Ready, Set, Portfolio!

portfolios

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/59217476@N00/6050805936

 

I am getting ready to work with classes to create and add artifacts to Google Site Portfolios. I thought this year I would make a sliderocket and embed it in the template so the students would have a tutorial after we worked together. I love how I can create presentations either in Google Drive or in sliderocket and then add my voice. I find doing tutorials this way better and easier then trying to do screen recordings especailly with the hoops you have to go through to record the iPad effectively. I always have to do multiple retakes as well since I mess up recording or the bells ring and I have to start over.  Since we use Google Apps for Education our sliderocket is free. I hope the new owners Clearslide continue with providing schools free accounts. Of course, if they stop, we will move on like I do each year.

This page will have a tutorial that we used to create the portfolio. It will help you in case you forget how to do something as you go through the Middle School. Since it is both a link and embedded, and changes that take place will be automatically updated to the tutorial.

 
Google Site Portfolios using Google Search App – A sliderocket
 

Google Drive iPad App Tutorial for Uploading

Keynote

I have written about the Google Drive app before, but the latest update really helps us with a major problem we have been having with Keynote presentations in particular but will also work for movies and other large files that exceed the 10 MB email message limit.

Many Keynote Presentations are larger then 10 MB due to the theme used, size of images or sheer length of the presentation. Up until this Google Drive update, students often had to email each as an image to their teacher which sort of defeats the whole idea of a presentation. There are times when simply sharing a PDF will work while other times a true Keynote file is needed as the teacher wants to evaluate it as a presentation or the students will be presenting it to the whole class from the teachers computer. Of course, the iPads can display the Keynote as well.

This tutorial will show you how to use the Google Drive app to upload and share non-google formatted files. If you want to learn more about how to use the Google Drive app, check out this post where I discuss that and other apps.

 


Update: I wanted to include this link to a Miguel Guhlin’s great post One Drive to Rule Them All as it has solid screen shots and good directions as well. Tip of the hat to Miguel.

More iPad Tutorials Using VoiceThread

Voicethread app

 

VoiceThread App in a VoiceThread Presentation
Google Drive in a VoiceThread Presentation

NCAIS 21st Century Teacher Academy – July 2012

North Carolina Association of Independent Schools 1

This is the first day of a 2.5 day workshop presented by NCAIS for teachers across the state. I am lucky enough to be presenting a session on Google Apps, Google Reader and Twitter. We will be working on exposure to the tools and perhaps helping current users go deeper in their use to build a PLN or Personal Learning Network.

 This link will take you directly to the slideshow if you prefer. http://goo.gl/usgHO

The presentation I will be using is below.

Google Reader List of my favorites blogs  http://goo.gl/ymAl3

This link is for a collaborative Google Document I hope to use with the participants. http://goo.gl/i5u8Q

The Year 2011 by Google with a Thanks to Richard

2011

Image from:http://www.adrdesignonline.com/happy-new-year-from-adr-design/

Quoted From Richard Bryne’s Blog: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2011/12/year-in-google-searches.html

 

“Today, Google launched their 2011 Zeitgeist site. Google’s 2011 Zeitgeist features a menu of the most-searched terms of 2011. You can view the overall picture or use the menus to see the most searched terms according to region, country, and theme. The menus are nice and they reveal some interesting patterns, but the real highlight of Google Zeitgeist 2011 is the year in review video. Like other year in review videos, Google’s year in review video features a lot of short video clips and pictures of the year’s biggest stories. The video includes both serious news topics and lighter stories from the world of entertainment.

Applications for Education

Before showing the video to students ask them what they think were the most searched terms of the year. Then show the video and see which stories they missed. That activity could spark a good conversation about news cycles and why some stories stick in our heads while others are quickly forgotten.”

 

http://www.googlezeitgeist.com/en

My reaction to the movie was emotional as the events fade from memory with each new one that hits the screen.

With all of the changes in the world, it is easy to loose track of what matters most, human interactions and a kind word.

Happy New Year

 

Karl

Are Schools Ready for Post PC Laptop or iPad Programs

Ipadvchromevair pages

As schools, mine included, look to adopt the latest portable or mobile devices, I am wondering if the decision makers are also considering whether or not the school is ready for a post PC device. I know our school is testing iPads in one class while another class uses MacBooks. Granted, the iPads are brand new and the laptops are 4 years old but the differences are pretty stark. I thought about this starkness more after reading the Steven Levy article in Wired on Jeff Bezos about Amazon and the Kindle Fire.

“The iPad’s design, marketing, and product launches all emphasize the special character of the device itself, which the company views as a successor to the PC—complete with video-chat capabilities and word-processing software.” Steven Levy, Wired Magazine 19.12 December 2011

While the Kindle Fire is not an iPad, I do think it is an interesting device that deserves attention. My observations are that I believe there are 3 strong contenders for device choice in schools today. Sorry Wintel machines, but I am first an Apple Fan Boy and second a Google Fan Boy. I have never been a Windows Fan Boy as I learned on a Macintosh and have made my career using Apple devices and Google services.

The iPad is a wonderful device for consuming, creating, learning, reading, and investigating many of the powerful learning apps that are available. I think it takes a teacher willing and able to invest the time along with her students to learn how to add the device to the normal class routines. Many teachers may not have the aptitude, energy, or desire to allocate the time to not only bring in a device, but one that behaves unlike any device that most teachers are familiar with to date. The iPad is both a computer and not a computer since it is a new category of device. We have had success with putting them in the class we are testing them in although we have also had failures as much as these moments of success. See my earlier Google Docs Eureka post for one example. Something so central to what students and teachers do should not be this difficult if the technology is supporting or advancing the learning. The iPad does not fit neatly into the existing system of most schools, but, can be made to fit into parts while opening up new systems.

The trajectory of the iPad will no doubt continue to take it’s users to places we have not seen before, but is it the best device to put into a school that may not be interested in reshaping it’s systems like the iPad is reshaping the PC and other industries? I am of a mixed opinion as I can appreciate the enthusiasm and willingness of our students to test and work with the iPad. The project is helping them in many ways since we are able to unload some of the items from their book bags, but is it a program that can be duplicated or will the teachers be unprepared for the re-thinking that must accompany a device like this demands. No amount of training can adequately prepare a classroom for the time when half of the students were able to do X while the other half could only do Y due to the device. Granted, this is a rich arena for collaborative learning, but is it replicable? I am reminded of William Stites post about the iPad being a consumer device first and foremost. Managing the iPads is at times similar to yoga moves that you watch the instructor do but realize your body just does not bend that way.

The MacBook Air features all of the things we know and love about personal computers with the advantages of being fast and light weight. We all know how it works so when the device shows up, as it already has for some lucky students, the device fits into the existing structure of the classroom. Of course, classroom management training of a class set of devices would greatly aid teachers going from not using devices into a classroom that is connected. Since our school already uses Moodle and Google Apps for Education, the Air just flows into the system without needing to adjust the system to meet the Air. This is a big difference for the time investment of teachers. It also will not necessarily move a school as far as the iPad since the internal system change will be less. How much of a system shakeup is desired should be a determing factor in choice of device.

Google’s Chromebook is the 3rd choice that I see as viable for schools. While new and very different which could compare it more to the iPad, it is still mostly a PC. The main difference is that the Chromebook behaves sort of like an iPad with the familiarity of a laptop. Another big difference is the approach to business between Apple and Google in how users interact with their particular ecosystems. Using the image in the Wired Article, as a starting point for my thinking, I see Google similar to Amazon in that their plan is not device lock-in, but services lock-in which of course is less then perfect in either case. These differences appear to be here for the long term given that each company has invested a lot of money in developing the services. In the chart below, replace Amazon with Google and you will have a pretty close comparison between iPads and Chromebooks except for the Specialized browser since the Chrome OS is only a browser.

Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think | Magazine 1

I am intrigued by what Ravenscroft is doing with their Google Apps and Chromebook project. I think highly of the work that Jason Ramsden has done as he is a deep thinker so the fact they are piloting Chromebooks gives it credence in my opinion. I also listened to an earlier podcast from Ed Tech Talk where he discussed the plan.

Before any school adopts a device based solely on cost or screen size, they should also ponder how it will fit either into the current learning system or how it will propel the learning system to be different.

Using Google Docs on iOS Device – Eureka!

Google Search

Those of you who have been reading this blog since the iPad was announced have read my posts about the issues with using Google Apps for Education on an iOS device. Sure you could sort of use them if you were willing to do equal parts troubleshooting and lowered expectations. I have tried various apps that purport to be the best with being able to connect to our Google Apps for Education accounts to create, edit, share and use without limitations or at least few limitations. Most of the apps come close but when any number of students report having lost work, I believe the system is not a true system. Granted in baseball, .400 is a good average, but if you only have 40% of the work you did, you would agree it is not a system.

Because of this issue, I have been concerned about what we would loose from our normal educational routine if our school adopted iPads for students over laptops since there is virtually no issues with Google Apps for Education from a non-mobile computer. While I am still not sure what is the best device, I have been able to solve the main issue with creating, editing, and sharing Google Apps on an iOS device. I used the new Google Search app and clicked on Applications to select Documents. Once I did this, I could do in iOS what I can also do on a non-iOS device. The only caveat yet to overcome is that when the document is shared with another user they can not see who has shared it with them. Until that is resolved, yes I am talking to you Google, students or teachers may need to add their first name to the title of the document.

If you have yet to update to the new Google Search App, [iTunes Link] do so now as it is really slick with other features as well.


Gaining Time from Richard at Free Technology for Teachers

Time

‘In Search Of Lost Time’

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28548387@N00/556656621

 

I have read Richard’s work at Free Tech 4 Teachers for a few years and am amazed at how much he creates for us teachers to use. I was thinking of doing a project with my sixth graders using Animoto as I wanted to test how it would work with my 6th grade students. We are going to take some images on campus and I think we could be creative with how we showcase them in our class blog. This will also allow me to talk more about copyright as we will use music from Animoto.

I plan to use some of this handout with my students and perhaps with my teachers in a June workshop I hope to have as I am still waiting to get at least 6 teachers to attend.

Making Videos on the Web.

 

Speaking of Copyright, Richard posted this today about the YouTube Copyright School. It describes what will happen if YouTube Users videos they upload violate copyright.

Thanks Richard for the time and effort you put into your web site and tutorial guides.

 

DA Middle School has Gone Google Video

Gone Google

 

Durham Academy Middle School implemented Google Apps for Education in November of 2010 so that all students, regardless of age, could access the powerful collaborative tools. With little training and few issues, students and teachers have Gone Google in meaningful and substantial ways to advance the learning of our students with this transformative collection of tools.

Google launched a Gone Google campaign for companies, schools and others to tell how Going Google has impacted the organization. I also read a blog post by Dean Shareski about how he started this Google Doc. I thought I would combine the two ideas and created my own Gone Google Doc to see if students and teachers would help create a Gone Google Video. After asking a few teachers to nominate students, I nominated teachers who were actively using Google Apps with their students. I created a Google Doc asking for a short video and shared it with the people.

The directions:

Teachers and students, I would like to hear how using Google Docs has helped you with school. The idea is to get short (30 – 60 second) videos where you answer the following statements. I will take the clips submitted and edit them together to create the Gone Google movie. We will do this all in Google Docs.

The idea is for you to create a short 30 second video clip that you shoot on your own with your computer and then upload it to Google Docs and share it with me, I can get it from there to make the Gone Google Video.

The Script:

1. State your first name and grade (No last names as it is going on the Internet)

2. Complete this sentence: “I have gone Google because I ………….

(Talk about how Google Docs helps you or any other comment that works for you).

