Going Google! An Introduction to G Suite for Education

 

WHO: Teachers that are interested in getting started with G Suite for Education (formally known as Google Apps for Education).

HOW: This tutorial video is under 20 minutes in length and is a simple introduction into the icons and options inside of Google Drive, Team Drives, Docs, and Forms. Viewers will learn how to navigate, organize, and utilize a small variety of G Suite For Education products.

WHEN: This video gives examples of how you could use G Suite in the classroom, as well as in School Administration.

Vizia – Make Online Videos Interactive and Replace Worksheets!

WHO: Teachers that use videos in class and would like to add in checks for understanding while making the assignment more interactive.

HOW: Create an account on https://vizia.co/, add in a link to a video, then start adding questions!  Teachers have the option to include Multiple Choice (called quiz), Polls, Response (user types short answer or extended response), and Call to Action (button with external link to visit).  If teachers select the Gate Video option, it will prompt the viewer to enter their name and e-mail address. When all of the questions are added, the teacher simply copies the link in the top right corner and directs the students to visit.  This link could be posted to the classroom website, LMS, or create a QR code for the tablet classroom to utilize. After the assignment has been completed, the question results are loaded into a Google Sheet allowing the teacher to collect data, and grade if they wish. When coupled with the Google Add-On Flubaroo, these assignments could be automatically graded.

WHEN: Vizia is a great option for the flipped classroom and teachers that regularly use videos in class.  Vizia allows the teacher to capture student understanding while the videos are being watched. Vizia videos could be useful for bell-ringers, exit tickets, or assignments or inclement weather as well.

Here is an example of a Vizia video:

Google Cast for Education – Free Screen Mirror Tool

Google Cast for EDU - Screen Mirror tool

WHO: Teachers that need an easy way to share student screens with the class.

HOW: Teachers install Google Cast for Education to their Chrome browser from the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, teachers then set up a name and sharing capabilities.  Students can be added via GAFE e-mails, groups, or classes. Using a future version of Chrome, students will be able to select the cast feature and show the class their work.

WHEN: Most commonly, this can be used to display student projects.  However, teachers can use it as a “show me how you solved this” moment. It is also useful for getting feedback from the class on a difficult problem. It could even be used for digital show and tell.

There are many options out there to mirror student displays. The difference here is that no additional hardware (e.g. AppleTV) or paid software (e.g. Reflector 2) is needed to purchase.  The system administrator simply adds the chrome app to the teacher computer that is connected to the classroom presentation system, and the student devices have an up-to-date version of Chrome when it is released.

Using Google Apps For Education in the past has allowed students to click the share button and have the teacher show the work from the front of the classroom.  Google Cast for Education now allows the student to control the screen from their seat. The added benefit is that the teacher can now walk around the classroom. Educators will be able to help students while the work is being displayed.

Here is a video from Google Apps for Education:

Reflector 2 by Squirrels

Reflector2

*I have only used the software with Apple devices*

SOFTWARE TITLE: Reflector 2

COST: $14.99

OS: OS X 10.7.5 or Later, Windows 7, Windows 8 (Windows 8 RT is not supported) or Windows 10, Android 4.1 & compatible device.

POSITIVE: Reflector 2 is a great alternative to having an AppleTV in the classroom, many would actually consider it to be better.  When Reflector is on, the computer is then available as an option for AirPlay.  I was able to use it from an iPad, iPhone, and a MacBook.  This gives teachers an option to display student works, quickly and easily, at a fraction of the cost.  When purchasing for a school, be sure to contact the company for bulk pricing options.

Another piece that makes Reflector 2 stand out over the AppleTV is that you can have multiple devices connected at once.  This allows the teacher to display multiple students work at one time.  Teachers can also mute screens and have them set up for next in line.

The final feature that sets Reflector 2 out as a great match for the classroom is the option to record.  If a student is giving a presentation, or you are creating a tutorial video, simply connect the device and click the record button.

My understanding is that it also works when using Windows or Android based devices, but I have not tried it out myself.

NEGATIVE: The only issue I have run into is a little bit of lag when I was streaming Apple Music from my iPhone to my MacBook Pro.  This issue could have been due to network traffic, but I have not had the opportunity to troubleshoot it yet.

SIDE NOTE: Squirrels is based out of Ohio and is a sponsor of the EdCamp movement.

FlipQuiz: Online Review Gameshow

WHO: Teachers looking for an easier way to make gameshow style review games in the classroom.

HOW: Sign up for an account at http://flipquiz.me/, then either start creating your own board, or search for the topic you are covering.  After creating an account, the user can choose between the free version or the paid version.  Upgrading allows the user to copy other boards, have the game keep score (must do this manually with free account), upload images, create flashcards for students, and more.

