Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top 10 Chromebook Tips from EdTechTeam

Got Chromebooks? 

Get familiar with these 10 tips for personal, professional, or classroom use! 

1. Keyboard Shortcuts goo.gl/QWxjJN
2. Zoom in/Out on Chromebooks goo.gl/HfiLSh
3. Pin an App to the Taskbar
4. Search
5. Caps Lock Key
6. Screenshots
7. Split Screen
8. Pin a Webpage to apps Screen
9. Download Files
10. GAFE Training Center goo.gl/m2hCmw

Looking for more on Chromebooks? EdTechTeam's Chromebook workshops can help you make the most of this powerful tool! 

  • Chromebooks in the Classroom
  • Harnessing the Power of Creation with Chromebooks
  • GAFE Jumpstart Workshop 1: Chrome Browser, Chromebooks, and Gmail
  • Google for Educational Leaders

View our entire catalogue of PD offerings here.
Request a workshop here.

Friday, February 12, 2016

EdTechTeam TCEA16 Highlights

They say everything's bigger in Texas. 

Well the #TCEA16 Annual Conference and Exposition Feb 1 - 5, 2016, did not disappoint. Not only were there a lot of people (over 9000 attendees), but the energy and enthusiasm were equally grand.

This year, EdTechTeam went all out with sessions, workshops, exhibit presentations, panel participation and so much more. We kicked things off on Monday by participating in the Google Academy panel.

1100 educators participated by providing pressing questions around the use of Google Apps. One of the key topics that came up most was around identifying the best digital platforms for learning, best tools, resources, creative spaces, safety, and more.

It helped solidify that educators in Texas are pushing the envelope beyond the tech and towards creating safe creative and engaging learning environments for students.

The panel was led by Google Academy Steering Committee members Stuart Burt and Kasey Bell. Panelists included Carolyn Foote, Eanes ISD; Rafranz Davis, Lufkin ISD; Scott Floyd, White Oak ISD; Monica Martinez, EdTech Team; and Tom Woods, AmplifiedIT. The entire day's program can be found here: Google Academy.

Google Education now has a dedicated Texas team to help support GAFE and Chromebook initiatives. Throughout the week they too had a big presence.

During the Google Academy and in Room 2 they showcased the Google Expeditions program. With more than 100 current expeditions, the virtual reality platform built for the classroom, engages students in a whole new perspective. Since August 2015, over 500,000 students have gone on an Expedition.

If you didn’t get a chance to experience Expeditions, check out the program here: https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions.

Sign up to let them know you’d like the Expeditions Pioneer Program to stop at your school. They’ll be making their way to as many schools as possible, but spots are limited. So sign up today!

Monday night we had the opportunity to lead and co-sponsor the Texas Google Educator Group Party honoring the Texas GEG Leaders, Texas Google Certified Innovators, Texas Google Certified Trainers, and Administrators. 

Along with our partners Google for Education and AmplifiedIT, we hosted a two-hour networking event with games, food, and door prizes. 175 Google enthusiasts came together for the night.

Texas is well represented among the Google certified educator community. To date there are:
>150 Google Certified Trainers
>25 Google Certified Innovators
>97 district + 6 ESCs in the Texas GAFE Technical Collaborative

Across the world there are 50 million using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and 10 million using Classroom. There are 30,000 Chromebooks being activated in schools every school day making it the #1 device in the US two years running.

With the continued growth of GAFE deployments and Chromebook implementations across Texas, we’ll be working with passionate educators interested in becoming certified educators. To learn how to become certified and to host a certification training at your school or campus, contact Kate Petty (kate@edtechteam.com). Hosts will receive 3 comp tickets.

Huge thanks to Google for Education for their continued support and Google Fiber for the space to host the event. Thanks to AmplifiedIT for providing the funding for our food and WeVideo for providing some of our door prizes.  

Monday was only the beginning! We continued the week with back to back sessions and workshops with the Google Edu Team in Room 2, with ViewSonic in the exhibit hall, and throughout the event including a live radio spot on the official TCEA Radio channel.

EdTechTeam featured Monica Martinez (EdTechTeam’s Regional Director), Stephanie Villegas, and new to Texas, Sergio Villegas. These Texas rock stars facilitated 21 sessions throughout the week. We tweeted all of our resources, but in case you missed them, here they are: edtech.team/AtTCEA16.

On that note, huge thanks for the love on Twitter last week. If you're looking for resources on Google Apps or edtech, here are some great folks to follow and don’t forget to search twitter for #gafesummit.

Out of everything we shared, our GAFE Tips poster tweet got the most love. People signed up to receive our 11x17 posters that showcase tips on different Google Apps services like Docs, Slides, Chrome, Cardboard, and more. During the TCEA conference, we designed two more: Chromebooks and GAFE Workflows.

If you're interested in receiving these posters, sign up here: edtech.team/GAFEposters.

All in all, it was a great event for us. We loved being able to connect with old friends like our partners TextHelp and WeVideo, and our 2015 Google Apps for Education Summit hosts. It was also great to make new connections. Among the discussions, we identified new hosts for Google events in 2016.

Last year we had amazing hosts in South Texas (Weslaco ISD), East Texas (Sabine Pass ISD), and the Texas Panhandle (Canyon ISD). In addition to these areas, we’re super excited to announce our new 2016 hosts for Google Apps Summits:

Dallas Area (Royse City ISD)

and back for year two…

And that's not it! We have more in the works for west Texas (Big Bend area and El Paso), East Texas (Beaumont/Port Arthur area), central Texas (Temple, Waco, Hays County), and south Texas (Rio Grande Valley).

