This past year has been a blur, with 20 Google in Education Summits and dozens of other events. I’ve really honed (and continue to improve) my favorite three sessions:
- Google Search for Educators
- Google Docs for Educators: Core Magic and Inspiring Ideas
- Personal Learning Networks for Educators (with Google+)
I still love these sessions (and the seemingly timeless Blog if You Love Learning) and I feel like they are eye-opening to most of the educators I reach. But, it feels like it’s time to put something new into rotation… and I have a few opportunities this summer. Here are three new sessions… I know they’re not on the currently beaten path of Common Core (or other hot topics), but these are what I have to offer right now – and I hope I might be able to reach educators who could benefit from what I have to share. Meanwhile, I’d love any initial feedback any of you can offer. :)
What’s New from Google in Education
You’ve seen sessions on Google Search, Google Docs, and other free tools for years. Now come learn the latest features (and inspiring ideas) that will benefit you and your students. Google releases “early and often” (with over 120 updates to Google Apps last year), so this session is always new! Discover citations in Google Scholar, news archives in Google News, research tools in Google Docs, multi-media editing “in the cloud” with Google Drive, awesome new mobile apps, and… “even more” – including items newer than this description! This fun high-paced session is delivered in a “play along” format with something for everyone.
Make More of Your Time: Productivity Tools for Educators and Students
Learn simple tips, tricks, and apps for automating tasks. Text Expanders save hours of typing. Clipboard buffers save hours of cutting-and-pasting. Paperless faxes, forms, and signatures save hours printing and scanning (and save trees). Automated rules, filters, canned responses, and prioritizing tools save DAYS dealing with email… and visual voice mail! Collaborative documents, calendars, and to-do lists make teamwork easier… especially with free video conferencing and desktop sharing! These tips and more can benefit any busy educator or student, whatever your roles and responsibilities. Mastering these tools is part of being literate and successful in the today’s high-paced world… and most importantly, they can give you back time for the slower things in life.
Now It’s For You: Open Source in Education
Open Source Software is secure, feature rich, and FREE… perfect for educators and students. Open Source Solutions used to be best for techies and geeks, but recently they have entered the mainstream and *surpassed* expensive proprietary efforts like Windows, Mac OS X, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, iLife, and more. Android Phones and Chromebooks are both Linux at the core. Ubuntu is a beautiful and easy to use operating system. Firefox is a fast, flexible, and secure web-browser (and proudly non-profit). Shotwell and OpenShot replace iPhoto and iMovie. GIMP replaces photoshop… and there are more free tools available to customize (and secure) your computing experience than ever before. Plus, with favorite apps like Google Chrome now available on Linux, it can be the best window into everything “the cloud” has to offer education today, with online and local copies of all your writing, media, and collaborations. (NOTE: This more or less chronicles my past year using an Ultralap 430 running Ubuntu as my main laptop, in conjunction with various Chromebooks and Nexus Android devices… I’m happier with my the tools I’m using, and I saved a ton of money.)
Thanks for taking a look at these, and thanks in advance for any comments or feedback you might be able to leave. :)
Early and often, right? ;)
PS. If you miss me blogging here, you can find me microblogging and social networking at Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.