Posts tagged ‘GAFE’

My Favorite Google Chrome Extensions

“I look at Google and think they have a strong academic culture. Elegant solutions to complex problems.” By Mark Zuckerberg

Google Chrome is my favorite free web browser developed by Google. One of the reasons I love Google Chrome is because of the Google Chrome Extensions which are “small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser.*” In simpler terms, they make my life easier but too many extensions can also slow your Chrome browser down. Here are my favorite Google Chrome Extensions in no particular order:

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  • Save to Drive: Save web content or screen capture directly to your Google Drive!
  • Goo.gl: Allows you to shorten the current website URL (goo.gl/) and also make it into a QR code in seconds.
  • Pocket: The best way to save articles when I don’t have time to read them (Can save videos too)
  • SnagIt: Is a screen capturing and recording tool. My students use it a lot in the classroom to show what they know. (See previous post
  • Google Dictionary:  Once installed double-click on a word on a webpage, and the definition instantly pops-up.
  • Tab Scissors and Tab Glue: These are two separate extensions that I use together. Tab Scissors divides your window into two which is helpful when you are going back and forth between two or more tabs, now you don’t. Tab glue puts the window tabs back together when you are finished.

My favorite paid extension (has a 30 day free version) is Read&Write for Google™  This extension offers support for Google Docs/web to students with learning difficulties, dyslexia or ELL/ESL but I think it helps all students. It has multiple functions such as read aloud, picture dictionaries, highlighters etc. (CMS educators you have it for free click on the chrome web store and go to recommended for CMS users)

I would love to know your favorite Google Chrome Extension, please add them to the comments.

Site*: “What are extensions? – Google Chrome.” 2012. 3 May. 2015 <https://developer.chrome.com/extensions>

Using Google Draw to Create Manipulatives and Tasks

“Manipulative’s are a tool for instruction, yet teachers tend to not use them due to lack of education and confidence of their effectiveness to increase learning.” (Green, Flowers, & Piel, 2008).

With more and more Chromebook’s coming into school districts it is important to make sure our students are using them for creation verse consumption of knowledge. A great way for students to show creation is in Google Drawing App. Teachers and/or students can create manipulatives, task or games based on the skills they are learning. Below are a few examples along with how to create these in Google Draw.

1. Let’s Go Shopping: This is an example for our a second grade money task. The students must show how much money would represent what they are buying. They can do a screencast* to share their thinking as they are creating.

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2. Water Cycle: This is an example a student created based on the water cycle. The student created the water cycle images, label the correct terms and then did a screencast* explaining their thinking. For younger grades they can do a screen shot.

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3. Base Ten: Here I created a virtual base ten task. The students have to create the number by using the base ten virtual manipulatives and explain their thinking through a screencast*.

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Here is my folder of Google Draw templates I have created or I have found, click here to add them to your Google Drive.  They will only look like an image until add them to your drive, then you can edit and see more of the details.

*Screencast: We use the Google Extension Snag-it. (If you are in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, this extensions is put on all Chromebooks. All the students need to do to create the screencast is click the blue S to the right of the url window.)

How to Create Manipulatives in Google Draw: 

1. Decide what type of manipulative you need and brainstorm what the goal of the task is for the students. (Example: For the Let’s Go Shopping task I created above. I wanted to see if they could create the correct combinations to pay for the items.)

2. Then log into your GAfE account, go to your drive and click on new (you will have to go to the arrow where it says more to find Google Draw) click on draw.

3. Right click on the blank grey and white grid/canvas to choose a background color you would like to use.

4. Now you build your manipulatives or games the way you would like. Under the insert tab are where you can put pictures, create shapes and text boxes.

Here are a few other ideas you can create manipulative/tasks for but not limited too….

Math: fraction number line, quadrilateral chart, ten frame, clock/time etc

Reading: story maps, word sorts, vocabulary, brainstorming/mind-map etc.

Science: periodic table, cell diagram, rock cycle etc

Social Studies: history timeline, infographic, graphic organizers such as for cause & effect

Other Resources for Using Manipulative’s:

Alice Keeler Website

Graphic Organizers with Google Drawings

 Google Drawings Support

I would love to know how you use Google Drawing in the Classroom, please share in the comments.

Creating Better Google Searchers

“If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.” By Jimmy Wales

Do you use Google? I know I use it almost everyday hence why I love Google’s Search Education (GSE). GSE is a place where teachers and students can learn about different ways to search. There are lesson plans and live trainings so you can also learn at your own pace based on your needs as a learner. Here is a quick video on the GSE:

Combine this new knowledge of how to search with Google a Day (see previous post) and watch your students become critical thinkers.

Google Keep: For Educators and Students

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” By A. A. Milne

If you know me you know I love to create to-do lists. The feeling of crossing something off makes me happy, and yes sometimes I put things on my list after I do them. 🙂

Jake Standish introduced me to Google Keep about a year ago and I was not a fan, it just didn’t have a lot of the features I wanted until now. Google Keep has been updated and I LOVE it. It is now part of my daily workflow and it allows me to have multiple to-do lists in one place. It is not just for educators workflow either, imagine Google Keep for students!

