Tuesday, May 24, 2016

10 Google Tools to Try Out This Week

  1. Google Art Project
Explore this database of paintings, artifacts, and sculptures. Create your gallery, compare and contrast paintings, and go on a virtual eld trip.
> Web: www.googleartproject.com
> iOS: goo.gl/vhEEM2
Pro Tip: Use Street View to explore in 360

2. World Wonders
Journey through the wonders of the world via pictures, videos, and get to ground level with street view.

3. Custom Search Engine
Create your own search engine with only sites you’ve deemed credible and educational.
> Go to cse.google.com

4. Constitute Project
Locate the world's constitutions from one site. Search by topic and compare results.
> www.constituteproject.org

5. Digital version of building with LEGOs.

Check out the academy, and sign in to locate your builds.
> www.buildwithchrome.com

6. CS First
Coding club content and resources. You don’t need to know how to program to teach it, learn it or use it.
> www.cs-first.com

7. Docs Story Builder
A web tool for creating stories with friends; add music and text only. Great for writing assignments!
> Web: docsstorybuilder.appspot.com
Pro Tip: Save your link if you don’t log in.

8. App Inventor
Use the ‘+’ symbol to add someone via their Google Account
> Insert
> Comment
> Add the persons email as follows
The user will receive an email and will now have access to comment on this document.

9. Androidify
Create your own Android avatar with this custom tool.
> Share via social media
> Save to use with Slides
> Saves as GIF

10. NIK Collection
Photo editing plug-ins for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture. Use these tools to make adjustments
to the color and tonality of images.
> Web: www.google.com/nikcollection

Monday, May 23, 2016

First Student Summit Grant in the Books!

Kern Kelley
Director of Student Agency

In 2012 I was invited to present at the Google Teacher Academy in Google’s New York City office. Now known as the Google Certified Innovator Academy, this is a professional development opportunity for educators from around the world. At the event, educators receive learning from teachers and Googler's. I was thrilled to be involved and wanted to share the experience with my students. I asked the Google in Education team if I could bring them to present with me and they enthusiastically agreed.

Since that time, my long term goal has always been to work with students, teaching and providing experiences for them to give back to the educational community. We called these students Tech Sherpas. A helpful guide for anyone who needs it. During the years my students and I have produced a live technology support show and presented at hundreds of conferences. That work has culminated into a book that will be published soon.


The lessons and activities found in this book are designed for educators to teach students about Google Apps for Education. Ultimately, these students will go on to teach others, learning throughout the process. This dream came to fruition at the EdTechTeam Student Summit in Dallastown Intermediary School.
While no one knows what will come next, we do know that whatever happens, these students are prepared for anything.

We will be back next Tuesday at 3:00 EST

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

10 Ways You Can Make the Web More Accessible

1. Read&Write for Google

Make files and the web accessible for those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, struggling readers & writers, and ESL/ELL. Supports multiple le types:

- Google Docs
- ePub
- Kes

Link to Install: http://goo.gl/Q2qXIv

2. Visor

Screen dimmer and reading aid, may help with fluency, eye-strain, concentration and comprehension while reading.

Link to install goo.gl/UZEQQH

3. “Ok Google”

Search by voice
> Go to www.google.com and click on mic
> Download the app

Android: goo.gl/1MV0qL
iOS: goo.gl/KkWq0d

4. Crafty Text

This extension allows the user's text to be displayed on screen on top of a web page in large type.

Install to Chrome: goo.gl/z0alBM

5. Chrome Extensions by Google

Accessibility extensions you can add to Chrome (all made by Google).

-High Contrast
-Image Alt Text Viewer
-Long Descriptions in Context Menu
-Caret Browsing

Link to List: goo.gl/27zLNu

6. YouTube Features

-Add caption tracks to your video files. Captions help deaf and hard of hearing viewers or for
speakers of different languages.
-Activate subtitles on YouTube videos:
> Click on the gear just below your video
> Subtitles > Select Language or Off
-Transcript Option

Go to YouTube.com > Select your video> More > Transcript

7. Google Hangouts

A free video conferencing tool that lets up to 15 people connect, chat, share their desktops, and more.
> Hangout landing page: hangouts.google.com

8. Docs Voice Typing

Use your voice to type, edit and customize your doc.

> For set up and voice commands go to: goo.gl/O6GEy3

9. Drive iOS App Features

Google Drive works with the VoiceOver accessibility feature on iPhone/iPad.

