Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Google for Education Sessions and Discussions at ISTE 2016


Google will be hosting some great sessions and discussions at ISTE next week.



We hope to see you at ISTE 2016 in Denver. Visit us in Room #103 (street level of convention the center) where educators and Googlers will be giving short presentations throughout the conference. We look forward to seeing you.

Full Schedule


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Monday, June 20, 2016

ISTE 2016 - Some Great Sessions to consider attending, including 2 by me




ISTE 2016 is only a week away! There are so many great sessions to attend throughout the conference, but I wanted to share a few here, including two that I am doing.

These sessions are geared at educators and administrators and will offer some great information and resources. Presenters are former educators and educational technology specialists (and a CIO).

RSVP HERE. or click on the image.




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Friday, May 27, 2016

How educators and teachers can get the most out of online forms software - guest post

How educators and teachers can get the most out of online forms software

Online forms might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a helpful classroom tool. 10 years ago the idea would have seemed absurd. But today? Online form tools can save hours, paper, and your budget.

That’s because the way students and teachers interact with technology has completely changed.

I work for JotForm, a popular online form building platform, and below are a few of the popular ways that we’ve noticed educators are utilizing online forms.

Survey students and get instant results
Depending on your classroom cell phone policy, you could have all of your students submit survey responses at the same time straight from their phones and have the results show on a screen in front of the room. Interactive learning has come a long way, and online form builders have mobile-ready forms at the click of a button.

Scheduling parent conferences
Imagine a world where the only thing you needed to do to schedule important one-on-one meetings was just to distribute a single form that lets the recipient know what remaining slots are available.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 3.50.12 PM.png


Paperless quizzing
A quick trip to the computer lab is all it takes to administer a paperless quiz using an online form that grades itself and provides instant feedback immediately upon submission. Quiz responses can be sent directly to your inbox or integrated into a spreadsheet to make it easy to compare which questions students consistently had trouble with or answered correctly.

Collect signatures digitally
If you need signatures from a parent, skip the middle man (or child). Send permission slip and waiver forms straight to parents’ emails and use the e-signature capabilities already built into the form. No more printed paper, forged signatures, or nagging students to return the completed form. The added benefit to this method is that you don’t have to worry about organization; all of your signatures are neatly stored for you.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 4.00.09 PM.png

Student group project evaluations
It can be tough for students to give accurate feedback about fellow students for group projects, especially when one of them didn’t pull their weight. That’s why an anonymously submitted online form can be so effective: it encourages honest feedback. Consider open-ended questions like “how well do you think the group performed?”.

Online form building software has increasingly become a fixture in schools all around the world over the past decade, and for good reason: it just makes collecting and organizing information easier. The best part is that it’s insanely affordable. Most form builders are free based on a certain threshold of monthly responses, and generally pretty cheap even for the paid plans.

Chad Reid is the director of communications at JotForm, a popular online form building platform based in San Francisco.





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Monday, May 23, 2016

Lots of great new things coming to Google Apps and Chromebooks!!!


Google Apps for Education New logo.pngchromebooks-apps-flyout-in.jpg


Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks have become truly awesome resources for schools and Google just keeps improving them.

Here are some of the recent announcements:


Android apps are coming to Chromebooks! - some Android apps have already been available for use on a Chromebook. I've been using the Evernote app for a while and love it. But in order to get them to work, developers had to do some work themselves. With this new announcement, the Google Play Store and most of it's app will work with Chromebooks. Three models are getting access in June with more getting access later. See this link for full details on which Chromebooks will get this and when. This is huge for schools as they will be able to benefit from the low cost and ease of use and management of Chromebooks, and use all of the great Android apps that are out there.

With this announcement, touchscreen Chromebooks are even more functional for schools. For specs, 4GB RAM is always my suggestion and 16GB drives should be fine unless you are installing a ton of apps and syncing lots of data. I have over 100 apps on my smartphone, sync Evernote offline (9,000 notes) and sync Google drive offline and I am only using 9GB (18GB if you count the hundreds of photos and videos of my daughter).

I also think that this would be a good time for Google and OEMs to work on a 7" Chrome OS tablet! Think about it - all the Android apps in a small form factor for younger students or mobility, with the management features and ease of use of a Chromebook!




Google Classroom updates:
  1. Interact with other apps and systems - more software and systems will be able to interact with more data in Classroom. One example that teachers will love is the ability for Gradebooks and reporting systems to sync grades with Classroom, eliminating the need for teachers to manually transfer grades.
  2. Teachers can schedule assignments, questions, or announcements to post at a later date. The post is then automatically published to the class stream at the scheduled date and time.
  3. Teachers can poll their students using multiple-choice questions and allow students to see a summary of their classmates answers.


Cover art
Science Journal - a new app that is a digital science notebook that allows students to record data from sensors on an Android phone or connected device, take notes, observer, interpret, predict, create graphs and much more.



Google also announced that they are making their own 3D/Virtual reality hardware that will be prefect for schools - this will fit well with Expeditions and allow students to explore the world, and beyond, right from their classroom.


Some exciting news for schools!!



More Resources:

Benefits of Google Apps and Chromebooks for Schools

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Great resources on Digital Equity from CoSN (free)


As schools go more and more digital with systems, curriculum, assignments and more, they face the need to provide equity in digital access for their students. Student devices are part of it, but so is internet access at home.

This year has seen a huge increase in attention to "Digital Equity" or the "Digital Divide". Here are some great free resources from CoSN ( Consortium for School Networking ) that can help you understand the issue, and address it.

CoSN - Go to Home Page

Digital Equity Action Toolkit

Students without home access to high quality broadband connectivity are at a disadvantage, unable to realize the full power of digital learning. Only 3 percent of teachers in high-poverty schools said that their students had the digital tools necessary to complete homework assignments, compared to 52 percent of teachers in more affluent schools, a discrepancy sometimes labeled the "homework gap."
To address this key challenge, CoSN launched the Digital Equity Action Agenda initiative. This effort highlights how some school districts are building meaningful community partnerships and creating tools to help district leaders get started in achieving digital equity.
Our new toolkit provides educational leaders with the information they need to address digital equity in out-of-school learning. As a member said:
"The CoSN Digital Equity Action Toolkit is the best and most practical document I have seen on this topic." --Devin Vodicka, Superintendent, Vista USD, California

Download the ToolKit here: http://www.cosn.org/digital-equity-action-toolkit-february-2016


Digital Equity Infographic (click to go to original PDF)









More resources

Digital Divide Resources

Digital Literacy Resources

Digital Equity Resources






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