We hope that you will join us at one or more of these events. More information can be found at tx.gafesummit.com.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Host an EdTechTeam Google Certification Bootcamp... For FREE!

Kate Petty
Director of Certification Programs

Read her blog at thetechclassroom.com

Imagine being able to tell the parents at your school that your teachers are digitally certified. Not only digitally certified... but certified by Google. We think they'd be impressed!

Google’s new certification program helps teachers at all levels get officially certified in a very unique way. Teachers can take the free online curriculum and then register to take the Google Certified Educator Level 1 and/or Level 2 exam for a small fee. Once the exam is passed, Google will email the educator a printable certificate and electronic badge to add to his/her electronic signature.

The best part of Google’s new certification program is that it isn’t all about “Google”. The new program helps educators understand modern pedagogy, offers digital citizenship resources, provides ideas for coaching models, and helps teachers establish Personal Learning Networks - so important in this world of connectivity.

EdTechTeam is proud to announce that we now offer a unique set of Google Certified Educator Bootcamps designed to prepare teachers to start studying for their certifications. Very much in-line with our Google Summits, EdTechTeam Bootcamps are ticketed events. Different from Summits, our Bootcamps are intimate affairs with only 25-30 people in attendance. A school or district can sign up to host one with no risk and market the event to the schools around them. Once the event has reached 20 paid tickets, the host of the event gets three free tickets for the event.


EdTechTeam Bootcamps for Google Certified Educator Level 1 and Level 2 offer their participants catered lunch and a voucher to take the respective exam. And the learning doesn’t stop when the teachers walk out of the door of an EdTechTeam Bootcamp. Teachers are invited to our closed Bootcamp community of educators who help each other night and day while providing encouragement as they are preparing to take the exam.  

Principals and administrators are finding that teachers walk away from our Bootcamp events energized to become certified and empowered to try new things in their classrooms. We look forward to empowering educators by preparing them for these digital certifications. Bring a Bootcamp to your school by filling out a short request form and email Kate with any questions!

Friday, February 5, 2016

January Google for Education PD Partner News!

Director of Professional Learning

It's been a great start to 2016. As part of being one of the very few official Google PD Partners, EdTechTeam is responsible for reporting our events that feature Google for Education as well as the hours for all the Google Certified Trainers that work with us.

We're excited to look at what we accomplished together in January and wanted to share it with you here!

We hosted 32 events in four countries in January. The events ranged from our eight Summits featuring Google in Education in places like Bangkok and Las Vegas to our Certification Bootcamps and in-district customized professional development such as in MississippiNew JerseyOklahoma  and Canberra, Australia

We reported a combined 552 hours of professional development on behalf of 78 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 February and contact us about coming to you. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Under the Hood: Google Docs Revision History

This is the first post in a new series from EdTechTeam that is designed to help anyone get started with anything. I also hope that these posts might also serve as a refresher for those who might not have used a tool in some time. As we’re well known for our work in the Google Apps for Education space, we’ll be focusing initial efforts there. Other topics will find their way into the series in due time.

I would like to point out that while we personally prefer to focus our efforts on classroom pedagogy and transformational teaching and learning, we acknowledge any change effort requires a starting point. If you’re reading this, and you’re just getting started with instructional technology, I welcome you.

Under the Hood: Google Docs Revision History

One of the best features of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms is the Revision History feature. This feature allows the editors and viewers to see the full history of changes made to a file.

View this larger here

As an educator, the revision history is invaluable for several reasons:

  1. No more unrecoverable mistakes How many times have you accidentally deleted an entire page of text by moving too quickly? I have. In fact, I have done it several times. Having access to the revision history means I can quickly restore the doc to a prior state. Students can too…
  2. Managing group projects more effectively When students are working on a group project, you can quickly use the revision history to see who has contributed content and edits to any given piece of text or presentation. I have used this as an opportunity to head off problems before the team gets off the rails. It takes no time to determine that a student has not been participating and I can have a chat with him to get him contributing to the effort.
  3. Understanding work habits On individual and group assignments, I have used the information from the revision history of a document to better understand the work habits of my students. Unsurprisingly, I found that many of my students tended to work late at night--especially those in middle school and high school. However, deeper investigation led me to discover that some of them didn’t have a choice and were working late at night because they had to care for siblings after they got out of school. This was why they were so tired when they came into class. Armed with this information, I was forced to rethink how I ran my classes in order to not put them to sleep. That’s how I found myself experimenting with Project Based Learning.

What other ways are you using the revision history feature? Be sure to share in the comments below.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend a #GAFESUMMIT

Sylvia Duckworth is a #AIMlang French teacher and excited by the creative & collaborative aspects of technology who likes to think outside the box. She is a Google Certified Innovator in Toronto, Canada and you may have seen her amazing sketchnotes in the wild for us!

  1. Find out how Google Apps for Education (GAFE) can automate your workload and simplify your life.
  2. Learn how to give immediate, effective and ongoing student feedback
  3. Discover the amazing collaborative features of GAFE
  4. Learn how to empower your students with GAFE tools
  5. Explore how your students can get creative with GAFE
  6. Network and meet other teachers in your community who are excited about education.
  7. Get inspired by international and local speakers and presenters.
  8. Get Googley in the Photo Booth with old and new friends
  9. Be dazzled and entertained with the Demo Slams
  10. Find out how you can disrupt education and make a significant difference in your students’ lives