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!