A Gaggle of Google, Part II

A few months ago, I posted a list of links related to the Google universe.  It happened to be the 100th post.  Now, we’re approaching 150 posts and I thought it was time to send out another, updated list of Google items.

A couple of notes.  First, I did not renew my Office 365 account when it expired a month ago.  The $70 or so they wanted for another year wasn’t worth it to me.  So, I’m planning on migrating all of my files over to the Google trio exclusively.  I mention this as I’m keeping an eye out for useful posts on Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Next, my school does not use Google Classroom as our LMS is Buzz, built on the platform of BrainHoney.  I note this as I generally don’t look out for Classroom postings.  You may see one or two in this list, but it’s not a focus for me.

Without further ado, here’s good stuff I’ve seen recently on Google:

10 Reasons to Love Google Docs

A Collection of Some of the Best Chromebook Apps for Teachers

Must Have Chrome Apps for the New School Year

14 Essential Google Search Tips for Students

10 Back to School Tips for Teachers Using Google Docs

5 Important Chrome Tips for Teachers

PDF My Google Drive Folder

Back to School With Google Chrome: The Complete Guide

Launch Desktop Application from Google Drive Preview in Chrome

Explain Everything – On Chromebooks!

6 Google Tips – Infographic

Two Important Google Slides Updates Teachers Should Know About

5 Under Appreciated Google Tools for Teaching Social Studies

72 Google Drive Shortcuts You Should Know About

Some Great Educational Resources From Google

Google Classroom: Sharing or Submitting a Google Drive Folder

Excellent Google Sheets Tools for Assessment and Grading

12 Ways to Use Google Classroom’s Newest Features

Some Teacher Tested Notable Chromebook Apps to Use with Students

Top 90 Educational Apps for Android

Google Brings It’s 360 Degree Storytelling App to the iPhone and iPad

Here is a Great Alternative to Google Forms

A New Look for the Google Docs, Slides and Sheets Viewer on the Mobile Web

Google Apps and the Brain Friendly Classroom – Collaborative Learning

Treasure Trove of Historical Footage Now Available on YouTube

6 Most Popular Google Docs Templates for Teachers

Teacher’s Top Educational Chrome Apps for 2015-2016

3 Important Google Drive Updates Teachers Should Know About

100 Ways to Use Google Drive in the Classroom

411 on Google’s Educator Certificates

Google Forms: Using Summary of Responses Repeatedly

3 Excellent Google Sheets Tools to Enhance Workflow

A Handy Google Drive Tool for Annotating PDF’s

24 Google Docs Templates Which Will Make Your Life Easier

Top 5 Android New Aggregator Apps for Teacher


Enjoy the wide ranging list!



Windows 10 News – Free Upgrade for Win 7 or 8 Users!

I’m not a huge fan of Windows any more as I prefer the iOS and Android interfaces over it.  I did buy a new HP laptop last summer which runs Windows 8.1.  While Win 8 has been panned by many, I don’t hate it – I just don’t like it that much!

So I was pleased when I found this blog post by Microsoft about the forthcoming Windows 10.  And I was even more pleased (and surprised) to learn that they are offering a free upgrade to current Windows 7 and 8 users.  I remember they did something like this with the Vista debacle (back then I had bought another new laptop with that really clunky OS), but I really don’t think Win 8 is as bad as Vista was.

Nevertheless, I signed up for info about the Win 10 update.  It gained me access to this interesting video. 

SNOW DAY — And Technology

SNOW DAY – the best 7 letter combination a teacher can hear (most of the time).

Since this is a mainly tech-oriented blog, I thought I’d reflect for a moment on technology has changed the time honored rituals of – will-we-or-won’t-we-have-school and the less exciting – when-will-my-street-be-plowed.

I didn’t grow up in a snow belt area, so I don’t have personal memories of how eager students and parents previously learned about the status of school on snowy mornings.  I’m told that it involved tuning into the TV or radio and listening for the list the announcer shared when convenient for the broadcast.  Later (and currently), the ubiquitous “crawl” at the bottom of the TV screen evolved to give constant (and repetitive) info about closings.

With websites and apps, today’s eager hunt for this radically day-changing info involves less watching and listening and more acts of hitting the “refresh screen” on the browser.

Today I was out of bed at my usual 5:15am and the first thing I saw on my iPad (which I use as my alarm clock) was a notice that Columbus City Schools were closed.  This was good news, but not completely relevant b/c my children are in a different district and my school is under a separate diocese notification.

I wanted to know quickly whether I needed to continue my carefully timed “get out the door” routine or if it was a snow day and I could go back to bed.  So I went to a local TV news website and saw this:

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It’s not a terribly pretty site, but it’s definitely a “just the facts, ma’am” portal.

Since the list was likely to grow at the now 5:30am time mark, my waiting and nearly constant screen refreshing began.  This made for an awkward time of prayer as I toggled between the reflection I read daily on my iPad and the, now two TV sites I was viewing.  With each screen refresh, I eagerly scanned the list (and I’ll admit – prayed) to see if the diocese and/or my children’s district was called off.

At about 5:40, 5 minutes before I needed to move to my next step in the morning routine, BINGO! The two notifications I was seeking came up! Allowing my children to blissfully continue to sleep, by 6 am I was back in dreamland myself.  Thank you technology and Mother Nature for bringing us this SNOW DAY!

Now, the question (besides how I will use this “bonus day”) is when will the streets in my neighborhood be plowed?  Columbus, after taking a lot of heat for poor snow removal and communication about it last winter, has created a cool new website called Columbus Warrior Watch:

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Apparently the plow Road Warriors are networked and real-time data about their progress and their plans feeds into a color-coded map.  I don’t know whether it will get my street plowed more quickly (as it’s designated at the lowest priority level), but it will be another interesting map to watch on-line.

—> This is the 50th post for our fledgling blog.  Thanks for following and please continue to keep up with us as we boldly move forward with our next 50 posts!

2014 Review in Editorial Cartoons/Animations

As you’re enjoying the last day of the the year (and putting together the items to use in your New Year’s celebration), consider spending a few thoughtful and funny moments with these editorial cartoons and animations from the Washington Post.

Here’s my favorite moment from 2014 as captured by this artist:

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What’s your most memorable news-worthy event from 2014?