Friday, February 26, 2021

What's New in Google - February 2021

Catch up on everything new in G Suite for Education from February 2021, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our February 2021 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda with all the awesome resources and G Suite updates from the last few months. This includes lots of new Google updates and 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 February 2021 meeting:

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Play the "Royal Game of Ur" with Google Slides and Drawings

As I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of board games and card games and dice games and most any game. They are a great way for people to connect, as well as build critical thinking skills.

In addition to playing games, I enjoy making digital versions of games, such as checkers and chess and backgammon and battleship. These digital versions allow people to play the games remotely or in person, and you don't have to worry about losing pieces under the couch.

My most recent game template is for "The Royal Game of Ur" which was first played in ancient Mesopotamia about 4,500 years ago. In this game two opponents use both strategy and luck to try to move their pieces off the board first. In addition to critical thinking skills, this game also ties in nicely with probabilities in math and with exploring the history of when the game was played.

See below for links to templates so you can get your own copies, as well as a short video and written directions on how to use the templates.

Podcast Spotlight: MAGIC Potion EDU

I recently had the pleasure and privilege to be a guest on the "MAGIC Potion EDU" podcast with Keven Rinaman, and am excited to share the episode with you, as well as encourage you to dive into all the episodes of Keven's podcast!

Kevin is a fellow Ohioan, and is the Director of Technology at Calvert Catholic Schools in Tiffin. His podcast features "tools, techniques, and stories from educators on ways to improve your lessons, create a positive culture, and much more". It is named for the "MAGIC Acronym":

  • M - Motivate (Yourself and your students.... find your WHY) 
  • A - Assess (Start with formative assessment but also assess/reflect on your lessons) 
  • G - Get Out There (Get on Twitter and go to Conferences... find like-minded educators) 
  • I - Integrate (Originally was to integrate technology, now I've grown for it to integrate other content areas) 
  • C - Stay Calm (Don't be afraid to ask students for help when things don't work... just roll with it)

You can listen to the episode I was on, #48, at the link below:

And be sure to explore through the other episodes where Keven interviews a wide variety of inspiring educators from all around the world at:

Post by Eric Curts. Connect with me on Twitter at

Monday, February 22, 2021

50+ New Google for Education Features

The "Learning with Google" event that was held on February 17, 2021 was a jam-packed livestream filled with dozens of updates and new features coming to G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Chromebooks, and much more!

In case you missed it, or are just trying to review through everything that was shared, I have made an easy to browse bulleted list of everything that was announced in the event. For each item I have included any relevant links to Google's blog posts or help pages or video clips about that new feature or update.

Also, if you want more details and discussions on these topics, please feel free to join us online for our monthly GEG-Ohio (Google Educator Group) virtual meeting on Thursday, February 25th from 1pm to 3pm (EST). We will be taking a close look at the updates from the "Learning with Google" event. 

Now, see below to explore all 50+ updates in my bulleted lists...

Monday, February 8, 2021

My OETC 2021 Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again present at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC 2021) this year.

This year OETC is entirely virtual and completely FREE! The conference will start with a kick-off week of featured session from February 8th through 12th. Then additional sessions will be rolled out weekly until June.

You can register for FREE at:

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting during the kick-off week for OETC 2021, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. As additional sessions get scheduled through June, I will add those as well. I look forward to sharing and learning with you!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Rainbow "Scratch-Off" Drawing Templates for Jamboard

When my kids were young, one of their favorite art activities was using rainbow scratch paper to create pictures or to write words. It is a fun way to be creative and is motivating to discover the colorful pattern underneath.

With that as an inspiration, I created a digital version of rainbow scratch paper using Google Jamboard. Actually I created a dozen templates, each with a different rainbow pattern underneath!

See below for links to the templates, along with a short 4-minute video and written directions on how your students can use these Jamboard templates to create some awesome rainbow art. And  I would love to see what they make, so please feel free to share their creations online and tag with the hashtag #controlaltachieve