More Geo Tools

I love hearing how teachers are using Geo Tools with their students to make learning real and authentic. Seventh Grade Social Studies Teacher Micah Shippee worked with over 100 students at Liverpool Middle School on the Liverpool Cemetery Mapping project.  Students researched, photographed, and digitally-labeled gravestones in the Liverpool Cemetery and then completed a custom Google Map complete with historical profiles for over 30 gravesites.

The project was then converted with the Wikitude app (https://www.wikitude.com/), an augmented reality (AR) program, that used the student-created Google Map content. Through the use of the free Wikitude App installed on a device, visitors to the cemetery can determine the location of each gravesite, how far they have to walk to see them, and the historical profiles for each site. You can be assured those middle school students took their families to see their virtual walking tour.

I am thinking of combining 360 PhotoSphere images with Google Maps & Wikitude to make a virtual tour of our school campus — or perhaps a scavenger hunt and have users fill out a Google form with their answers.

GE Teach (https://www.geteach.com) was developed by high school Geography teacher Josh Williams. This tool allows students to compare two maps side-by-side as a way compare data sets from physical geography (physical features, land temperature, precipitable water, carbon dioxide, etc.) and human geography (population density, economy, human development, etc.). This would be a fabulous tool for social studies students and have them compare maps and use critical thinking skills to explain how or why physical geography impacts human geography conditions.

I was thankful to have met both Micah Shippee and Josh Williams at the 2017 California Geo Institute  and am completely inspired by their work.

Ricoh Theta 360 camera

When I attended the 2017 CA Google Geo Institute last July, I was introduced to the idea of using embedded 360 photos to engage students in the real world.  I had already played around with PhotoSpheres before and created this 360 photo of my school library using the Google Street View app on my iPhone.

With the Street View App, you stand in the middle of the room and slowly spin around while the app takes multiple images of the space then stitches them together to make this 360 image.  It works fine if there are no moving people in the room (look closely at the circulation desk!). Use Google Street View with your students to immerse themselves in places they have never been.

The Google Street View Gallery showcases some of the most interesting places in the world.

When you visit Google Maps or Google Earth, click on the yellow Pegman in the corner to show the blue lines for Street View images, blue dots for uploaded PhotoSpheres, and yellow dots for the ability to see inside select buildings and museums. Students will enjoy discovering PhotoSpheres from all over.

What really blew me away at the CA Google Geo Institute was learning how to use the  Ricoh Theta 360 camera to take an instantaneous 360 photo or video. We created walking tours around the Google campus and embedded our photos into Google maps. I purchased a camera with plans to help my students make a 360 walking tour of our school campus — but I needed to learn how to use it first.

Here are a few of my favorite 360 photos I have taken so far with the Theta.  You can also view the Wallowa Lake image directly in Google Maps.

Wallowa Lake #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Happy Thanksgiving from the Cassinelli, Hauge, and LeChevallier families #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

 

EdTech Team Google Summit #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Here are the directions on how to set up the Theta app on your phone so you can take remote photos and have them transferred to your device. I’ve learned you need to be careful with exposure and you definitely need a tripod for shooting the photos.

Some 360 resources from #CAGTI17

Can’t wait to try the Ricoh Theta with my students. Stay tuned!

Google’s Geo Tools for Learning

This past July, I had the privilege to attend the Google Geo Institute at the Mountain View headquarters. 75 educators from all over the US spent three days learning about Google’s Geo Tools and how to implement them in the classroom.  I had attended the Geo Institute back in 2013 but the tools have changed so much that I wanted an update.

It was great to really dive into the newly updated  Google Earth (https://earth.google.com/web). Students can travel the world and explore new places using a web browser – no download required! They can see places like exotic cities, landmarks in 3D and buildings from close up using Street View. Photospheres are 360-degree photos that provide real views of our world – even the International Space Station!

A great way to pique student’s interest in exotic places is using a feature called Voyager. Voyager is a collection of map-based tours written by Google Earth partners that provide guided stories on topics like travel, culture, nature, and history.

There is power in students creating their own maps to help them visualize information or tell a story.  Students can use Google Tour Builder (https://tourbuilder.withgoogle.com/) to write place-based stories that follow a journey on a map.  The addition of multiple images and videos can make the journey come to life.

