Sunday, June 11, 2017

Video Mash-Ups with Google Slides

Mash-Ups are a fun and popular way to express creativity whether you are combining different styles of music, or art, or memes, or such. Mash-ups can also be educational when the creator uses the two items to explain or express an idea, or for one of the items to complement or expand on the other.

One fun way to students to try this out is by using Google Slides to mash-up videos. Google Slides makes it easy to insert videos from either YouTube or Google Drive. Slides allows you to adjust your video options so that your videos automatically play when the slideshow runs. The end results is a presentation with two videos that play at the same time.

This could be used in several creative projects such as:

  • Adding music or popular songs to famous historical speeches, or science videos, or scenes from story. 
  • Or having one video explain a concept, while the other shows examples or demonstrations of that idea.
  • Or the videos could be used to show contrast, by playing two videos that demonstrate different processes or ideas or time periods or such.

See below for directions on how students can do this activity, along with a free template they can copy and use, as well as an example mash-up to show what a final product might look like.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My 2017 SC Midlands Google Summit Sessions

I am excited and honored to present at the 2017 SC Midlands Summit Featuring Google for Education in Columbia, SC this June 7th and 8th.

I look forward to this opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the SC Midlands Google Summit, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Self-Editing Tools for Student Writing in Google Docs

One of the best features of Google Docs is the ability to share your work with others so they can offer comments and suggestions. As awesome as that is, sometimes a student may not have another person available to provide feedback, and will need to do the editing on their own.

Thankfully there are loads of useful tools that can help students to self-edit their writing, including text-to-speech, grammar checkers, dictionaries, and more. With these resources students can take ownership of the editing process to improve their writing. Even if they can also receive peer feedback, these tools can help student do a majority of the editing on their own.

See below for an overview of each of these tools, how to access and use them, and how they can assist students in the self-editing process.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's New in Google - May 2017

Catch up on everything new in Google Apps over the last month, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our May 2017 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda and all the awesome resources and Google Apps updates from the last month. This includes 21 new Google updates and 27 Google resources for your class.

The monthly meetings are hosted by the Google Educator Group of Ohio, but are open to anyone from any location. The purpose of these meetings is to:
  • Connect Google-using educators
  • Share the latest Google Apps news and features
  • Provide tutorials, demonstrations, and how-to’s
  • Share best practices of how Google Apps is being used within schools
  • Ask questions and get answers
The video from the meeting is recorded and available for later viewing for those who cannot attend or connect live. See below to view the recorded video, agenda, and all the resources from the May 2017 meeting:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Making Google Searches more Personal

Out of everything Google is known for, its search engine is most likely at the top of the list. We use Google many times every day to search the entire Internet for answers to our queries. But what if the answer is not located in the far reaches of the world? What if what you are looking for is right under your nose?

Recently Google has added a new advanced filter to its search that allows you to run "Personal" searches. This means rather than searching the entire world, you can just search your own data, such as your calendar, your images, your email, and more.

This can be a quick and easy way to find personal files or information across many of Google services, all from one place. See below for details on how to take advantage of this new "Personal" search option.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

6 End-Of-Year Google Classroom Clean-up Tips

As the school year winds down, most teachers go through some sort of check-out procedure for their physical classrooms, making sure everything is properly organized or put away for the summer. In much the same way, you may want to do some clean-up and close-out steps for your digital classroom ... Google Classroom.

Google Classroom is a powerful tool to help you and your students collaborate and communicate, but when used year after year, it can start to become a bit of a mess and a management challenge. To help with this, there are several suggestions to consider for Classroom when wrapping up the school year.

See below for six steps that may help you clean up your Classroom as you transition from one school year to the next. However, keep in mind these are all just suggestions and each is optional. While some may not apply to your situation, hopefully several will assist you in keeping your Classroom organized, clutter-free, and efficient for a new year.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

30 Free Google Drawings Graphic Organizers

Several years ago when I started making webinars, my first one was on creating Graphic Organizers with Google Drawings. This was before I had started the this blog, so I never really shared all of that information in an official blog post. Until now...

Graphic organizers are a great tool to share information, explain a concept, or illustrate a relationship using elements including images, shapes, text, colors, and connecting lines. They can be used in education with any age group or subject area.

There are many excellent tools for creating graphic organizers. Some are installable programs, while others are online. Some are free, while other cost money. Educators and students should be encouraged to try out many different tools to determine what works best for them and for specific situations.

However, one great choice for graphic organizers is Google Drawings. See below for directions on how to create graphic organizers with Google Drawings (including a help guide and a recorded webinar) as well as 30 free sample graphic organizers that you can copy, use, and modify as needed.