Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Google's Applied Digital Skills: 150+ Free Tech Skills Lessons for You and Your Students

Digital skills are more important than ever for our students and for us as educators. 
  • Our students need digital skills to be prepared for the jobs of their future, and to function in daily life now. 
  • As educators we need digital skills to communicate more effectively with our students, provide them with more engaging learning experiences, and to stay organized ourselves.
There are loads of wonderful resources to help all of us improve our digital skills from blogs to YouTube channels to podcasts and more. One fantastic, and totally free, resource is Google's Applied Digital Skills.

Applied Digital Skills is a totally free, video-based, online curriculum to teach digital skills for your students in any subject area and for your own professional development. There are over 150 ready-to-use lessons covering a wide range of age levels, tech tools, and topics.

See below for a short video demonstrating this awesome resource, as well as written directions with all the details. And a big thanks to Google for sponsoring this blog post!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Build a Jack-O-Lantern with Google Slides and Mote

A few years ago I created my "Build a Jack-O-Lantern" activity for Google Slides. It was a giant hit with students as it let them be creative while improving their writing skills and tech skills.

With Fall here once again, I decided to revisit this favorite activity and add a new twist to it. In the years since I first created this project, we now have an amazing new tool in the Chrome Web Extension called Mote.

Mote is a free tool that makes it easy for you and your students to record your voice and add it directly into your slideshow (or document, form, email, and so much more). With Mote we can make this activity even more engaging than ever.

  • You can use Mote to add audio support to the activity by recording directions and embedding them right into the slideshow.
  • Your students can use Mote to record themselves reading aloud the Jack-O-Lantern story they write, and embed their narrated story into their slide.
  • And the students can record themselves making spooky sound effects or speaking for their pumpkin.

I had the pleasure of recording a video with Jon Neale and Sue Tranchina for their pop-up Mote PD series. See below for the short video explaining how your students can do the "Build a Jack-O-Lantern" activity with Google Slides and Mote, as well as detailed written directions.

Friday, October 1, 2021

What's New in Google - September 2021

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from September 2021, and see great ideas and resources!
Below is the recorded video from our September 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 September 2021 meeting: