Google Apps Templates Now Available in GAFE

Gafetemplatesdocssmall

The new Google Apps Templates are great. They showed up in our Google Apps for Education account a few days ago. Explore in Spreadsheets did as well. As the Google Apps services get better and better, there are fewer reasons to stick with the non-cloud based tools.

From Google:

Your best work, your best you 
Creating presentations, crafting newsletters and managing your team’s budget is hard enough without having to worry about making everything look good. With the new collection of templates in DocsSheets and Slides, you can focus on your content while we make sure it gets the expert polish it deserves. Choose from a wide variety of reports, portfolios, resumes and other pre-made templates
 designed to make your work that much better, and your life that much easier.


Learn more at the Google Docs Blog.

NC GAfE Summit 2014

I am excited to be presenting at this years summit. At last years summit, I got serious about learning how I could help my school and other schools leverage these powerful tools by becoming an authorized Google Education Trainer. I will be presenting again on using Google Sites for student portfolios and introducing a new session called Google Apps and iOS are Jet Fuel for Learning where I will show how to harness the power of Google Apps to extend a 1:1 iPad program. After two years helping my school with our iPad program, I can attest to how these two corporate solutions are not oil and water, but rather jet fuel. There is still time to come and take part in the summit so register today at http://nc.gafesummit.com/.

Find links to my presentations as well as other presenters at http://nc.gafesummit.com/2014/program/sessions or at my other site http://www.digitalkarl.com/

Image is property of EdTechTeam

Both a GET and an AFT with NDAs

GoogleEducationTrainer badge RGB       AAcertficate200 

 

My summer is off to a great start already. Over the last 7 months I worked at becoming a Google Education Trainer and last week I attended Apple Academy in Cupertino, CA. I met some great people at the Academy and learned a lot about providing professional development with colleagues instead of at colleagues. While at the Apple Academy, I learned I had been accepted into the Google Education Trainer program. As I was only blocks away from Apple HQ, and using Apple equipment, I did not mention it to anyone by Pete who I instantly connected with when I got to the hotel. I had to tell someone and besides my wife, I figured he as a safe bet.

I signed the NDA (Non-Discloure Agreement) with Google on Thursday and another one with Apple on Friday to make the week a real twofer. I am so excited to be recognized by both of these leading companies who are using the wealth of resources to move education forward. I look forward to helping Durham Academy do even more with Apple’s products as I am limited to using the wealth of curriculum they provided with just my school. I plan to start an Apple Vanguard Group at school. I also know we can harness the tools and resources Google offers for Durham Academy and I am willing to work with other schools to help them as well. This is expected of me as an authorized Google Education Trainer. I have already worked with a few other schools and non-profits through my new consulting business Digital Karl and look forward to more learning opportunities. 

Hoping to be a GET

Digital Karl Logo240

I started working towards becoming a GET in 2008 in many respects as I worked to bring Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to Durham Academy. I knew it was the tools we needed to support our learning community. It has transformed the learning community and myself in the process. While my work started in 2008, it was not until 2010 that we adopted GAFE. Since that day I have used GAFE as my go to resource and creation location. I live in the Googleverse and promote it with my colleagues and students. 

I was excited when I heard Ravenscroft was hosting a GAFE Summit and quickly asked to attend the Google Apps Certified Trainer Bootcamp. I wanted to become part of the community helping schools learn how GAFE can change their school. After 7 months work of studying, taking exams, and helping Durham Academy, VISnet, The Lerner School and others implement GAFE, I have submitted my application. Since I started the process, the name has changed from Google Certified Trainer to Google Education Trainer (GET). I am hopeful I will be accepted although I will not know until June. This is my GET application I submitted. In preparation to being accepted, I also created a site for my consulting work. DigitalKarl.com

Here are two movies I made for my application:

My introduction filmed on one of the many snow days we had.

 

 

How to use the Concatenate function in a Google Sheet.

 

 

 

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.

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

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.


