Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Introducing Google Screencast for ChromeOS

Chromebooks have had a screen capture tool for quite awhile which allows you to take a picture or record a video of your screen. 

Well now Google is rolling out a new more powerful tool for Chromebooks called Google Screencast.

With Google Screencast you can:
  • Record your entire screen or portion of your screen
  • Record your webcam and your voice
  • Annotate on the screen while you are recording
  • Generate an automatic transcript of the recording
  • Translate the transcript to any language
  • Edit the screencast by skipping portions of the transcript
  • And much more!
This is an easy way for teachers to create instructional videos, and for students to make recordings to demonstrate their understanding. Let's take a look at how Google Screencast works! 

See below for my 13-minute tutorial video where I do a hands-on demonstration of this new tool, as well as a longer 41-minute interview I did with Andy Russell, Product Manager for Chromebooks in Education, where he talks more about Google Screencast and another new tool called Cast Moderator.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Podcast Spotlight: EdTech Heroes from Screencastify

I recently had the pleasure to be a guest of the "EdTech Heroes" podcast from Screencastify

As many of you may know, I am a huge fan of Screencastify and have shared many blog posts and training videos on how this awesome tool can be used by educators and students for teaching, learning, creativity, communication, and more!

Some of my earlier posts include:

Well it turns out that Screencastify also does a podcast (which is another one of my favorite things!) The podcast is described as follows:

EdTech Heroes is a podcast for educators, administrators and those who are interested in how education will advance in the future. In each episode, a member of Screencastify’s team interviews those who are at the forefront of education. Each conversation helps uncover how educators are connecting with K-12 students by using innovative technology and techniques. Ultimately, EdTech Heroes helps education professionals understand how to overcome challenges in the “new classroom”, become a better teacher and influence the minds of a future generation.

I was so excited to be a guest on the show, where we discussed tools teachers need, being a life-long learner, innovating with technology, great online resources, and of course the power of video for teaching and learning. Check out the podcast below in video or audio format.

Monday, May 30, 2022

My 2022 Innovation Institute Sessions

I am excited and honored to be presenting at the 2022 Innovation Institute in Springdale, Arkansas this June 8th and 9th!

I always look forward to an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

You can learn more about the conference and register at: https://sites.google.com/a/sdale.org/i2-google/

And view the full conference schedule at: https://innovationinstitute2022.sched.com/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the 2022 Innovation Institute, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Sunday, May 29, 2022

My 2022 CFISD Digital Learning Conference Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again present at the 2022 CFISD Digital Learning Conference this year.

This year the CFISD Digital Learning Conference is
  • Entirely virtual with over 150 sessions
  • Held on July 26th and 27th
  • Open to all educators
  • FREE!
You can get all the details on the conference website at: 

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting for the 2022 CFISD Digital Learning Conference, along with any associated resources.  I look forward to sharing and learning with you!

My eLead 2022 Sessions

I am excited and honored to be presenting at the 2022 eLEAD Summer of Learning Conference in Anderson, Indiana this June 1st!

I always look forward to an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

You can learn more about the conference and register at: https://www.eleadcon.com/

And view the full conference schedule at: https://eleadcon.sched.com/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at eLEAD 2022, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

What's New in Google - May 2022

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from May 2022, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our May 2022 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 May 2022 meeting:

Thursday, May 12, 2022

My 2022 Great Plains Summit Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again be presenting at the 2022 Great Plains Summit in Lincoln, Nebraska this July 14th and 15th, 2022. 

I always look forward to an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

You can learn more about the conference and register at: https://gpsummit.org/

And view the full list of amazing presenters at: https://gpsummit.org/presenters/

And view the full summit schedule at: https://lps.org/gpsummit/2022/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the 2022 Great Plains Summit, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Create "Cloze Reading" Activities with Google Docs Dropdown Chips

Cloze reading is an activity where a student is given a reading passage with certain words removed. Usually the student is also provided with a word bank, listing the missing words. The task is for the student to fill in the missing words.

