Sunday, May 19, 2013

Introduction to Google+

Yesterday at EdCamp Philly, I participated in a session about using Google+ Hangouts to virtually connect classrooms and speakers.  This past year I have used Skype to bring publishers, authors, a psychologist, and presenters from Japan into my classroom through video, but because Skype does not have a recording option connected to the program nor is it easy to connect with multiple speakers at the same time, I am interested in moving over to Google's Hangouts.  And it turns out a lot of teachers are making that switch.

So for those of you not familiar to Google+ or Hangouts, here are a couple of tutorials to help you get started. This first series of videos comes from Google Certified Teacher Jay Atwood and is a fantastic introduction to Google+ for educators:

For teachers just getting started with Google+, you will want to take a look at the Google Help page.

So now you are ready to Hangout.  Here's a good introduction to Hangouts:

For more specifics on setting up a Hangout, the Google Help Page and  this tutorial give not only a great overview but step-by-step directions. Once you are ready to jump in, be sure to join the Google Hangouts in Education community and follow the Google in Education page.

So, how will you use Hangouts in your classroom?

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Okay, I'll admit it. I got a bit distracted over the last couple of years - had a couple kids, started my own craft business, went back to teaching full-time - but I cannot believe that it has been nearly two years since I've posted. Shame on me! So after attending my first EdCamp today, I was inspired to share more of what I learn, whether those reflections are polished or not. My hope is to get back into a more regular practice of posting and that begins today. So here it is, just a few of my random thoughts and links to goodies that I learned about while at EdCampPhilly:

Tech Tools Teacher Should Know About:

  • A must for teachers:
  • Gobstopper - annotated public domain with questions/quizzes
  • Tellagami - create talking avatar characters to tell a story (for the iPad only)
  • PlaySpent - A game to simulate what it’s like to live on minimum wage
  • Professor Word - it allows you to look up the definition of any word in your browser
  • Zac Browser - Browser for children with autism and autism spectrum disorders
  • 121Writing - You can respond to Google Drive docs with highlighting and voice; give student writers feedback that they listen to, leaving the grade until the very end
  • Lino - Stickies; more robust than Wallwishr/Padlet
  • Apps Gone Free - Daily free apps
  • Video Notes - Lets you annotate videos that you are watching
  • And the big take-away: Choose2Matter But more on this one soon

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