3. Complete this sentence: My tip on how to use Google Docs is to ………

(Perhaps it is something you do for yourself that helps you be more productive).

4. Complete this sentence: I wish I could do _____________ with Google Docs?

(Optional  –  leave out if you have no wish).

5. Add any other comments you want.

Technical Directions:

1. Use your computer’s web cam and Photobooth or iMovie or any other software to create the movie. (If desired, I can video you at school).

2. Leave a gap at the start and at the end so I can trim it. 3 seconds is a fine amount to leave.

3. Name it lastname.gonegoogle.

4. Upload it to Google Docs and Share it with me. It should be in a .mov format.

5. Have the movie to me by 3/22/2011

6. If you need help uploading the file, see this link: http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=50092&topic=1153381

I am sharing it via our VoiceThread so if you would like to leave a comment, please do.


 

When Students Teach Themselves for a Rotation

Rotation

‘Rotation’

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11821713@N00/3230061564

This Rotation is For You! This was how I introduced our last rotation for the Digital Learning 5 class. I wanted to try some of the ideas I have been reading from Jonathan Martin, The Electric Educator, and others on how they are flipping the instructional flow. I also wanted the students to showcase what skills they have developed during our trimester course as a final project to see if all we learned would transfer when given an open ended project.

Using a Moodle assignment so I could assess their work and because it is our main class portal where I can add tutorials from Atomic Learning in our Moodle, and other learning links that we needed to learn, I posed this challenge:

In this project, I want you to think about what you would like to learn to do that you could teach yourself and us. For instance, have you ever wanted to learn how to shoot a video, how to create a podcast, use Photoshop, or any other type of technology?

You will fill out a Google form where you will list what you want to learn, how you will evaluate your learning, and which type of project will you produce. Your project should teach us something that you taught yourself. This is part of your final project for class.

Once I have the ideas you want to learn about, I will work on getting resources for you to help guide our learning. Unfortunately, YouTube is blocked here at school so that will not be an option. If you find a YouTube video at home, you can send me the link and I will download it so you can watch it at school.

You will be required to work on this at school and at home so consider this fact as you think about how you will create your final project.

Ideas:

How to draw a ……..

How to record a  podcast?

How to shoot a good movie?

How to use Google Sketch Up?

How to use Google Earth?

How to use Scratch?

How to …….

Remember, you will teach yourself something and by doing so create something that will teach us.

We are now into the presentation stage of this project and these are the projects students have done to teach themselves and others. All students used a Google Presentation to present to the class. We worked on linking the video they made into the project since we had to upload their video to their Google Apps account and then get the link under the Share menu.

1. How to create a Stop Motion Animation – 4 students used cameras, iPhoto, and iMovie to create stories.

2. How to use Google Earth – 4 students have used Google Earth to create training movies, tips on how to use different tools or elements.

3. How to use iMovie –  4 students have used the Lumix cameras or video clips from parents to create movies that tell a story.

4. How to use Google Sketchup – 1 student wanted to learn more about this software after using it with his father.

I have learned that students will:

  • rise to the challenge when offered an option to do something they have a passion to learn
  • amaze you at the level of care and instructions they create
  • want to help each other learn once they learn it themselves
  • utilize tools and skills already learned to create new projects even without specific teacher directions
  • using a Google form is an easy way to collect and visualize data for a project of this type
  • actually use the Help menu in applications – how many of you can say that?

One student created a Google Presentation on how to use iMovie that it will serve as a tutorial for other students and teachers. She linked her presentation to an iMovie she has on her Mom’s Mobile Me account as it was too big to upload to our Google Apps setup. I never had thought about teaching students to do a stop motion animation, but believe I might work that in to the next class.

The biggest change is that I became the guide in the room to assist as needed but also to develop the soil where this type of self-guided learning could grow. This was a small step, but I feel had enough success that I will try it again next trimester.