This is a great activity to help develop and assess a student's reading comprehension skills. It is necessary for the student to read the passage carefully and consider the context to try to determine what words would best fill in the blanks.

There are lots of excellent resources online for creating your own cloze reading activities, but recently Google Docs has added a new feature called "dropdown chips" that makes it super easy to create a cloze reading activity right in Docs. This is especially helpful since many students are already familiar with Google Docs, and these activities can be pushed out through Google Classroom so each student gets their own copy.

See below for a short 8-minute tutorial video and detailed written directions on how to create a cloze reading activity in Docs using the new dropdown chips tool.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Get the Most out of Google Meet

I recently had the privilege to present a session for Google's series of "Did You Know?" webinars. These are a collection of 8 sessions covering a wide range of Google tools for schools.

You can learn more about the entire "Did You Know?" series in my earlier blog post here: Free Google Webinars - "Did You Know" Series

For my third session I presented the following webinar:

Better engage students and save time with new Google Meet features
Description: New features in Google Meet can save educators time and increase students engagement. In this session we will explore options including breakout rooms, polls, Q&A, translated captions, recording, attendance tracking, live streaming, and more, as well as see new features coming soon to Google Meet.

See below to watch the recorded webinar, as well as access the session slideshow and resources.

Monday, May 9, 2022

What's New in Google - April 2022

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from April 2022, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our April 2022 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 2022 meeting:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Fake News! Evaluating Online Information

As adults we (hopefully) know that not everything online is true. For our students though, this is a concept they need to learn.

Students can use Google to quickly find millions of websites matching their search request, but are they able to determine which sites actually contain information that is accurate, unbiased, up to date, and written by someone with authority?

Thankfully there are many helpful resources to assist our students (and ourselves) to increase digital literacy. See below for a collection of many of these resources that I have found to be valuable. If you have some favorite resources for evaluating online information, please consider sharing those in the comments at the bottom of the post.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Get the Most out of Google Classroom

I recently had the privilege to present a session for Google's series of "Did You Know?" webinars. These are a collection of 8 sessions covering a wide range of Google tools for schools.

You can learn more about the entire "Did You Know?" series in my earlier blog post here: Free Google Webinars - "Did You Know" Series

For my second session I presented the following webinar:

Get the Most out of Google Classroom
Description: Learn how Google Classroom can supercharge your assignments with differentiation, topics, rubrics, originality reports, comment banks, digital markup, and more! Also get a look at the latest and greatest new features coming to Classroom.

See below to watch the recorded webinar, as well as access the session slideshow and resources.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

You can do that with Docs, Slides, and Sheets?!

I recently had the privilege to present a session for Google's series of "Did You Know?" webinars. These are a collection of 8 sessions covering a wide range of Google tools for schools. 

You can learn more about the entire "Did You Know?" series in my earlier blog post here: Free Google Webinars - "Did You Know" Series

For my first session I presented the following webinar:

You can do that with Docs, Slides, and Sheets?!
Description: We use Docs, Slides, and Sheets everyday, but may not be taking advantage of all the impactful features available. In this session we will explore many of their lesser-known features such as default font, video previews, embedded Drawings, maximizing space, live captions, publishing to the web, splitting text, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and more!

See below to watch the recorded webinar, as well as access the session slideshow and resources.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Control Alt Achieve Newsletter - April 2022

Each month or so I send out an email newsletter to those who have subscribed, as an easy way to keep folks up to date on the latest content from this site, as well as other resources I have come across.

The newsletter typically includes the following sections:

  • Output - What I have been creating - See my most recent blog posts and training videos
  • Input - What I have been consuming - See some of the best resources I have come across recently
  • Connect - See how to stay connected and a list of some of my upcoming event and PD opportunities

To view my newsletter for April 2022, use the link below:

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter (for free of course) you can do that here:


Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose fromConnect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts

Friday, April 1, 2022

What's New in Google - March 2022

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from March 2022, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our March 2022 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 March 2022 meeting:

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Free Google Webinars - "Did You Know" Series

I am excited and honored to be presenting four sessions in Google's "Did You Know Series" on behalf of Kiker Learning. The series runs through April and May of 2022.

