For all you teachers who use Google Forms, there is an exciting update to allow for nice customizations. Forms now allows you to modify the backgrounds or make your own background! Gotta love it! Check out the tutorial video below by "Ask the Google Gooru".
Google announced today a new Chrome experiment that looks quite fun. It is a word game that incorporates your speech - not typing. The game is a "build a tower" game that has you spell words. You say each letter and upon spelling the word correctly, it adds a level to your tower. If you are logged into Chrome with your Google account, it will save your game as well as post your score. I have not played long (thus not a very high tower yet!) but I anticipate this to be a fun game to enhance anyone learning English as well as a time killer for others. So open Chrome and head on over to SpellUp. Don't forget to allow access to your microphone!
Hey everyone! I just wanted to make a note that Google has changed up how you can created Docs, etc on mobile devices. The Drive app is still operational, but to create new Docs, Sheets or Slides you will need to download and use their new apps. When you are in Drive and try to create a new item, it should prompt you to download the new app. One of the best features of this is that you will be able to create while off-line! Yea!
This is probably one of the things I wish I could experience in person, but won't be able to due to location. Artist, Janet Echelman and Google Creative Director Aaron Koblin have created the most interesting piece of art in Vancouver, Canada. Check out the video - way cool!
On the Google blog recently, I read a line that struck a nerve with me. I get so frustrated with students who don't want to try because they don't think they will get it right or might possibly fail. The blog post is about "moonshots"...a group called "Solve for X" is starting a movement to encourage new innovations, especially in manufacturing. They went to Congress to share their ideas of "moonshots", but the quote that resonated with me was this: "Part of that involves encouraging and celebrating the audacity of the attempt.". The audacity of the attempt...love that. Lots of kids are so afraid of the attempt for fear of failing. Somehow we have to change that and celebrate the attempt, even if it failed.
Google Blog Post
RIP Google Reader
Google is doing some more "Spring Cleaning" and Google Reader is getting the boot! It is unfortunate for those of us who use Google Reader to keep up with the news and updated blog posts. However, I can see the demise of most of the early RSS readers with some of the new tools that are out there.
I am probably part of the reason Google has decided to end Google Reader. I too have started using another tool to read news feeds, but this tool pulled from my Google Reader account. So now what do we do when Google turns off the switch?
From what I have been reading around the web, there is a solution for "moving over" our feeds to another service, though there is some chatter in the wind about those being shut down too. Feedly is the site that most are talking about, as it is most like Google Reader.
Some of the other sites that are being mentioned have little sticking points like only working on Windows. Check them out for yourself and see which one works best for you! We have until July 1, 2013 to move over to another service.
Whitson Gordon wrote a great article explaining how to go about switching to a new service and list some alternatives as well.
Google has come up with some fun for those who can't be together during the holidays. Use Google+ Hangouts to gather with loved ones for Christmas! Google has put together some fun add-ins just for the occasion with Wallace and Gromit effects. You can also create a special invitation for the hangout. So go have some fun with your loved ones afar!
Check out Google's blog for more information.
Hey Teachers! Searching for "stuff" online can sometimes be quite aggravating - but it doesn't have to be. Google is offering a free workshop for teachers for effective searching. The Google search engine has many features not available through other search engines that make it quite "user friendly". You will get a certificate for your participation so it is good for professional development points.
The session is live and Google staff will be available to assist you. You will get to practice the skills as you go along and get immediate feedback to simple assessments. I took this workshop over the summer and learned a few new things about Google search. Being a computer teacher, I adopted some of these ideas into my own lessons.
This session begins on September 24, 2012 and has 6 "classes" ending on October 10, 2012. When I took the workshop I was able to work at my own pace. If I missed the start date for the class, I was still able to look at the class later.
Sign up today - http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/course
Susan B. Bardin
As a computer science teacher, I find many cool new things in the way of educational technology. This is where I share what I've found.