Google Classroom Tips [Infographic]

Great infographic from the Google for Education team with some helpful Google Classroom tips to help you prepare for the school year.

Google Classroom Tips Infographic

UPDATE:

Lots of interesting changes to Google Classroom recently. Make sure to check out our comprehensive online course on Google Classroom by Google in Education guru +Allison Mollica. The course will help you get up to speed with ‘Google Classroom’ and features video lessons with an online quiz after each video chapter to test your knowledge. The course is being updated regularly to reflect the most recent changes. Get access here: http://goo.gl/ddspKc
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How I Passed the Google Educator Qualification Exams

For those who want to qualify for the Google Teacher Academy program or for those who want to become a Google Certified Trainer, one of the required application requirements is to pass the Google Educator individual qualification certification which consists of five online exams (4 required and 1 elective).

Even if you are not ready yet to hold Google Apps training outside your school district, getting the Google Educator status can benefit your professional development as a teacher. The entire process of preparing and taking the exam can greatly impact your understanding of Google Apps and how you can integrate it in the classroom.


I recently completed my Google Educator status last May so I thought of sharing some of the things that helped me pass all five exams. Note that these tips were all based from my own experience so what worked for me might not work for you. I’m not going to share you shortcuts on how to pass all exams in one go. If that is something you want, I suggest joining one of AppsEvents Google Certification bootcamp. If you are a Google Apps newbie or you just want to take things one step at a time, read on.

1. Read all the training materials found in Google for Education Training Center

This is actually a no-brainer tip. Google’s training portal serves as the manual for all things Google Apps for Education. However, not a lot of people enjoy reading “manuals” especially if they’ve been using the Gmail, Calendar, Sites and Google Drive for quite a while.

I’ve been using Google products for years already, but as I read through the materials Google provided, I was ashamed to learn how little I know. So take time to read and you’ll be surprised just how much “hidden” features you can find.

Although no one is stopping you from searching (or Googling) for the answers while taking the test, I strongly believe it’s worth your while going through the online training materials specifically the Level 2 advance courses. After all, it’s not just about passing the exams, but developing mastery.

2. Take notes

Especially information you’ll most likely to forget like the allowed maximum number of cells in a spreadsheet, the total number of email addresses you can share a Google Doc with, how many users can collaborate on a document at the same time, or the different sharing roles you can assign to individual collaborators. Basically, make sure to write down quantitative and “lists” kind of information. They’ll come in handy later as the exam is “open book”.

3. Plan your testing schedule

You can take all 5 exams in one setting or take them in weekly or monthly interval. It is all up to you. Assess your individual mastery and stress tolerance. :)

Take the easiest exams for you first and choose an elective you are more familiar with.

Keep in mind that after passing the first exam, you will have 90 days to complete the remaining exams. Each exam expires 90 days after passing. If you have not completed all 5 exams within 90 days, you will need to repurchase and retake any and all exams that have expired.

In my case, I took the exams every other week during those times when my workload is light. I set aside an entire day just for taking the exam. The whole day I would read the training materials from Google Training Center and I will then take the test, late in the afternoon. This works best for me since the information from what I have read are still fresh in my mind, but some people may not be comfortable with this kind of setup and may need more time to review.

4. Make sure to sign-in to your Google Apps account

There are some parts of the exam, which asks you how you can get to a particular settings page, what button to click, or something similar and the question might seem a bit tricky, so it helps if you login to your Google Apps account and try to demonstrate what the question asks for in order to get the correct answer.

5. If it’s something new to you, ask Google Help Center

There were some test questions or terms which I pretty sure wasn’t included in the Google Training Center materials. If you found yourself in this situation, Google Help Center is another great resource to help you find the best answer.

It also helps that you are physically and emotionally ready during the test so make sure to get enough sleep and eat well on the day you plan on taking the exams. If you want to learn more about the different Google certifications and processes, check out this guide from Allison Mollica.

Got any more tips? Please share them in the comments below!

