Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

GTA Boulder Notes: Morning Part 2

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

Now learning from Christine Archer

using to keep time during this session

Google rep here has been working with Google Docs and Sites

Dicoverying the Magic of Google Sites

Used to be when kids did a book report, they would fill out a sheet and everyone’s looked the same

Google sites is one way to do differentiated assessment
– can learn from each other, participate in learning opportunities online
– lesson plans used to follow Madeline Hunter format
– collaborative spirit is really something pretty new in education

School departments still have handbooks, paper-based
– you can now make things much more current

Many schools still send home paper newsletters
– I so prefer now teachers who share info from the classroom electronically

We used to have to know HTML code as teachers to web-publish
– now with Google Sites, it is all point and click

Google sites is like magic, with a wave of a hand, you can do almost anything

In 2008 it was an addition to the Google Apps suite
– easily create a network of sites

What steals the show?
– ability for people to add and edit content
– now we can collaborate
– make sites public or private: share in a domain or with the world
– that addresses fears of sharing things publicly
– unlimited uses
– group work possibilities are phenomenal

Recent changes:
– more themes and layouts
– page settings, you can show the page in the sidebar
– you can insert a ma
– automatic navigation, hierarchical navigation
– easier to embed calendars

Lots of samples and examples to show (some of these are archived/copied
2009 Washington DC Trip:
Body Systems Survivor:
Learning Almanac
Free Rice Project

Why literacy? Why now? Why Web 2.0? (Google Literacy Presentation – in Google Sites)

Apps Premier may give you 25 GB of space, consumer is 10 GB
– so if you upload directly to your site instead of YouTube, that can address content filtering of YouTube
– people generally hit size limit by uploading lots of large attachments to a site

We are calling Google Education and Google Docs to separate between Google domain

now demonstrating how to build a Google Site

are good tips and tricks for naming when you are in Apps, they show up as directory names that can be selected so admin stuff goes in that directory, science in that directory, etc.

All about editing pages and saving them with a click of the mouse
– very much like using a word processor
– can create as many pages as you want

Some people are using Annoucements templates as something like a blog
Options for pages are: Web page, dashboard, announcements, file cabinet, and list


Every page on a Google Site does support commenting!
– lots of layout choices for each page
– can insert maps, calendars

Under MORE actions you have lots of options to manage your site
– recent site activity, page shortcuts, attachments that have been uploaded
– site settings: can show you your storage used (100 MB available by default)

Any email can become a “Google Account” but your Gmail is already a google account
– this is an issue that leads to a lot of confusion with people
– if you have a Google account with docs there is a way to merge your account with a new Google Domains account

Entire state of South Dakota can’t currently use their Google Sites account because someone else registered their domain as a Google Site!

NEXT PRESENTATION: Kern Kelly on Google Apps for Education and OTHER services

99% of the time I recommend people start with a Gmail account

We buy domain names for $8 each for students

Kern is presenting from an ACER netbook

Legal issues: can’t have email for under 13
– so for students under 13, we use Google Apps for Domain (district or school administrator takes on responsibility for parental permission)
– for students over 13, we use regular Google accounts

[MARK WAGNER’S POST “Google Docs Does Not Violate CIPA (or COPPA*)” IS HELPFUL HERE]

Sticky point is you can’t have an email account if you are under 13

verifiable parent consent is the issue for COPPA for getting an email account

We use a .info site for our main public school site:
– can restrict to just Google Apps
– get kids and teachers in the mindset of going 1 place where my information is and it comes to
– that is a big psychological shift

GMAIL education edition
– are filters: kids and staff can use tags and filters, very useful skill
– Postini features: can specify user groups, who can receive email from outside the domainj
– faculty can be a separate list from students, other content filters
– free for K12 schools now through July of 2010

Last year we just used docs and did not enable email
– model of email is an old idea: 1 to 1
– not live and interactive
– this is interesting in the context of Google Wave which is coming

