Saturday, September 24, 2022

My 2023 FETC Sessions

I am excited and honored to be presenting at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC 2023) in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 23th through 26th, 2023.

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 register for FETC at https://www.fetc.org/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at FETC 2023, 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, September 22, 2022

Google Sheets in 20 Minutes

Google Sheets is easily one of the most powerful tools in the Google Workspace suite of programs. I use it every day in one way or another.

It can be used for many tasks such as:
  • Analyzing student data to identify at-risk students
  • Tracking student behavior
  • Managing inventory
  • Collecting attendance from a PD session and generating certificates
  • Providing conditional formatting feedback in learning activities
  • Building a learning database for students to draw conclusions from
  • Making pixel art
  • Creating interactive learning games and activities
  • And much more!
Unfortunately many people can feel intimidated by spreadsheets and not be sure where to begin. I want to take that fear away and help ease you into the wonderful world of spreadsheets!

To help with, below you will find a 20-minute crash course video on Google Sheets where we cover topics including view options, freezing rows and columns, sorting data, filtering data, formulas, charts and graphs, sparklines, conditional formatting, and even pivot tables.

You will also find templates you can make copies of to follow along and try out each of the features demonstrated. I am excited to see what you do with these skills, and welcome any questions you have as you learn!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Supercharge Google Docs with Add-ons

Google Docs is a powerful word processing program with many unique features including voice typing, the Explore tool, Version History, web fonts, and much more. 

However, Google knows that even with all of those features, Docs may not be able to do everything you want it to do. So Google Docs allows you to install Add-ons to extend the capabilities of the program.

Add-ons are third-party tools that provide extra features for Docs. Over time the amount of available Add-ons has grown tremendously. So how do you wade through all of these to find the best ones and the hidden gems? 

To help out I have collected a list of my favorite Add-ons for Docs. Certainly this is not a comprehensive list, and there are other awesome Add-ons beyond my list, but these will give you a good place to start. Some of these Add-ons will likely be familiar to you, but hopefully you will find a few new ones or be encouraged to dig deeper into one you have tried before.

See below for my list of recommended Docs Add-ons, what they do, ideas for how they can be used in schools, and a quick overview of how to install, use, and remove Add-ons. And be sure to let me know which Add-ons you would recommend to add to the list. I would love to learn from you!

Monday, September 19, 2022

EdTech Links of the Week - 9-19-22

Each week I keep an eye out for the latest edtech resources through blogs, social media, podcasts, videos, user groups, and more. I then try to reshare these resources in many ways.

One way I share these is here on the blog in these "EdTech Links of the Week" posts. See below to explore the latest batch of resources, and be sure to share with others who may benefit.

If you want to make sure you don't miss new resources, you can:
📰 Sign up for my weekly email newsletter here: Newsletter link
🐦Follow me on Twitter here: Twitter link
🔗 Subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog here: RSS feed link

And as always, please let me know of any resources that you recommend. I would love to learn from you!

Sunday, September 18, 2022

4 Free eSignature Options for Google Docs

Google Docs is a wonderful tool, and new features are constantly being added. However one option that is still missing is an easy way to digitally sign and insert your signature into a Google Doc.

Now certainly there are some paid solutions for this, but many of them involve turning the Google Doc into a PDF, which may not be what you want, and of course they cost money.

To help with this I have brainstormed four ways that you can sign a Google Doc that are free and put the signature right into the document. These include:

✍️ Using handwriting fonts
📷 Inserting a signature image
✒️ Signing an embedded Google Drawing
⚙️ Using the "Simple Signature" add-on

See below for a tutorial video where I demonstrate each of these options, as well as detailed written directions.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Google Tools to Support All Learners

Technology can be a powerful tool to assist students when learning, as it provides accessibility and accommodations to support everyone. In particular the Chrome web browser allows users to install a wide variety of web extensions that provide tools that can help all learners.

In this blog post we will take a look at dozens of Chrome web extensions and apps and other tools and features that can assist students in seven main categories:

🗣️ Text to Speech
🎙️ Speech to Text  
👓 Readability
📗 Reading Comprehension
🔊 Audio Support  
☑️ Behavior, Focus, and Organization
🧭 Navigation
 
Some of the tools fit into more than one topic, but each is only listed once. Certainly this list does not cover all of the useful web extensions and tools available for learners, but it is a great place to begin. 

