Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

GTA Boulder Notes: Afternoon Part 1

These are my notes from the Google Teacher Academy, in our first afternoon session. All resources are linked from

Trick for the day: Google “even more,” click “I’m feeling lucky” and you’ll get the additional Google products!

Now listening to Google Apps, Moodle, & Mahara: “Gahoodle” = Google Apps + Mahara + Moodle
– presented by Chris Walsh, Director of Design and Innovation of New Tech Network

Presentation slides

At New Tech Schools, we are looking for a collaborative tool that promotes sharing but also serves individual needs of teachers and students

We built our own LMS in the past: to bring together learning management, communication tools, and social networking tools

Gahoodle integrates Moodle, Google Apps, and Mahara
– have been able to get single-sign on going across all 3 of these
– when you log out of 1 of these, you log out of all (good for security standpoint)
– want to use each tool for its best-use
– supports both structure and freedom: Google Apps very open but unstructured

There are other tools like Moodle and Mahara that bring structure
– open API allows hooks for deeper integration in the future
– strong developer communities with these tools
– free and open source apps “walk the talk”

need to model openness, open source lets us do that
– kids developing modules for Moodle, other tools

Photo resources referenced on one of the Moodle courses Chris showed:

Mahara came from New Zealand, it means “to think”
– Moodle came from Australia
– it is more social networking oriented, with a strong focus on digital portfolios

Have a project-based learning gradebook, want to develop that as a custom Moodle module
– Mahara upgrades are going to focus more on the social experience

Google App upgrades will permit more granular upgrades

NEXT PRESO: Spreadsheet Gadgets

Ronald Ho, project manager for Google Spreadsheets for Google, based in New York

every time new features come out, people don’t always hear about them
– autofilling works in Google Spreadsheets
– you can also do this with something like fruits: hold down the OPTION key on a mac or CONTROL and watch it autofill
– xbox, wii, other game consoles

Now demoing “google lookup”
– start a table with cities

Next demo: import formulas
– import a range from another spreadsheet is not as interesting
– you can import HTML and that gets interesting
– can use with WikiPedia, search for Indian demographics
– you don’t have to view source and interpret the structure of the HTML
– I like Wikipedia because it tends to be structured more cleanly

formula is =ImportHtml(…

syntax: =ImportHtml(“”,”table”,4)
– try “guess and check” for the number at the end, that is the number of the table on the HTML webpage you’ve referenced

Used to be an investment banker earlier in life

sometimes you’ll see a “N/A” if Google is not sure which

Now let’s talk about Google Gagets

Have you seen
– visualization engine to look at statistics around the world
– technology that Google bought

Now with Google Gadgets you can integrate your Google Spreadsheet with the visualization engine

– look for sample motion chart in Google Templates
– say insert gadget, insert your spreadsheet range, and then view your visualization
– can publish these as public spreadsheets, which include the Google Gadget

Another example: Word Search sample (make your own word searches)

Advanced Word Cloud Gadget Sample
– can choose to ignore words in the word cloud
– can use this to semantically analyze text documents
– like Wordle

WOW. This was fast and furious. Great stuff.

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes’ free newsletter. Check out Wes’ video tutorial library, “Playing with Media.” Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on

On this day..