Chat can be on or off, but there is a chat feature built into Google Docs

Video: you have to enable it
– can specify people who are authorized to upload

– can do different ones: band schedule, resources for checkout
– all calendars are granular, with specific delegatable rights

Now demonstrating how to add and customize calendar events
– does support “check guest and resource availability” (NICE!)
– can insert a map directly
– can add a google document directly to a calendar event
– 3 types of reminders: email, popup, and SMS text messages
– link in bottom right of Google Calendar lets anyone add your calendar to their own calendar

Share a disclaimer that you’re not responsible for SMS text fees that can be incurred using Google Calendar SMS reminders

Calendars sync to your mobile device really well, there are apps and you can click on mobile setup too
– syncs with iCal, Outlook, etc.

Web-based calendars that everyone can access is SO important to people

3 levels of sharing and collaboration:
1- private, just mine
2- collaborate with friends
3- publish for the world

Most things Google offers have these three layers of sharing / privacy

Story of one of Kern’s students who had not shown a lot of motivation made a comment that he couldn’t share a document he made yet, because it wasn’t finished
– this was a BIG deal

Kern is not doing Google App Domains for the entire district, they are going to try and have a different Google App Domain for each grade level

Now showing video, ASU talks about Google Apps
– good video to share administrators (had about 70K students)

Google in Education FAQ (official one)

Why Google Apps for Education?

Unofficial FAQ for Google in Education from Kern

Email archiving is available with Postini for a discounted fee for schools

IT guys tend to like having the box in the room, they can be less comfortable with having server resources on the cloud


Now hearing from Erica Hartman: teachers class called “Connections” focusing on literacy, hyperlinked writing, etc.

Erica on Twitter:

Her blogs:

“Google Docs”

I call Google Docs: The End of Flash Drives
– now we don’t need the flash drives
– our school bought 1000 flash drives last year, we didn’t need em

web-based saving, no need to email files around anymore
I got his entire company into Google Docs, a huge epiphany for

Google Docs now includes:
– Documents
– Presentations
– Spreadsheets
– Forms
– Gadgets
– Templates

So great to teach writing as a process, Google Docs really facilitates this with comments, seeing revisions, etc
– gets kids away from “type and print” mentality

Can create a self-grading quiz with spreadsheets and forms

Recently launched Google Docs templates, now you have lots of gallery items including flashcards from teachers
– See the post “Spotlight on Developers: Educational Spreadsheet Gadgets” for more on this

Beware if you share a template on Google Docs now you can’t really just limit sharing as a template to teachers-only

I have used up to 12 or 13 students simultaneously editing a document

Documents is not as real-time as spreadsheets right now for simultaneous editing, but Google is working on that
– a workaround is to create a table in a Google Doc, and have students work in different cells of the same document. Then it doesn’t “jump around” when multiple users are editing together

So many different widgets are available for Google Spreadsheets now
– can do a word cloud that is similar to Wordle

Google is working on adding additional question types for Google Forms
– working hard to reach parity with Zoomerang and Surveymonkey
– working on more statistical analysis

Screencast on inserting charts and gadgets in spreadsheets

Blog Rubric example from Liz Davis

Definitely organize student work, I have students name files with last and first name, then a sensible title

Tom Barrett has shared great examples of common school forms using Google Forms

Sometimes using Footnotes can help leaving students comments

Under tools you can see word, character, etc counts – reading level is shown too

Screencast on using google docs for peer revision

Project idea: create children’s books using Google Presentations

No way to collaborate on creation of videos on Google. YET. 😉

Also sharing Helpful Tips for All Educators Using Google Docs

Also: Expanding Learning Networks Beyond School Walls
– find someone here to collaborate with outside your school

One of my favorite things to do in the evening is open and look at documents that kids are working on, they get so fired up when they see me (their teacher) looking live at their work via Google Docs!

Good bandwidth here today! Note the ISP name at the bottom of this Internet Frog Speed test!

Bandwidth at #gtaco

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