Google Advanced Search

Google Advanced Search

Google tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ June 7, 2015

We rely on Google for many of the images we use for instruction, and we often teach our students to search using Google for the images they need for their projects. We would like to show you how “Google Advanced Search” will expedite your search and filter your results. Teach your students to search for images that are free for reuse and to cite their sources.

When searching for images, after you have entered your topic and have selected the “Images” search,

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go to the gear located in the upper right hand corner. This

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Select “Advanced search”, and choose your options. Make sure to choose “Usage Rights”,

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and select the appropriate “free to use” option. After you have clicked the blue “Advanced Search” button, you will find the results of your Google Advanced Search.

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Finally, just click on the picture that fits your needs, select “View Image”, and download or copy the image.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.

Google Bookmarks

Google Bookmarks

classroom management Google tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ May 24, 2015

Your 2014-2015 Planbook is either on, or near its last page. It’s time to create and organize your “Year-End Check-off List”. In terms of technology, we cannot stress enough one word.

Backup.
Backup.
Backup.

I vividly remember sitting in an administration office working on a school website on the first day of summer break. In the next room, the district IT administrator was moving files and cleaning out network drives. I also remember the reaction when the entire junior high network drive was accidentally deleted. Although I understood the magnitude of what had just happened, I also felt confident that all of my files were safe. The last thing I had done was a full backup.

Once your files are secure, your next task might be to clean out, delete, and organize your bookmarks. If you are logged into Chrome, these can be accessed from any computer. In addition to Chrome bookmarks, Google has its own bookmarking online service that can be accessed from any browser. By adding a “Google Bookmarklet” to your web browser, you can easily bookmark webpages and label them to organize them. Make sure you have enabled your “Bookmarks Bar” to view the bookmarklet where it will be “dragged”.

These bookmarks are private, and currently you are not able to sync them with Chrome bookmarks. We are hoping this will be a feature that will be added as Google continues to expand its features. For now, you can share individual bookmarked links via your “Google+ Share” tab.

GoogleBookmarks5

The main advantage of your Google Bookmarks page is the ability to store your bookmarks and to access them from any browser on any computer.

You will need to go to https://www.google.com/bookmarks/ and log into your Google account. You may discover that you already have some bookmarks. You can sort them by title, date, or label.

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You can add a bookmark from the toolbar on the side, or you can use the “Google Bookmarklet” to add bookmarks as you clean out and update your Chrome bookmarks.

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It seems as though there are endless ways to manage bookmarks, but we are doing our best to keep it simple for you.

Recess TEC extends our best wishes for this Memorial Day weekend as you spend the time with your family and friends and pause to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.

Substitute Feedback Form

Substitute Feedback Form

classroom management tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ April 19, 2015

As teachers, we all know the huge amount of time it takes to get ready for a substitute teacher. I had my “3-ring substitute teacher notebook” and my “required” sub-folder next to my desk “just in case”. I seldom had to use them. Preparing for a “sub” required far more work than it took to be there. Unless I had a family emergency, or I seriously couldn’t physically teach, I was there. Personal days were used for Recess TEC workshops.

And then there was the “Feedback Form” that was waiting for me on my desk when I returned.

As a substitute teacher, I appreciate the time that is dedicated to getting ready for me. I try to follow the plans as much as I can and to leave comments about my day. There is often a paper feedback form to fill out with a pen/pencil, but more often, when there is none, I open up a Word document and type observations, feedback, comments and messages as the day moves forward.

As I sat Friday afternoon filling out a “Sub Feedback Form”, I thought about Google Forms. As a substitute teacher, it would be much easier to fill out an online form designed for that purpose. As a teacher, it would be nice to have all of the feedback collected in one spreadsheet that I could access from home where I could plan to address any issues when I returned. (That’s what you want, right? To get good news about how your students did exactly what they should have been doing!) It couldn’t replace the plans and general instructions for the substitute, but it would be a nice alternative to the usual feedback form.

If you choose this type of feedback form, I would make sure of the following:
1.    The option for a “digital feedback form” is at the top of the list of instructions for the substitute teacher so he/she could begin using it from the beginning of the day in each class.
2.    The link to the form is clearly labeled and visible on your computer desktop in a folder marked “Substitute Teacher”.
3.    Make sure the substitute teacher has access to your computer desktop.

I’ve put together an example to use as a start for your own. I tried to make it appropriate for both departmentalized and self-contained classrooms. You can view below or here.

If you have any ideas/comments/suggestions as to ways this form could work better in your classroom, please share in the comments. We’re all in this together!

