Thursday, 15 January 2015

January 16, 2015 - New Year - New Tools

Hello Everyone and Welcome to 2015!

I hope that everyone had a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday with family and friends.  If you made a New Year’s resolution to make technology a greater part of your teaching repertoire this year, I have some suggestions for you. 

Google Classroom App
Google Apps for education has introduced a new Google Classroom app for Apple and android devices.  Both students and educators can utilize the app to complete and view assignments on the go.  Further, student can quickly snap a photo from the assignments page in the app and attach it to an assignment.  This is fantastic for capturing an image of an experiment, completing a photo scavenger hunt or even having a family member text them an image of forgotten homework that they can hand in with the assignment.  Students can also attach PDFs and webpages from other apps to their assignments, simply click on share in the document, etc. and Google Classroom will appear as one of the options.  This opens up many opportunities for teachers and students to reduce, if not eliminate extraneous papers.  Google has also announced new features for teachers in the Google Classroom desktop application.  You are now able to archive classes at the end of a semester or term, and view an assignments page so where teachers can see all of the student’s assignments and mark them as being reviewed.  I can’t wait to get started with these new tools and options.

Ontario Google Summit – Kitchener, April 11and 12th
In April, the EdTech team is presenting the Ontario Google Summit in Kitchener.  This is an amazing opportunity to learn an immense amount of information about Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and how to utilize them in class and as teaching tools.  Although the price is rather high, this two-day event includes breakfast and lunches, 8 interactive sessions, two amazing keynote speakers and a ‘demoslam’.  Having attended myself in previous years, I can assure you that this event is extremely informative and will leave you energized and ready to begin using Google Apps in your classroom.

Cybraryman website and resources
Jerry Blumengarten is also known as ‘Cybraryman’ and is the curator of the go-to website for educational websites and online resources.  His webpages are organized by both grade level and/or subject area and offer links to webpages from around the world for students, teachers and parents alike.  He is a knowledgeable and supportive educator who always has many suggestions on where you can find resources on a variety of topics.  If you wish to, or need to teach it, Cybraryman has a link to it. 

Only 55 days to March Break!!