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Showing posts from 2017

Day 4 of Google: Google Calendar

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On the fourth day of Google, we will look at Google Calendar.

Google Calendar (web version) has recently received an upgrade to mimic the mobile version of Google Calendar. Don't have the new Google Calendar? Select the blue icon on top right that says Use New Calendar. I am a big fan of the refreshed look.

One change, is that you are able to gain more real-estate on the screen. By selecting the hamburger icon on the top left corner, you can determine whether or not you want the small month calendar and list of calendars you follow to appear or disappear.


Keyboard Shortcuts
In the change, I stumbled upon shortcuts that pertain to Google Calendar. I don't believe that these shortcuts are now, just never thought to look them up to use.

For instance, with the click of a number between 1-4 you are able to switch between different views of the calendar on your screen. You can also use d for day view, w for week view and m for month view.


Other Keyboard shortcuts of potential intere…

Day 3 of Google: Exploring with Google Trends

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On the third day of Google, we will explore Google Trends...


Google Trends (trends.google.com) is relatively new to me and I have not explored all of its capabilities yet, however I do see the value with this tool. I feel as though Google Trends could be applied to different curriculum.

Once you get to the website, you will notice that Google provides featured items as well as stories that are trending on that particular day. As I write this blog post (Thursday, Dec 7, 2017), I am seeing Alabama Senate seat info, Holiday shopping, Grammy Awards, and National Pear Harbor Remembrance Day.

When we first explored with Google Trends, the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, we were diving deep into Thanksgiving. This is what we discovered, Thanksgiving 2017. It was cool to see things like:
top searched pies by statetop searched Thanksgiving recipestop searched Thanksgiving questioningsearches for Friendsgiving (on the rise) You can either look at what is trending or you can search your for specif…

Day 2 of Google: The Many 'Different Views' of Google Slides

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On the second day of Google...

We are going to take a look at some view features of Google Slides.

Forcing Present Mode
Let's face it, if you are using G-Suite you have shared a link to document in your Drive. Assuming sharing permissions have already been handled so that those that can view are able to view (anyone with the link), you can actually force present mode on a Google Slide presentation. Sometimes, you might not want people to be able to see the slides along the left side of your Google Slides. The traditional way many people would share a link outside of Google Classroom is to copy the link from the omni box (the search box in Chrome). Then share out the link via email etc.

Instead, you have the ability to share the presentation so that they only see the final slides and not the edited side of Google Slides. How might you ask? Go to the omni box - where the link is for the presentation. Follow these steps:
Move your cursor all the way to the right until you see the word…

Day 1 of Google: YouTube Tips

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On the first day of Google....

We are going to take a look at YouTube. Hard to find someone out there now a days who has not used YouTube, either for their own enjoyment, or to share ideas/content in a lesson with students.

But, did you know the following:



Autoplay of YouTube Videos
1. The default to YouTube is for related videos to automatically play for you after your last video finishes. In some instances, you might want this. I am sure many can relate to watching a video that a friend has shared with you or posted on a social media outlet, you start to watch the video and then get hooked and end up watching other videos that are related to the same topic. Then 30 minutes later, you wonder where the time went!

However, in a school setting, you might not want a new video to start automatically - especially if you haven't had a chance to view the next video prior to students seeing it. There is a very easy way to stop autoplay.

Search for a videoTop right, above the suggested "…

12 Days of Google

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In the spirit of the season and the inspiration from Eric Lawson and Eric Curts, I have decided to run my own '12 Days' of tech tips and ideas. For the next 12 work days, I will provide a Google Tip/Trick that might help take your Google knowledge to the next level.

In the embedded Google Drawing below, I will link up each tip or idea each working day moving forward. (You might have to open up the Google Drawing in order for the icons to actually provide the Google Tip of the Day). You will also notice below the Google Drawing, I will have each day linked up.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!

And that is my Spiel...