Google Add-On Lab Scheduler

Google Add-On Lab Scheduler

Google tips

 Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ March 1, 2015

Here is another tip we picked up at METC 2015 in the session, “Become a Google Ninja” presented by Michael McCann and Greg Lawrence. “Lab Scheduler” is a Google add-on that enables school personnel to schedule devices, resource rooms, computer labs, or resource personnel. We see “Lab Scheduler” offering far more uses than just device “sign-outs”. For visiting support personnel, training, special events at school when classrooms need to schedule special visitors, and anything that is tied into blocks of time/periods, this add-on will simplify the set up and keep it current.

Lab Scheduler

 

Lab Scheduler Overview

The video below from Greg Lawrence’s YouTube Channel explains how best to add and set up the “Lab Scheduler” add-on, and when I previewed the app itself, I was impressed with how slick it worked. This is a great little management tool for anyone trying to manage schedules in middle schools and high schools.

March made its entrance as the proverbial lion, and with nine inches of fresh snow on the ground,
I’m headed out to catch some snow shots this first day of March.
Stay warm and safe!

Your Google Account + Your YouTube Account

Your Google Account + Your YouTube Account

Google tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 1-25-2015

“Google Apps for Education” and “Google Classroom” have been our popular workshops this past year. It has been exciting to watch the changes and for us, it has been a challenge to keep our training current. Every time we meet with teachers, we add new features to our presentations, and it’s motivating to visualize the ever increasing options for teachers and students.

One of the features that is often missed, and sometimes one that teachers are not aware of, is their YouTube account. Google acquired YouTube in 2006, and if you have a Google account, you have a YouTube account. “Your Google account + your YouTube account” can be paired to create powerful lessons, and for your students, YouTube is a creative venue to showcase what they have learned.

One of the tips we offer is that whenever you are viewing YouTube videos on your computer, log into your account. As you find clips that you can use in your curriculum, add them to a playlist for quick and easy access.

YouTube Playlist

Under each video, you will find a “+ Add to” link. Clicking on this link will give you options to add the video to your “Favorites”, to create a new playlist, or to add the video to an existing playlist.

Sometime this week, take some time to log into your YouTube account, and begin building playlists that match your curriculum. A starting point might be:

YouTubeEducation
YouTube.com/education

 

Browse through the videos on this channel to add some multimedia pieces to a Monday lesson. Don’t forget to add it to your first YouTube playlist.

Google Search for Education

Google Search for Education

Google tips

 Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 1-11-2015

We teach our students how to research,
but research looks a lot different from the research we conducted when we were in the classroom.
There’s nothing more that we love than opening up a book,
but searching online is the first option our students choose.
Google has stepped up to the plate with lessons and support to help us teach students how to research online by providing Google Search for Education.


Google Search for Education is divided into four main areas of support:

Google Search for Education

“Lesson Plans and Activities” provides links to literacy plans viewed as Google Documents with CCSS objectives and step-by-step directions at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Video webinar trainings are included as additional support.

Google Search for Education
“Power Searching” is divided into two main “courses”, “Advanced Power Searching” and “Power Searching”.
Each online course comes with a syllabus and videos to support the instruction.

Google Search for Education

“A Google a Day” is an easy way to provide fun and engaging classroom challenges, whether you choose to assign them daily, or even weekly. The activities reach across the curriculum in Geography, Science, Culture, and History and provide ways for students to work together, or individually on Google Slides.

Google Search for Education

Finally, “Live Training” includes Google+ webinars with the latest tips and trainings from Google.

Google Search for Education

There are plenty of additional links that offer more support as you browse and explore the options.
It’s easy to get pulled into the “World of Google”.
Take a look and we promise you will find something useful to add to this week’s lessons and activities in your planbooks.

Google Tasks

Google Tasks

app email Google iPad tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 1-4-2015

It’s a new year with plenty of goals and projects ahead.
Have we mentioned that we are presenting at ISTE?
In Philadelphia?
Have we told you we are excited?
And then there’s travel, building a new home, and selling the old family homestead.
They’re all at the top of the list.

How in the world are we going to keep track of the “To-Do’s” involved!?
Let’s talk about Google Tasks.

We’ve shared Google Tasks when we present “Google Apps for Education”.
We first discovered it as a component of the Google Calendar,
and the calendar was our “tip post” two years ago.
Google Tasks can by synced across several platforms.
Starting in the calendar itself, the option to add tasks can be seen by clicking the “pull-down” arrow on the left side of your calendar where you find the option to enable “Tasks”. By clicking on it, your “Tasks” will appear in a “Tasks Bar” on the right side of your calendar.