Google gives an overview of the series as such:

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In our "Did you know?" Training Series we'll host 8 starter-centric training sessions covering Google Workspace for Education, including Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Education Plus, and Chrome devices. 
  • Time: 10-10:30am PST, every Tuesday (1-1:30pm EST)
  • Dates: April 12 - May 31, 2022
  • Audience: This training is suitable for educators, curriculum and IT leaders globally
  • Content: Each session will detail either technical or instructional features, with demo-based training and educational use-cases
Can't join us live? If you're unable to watch live, register to watch on demand. We'll add the recordings right after the livestream finishes each day. 

Looking for a certificate of completion? We'll email you a customizable template after the last session concludes.

-----

You can see the full schedule and register to get links to the sessions emailed to you prior to each event at the "Did You Know Series" website at: 
See below for details on the four sessions I will be presenting.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Chromebooks Can Do That?! - Teach with Chrome Webinar

I recently had the privilege to present some of Google's "Teach with Chrome" webinars

These were a series of 30-minute sessions diving deep into how Chrome devices and ChromeOS can be used by teachers and students to improve teaching and learning.

One of the sessions I did was "Chromebooks Can Do That?!" where we looked at lesser known but helpful features of Chromebooks including:
📷 Camera tools
🎞️ Screen capture and recording
🗂️ Multiple desks
📶 Offline access
⌨️ Keyboard shortcuts
🤖 Android apps

See below for the recorded webinar video and session resources.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Chromebook Accessibility Tools - Teach with Chrome Webinar

I recently had the privilege to present some of Google's "Teach with Chrome" webinars. These were a series of 30-minute sessions diving deep into how Chrome devices and ChromeOS can be used by teachers and students to improve teaching and learning.

One of the sessions I did was "Teach, Learn, and Collaborate Equally" and was all about using the built-in accessibility tools in ChromeOS, including Select-to-Speak, Dictation, High-contrast mode, Docked magnifier, Automatic clicks, On-screen keyboard, Large mouse cursor, Sticky keys, and more.

Teach, Learn, and Collaborate Equally - Chromebooks include accessibility right out of the box, unlocking learning experiences for students with diverse needs, abilities and learning styles. For teachers on Chrome OS - hear tips and tricks about how using the same OS as your students can create meaningful learning experiences!

See below for the recorded webinar video and session resources.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Protect Your Google Account with 2-Step Verification

If you are anything like me, you use your Google account for everything. All of my files are in Drive, my emails are in Gmail, my pictures are in Photos, and my events are in Calendar.

As convenient and useful as this is, having all of your data in one place should also encourage us to stop and think about security. How secure is your account? If someone were to access your account, what would they have access to?

Now hopefully you don't have your password written on a post-it note stuck to your monitor (please say you don't), but if you are like most people, you probably are not doing anything extra to protect your account.

In this post we will take a look at this super simple, yet powerful, tool to help protect your Google account and everything you have saved in it. If you are a Google user, it is time to step up your account security with 2-Step Verification!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Introducing Practice Sets for Google Classroom

We all know the phrase "practice makes perfect" but that's not actually true. A better way to say it is "practice makes permanent". 

If a student practices incorrectly they will reinforce the wrong procedures or information. 

To help with this Google has created a brand new feature for Google Classroom called practice sets which makes it super easy for teachers to create assessments, and uses artificial intelligence to provide guided support, feedback, and correction for students when working through the questions.

See below for a video overview of practice sets and my interview with Taryn Sullivan from the practice sets team at Google for more details on this awesome new tool.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Recorded Webinar: Marvelous Mote Activities for Schools

Mote is an excellent Chrome Web Extension for teaching and learning:

  • You and your students can record your voice and add that recording to websites and web tools including Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Classroom, Gmail, and more.
  • You can view engagement details for your voice notes to see which students have listened to your recordings.
  • And although the free version is great, there is also a paid version with premium features including transcription, translation, STEM mode, and more.

