I've been enjoying the opportunity to catch a few of the great presentations available- free- online from Matt Miller's Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit. 9 days with 9 great presentations. For nine days (Dec. 16-24), a new presentation will be available each day. It’s recorded video, and will be available til December 31st. They are available online, on demand- but when the summit is over, the videos will also go away. So don't miss out. They run about an hour each. These are real teachers, who are working in schools, much like yours-not just talking heads telling you how it "Should be". If you have a few hours over the next week or so- take some time to check them out.
One expression I've been hearing more and more about is "machine learning". What the heck does that mean? Is it AI (artificial intelligence)? Is it something new and different? We have seen some of this in the new "explore" button on Google Slides- using our content to make presentation design suggestions. So, is this big brother, peaking in at everything we do? Kinda, sorta... Google has some great experiments you can check out online and learn a little more about what is coming down the line. Here's the link. I liked the Quick Draw myself. Here's an article that you may find interesting as well from SAS... Machine Learning- what is it and why does it matter?
WhaT COULD BE MORE FUN THAN SNOWMEN?
As usual Eric Curts has some great ideas over on his site. The other day it was Build A Snowman- Google slides- with a template and used as a writing prompt.
Check it out here.
As I mentioned last week, the citation feature is back in Google Docs. Below are a few videos from Richard Byrne to help you learn to use the tool in the new configuration.
One of my pet peeves is students who do not cite images... or use images that are not labeled for reuse and figure it's OK as long as they cite them. In this video Richard explains a bit more about using the explore feature to cite images in Slides and Docs.
One of my favorite places to find images is photosforclass. I also tend to use pixabay and the noun project. We have a whole symbaloo of multimedia sources. And once again, Richard Byrne has a video to show you 5 great sources free images.
Explore the World
I just want to briefly showcase two different ways you can get your students involved, virtually, with some great explorers. Seat of Your Pants offers web camera seats to many different venues- feeding a giant octopus or exploring a volcano. You can check out theweb site here, or explore the YouTube channel here. Of course, National Geographic a whole Explorer Classroom! They have a really cool YouTube Channel and you can learn a lot more, get lesson plans, and sign up for their program on their web site.
Citations are back
Although I have gotten somewhat used to the pace of change in Google Apps/GSuite... I wasn't happy this fall when the ability to insert citations disappeared with the advent of the "explore" button. But... it's back! If it hasn't rolled out to you, it will soon.
You can read more about it here.
SLides...more than just presentations
I spent some time on Saturday attending some of theGoogle Edu on Air presentations. These are all available online- free- on demand. There were a couple that I really liked, one which explored the possibilities in Slides.
I have written about templates for slides in the past, and love using Slide Carnival. They are free, clean and easy to use. They also give you some great little icons to play with.
But what I haven't done and have read about, is to use Google Slides to replace Microsoft Publisher. I have played around and adjusted my slide size to be 8.5 by 11 or the other way around and printed them as pdfs, but honestly did not realize the potential until I saw newsletters, flyers and even whole yearbooks made with Google Slides. We have all moaned and groaned and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to fix formatting on Docs to make what was simple in Word, work. Well, using slides can eliminate all the headaches. Here is an amazing site to explore- making yearbooks with Google Slides. Embedded below is Michelle Armstrong's complete 30 minute presentation. It's worth your time!
This is the link to the slide deck Michelle Armstrong presented. The best resource that was shared, is this link to Darren Maltais' resources. He has tons of templates for Google Slides, Google Drawings... you name it- he has it and freely shares it. Darren Maltais is a Technology Integration Facilitator for Black Gold School Division in Alberta, Canada. Be sure to check it out and bookmark it for later. You can also follow him on twitter on Google+ .
Last, but not LEast- How Clever!
This is a short clip- ~ 5 minutes or so- from the end of the keynotes, talking about product updates. The really cool part, at least for me, was seeing the integration with Clever- using QR codes for logins. Now even younger students can log onto the chromebook without the hassle of the long login. A teacher friend who uses this- with preschoolers- loves it! Check it out...maybe it can work in our school.