From Google for Education, EDU in 90 is a YouTube video series designed to help keep you informed and up-to-date with news and information relevant to educators, administrators, and others in the teaching and learning community. And, they crunch these updates into 90-second bite-size pieces. For more information you can subscribe to the Google for Education YouTube channel, and to make sure you don’t miss you regular dose of “Google for Education goodness” you can save EDU in 90 to your YouTube playlist library.
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.
What I mean is that Google has taken their Street View mapping program, wrapped it in waterproof material, and explored that natural wonders of the world that are under the Earth’s oceans.
With Google Underwater Street View, you have access to over 129 different underwater locations where you can explore wild life, coral reefs, and shipwrecks. See the effects of climate change on various underwater ecosystems as well as the efforts being made to restore them. If you have Google Cardboard, then use their Street View app (iOS, Android) to explore these underwater realms in virtual reality.
Google Forms is an important player in the suite of Google Drive apps, providing users with a great tool for collecting data from audiences large and small. In education, Forms has proven to be a valuable tool for creating digital quizzes to help teachers and students assess their teaching and learning. This summer Forms has been doing some learning of its own and now supports intelligent response options and validation.
Intelligent Response Options
When you ask certain questions, Forms will analyze your text and suggest possible response options. Sometimes the options displayed may be generic (e.g. True/False or Yes/No), but other times Forms will suggest more specific option choices. You then have the choice of selecting which option(s) you’d like Forms to pre-fill your question with, or select ‘ADD ALL’ if you’d like to use all of the options.
Intelligent Response Validation
One of the bonus features for Form questions is the ability to turn on data validation to help audiences provide the right type of information in the correct format. For example, if you want to collect respondents email addresses then the format of the answer should include the ‘@’ symbol. The ability to set up data validation for this type of question is nothing new. What IS new is Forms ability to detect these types of questions and suggest the best data validation setting for you.
Another way that I’ve used data validation in my classes is to help students pick out the key points in videos with fill-in-the-blank questions. I’ve also used it to help students with spelling key vocabulary and creating digital scavenger hunts where only the correct answer will allow them to move on to the next page. Data validation has also been used by educators to create digital Breakout EDU games where each Form question acts as a different lock to the virtual box.
What happens when you put the checkboxes question type and the multiple choice grid question type from Google Forms into a room together and ask them to collaborate? You get the new checkbox grid question type.
The checkbox grid question comes in handy when you need respondents to be able to select multiple answers from each category. One example of this might be when you are collecting information about how often a resource (e.g. a computer lab, conference room, or MakerSpace) will be used by respondents at set times each day of the week. Or perhaps you are looking for volunteers to man a resource during set blocks/periods during the week, like the school store or student help desk.
NOTE: If you make a checkbox grid question required, then respondents will be asked to provide at least one response per row.
Whenever you find yourself creating many copies of an object, whether they are all the same or have slight differences, it sure is nice when you have the option to preset as many settings as you can to help streamline the creation process. With Google Forms, now we have the ability to preset several options that will apply to all future forms that are made.
To access, create a new Google Form or open a pre-existing one. From the main screen, locate the traffic light icon (or the 3 Oreo’s, if you want to stick with Google’s food theme), and at the bottom of the drop-down menu find the new Preferences option. From the Preferences window you can preset the following settings:
- Always collect respondents email address
- Always make questions required
- Always assign a default quiz point value
For me, I tend to use Forms for assessments and making sure that I collect email addresses from my students automatically is essential. I also love the Make questions required default as I was caught by this one on more than one occasion last school year when some students were turning in their assessment without having answered all the questions. However, I did use these as teachable moments to have a discussion about taking the time to review one’s answer choices before submitting.
If you’d like to see more options added to the preferences panel, then don’t forget to leave Google feedback using the ‘Report a problem’ tool located in the bottom-right corner of the Forms editor under the question mark icon.
Google Classroom is a pretty cool app in itself. But, when you realize that Classroom also plays nice with many other applications and websites, allowing educators to integrate even more tools into their teaching and learning, its coolness factor increases exponentially. Over the summer Google welcomed four additional apps to their #withclassroom family: Quizizz, Edcite, Kami, and most recently Additio. For those of you who are working to integrate coding into your programs, Tynker is already part of the family with Code.org coming soon! To see the full list of apps that integrate with Classroom check out their page on the Google for Education website.