Tech Buffs A NEWSLETTER FOR INSTRUCTIONAL TECH RESOURCES FOR THE HERDS@FLORENCE

Earlier this year, I attended the Texas Computer Education Association conference in which I always learn incredible tools for educators and students. This year though I learned even more about Google Apps for Education or G-Suite. We have an abundance of resources available to teachers and students, sometimes its difficult to sort through the mass so I'd thought I'd share some of my favorites, so here we go...

Google Treks

One of may favorite take-aways from the conference was "Google Treks" an innovative approach to teaching World Geography & History. As an educator or student you can create your own interactive voyage thru Treks. Think of exploring the Grand Canyon, or visiting the stops of national explorers. "Unleash your inner explorer and travel the globe using Google Treks"

Treks created by Google use the Street View & Panoramic scenes to give the visitors an authentic experiences.

Interested in creating your own or even having your students create their own Trek, Dr. Alice Christie shared her site with examples, tutorials, lessons and more. When creating your own Trek, users use a map and create action stops with icons where visitors can click, read or watch. Lessons can be integrated easily, as well as "layers" which separate & organize the journey.

Google Trek for Students, users can create layers, where visitors view and stop to explore

Google Keep

An everyday note taking tool, which I have come to use more frequently is Google Keep-digital sticky notes that will sync wherever you use Google. Each note can be color coded. Easily bookmark websites, add images, or type & speak notes. Each note saves automatically just like almost everything else Google. Keep can be added as a Chrome Extension, App, or just open in your browser. You could mention this tool to your students as a tool to get organized or even ask them to share their list as a collaborative learning tool.

Google Docs

Back to an oldie but goodie, Google Docs has some new additions which I think make this resource even more valuable. Collaboration can extend beyond the classroom: feed back, peer editing, commenting, suggestions-these are just a few of the possibilities. You are probably aware that collaboration is the main feature of a Google Doc, but the commenting feature & suggestion feature isn't as widely used among students. By sharing the document, students can simply use the File>Insert Tool to add comments for review, when adding the comment, if you add the @email address, Google will email the person the comment & it is an assignment for that user. Comments are smart and they disappear after the issue has been addressed by the author.

Users can also highlight, the colors will automatically be different depending on the user, as an educator, you can also view the revisions and history, looking through the drafts to view who contributed or changes that were made throughout the writing process. Another feature overlooked at times is the Explore tool. This tool can be found in most G-Suite applications. Use explore to search your document or the web for images or articles. Use Google Scholar for help with citations.

Google Draw

Next up, Google Draw, this app looks a lot like Slides, or Docs but is made to create diagrams, flow charts, brainstorming maps, or even logos. The tool is pretty straightforward and students can easily create and share drawings. You could start the drawing, share assign and ask them to complete the drawings. Check out Kasey Bell's ideas for use in the classroom.

Info from Kasey Bell at www.shakeuplearning.com

Google Forms/Quiz

Google Forms & Quizzes: Just recently google added a new quiz feature to forms which allows for automated grading of quizzes. Easily create quizzes with text based answers, multiple choice, check boxes etc...try it out. You can set it up to grade now, or after you review, email the grade, or view instantaneously. Exit tickets on the go? Instant Feedback, Its all there with Google Forms.

Want more, there's always more, Google Slides, Sites, Classroom. Hangouts, just a few more tools I'd be happy to help you or your students learn.

~Marisa Mejia, your Instructional Technology Specialist. Thanks for the read! Please reach out anytime if you would like some help or just a friendly face to help implement these instructional tools into your classroom.
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Marisa Mejia
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