I presented a free 1-hour webinar called "Marvelous Mote Activities for Schools" recently. The webinar covered an overview of Mote, how to install it, and then lots and lots of practical ideas for using Mote with Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Classroom, and more.

See below to watch the recorded webinar, access all of the session resources, see practical examples of uses for Mote in teaching and learning, get special access to the "Unlimited" version of Mote, and get a certificate of completion for the session.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Control Alt Achieve Newsletter - March 2022

Each month or so I send out an email newsletter to those who have subscribed, as an easy way to keep folks up to date on the latest content from this site, as well as other resources I have come across.

The newsletter typically includes the following sections:

  • Output - What I have been creating - See my most recent blog posts and training videos
  • Input - What I have been consuming - See some of the best resources I have come across recently
  • Connect - See how to stay connected and a list of some of my upcoming event and PD opportunities

To view my newsletter for March 2022, use the link below:

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter (for free of course) you can do that here:


Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose fromConnect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts

Sunday, March 6, 2022

My ITIP Ohio Google Summit 2022 Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again be presenting at the ITIP Ohio Google Summit at the Kalahari Resort and Conference Center in Sandusky, Ohio this May 4th and 5th, 2022. This year the conference is hybrid, with an in-person or on-demand virtual registration option.

I always look forward to an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

You can learn more about the conference and register at: http://ohiogooglesummit.org/

And view the full conference schedule at: https://www.itipohio.org/google-summit-2022/schedule

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the ITIP Ohio Google Summit, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Great Googley Activities for Pi Day

Pi Day is March 14th each year (since the date is 3/14 and Pi starts out with 3.14). As a previous middle school math teacher, this is always a fun day to be a math nerd, do Pi-themed educational activities, and of course eat some real pie!

Over the years I have shared several technology activities for celebrating Pi Day in separate posts. This year I have collected all of those previous activities, and added some new ones from our Equatio friends at Texthelp.

📈 Discovering Pi with Google Sheets

✍️ Create "Pi Poems" with Google Sheets

🏙️ Graph a Pi-Line Skyline with Google Sheets

🟢 Celebrating Pi Day with EquatIO Mathspace

See below for this great collection of technology activities to help students explore, understand, and create with Pi!

Monday, February 28, 2022

What's New in Google - February 2022

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from February 2022, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our February 2022 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 February 2022 meeting:

Free Webinar: Marvelous Mote Activities for Schools

Mote is an excellent Chrome Web Extension for teaching and learning:

  • You and your students can record your voice and add that recording to websites and web tools including Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Classroom, Gmail, and more.
  • You can view engagement details for your voice notes to see which students have listened to your recordings.
  • And although the free version is great, there is also a paid version with premium features including transcription, translation, STEM mode, and more.

I presented a free 1-hour webinar called "Marvelous Mote Activities for Schools" recently. The webinar covered an overview of Mote, how to install it, and then lots and lots of practical ideas for using Mote with Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Classroom, and more.

See below to watch the recorded webinar, access all of the session resources, see practical examples of uses for Mote in teaching and learning, get special access to the "Unlimited" version of Mote, and get a certificate of completion for the session.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Free Webinars: Teach with Chrome Series

I am excited and honored to be presenting two sessions in Google's "Teach with Chrome Series" on behalf of Kiker Learning. The series started in February and will run through March.

Google gives an overview of the series as such:

-----

Join our upcoming Teach With Chrome Series to learn about the latest in Chrome devices and Chrome OS for education.

Hear about our more powerful, secure, and sustainable Chromebook devices for educators – along with updated programs, resources, and Chrome OS advances – all purpose-built for education.

We’ll have Google experts and partners running demo-based training and presenting educational use cases in 30-minute sessions complete with Q&A.

