Google Docs has evolved from a simple word processor. It can now handle basic desktop publishing tasks. It doesn’t have a range of graphic tools like Microsoft Publisher or Indesign. But, we can create some basic publications. We will be creating a report with images and columns. We will also create a flyer.
Many wonderful teaching opportunities are often left out when we jump straight to coding robots. There is a world of science and math that makes these robots possible. There is an equal amount of math and science in how we use them. I will show you how to use the Sphero robot when teaching various math and science concepts. I am using Sphero because it doesn’t need to be assembled. It also provides a good starting point. The concepts taught with Sphero are a good starting point for other concepts.
Microsoft Forms is an application for creating polls or surveys. The form is created and shared online. You don’t need to purchase Microsoft Office 365 to use the Forms application. Microsoft offers basic services for free with their Outlook email account. The services are all Cloud-based with support for apps on mobile devices. The services include the three major applications.
This issue covers the use of several Google applications to gather information. These tools include Google Keep to collect web resources. It is useful at collecting web sources and organizing those resources. There are extensions we will use to add functionality to Google Chrome. These extensions include Nimbus and Reader View. Google Docs uses add-ons to add features. We will use the EasyBib add-on to help build our citations page. We will use Google Drawings to construct a basic bubble map graphic organizer. With Google Docs comment option we will provide feedback to students on their work. There are various ways to publish our finished document and we will explore three of those options.
Google Team Drive is relatively new to the G-Suite of applications. Team Drive is developed to help teams organize and keep track of important documents. Team Drive has many similarities to shared folders. And, It has some important differences. Knowing the differences is useful for deciding when to use Shared folders or Team Drive. I will review how shared folders work so we can compare them to Team Drive.
In this issue we connect our devices and prepare them for distribution. The process of preparing devices takes time at first. There is a lot to learn. There is a process to managing devices with Apple Configurator. Frustration creeps in if you don’t understand the process and how Apple Configurator works.
Profiles and Blueprints are powerful tools in Apple Configurator. They greatly increase what we can do to manage devices. They can also cause some frustration. The profile we created in the last issue prevents the installation of apps by users of the device. This option also prevents the installation of Apps with Apple Configurator. Teachers don't always understand how this works. So I will review this step in the configuration.
Apple Configurator is an application used to set up and configure iOS devices. It is typically used to set up iPads. Apple Configurator works best when configuring and managing devices in small organizations. I have used and trained others to use Apple Configurator. We use it to configure, assign, and manage devices at the classroom and campus level. It is much better to use a cloud management service for large sets of devices. These are Mobile Device Management services.
Bar Graphs represent data visually as a series of bars. They are often presented to students in formative assessments. Teachers rarely take the time to create graphs from data for assessments or lessons. I didn’t use them at first either. Creating graphs is time consuming. I needed to do something because my students often missed easy problems when it came to questions from a graph or table. I was often surprised because we covered them during practice for the larger state assessments. It wasn’t until they started to develop their own that they began to make the crucial connections.
These are the four question types that work best when creating assessments. There are a variety of ways to use the questions for formative and summative assessments. One assessment is useful as an introduction to a lesson. It allows us to evaluate what students know. The same assessment can be used at the end of the lesson to assess what the students have learned. This helps determine gaps in their understanding.
This issue reviews the assembly of a basic circuit with an LED and push button. We compare the use of a push button and a switch in the same circuit. The lesson emphasizes how closed circuits work and the flow of current through a circuit. The circuit uses a resistor to limit the amount of current flowing through the LED. The resistor demonstrates how we limit the flow of current through a circuit. Students understand that current is something that flows through a circuit event if we can’t see it flowing. There is an animation below that shows how current flows through our basic LED circuit. I used an app to create the circuit simulator.
Google Keep has some powerful features that prove to make it a useful tool in any educators arsenal. In these lessons, we will explore the use of Keep to deliver instructional content. Keep is powerful enough for teachers to develop organize and develop lesson materials.
The integration of technology requires a connection to pedagogy. In this issue, we take a look at the fundamentals of Microsoft Sway. We take on a basic project where students integrate a small research project. This fundamentals lesson is designed to be an introduction for both teachers and students. I follow the tried and true method of I do, We do, then You do.
This issue continues using Google to develop resources for our conference. In this issue, we develop a template for printing name badges. The name badges include participant names and contact information. The contact information is embedded in a Quick Response code. The badge also includes the conference logo designed in Google Drawings.
