Tag Archives: education in a digital age

Extensions for Google

At one of our district technology task force meetings, I was asked to make a list of useful extensions.  There are many that I haven’t used and many that I have. I am always trying new ones.    This post lists some of the extension that I have used over the past couple of years.  I have also provided links to “Teacher Thoughts” list and “Technology Guru 77’s” list.

Google Chrome Extensions “are applications that run inside the Chrome browser and provide additional functionality with third party websites, services, and customized browsing experiences.” (Google’s definition)

How to install and remove extensions by Technology Guru 77  Plus extension suggestions for teachers

Extension can simplify access, make things more convenient and add functionality

50 of the best  Google Chrome Extensions for Teachers  by “Teacher Thought

Too many extension can slow down your browser so you need to find the ones that work best for you.I try out a lot of different extensions so I use “Extensity” This app allows me to control what apps appear on my toolbar and I can enable or disable any of my loaded apps.  If an app is disabled, it still appears in the Extensity list.  I just need to click on it to turn it on.  I simple click will also turn the app off.

Here are some of my favorites that add to the functionality of  Google Chrome and G Suite:

WeVideo  Cloud-based video editor
Mercury Reader  Clear away article clutter
Save to Google Drive Save web content and screen capture to Drive
Share to Classroom Push web pages to classroom classes
Google Tone Use microphone and speakers to exchange url’s on computers
Google Cast For Education Turn your computer into a wireless projector
Loom Create quick videos that are great for demos
Read And Write Make documents more accessible
Scoop It Curate and share websites
Pocket  Save to read later
Easy Bib create ” works cited”
Tweet Deck Twitter tool for tracking, organizing and engaging tweets
Goo.gl URL shortener
Awesome Screenshot Capture Screen capture
Add This Share and Bookmark  Easily share to other services such as twitter and facebook
Grammarly Grammar check
QR Code Generator  Create QR codes
Google Keep Create edit and share notes and lists
Pinterest  Save to Pinterest
Google Photos Store and share photos
Lucid Press  Desktop publishing
OneTab Compress all open tabs into one

Curated Scoop It Sites for Education

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Rick Davidson Technology Integration Links

Rick Davidson Author

New Web Version of Google Earth Works With Chromebooks

The new web version of Google Earth is usable on Chromebooks. This is, of course, a plus.  I noticed that some of the images have been updated and the detail in both 2D and  3D are stunning.  Some other locations seem to still be using older images that are not as detailed. The web version is great for searching and browsing but it is not so user-friendly for adding placemarks. Richard Byrne has created a video that demonstrates a workaround should you want to add placemarks.  I assume that Google will continue to add features to the web version.  For the moment, it’s nice to have the option of using Google Earth on the Chromebooks.  Check out famous locations.   The ones I looked at are impressive.

Curated Educational Scoop It Sites

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Rick Davidson’s Links Site

Rick Davidson

What Schools Can Learn From the World of Photography by George Couros

Having been a professional photographer and technology integrator, I think this article is insightful and relevant.  It is great to see that, because of technology, more and more people are creating great images as well as viewing them.  I also appreciate George Couros‘s observations on photography being such a catalyst for change.  I certainly have had to adapt to the evolution of photography from film to digital.  It would be difficult to keep up an interest in photography by doing things “the way the were always done”.   I just ordered my first mirrorless camera.  I can wait to try it out.

What Schools Can Learn From the World of Photography by George Couros

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Rick Davidson

The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons by Sue Waters and Ronnie Burt

The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, Creative Commons by Sue Waters and Ronnie Burt is a very comprehensive guide to what resources may be legally used in all types of publications.  I have shared information on copyright and creative commons in the past but this post is particularly succinct and easy to understand.

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Rick Davidson

Google Tone – What Will They Think Of Next?

Add Google Tone to Chrome and you can send a  webpage address to another computer that has the extension.  Google Tone uses the computers’ microphones and speakers to transfer the URL.  In other words, any computer that has speakers, a microphone, the Google Zone extension and is within earshot can transfer this information.  Load all of the computers in a classroom with this app and webpage sharing just got a lot easier.  Even easier than Share to Classroom. You just might have to ask the students to be quiet for a few moments.

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Rick Davidson Author

Google Cast for Education

Google Cast for Education makes is possible for students to cast their screens to the teacher’s computer. The teacher can then project a given student’s screen to a projection screen or to a TV. You would need a projector or mirroring software such as Apple TV or Chrome Cast. This app seems to work most easily by using existing classes in Google Classroom. Check it out. I think that a teacher can even do this from home. One of our IT people and I are going to test it tomorrow morning. Google Cast for Education

Scoop it Sites on Education

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Larry Cuban on Teaching Literature Using Technology

Recently I came across an article in a blog post by Larry Cuban in “Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice”.  He had the opportunity to observe a 7th-grade teacher, John DiCosmo, as he conducted a class on John Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”.  John began the class by using a back channel called Padlet. He elicited responses from his students to the following questions:  “What would you do if you found a treasure of millions, in cash, free and clear? How would your life change?”  A back channel is net-worked or online chat software that allows participants in a classroom or workshop to carry on a secondary chat exchange while the primary instructor conducts the discussion.  In this case, the students respond to the question anonymously as a stimulus for conversation.  The question is a very appropriate way to start talking about the “The Pearl” as the novella is about the ramifications of the discovery of a potentially very valuable pearl.  The student posts can be projected on a white board or smart board.  They can also be mirrored onto a TV using a tool such as Apple TV.  This article is about a 7th-grade classroom but the back channel technique could be used on other levels as well.  Padlet allows the student to write a response and they can drag in images, videos, and other files.   Mr. DiCosmo also created a video book trailer using fellow staff members to play the primary characters from the book.  What a fun way to show the students what would be expected when they make their own book trailers!

Other back channel possibilities are Twitter,  TodaysMeet, and Socrative.   I have used TodaysMeet in a number of workshops both as a participant and as an instructor.  It is very easy to use.  Whichever software you choose, back channels are a great way to elicit real-time responses from your students.  It can be particularly effective with students who might be reticent to speak in class

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

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10 Essential Characteristics of A 21st Century Educator by George Couros

Sometime I run into an article that says what’s on my mind better than I could ever say it.  “10 Essential Characteristic of a 21st Century Educator” is just such an article.  I especially like George Couros’ observation that “It is not technology that has the biggest influence on what we do; it is the speed of change being thrust upon us.”  Mr Couros, the author of “The Innovator’s Mindset” goes on to list ten characteristics that he considers crucial for 21st Century educators.  They are relationship builder, learner, inclusive, reflective, networked, innovator, leader, storyteller, designer, artist. “10 Essential Characteristics of a 21st Century Educator”  This article is worth reading.  Definitely food for thought.

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The New 2016 ISTE Student Standards

These are the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.  The older standards included ways that students could demonstrate how they could use technology.  The new standards recognize that technology has revolutionized how we acquire, process and communicate knowledge.  Specifically, they reflect how technology can empower learning,  the acquisition of knowledge, innovation, the thinking process, communication  and collaboration.  Technology is redefining how we learn, what we learn and how we use what we learn.  The new standards reflect the reality that the digital age has truly provided us with the means  to do things we couldn’t do before.  Along with the power of digital tools comes the responsibility to critically evaluate data as well as to use it effectively and conscientiously.  While our students may be digital natives, most have not learned how to really use technology to empower their learning and their ability to communicate and collaborate. The new standards recognize the need to help our students reach their greatest potential given the truly awesome tools available to all of us.

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