Voice Typing in Google Docs

I recently read Kids Deserve It! by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. One tool Welcome speaks of using in his practice is the voice typing feature of Google Docs:

“…We need to be showing our kids how to utilize this tool, even more so than typing skills.

Kids still need to edit their writing, of course, but voice typing allows them to get all their ideas down without having to navigate the keyboard, which is challenging to many kids.”

-Adam Welcome

Kids Deserve It

I taught students with learning needs for ten years so I love when technology opens doors for students with disabilities. Here I am playing with voice typing in a screen-cast:

Thank you for reading and watching. If you would like to discuss this further, please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom.

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Help Yourself to 30 Minutes of GAFE Professional Development

30 Minutes of GAFE PD

I recorded a Google Hangout on Air for the North Carolina Google Educator Group. Here are the video and the slides. Additionally, there are direct links to when I cover specific topics in the video.

 

 

Google Classroom

Assignments and Content

Feedback

Miscellaneous

Going Deeper with Google Classroom

Updated Going Deeper with Google Classroom

Google Classroom is awesome. Teachers can take it beyond substitution to redefine teaching and learning in their classroom. I have posted ten strategies to help teachers do so on the BAMNetwork Radio blog.

Going Deeper with Google Classroom – Part 1

  • Anchor Activities in the About Tab
  • Create a Question for Class Discussions
  • Easily Find All Google Classroom Files by Student
  • Google Classroom as Backchannel for Students to Help Each Other
  • Make it All Accessible to Absent Students and/or Convert to Blended Learning

Going Deeper with Google Classroom – Part 2

  • Google Forms for Do Nows and Assessment
  • Hyperdocs
  • Choosing a Theme Image
  • Make a New Google Classroom for Each Class Unit
  • A Strategy for Differentiation

Thank you for reading these suggestions. I hope they help you go deeper with Google Classroom. Please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom if you would like to chat more about going deeper with Google Classroom.

Back to School Night Pro Tip: Use Google Forms to Make Parent Contact Lists in Gmail

Do you want to e-mail all parents for your class without entering twenty-five e-mail addresses into Gmail? Would you like parent e-mail addresses to populate in Gmail so you don’t have to remember them?

Thanks to a great idea Damien Akelman showed me at Mooresville Summer Connection, you can have parents answer a quick form and accomplish both these goals. Damien’s idea was to have parents input their information themselves into a Google Form.

This is perfect for Back to School night. Have parents use their phones, classroom devices or simply have them meet in a computer lab. Share the form using a URL shortener such as bit.ly or goo.gl.

Your form should have four simple questions. Word the questions exactly as you see here:

Screenshot 2015-09-10 at 4.42.46 PM

This is what parents will see:

Screenshot 2015-09-10 at 4.43.34 PM

When you have collected your responses, go back to editing your form:

Screenshot 2015-09-10 at 4.44.31 PM

Screenshot 2015-09-10 at 4.46.22 PM

This creates a Google Sheet with your responses. In that Google Sheet:

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 2.01.06 PM

You now need to open the CSV and briefly edit it. This means uploading it back to Google Drive if you are using a Chromebook. It’s a small inconvenience. If you are using a computer with Excel, simply use that to edit the CSV. This is the only edit you have to make:

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 2.03.52 PM

Save your file. If working on it in Google Sheets, you will need to download it as a CSV again. The key is that you have to wind up with a CSV file on your hard drive. The file should look like this when you open it:

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.31.55 PM

Now go to Gmail.

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.33.38 PM

This will open a new window with your Google Contacts.

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.36.49 PM

 

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.37.36 PM

You will receive the prompt below. Choose the CSV file you downloaded.

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.38.33 PM

You will see the contacts you just imported on the side of the screen. They will be named “Imported Today’s Date (#of contacts).”

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.45.39 PM

This is what you see after you click on the group:

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.48.25 PM

 

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.51.40 PM

This is what you see when you click on a single contact:

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.55.48 PM

Now you can e-mail a parent by simply typing their name in the Gmail “to” field:

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 3.58.18 PM

You can also e-mail the whole contact list by typing the name you gave it in the Gmail “to” field:

Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 4.02.15 PM

Thanks for reading. I hope this tutorial was helpful for you. Please let me know if you have any questions by commenting below or tweeting at me at @edtechtom.