In addition to the list of extensions and tools, I have also linked in the video from a webinar I did on "Google Tools to Support All Learners" along with my ever-growing resource document and slideshow from the session.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Jamboard for Teaching and Learning

I am a massive fan of charcuterie, so nothing would make me happier than if Jamboard was literally a board with lots of yummy jams on it, along with meats and cheeses.

Even though that is unfortunately not the case, Jamboard is still a pretty awesome thing!

Jamboard is actually a tool from Google that is an online, interactive, collaborative whiteboard. It has loads of useful features including drawing tools, sticky notes, images, shapes, textboxes, backgrounds, and much more. Jamboard can be used for brainstorming, designing, collaboration, and learning activities of all sorts.

Recently I recorded a webinar where we took a deep dive into Google Jamboard. We looked at how to use all the features of Jamboard, as well as explored templates, ideas, and examples for how it can be used in schools for teaching and learning.

See below for the recorded video, as well as links to my Jamboard resource doc and slideshow, as well as detailed directions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

9 Add-ons to Supercharge Google Slides

Google Slides is already a powerful tool for student creation and collaboration. You can see a wide range of educational uses in my Google Slides resource document (bit.ly/curts-slides).

As awesome as Google Slides is, you can make it even awesomer with the use of Add-ons!

Just like Docs, Sheets, and Forms, you can install Add-ons for Google Slides. Add-ons are third-party tools that provide you with extra features and functions that are not normally available in Slides.

In this blog post we will take a look at how to find, install, and manage Add-ons, as well as nine of my favorite Add-ons for Google Slides that can be valuable for students and educators.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

8 Engaging ELA Activities for Google Docs

Google Docs is a wonderful word processor, but is much more than just that!

Although we can certainly use it to type up a report, take notes, or write an article, we can also get creative with the features and functions built into the program to make some fun learning activities.

Recently I did a video training webinar where I took a look at eight creative ways to use regular Google Docs features in new fun ways to practice and develop literacy skills. These include:

🟨 Highlighting for summarization
⬛ Creating blackout poetry
😀 Emojis for writing and summarizing
📘 Cloze reading activities
🐉 Making "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories
💡 Prewriting with embedded graphic organizers
✍️ Writing less to write better
⌨️ Generating punctuation practice

See below for the recorded training video, as well as resources, ideas, and templates for each of the activities.

Friday, September 2, 2022

What's New in Google - August 2022

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

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

Sunday, August 28, 2022

YouTube Can Do That?! 18 Tips and Tricks

YouTube is one of Google's best known and most used services, with hundreds of millions of videos covering any subject you can imagine.

You probably use it every week, if not every day, for both education and entertainment. But are you getting the most out of YouTube?

Even though this is a tool we are very familiar with, there are loads of tips and tricks and lesser-known features of YouTube, including picture in picture, keyboard shortcuts, managing and downloading captions, timestamps, synchronized note-taking tools, accessing public domain audio and sound clips, helpful extensions, converting videos, embedding videos, and more!

These features can be especially helpful in schools, to help provide the best educational content and experience for our students.

See below for a 45-minute video where I did a deep dive into all 18 of these YouTube tips and tricks. I have also included links to the associated session resource document and slideshow, as well as detailed directions in the post below.

And be sure to let me know your YouTube tips that I have missed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Podcast Spotlight: The Good Life EDU

I recently had the pleasure to be a guest on "The Good Life EDU Podcast". 

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love podcasts and am always mentioning something new I learned from one of them, so I was super excited to come across another great show to add to my subscriptions.

The podcast is hosted by Andrew Easton from Omaha, Nebraska, and is described as follows:
The Good Life EDU Podcast is dedicated to discussing all things education in the state of Nebraska and across the US. This program is presented by the Nebraska Educational Service Unit's Coordinating Council.
During this episode we chatted about loads of topics including:
  • The changes in Educational Technology over time
  • The new Google Screencast tool
  • How to stay up date on what's new in EdTech
  • A few of my favorites new tools
  • What GEG-Ohio is all about
  • A reminder for EdTech folks to be nice
Take a look below to listen to the episode, access the resources, and explore more of the podcast.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Creating a Soundboard with Google Slides

How can you bring some extra life into your class activities, discussions, and games? Ding, Ding, Ding! Yes, that's right, with your own custom soundboard.

