'The Kids Are Waiting'

It was great to have Dale Plotzki again for our second run of the AppsEvents Peru Google for Education Summit hosted this year at the Davy College in Lima, Peru.

Dale Plotzki is a Canadian international educator, Google Certified Trainer & Innovator who likes to push education towards the future through specialized teaching, professional development workshops, coaching and co-teaching and always with engagement, passion and relevance at the heart of it all! He loves poodles, cold-water surfing and Google Maps!

In this keynote speech, Dale discusses exemplars of students independently filling in the gaps in their education with the modern skills and attitudes, why this is happening and what schools can do to correct this.

Connect with Dale on Twitter at @dale_rickardo
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Getting Started With Locked Mode for Quizzes on Chromebooks

Way back in the Summer of 2018 Google announced an amazing new feature...Locked mode for Google Forms quizzes on Chromebooks. This promised to be a very powerful feature enabling teachers to give quizzes and trust that students were not accessing any external resources.

In a class of 10 or 15 students it is possible to administer quizzes on devices by monitoring the screens...but this is far from optimal! There are also some software solutions that help with this but they are often expensive and require IT admin to initiate the testing.

Beginning January 2019, Google began rolling out access to its beta version of 'Locked Mode for Google Forms'. Any school that has managed Chromebooks will soon be able to deliver quizzes to students in a secure environment.

Our school received access to the feature a few weeks ago, and so far it has worked exactly how it was designed.

Getting Setup - Initiating Locked Mode

Assuming you have your quiz setup already, applying locked mode is as easy as turning a Form into a Quiz. The new mode works with any of your old Forms, or you can go ahead and create a new quiz. And remember, you can use the new Quiz assignment from within Google Classroom to create your classes too!

From the Settings menu, click on Quizzes, hit 'Make this a quiz' and the Locked Mode option will become available.

Important: as soon as locked mode is enabled, only students with managed Chromebooks running Chrome OS68 or newer will be able to access the quiz

Once locked mode is available, the settings for collect email address, restrict to one submission and restrict to your domain or automatically selected.

Not everything is blocked...

Google have thought this through and not everything is blocked.  Accessibility tools are still available via keyboard shortcut:
  • ChromeVox (text-to-speech extension)
  • High contrast mode
  • Fullscreen magnifier
  • Docked magnifier

What if we don't have Chromebooks?

Unfortunately in this case you wont be able to use Locked Mode, anyone accessing the quiz without a managed Chromebook running OS68 or later will not be able to proceed past the initial screen:

What did we think?

We received access to this feature and announced it to teachers the same day without much more than a short tutorial by email. Within a couple of hours I had received emails from happy teachers who had successfully launched locked mode on quizzes that day on our managed Acer Spin 11 Chromebooks. Success! Students were locked to the quiz, and if any did leave the quiz halfway before submitting, the teacher receives a warning:

During a Locked mode quiz, the Form is shown in full screen view and students are unable to open another tab, switch tabs, copy and paste text or access Chrome extensions.

It is important to note that students are restricted to one response each - this may not suit every style of assessment.

One quick troubleshooting note, if you are trying this on managed Chromebooks and students cannot access the quiz, just make sure the Chromebook has been updated to the latest OS version (68 or higher).

And the big question...can students hack locked mode?

As much as I trust that Google engineers have tested every possible iteration to try to 'break' the quiz mode....Google have nothing on a class of grade 8 students! So far it has been a success, but probably a little too early to tell if any students have found a workaround....stay tuned for updates!

How do I get access for myself and my teachers?

Listed below are the key links you need that explain how to get setup and request access to the ongoing Beta testing:
Has your school been testing locked mode? Have you found anything you think other users should be aware of? Please share with us in the comments!

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Join us for a free day of Google for Education PD at Google’s London office!

Do you teach at a school using G Suite for Education? Or are you a teacher interested in bringing the tools to your school? Join us at Google’s office in London on March 1st for a free day of professional development presented by leading Google for Education experts.

There will be over 20 different sessions running throughout the day, with plenty of choices for G Suite beginners and for advanced users. So whether you are just starting your G Suite journey, or an old hand at using the tools in a classroom, there will be something for everyone to take away. (Did we mention it’s free?)

Alongside the sessions led by our Google experts (all of whom are educators themselves), there will also be an open surgery where you can ask your own questions, a keynote from a Googler and community sessions presented by teachers showing what works in their classrooms.

Last time this event was held, requests for tickets far outweighed the space available so apply now. You will be notified by 5th February if you have been allocated a space. (Space is limited to staff of educational institutions and there is a limit of 2 people per organisation. )

Visit teachersummit.appsevents.com and apply for a ticket today, don’t miss out on this jam-packed day of learning!

Teacher Summit | Google Office (Kings Cross) London | March 1st | 9:30am - 5pm
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Acer Debuts Two New Military Grade Chromebooks with Taller Display

Acer booth at BETT 2019. Photo courtesy of @FdosSoftware
Today at the BETT show, Appsevents Premier Summit Partner, Acer, launched two new durable 12-inch Chromebook models — the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 and Acer Chromebook 512.

