Some links to check out and upcoming Google updates

summary of Google Drive updates

John Sowash’s monthly EDU newsletter always lists ten or more links he briefly describes and commends for educators to check out. Some recent ones he’s called out are:

  • Virtual games from Arts & Culture – “Play with Arts & Culture” – a collection of interactive games that make art, culture and history accessible in a fun and educational way. In one, challenge your students to complete a virtual jigsaw puzzle. It’s fun and the whole class can participate!
  • Panopto screen recording – this free screencasting tool offers some unique features like the ability to record from multiple cameras and replace your background.
  • Dino QR codes – The Chrome browser now has a built-in QR code creator with a cute dino included! No need for a Chrome extension, just click the URL bar and look for the QR code symbol! Jeremy Badiner created a great guide as well.
  • Get to know the student behind the mask – this is a really nice blog post by 5th grade math teacher Becky Thal expressing the importance of connecting with students on a personal level.
  • Mindset Moment with Andrew J. Canlé – these quick videos communicate positive ideas in a short, entertaining format that are perfect for discussion questions or brain breaks.
  • Link Lock – password protect any link with this free, simple web utility.

On February 17th Google announced several updates for Google Workspace for Education. John’s newsletter has organized some of them into infographics shown below.

FOR CHROMEBOOKS….

The screen recording updates are very exciting, encouraging students to press record for formative and summative assessments which can be very powerful and now more easily done on a Chromebook! Stay tuned to see if this will also allow students to record their screen via Canvas Studio.

summary of Chromebook updates

 

FOR GOOGLE DRIVE….

There are also several updates apparently coming soon to Google Drive. The two that will most likely impact students and teachers are Form draft responses and revision history in Jamboard. In Google Forms, students will be able to stop and return to a form at a later date and time. Please note this is set to launch, “later in 2021” so do not plan to utilize this functionality just yet. One of the biggest frustrations with Jamboard has been the fact that frames can be easily removed and those changes are very difficult to track. Soon, it will be much easier to track changes and revert to previous versions in Jamboard.

summary of Google Drive updates

Highlights from the February Google for Education Newsletter

Google newsletter 36

Issue 36 was just released today. Below are some of its notices for your consideration.

Be Internet Awesome presents Safer Internet Day 2021
Join Be Internet Awesome on @googleforedu Twitter and Facebook for the 7-Day Internet Safety Challenge – promoting online safety all week long. We’ll share four new activities and tools for educators to use with their students.

Code.org celebrates Black Voices in Computer Science
Although computer science is foundational to every industry and field of study, representation and participation in CS is still far from balanced. Watch and share this inspiring video from our partner Code.org, advocating for greater access to CS education for Black students.

Arts & Culture: Blob Opera
From Google Arts & Culture’s Lab and artist David Li comes Blob Opera. Exploring the original musical instrument: our voice. Play four opera voices in real time. Explore pitch then record and share your musical composition. No singing skills required.

Arts & Culture: Preserving Egypt’s Layered History
Brings to life the archaeological discoveries, the archaeologists and preservation processes. With stories, 3D and AR models, Quizzes, videos, virtual tours and Choose Your Own Adventures, the project brings the treasures of Egypt into the classroom.

Wakelet & Google for Education: Showcase Challenge
Get involved in the Wakelet & Google for Education: Showcase Challenge! Share your ideas for making the most of Google for Education tools and showcase your expertise inside a Wakelet collection to get your hands on our exclusive digital swag pack.

Missed an issue of the Google for Education newsletter? Check out past issues here.

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Black History Month Resources

Image of Applied Digital Skills black history page

February is Black History Month. Wayne RESA has put together several resources that teachers can use this month and throughout the school year to help infuse Black History in the curriculum.

Additionally, Flipgrid has curated several topics for students to engage with on their platform.

Image of Black History collection in Flipgrid

Wide Open School by Common Sense has linked several Black History and Culture lessons organized by grade, Preschool-12th grade. Google for Education has also released several new lessons in their Applied Digital Skills curriculum.

Image of Applied Digital Skills black history page