Technology Integration Update

It’s Technology.Update number 50! In this issue we’ll take a look at a few new features from Google, explore resources to improve your Google skills, and we answer a question about how to integrate Gmail and Google Calendar. Enjoy!

Getting Google-y with Google!

New from Google for 2019

New Fonts to increase reading speed!: Google has created a series of fonts that are aimed to improve reading speed for you and your students. To access these fonts in Docs, Sheets or Slides:

  • From the Font menu in the toolbar, select “More fonts”.
  • Then, search for Lexend and select the fonts to add them to your saved fonts. These will now appear in the “My fonts” list and in the Font menu in the toolbar.

New Priotity Page in Drive: Priority page in Drive is a new way to help you stay focused and get work done. This page will help you access the files you need through a combination of suggestions and workspaces. With the new Priority page, not only are the most relevant files served up to you, but you can take action on them, as well as sort them into workspaces.

Learn more at: https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com/2019/03/priority-page-drive.html

Learn from Google

It’s great to have support when you’re learning something new. Whether you want to become an expert on a specific Google tool, or are looking for inspiration from other educators, the Google Teacher Center has you covered. The Google Teacher Center offers several tutorials for getting started -- this is your best bet if you're looking for the most up-to-date videos and information. There are also plenty of do-it-yourself tutorials on YouTube posted by teachers and tech-integration specialists. Many of these teacher-created videos include practical tips and tricks they've learned from using the platform in their own classrooms. Sound Interesting? Take a look at this “First Day Training,” for Google Classroom.

Learn from Westside Teachers

This summer, a group of Westside educators was able to attend the 2019 Great Plains Google Summit in Lincoln. Here are a few of their take-aways! You can read all of them at: http://bit.ly/2L1bVwo

Angela Mosier, WHS

I went to the Google Plains Summit hoping to find some tools for how we can effectively use technology to enhance learning in the math classroom. In a session by Jess Lubinsky, Let’s Kick Some Math! I was introduced to some ideas that I plan to explore further this year. He provided some quick digital solutions to the stacks of papers that math teachers (any teacher really) can acquire. The first solution was to have students submit digital pictures of their homework, which in turn, can be easily organized and stored for parent conferences. Another solution was to integrate Google forms and Flubaroo for exit tickets; this allows you to easily collect student data and will send students emails with their scores. Equatio, which I am the most excited about, is a tool that allows you to easily create equations and graphs for multiple platforms. There is even an app that allows for handwriting recognition. There is a free version for teachers, but honestly, I will probably pay to get the premium version. Since we had some extra time in this session, he went on to share another math presentation, Google Geo Tools in the Math Classroom. As a Geometry teacher, Landlines would be a fun way to let students explore angles, lines, and curves around the world. In his presentation, he provided some examples of how to incorporate Google Expeditions as well; check out his presentation (previously linked) to learn more. 

Ben Powers, WHS

FlipGrid is coming out with an AMAZING addition to the video capture in August! Teachers and students will be able to add writing, sketches, photos, into their videos with a new feature called “Shorts”. Also more editing features with clipping and cropping videos (used to have to get it right in one take). Also will have a whiteboard feature very much like Explain Everything where you can show work on a blank slide, and then cut back to the video explanation. Should allow students and teachers to convey their understanding in a richer way. For a brief demo, click here!

Also learned some fun uses to integrate flashcards from Peardeck into lessons to have students pair up and work on vocabulary in a much more engaging way. If you want to see it in action, take a look at this link! PearDeck Vocab

The Doctor Is In
Question: I'm trying to be more efficient with my email and calendar. Is there a way to quickly create calendar events based off of a message that I get?

Yes! You can quickly and easily create a calendar event right from Gmail! It will even send an invite out to the person who sent you the message to join your event!

While you have the email open, tap on the 3 vertical dots as shown below. Then tap on ‘Create Event’

This will open up your Google Calendar and create an event for you. The email message will automatically be in the details, and the sender added as a guest.

Need to determine a time? Click on either ‘Find a Time’ or ‘Sugested Time’ to have Google search their calendar and yours and show times that you are both available! Neat!

In Closing
As always, if you ever have any technology integration related questions, please let us know. We are happy to work with you to design lessons, develop workflows and even come into your classes and work with you and your students.

Thanks!