Eduporium, one of my favorite STEM retailers, since they really try to help you find the best STEM products for your school, has been running a contest every night since May 1st. It's an educational trivia contest- with a $100 coupon prize to the person who has the right answer the fastest. I have been incredibly lucky and have won 5 times! However, they have decided to revise their rules and get more people involved- so if you win once, lucky you and then you are done. So, now that I am out of the running... here's the info you need. Sign up here and they will send you a reminder email at about 6:45 pm EST with the link for the contest which is at 7 sharp. Some of the questions are common knowledge... eg. the chemical formula for table salt, where others are not so easy- eg. the country completely surrounded by South Africa (Lesotho) and you have to google really fast! (Use OK Google voice search) So- it's fun and you can win a prize. Go for it, have your students go for it. Some questions are tough for a high school student, others are OK for elementary... and it's fun.
I spent some time today with one of the 6th grade classes, helping students use Google Slides for their yearbook pages. Using Google slides gives you way more flexibility than docs and the page size is easily adjusted to 8.5 by 11 (File>page setup>custom) and can be exported as a pdf. It reminded me that I wanted to share this Google Slide info, which I didn't know til this week. Alice Keeler and Matt Miller have created a new chrome extension called DriveSlides for Google Slides that allows you to take a folder of images and create a Google Slide show with a press of a button. The functionality reminds me of the ability to create a slideshow out of a folder in powerpoint. Quick and easy. Alice wrote more about it here. She also has a really cool screenshot to slideshow extension that she explained in a previous post. It automatically takes a screenshot every minute and saves it to a folder for a slideshow.
Looking for more ideas with Google Slides? Check out Matt's post here.
Summer PD- Google Drawings
I'm excited to take a class with Tony Vincent on Google Drawings this summer. Tony is an internationally known educator and speaker. His blog Learning in Hand has been a staple in the edtech world for years.
When I saw the notice about the class and went to sign up, I also learned something new...you can present a clutter-free image of a google doc by changing the url. Tony explained it here.
Last, but not least ReadWorks!
ReadWorks, as many of you know, is a fantastic resource for students and their teachers. Many teachers have tried their Article-A-Day series with great success. ReadWorks does a great job of pulling together text sets for you. Here's a couple of promo videos to give you some ideas.
I haven't been able to find the summer packets collection on the new site, but will write and ask them if they are offering this again- or something similar. This is last year's page. www.readworks.org/rw/beat-summer-reading-slump
Google Drawings doesn't get the attention it deserves. You can use drawings for so many things! Recently I was reading about HyperDrawings! You've heard me talk about hyperdocs... well- now there's hyperdrawings. Joli Boucher recently wrote about this on her blog. Here's a screenshot of one of the many examples she shared. Click on the image to see Joli's work.
You can also even embed streaming video right in a Google Drawing!
Google Quick Draw and now AutoDraw
If you haven't taken the time to check out Google's AI drawing program, take a few minutes ( caution, may be addictive) to see the latest in machine learning. This AI experiment has now evolved into a new tool called AutoDraw. Eric Curts has written about it here.
Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers
Amy Roediger ( A Lever and a Place to Stand) recently posted about using Google Drawings for text structure work. She has an excellent blog post here. She also made a bunch that she is willing to share (File>make a copy), that you can find here.
The image below is from Amy's blog.
Pattern Blocks with Google Drawing
Last, but not least, another H/T to Eric Curts for his great explanation of how to use Google Drawings for Pattern Block work. He even shares templates. Check it out here.
One of the organizations I have been involved in for years is Classroom 2.0. As a member of the advisory board we work together to come up with topics and presenters for the Saturday noon EST shows. I was very happy to get a positive response from Eric Curts when I asked him if he would be interested in presenting, but then he ended up being scheduled on the same Saturday that I would be in Boston for edcampBoston all day. I just finished listening to the recording of the show and want to share some of the highlights with you. Google Drawings have so many uses- graphic organizers, teaching math and even as a desktop publisher.
Eric has a ton of resources that you can access at his website. These are CC licensed- so you may copy, adapt and reuse them as long as you give him attribution and don't use them commercially. One of the fabulous resources he has shared is a folder with 40 templates you can use. To adapt and use these, simply open in Google Drive and click file/make a copy. Graphic organizers are easy and fun with Google Drawings.
Click on the image below to access Eric's Slideshow
Classroom 2.0 compiled a livebinder with tons of resources for Google Drawings. You can access the livebinder here. Just a note- the links are arranged on the left hand side. All of the other notes about the show can be accessed via the Classroom 2.0 archives. The videos below are all complete webinars, each about an hour long , but have lots of examples.
No time to watch complete webinars? Avra Robinson from Edtech teacher has a great playlist with short videos to help you learn more