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:

http://magicpotionedu.com/episode-048-hitting-control-alt-achieve-with-ericcurts/

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

http://magicpotionedu.com/


Post by Eric Curts. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts

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: https://oetc.ohio.gov/For-Attendees

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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

What's New in Google - January 2021

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

Below is the recorded video from our January 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 January 2021 meeting:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Google Meet Attendance Template (Enterprise Version)

The Enterprise version of Google Meet has a built in option to collect attendance for any session as long as you have five or more participants. 

Unfortunately you get a separate attendance report for each meeting, and teachers may prefer to be able to put the entire year together to be able to track attendance for any day and any student. 

To help with this I have created a Google Sheets template you can use to track and summarize the attendance data for the entire year.

See below for a short 6-minute video explaining how to access the attendance reports from Google Meet, and then how to use my template to compile, track, and summarize the attendance data for the entire school year.

Note: The attendance feature is only available for people who are using the Enterprise version of the Google suite of tools. If your school does not pay for the Google tools, but instead uses the free version, you will not have the attendance feature, as well as other Enterprise features. I do have a separate video where I cover an alternate way to collect and track attendance in Meet if you are using the free version which you can see here: Google Meet Attendance Template (Non-Enterprise Version)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Google Meet Attendance Template (Non-Enterprise Version)

Google Meet does have a built-in feature to collect attendance but that is only available for people who are using the Enterprise version of G Suite, which means schools that pay for the Google tools. 

Note: If your school does use the Enterprise version, then be sure to check out my other post that explains how to use the built-in attendance feature here: Google Meet Attendance Template (Enterprise Version)

However, if your school uses the free version of the Google tools, then the attendance feature will not be available for you. So to help with this, I came up with a possible workaround to collect attendance during a Google Meet, and to track attendance over time.

So what is this workaround? For this option we are going to use a template I created that includes a Google Form for the students to submit their attendance, and a Google Sheet to collect the attendance, and then a pivot table to track and summarize the attendance over time.

See below for a short 7-minue video explaining how to use this option to collect and track attendance, as well as a link to get your own copy of the templates.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

How to Save the Chat and Captions Transcript in Google Meet

Google Meet is a powerful video conference tool, with many features including live closed captions and a panel for chat messages. What would be great though would be an easy way to save all of the captions and the chat messages from the meeting.

This would be especially valuable for teachers to have a detailed record of student participation in the session, including everything said or typed, and by whom, and at what time.

Unfortunately Google Meet does not have a built in option to save the live captions, and the only way to save the chat messages is to record the video of the meeting as well.

Thankfully there is an excellent and free extension called Meet Transcript that does all of this and a little more.

To help explain how to use this tool I have recorded a short 6-minute video on how you can save the transcript for the chat and live captions in Google Meet. See below for the video, as well as a detailed explanation of the process.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

New Online Video Course - Enhancing Special Education with G Suite

I am excited to announce a new online video course that I have created through Kiker Learning, called "Enhancing Special Education with G Suite"!

This course covers tools for accessibility and accommodations either from Google or that work within the Google suite of products. These tools can be so helpful for all learners, whether in person or when working remotely.

In the course we take a look at four specific categories of tools:
  • First, text to speech tools that will read aloud content for our students.
  • Next, speech to text tools that will allow our students to simply speak and have what they say automatically typed up for them.
  • Third, readability tools which will make it easier for students to read what is on a webpage.
  • And finally reading comprehension tools to help students better understand the content they have read.
See below for all the details on the course and how it can be accessed.

New Online Video Course - Canvases for Design: Google Drawings and Jamboard

I am excited to announce a new online video course that I have created through Kiker Learning, called "Canvases for Design: Google Drawings and Jamboard"!

This course covers how you and your students can create, design, diagram, brainstorm, collaborate with others, and more, using Google Drawings and Jamboard.

In this course we take a look at both of these tools and learn all about the features they provide. Then we explore exciting projects that our students can complete with these tools including: graphic organizers, desktop publishing, interactive images, green screen images, math activities, and much much more.

See below for all the details on the course and how it can be accessed.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Play Backgammon with Google Slides and Drawings

So I am a big fan of tabletop games, as my bookcase full of games will show. They are a great way for people to connect, as well as build critical thinking skills. Although I mostly play newer games, I still love some classics such as backgammon.

Recently I created a backgammon template in Google Slides and Google Drawings that anyone can use to play the game in person or remotely with a partner.

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.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Translating Google Meet Menus, Chat, and Captions Live

Google Meet has done a great job connecting people from across town or around the world. However what if the person you are connecting with speaks a different language?

It turns out that Google Meet has a built in option to translate in real time the Google Meet menus, the chat conversations, and the live closed captions. This can be especially helpful for students who do not speak English as their primary language.

To help explain this feature I have recorded a short 5-minute video on how you and your students can translate content in Google Meet. See below for the video, as well as a detailed explanation of the process.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Using Originality Reports in Google Classroom

When students are writing in school, it is important for them to cite their sources properly and to avoid plagiarism. Even when students try their best, they may still miss a passage that needs to be cited. Likewise when teachers are grading dozens and dozens of papers, it can be a challenge to identify possible plagiarism issues or citation needs.

Thankfully if you are using Google Classroom, you and your students have "Originality Reports" to help you!

With Originality Reports in Google Classroom, you and your students can compare their written work against billions of webpages and millions of books to identify possible areas of plagiarism or passages that may need proper citation. This can help students catch problems before they submit their work, and allow you to easily check student writing while grading.

To help explain this feature I have recorded a short 8-minute video on how you and your students can use the Originality Report tool. See below for the video, as well as a detailed explanation of the process.