Archive for the 'Google in Education' Category

Google Teacher Academy in Seattle, WA

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

This is a busy time of year for many educators, but it is also an exciting time, with many summer professional development opportunities on the horizon. One of the most exciting is the Google Teacher Academy, an exclusive event produced by CUE for Google, in partnership with WestEd. There are still two more weeks to apply to the GTA. Naturally, I hope that followers of this blog will be well represented at the event and encourage you all to apply. :)

 

Google Teacher Academy

Google Certified Teacher

apply now buttonApplications now open for the Google Teacher Academy, Seattle on July 28th (with an optional unconference on July 29th). Apply by 11:50 PDT on June 16, 2011.

The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other primary and secondary educators in their local region. More…

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions about the Google Teacher Academy… or if you’re a GCT and would like to encourage others to apply.

Quick & Easy Google Moderator (2 Minute Video Primer)

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

I found myself answering an email to a principal from one of my workshops today and realized that a quick video would be a better solution. Then I realized the video might help others as well (though it really is very basic). I hope this might be something you can use with your colleagues or students.

Larger Format: Quick & Easy Google Moderator (2 Minute Video Primer)

Let me know if you find this helpful – or if you have any related questions or comments.

Google Teacher Academy – Sydney, Australia

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

As always, I’m thrilled to be a part of this project – and to share this announcement here on this blog…

Google Certified Teacher

Applications now open for the Google Teacher Academy
Sydney, Australia on March 10, 2011. Apply by 11:59 PST on January 27, 2011.

The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other primary and secondary educators in their local region. More…

Specialized and Little Known Google Search Tools

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Almost three months ago I wrote this article for the OnCUE Journal. Now that it’s arrived in mailboxes, I want to share it here as well. I consider the tools covered here to be a set of “killer research tools” – and I hope the article might be helpful to you, your colleagues, and your students. And, of course, if you have any additional comments or suggestions, please share below.

Naturally (given the topic), it’s already a bit dated. But, some of what was lost when Google introduced instant search is already back (Wonder Wheel for instance), and the overview of the specialized search tools is still relevant. :)

Download the (low resolution) PDF:
Specialized and Little Known Google Search Tools

Read the text (with headings added for the web):

Google has recently changed their search user experience to highlight and make more accessible some of their specialized (and little known) tools. Several of these can be useful to educators and their students.

Once a search is entered into Google, a new left-hand column appears alongside the usual results. The top part of this column makes specialized search tools such as Images, Videos, Books, and Maps accessible with only one click. There’s no need to go to a separate website and retype your search in order to search for specialized media, or to search Books instead of the Internet.

The lower part of the left-hand column also includes additional options. For instance, instead of viewing results from “any time” you can now click on “latest” to see up-to-the-second results from news sources, the blogosphere, and other social media, such as Twitter. New results will scroll by live as they happen. Similarily, instead of viewing “all results” you can view “social” results to see items that others in your social circle have found useful. (Others in your social circle might include your contacts in Gmail or people you follow in Google Reader, for instance.)

Wonder Wheel

Some of the most impressive new ways to visualize search data are alternatives to “standard view.” By selecting “Wonder wheel” you’ll now see a visual representation of searches related to what you entered—organized as a mind map. This can be helpful for students (or educators) trying to narrow down their search—or visualize the sort of information they are exploring. For example, a search for “information literacy” reveals a web of related searches including “media literacy.” Clicking on media literacy in turn reveals a new web, including a node for “media literacy lessons,” which might be use- ful for you and your students.

Timeline

Another alternative way of visualizing search results is the “Timeline,” which produces a visual timeline of search results that is clickable, allowing users to zoom in on specific time periods. A search for “information literacy” reveals a cluster of results between the 1980s and the present, with a peak a few years ago. One might be curious though, about the smaller peak in the 1780s. Click- ing on the peak reveals a quote from president Jefferson: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspa- pers without government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.”

Note: In order to see all of the options available for your search, you may need to click on the “More” link below “Everything” in the left-hand column, or the “More Search Tools” link in the lower half of the column.

Specialized Search

Though the ease of accessing these new options is impressive, it is sometimes still worth a trip to more specialized Google search tools in order to provide a more comprehensive search experience for students. If a typical research project requires students to cite a number of books, periodicals, and websites, the following tools might be useful: Google Books, Google Scholar, Google News, Google Blogsearch, and Google Alerts.

Google Books

Google Books allows students to search the contents of the world’s libraries (rather than the contents of the Internet). Through ground-breaking deals with world libraries, universities, and publishers, Google has made millions of volumes searchable online—and many of them viewable online in either snippet, preview, or full-text versions. Students can search for a term, discover books containing that term, and then click on a book to be taken directly to the most relevant location in the book—where the search term will be highlighted for them. This tool can be used to supplement the school’s library (with access available from anywhere) and to save students time by allowing them to quickly and easily home in on (and evaluate) relevant information. Google Books also allows users to save books to “My Library” for easy access (or sharing) later. This can be an ideal way for teachers or librarians to share books with students.

Google Scholar

Similarly, instead of searching the entire Internet, Google Scholar searches only scholarly sources (mostly peer-reviewed journals, trade journals, and university publications). Many of the sources are also available in a full-text version. The killer feature, though, is the “Cited By” link provided for each resource. Once you find a relevant resource, you’re no longer limited to using the works cited to find other relevant sources (looking backward in time)—you can now click on “Cited By” to see who has cited an article since it was published! While this tool might not be appropriate for younger students, many high school students (or teachers in graduate pro- grams) might find this useful.

Google News

Google News, of course, searches only news sources. Automated algorithms produce the top news from various sources on a wide variety of topics. Simply visiting the Google News homepage can be a great place to start any discussion of current events at any grade level—particularly when you can discuss the agenda or bias of various headlines and articles from a variety of news sources around the world. Entering a search at Google News can also help you find more up-to-date information than you might at Google Books or Google Scholar.

Google Blogsearch

Continuing along the spectrum from the most authorita- tive to the most timely, students might also explore Google Blogsearch for even more up- to-date sources—and a wider variety of opinions—from a number of blogs and other social media. Again, top stories are presented on the home page, and a search result can be entered to reveal sources that might have remained buried deep in the usual Google results.

Google Alerts

Finally, Google Alerts can be used to have Google research for you 24/7. Enter a search term, what sort of media you’d like searched, how many results you’d like, and how often you’d like them… and then enjoy the benefits of your own virtual research staff emailing you new and relevant links as often as you like.

With these research tools on hand, any student or educator will be better prepared to conduct research, more efficient at locating and evaluating resources, and better able to discover the things they want to learn.

Again, I hope you find this helpful. Please share it with your colleagues and students. And if you additional comments or suggestions, please share below. I love learning from the comments as much as I love sharing (and learning) when writing an article.

Effective Professional Development (Video)

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Last month I spoke at the Google Apps EDU Certified Trainer Summit, and the video of my 15 minute session (well, 17 minutes… sorry, all) is now available. You can view the video below or on YouTube, and you can access the slides, notes, and resources from the session in a previous post.

Naturally, I’d love to hear your comments below.

Note: The first half of the talk is background on CUE, The Google Teacher Academy, and CUE’s Google Workshops for Educators. The “effective PD” content starts just after the 9:45 mark if you want to jump ahead. :)

Quick and Easy IF Formulas for Grading Google Forms

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I recently led a Google Docs session at Whittier Christian High School and was asked to provide a quick demo video illustrating the way I used formulas (and in particular the IF formula) to grade a quiz made using a Google Form. Apparently my explanation plays well face-to-face but considerably less well from memory. ;)

For this video I cut right to the chase and did my best to explain the IF formula for beginners… while keeping under a 5 minute time limit. I hope it’s helpful for you and your colleagues and I hope you’ll let me know what you think.

Incidentally, there was a minor error in one of my formulas at the end, but I fixed it live rather than record (yet another) take. I like to think it’s good time management, and good modeling of verifying and troubleshooting a spreadsheet formula. Oh, and I wouldn’t necessarily “reteach” if half my class failed a quiz and the other half got As… but that might be a good time for some targeted intervention. ;)

Also, here are the slides I used in the middle segment of the video… in case they might be helpful to you as well (the last slide includes a copy-and-paste-able “nested” IF formula for generating letter grades from percentage scores):

Up next in the screencast category: Using Transpose to share individual results of a teacher observation (by an admin) or student rubric (by a teacher or peer), complete with a demo template. :)

iPad and Google Workshops in Orange County

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Registration for the following workshops is now available without conference registration! CUE is producing three workshops at the upcoming AECT Conference on October 26-30, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Anaheim, California.

01-R4: Google Workshop: Search, Learn, and Share!
Tuesday 10/26/10 -  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM in the TBA-4 Room
Presented by: Lainie Rowell, Computer Using Educators
Fee for convention registrants: $250.00

01-R7: Using the iPad Wifi for Learning (includes 16G iPad Wi-Fi version)
Tuesday 10/26/10 -  9:00 AM – 12:00 PM in the TBA-3 Room
Presented by: Ted Lai, Computer Using Educators
Fee for convention registrants: $650.00
 
05-R2: Using the iPad 3G for Learning (includes Wi-Fi + 3G iPad)
Tuesday 10/26/10 -  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM in the TBA-3 Room
Presented by: Ted Lai, Computer Using Educators
Fee for convention registrants: $790.00 (Note: 3G data plan sold separately)

Read the workshop descriptions and register online at the AECT website. We hope to see you there!

Quick and Easy Mail Merge in Google Docs

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

The features are limited, but here is a quick screencast revealing how to do a simple mail merge in Google Docs. This uses the Template Gallery and the Scripts Gallery, but you don’t really need to know how to use either to “stand on the shoulders of giants” and benefit from the work others have done before you.

As always, let me know if this is at all unclear, or if you have anything clever to add yourself. :)

Search Google News Archives Full Text for Free

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

When I was presenting on “Killer Research Tools” at the Google Teacher Academy in London, Googler Dana Nguyen asked me why I didn’t include Google News Archive Search. I responded, “because I don’t like it.” Naturally, Dana used to work on that project… and was gracious enough to show me the light. In short, I didn’t like it because so many of the archived articles cost money from various services. But, it turned out millions of articles were archived full text by Google and are freely available – if you know where to look. Like so many great Google features, this one was well buried, so I created a screencast to capture what Dana showed me right away.

As always, let me know what you think… and if you’ve used this in a clever way with students… or if you know any similar tricks. :)

Link to Your Site in Any Language Using Google Translate

Monday, August 16th, 2010

At the request of a recent workshop participant who was frustrated by not being able to replicate this trick using Google Translate, I recorded a quick screencast.

Let me know in the comments if this isn’t clear or you have any additional suggestions – or similar tricks.