Posted in Uncategorized

Summit Share-Out… Round 2

Here goes round 2 of my GAFE Summit share-out. All of the ideas I’m sharing today were presented by Michelle Armstrong @ArmstrongEdTech at her session titled Fasten Your Seatbelts: Google from A-Z. It was a great session that was exactly what I want when it comes to tech info– quick, easy to research on my own resources, sites, tips or ideas without the extra “fluff”. There are times when I don’t want to play with the resource then and there– I just want the basic idea to look into when I’m ready. So, without further ado, here is just a tiny taste of what she shared!

Draftback Extension– Draftback is a Chrome extension that allows the owner (anyone with rights to edit) of a Google Doc to look back at the revision history. Not only can you see who edited what and when, but you can even have it played back as a video. How can we use it at school? Statistics can show how long a student spent on the do cument and their revision steps. Check for participation in group work, watch for plagiarism (copy & pasting), or walk a group through the process of revising.– Check out this site for great templates. Flippity helps you create flashcards (which is how the site began), quiz shows, brackets and more. Pick a template and easily create your own content review. There’s other fun stuff like a random name picker and badges!  

GeoGuessr– GeoGuessr  looks like one of those games that could easily fill a person’s time– especially my husband’s. The idea is that you have been dropped somewhere in the world and your goal is to figure out where you are. Using Google Maps’ (street view) 360 views, look all around you to piece together any clues that you can. Once you think you’ve got it, drop a pin on the map. Your score is calculated by how far your pin is from the place that you were dropped. There is a single player and challenge mode. There are also other games that are more specific to state capitols, famous places all over the world, and more. For a limited time GeoSettr allows teachers to create their own GeoGuessr games. I’m not sure of any of the details or reasons why, but it is my understanding that this site (GeoSettr only) will only be up and running until May 1st– check it out while you still can!

Incredibox– This is definitely a fun site & app that I am dying to see teachers put to creative use. Incredibox allows students to create music tracks with a little band of beatboxers. Click and drag icons onto the little dudes and they begin to make sounds– the more you add the more complex the track becomes. I’ve not yet thought of a single out-of-the-music-classroom use yet but I know someone will have a great idea for this! Check it out and let me know what you think. I’d love to brainstorm with you!

Unsplash– Check out Unsplash— a site that offers free (yep, use ‘em how you’d like) high-resolution photographs for your use. Search by topic (school gave me the one above) or just scroll through what’s new. You’ll love some of these photos. Once you’ve got what you need just click Download and do with it what you will — add to presentations, sites, think about using them as thinking prompts related to the topic that day or even zoom in on an image and have students try to guess what they are looking at. I believe I’ve seen a number of these photos in SlidesCarnival templates– they are very striking.

If you’ve not made it to a GAFE Summit yet, I highly recommend that you make it a priority to go. These two posts don’t even scratch the surface of what one can learn and the connections that can be made. I plan to move beyond the Summit next week and share other classroom ideas but will sprinkle more tech gems throughout future posts. Thanks so much to all of the presenters, organizers, and volunteers that made for a great weekend and learning experience– see you next year!


Posted in Uncategorized

GAFE Summit Nuggets… Round 1

Over the weekend I attended my very first Google for Education Summit and I had to question why I had never been to one before. Not only was the weekend jam-packed full of great sessions with content that could be applied to classrooms in any subject area, but it was also a great chance to build my professional learning network. Presenters, attendees, @EdTechTeam staff, and students were all kind, helpful, and thrilled to be there. I loved that when attending a session I not only started following the presenter (see list below for a few) on Twitter but also many other educators who were somewhere in the building and sharing out their “ah-has” of the day. I even felt a bit of affirmation when group work or partnering (offline) occurred and I was not the only one saying, “This is uncomfortable.” — we were all in the same boat together. Oh… and the food was good! Great time.

Ultimately  though, I’d like to share with you bits and pieces of info that I gleaned from the weekend over the coming weeks. One teensy- weensy problem with the Summit is that you are totally overwhelmed with information by the end. So, instead of throwing it at you I plan to hand pieces over bit by bit. Enjoy!


Polling in Slides–  PollEverywhere is web-based but is also available as a Google Slides extension. It is another way to collect data from your students during a lesson. There are multiple formats such as multiple choice, rank order, open-ended, etc. but what is cool about it is that with the extension you don’t have to leave your Slides presentation to make it all work. When in Presentation Mode in Slides, PollEverywhere automatically makes the poll live and you can easily see the results on-screen without missing a beat. Chris Young @CYoungEdTech shared PollEverywhere & more to come in later posts.

EquatIO– Math and science teachers rejoice! There is now a way to easily add the math to your Google Docs, Forms, etc. EquatIO is a chrome extension that allows you to write or type out your equation to make the math digital. Yay! Many thanks to Jon McPeters  @th_jonm  for sharing this tidbit during the DemoSlam (which was one of the best parts of the Summit and is totally worth staying until the end of the day for)!

BioDigital Human– Health/PE and biology teachers will definitely want to check this out. For lack of a better way to explain it, there is a 3-D model of a human in the middle of the screen that is stripped of his/her skin to show you all of the working parts of the body. You can then click on different systems, change gender, and even search for conditions. For example, I searched “ACL repair” and was shown not only a brief blurb about the ACL, surgery to repair it, etc. but then I got to see a zoomed-in, 3-D knee that I could manipulate. Pretty neat! It appears that the website is free for individual use and there is an app but it seems there might be in-app purchases required after so many downloads. Michelle Armstrong @armstrongedtech shared BioDigital Man, Custom Page Size in Slides, and many more tips, tricks, and sites to come in later posts. She was a great presenter with TONS of great stuff to share. 

Custom Page Size in Slides– Ever get frustrated with Google Docs because you can’t make your documents “pretty” enough? Unlike MS Word, it is difficult to format and manipulate pictures and text boxes in Docs so a number of teachers still stick with their Word documents. Here might be the fix. Try using Google Slides like you would MS Publisher by formatting the page size. What? Yes, formatting the page size. If you hop into File, Page Setup, then click the down arrow to Custom, you can then enter in 8.5” x 11” and it turns into a page that can easily be formatted with text boxes and images galore! Hallelujah!