I have used Google My Maps (https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/) because it allows multiple students to collaborate on an interactive map together. Here is a simple example showing famous landmarks in Oregon.

 How about taking students on virtual field trips to engage their curiosity? Google Expeditions allows students to swim with the sharks, visit outer space, or walk through a museum without leaving the classroom. Each participant will need a mobile device that fits into a virtual-reality (VR) viewer. Teachers then can choose from over 500 Google Expeditions (http://mrcaffrey.com/google-expeditions-world-map/) to share with their students. Get some lesson ideas on using Expeditions (and others) at https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/google.

Here are some additional geography resources that I learned about at the 2017 CA Geo Institute or were shared by attendees:

Augmented Reality Apps (shows a view of the real world in front of you, then put a layer of information, including text and/or images, on top of that view)

Virtual Reality Apps (viewing a completely different reality than the one in front of you; may be artificial, such as an animated scene or an actual place that has been photographed)

Here are some additional 2017 CA Geo Institute resources to explore or our shared notes! If you ever have the chance to attend — I highly recommend it!

Look for my next post where I discuss my biggest takeaway from the Geo Institute:

  1. Learning about the Theta 360 camera
  2. Embedding Photospheres into Google Maps
  3. A Pokemon style game you can create with Wikitude

First Look: The NEW Google Sites

When I first looked at the NEW Google Sites last Fall I wasn’t overly impressed.  I was used to CLASSIC Google Sites (comparison chart) and loved the ability to create templates for class projects.  I had created my Library website at my previous school using Classic Sites and it didn’t seem like I had a lot of the same options so I ignored it for awhile.

But then I started seeing some pretty cool Sites made with the NEW Google Sites and some blog posts by Eric Curts — so I decided to give it another look. Once I really started playing around with the features I liked it more and more.  First of all, the drag and drop ability to grab items from Drive and move them where you want is the best feature of the NEW Sites.

I love how easy it is to create a photo collage or embed a Google Slide deck into Sites.  The Themes remind me of the simplicity of Adobe Spark Pages and you are limited to what you can embed (Drive items, images, YouTube, etc) but it’s SO EASY – and just wait — you know Google will add more features soon.

I think educators should consider Google Sites for Student Portfolios.  How great would it be for students to choose which items they have in their Drive to feature on their Portfolio?

Here is Google Site I made to teach others how to use the NEW Google Sites for the #NCCE17 Google Summit Conference.

Here is a NEW Google Site I made for our school-wide literacy program called #SunsetReads.

Check it out and enjoy!!!

Digital Workflow Options

With all the equipment coming to our school in the coming month, teachers need to decide how they are going to push out digital information to their students.  Below are some options whether you want a complete digital solution for daily use — or use some ideas for occasional use.

Complete digital solutions:  Google Classroom, class website, Canvas LMS, Seesaw

Google Classroom (simple):

If you want the ability to post daily announcements and/or share assignments to your students, then set up a simple Google Classroom.  In Google Classroom, use the announcement feature to post the activity of the day or a reminder of the homework.  The announcements will appear in chronological order but not show up on the calendar because there are no due dates attached.  You also have the option to post an individual question to the class where students can respond to each other after their initial post.

Google Classroom (All Features):

If you want a online blended classroom with the ability to push out individual copies of Google documents, to students and have them turn them in digitally, then set up Google Classroom.  In addition to the announcement feature you create assignments in Classroom where you push out the assignment and it requires students to turn in the assignment digitally using Google Docs (See:  Understanding the Assignment Flow).

If you already have a classroom website (made with Google Sites, Weebly, Wix, etc) where you post assignments, and you want students to have copies of Google documents to work on but you don’t necessarily want them to turn in assignments digitally.  Open the document and select SHARE.  Create a “Shareable Link” but replace the end of the URL to /copy to force students to make a copy of the document for themselves.  Note:  It renames the document “Copy of TitleOfDocument” but the student can rename it if they choose.

Sample:  https://docs.google.com/a/beaverton.k12.or.us/document/d/12AglAM8EkKCsUjOuYqvieMLUlv6sES6h8ZFakeFPXnU/copy
Note:  Students could always “turn in” these type of documents with you by sharing the doc to your email address.  