Whether you’re a teacher, an administrator, or an IT leader, all of the sessions are designed to help you get the most out of Chrome. Can’t watch live? All sessions are posted right after the livestream finishes each day – just register to watch them on demand.

Attend a session and we’ll email you a customizable certificate of completion after the last session concludes. 

-----

You can see the full schedule and register to get links to the sessions emailed to you prior to each event at the "Teach with Chrome Series" website at: 

See below for details on the two sessions I will be presenting.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

My NEOTech 2022 Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again be presenting at the NEOTech 2022 Conference in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio on March 15th.

I always look forward to an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

The conference is FREE, runs from March 14th through 16th, and can be attended in-person or virtually.

You can learn more about the conference and register at: http://neotechconference.org/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at NEOTech 2022, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Saturday, February 19, 2022

My NCTIES 2022 Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again be presenting at the NCTIES 2022 Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina this March 3rd and 4th.

I always look forward to an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

You can learn more about the conference and register at: https://www.ncties.org/

And view the full conference schedule at: https://ncties2022.sched.com/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at NCTIES 2022, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Self-Checking Translation Quiz in Google Sheets

I have always wanted to improve my proficiency in other languages. Back in high school (many, many years ago) I took four years of French. I can still say "I have a red pencil" … "J'ai un crayon rouge" … but not a whole lot more.

Thankfully Google has a lot of great translation tools that can help you when learning a new language, from the Google Translate website, to the Google Translate extension, to the Google Translate mobile app (Android or iOS), and on and on.

However, I was wanting to find a tool that could be used as a self-checking translation quiz when practicing a different language. I ended up creating this tool with Google Sheets. This sheet allows you to test yourself on translating words or sentences into a different language, and gives you hints as needed if you get stuck.

This could be helpful for an English Language Learner to enter words in their language and then practice translating into English, or for an English-speaking student to test themselves on a language they are learning in school, or for anyone to practice any other language.

See below to get your own free copy of this self-checking translation quiz template, as well as a short 9-minute video tutorial on how to use it, and some written directions.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Control Alt Achieve Newsletter - February 2022

Each month or so I send out an email newsletter to those who have subscribed, as an easy way to keep folks up to date on the latest content from this site, as well as other resources I have come across.

The newsletter typically includes the following sections:

  • Output - What I have been creating - See my most recent blog posts and training videos
  • Input - What I have been consuming - See some of the best resources I have come across recently
  • Connect - See how to stay connected and a list of some of my upcoming event and PD opportunities

To view my newsletter for February 2022, use the link below:

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter (for free of course) you can do that here:


Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose fromConnect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts

Podcast Spotlight: EduTechGuys

When I attended FETC 2022 in Orlando last week, I had the privilege of being a guest on "The EduTechGuys Podcast". 

The hosts, David Henderson and Jeff Madlock, spent the week conducting over 60 interviews with conference presenters and other amazing educational technology leaders.

David and Jeff describe their podcast as:

"EduTechGuys is a high-intensity rollercoaster ride of super fun which takes mortal form in the two distinct entities which are David Henderson and Jeff Madlock. Crafted in the fires of Mt. Wannahockaluggie, these two self-proclaimed high priests of edtech first started navigating the world of educational technology on the web through a podcast, over a ravine in a rainstorm in 2015 (Sharkbait, ooh ha ha). Since then the two have traveled the nation bringing their joy for silly puns and more importantly sharing the journey of each educator they encounter."

See below to listen to my 12-minute episode with them, where of course I discussed all things Googley, and you can also access all 60+ interviews they did this year at FETC.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

My 2022 FETC Sessions

I am excited and honored to be presenting at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC 2022) in Orlando, Florida this January 25th through 28th, 2022.

I always look forward to an opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at FETC 2022, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Friday, January 21, 2022

What's New in Google - January 2022

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from January 2022, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our January 2022 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 January 2022 meeting:

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Google Sheets Emoji Math - Addition and Subtraction

Emojis can be a fun and creative tool for educational activities. In the past I have shared lots of ideas on how emojis can be used in your classroom for student creativity and learning. Some of these projects have included:

Another use for emojis is teaching math concepts. Emojis can be used to model quantities so students can learn about, explore, and practice addition and subtraction with concrete representations of the numbers.