A soundboard can be used in your class for many purposes:
  • It could provide fun sound effects for class games, quizzes, and competitions.
  • You could use the soundboard for audio cues for classroom transitions, such as indicating when time's up, or students need to clear their desks, or switch groups, or such.
  • The soundboard could be used while you are reading a story out loud to your students, to bring the story to life with sounds from the story content.
  • You could use the sounds to support and reinforce content being taught in class.
  • If you or your students are recording podcasts and videos, a soundboard can be used to for effects and transitions while recording.
  • And more!
There are certainly lots of options for classroom soundboards, but one free and easy tool for this is Google Slides. With Google Slides you can create your own custom soundboard with audio that you have recorded or downloaded from free audio sites.

See below for details on how to do this. You will find a 30-minute video I did for MoteCon22 where I go through all the steps, as well as links to my associated resource document, session slideshow, sample soundboard, and more.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Join Me at MoteCon22

I am excited and honored to be presenting at the free, virtual MoteCon22 event on August 19th!

MoteCon is a totally free, online conference with loads of great sessions on using Mote, the awesome Chrome extension that lets you and your students record your voice and add that recording to websites and web tools including Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Classroom, Gmail, and more.

MoteCon will be streamed live on YouTube on August 19th and 20th from 2pm to 6pm EST each day.

You can learn more about the conference and register for free at: https://bit.ly/motecon

Below are details on the session I am presenting - "Creating a Soundboard with Mote and Google Slides" - along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for my session. I look forward to sharing and learning with you!

Sunday, August 7, 2022

My Technovation22 Sessions

I am excited and honored to be presenting at Technovation22 hosted by Caldwell County Schools in Lenoir, North Carolina on August 10th!

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/caldwellschools.com/ccs-classroom-innovation-tech/

And you can view the full conference schedule at: https://ccstechnovation22.sched.com/

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at Technovation22, 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, July 31, 2022

My 2022 Oklahoma Summit Sessions

I am excited and honored to be presenting at the 2022 Oklahoma Summit in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 2nd, 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://oklahoma.gov/careertech/oklahoma-summit.html

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at the 2022 Oklahoma 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!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

My 2022 SPARCC EdTech Conference Sessions

I am excited to be starting my 31st year in education, as well as my 10th year at SPARCC, the Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium, where I serve as a Technology Integration Specialist supporting more that 30 districts in northeast Ohio.

We are once again hosting our annual Educational Technology Conference, this year on Friday, August 5, 2022
  • The conference will be completely online and virtual with a mix of live sessions and pre-recorded sessions
  • This is a FREE conference for teachers, administrators, technology staff, and anyone interested in using educational technology to support teaching and learning. 
  • Certificates of attendance for professional development will be available for each session you watch live or recorded.
  • Recordings of all the sessions will be available afterwards if you can't watch them on the actual date of the conference.
  • This is an excellent way to kick off a new school year with great ideas!
You can get all the details at the conference website at http://conference.apps.sparcc.org/ or see below for all the information, as well as the sessions I will be presenting this year.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Formatting Text in Google Forms

Recently Google announced some updates that will give you more control over the fonts and formatting in Google Forms. This can:
  • make it easier for your students to read the text in the Form,
  • or allow you to create more advanced questions,
  • or simply jazz up the look of your form.
In this post we are going to look at three options.
  • First, how to change the font for different parts of your Form.
  • Second, how to format the text in the title, description, and questions.
  • And third, how to format the text in the answers.
See below for a 6 minute tutorial video and detailed directions on how this works.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

My 2022 SC Midlands Summit Sessions

I am excited and honored to once again present at the South Carolina Midlands Summit this year.

This year the 2022 South Carolina Midlands Summit is
  • Entirely virtual
  • Held on August 3rd
  • Open to all educators
  • FREE!
You can register and get all of the details on the conference website at: 

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting for the 2022 South Carolina Midlands Summit, along with any associated resources.  I look forward to sharing and learning with you!

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 on 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:

-----

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:

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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. 

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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