If you want a complete digital solution for your class with digital handouts, multimedia options, online rubrics, annotations, etc then participate in the Canvas LMS pilot and talk to Colette or Terry if you want to participate in the Canvas pilot.  Please note:  the district LMS has NOT been chosen yet.

If you want students to have a digital portfolio where they upload copies of assignments, set up SeeSaw.  Seesaw empowers students to independently document what they are learning at school by creating a Seesaw Journal. Students can “show what they know” using photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. Learn more …

 

Simple digital solutions:  shared folders, save to Drive, URLs, email, playlists

If you want a simple solution for sharing “view only” copies of documents or pdfs that are stored online then create a shared Google Folder.  Directions:  Access your Google Drive.  Go to New / Folder and name your folder.  Move the digital files that you want students to have access into the folder.  Right click on the folder and choose SHARE.  Choose “Get Shareable Link” and this will give you a long URL that students to can to access your share folder.  Hint:  Use a URL shortener* to make it easier for students.

If you want to “print” copies of database articles or websites and save them to Google Drive, then access your chosen database article or website but make sure you are logged into your GAFE account and use the Chrome browser — one of the printer options will now to “Save to Drive”.  This will create a pdf of the article that you can post in Classroom or put in a Shared Folder.

If you already have paper copies of a handout and want to convert it into a digital format then visit our school copiers and choose the SCAN feature.  “Copy” your documents with the scan feature and it will email a PDF of your handout to you when you provide your email address.

If you want a simple way to share long URLs with you students then Go to the Chrome web store and install the goo.gl URL shortener Chrome Extension to your browser.  Visit any website then select the icon on your toolbar and it will provide you with a short URL (and QR code!).  Another option is to use goo.gl or  bit.ly for custom URLs.

If you want the ability to send email to students in a class period  go to http://contacts.google.com and create a Group with all of your student’s email for each class period.  Send email from your GAFE email account for this to work.  Other options: Create Outlook group or use Synergy.

Vocabulary:

  • Digital workflow:  The process of providing (and possibly receiving) digital content to students who are using Chromebooks or iPads.
  • GAFE – Google Apps for Education (docs, drive, etc)  Teachers use first_lastname@beaverton.k12.or.us
  • Chrome Web App –  Applications you can run inside your browser with a dedicated user interface
  • Chrome Extension – Extend the functionality of Google Chrome and the websites being viewed in it.  More about Apps & Extensions…
  • URL shortener – A website that will take a really long web address (URL) and create a short URL that will redirect users to the correct link.  Two popular ones are: http://goo.gl  and http://bit.ly

Great Features of Google Docs

With Google Docs, you can create and edit text documents right in your web browser—no special software is required. Even better, multiple people can work on the document at the same time and every change is saved automatically.  If you are new to Google Docs – check out the Google Docs Learning Center.

Helpful tips with Google Docs:

  1. Voice Typing:  This new feature allows you to talk into the Google Doc and it will type the text for you.  Go to Tools / Voice Typing and allow the use of the microphone.  I helped a dyslexic student complete their homework using Voice Typing and it was awesome.  More directions ?

  2. Research Panel:  The Research panel is a window that opens next to your Google Document and allows you to search Google for websites, images, word definitions, or quotes without leaving your document.  To open the Research Pane go to Tools / Research. The best part – it automatically creates a link on the page where they got their information. More directions ?

Want to learn more?  Every Wednesday morning join the “Breakfast Club” at 7:15 am in Colette’s office if you want 1:1 help with Google Docs or any tech situation.  Just drop by!

One Drive To Rule Them All

As part of our Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account, the online version of Google Drive http://drive.google.com  is the ultimate cloud storage document sharing solution.  Think of Google Drive like a giant online file cabinet where you are able to upload and keep documents, photos, drawings, recordings, videos, PDFs — almost anything.  Sign in with your email address and then you can quickly invite others to view, download and collaborate on all the files you want — no email attachment needed.  And the best part – we get UNLIMITED STORAGE as part of our GAFE program!

Helpful tips:

  • Get organized! Organize your Drive folders the same way you do in My Documents.  You can then easily drag documents to Drive and use it as a backup system

  • Shared folders:  Right click on a folder and invite collaborators to make it a Shared Folder.  Whatever you place in the folder will automatically be shared with collaborators.  You can give them edit or view only rights.