These new Acer Chromebooks boasts a display aspect ratio of 3:2 which give users, 18% more vertical space compared to an equally wide 16:9 display. This means, students and educators can get more content on their screen in a single viewing. A real productivity-boosting feature!

Acer Chromebook Spin 512

Acer Chromebook Spin 512
Acer Chromebook Spin 512 
Features at a glance:
  • 360-degree hinge 
  • Antimicrobial Corning® Gorilla®Glass scratch-resistant display
  • Four display modes: 
    • Clamshell 
    • Tablet 
    • Display 
    • Tent
  • Dockable Wacom electro-magnetic resonance (EMR) stylus 
  • Dual-webcams: 
    • 8 MP auto-focus world facing camera
    • 88 degree wide-field-of-view HDR webcam
  • 12 hour battery life
  • 1366 x 912 IPS display
  • U.S. MIL-STD 810G military standards compliant
  • ASTM F963-16 and UL/IED 60950-1 toy safety standards compliant
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Moisture-resistant touchpad
  • Intel Wireless-AC 2×2 802.11ac MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output) connectivity for a fast and reliable Gigabit Wi-Fi connection.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 
  • 2x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 ports
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports 

Acer Chromebook 512

Acer Chromebook 512
Features at a glance:

  • Traditional notebook design with touch and non-touch options.
  • Can be opened a full 180 degrees to lay flat on a desk for sharing with other students during classes or for school projects.
  • Mechanically anchored keys that are both difficult to remove and easy to replace, making them ideal for shared classroom environments.
  • 8MP world-facing webcam on the cover, while the clamshell version has an optional 5MP.
  • U.S. MIL-STD 810G military standards compliant
  • ASTM F963-16 and UL/IED 60950-1 toy safety standards compliant
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Moisture-resistant touchpad
  • Intel Wireless-AC 2×2 802.11ac MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output) connectivity for a fast and reliable Gigabit Wi-Fi connection.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 
  • 2x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 ports
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports 

More information can be found here.
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Google Documents Update - Embed Google Drawings | Tips and Trick Episode 17

Google Documents has rolled out another useful and time saving update. Embed your Google Drawings into Documents and keep the two files linked together to update instantly!

Welcome Back to Tips and Trick with AppsEvents and Acer. We wish you all a Happy New Year 2019 and hope to see you soon on YouTube or at one of our many events. 

Share this video with a Friend or Colleague!

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5 Handy Tech Hacks To Help You Get More Organized This 2019

Photo via www.vecteezy.com
Here are some tech hacks you can use to kick start a more organized year.

1. Use the .new URL shortcuts 

Google makes it easy for users to start new projects in Drive. Need to write a new presentation? Simply type in sheet.new in your browser address bar and it will immediately load a new Google Slide document! It works in any browser.

See items below for the complete list of valid shortcuts.

To create a new Google Doc:
  • doc.new
  • docs.new 
To create a new Google Sheet:
  • sheet.new 
  • sheets.new
To create a new Google Slide:
  • slide.new 
  • slides.new 
To create a new Google Form:
  • form.new 
  • forms.new 
To create a new Google Site:
  • site.new 
  • sites.new 

2. Launch multiple URLs in your browser through Sheets

Got too many bookmarks? Consider organizing them in a Google Sheet instead.

To launch multiple URLs, simply highlight the cells where they are contained > right click > select Open Links.

This is helpful for those who are doing speaking engagements or workshop. If you need to access a lot of web tools for a training session, following this tech hack can help you be more organized and efficient.

Speaking of speaking engagement, you can apply to lead a session for any of our upcoming Google Summit. Learn more here.

3. Organize your desktop icons and files with a wallpaper

Maximize your desktop screen by installing a wallpaper organizer. It’s just an image file with prompts that you use as background image on your computer and then drag and place your icons, folders and files into place so your Desktop don’t look cluttered.

Image via appsolutelyapril.com
Check out this Pinterest board to get tons of free wallpaper organizers or inspiration if you want to design your own.

4. New Google Classroom features!

This week, Google dropped a couple of new features for Classroom that will surely delight teachers.
  • You can drag and drop entire topics and individual Classwork items in both mobile app and web versions of Classroom. 
  • 78 new themes with custom illustrations, ranging from history to math to hair dressing to photography
Watch the video below to see an overview of how Google Classroom works for teachers and students. In this video, you will learn how to set up classes and add students, create and organize content on the Classwork page, and give feedback with the grading tool.

5. Have fun with emojis

It is now easy to organize assignments and discussions in Google Classroom with the introduction of Classwork last year. To make your Classroom stream even more organized and visually appealing too, add emojis before the title to indicate the type of assignments / announcement being posted!

Enjoyed this post? Make sure to share it on your favorite social media channel. 

If you want even more Google for Education tips and tricks, attend an in-person Google PD by AppsEvents. 

Visit www.appsevents.com to see a list of upcoming Google Summit and/or Google Certification Bootcamp. 

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