Tools & Tips Tuesdays

Powersearching with Google

The resources I have to share with you this week are Powersearching With Google and A Google A Day. Both of these websites help you become faster and more efficient when conducting online research.

Google Tip: The Omnibox is not just for URLs

In the past, I’ve shared with you that you can use the omnibox to set a timer by typing in “set a timer for 5 minutes”. The omnibox can also perform other tasks such as unit conversions (kg to lbs), calculator (12% of 68) , dictionary (define technology), weather (weather honolulu), tracking flights (ha 124), rolling a dice (roll a die), and flipping a coin (flip a coin). 

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Synth & Voice Experiments with Google

The tool I have to share with you this week is Synth (formerly known as Recap). This tool transforms any conversation into an interactive podcast empowering student and teacher voice. You could leverage this tool to listen to student discussions, for formative assessment, school announcements and updates, professional development and more. Check out their education page for more details on getting started.

Google Tip: Voice Experiments with Google

Voice Experiments with Google are another unique way for students to use their voice to interact with technology. Invent brand new animals using Safari Mixer, create interactive talking stories with Story Speaker, or use deductive reasoning to guess the Mystery Animal.  There are many different experiements to explore. Memebuddy is a neat one that you can use to create a meme using your voice. This would be an easy way to create memes with students. Check out ISTE’s 5 Ways to Use Memes with Students for ideas.

Chrome Experiments by Google & Kami

The tools I have to share with you this week are from Chrome experiments by Google. These are great web experiences to show students. You can even circle back and make connections to coding, too. Chrome Music Song Maker and Autodraw are a few of my favorites.

Kami is an extension you can add to google chrome that helps with digital annotation. This is a student friendly tool that is accessible through chromebooks or any device. It also integrates with Google Classroom.

CoSpaces EDU & Science Journal

The tool I have to share with you this week is CoSpaces EDU. This is a tool that engages students with AR and VR experiences. Not only can they consume and immerse themselves in these experiences, but they can be creators of these spaces. They have many adaptable lesson plans available and is equipped with a class management dashboard where you can monitor student work. For more computer science extension, CoSpaces EDU also has a feature to tie in coding. Yesterday they just announced more new features.

Google Tip: Google Science Journal Updates

Google Science Journal is updating their resources and there are many more activities in their bank of experiments. In the past, when I shared this tool with you it had some limitations.  However, Science Journal now supports multiple platforms and now integrates with Google Drive accounts. Check out the new content! You may even notice some of the OK Go Sandbox activities I shared at the beginning of the school year.

Google Tour Creator & EDU in 90

The tool I have to share with you this week is Google Tour Creator. This is a tool that allows you to create immersive virtual reality 360 experiences for students. The tours you create can be viewed on any device (mobile, desktop, or through VR viewer). There are templates with examples of what is possible. Here is a demo one I made called Where in the world was Miss Galang? This was used for a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine. If you are would like to use this tool in your classroom and would like assistance, please let me know!

Google Tip: Edu in 90

Edu in 90 is an informative video series by Google for Education. Each video is done in 90 seconds and highlights important topics related to G Suite tools. Since it’s Computer Science Education week, check out Edu in 90’s Made With Code video

Goosechase EDU & Suggestion Mode in Google Docs

The tool I have to share with you this week is Goosechase EDU. This is a tool that allows educators to facilitate educational scavenger hunts. This is great for blended and flipped learning. The affordance of this tool is that you can curate learning and document real-world examples their learning. This tool can transform lessons, field trips, or even homework.

Google Tip: Suggesting feature in Google Docs

When in suggesting mode, none of the original content is changed. Changes show up as suggestions in the comments section that the owner of the file can accept or reject.  This is a great feature to utilize for peer editing.

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Computer Sciences resources & Google Slides Background Trick

The tools I have to share with you this week are all coding resources for Computer Science Education Week, which is the first week of December. Code.org and hourofcode.com are both good places to start to find activities. They are easy to sort through by grade level and subject area, as well as what technology you’ll be using for the activity. I also recommend taking a look at Made With Code by Google and Mozilla Web Literacy. Remember that computer science and computational thinking can be taught as unplugged activities. This can also be taught anytime of the year, you aren’t limited to CSEd Week. Please reach out if you need any help planning or implementing coding activities with your class!

Google Tip: How to lock the background on a template in Google Slides

Set the background on any given slide to a photo. To make a template that includes graphic organizers, you can create the graphic organizer in Google Drawings and save the file as an image. This is helpful when you want students to work off of a template but not change the formatting.  All they need to do to “fill it in” is add text boxes over the area they need to type in. View this demo.

Story Corps & Flippity

The tool I have to share with you this week is Story Corps. Story Corps has the mission of preserving and sharing humanity’s stories through audio recordings. This is great in an educational setting for many reasons. One benefit of this is having students write and conduct interviews. This month, they have a neat project called #TheGreatListen.

Flippity is an add-on that can transform a Google Sheet’s data into an assortment of teaching materials to match your content such as flashcards, practice typing tests, random name generators, crossword puzzles, etc. To get the add-on, open a google sheet, go to the add-ons tab, click Get Add-ons, search for Flippity, and add it. If you prefer to skip that process, visit this link.

Soundtrap & Talk to Books

The tool I have to share with you this week is Soundtrap. This is a tool that enables teachers to enhance teaching and learning with music, podcasts, language, literacy training, and other recordings. Soundtrap works on any device and is a collaborative environment where students can develop their own creative communication skills. Think of it as the Google Doc for sounds and recording. They have a free 30 day trial, which could be enough to do a single project with your students over the course of a month. I’m happy to help you out with implementing this and the students love it!

Talk to Books is an AI experiment from Google that will allow you to browse through passages from books. For example, I can search “is music healthy” and the results will show me books that have passages in them related to my search or question.  This is a creativity tool that helps explore ideas and discover books by pulling quotes from its database of books. This tool could be leveraged as an interesting twist to a research project.

Choice Eliminator 2, Raspberry Jam, Noisli

The tool I have to share with you this week is Choice Eliminator 2. This is an Add-on for Google Forms that will eliminate options from a drop-down, multiple choice, list, or checkbox type of question. With parent-teacher conferences approaching, this is a great tool to use for having parents sign up for a time slot.

The West Bloomfield Raspberry Jam will be held on Friday, December 14th from 4:30-6:30pm at West Bloomfield High School. In celebration of computer science and physical computing, there will be a showcase, workshops, and space to tinker. The event is open to anyone.  Please spread the word!

Noisli is an extension that can help with productivity. You can mix different sounds and create the best sound environment based on your needs to focus or relax. Some sounds you can choose from include wind, water, leaves, bonfire (my personal favorite), coffee shop and more. The timer is also a nice feature. While many of us use music for background noise and auditory cues in the classroom, this can be another great tool to use for similar purposes. ie: When you hear the bonfire stop, it’s time to clean up from writer’s workshop