UPDATE:

Our Guide to becoming a ‘Google Educator’ and ‘Google Education Trainer’ online is now available for free through http://appseventscourses.com/. Create an account today to get access! In this short course, Dan Taylor gives an overview of the Google certification options for Education including exam technique and preparation and how to pull together the required work.

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Using Google Keep in the Classroom

If you are one of those who implement BYOD or allows students to access smartphones/tablets in the classroom, here’s a Google tool you might consider introducing to your students.

Using Google Keep in the Classroom

Keep is a note taking service from Google announced March of last year. It quickly lets you save notes on things you want to remember including voice notes, to-do lists, and pictures. It is available both as a Google Drive web service and a free mobile app you can download from Google Play.

Since it is a Google product, anyone with a Gmail or a Google Apps account have access so there is no need to create a separate login. Although it lacks features like creating folders for your notes or adding tags, its simplicity makes it a perfect tool for students especially the younger ones.

Below are reasons including tips why it is a better productivity service for students.

1. Quickly save what’s on your mind

When Google Keep was first launched, it didn't get the attention it deserved. Many compared it to services like Evernote or Microsoft OneNote. However, Keep wasn't designed to compete against these two.

Remember the time when people use to keep a mini notebook with them where they spontaneously jot down their ideas, reminders, lists, doodles and all sort of notes on it? This is the basic idea of Google Keep --- a central location to save whatever is on your mind, wherever you go!

Students can use this application to write down homework, brief notes, record their ideas, or take pictures of information on the board.

2. Clean, colorful, user-friendly interface.

It only takes one click to write a note, upload a picture or create a to-do list through the web interface and one tap through the mobile app - as simple as tapping the note text field then start typing. The rest of the options are displayed just below the notes area.

If you no longer need a certain item or you want it out of view, just swipe it to the left or right in your mobile phone and it’s automatically archived. Hover your mouse pointer on any item in Keep’s web UI and you’ll quickly see the archive button.

The color option can be used to visually organize notes and you can even agree with the whole class what color to assign for homework reminders, ideas, and so on.

3. Intelligent search and OCR technology

If you upload images with text on them, you can quickly search your pictures using keywords without having to type a description. This is why you don’t need tags in the first place. When you have too many notes or the note you wanted to find was archived, a simple search will do the trick. Google Keep utilizes universal search so both title and notes are are searched. The grid layout is a plus factor when looking up notes since it helps in quickly identifying which note is the one you need.

Google Keep recently got a feature upgrade and you can now transcribe texts from images (or voice notes) as well! Students can utilize the OCR feature to snap pages of books they read during a visit from the library and since the transcribed texts are saved in the cloud, they can access them later on their PC and copy the texts to a Google document or simply read through their phone or tablet. Helps save costs on photocopies too.

4. Location-based reminders

Did you know you can add reminder alerts on Google Keep? The best thing about it is you have two options - reminder by date and time or reminder by location. The reminder by date/time is useful for keeping track of homework and project deadlines. The reminder by location option is a fantastic feature you and your students will definitely love. Students can set-up homework reminders so they’ll get instant notification when they arrive home.

5. Record hard to pronounce words

Teachers can record words that a certain student is having difficulty articulating as voice notes so when the child gets home or have some free time and he or she wants to practice, they can listen using Google Keep. Assigning a specific color for voice notes can even make it into some form of custom game. Say, tap any of the pink notes and repeat the word being played.

These are just a few advantages of using Google Keep for students. If you have anything to add, please share them in the comments below.

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Gmail - The Apps Show - Ep. 8

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New Google Classroom Features!


Quick video screencast using +TechSmith's Snagit.  (I need a new headset, sorry for the audio).  Overview of the new features ~ about page and how teachers now have access to student work while they are constructing not only after they turn it.  Great stuff! :)

+Allison Mollica


UPDATE:

Lots of interesting changes to Google Classroom recently. Make sure to check out our comprehensive online course on Google Classroom by Google in Education guru +Allison Mollica. The course will help you get up to speed with ‘Google Classroom’ and features video lessons with an online quiz after each video chapter to test your knowledge. The course is being updated regularly to reflect the most recent changes. Get access here: http://goo.gl/ddspKc
Read more ...