New Templates for Docs, Sheets, Slides

Last week Google announced on their Apps Update blog that they have just added new templates for their core Google Drive Apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. These new collections were designed by experts in a variety of fields including Intuit QuickBooks, Google Science Fair, and Reading Rainbow. And the best part? These templates are available to users via the web, Android, and iOS apps.

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  • From the mobile apps, tap the plus (+) button in the bottom-right corner of the app and select ‘Choose template.’

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Calm (Gr. K-12)

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.

INTEGRATION

  • 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.

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HowTo – iOS Apps Mangement

In my school, each elementary grade level has access to a cart of 30-35 student iPads. While each teacher could sign out the entire contents of the cart, most have chosen to have their own set of 5 iPads to use as a center in their classroom. In this configuration, they would like to be able to configure their set of 5 with the apps that were downloaded/purchased from the cart according to their own style.

This tutorial shows how to access the purchase history of the Apple ID associated with an iPad so that the teacher can pick and choose which apps they would like on their set of student iPads. Teachers can then organize/group the apps as they see fit. One example is to put certain apps into numeric groups. Then, when students are given the option to use the iPads, the teacher can specify which group of apps they may choose from (i.e. “When you go to the iPad center, you can choose any app from Group 3.”).

If you have another way/idea to organize apps on student iPads then please share in the comments below.