Hipster Google 2: More Google Tools You Probably Never Heard Of is the sequel to the popular-in-edtech-circles Hipster Google. There are twenty-two Google-based ideas in this post, but there’s something for everyone! Music teachers! Science teachers! Math teachers! Humanities teachers! ALL THE TEACHERS. My two favorites are Just a Line, an augmented reality app for your phone (iOS or Android) that lets you draw on your environment, and LIFE Tags, which gives students quick access from the LIFE magazine photo database from 1936-2000. (In my heart, I lived through World War II and the Great Depression. My favorite periodical is Reminisce magazine.) Set aside a few minutes to explore here! Your students will thank you!
The New York Times just published their Year in Pictures feature, which can be a great tool to aid discussion in almost any discipline. People are visual – their eyes naturally land on photos over text when presented with a website (or a magazine page) that contains both. Showing these powerful images in class, and tying them content you are teaching, could be a memorable lesson. How are shadows created? Where do we see real-life axis points? How do different cultures engage in protest? The possibilities are endless!
Everything Matt Miller writes about on his website, tweets about from his Twitter, or speaks about from his…mouth?…is amazing, but sometimes his stuff is so good that I can’t digest it in one sitting.
Such is the case with this entry called “The ‘Secret Menu’ for Google Slides, Docs, Drawings, and More.” I used the first tip – how to save a photo that’s been placed in a Google Doc – when my journalism students submitted photos with their stories, ignoring instructions to place .jpg versions of the photos in a folder I’d shared with them. To save myself the headache of emailing 22 people (and waiting for 22 responses), I followed these instructions and snagged the photos myself. Life changing! I use the second tip constantly, am not sure how I’d use the third, and the fourth is on my to-do list for January.
He published this article in October. It’s going to take awhile to absorb all of these tips, but whew! What a great collection of ideas!
I loved this article on Control Alt Achieve by Eric Curts – “Seven Summarization Tools for Students.” Why would a student need a summary of an article before (or after) reading? What are the best tools out there? Click the link to find out! (And if you decide to use an app or extension that he suggests, let me know so that I can be sure it’s available to students.)
There are quite a few screencasting apps and extensions out there, but they have a learning curve that may be a turnoff. Loom is a simple-to-use Chrome extension that allows you to record your screen as you explain whatever you’re looking at. You can choose to be on camera in a little circle at the bottom of the page, or you can be invisible. Imagine how many uses there are for Loom in the classroom – to explain an assignment for your students, to ask questions about a document in your PLT, etc. etc. The finished product can either be shared as a link, or the video can be downloaded as a file to upload to YouTube or any other website. To read about two other screencasting apps, click here.
YouTube is discontinuing its built-in video editor, but there are still ways for your students to create movies using their Chromebooks! Try Adobe Spark or WeVideo. If you want the more robust, premium version of WeVideo for your classes, let me know, and I will get you a class subscription! WeVideo integrates nicely with Google Classroom (see below).