Adding 2 smiley faces to 3 smiley faces, or subtracting 4 rocket ships from 7 rocket ships, can make the math more understandable for students.

To help with this, I have created a Google Sheet template that lets students choose the emoji they want to work with, and then practice addition and subtraction problems, while at the same time getting conditional formatting feedback to let them know if they have the correct answer or not.

See below for a short 7-minute video showing how to use this template, as well as written directions, and a link to get your own copy of the template to use with your students.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Checklists in Google Docs with and without Strikethrough

Checklists are a convenient and effective way to stay on track and get things done. For our students, checklists can be used in many ways to keep track of items such as:

  • Steps in a science experiment
  • Self-monitoring of behavior
  • Mastery of subject content and standards
  • Tasks when composing and editing their writing
  • Working through a math procedure
  • And many more…

Although paper checklists are convenient, when done electronically, checklists can be collaborative, edited as needed, accessed by multiple people, and hopefully not eaten by the dog.

There are certainly a lot of mobile apps, web extensions, and websites that provide checklist tools, such as Google Keep. However, for many years Google Docs did not offer a built-in option for an interactive checklist. There was a workaround where you could change the bullet style to a box and then do several steps to check a box, but it was a lot of hoops to jump through for a feature that should have just been a normal part of Docs.

Thankfully Google has now added a real interactive checklist feature to Docs! With this new checklist tool, when a user checks off an item, the corresponding text gets crossed off with strikethrough formatting. If you prefer not to have the text crossed off, I came up with a workaround for that. 

See below for a short 6-minute video and written directions on how to use the checklist tool in Docs with and without strikethrough.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

My ISTE 2022 Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again present at the 2022 ISTE Conference in New Orleans this June 26th through 29th.

I always look forward to this opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

You can attend ISTE in person this year, or take part as a virtual attendee. To get more details and register for the conference go to: https://conference.iste.org/2022/attend/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the ISTE Conference, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Google Tools for Speech to Text

Our students have so many amazing ideas in their minds, and we want to make sure they are able to get those words from their heads into writing.

However if a student struggles with typing or spelling they may take those big awesome ideas and shrink them down to smaller words and shorter sentences.

Thankfully there are technology tools to help with this. Speech to text tools allow anyone to simply speak their words and have them typed up automatically.

Three of my favorite tools for this are Docs Voice TypingVoice In Voice Typing, and the Dictation Tool in ChromeOS See below for a short 5-minute video demonstrating these tools, as well as written directions for using them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

My OETC 2022 Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again present at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC 2022) this year.

This year OETC is entirely virtual and runs from February 14th through 18th.

You can get more details about this year's OETC at: https://oetc.ohio.gov/


Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting for OETC 2022, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing and learning with you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tools to Support Learners: Texthelp and Don Johnston Join Forces

Out of all the trainings, videos, and posts I share, one of the most popular topics is how to use technology tools to support learners. Everyone learns differently, and we all struggle in our learning in one way or another at one time or another. Thankfully there are so many helpful tools for accommodations, accessibility, and other support.

A while back I recorded a 1-hour webinar on "Google Tools for Struggling Students" which you can view here: YouTube video link

And I have a 10-page Google Doc packed with technology tools for text to speech, speech to text, readability, reading comprehension, audio support, behavior, focus, organization, and much more, which can be access here: https://bit.ly/curts-support

In these resources you will find many references to the tools created by one of my favorite edtech companies, Texthelp, including Read&Write, Equatio, and more. Just recently Texthelp announced that they are joining forces with Don Johnston to further expand the tools they can offer. Although I had heard of Don Johnston before, I wasn't very familiar with their tools, so I took some time to explore this new partnership. See below for more details on all the tools that Texthelp will be providing now.