WHEN: FlipQuiz is a great option for weekly/semesterly review.  Students enjoy playing gameshows, working in teams, and competing with each other. FlipQuiz makes this process much easier, and is saved online for future use.

TelePromptor – Free Teleprompter Tool for Web Connected Devices

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WHO: Digital Media teachers and students that would benefit from using a teleprompter when creating videos. Users can create a script and run the teleprompter for free, but a paid version allows the user to save and edit later.

HOW: Visit https://telepromptor.com/, click on start script, follow the on-screen instructions to create your prompt, then push start at the bottom of the screen.

WHEN: TelePromptor is great for digital media courses creating videos.  Instead of students reading off of a piece of paper, or memorizing their lines, use TelePromptor on a computer or tablet to help get that video clip on the first try!

Teach Engineering – K-12 Engineering Curriculum

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WHO: Teachers looking for lesson plans and units for STEM classrooms.

HOW: Visit https://www.teachengineering.org/, click through the various sections, or use the search bar to go through 1,400+ lessons currently available. These lessons at aligned to a variety of standards including Common Core Math and Next Generation Science Standards. While a user does not have to sign up for an account, creating one gives the ability to save lessons into a curriculum, write reviews, and set up a profile.

WHEN: Teach Engineering is not only great for upcoming lessons in your class, but also to create course maps for the upcoming school year.  If your school is looking to start a STEM course, or specifically an engineering course, Teach Engineering is well worth your time to look through.  The best part about Teach Engineering is that it is completely FREE.

Quizizz: Engaging, Entertaining, And Competitive Formative Assessment

quizizz

WHO: Teachers in 1:1 or BYOD classrooms that are looking for formative assessment that captures students attention.

HOW: Teachers sign up for an account at http://www.quizizz.com/, choose a public quiz, or create their own, and begin!  When creating a quiz, teachers can search the public bank for quizzes and copy individual questions over to their own.  The quizzes can also have media embedded to base questions on. Each question can have up to four potential answers.  After a teacher starts a quiz, they direct their students to open a browser and go to http://quizizz.com/join/.  The students will then enter the teachers quiz code, enter their name (they will be given an avatar), and wait for the quiz to begin.  Once all of the students have entered the room, the teacher begins the quiz.  Students are able to see both question and answer on their screen instead of looking back and forth between device and projector.  Each correct answer gives the student points, and quicker answers net higher point values. After answering a question, the screen displays a humorous meme to let them know if they were correct.   At the end of the quiz, the students are given their rank for that particular assessment.  Teachers are given a graph with student scores and an option to download the results in a spreadsheet.

WHEN: Quizizz is a great formative assessment tool.  It could be used at the beginning or end of a class, or as a weekly checkup.  Teachers could also have students create their own quizzes as a way of demonstrating mastery of content.

Shomi Links – Quick, Easy, In-Text, Scannable Links

shomi

WHO: Teachers looking to add links into documents to supplemental material, forms, and more.  Shomi Links are in-line text so they do not take up as much space as a QR Code.

HOW: Sign up for an account at https://shomi.link/, create a link, and copy the text link or download the .png image file of the link.  You will need to install the font on your computer in order to copy and paste the text link.  Next, have students and parents download the Shomi Link App on their mobile device.  After opening the app on the device, point the camera (and zoom if needed) at the Shomi Link to be directed to where the teacher has selected.

WHEN: Shomi Links are great for teachers to add in supplemental materials into assignments or paperwork sent home.

Here is a Shomi Link for Teacher’s Tech Toolbox: TTBShomiLink

Here is a Youtube Video describing Shomi:

Five Options To Learn How To Code

Code

The Hour of Code runs from December 7-13, 2015; here are a few options to keep teaching code all year round!

Code.org – This is the website linked with Hour Of Code, there are a few different options that help to keep students engaged in creating code to program a popular character to complete a level. After completing students are rewarded with a certificate of completion.

Kodable –  There are free and paid versions, with the free version being a basic curriculum.  Teachers sign up, create classes, add students, and get started.  Students visit the site, put in the class code, then select their name.  Kodable is very basic and geared towards elementary level.

All Can Code – This website allows students to lead the character “Marco” around many levels while using visual coding with blocks.  Students also learn about loops and boolean statements using this engaging activity.

Code Combat – This site has a few different coding languages to choose from, including python.  The difference with this game-based coding tool is that the students must write code instead of using blocks.  This allows students to begin to learn syntax.  In this game, the students lead their character on missions through levels and also interact and battle with other characters.  Teachers can create classes and follow student progress throughout the game.

Codecademy  – This site breaks away from playing games while learning.  Users can select what they want to learn about and get started. Options include website, Ruby on Rails, AngularJS, Command Line, SQL, Java, Git, HTML & CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Python, and Ruby.  Lessons are provided on the left side and a workspace is given on the right to start typing.  There is also the option to have a premium account in which a personalized curriculum is created.