Day 1 of Google: YouTube Tips
Day 2 of Google: The Many 'Different Views' to Google Slides
Day 3 of Google: Exploring with Google Trends
Day 4 of Google:
Day 5 of Google:
Day 6 of Google:
Day 7 of Google:
Day 8 of Google:
Day 9 of Google:
Day 10 of Google:
Day 11 of Google:
Day 12 of Google:

Curate Images with DriveSlides

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DriveSlides is a chrome extension that was created by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler to help get images into one place, more specifically into a Slides presentation. Below, I have provided an explanation of how the extension works as well as given a couple of examples in how this tool can be implemented.





How the extension works:

Curate all images into a folder in your DriveBe sure to open said folder showing the list of all imagesSelect the chrome extension DriveSlidesAutomatically, the extension will curate all of the images in the folder and place each one on its own slide in one Google Slide presentation. You will notice that the Slide presentation is located in the same folder as the images for further access.
You really cannot ask for a simpler process in getting images into one place. Alice Keeler is all about helping educators (and students) be more efficient with their time.
DriveSlides Examples
Curating Pics for Staff Slideshow On our first staff day for the school year, it is tra…

#sau25discovers - Learning From Each Other

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Last Friday, the Bedford School District hosted its second annual Future Ready Conference where over 100 sessions were offered by its own staff as well as a few outside presenters. This day reminded me yet again at how fortunate we are that our district is willing to provide an opportunity for all staff members in the district to get together in one place to learn and share ideas with each other. We modeled our day off of Medfield's Digital Learning Day - thanks again Neal for the inspiration!

Most importantly, I am also proud and thankful that we have a staff who are willing to take the time, out of their already busy lives, to share their own experiences and knowledge on particular concepts/tools/ideas. Let's face it, our day would not be as successful if we didn't have staff who were willing to go above and beyond to put together engaging sessions to inspire others. What I think is also cool is that we had a couple of sessions where students were presenting to our staf…

'Mrs. Frizzle & a Greece Tour Guide' Visited our School

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Over the past couple of weeks, we have had students experience learning with the help of Google Expeditions. Both students and teachers alike enjoyed the opportunity to learn curriculum through a different medium than they have in the past. (We are very fortunate that our school is able to share a mobile cart of phones with our middle school to be able to explore different virtual reality applications in the classroom).

Field Trip to Greece
Mrs. Cooney and Mrs. Hatzidakis (and later Mr. Woodhead and Mrs. Devito) were thrilled to know that Google Expeditions had a Greece tour for their Freshmen humanities students to experience. Based on some reading and class activities that they had already experienced in previous classes, Mrs. Cooney was able to reinforce concepts about the Acropolis and other important Greece facts with two different tours. Google Expeditions provided an opportunity to see the Acropolis from a bird eye view.

Mrs. Cooney and Mrs. Hatzidakis also took it to the next le…

Using Document Cameras Beyond Projecting a Worksheet

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Document cameras have been around for a while now - it certainly is not new technology. However, this past week has reminded me, yet again, how document cameras can serve different purposes. Yes, I know the typical situation where a teacher places a piece of paper on the desk and uses a document camera to project the paper on the wall. This way students can follow along with filling out the piece of paper. But how can you take this simple device and take it to the next level. (Again, keep in mind that these examples are not new, earth shattering ideas).




Class Demonstrations
Mrs. Lederhos, our ceramics teacher, used the IPEVO document camera for the first time last week. She was explaining how it was hard for her whole class to look over her shoulders when she wanted to demonstrate a technique with pinch pots. She asked if she could try out a document camera to see if it would help improve the way she showcased techniques. We set her up with the document camera and things could not work…

Challenge Yourself this School Year

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The beginning of another school year is among us. As I write this blog post I am realizing that I myself have been in the education field now for fifteen years. It is amazing how fast time flies when you are having fun.

One of my favorite quotes, that I have referenced throughout those fifteen years, is from John Dewey, "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow."
To me, this is a great reminder that it is always important for educators to constantly reflect on their work and make improvements/enhancements when necessary. So, I ask you "How will you challenge yourself this school year to grow professionally and/or improve or enhance a lesson?"
Will you... use Google Classroom for the first time to help with organizing and streamlining information relating to your class?allow students to view content in a virtual format through virtual reality headsets?ask a guest speaker to Hangout out with your class virtually, or better yet use the …

New Google Sites - "Page Level Permissions" with a Twist

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Over the summer, I have been converting our tech website for the high school manually into the New Google Sites. In a way, it has been great because I have been able to truly look through what is on our tech website and weed through the items and information that is no longer valid. (That's one draw back from how quickly technology changes) That spring cleaning feel in the summer time!

