Google Apps for Education
I am a total newbie when it comes to using Google Apps in the classroom. Sure I have created some documents and even branched out to do a Google Hangout, but this past weekend I was able to attend an inspiring conference about integrating Google tools into the classroom. Let me tell you what I learned this weekend, and how it might help you in your life and in your classroom.
This post, which was inspired by a conference I went to this past weekend on Google Apps for Education Summit at Mulgrave Private School in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This conference was to help educators, administrators, coaches and others who interested in using Google applications in their classroom, as well as in their lives. I learned a TON and now I am here to share some information I learned. Every blue strand of words is a hyperlink to tell you more about that topic or person.
Keynote for Saturday Morning: Opening Key Note
The first keynote speaker was Yong Zhao who talked about Google and it’s influence on our society. Check his website HERE. He referenced Is Google Making Us Stupid and continued to elaborate on how Google is not making us stupid, but that our world is changing. He proceeded to talk about the automobile industry and how machines have replaced human.
He shared information about the statistics of job creation from the early 1900s until now and how the service sector and the work sector are moving to the top of occupations, whereas fishing, farming and harvesting, although once was the main drive of our economy, it no longer is.
He mentioned the Middle Class is disappearing, by showing this image. He continued to say that, “Everyone needs to be Creative” and every educator should ask the question, “How are we preparing kids for their future?”
He believes people are built to consume products, even spiritual and psychological products, so our drive to be “seen” can be evident through Social Media outlets. Amazing thought when you think about it, because you see so many people on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of Social Media. One of the fascinating articles shared at this conference was the Toys Children Play with Around the World. Check out this article HERE. Below is an image he shared with us. Click on image to go to his working website.
The first session I went to was Ken Shelton, who is an educator and a photographer, who taught on research through Google searches. The basic information I received out of this session that I could use for my elementary school classroom was how do a Google search with the intent to research. For example, if you were interested in learning about mullets – not the haircuts, but the fish – and interested in .edu websites (not .org. .net or .com); as well as “freshwater” mullets; and then afterwards search for the specific word river, then you would put this into the Google search bar.
mullet fish “freshwater edu” -haircut
Then press Command F on a Mac which pops up a small search window on the top right hand side, then type in the word to highlight all the words on that web page. He also went into details about how to search for weather, temperatures, stocks and other aspects that maybe valuable to the classroom.
The second session I walked into was presented by Dave Childers. This session was Going Paperless. Check out his resource HERE. This session started with us discussing which curriculum subjects can we would not be able to convert to paperless. We discussed Math – specifically in Primary with manipulatives; Languages, and Writing. He mentioned that installing Google Drive onto your laptop would beneficial when you are not near WiFi or when WiFi is slow. This was a great suggestion.
I had to leave early on Saturday, so I wasn’t able to attend the afternoon and evening presentations.
Sunday Morning Keynote Speaker: Googling the Future Classroom
Jennie Magiera came and talked as the keynote on Sunday and I found it absolutely fascinating. She shared how she desires her kids to go home and ask parents, “What did you create today?” and then proceeded to talk about her kids creating movies, online books and music Please check out her Playlist from her students HERE. She continued by talking about her students were not digital natives and there can be a bridge between students and teachers, as well as parents through technology. She suggested doing App Speed Dating and Sharing, which is when a student hosts a table with an app they are comfortable with and then they lead the others – including educators – through how it works.
She also encourages us to her try out new technology and then judge the product later, but also referring to people trying tech out and then judging later without being fearful.
The first morning session on the Sunday I went to was another one of Jennie’s. She talked about Google drawing and how you can use Google Drawing (which is a feature in Google Drive) to do sorting with her students. She also showed us examples of timelines and then embedding website addresses onto that timeline. You can add Tools, then find Research and click on it. Then you will be allowed to Search.
Second Session: Now that is Good Form: Using Google Scripts (specifically Forms, Spreadsheets and Creating Awards)
I continued to stay with Jennie for the third session and learned about Google Scripts. The link is HERE. Although somewhat complicated (at least to me who is a total newbie at this), if you take the time to learn about these Scripts, then it will save you tons of time. This session was a step-by-step display of how to create a Google form with a spreadsheet; how to install Scripts (pieces of software – for lack of better terms) that enhance that Google form; then how to do an automated response and then into awards. I cannot begin to tell you how valuable this session was to me, but it would take me forever to tell you all the stuff I learned in this session. So check out her videos on the link above. You can also learn more about her HERE.
The session after lunch I went to a YouTube session with Dave Childers. Once again, I was very impressed as he had so much to say. He talked about Chrome and how there are extensions to Chrome to enhance the abilities of YouTube. Check out one extension HERE. In order to add some cool features to your YouTube video then you have to be in Chrome and proceed to go to Windows and then go to Extensions to add Magic Actions for YouTube.
Another great Chrome Extension is Diigo Web Collector which is great to bookmark websites, archive websites that may possibly be taken off the Internet and it also can save screenshots. The Boomerang Extension is great to adjust time for your email to be sent out.
Finally, I learned about the Upload page for YouTube. There are icons on the right hand side, which I have never used, but found out that they are very handy. The webcam recording is awesome, because often I have had to use Quicktime. You can also do an easy slideshow, as well as do an online YouTube video with 10 people with Google Hangouts. What was neat about the Google Hangout is that it comes with an website address, which means that others can watch the video online or as an archive. This would come in handy if you were having a special presenter and there were many parents who were interested in watching at home. Learn more about YouTube HERE. Click HERE to learn more about other applications Dave talked about. I also have some GREAT news for educators. YouTube has a site for educators to find reliable resources. These videos are reviewed by teachers and put up by teachers. Check out the link HERE. If you have a Google Account then you can subscribe to their playlists at their Channel HERE.
The last session I went to was a workshop style session, where we did group discussion.
In conclusion, it was an amazing weekend and I truly appreciated all the speakers and the conversations I had during the weekend.
It’s about the People Too!
I wanted to end this post by mentioning those who I chatted and learned with. There were inspiring educators in attendance, and if you are interested in learning more about this past weekend I encourage you to read their Twitter feeds. Also many of them are educators who have blogs share their learning journey. So click on their names to learn more. Connect with Lorrie Burnam, Lexi Iggulden, D’Alice Marsh, Victoria Olson, Karen Lirenman, Jo-Anna Horita, Ashlee Wong and Karl Lindgren-Streicher. Also I check out these two awesome administrators did reflections on the weekend: Shawn Davids, Brynn Morgan Williams. I appreciated talking and learning with these educators during this past weekend. It was totally awesome to be there and take in all this information. I also wanted to give a shout out to my administrator – Chris Wejr – who told me about this conference. Hopefully anyone who actually finished reading this very long post learned a few things about Google apps!
Click on Google app icons below to learn more.
Drive (which includes Forms and YouTube)
- Creates Forms, Spreadsheets and More!
- Create and Record your own YouTube Video, as well as create a Google Hangout
- You can do almost any sort of document from Power Point style slideshows to YouTube to Word Processing and more!