I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to use WeVideo on Chromebook “laptop” devices. However, a new fleet of Chromebooks are being released that can wear more than one hat, switching over to behaving like a tablet device and then back to a laptop. We are currently piloting Chromebooks with this capability in our elementary schools. That being said, I wondered if WeVideo provided support for mobile and tablet devices.
Getting the app
If you prefer to film with a mobile or tablet device, then you can install the FREE WeVideo mobile app. Click here to download the app for Apple iOS and Android.
How it works
When using the mobile app here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- You will need to sign-in to the app with your GSuite account in order to access all of its features.
- Once you film your scenes, remember to sync the clips to your WeVideo account so that you can edit them from your laptop (sync button located in the top-right corner).
- If you are using a shared device, remember to sign out when filming is complete in order to keep your account secure.
NOTE: As I played around with the mobile app I kept encountering an incompatibility issue between the mobile app and the web app. Clips edited on the mobile app can be synced and then edited some more in the web app. However, I could not complete this process in reverse and would receive an error message in the mobile app if attempted. This is manageable for us since access to our filming iPad is limited, so the sooner students sync their footage up to the cloud and then do their editing on their Chromebooks the better. If anyone has additional information or insight about this issue then please leave a reply in the box below.
Back in April of 2017 Google announced a brand new version of Google Earth that was completely web-based, opening up the application to be accessed from just about any device that could access the Internet. They quickly followed this up with support for mobiles devices running Android, and now the new Google Earth is available on iOS.
Working with students in a 1-to-1 Chromebook environment, this news was HUGE! I had already observed students using Google Maps from their devices and some didn’t see how Google Earth was any different. Then I showed them the I’m Feeling Lucky option (a role of the dice icon) and the mystery of where they would end next was all they needed.
For teachers, the new Voyager feature is like having a virtual field trip already pre-planned for you! With interactive stories grouped into categories like travel, nature, culture, history, and education there is a lot of potential for exploration. I liken the experience to participating in a Google Expeditions virtual reality field trip except that each student can explore the various modules at their own pace.
For more information about Google Earth for Apple iOS, check out their post from their Keyword blog and their Resources and FAQ page.
Google Drive for Mac/PC is a desktop application that allows you to sync the contents of your Google Drive in the cloud to a folder stored locally on your Mac/PC. This service provides several important services:
- Manage files and folders from your Desktop as well as via the web interface.
- Offline access to your Google Apps files.
- A backup of your non-Google files (e.g. iWork, SMART Notebook, Photoshop), but without having to download the files to your computer every time you want to work on them.
However, while Google Drive can hold terabytes of data your computer’s hard drive may not. That is why Google has updated their app to allow users to selectively sync folders and subfolders. When you choose to remove a folder from syncing, it and its contents will be removed from the local folder stored on your hard drive (thereby freeing up valuable disk space) but will still be accessible via the Google Drive web interface.
In addition, if you choose to delete a Google Drive file from your Desktop that has been shared, Drive will give you a “heads up” that this action may cause those users to lose shared access.
For more information, check out their post on the Google Drive Blog.
From part of the Google News app, the newspaper archives contains digital versions of various newspaper editions from around the world from various points in time. Search the archive by keyword or alphabetically, or if you know the specific newspaper by name use the ‘Find’ command (Ctrl+F or Cmd+F) to quickly locate the newspaper in question. Each newspaper listing shows the number of issues contained within and the time span covered (note that there may be gaps within the timelines).
Clicking on a newspaper will take you to a new window with a horizontal timeline organized by year. You can adjust the display settings so that the timeline is organized by day, week, month, year, or decade. At the top of each column you will see the number of available issues. Clicking on an issue will bring up a page-by-page view with options to scroll, fit to height, and view fullscreen. Use the ‘Link to Article’ tool to generate a link to a specific article within a specific newspaper issue.
- Compare and contrast news headlines from different newspapers from different places around the world.
- Compare writing styles from different time periods.
If you wanted to schedule a reminder using Google Calendar, using the Tasks tool was the way to go (just make sure you set a due date for the task). This worked great unless you were using the mobile version of Calendar since it doesn’t have nor display items from the Tasks tool. All of that changed last week when Google announced that Reminders has arrived for Google Calendar mobile.
How it works:
- On your mobile device, use the same Plus button you would use to create an event and choose the new Reminder option.
- Fill in the text box provided using the suggestion list provided or add your own custom reminder message. NOTE: Each reminder type contains its own list of pre-filled suggestions and the email, call, text, and meet options will automatically display your contacts list in the app window.
- Set your deadline.
