Sunday, November 4, 2012

New England Google Apps for Education Summit

This weekend was the New England Google Apps for Education Summit (or GAFE Summit) at Burlington High School.  It was 2 days of all things Google and although I would consider our schools to be within the range of full adoption, I soon learned that there is so much we have yet to do with these tools.  Here are a few of my take-aways...

  • ePortfolios with Google Docs and Sites -
    2 step process: 1) fill in google doc template with links to artifacts that are saved in a google folder 2) create a google site to link to and showcase the work.
    Use an ipod touch to document work and upload to G.Drive.
  • Google Doc Scripts -
    Grading quizzes with Google Forms and,,
  • Informacy (see post on Daniel Russell's Keynote presentation)
  • My Map Editor app to edit Google Earth maps on iPads
  • to add captions and edit videos.
  • Convert your voice dictation to text in google docs.
  •  What Do You Love?
  • So much we can do with Google Forms!
  • Teach kids and teachers Ctrl/Cmd-F!
  • td;lr means too long, didn't read [frown]
  • Meta Literacy - being literate about being literate. Must know how to find what we don't know.
  • The longer it takes to search, the less accurate you are.
  • 4 R's: Reading, 'Righting, 'Rithmetic, Research

What Does it Mean to be Literate in the Age of Google?

This morning's keynote speaker at the New England Google Summit at Burlington High School was Dan Russell of Google.  This keynote was fantastic! I wish every teacher was in the audience, too.

His essential question for the day was "What does it mean to be literate in the age of Google?"

Here is the link to his slides, which don't do the session justice as Mr. Russell was brilliant in building the case for all of us to become expert searchers and researchers.  We must all become literate in informacy (like numeracy).  Over lunch (yes, we got to have lunch with him!) he said he plans to make a video of his talk to go with the slides. I will be sure to post it as soon as it is available.
For now, you can watch Mr. Russell present at Princeton University.  Note: there is an issue with background audio buzz but one can hear Mr. Russell.

Mr. Russell has created a MOOC course on Power Searching so he can reach hundreds of thousands of people, rather than just one auditorium at at time.  I recommend that you check it out.

Google also has resources to help build these vital skills. Try the Google A Day Challenges.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paperless Research with iPads
This MassCUE workshop shared information on how to do a research project using a shared cart of ipads. The presenter, Greg Kulowiec, worked at the high school level but there's much to learn from the process about curating information from the web, sharing content and providing feedback.

The students searched for resources about their topic and captured the information using various apps to allow for local annotation and highlighting on the ipad. They shared this to a class Diigo group (a social bookmarking tool that was setup by teacher) as a means of crowdsourcing the research process.  Each day, students had to upload or send their work to themselves in order to get the content off the shared ipad.  Students' final products, using the Pages app, included varied media sources (audio, video, text and pictures).

Interesting tidbits:
  • Goodnotes is a free app for annotating PDFs. Notability is a paid app and has more features. 
  • Joliprint or printfriendly widgets can convert web content to PDFs to open in Notability for annotation or iBooks for readability and word look-up (dictionary).
  • converts  web content to ebook format and can export notes from iBooks via email.
  • Collaborative research is accomplished with Diigo class groups 
  • Peer screencasting provides feedback on others' drafts using the Explain Everything app.  Publish to youtube for 24/7 access on a teacher's channel. Students can view at any time. Provides time for students to read and reflect on each other's work. 
  • On shared devices students have to make sure they have removed or backed-up their day's work to another location such as Google Drive or Dropbox
  • Students had to get good at logging in and logging out of multiple accounts within the time constraints of the class.