  • Print to Drive: If you use the Chrome Browser you can “print” documents (save as) directly to Drive.  This saves paper and allows you to easily search for your online documents.


Want to learn more?  Every Wednesday morning join the “Breakfast Club” at 7:15 am in Colette’s office in the Media Center if you want 1:1 help with GAFE, databases, or any tech situation.  Just drop by!

 

Google Apps training material

I often am asked to come to a school and provide a basic Google Apps for Education (GAFE) training during a faculty meeting.  Below is the sequence and activities that I use for a 2 hour training.  Feel free to use or adapt as needed.

Google Apps for Education (GAFE)  http://goo.gl/KbhjhE

Activity 1:  Getting Started with a Google Form

Lets collaborate on a project by using a Google Form to collect data for the Mystery Book project.  Purpose of this activity:  See how a Google Form can be used to easily collect data.

  • Find a partner:  One person can be the recorder & one person can be the researcher
  • Locate a fiction or nonfiction book that you want students to share for a specific subject area or grade level. Each person should recommend (at least) one book.
  • Fill out this Google Form with your collected data and image URL
  • Here is a link to our collected RESULTS (linked removed for privacy purposes).


Before we move on …

6 Ways to collect data using a Google Form

  1. Have students conduct experiment in classroom and one member goes to teacher’s computer to enter data for that group
  2. Have students create surveys using Google forms and display on own computer; students travel from machine to machine to fill out the survey
  3. Email the form to participants to collect data (can embed the form in the email); must know all members email addresses
  4. Email the form by using a distribution list from your contacts  (very easy if using Google Apps since all domain names are the same)
  5. Share the URL of the published form; consider using a URL shortener for easy access like:  http://goo.gl/, http://bit.ly/ or http://tinyurl.com/
  6. Embed the form in a Google Site, wiki, blog or website.

Let’s brainstorm ways you can use Google Forms in your classroom:

  1. Surveys
  2. Exit ticket
  3. Collect favorite books you read the last term
  4. Supply inventory
  5. Get to know you survey
  6. Science lab data collection
  7. Checking in on long term project
  8. Voting

Activity 2:  Researching with Google Docs

Now that we have collected some book titles, each participant will conduct some basic research about the book to prepare for the Mystery Book Project.

Each participant should open a COPY of the Mystery Book research project document.

Helpful Google Docs tip:  To easily share a document with others where you want them to have a COPY of the document (versus viewing or editing) is to edit the end of the URL like this:

Thing to try on the Google Doc:

  1. Go to Tools / Research and open the research pane on the side of the Google document.  Search for your book title and locate the author’s name.  The research pane keeps the search process as part of the document writing process.
  2. What happens if you click on the Preview / Insert Link / Cite buttons in the Research Pane?
  3. Answer some of the questions. Notice the options for text formatting:  fonts, style, line spacing, indent, color, bullets, etc.
  4. Select one of the questions:  Go to Insert / Comment to leave a comment about this question.  For example:  Not sure who would like this type of book?  Comments are great for giving feedback during peer/teacher review process.
  5. Look at the options for inserting images into Docs.  You can crop images, recolor, adjust brightness, add borders, etc.
  6. Check the Revision History:  Go to File / See Revision History.  This is especially helpful if you want to see who edited a document or revert back to an earlier version.
  7. Select the blue icon SHARE.  Share this document with your partner for editing purposes.
  8. Find the grey folder icon next to the document title.  Selecting this will allow you to move your document to a specific folder.

Helpful Google Drive tip:  Have every students create a folder in Drive for a specific units/subject.  Students SHARE the Drive folder with the teacher.  Every time a student places a document, spreadsheet or slide presentation in the folder it will automatically be shared with the teacher.

Let’s brainstorm ways you can use Google Documents in your classroom:

  1. Any and all rough draft writing
  2. Peer editing
  3. Collaborative notetaking
  4. Shared resource lists:  books, links, images
  5. Classroom newsletter – publish to the web and embed doc on website
  6. Monthly calendar (table)
  7. Posters – use image options (recolor, crop, borders)

Activity 3:  Shared Slide Presentation for Mystery Book Project

The power of any of the Google Apps for Education tools is collaboration. Participants will will collaborate together to create a simple Slide Presentation that can be used two ways:

  1. Print as posters with a QR code
  2. Embedded as a slide presentation in a website, blog or wiki

The purpose of the Mystery Book slide deck is to create promotional posters to entice readers to read a book — without telling them the author or book title.  Users will need to click on the link or scan the QR code to reveal the title.  Perfect for a book display!