In this issue, we develop a schedule in Google Sheets. The schedule uses the data validation option to provide a selector. This selector is used to place presentations in the schedule throughout the day. It isn't used to validate the information in the schedule. We use it to develop the schedule.
In this issue, we will look at the collected information. We took steps to validate the information on the form. The validation didn’t include spell checking or formatting. Some of the formatting issues we encounter include capitalization, unwanted spaces, and misspellings. This information needs to be reviewed before it appears in the presentation schedule. This corrected information is sent to the presenters for verification.
This is the first issue in a five-part series. The series covers various tools I use to gather information for a conference held by my district. The tools have changed over time. The tools I use now revolve around the Google environment. I use Google Forms to collect presenter, participant, and vendor information. I use Google Sheets to organize the conference schedule. I use Sheets to create and printing conference badges. Sheets is also used to develop the online conference schedule.
The lessons in this issue originated with a request. Teachers needed a way for students to access an application like ComicLife. Students in our district have one to one access to Chromebooks. ComicLife is not available for Chromebooks. They wanted an alternative.
This issue takes a look at using VLOOKUP in Google Sheets. I use this function in Google Sheets often. Few teachers have heard of it or its purpose. I use this function often when developing flexible solutions and searches. I use a real-world example in the lesson.
Integrating technology into the curriculum doesn’t have to be an elaborate process. In this issue I take the mBot and use it to teach basic science and math concepts. All we need is a few basic lines of code for the robot.
Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365 for business. The business application provides services specific to educational institutions. Teams combine a variety of services to help collaboration and communication. The main page in Teams highlights conversations. We will focus most of our attention in this article on the Conversations portal.
Google Sheets and pivot tables are a good way to help students make sense of data. We will learn how to use use a pivot table to organize the information in the data sheet. This pivot table will help answer some questions we have about volcanoes. Use the questions in this article as part of your lesson. Start by asking students these questions before looking at the data. This starts the questioning and thinking process in their minds.
The goal of 3D printers in the classroom should be to apply classroom concepts. In this issue we dive into the creation of a product. This product reinforces math skills in geometry. The finished product allows students to apply basic science concepts. These concepts include mass, velocity, and acceleration.
There are many similarities between Google Slides, PowerPoint, and Keynote. There are several advanced features in PowerPoint and Keynote that are not yet available in Google Slides. One feature that is available in Google Slides, which is also available in PowerPoint and Keynote, makes it a good application for creating interactive slides and stories. This feature allows us to create links to slides. We will use this feature to develop parts of our interactive story.
I will be taking a different spin on the tale of the "Three Little Pigs". The focus is not on the story but on the skills. What you learn here can be applied to other interactive presentations. Interactive slides can be used with research topics in content areas like science, math, history, and social studies.
Google Classroom is an assignment distribution and collection service. It was rolled out in August of 2014. Many school districts, including mine, were given a preview before it was released. The service is web-based so there is nothing to install. Any browser works with Google Classroom but I recommend using the Chrome browser.
Miro:bit is a device that originated with the BBC in the UK. This device is available to students in the UK for computer education. The goal is to provide an affordable way to teach students computer technology and programming.
In the July 15, 2018 issue of Digital Maestro Magazine, I cover the various options for sharing and collaborating on Google documents. This includes Docs for word processing. The word processor is quite capable of handling many of the common writing tasks. Some features are not as robust as those from Microsoft Word. Docs really shine when it comes to sharing and collaboration.
In the July 1, 2018 issue of Digital Maestro Magazine, I explore the use of Scratch for teaching basic geometry skills. The first lessons begin with the basics. We draw squares and rectangles. Within each project, we learn to use the power of coding to calculate the perimeter and area.
In the June 15 issue of Digital Maestro Magazine, I take a look at using Google Sheets as a graphing calculator. In the issue, I explore the use of Sheets to plot linear equations. I also take a look at plotting Sine and Cosine functions. The examples include instructions for creating templates which teachers can use during classroom presentation or instruction.
The mBot from Makeblock is a robot ideal for learning STEAM concepts. STEAM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. STEAM is an extension of STEM with the inclusion of Arts. I like to include Research to form STREAM. Research incorporates reading and writing. It also includes vocabulary and academic language.
A Google classroom must be created every year and assignments must be re-created every year. As teachers, we don’t teach the same way each year but the materials and resources remain fairly consistent. It would be nice if we could refer to these resources without the need to re-create the classroom and assignments.