Client Software Downloads When You Do Not Own the Device

upload

‘Upload / Download’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/59158146@N00/1229138273

Our students use FirstClass Communication for their school email and messaging system. As part of my Digital Learning class, I assign the act of downloading and configuring the client software so students have the best possible experience with the system. There is a web-based interface which to their credit has become pretty good. However, it is not apples to apples between the client software and the web interface, so we still prefer that students download and install the client software on their “home” computers. For many students this is not an issue as siblings may go to school here as well so the software may already be setup. Others share computers with their parents and while many parents do allow the downloading and installing others do not for any variety of reasons. Perhaps the laptops are the parents work computer or perhaps they prefer to only install software that is needed for their use. It may also be a case of the real fear of being infected with malware or viruses. Computers for the most part become quite personal and must be dependable since new software can cause issues with other software. Again, great strides have been made, but yet the client is more powerful.

Here are some responses I received from my 5th and 6th grade students. You can see that the success and reactions are all over the place. If this were the class textbook, how would this be handled?

Dear Mr. Schaefer,

Success! It was very easy. However, if we ever have to download more downloads, my mom needs to know what we we are going to be using it for. Thank you and I can’t wait for another fun day in Technology!! 🙂

Best wishes,

N

Dear Mr. Schaefer,

Sorry but my mom won’t let me download first class on my computer, sorry once again

Your friend,

I

Dear Mr. Schaefer,

I tried to download First Class they way you told us in class, but it still would not work. I usually would ask my dad to help me but both of my parents are out of town right now. My dad gets back on Thursday and I will ask him to help me then. I apologize if this causes any trouble and I will do my best to install it.

Sincerely,

J

I have had it since the begining of the year. In fact, my mom is the one who thought of getting it on my computer!

See you later,
C

Firstclass is downloaded on both of my computers, my ipod, and my ipad.

Thank You,
D

The most telling part of our class discussions around email is that while almost all of the 5th grade students use FirstClass, almost all of the 6th grade students use a non-school Google account for their personal Gmail. FirstClass is only their “school” account. Since FirstClass has Instant Messaging, I asked them if they use it. Their response was, uh no, we use GTalk.

How are schools supposed to work in this new frontier when the approved tools become outdated because newer ones are available faster then schools can adapt and/or adopt? Is this OK since should schools attempt to be responsible for all aspects of a students technology?

As our school continues to contemplate issues a device to students there will be more questions like these that will need discussions. A good point of issuing a device is there will no longer be a need for students and parents to do homework that involves downloading, installing, and configuring software. Or will it?

 

 

Directing the Rider

Direct 1

At our October Faculty Meeting I gave a presentation entitled “Motivating the Elephant” based on the book Switch by the Heath Brothers. See this post for that presentation. At our next faculty meeting, my presentation will be on Directing the Rider which is the second strategy for preparing an organization for a switch. The feedback from my first presentation was mixed in that some colleagues felt that they were doing all they could with what they had to work with while others had concerns that a decision had been made without any discussion. I am attempting to address the first concern with the first slide in the presentation as I was not talking about teachers not doing enough, rather I was talking about the need of our organization to do more. We teachers are often too willing to attach messages to ourselves instead of seeing them as institutional. I can not fully address the decision being made as I do not have all of the information. My sense is that the decision is very much in flux as a group of teachers are traveling next week to Webb School in Knoxville TN to see that school’s iPad deployment. Another school they will visit is Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga TN which recently switched from Windows Tablets to MacBook Airs. Teachers and administrators are going to learn how these two schools utilize the devices in their learning community. Our Middle School Director, Jon Meredith, French Teacher, Teresa Engebretsen, Algebra and Pre-Algebra Teacher, Gib Fitzpatrick, and Sixth Grade Language Arts Teacher Patti Donnelly are part of the group. Patti is also one of the two teachers testing out laptops and iPads with their students. I look forward to hearing what they have learned and how it will help our school determine if we want a 1 to 1 deployment of a student device.

I believe my presentation on Monday will help address some of the concerns raised and move the conversation to helping us all use what we presently have available in addition to new ideas and strategies for learning in this modern era. I will be using a Google Presentation but recorded this VoiceThread version ahead of time for colleagues who cannot attend the meeting on Monday.