Editing the Google Slide deck:

  1. The Slide Deck has already been made and the link allows anyone with the link to edit.
  2. Notice that I already created a simple design with colors and fonts.  Go to Slide / Edit Master.  I find that this saves time and students focus more on the activity than editing the slides.
  3. The editing of Slides is very similar to Docs.
  4. Slides has some basic transitions and animations – but not as much as PowerPoint.  Go to View / Animations to see the options.
  5. You can embed YouTube videos in Google Slide decks.
  6. Users can write in the speaker notes section and print the slide with notes, if desired.
  7. I created the QR code with a Chrome extension:  goo.gl URL shortener.  Users will need a QR code reader (i-nigma) to scan the code & view the website
  8. Embed slideshow:  Go to File / Publish to the Web and you can choose options:  slide size, auto advance, repeat and get the embed code. This code can be embedded on a Google Site, website, blog:  <iframe src=”https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14dW7XfofgJXjIMqLFnnXoD-936kmKu3EaPnUwT9EkBU/embed?start=true&loop=true&delayms=3000″ frameborder=”0″ width=”960″ height=”569″ allowfullscreen=”true” mozallowfullscreen=”true” webkitallowfullscreen=”true”></iframe>
  9. Go to File / Download to print slides as PDF or JPEG files.

Let’s brainstorm ways you can use Google Slides in your classroom:

  1. Rough draft of PPT then download Slides into PowerPoint for final editing/animations
  2. Every student create 1 slide for all class slide deck
  3. Embed slide deck on website for rotating presentation
  4. Images only slideshow
  5. Notecards for research
  6. Flashcards for vocabulary

GAFE Session Notes:

  1. Formative assessment – GDocs great for teachers to easily check in on student writing
  2. Long term paper – place all documents, research, images into a folder and have the student share the folder with the teacher
  3. Workflow – Decide on a naming convention for all assignments:  P3 Last First – Assignment Name
  4. Ipad vs desktop https://sites.google.com/site/colettecassinelli/ipad
  5. Use Chrome browser and Print directly to Google Drive – great for database articles because it saves a PDF of articles directly into drive & then students can move pdf into research folder.

Co-Creation & Ideation Tools

Co-creation and ideation tools facilitate the most direct interaction between team members on the goals or desired outcomes of the project. Using these tools, participants can often work in groups directly editing or building the project artifact.  Several of these tools are the same ones used for project management – which is great – because the students will already be familiar with the interface.

Google Apps for Education A group of students can work together on an in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, seeing changes in real time and even discuss the process or comment right within the tool.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that documents, presentations and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

Group members can edit documents, presentations or websites with images, videos, tables, drawings, or links and teachers or other students can give feedback by adding comments. The discussion feature (now available in Spreadsheet and Presentations as well as Docs) allows team members to talk about the project, what to do, how its going, etc right within the project.  You can even use the Research tool right within Documents to search for content on the web. Google Sites can be used as a portfolio or as a place to embed and showcase student projects. As a teacher you can create a template of a Site that contains directions, examples, links to resources and helpful tips and then have your students make a copy of the site.   This productivity suite was made for collaboration!  Other collaboration suites are:  Zoho Docs  and Microsoft 365.

Google Apps Examples:

  • Spanish students worked collaboratively to create a newspaper with a variety of articles: “LA PRENSA DE LAS PANTERAS”
  • Students use a Google form to collect data about the relationship between your height and wingspan to prove or disprove Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”
  • Students researched Biomes and various projects were embedded into a Google Site

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  On a wiki students can share work and ideas, pictures and links, videos and media.  A wiki can be made public so anyone can edit the space or limited to just a class or a few participants.  Many different types of projects can be embedded in a wiki so they work well for showcasing projects made with other tools like:  videos, documents, polls, calendars, maps and specific Web 2.0 tools where you can get the HTML embed code (example:  Google Presentations, VoiceThread). Wikispaces provides free wikis for teachers and they do not contain ads. Don’t forget the tips for collaborative projects using Wikispaces. Another wiki option is PBWorks.

