Things for Teachers

Post(s) tagged with "google"

Activities for Teaching Google Tools to Teachers and Students ⇢

The above is a link to Richard Byrne’s (at Free Tech for Teachers) post about his activities; here’s a direct link to the activities page.

Beginning-of-the-year Student Surveys

Last year, I ditched the idea of having students fill out an “about me” notecard with interests and contact information. Instead, I had them fill out a Google Form I made available online via my class website. It worked really well, keeping the information organized and easy to look up. 

I’m going to create my surveys for this year soon and I’m brainstorming new questions to add. I’m thinking of adding a question about cell phones and texting plans so I can think of the feasibility of using a service like Poll Everywhere in my classroom. 

What are your favorite questions to ask in the beginning of the year student surveys?

30 Incredible Google Doodles Drawn by Students ⇢

Posting this because they are freaking awesome, and a reminder of the awesome things our students are capable of.

Source: edudemic.com

The Best Resources for Google Earth Beginners ⇢

Larry Ferlazzo has put together another great, comprehensive list of Google Earth resources. It includes links on how to use Google Earth as well as some lesson ideas.

Updated Google Tutorials page ⇢

Richard Byrne recently reminded his readers that he hosts a variety of how-to resources  for lots of Google tools. Many of these tutorials are very specific in their goals (for example, how to create a quiz in Google Docs). He’s updated his tutorials recently so you may want to skim through them.

Using Google Voice to contact parents

Note:  I originally posted this in early October, when I first started using Google Voice to contact parents. Today was my self-deemed parent phone call day after school, and again I turned to Google Voice. It’s helped me immensely throughout the year, and I still recommend it to teachers looking for a good way to contact parents outside of school.

Google Voice is a free service that allows you to sign up for a phone number and make phone calls either through your computer or through your cell/home phone (but the Google Voice number is the one that appears on the receiver’s caller ID).

Why did I think Google Voice would be a useful tool for me? For calling parents.


Here are common issues I stumble upon when calling parents:

  • I call from the school phone, which means I am at school. They are not available to talk during school hours.
  • They have blocked the school phone number.
  • I call from my cell phone in the evening, but block the number (since I don’t want them to have my personal number). They have blocked numbers blocked or don’t pick up for blocked numbers.
  • The only number I have to give them in voicemails is the school number with my extension.
  • I forget to check my school voicemail.

Here is how Google Voice has solved these problems:

  • I can now call parents at times that they may be able to talk without blocking my number.
  • They probably haven’t blocked my Google Voice number.
  • I can give them a phone number to call back and it will actually reach me (it calls my cell phone and gives me the option to pick up the call or send them to voicemail). If they leave me a voicemail, it is accessible to me and I will check it.
  • It is not my personal phone number.

Google has informative videos to check out that shows you how to use Google Voice. I have also made calls from my computer (you will have to download a plugin and have a microphone/speakers to do this) in order to not eat up my cell phone minutes.

I DEFINITELY tested Google Voice before using it with parents, and when you call with it using your cell phone, it does show your Google Voice number. You just have to place the call from your computer. Google Voice will call you and connect you to the number you are calling.

Edit to add: Thanks eggmanandpie and sanityscraps for remembering to point out that Google Voice is only available in the US. Sorry everyone else :(

About Google Accessibility ⇢

Check out Richard Byrne’s post about Google Accessibility, which provides information about how people with vision/hearing impairments can use Google’s services.

Google Video is shutting down-and soon. ⇢

Click the link to read a post by Cool Cat Teacher blog which gives you information about this and some relevant links.

world-shaker:

Here’s a great idea for a classroom ice-breaker or a daily conversation starter from Google. It’s called “A Google a Day” and it’s a simple interface that takes the Google search page and adds a daily trivia question to the bottom of the screen. You do a search to find the answer and then check to see if you got it correct by clicking, “Show answer.” The answer is then displayed along with tips on the best techniques to search for it (in case you got the wrong answer).
(via A Google a Day « Ed Tech Ideas)

world-shaker:

Here’s a great idea for a classroom ice-breaker or a daily conversation starter from Google. It’s called “A Google a Day” and it’s a simple interface that takes the Google search page and adds a daily trivia question to the bottom of the screen. You do a search to find the answer and then check to see if you got it correct by clicking, “Show answer.” The answer is then displayed along with tips on the best techniques to search for it (in case you got the wrong answer).

(via A Google a Day « Ed Tech Ideas)

Google Custom Search Engine ⇢

This blog post explains how to create a custom search engine and embed it on your site.

About

Who I am: A fourth year high school history teacher at an urban(ish) high school in New Jersey.

What I blog about: Stuff related to education I like, and stuff I hope can help other teachers out. Technology, deals on supplies, helpful books. My focus lately is on educational technology & related resources. Occasionally, I also post things related to education reform. Because I post articles that I feel will be of interest to teachers with varying views, the political-related posts made here do not necessarily reflect my beliefs or opinions, nor do they reflect the beliefs of my employer.

What I like learning & reading about: Other teacher's opinions about and experiences with teaching & education. How I can enrich my classroom and reach out to my students. If you write about this stuff, let me know, because I probably want to read it.

What you should submit: Anything that could help a teacher.


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