- Determine if the reminder needs to repeat.
- Tap SAVE to finish.
One of my favorite features is that reminders “stick around.” If a reminder doesn’t get completed by the due date, then it will appear at the top of your Calendar agenda on the following day, and the day after, and so forth. The reminder will continue to “stick around” until you swipe it away (because you’ve completed the task of course) and move on to the next item on your to-do list.
Reminders is available for Android and Apple iOS, with a version for the web promised soon. For more information, check out their post on the Gmail blog.
This is an archived video from a Google Hangout ‘On-Air’ session, presented to an audience of middle school level educators.
This Google Hangout Archive introduces staff to Google’s Research Tool found in Google Docs/Slides. This video also covers how to use Google’s advanced ‘Search Tools’ for students in our 1-to-1 Chromebook environment (5/6th grade) and for students in our 1-to-1 iPad environment (7/8th grade).
With the recent integration of calendars into Google Classroom, some of our students are seeing some of their class calendars in Google Calendar but not others (i.e. the class calendars are not visible from the Calendar web app or the iOS mobile app). Why some students are experiencing this and not others is unknown.
This tutorial will show how to force Calendar to add Classroom Calendars so that they can be seen within the web application and from the Google Calendar iOS app.
Shortly after Google Classroom debuted, one of the components that teachers asked to be integrated into the app was Google Calendar. As the 2015-16 school year got underway, Classroom was still devoid of a calendar option. All appeared to be lost. But in reality, Google was on the case and in late September Google Calendar came to Classroom.
There are two ways for students and teachers to access their Classroom’s Calendar:
- From the ‘sandwich’ menu in the top-left corner of Classroom
- From the ‘About’ tab
A third option is to access the Classroom’s Calendar directly from the Calendar app (there is also a shortcut to this option under the ‘About’ tab). Any assignment that is posted in Classroom that has a due date will appear in that Classroom’s calendar. And, just as in the Calendar App, teachers and students can filter assignments by specific classes or see all of the assignments from all of their classes on one screen. If teachers do not see their Classroom’s calendar in the Calendar App, then Google suggests that they may need to “Add a post to the class stream to create the calendar.”
Finally, now that a Classroom’s calendar can be accessed in the Calendar App there are more options at the teacher’s disposal to easily share this information with parents. Teachers can open up the sharing permissions on the Classroom calendar, then embed it on their teacher website. Parents who have Google accounts themselves will have the additional option to add their child’s Classroom calendar to their own Calendar App.
If a video would help explain these exciting new developments, then I would recommend checking out these two by Jenn Scheffer:
In my Digital Citizenship class, I sometimes use a Google Form as an assessment tool with my students. While a Google Form cannot be embedded into Google Classroom’s Stream (soon Google, yes?), one can easily attach the link to the live form. The first time I did this I posted the Form link as an Announcement, but then couldn’t tell when students actually completed the assessment. The second time around I posted the Form link as part of an Assignment, but while students remembered to ‘Submit’ the completed Form many forgot to ‘Turn In’ the assignment in Classroom. Now, I realize that I could just open up the Form Responses spreadsheet to check for completion, but I was so hoping for a more…efficient way to spot-check completion. That’s when Google does what it does best: change.
Last week in the Google for Education feed on Google Plus, they announced improved integration between Classroom and Forms (click here for the post). Now you can attach a Google Form to an assignment in Classroom (i.e. forgo the paper clip option and instead choose ‘Attach Google Drive Item’). Then, when students go to submit your Form, they will be prompted to also TURN IN the assignment in Classroom. As an added bonus, when teachers go to the Google Forms assignment in Classroom there is now a direct link to the Form Responses spreadsheet.
Sometimes you just have to embrace “Living in Beta.”
Calm – Taking a mental break from the school day
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to transition your students from one activity to another but the energy levels are just too high to bring them back down to earth. If only you had a tool to help calm things down (pun intended). Enter Calm, a website containing relaxing sounds and animated imagery. Choose from 25 different themes from ocean surf to forest raindrops. Use the sound bar located in the bottom-right corner of the site to change the volume level or mute the audio altogether. There is also a timer tool with five different presets. The timer tool can also be used in ‘Guided Relaxation’ mode where a voice will provide calming tips during the designated time period.
NOTE: Calm is also available, for free, as an app from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.
- Use as a transition tool from a physically intense activity to a more stationary one.
- Use to help students mentally prepare for quizzes, tests, or other assessments.
- Expose students to just the audio track and ask them to visualize the scene, then compare their images to that of the site.
- Use the various scenes as the trigger for a writing prompt.