Wiki Examples:

  • High School online collaborative writing wiki
  • Elementary students in Auckland, New Zealand are using part of their class wiki as a blog and the other half to showcase student-created projects.
  • wiki to showcase student-made math movies

 

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere.

Evernote Examples:

  • Elementary grade students use Evernote for student portfolios
  • Here is a blog post how a Librarian uses Evernote as a research tool.

 

MeetingWords is a very simple text editor for the web. Your text is saved on the web, and more than one person can edit the same document at the same time. Everybody’s changes are instantly reflected on all screens.  You can work together on notes, brainstorming sessions, homework, etc.

Other content creation options:

VoiceThread:  A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice through a Facebook Fan Page (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too. Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies. (https://voicethread.com/about/features/)  Here is a wiki with VoiceThread examples: http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/


Prezi:
  Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations where images and words work together to present an idea or lesson.  You can work together on the same prezi in real-time. With Prezi Meeting, teams can collaborate live or simply present prezis with up to 10 people in a prezi at one time. Prezi Meeting is included in all license types.

 


 

Ideation

Ideation is the process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas.  There are several technology tools that support this brainstorming process.

Mindmeister:  You can work with multiple users simultaneously on the same mind map. All collaborators will be shown in the map footer if they are working on the same mind map. You can turn on the History View to see what changes have been done by which users. You can share your mind maps with a single collaborator, group, or public.  You can give presentations directly from MindMeister either online to other collaborators or with a projector.

Popplet:  Popplet is a place to collect ideas.  Its very simple to use easy great for younger kids.  You can collect inspiration, record thoughts, explore ideas, create galleries. Popplets share be shared and collaborated in real time.

Padlet:  (formerly called Wallwisher) is a super easy way to collect ideas, images, and multimedia onto a simple “wall”.  Works great on tablets too.

Other mind-mapping tools: Webspiration Classroom and Creately (paid)


Creative Commons / Copyfriendly Images/Audio/Music

Discuss with students how we can honor intellectual property by searching the web for “copyfriendly” images to use for collaborative projects.  Help students to understand that all of their work – whether digital or not – is copyrighted the minute they create it. You do not need a © symbol to copyright your work.  You created it – you own it!

I like to appeal to the creative musicians, photographers and artists in my classes.  I try to help students understand that they can CHOOSE to share their creations and still maintain ownership.  This leads to a discussion about Creative Commons licensing.  If a student is willing to share their work to be remixed, changed or altered they must decided whether to allow commercial use or not.  Going through the process of choosing a license for their own work reinforces the concept of “honoring” the intentions of the other content-creators.

Inevitably, a student brings up the concept of “fair use” and wonders why they can’t just so a Google image search for their school-related assignments.  Its at this point that we talk about the purpose of citations for school work – that citing an image for a PowerPoint or presentation means that you are not taking credit for having made the image used and are indicating on the Works Cited page who is the original owner.

This discussion helps students to understand that under fair use laws, teachers must still follow certain rules:

  • I will include a notice that the materials are protected by copyright
  • I will use technology that reasonably limits the students’ ability to retain or further distribute the materials
  • I will make the materials available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of a class session.

Sure, there are always going to be those who think that if its on the Internet then they should be able to use it. But presenting Copyright vs. Creative Commons in a way that explains WHY and focus on HONORING the work of others, gets kids thinking about themselves as content-creators and how they would feel if someone “stole” their work and made money off it.

My all-time favorite resource to share with students is Joyce Valenza’s CopyFriendly Resource Page.

Collaborative Project Management Tools

Collaborative project management tools are geared toward the logistical aspects of planning, scheduling and workflow around educational projects.  Using collaborative technology tools gives every group member the ability to participate in the project and develop strategies for managing time, collaborating with team members, assessing their progress, and maximizing learning experiences.

