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.

(Note: The video below is from 2019 but the content is still relevant. I have updated a few of the images in the written directions to reflect some minor changes, such as "To do" now being called "To review".)

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.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Create your own Lit Trips (and more) for Google Earth

Recently I shared a blog post on how to use Google Lit Trips in the new web-based Google Earth. Lit Trips are a great way to put students in a story, helping them see where the events took place, and bring the story to life.

In addition to just using Lit Trips, you (and your students) can also create your own tours for Google Earth. This can be a powerful learning tool, or a way for students to collect and share what they have read. Of course, beyond just Lit Trips, students can create Google Earth tours for any subject including documenting the key locations and details in a historical battle, visiting different biomes, a tour of geometric architecture, and more.

There are lots of tools that can be used to create a Lit Trip or other Google Earth tour. Whatever tool you use, the final product will need to be a .KML or .KMZ file that will then be opened in Google Earth. In my opinion, one of the best tools for creating Lit Trips (or other tours) is Google Tour Builder.

In this blog post we will take a look at how to use Google Tour Builder to create you own Lit Trip. See below for detailed directions on the process. Also, for a 1-hour recorded webinar demonstrating this process see my post "Google Tour Builder for any Subject".