Friday, April 30, 2021

What's New in Google - April 2021

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from April 2021, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our April 2021 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda with all the awesome resources and Google 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 Workspace news and features
  • Provide tutorials, demonstrations, and how-to’s
  • Share best practices of how Google Workspace 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 April 2021 meeting:

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

75 Super EdTech Blogs to Follow

One of my main sources for new educational technology ideas, tools, and resources is reading blogs. Every day is an adventure to see what new technology integration ideas I can learn, explore, and share with others.

Over the years I have collected a large list of EdTech blogs that I read. To make this process manageable, I use Feedly to pull all of the blog posts together so I can visit one single location to see everything that is new. For more details on how to use Feedly, see my earlier post on the topic.

In case you are looking for some new EdTech blogs to follow, below is a list of 75 of my favorites. Two quick notes of clarification first though:

First, the blogs are simply listed in alphabetical order. Some of the blogs are very well known, while others have a smaller following. Some generate new posts every day, while others only add new content a few times per month. The one shared characteristic of all of these blogs is I have found them to be valuable and have learned from each one. To keep things simple, the list is alphabetized.

Second, the list is far from complete. I am sure I am missing many, many excellent EdTech blogs … and I want you to let me know what I am missing! As much I hope to expand your PLN, I am also hoping to learn about many other blogs. Please use the comments section below or message me on social media to recommend any valuable educational technology blogs that you are aware of.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

New Google Meet Layout Coming in May 2021

Google Meet has gone through a lot of changes over the past year as Google responded to the needs of educators, students, and other users. Thankfully Google has continued to listen to our needs and have just announced a new round of updates.

To keep you and your students from getting caught off guard, see below for a short 5-minute video where I run through a live demo of the new layout, as well as written details about these changes.

Updated Timeline - For schools on the "Rapid Release" schedule, these new features will start rolling out on May 24, 2021 but may take up to 15 days to reach everyone. For schools on the "Scheduled Release" schedule the start date will be June 1, 2021, and again may take up to 15 days to roll out to all users.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Explore 37 Years of Changes with Google Earth Timelapse

Back in 2013 Google launched an awesome standalone tool called "Google Earth Timelapse" which could show you how any location on Earth has changed over the past few decades with an animation created from all of their collected satellite imagery.

Now Google has made this project even more powerful and useful by bringing it inside of Google Earth itself. Although the standalone Timelapse site still works, you can now open Google Earth and access the same content through a built-in timelapse feature. This brings the added benefit of being able to move in 3D while viewing the changing landscape from the past 37 years, making Google Earth a truly 4D experience now!

Beyond that Google has also created themed collections of timelapses in Earth, as well as over 800 prerendered timelapse videos for you to use.

Altogether these resources can help students understand better than ever the changes happening to our world including forests, water, agriculture, wildfires, mining, urban growth, and more.

See below for a short video demonstrating how to use all of this new timelapse content, as well as written directions.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Free Webinar - Math Whiteboard

Math Whiteboard is a fantastic free interactive whiteboard tool designed specifically for teaching and learning math

I had the privilege to host a free one-hour webinar with Donald Carney, one of the creators of this tool. 

The webinar was streamed live on YouTube, but was also recorded, so if you missed the live stream you can still watch the recorded session.

See below to watch the video, and to read more about the features of this awesome tool for math.

Monday, April 12, 2021

My 2021 ITEC Spring Conference Sessions

I am excited and honored to present at the 2021 ITEC Spring Conference this year.

This year the 2021 ITEC Spring Conference is entirely virtual and runs from April 10th through 17th.

You can register on the conference website at:

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting for ITEC 2021, along with any associated resources.  I look forward to sharing and learning with you!

Friday, April 9, 2021

Improve Student Writing with Wordtune

As we all know, "Good writing is about finding the best words to convey your message."

Or should I say, "The best writing is choosing the most appropriate words to express one's thoughts."

Or perhaps just, "To write well, you need to use the right words."

Whatever the case, when we or our students are writing, we want to find the best tools to help us reflect on, edit, re-edit, and ultimately improve our writing

I can remember using a giant thesaurus over thirty years ago to help find just the right word for my schoolwork. Now though we have so many other tools to assist, including an excellent resource I came across recently called Wordtune.

Wordtune is a free Chrome extension that uses artificial intelligence to suggest alternate ways to phrase your writing. This can be helpful for students to add variety to their writing, try to incorporate new words, and tune up a sentence to make it more clear.

See below for a short video on how to use this tool, as well as detailed written instructions.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Create Jamboard Math Activities with Equatio

Jamboard is an excellent tool for creating interactive learning activities for students. However, if you are wanting to create math activities, Jamboard does not have many built-in math features, other than a small collection of shapes.

Thankfully there is a powerful tool, that is also free for educators, that can be used to easily add all sorts of mathematical manipulatives, symbols, and expressions to Jamboard. That tool is the Equatio extension for Chrome. 

Equatio is a toolbar that makes it super easy to create mathematical expressions, as well as a wide variety of math manipulatives, and insert them into Google Docs, Slides, Forms, and more. We will be looking specifically how to do that in Jamboard.

See below for a 12-minute video covering all the details, as well as written directions.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Podcast Spotlight: Chat with Sandy and Karen

I recently had the pleasure to be a guest on the Chat with Sandy and Karen podcast, and am excited to share the episode with you, as well as encourage you to dive into all the episodes of the podcast! This podcast is described as follows:

Sandy Bansal and Karen Jackson are both seasoned educators, Google Innovators, Trainers, and EdTech enthusiasts! We have many years of teaching and training experience between us and we love to chat! Both of us are mothers, wives, and finding our way in this crazy COVID-19 time. We want to talk about solutions and encourage you to join our chats. Sandy lives in Sweden and Karen lives in the US, so we have different perspectives, cultures, and time zones. We may not always agree, but we sure enjoy chatting!

I was so excited to be a guest on the show! See below for a link to the episode and other relevant resources...

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Podcast Spotlight: The EdTech Take Out

I recently had the pleasure to be a guest on The EdTech Take Out podcast with Mindy Cairney and Jonathan Wylie, and am excited to share the episode with you, as well as encourage you to dive into all the episodes of the podcast!

The podcast covers "Bite-Sized Technology Tips for Teachers" with a section on EdTech news, followed my a "Main Course" with a guest, and ending with "Tech Nuggets" of helpful technology tools and ideas for educators. A well-rounded educational meal for sure!

I have been listening to and benefiting from this podcast for years, so I was so excited to be a guest on the show! See below for a link to the episode and other relevant resources...