GAFE-friendly Tools to Teach Evidence-based Writing

 

gafe-friendly-tools

I am honored to once again be published on ImagineEasy’s blog. This time, I write about how educational technology improves writing and research. Please enjoy GAFE-friendly Tools to Teach Evidence-based Writing. If you want to discuss these tools, please comment below or tweet me at @edtechtom.

Ten Things You Can Do This Summer To Prepare For Teaching In A 1:1 Classroom With Chromebooks

Has your district told you your students will bring Chromebooks with them to class in the fall? Are you eager to integrate this technology into instruction but unsure how? Here are ten things you can do this summer to hit the ground running in the fall, brought to you by a teacher who has been in your shoes.

1. Ask your administration for a Chromebook to use this summer.

You want to know the Chromebook user experience before school starts. What better way to learn than by doing? This teacher loves Chromebooks in the classroom for many reasons. You will too, especially if you understand the platform your students use. See if your administrators are willing to loan you the same model students will use in the fall. Use it for everything this summer and you will be prepared.

2. Become a Google Educator.

If you want to successfully use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) in classroom instruction, you need to be proficient in them. Go through Google for Education’s process to earn Google Educator certification. The process involves online modules and five $15 (as of Summer 2014) tests. Author’s Note (6/28/15): This process has just changed. Please have a look at Google’s new options and see what works for you. Going through the modules will make you more than proficient in Google Apps. Taking and passing the exams will earn you a Google Educator certificate, a nice asset for your CV.

 3. Upload your files to Google Drive.

This is essential for you to work with your students in a 1:1 classroom. After the Google Educator modules, you should be able to easily upload folders to Google Drive. Or, you can watch this video about doing it with a Windows computer:

Or this one about doing it with a Mac:

 

4. Get to know Google Classroom.

First, watch this video introducing Google Classroom. Imagine the possibilities. Get excited!

Then, read up about Google Classroom and how to use it to do transformative things such as seamlessly include absent and home-bound students in your class.

5. Learn from the experts.

There is so much great content about integrating technology into the classroom. It can be overwhelming. Start small by following these eight experts on Twitter and reading their blogs regularly. If starting a Twitter account seems overwhelming, read Alice Keeler’s blog post about signing up for Twitter. Here are my favorite education technology experts. Their names hyperlink to their blogs.

6. Digitize your print documents.

Do this during the summer to save time during the school year. Once a print document is digitized, it can be altered and, hence, improved.

7. Convert your multiple choice assessments to paperless Google Forms your students can answer on their Chromebooks.

My visual tutorial will guide you through this process. Doing this during the summer will save you untold time at the photocopier and ScanTron machine during the school year. If you are curious about grading, read my grading tutorial, but it will not be necessary until you give your first multiple choice assessment.

Author’s Note (12/3/15): The visual tutorial linked above will work for you if you are working with the old Google Forms. If you are working with the new Google Forms, please read this post to get acquainted. 

8. Use TEDEd to change the way video is used in instruction.

Rather than have the whole class watch a projected video, you can add short-answer and multiple choice assessment questions, discussion prompts and links to further resources to any YouTube video. Make a list of your favorite YouTube videos used in instruction, and make them into powerful instructional tools with YouTube this summer. Students can work with videos at their own pace on their Chromebooks and you can use TEDEd’s tools to assess understanding.

Author’s Note (12/3/15): EdPuzzle is also a great tool for engaging students with video. Additionally, please read my Five Strategies for Using Video in the Classroom

9. Use PDFSplit to break up large curricular PDFs into smaller documents.

Instead of printing the pages of the PDF you want your students to read and scanning them, use PDFSplit to make original quality PDFs of the exact pages you want students to read. PDFSplit connects to your Google Drive to access your PDF. It makes a new file with only the pages you specify. Students then read beautiful PDFs on their Chromebooks, not scans of photocopies.

10. Join Google Plus education technology communities.

This will serve as another great source for education technology information. Just like with education technology experts on Twitter, start small. Here are four great communities to join:

Teaching in a 1:1 classroom with Chromebooks reignited my passion for education. I hope it does for you too! If you would like to talk more about successful technology integration in the 1:1 classroom, please comment below or send me a tweet at @edtechtom.