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If you are a Google Apps for Education-GAFE school/district this is a great web tool to share with your students. Here are the reasons why I love using Google Keep and why students will love it too:

1. Simple and FREE to use; no account needed to be created as you can just use your google account. Great for GAFE school/districts.

2. I have saved it to my toolbar so every day I have easy assess and can add notes from any device. You will never lose anything because it is stored online and every device you use has access to the notes/lists. (If using an iPhone like me, you need to use the chrome app on your phone as there is no IOS app). This is great for BYOT schools.

3. You can make notes/lists different colors plus you can search and archive to make organization easy! This is great for students too, they can add assignments for classes and use different colors to help differentiate. No more excuses for the lost agenda or assignment.

4. You can share your notes or to-do’s with others, just click on the share button. It will appear on their Google Keep and they will get an email. This means as an educator you can make an assignment and push it out to your students so they will see it on their Google Keep!

5. You can add reminders to notes/lists quickly. All you need to do is click on the icon (finger with a string around it) and add the time/date of when you needed to be reminded. No more missing deadlines, homework assignments or when tests are!

6.  You can add imagines and web links to notes/lists. This helps if you are a visual learner or just want to remember an idea with a picture and a quick note or a web link. Students can also have a note that has the links they use daily for easy access.

8. The app keeps working even when you’re offline!

*Google Keep also has voice transcript. Adding voice notes in Google Keep is as simple as tapping the microphone and speaking but this only works on Android devices from what I understand. 😦

 

Using Google’s Smarty Pins in the Classroom

“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”By  B.B. King

Smarty Pins is a Google Maps based geography and trivia game. It is very user-friendly like most Google products are. The purpose is to answer as many questions as you can before you run out of miles.  Miles are lost when you answer incorrectly based on how ‘far off’ your answer is. You can decide if you want random questions, or if you want a specific category and there are six categories to choose from such as arts and culture, science and geography and sports and games.

Once you start, your first question will appear on the left-hand side of the screen. To answer you have to drag the map pin to the correct location. (I have found the map will start near the area you need to go) You can zoom in and out as well based on the level of detail you want.

Once you find the correct location you drop the pin and the name of the location will appear, for example Charlotte, NC. You can then submit your answer or get a hint if you would like. The hint show up on the left hand side under the question. If you chose to use the hint, you do not get to earn bonus miles. Bonus miles are given for answering a question correctly within 15 seconds. There are funny captions after you answer each question no matter if you get it right or wrong. When you answer a certain number of questions correctly you earn awards: bronze, silver or gold.

Smarty Pins

How Could You Use This in the Classroom?

1. Each day as a class, (or one day a week) you can use Smarty Pins as a class team building activity (ex. during morning meeting). Together the class can see how many questions they get right before they run out of miles. Each day or week they could track their progress and then graph it for each month. This allows team building, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving along with learning geography.

2.  Use Smarty Pins as a base for students genius hour or passion based learning ideas. As the students plays the game, they will learn facts and geography of places that they might find interesting and want to learn more about. For example when I played, I found myself interested in more about the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ as I had a question about the bell tower.

3. This game could be used for when a student finishes an activity early as a fun extension or during when you find you have a few minutes before a transition.

As always, I would love to hear how you would use it in the classroom! Please share in the comments section.

 

Classroom: Google in Education’s Learning Management System

David Lee EdTech

With Google in Education’s Classroom teachers can:
-Create a class
-Add students from your Google Apps account or with a class code, create assignments
-Add a file from Drive, YouTube or webpage onto Classroom
-Allow students to see assignments and complete them in Google Docs
-Allow students to submit work automatically
-See who turned in what in real time
-Provide grades and feedback from Classroom

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Google Tools

“One of the greatest and simplest tools for learning more and growing is doing more.” By Washington Irving

Google_Through_the_Years

Google has many great free tools that you can use in the classroom. Below are a few of my favorites:

Flippity: You can make flashcards in google spreadsheets with step by step directions.  You can even add YouTube videos on the flashcards!

StoryBuilder: Have students create stories or explanation and watch the animated video of their writing experience also an other way to present information!

Google Connected Classrooms:  Take students on virtual field trips using Google+ Hangouts, students have the opportunity to ask questions of the museum and zoo experts that are leading the virtual field trips. You can find schedules of  the virtual field trips and links to the past recordings.

Google a Day: Have your students work on a challenge problem based on ‘Google a day’ when they finish work early or as a class during transitions. (Secret: I like just doing them myself)

Google Scholar: Have your students use this free accessible web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across many different publishing formats and disciplines.

 Google Translate:  Translate your document into any language, great way to help parent communication.

I also wanted to share this document again of all the ways you can use Google Doc’s in the classroom. I would love to know your favorite Google tools as well.

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