Admin Settings to Open Classroom to Outside your Domain

A quick post today, but really important one.  So often we hear of updates to GSuite Apps and just take it for granted they will work until we are in a setting that this 'new feature' doesn't work properly because our ADMIN had to do something in the admin panel to make it possible.  

When Google Classroom was announced as an open tool stakeholders went wild for a variety of reasons.  If you are one of those stakeholders you know why.  For example, I can now teacher an Adult Ed course for parents using Google Classroom and they can join with their gMail Accounts.

What many were excited about was the idea of going to conferences and workshops and being to have the entire audience seamlessly join your Classroom!  No more obstacle for teaching 'Google Classroom' outside your domain!  YAY!  In theory and reality this is GREAT and POSSIBLE!

It requires that the Admin Settings in Classroom be modified to do this.  I created a help video below, but in short you just need to sign into, go to Apps> GSuiteApps> Classroom> ManageDomainAccess and set it to 'any user.'  Any user means even if they just have a gMail consumer account they can join.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Graduate Credit at AppsEvents Summits, Certification Bootcamps & More!

Announcing for All AppsEvents as of September 1, 2016
Available via AppsEvents worldwide beginning Fall 2016 ~ graduate credit through the College of Saint Joseph!  Join us in Hong Kong, Seattle, Zurich, Barcelona, Finland, Arkansas, Italy... visit for a complete list scheduled public events.
College of St. Joseph is partnering with AppsEvents so participants can earn up to three graduate credits for participating in either a Google For Education Summit Academy or Bootcamp.
Once the student completes the Google for Education Bootcamp or Summit Academy, the rest of the course will be completed 100 percent online. The student will have two weeks (14 days) from the last day of theGoogle for Education Bootcamp or Summit Academy to develop the required documentation. The documents must be uploaded to the designated Google Drive folder, before the due date, to earn full credit.
The amount of time spent at and outside of the Google For Education Bootcamp or Summit Academydeveloping the lesson documents must be comparable to the number of academic credits being sought:
1 credit = 15 hours
2 credits = 30 hours
3 credits = 45 hours

Course Requirements

  1. Successfully complete either Google For Education BootcampSummit Academy, or both.
  2. Develop an approvable lesson or project proposal BEFORE beginning the development of any lesson documents.
  3. Develop a learning activities (or activities) that will integrate computer technology into a lesson(s) at the adaptation level of the CSJ Technology Integration Rubric.
  4. Write a reflection documenting any new learning acquired from participation in the course.


The cost is $150 per credit, payable to College of St. Joseph
Available via AppsEvents worldwide beginning Fall 2016 ~ graduate credit through the College of Saint Joseph!  Join us in Hong KongSeattle, ZurichBarcelonaFinlandArkansasItaly... visit for a complete list scheduled public events.
If you do not see an event in your area, please contact us about hosting a Summit Academy, Google Educator Certification Bootcamp and/or Summit.  Email directly for more information or submit your request here..