In thinking about how I wanted to design the site, I was trying to find a way in which staff at the high school would only have access to certain pages, and not students. I had used the page level permission feature in the old Google Sites before. This was helpful - as long as the staff member was logged in with their Google account, they would see about 6 different tabs on the website where as students and the rest of the public would only see abut 3 tabs. Currently, the New Google Sites does not have page level permissions - maybe a feature that will show up in the future? Who knows...

I have hear…

We All Have a Reason to Celebrate!

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Sure, it is the end of the school year. Sure, we all are exhausted from all of the tasks that we have been asked to do along the year. Sure, we are tired from the work that has been completed outside of the school day hours. But it is important to take the time to reflect on the awesome work that has been accomplished in 16-17 school year.

Over the course of the year, I have enjoyed hearing about the success stories that teachers have had after a lesson. Not staying in the same place and doing the same lesson can be very beneficial. Pushing one's self is an important trait for all teachers and learners to have. It is like the Blockbuster vs. Netflix situation. Blockbuster did not move with the times and push themselves to think differently with their business model. Netflix however decided that it was important to change their business model as human interest and demands changed over the years. Netflix is still around because they decided to push themselves.

I know that I speak o…

It's All About Design

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Throughout this school year, I have been thinking about how content is shared with students. Before any 1:1 program, we as teachers would put something together in a Google Doc (or lets be honest and say Microsoft Word) and print the document out for each student. You might have tried to keep text to a page. Very little graphics, if any, were included.

Fast forward to today where students have a device. We can think about creating and designing content on a document that has more of a design element to it.

At the beginning of the school year, I was fortunate to participate in a YouTube Live conversation with Lisa Highfill and Kelly Hilton, co-creators of the term Hyperdocs. You can watch the recorded conversation HERE. I also previously wrote a blog post about Hyperdocs which can be found HERE. Basically, their main objective with hyperdocs is to help guide students through an informal, reflective journey. This can be accomplished through the following steps:  Engage, Explore, Explai…

Sometimes We Have to Unlearn to Learn....

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This past week, I was reminded, from time to time, we have to unlearn what we have always done in order to learn and improve. Sometimes this can be difficult to do. You have always done something a certain way...why would you want to ruin what is 'good'? However, sometimes change can be for the better. Sure it might take you awhile to get used to doing something new, but in the end you will see the benefits and progress.

Unlearn to Learn

Here is my recent journey of having to unlearn to learn over the past week.

I help manage our school's social media accounts. Whenever something needs to be posted on Instagram, I think to myself:

"What picture do we already have that I can use that relates to what needs to be shared?
"What picture could I take around the building?"
"Who can I ask that would have an image of...?"

There have been times in the past where I have thought,

"Well, I don't know what I would use as a picture so I don't know if I am…

Keyboard Shortcut for Providing Comments in Google Doc

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Last week, I attended a math workshop put on by Alice Keeler. One of her talking points is all about being efficient and using keyboard shortcuts to save time. We as educators only have a certain amount of time in the day to get work done. Let's take back some of that time with using keyboard shortcuts. One way that this can be done is when we provide valuable feedback to our students through a Google Document with the commenting feature.

Keyboard Shortcuts:
Most people know the shortcuts when it comes to copying and pasting text. Many also know the shortcuts for opening a new tab. You might be asking yourself, "Self...how do I find out what keyboard shortcuts are available while using Google Documents?" Have no fear! Google has provided a keyboard shortcut page, which can be found under the Help Menu.


*NOTE: The keyboard shortcuts that you see in the gif file above are for mac users as I recorded this on my mac computer.

Assessing/Providing Feedback on Google Doc
Assessing…