Schools in the K12 arena don’t need to purchase special project management software.  There are plenty of collaborative document editors that can be used for assignments and many have built in project templates, schedules or calendars.  Project Management tools focus on:

  1. Task management
  2. Time tracking
  3. Workflow routing
  4. Milestones
  5. Calendaring

Google Apps for Education is an online productivity suite that schools can use to bring communication and collaboration tools to their community for free.  Students have access to email, contact management, chat, calendars, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and websites.  Schools administer the accounts and can turn on/off the features they need.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that emails, documents, calendar and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

For a group project to be successful each team member needs to understand the learning target, know the overall project plan, what’s their responsibility, due dates, resources etc.  Students or teacher can build schedules and project planners using Google Docs.  Group members can create a simple sortablespreadsheet (from Google Doc Template Gallery) that can be used to track member’s progress, schedules, resources, assets, and contacts.  Team members can refer to the document to know the next steps, click on links to shared documents, or add their own contribution.  Teachers can easily check progress or leave comments to the whole team.  Users can build surveys with the form editor and collect data from fellow students or the public. All the responses would then recorded in a spreadsheet for analysis by all team members. Forms could also be used for self or peer evaluation during or after the project.  To stay organized all of the project documentation, forms, resources and calendar can be embedded in a Google Site and every group member can contribute their part.

Microsoft Office 365 is a similar online office productivity suite.  Office 365 offers free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing.

 

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  Wikispaces provides these tips for collaborative projects using their wikis:

  • Organize group work with Projects – Assigning group projects for your students is easy, but managing those assignments can be hard. It takes a lot of scheduling, and it can be tricky to make sure that everyone is doing their fair share of the work.Projects let you cordon off little sections of your wiki and hand them over to groups of students. And as a teacher, you can manage the permissions on those teams and check in regularly on content as it progresses, which is pretty neat.
  • Encourage discussion – Every page on your wiki can have its own dedicated discussion board. Depending on the type of assignment the group is working on, you can use it in any number of ways: Teachers can pose open-ended topics for discussion. Students can ask the teacher for help or clarification. You can even hold lively debates — and, however you use your discussions, every query and post stays with the work on the wiki.
  • Give feedback and comments – Our comments feature lets you scribble notes in the margins of a wiki page (figuratively speaking). This means different things to different people. For teachers, it’s a way to ask pointed questions about specific passages, to guide students in the right direction as they work, and to give more meaningful feedback during assessment. For students working together, it’s a way to communicate more efficiently throughout the project and to engage in peer review.
  • Schedule Project-related Events – If you have Projects on your wiki (and all education wikis will have Projects), you also have the ability to schedule Events. These let you schedule certain activities ahead of time, so you can lock or unlock projects for editing, send student reminders about dues dates, archive Projects, and more.

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere. Evernote has also been used effectively for portfolios.  Individual students or small groups can use Evernote to document their learning.  Evernote for Schools

It doesn’t matter what platform you use.  Each of these productivity suites give students the ability to collaborate together to plan projects, stay on task, and work together.  Staying accountable to the group by being organized and doing their part will give students a sense of satisfaction that they helped their group succeed.

Using features of Google Search & the new Research Panel in Docs

I’ve started creating some simple screencasts of different ways you can effectively use Google search and Google Apps for Education for teachers and librarians.  This first video showcases the “preview panel” in the Search results panel as well as filtering the results using the sidebar and “related searches”.  Too often I see students looking at the first results from a Google search and not taking advantages of these features.  The video also introduces the new Research panel that is now built into Google Docs which is great way to continue to see your search results right from your document and use the link & citation features.

Google Apps California Summit

I am presenting at the Google Apps for Education California Summit this week – July 12 & 13 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara.  My presentation are:

Winning ways to use Google Apps in your Library

Got books? Promote Reading and YA Literature Using Google Apps

 

It was very interesting taking my Got Books? poster session presentation that I did at ISTE 2012 and completely convert it to Google tools.  I was amazed how many opportunities there are to using Google tools while using technology to promote reading and book projects.

 

Smart Search

 Smart Search ideas shared at #edcampPDX on 2/4/12

Social Bookmarking

Content Curation tools

Content Creation Primer by Beth Kanter

Google Teacher Academy

Google is hosting a Google Teacher Academy on July 28 in Seattle, Washington – yeah for NW Educators!!!  Attending GTA has been one of the best professional development groups I have ever been involved in.  Google Certified Teachers are passionate about networked learning, are willing to share ideas and are a heck of a lot of fun!

Applications are now being accepted for the Google Teacher Academy to be held on July 28 in Seattle, Washington. 50 applicants will be selected. To apply you will need to complete the form found here and submit an original 60 second video about “motivation and learning” or “classroom innovation.”  Applications are due June 16th.  Good luck!