WeVideo Welcomes Google Docs, Sheets & Slides

WeVideo side panel showing the LINK A RESOURCE button and one linked Google Doc thumbnail.

Earlier this month WeVideo announced that they are providing integration with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. What does this mean?

  • Users can link these files from their Google Drive to WeVideo projects.
  • Once the files are linked to a project, users can access them from both the Projects tab as well as directly inside the WeVideo editor. These Google files can be edited directly from within the WeVideo interface and the changes are automatically saved back to Google Drive.
  • WeVideo will respect the privacy settings set in Google Drive, so if a project member does not have access to the file in Google Drive then they will not have access in WeVideo either. Project members can request access to a file from within the WeVideo interface.

  • For more information, please check out this post from the WeVideo Blog.
  • Get detailed step-by-step directions on how to setup Linked Resources from Google Drive by referring to this WeVideo Support Article.

The Elusive Carmen Sandiego Comes to Google Earth

magnifying glass

Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego is a fresh take on the classic detective game from the 1990’s. As a newly graduated “gumshoe” from the ACME Detective Agency, you are given your first assignment: track down the elusive Carmen Sandiego who has recently stolen the Crown Jewels of London! You will need to use all of your globe-trotting skills, and an awareness of Google Earth, in order to catch this slippery crook!

How it works

Carmen Sandiego is a built-in component of the Google Earth app and can be accessed from the Voyager option in the main menu for both Chrome and mobile versions.

Google Earth menu with Voyager option highlighted

The interface is pretty basic, with a magnifying glass button to help you search for clues and interview witnesses. Each stage provides multiple locations (between three and four) to investigate. Once you have an idea of where to go to next, you can click on the plane button to book your flight.

Interface buttons: blue magnifying glass, orange plane, green question mark

This is just the first in what will hopefully be a series of Carmen Sandiego adventures for us to solve. Already in the works are two additional capers: “The Tutankhamen’s Mask Caper” and “The Keys to the Kremlin Caper!”

For more information, please check out Google’s The Keyword blog.

Story Time From Space

What could be better than having someone read a story to you? How about having that someone be an astronaut who reads a story to you FROM SPACE?! Enter Story Time From Space.

Story Time From Space logo

Story Time From Space is a project of the Global Space Education Foundation, and contains over a dozen different videos of astronauts aboard the International Space Station reading space-themed children’s books. Each video starts out with a quick introduction to a part of the International Space Station, such as the all important airlock door and the cupola “window observatory” module. Then, as the story begins the videos cut back and forth between the astronaut reader and the book illustrations with a little animation thrown in for fun.

Mousetronaut story/video screenshot

Each video comes with the following information:

  • Written by
  • Read by
  • Run Time

Scrolling down the page will provide you with a written synopsis of the story. There is also room for multiple Activity Guides that are “coming soon!” Finally, almost all of the Story Time videos include links to purchase the books from a variety of vendors.

In addition, the foundation is in the process of putting together a playlist of “Science Time Videos.” These will introduce basic scientific concepts that are connected to some of the science experiments that the astronauts have conducted about the International Space Station, so stay tuned!

CSM Digital Citizenship Curriculum Revamp: Grades 3-8

Starting back in the fall of 2018, Common Sense Media began to revamp their K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum to better match the topics, issues, and challenges that students, teachers, and parents are facing in this ever-changing digital world. The new curriculum, revised up to grade 8, can be sorted by grade level or by one of six topic categories, down from the original eight.

There are a lot of things that I like about the revised curriculum:

  • Overview: A really nice summary and “snapshot” of the lesson with learning targets, major activity components, and a list of “what you’ll need” to carry out the lesson.
  • Lesson plan accessibility: Lesson plans can now be investigated in full right on the website. Step-by-step directions, time frames, and links to resources are all included. A full list of the resources that are included is clearly displayed on the right as is a button to download a printable version of the lesson.
  • Google Drive integration: Each lesson comes with a slide deck, teacher and student versions of activities, and a student assessment that are already formatted for Google Slides, Docs, and Forms respectfully. This makes integration with Google Drive and Classroom so much more seamless. If you’re not a GSuite for Education user, then you can still download the files as their Microsoft equivalent, a PDF or several other options.
Google Docs "Download as" options menu

Common Sense Media continues to work on updating the curriculum, specifically for grades 9-12, so stay tuned for more news on this! And don’t forget to take note of the Creative Commons licensing for each of their lesson plan components.

The March on Washington – PBS

The March on Washington – PBS Learning Media

PBS Learning Media has put together an impressive resource list to help teachers cover this moment in American history. In this collection educators will find:

  • 33 video clips
  • 7 support documents
  • 3 audio clips
  • 2 media galleries
  • 5 lesson plans covering grades 4-12

The entire collection (as well as individual segments) come with a share button that includes a shortcut to easily post them directly to Google Classroom. Each video and audio segment comes with support materials and a list of the National History Standards that are connected to them.

March on Washington media gallery page with video clips, support materials, and standards.

Google Classroom Update: Classwork on the Stream

Class settings icon inside of a Google Classroom class

In an attempt to give teachers more control over how the Stream tab displays content, Google has added an additional option under the Class settings tool called Classwork on the stream.

How does it work?

  1. Select a class card from the Classes homescreen of Google Classroom.
  2. Click on the Class settings gear icon in the top-right corner of a class.
  3. Scan down to the General section to locate the Classwork on the stream setting.
Classwork on the stream option under Class settings in Google Classroom

Show attachments and details: This will show the full text the teacher has added to the Instructions section and any attachments added to the Classwork post. If the post is an assignment, then students will also see the status of the assignment (Assigned, Turned In, Graded, Returned, and Missing) in the top-right corner.

Show attachments and details display example from the Classwork on the stream setting

Show condensed notifications: This is the standard view that was established with the changes made to Classroom back in the fall.

Show condensed notifications display example from the Classwork on the stream setting

Hide notifications: This option will remove all Classwork posts from the Stream tab. Posts that the teacher creates from the Stream tab will still be visible. Class comments made by students will also remain visible if the teacher has enabled this option.

For more information on the new Classwork on the stream setting, please refer to this page from the Classroom Help site.

Safer Internet Day – Security Checkup

Internet Safer Day was last week on Tuesday, February 5th. To celebrate, Google spent the entire week covering a variety of topics relating to being safe online (you can check out their series of articles here). For users who have Google accounts, one thing that you can and should do on a regular basis is perform a Security Checkup on all of your Google accounts.

Google Security Checkup homepage

Google’s Security Checkup is a three-step process where you will be asked to check on three important areas of your account safety:

Options menu for each app, site, and service that has access to your account info.
  • Third-party access: This is the list of sites, apps, and services that have access to some of the personal information found in your account. Sources that you haven’t used in a while may no longer need access and can be removed, and if you see an entry you don’t recognize or don’t remember giving permission to access your account should most definitely have their access revoked.
  • Your devices: This is the list of all of the devices that have been used to login to your Google account. If you don’t recognize a device, then it might be a good idea to remove the device from the list and then consider changing your password. (Click here to see how to use Gmail to force a sign-out of all of your active web sessions.)
  • Recent security events: This drop-down list will show any recent requests to connect to your account. Again, if you don’t recognize a request then your account may be at risk.
Google Security Checkup - recent security events list

It is a good idea to perform a Security Checkup on your Google account about once a month, and if you have more than one account (e.g. a professional account for work and a personal account) then don’t forget to run the Security Checkup on each one. For other web accounts, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the security options that they provide: