Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Google's Virtual Spinner

Google has added more functionality to their search box. 

Type Spinner into a Google search box and you can use a virtual number spinner (up to 20 numbers).

Or to keep up with the latest craze, switch to a fidget spinner.

On both spinners, the user can either click the SPIN button (multiple clicks gives a faster spin) or click and drag across the spinner (faster drag equals faster spin).

Just another way Google is trying to help virtualize tools for the classroom. What other tools you may ask? Check some of these out.

Basic math calculations - just type in your math problem to see the answer; like a calculator. For that matter type calculator in the search box to use an actual calculator.

Unit Conversions - type in feet in 37 yards, or cups in 20 gallons, or any unit measure dealing with temperature, length, mass, speed, volume, area, or time.

Hex values for Colors - type Color Picker in the search bar, select your color, and get the Hex number values for that perfect color for your project.

Timer - type 5 minutes timer (or whatever value you need) to get that length of time

Tip Calculator - type What is the tip for $50 (or the value of your meal), then set the percent and number of people splitting the check.

Coin Flip - type flip a coin into the search box to flip a coin

Animal Sounds - type What sound does a dog make? It will give you a sound file to listen to. Try it with any animal.

Definitions - type define and your word to get the spelling and definition of the vocabulary word.

Time in another country - type time:Sydney (or your country or state you want to check) to see the current time in that location.

Play Pacman - type Pacman into the search bar to play the Pacman doodle.

Play Breakout - type Atari Breakout into the search bar and select the images tab. Now you can play Breakout of the images Google returned.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Summertime Google Training

Did that say Summertime? How about anytime training? Training all online, on demand, when you are ready to learn.

Many of our teachers in the district have received or will be receiving carts of Chromebooks. The question now is how to use them with students. While teachers may be proficient in the Google tools they utilize, using the tools to enhance the curriculum is another challenge. That is where the Google for Education Training Center comes in.

Teachers that need help getting started should start at the Fundamentals Training. If teachers feels a little confident, the Advanced Training course is available.

Feel like a real beginner? Then maybe start at the Resources section to learn the different Google Tools (like Docs, Slides, Classroom...) as well as all about the Chromebooks.

A wonderful resource for teachers to increase their confidence using Google in the classroom. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Google Classroom: End-of-Year Clean Up

Great, simple to follow video on cleaning up your Google Classroom classes for the end of the year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

IFTTT part 2

So I was successful in getting my Blogger post and my Twitter feed to post to may Scott's Place Facebook page. Yea for small victories!
But the page seemed to pull a random picture, So I am posting one here to see if it gets pulled over instead. Cross your fingers.


I am testing out to see if I can get Blogger to post to my Facebook page,

IFTTT (If This, Then That) creates recipes to automate tasks. You set the trigger and then something happens.

Like I said, just testing it.

Edit 1:
So it worked, kind of. It went to my district technology Facebook page . So I had to go into the IFTTT settings and reset the page to the Facebook page for Scott's Place.

Friday, March 10, 2017

360° Videos

I am a big fan of the whole 360° video sensation sweeping across education at the moment. I like the Google Cardboard/VR Headset idea, but we don't have very many of these in our district. What we do have are big SMARTBoards, 70 Inch Monitors, iPads, and Chromebooks. So we can still utilize the videos, but just not as immersively as the Cardboard experience. 

YouTube has lots of 360° videos posted. However, just a search for 360° video can bring up some inappropriate videos as well. So don't just turn students loose. The teacher should be the one to search. 

I really like the National Geographic videos. Here is a link to their playlist

Don't forget about the Google Arts and Culture website. Many Street View and some 360° views can be found in it as well. 

Some people are afraid to use YouTube with students do to the recommended videos and comments section. So here are a few tips to get around that.

1. Use a tool like Enter your YouTube video URL into the box and Generate a Safe View

2.  Use the Insert Video option in Google Slides. Then in Present mode, the 360 Video will still work. 

A Few of my favorite 360° examples

Monday, February 27, 2017

Technology Integration

Make sure to read* the following two posts from Eric Sheninger's blog, A Principal's Reflections.

Is Technology Being Integrated Effectively?

A Pedagogical Shift Needed for Digital Success

Great reminder for anyone looking to use technology with students. The tech is a tool. Pedagogy should come first.

* I don't normally just link to someone's blog and just say read this. But a lot of times I use this blog as my reminder and as a way to save ideas. This idea from Eric is one message I try to keep in the forefront of the message I try to share with my district anytime I get the opportunity to do so.