> Go to Settings > Select General > Tap Accessibility
> Press VoiceOver and change its status to "On"

10. More Resources

Full list: goo.gl/rSwx1B
Google: www.google.com/accessibility/products

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

61 Events, 5 Countries: April is a Wrap!

Director of Professional Learning

April was a busy month for EdTechTeam!

We hosted 61 events in five countries in April. The events ranged from our Summits in Kitchener, Ontario and Franklin, Indiana to our Summit tour is Australia and New Zealand. We also offered 15 Certification Bootcamps in the month of April and in-district customized professional development such as this GAFE workshop at San Fransisco Unified SD as well as a student event in Lachine, Canada. 
We reported a combined 483 hours of professional development on behalf of 61 different Google Certified Trainers

We are honored to work with so many fabulous trainers and organizations. Thank you for allowing us to share our knowledge and expertise with so many educators and students. Look what's in store for May and contact us about coming to you. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

3 Tips to Rock the Google Level 2 EDU Certification

Toronto, Canada
Want to become a Google for Education Certified Innovator? You'll need Certified Educator Level 2 to do it. Applications Due: May 10th!


The new Google Certified Educator Certifications were established to give teachers official recognition of their mastery and understanding of Google Apps for Education. The exams consist of multiple choice questions and practical scenarios that require you to demonstrate hands-on knowledge of various Google tools.  The modules in the Training Centre cover topics such as basic Google docs, Google Classroom, Blogger, Google Earth, Google groups, Gmail, Google Play for Education, and much more. The exams are designed to be finished in 3 hours and cost $10 for Level 1 and $25 for Level 2.

“To get certified or not get certified?” that is the question!

When the Google Certification program launched a few months ago, I debated taking the exams.

“Why do I need to get certified? I’m managing fine with Google Apps and I’m doing interesting things with my students. What’s the point?” I said to myself.

Life gets busy and it’s easy to put something aside that is optional. But then I began to notice that teachers in my network who I admire were getting their certifications. I started to feel like I was missing out on something and before I knew it, I signed up to do the Level 2 exam (I decided to skip Level 1). “How hard could it be?” I thought.

Prior to the exam, I perused the Level 2 Training modules, tried some of the unit quizzes, and felt like I was ready to go. I clicked “Start the exam” and 3 hours later, I clicked “Finish”.

Within minutes I received this email:

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 4.01.19 PM.png

I was crushed. Despite my confidence with Google Apps, my level of expertise was obviously not what I believed it to be. And then the real self-debate began: To re-try the exam, or just accept defeat? Exam rules stipulate that you must wait two weeks before re-taking an exam so I had 14 days to get ready. I decided to go for it. This is what I did to prepare for the retake of the Level 2 exam:

  1. I reviewed the modules for Level 1, took the Level 1 exam and passed (much easier!)
  2. I revisited the modules for Level 2, reviewing every section in finer detail. I did all of the lesson checks and all of the unit review quizzes. I took screenshots of the questions I didn’t answer correctly, and went back and reviewed the material. Then I did all the lesson checks and quizzes again. And again. Until I got every answer right.
  3. I created a folder on my Bookmarks bar and loaded it up with links to topics that I wasn’t feeling confident about for quick and easy reference during the exam (all the links are from the Training Centre.) Tip: put these bookmarks in alphabetical order for easy retrieval.
Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 11.09.27 PM.png

NOTE: When you take the exam you have to sign out of your Google account (they will give you a temporary account for the exam), so your bookmarks might not be available, especially if you’re on a Chromebook. So I recommend that you have two computers open during the exam: one for the exam itself, the other to access your bookmarks.

Hardest part of the exam? The multiple choice questions. They were tricky; some questions were confusing and appeared to have several answers. Some questions were difficult to understand. There’s definitely a skill involved in doing multiple choice questions, a skill you can hone by doing (and re-doing) all of the lesson checks and unit review quizzes in the Training Centre.

The practical part of the exam was fun. I can’t divulge specific information, but be prepared to demonstrate your working knowledge of everything GAFE (Docs, Sheets, Forms, Add-ons, Sites, Blogger, Classroom, Google Scholar, Google Play for Education, etc.) The best way to prepare for this part of the exam is simply to use GAFE (in every aspect!) on a regular basis. If you’re not, you’re going to find this section very challenging. Reviewing the tools that you don’t use often in the Training Centre is highly recommended.

I am happy to report that minutes after I pressed “End Exam”, I received this notification:

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 4.04.27 PM.png

Bottom line: these exams are definitely worth while taking. You will learn so much about GAFE, even if you feel like you already know a lot. The process will help you see what areas you have a good working knowledge of and what areas you have more learning to do. BONUS: if you pass, you get to proudly display your badges wherever you want. And who doesn’t love badges?!

If you are a teacher who prefers to have support while preparing for the exams, the EdTechTeam offers Bootcamps across the USA and Canada. Or, you can contact them to come to your school/board to provide a personalized, in-house Bootcamp.

In Eastern Canada, consider coming to the fall 2016 2-day GAFESummit in Toronto which will offer a full day Level 1 Boot Camp on Saturday, and a full day Level 2 Boot Camp on Sunday. This GAFESummit will also offer regular GAFE sessions, along with sessions for iOS/iPad users. And it’s at MY SCHOOL!!!! (Crescent School). There will be something for everyone, so don’t miss it! (The date is not yet determined so stay tuned)

Do you have more tips for passing the Google Certification exams? Please leave your ideas in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Get coding in your classroom! Enter the Challenge.

We know how important it is to get kids exposed to computer programming, but how? Here are 10 easy ways to get started with coding in the classroom.

1. Pencilcode Draw
Pencilcode.net is for everyone and works much like the old Logo program where you write simple commands to make a turtle move on a grid. forward 10, right 90, forward 10, right 90 forward 10, right 90, forward 10. Boom. You just coded a square. Make more interesting shapes as you learn more code. goo.gl/DDpZHV
2. Android App Inventor
With a computer and an Android device, you can learn to be an app developer and make truly functional apps. Start with the Hello Purr tutorial. goo.gl/KPf63J
3. Code without a Computer
Inspired by Pencilcode, have kids invent their own computer language and have other students execute the commands out in the playground. goo.gl/WnxuUK
4. Code with Google Forms
Using multiple choice questions in Google Forms, you can enable the “Go to page based on answer” feature to create branching logic “Choose Your Own Adventure” style stories. Should you go in the cave or into the woods? goo.gl/7pzqyH
5. Code in a Spreadsheet
Whenever you reference one cell in another, you're starting to understand variables. Have students make a tip calculator app into a spreadsheet by formulating simple division. goo.gl/dEHHkI
6. Learn HTML, CSS, and Python with Codecademy
Codecademy offers bite-sized lessons in coding that middle and high school students can follow and learn to code like a pro. Added bonus … students earn collectable badges. goo.gl/vQz7Od
7. Control BB8 at code.org
Code.org is one of the largest platforms designed to get kids coding. You can learn coding by playing games with a Star Wars theme. goo.gl/SRNBtG
8. Get hands-on with a Raspberry Pi
Learn how computers get physical by running your own code on a computer you wire yourself with LED lights and motors. Get started at raspberrypi.org.
9. Hello Processing!
Learn how code and art interact at hello.processing.org and take really fun tutorials on how to create your own visual magic with computer programming. goo.gl/Xct2rZ
10. Robotics with MINDSTORMS
Admit it: you want to build a robot army. You need to start somewhere, and LEGO MINDSTORMS is a great platform to design, build, and code your own robots that respond to the the environment. Please use your power for good. goo.gl/DJWq46

Watch Coding on Air!


Do your students code? We're sourcing coding lesson plans for an upcoming book, Code in Every Class by Kevin Brookhouser. Share yours! Extra bonus: We'll be sending Raspberry Pi's to the winners each week!

Submit your lesson plans through by filling out this form submit.codeineveryclass.org 

Help share this challenge on Twitter with #codeineveryclass.

Need an idea of what we're looking for?
Here's one example.

*Note: submissions gives the publisher rights to publish your coding lesson and your attribution.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

March Google PD Partner News

March was another amazing month of connecting with educators around the globe! We hosted 45 events in six countries, including our 4th Annual Summits in Hawaii and GeorgiaCertification Bootcamps around the U.S., and in-district customized professional development such as these GAFE workshops in Saudi Arabia and Australia as well as a student event in Forest Hills, OH.

We reported a combined 494 hours of professional development on behalf of 71 different Google Certified Trainers.

We are honored to work with so many fabulous trainers and organizations. Thank you for allowing us to share our knowledge and expertise with so many educators and students. Look what's in store for April and as always, feel free to contact us about coming to you!