Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Original Post can be found at: http://edtechideas.com/2012/04/10/earcos-2012-takeaways/

Google Apps in the Classroom

Jeff Utecht ran a great workshop entitled, "Google Apps in the Classroom," and began with a great buy-in statement of why we should be using Google Apps with our students "60 of the top 100 US universities now use google apps." Jeff then broke the session down by apps within the Google Suite and shared the following:

Searching

  • By giving us exactly what we want, Google hides things it thinks we don’t want.
  • Searches are based on
    • your past searches
    • # of links leaving from and coming to that site (that’s 1 reason Wikipedia appears 1st) the more links going to a site, the more authority that site has
    • Time relevance - more recent will be moved towards the top
    • Algorithms
  • Best part of Wikipedia is the bottom. References and sources
  • Wikipedia is not a good place to end your research, but it’s a great place to begin. Great overview, and lots of sources at bottom
  • Every student from grade 3 should know site:edu (and site:gov - but site:gov uses US gov. - use different country suffixes to find info from other countries).
  • Search by reading level (basic is about a 5th grade reading level)
  • site:ac = academic institution
Gmail

Docs

  • People hate docs because you get a large list of everything you’ve ever created or shared with you. Google wants you to just search.
  • Video: Setting Up a Google Docs Classroom (15 mins)
  • Question to ask when creating a doc: Who do you want to own this document?
    • Start with having the students be the owner and have them share with you.
  • Positive thing of students being the owner of their Docs is that it will follow along with them. You can Unsubscribe or have the kids unshare with you at the end of the year.
  • Templates within Google Docs are highly underrated and under-used. Check out the public templates
  • IDEA: Create a newspaper (students work collaboratively on different subjects) use a template. save as pdf > publish to youblisher
  • Flubaroo for Google Docs grades quizzes automatically.
  • We want kids to be able to find the answer. Google Ninja tests allows you to take it and create it at your school. Google Apps Ninja Master (create shirts, pins and stickers for kids)

Calendars

  • You can have students add attachments to calendars
  • Set up Mobile settings to send text message reminders
  • Use Appointment Slots for setting up meetings. Gives you a URL to mail out to parents that gives parents a “sign up for this slot” calendar that adds to your calendar.

Google Sites

  • So many uses: as a class website, student portfolio, teacher portal for students...
  • And then we ran out of time...

Google Earth Challenge

John Rinker led a great workshop on using Google Earth with students.

  • Resources here.
  • It’s our roles as teachers to make meaning and take meaning in the world
  • Often kids create great looking products but are lacking in substance
  • Have students put placemarks in folders
  • File > Save Project as...
  • 10 different levels
  • Having the different levels allowed for differentiation.
  • Then players who advanced more quickly became the experts
  • Can do recording of voice and music within Google Earth.
    • Called “Record a Tour” camera looking icon on main tool bar
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