Google Tasks 7

Watch the instructional Google video below that demonstrates adding tasks through your Gmail account which includes tips to manipulate your tasks in your calendar.

And there’s an app for that.
Our “go-to” iTunes app is “Go Tasks” which is free and has excellent user reviews.


GoTasks for Google Tasks

Another option is to make a “homescreen bookmark” as described in this Google video.

Finally, we encourage everyone to use the Chrome browser when working in Google.
There is an extension made by Google, “Google Tasks” which works well.
In researching and reading the reviews, though, we found another extension called, “Better Google Tasks” developed by Matt Atkins. I have installed it, and it does a great job. One of the features I like about this extension is that you can view all of your task lists at once.

We hope these tips help organize and simplify your crazy life a little.
We are working on ours, too. Enjoy what is for many of you, your last day of the holiday break,
and return with a fresh, revised attitude to make the rest of this year the very best for you and your students!

Google Cultural Institute

Google Cultural Institute

Google tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 11-23-2014

We promised to share from IETC (Illinois Education & Technology Conference), and this is another gem we picked up from one of our attendees. Natalie Young, an instructor from Northern Illinois University, sat with us all day in our “Google for Education” session, and approached us as we were packing up. She had a few questions, but most of all, Ms. Young wanted to ask us if we knew anything about the “Google Cultural Institute”. As she described it, we realized that this was new to us. Once again, it reinforced that we “don’t know what we don’t know.”

I started my teaching career as an art teacher, and Natalie had me with “galleries”. Google Cultural Institute has “partnered with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives to host the world’s cultural treasures online.” You can learn about this project on the “About Page” for the Google Cultural Institute. And of course, they have a channel on YouTube. We invite you to watch this video to see the powerful potential this project possesses to add dynamic “multimedia” to the lessons you bring to your students.

You can take your students on a virtual tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, or The Art Institute of Chicago.

Google Cultural Institute 2

Google Cultural Institute 1

Once you have signed into your Google account, you and your students can personalize your own gallery. Collections of relative resources, including videos, documents, art pieces, and artifacts, can be grouped to use with specific lessons, or your students can collect what they need for research projects.

Google Cultural Institute 3

One you have added “pieces” to your collection, you can add personal notes as captions, or a YouTube video.

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So on this rainy day, take some time to visit the Google Cultural Institute and browse through the museums and galleries.

New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

Google Slides + YouTube Videos

Google Slides + YouTube Videos

tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 11-16-2014

IETC 2014, the Illinois Education & Technology Conference, is in the history books.
We shared, we learned, we collaborated, and there is still more to share and learn.
Every session proved that we “don’t know what we don’t know.”
One feature we enjoyed sharing was how quickly and efficiently Google Slides + YouTube Videos can work together to turn a presentation into a multimedia project.

One of the observations made in our Google Apps for Education workshop, was how easy it is to insert a YouTube Video into a Google Slide. Within our own classrooms, our students have collaborated on Google Slides in an environment that is easy to manage when you assign a separate slide to each student. They can easily take ownership of their portion, but still contribute to the group project.

Here is a video tutorial to demonstrate just how easy it is to add a video to your multimedia Google Slide presentation with a YouTube Video.

Remember that, once you publish your Google Slides, you have the option of embedding them into your website. This includes the video. Below is an example of an embedded slide with the same video that we have included. Remember, anything we do to the live Google Slide will be reflected on the embedded slide without saving or embedding it again.

Hope this little trick has helped and that you can find a use for it to share with your students as they begin holiday projects.

Stay warm and dry, and have a great week!

Google Forms Kicks It Up

Google Forms Kicks It Up

tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 10-19-2014

It feels like we have been using Google Forms to collect data since its introduction.Google Forms
With every update, Google has offered features that we welcomed,
but at the same time, we have often lost a few important elements from Google Forms that we used and were missed.FormsIcon1

This latest update has us excited.
We have seen hints foreshadowed with messages about changes to Google Forms themes, and you can tell we couldn’t wait to share them with you. We are teachers at heart, and we look for ways to include more design and creativity into our technology.

Below is a video with Shannon demonstrating the new features.
Watch as she explains how to customize your form to make it look more professional and how to make it blend with the design of your webpage.
We are both self-proclaimed “Geeks” and own the fact that options as described in this video will add a little more “recess” to our lives.