Monday, May 22, 2017

Google Drive One-Pagers

Here is a collection of Google Drive one-pagers on Getting Started, Sharing Permissions, Organization, Team Drives, and Tips & Tricks. Feel free to download and share with others.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Must Have: Web of Trust (WOT) Chrome Extension for Website Reliability

With billions of websites out there it is impossible to know the reliability of a website upon first glance. As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that students are taking the time to check accuracy of a website and that can be time consuming. 

The Web of Trust (WOT) Chrome Extension does the first steps for us. I stumbled upon it a couple years ago and recommended it to everyone. Then one day it was gone. I have recently discovered it is back and I want to spread the word again. 

The extension allows everyday users to rate websites based on trustworthiness and child safety. Of course, you have to take in people's objectiveness and ability to accurately rate a website, but overall I have been very pleased. A green rating indicates the website is trustworthy, a yellow rating means to be cautious, and a red rating is danger. 

Here is the WOT extension in action after searching for 'Martin Luther King Jr.' You will notice that after the website heading there is a circle that shows you the rating. If you hover over the circle it will give you the rating based on trustworthiness and child safety. 

If you are shocked to see that the website is flagged as dangerous, you are not alone. I have used this website in many professional development sessions to demonstrate that you can't believe everything that you read. When you dig into the owner of the website (Stormfront) you discover that it is authored by a white supremacist (Don Black) whose agenda is to spread lies about Martin Luther King, Jr.

In addition to the search warnings, you are prompted with a pop-up if you go to to a website deemed as 'dangerous.'  The pop-up shows the rating, identified issues with the website, as well as a link to see additional details and comments.

I highly encourage every teacher to share this resource with their students. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fun Formative (and Summative) Assessment Ideas

When someone says the word assessment the majority of educators and students automatically think 'test.' While tests are apart of assessments, it is only a small portion. There are multiple ways that we can assess students understanding that doesn't require multiple choice questions. After all, does multiple choice questions really tell us as educators whether a student truly understandings the content. 

Here are a couple ideas you can use to assess you students that will hopefully engage them more than a paper/pencil exam. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mash-Up: Keep + Docs = Instant Photo Transfer

One of the latest updates to Google documents is that you can now bring in your notes and lists from Google Keep. The part that has me the most excited is the ability to take a picture on your phone or tablet and instantly add it to a document, without having to upload it Drive first.  

For years, I have been taking pictures, especially during conferences, and uploading them to Drive in order to insert it into a document. This had been my number one way of taking notes during sessions. Inevitably, I miss something the presenter is saying or miss the opportunity to take another picture because am focused on the upload process. In addition, all of these pictures are taking up space on my phone, until I take the time to go delete them. 

With Google Keep, my life and phone storage just got a whole lot happier. In the Keep app, you can take a picture using your device and now it instantly will appear in the Keep sidebar of your Google document. Drag and drop the picture onto the document, and any title or note you included in Keep with be included on the document, with editing ability. Plus, these photos are stored in keep and not in your camera roll. #spacesaver 

In the Google Keep app:

In Google documents:

What a great way for students to quickly add images to their stories, to the notes they are taking, or lab reports they are composing. There are a ton of possibilities with this new update. Thanks Google!