Showing posts from November, 2017

AppsEvents Suite Tips Episode 1 : Sketching in Slides

In the first Suite Tips video Dean showcases the exciting new Slides feature to insert notes from Google Keep. Taking advantage of the stylus with the new Acer Spin 11, Dean is able to sketch on the touchscreen and with some Google magic import that directly into Slides. Plus check out the awesome resource that is the Google Cultural Institute.

Personalised Learning: Tailoring Lessons for Every Learning Style

By Martin McKay, CTO, Texthelp

Personalised Learning has been a much discussed topic in education for the last few years. The term is everywhere. And it’s very persuasive. It hopes to address learner variability and to make education more accessible for different learners. But, there’s nothing new about personalised learning, either as an aspiration or a practice. It’s an approach that’s as old as the hills.

Over the last couple of years, it has become well recognised by educators in the US that Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is the perfect pedagogical approach that truly supports the idea of Personalised Learning.

“Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimise teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.” (

You can determine each learner’s needs by using the principles of UDL to understand their strengths, challenges, aptitudes, interests, talents and aspirations. UDL has often been connect…

Amalgamation of APPsmashing Awesomeness

By Joe Marquez

The One-Pager Amalgamation of APPsmashing Awesomeness
One of my favorite extracurricular activities is finding ways to APPsmash multiple GSuite Tools to produce a collaborative, creative, student centered lesson. APPsmashing is a way to bring in multiple tools, such as Google Docs, Google Slides, and other Google friendly apps and meld them together to create an amalgamation of awesomeness.

One such lesson that I love to implement multiple times a year is my “One Pager” activity. In this activity I assign 3 to 4 current/relevant articles to my students from sites such as NewsELA, and ask students to independently annotate the articles to dig deep into the meaning of the text. 
This annotation can be done through pencil and paper, or entirely in a Google Doc using add-ons such as “Web-Paint” or “Highlight Tools”. 
Once the annotation process is complete the students move on to the “One-Pager” Google Doc to collect their thoughts and summations of the article. As the studen…

Design Thinking in Schools | Part Five - Testing

By +Ben Rouse

Ever made a paper aeroplane? Did you spend days perfecting each fold before launching it? If you did… credit where credit is due, if not, like me you probably made loads and threw them one after the other to see what works.

If you have understood the real problem with an empathetic gathering of data that is user-centric you should have been able to define a meaty problem worth solving. The ideas will have flowed and as a group you identified the ideas worth taking forward. The prototypes are ready and now comes the moment to put your idea and prototype in the hands of the user! The website that is actually slides linked together, the app which is a series of sketches placed behind a phone stencil or the storyboard of the teacher professional development process.

It is not as scary as standing next to your volcano at the science fair, because as the design thinking culture develops in your school, this process becomes normal. When a prototype lands on the staffroom tabl…

#GSuiteHack : Google Photos Awesomeness

Google Photos is probably one of the most under appreciated feature in G Suite. It’s not just a place to store all your photos but is actually a very sophisticated tool utilizing Google’s machine learning technology.

Here are some fun and smart ways to use Google Photos:

Show an events highlight movie at the end of a class activity or school program
Photos lets you create movies with zero editing knowledge! Simply go to Assistant, select movies, and choose all the photos and clips you want to be included. It will automatically add audio and transition effects. How cool is that?

You can also make animated GIFs and collages.

Smart search
Say goodbye to endless scrolling. Just like Google’s search engine, you can use keywords to look for certain images from your collection. Go to right now and try searching for food. It will then pull up all the food pics you have in your collection.

Photos is able to recognize your photos without having to explicitly define or tag every si…

Design Thinking in Schools | Part Four - Prototyping

“Good morning colleagues” says the headteacher on Monday morning of an unprecedented INSET week!

“This Friday I have booked out the local cafe and invited parents and students along. They will be there to give feedback on new draft personalised learning curriculum we are developing.”

“What curriculum is she talking about?” Whispers one teacher to another.

“This morning we start developing the curriculum!”

In part four of this series we look at how prototyping can be developed in schools to develop innovative teaching and learning practices, avoiding lengthy development time and investment on ideas that won't have impact. To find out what needs to happen before an effective prototyping session have a read of the previous posts in this series:

Part One: Empathy
Part Two: Ideation
Part Three: G Suite (the tools)

The empathy widened the understanding of the problems facing our use of technology, or the learning spaces we need or the barriers to developing teaching and learning. By und…

Must Have Features for Student Chromebooks

Well-crafted and easy to use, Chromebooks tick all the right boxes for providing better teaching and learning experiences. With OS and apps automatically updated every six weeks, integrated security features, simplified management, and affordability, these devices offer schools a winning choice.

Which are the top 7 features to be in the best student’s Chromebook?

1. Convertible design

The 360° dual-torque hinge design ensures a wobble free touch experience and offers four usage modes, easing versatile usability during school lessons and activities. Use it as a notebook, or as a tablet. The good choice is convertible Acer Chromebook Spin 11.

2. World facing Camera
A rear camera located on the keyboard side of the Chromebook allows user to fold back the device into the tablet mode and use the screen to see what you’re recording on the 5MP auto focus webcam with 88∘ wide viewing angle.
3. Wacom Pen

The pen lets students sketch or jot down notes as naturally as with pen and paper. Pens are …

October 2017 G Suite Updates

Google has released a couple of important updates for G Suite this October. Here is our digest of some key updates particularly useful for educators, education support staff, and school leadership.

New user interface and better customization options for Calendar on the web

Google Calendar on the web has a new modern, responsive look with a host of new features that will surely help you better manage your time. Below are some of the highlights.
The new Calendar lets you hide weekends and declined events. You can also easily hide the left sidebar menu. Less clutter, more focus!You can now see all the event details in one click without leaving your current Calendar view.You can right-click an event to quickly join the meeting, delete it, or change the color.Quickly create new events by simply clicking on an empty space on your calendar.To see the whole year at a glance, choose Year view. Great for annual planning!In Day view, you can view two or more calendars from different people at the…