Host a Google Summit!



AppsEvents is a leading Google for Education Partner and organizer of Summits & PD Events worldwide.

If you have thought about holding an event at your school, then now is the perfect time to get in touch with us. Hosting events are an amazing way to get focused Google PD for your staff and also to build the profile of you and your school in Google EDU and EdTech circles. Check out #GooglePD on Twitter to see what attendees are saying.

In addition to our summits which are two day events, we also run 'Google Certification Bootcamps' which are smaller, one day / two day events... perfect as an introduction and your staff can leave the event fully Google Certified which they love.

We always bring together an amazing line up of speakers, all of whom are both Google gurus and practicing educators. In addition to our Europe based team, we often bring across amazing trainers from the US, Asia and Middle East.

The process is quick and simple: you just fill out our form and we’ll email you a full info sheet of information about the different types of events and how the whole process works. If you are interested, we then schedule a quick ‘Hangout’ to go over things in more detail.

We also offer fully customized PD if you have a specific training requirement; including bootcamps for education support personnel and IT administrators.

Bring the #GooglePD experience to your school! SIGN UP your interest through http://gsummit.link/host or learn more here.
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Welcoming RealSmart to the London Summit




We are very pleased to announce that RealSmart are joining us for the London Summit on 24-25 March.

RealSmart have been supporting schools using Google for Education for some time and will be around during the event so please have a chat with Simon and Owen about their great range of products and support.

In particular, schools are using their Smartsync tool to make provisioning users really simple.

Smartsync works with many different MIS systems to synchronises your data to G Suite for Education. Watch this video to find out more.
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Take your Google Educator certification at the EARCOS Teachers Conference


We are very excited to have AppsEvents own Lee Webster leading the Google Certified Educator Bootcamp Level 1 at the upcoming EARCOS Teachers Conference in Bangkok.

Following the fundamentals training, we will utilize Google Classroom for this professional development experience.

You'll learn what it is like to be a student for a day in Classroom! We'll cover Hangouts, Docs, Slides and Drawings - all of which encourage collaboration for engaging learners. You'll also learn about the many faces of Forms, Calendars and more.

Full details of registration: http://www.earcos.org/etc2018/etc-precon.php
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Doodle for Google ~ Great Creative & Artistic Opportunity for All Ages!

Doodle 4 Google

Have you heard of Doodle for Google?

Maybe no, maybe so. Maybe you know someone who won or maybe you are a previous winner! There are grade level categories with state/territory winners, national finalists and 1 national 'winner.'

All the winning finalists will get some great Googly swag and have their Doodle Entry featured in the gallery. The 5 national finalists (1 from each grade group) also earn a $5000 college scholarship & a trip to Googleplex in Mountain View (I've been there and it is AMAZING!). The national grande prize winner will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology award to his/her school of choice (incentive for you to encourage your budding artists ;)

Please, please encourage your creative, artistic students who may scribble and sketch as their hobby and possess great talent! Send a note, email, add to your site or blog!

The deadline is March 2, 2018.

There's still time! https://doodles.google.com/d4g/index.html


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How to Reference Sources in Google Docs | #GooglePD

Writing in Google Docs? Find out how to reference sources in Google Docs with a couple of other quick tips along the way!

Looking for in-person training from Dean? Visit www.appsevents.com

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How to Explore in Google Sheets: Making Sense with Data Through Machine Leaning

In this episode, Dean demonstrates the power of the Explore tool in Google Sheets! You'll no longer need to be a spreadsheet whizz or understand how to write formulas. Also, see how Google Sheets can dynamically link content in Google Docs so that you only need to update data in one place!

This video is brought to you by AppsEvents in partnership with Acer.



Want more awesome content like this? Consider subscribing to our mailing list!
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The Year-Long Chromebook Challenge


By: David Stiner

G Suite has revolutionized education for last few years and Chromebooks have given schools the ability to deliver G Suite to the masses. Have you been part of this revolution? Have you had problems with teaching with Chromebooks? Have you been teaching in front of class where students have Chromebooks and you don’t? Did problems occur? Why take the year-long Chromebook Challenge? This is what will be discussed today.

How did it Start?

At the end of the 2015-2016 school year I got my first Chrome cart. While trying to fumble my way into introducing Chromebooks and G Suite to my students, I noticed they had a lot of questions and troubleshooting issues. Granted Chromebooks we're new to me as well, however, I didn’t have one. So, as I tried to help them I was trying to explain everything using a Windows PC. Well that did not work. Totally didn’t OS systems. This made me think I need a teacher chromebook that I can take home and learn the ends and outs. So I begged and pleaded with my IT coordinator and he got me a Chromebook to pilot as a teacher computer. I decided that day when I get this Chromebook I am going to learn everything I can to help my kids. Then came the 2016-2017 school year where I decided to challenge myself in using a Chromebook as my sole teacher computer. Boy can I tell you it was a challenge. 

What came first

When I first started using the Chromebook it was easy to get use too. If you know Google Chrome from your Windows PC then you can maneuver a Chromebook. However the more I used it the more I started to discover different aspects to the machine. These aspects came about different troubleshooting issues I had to discover when a student accidentally used certain combinations of keys. The ones that really had me in a frenzy was the accessibility features. I have seen screen magnifier and high contrast mode. I had to find my way to learn how to solve the issue quickly. The one aspect that helped me was to learn shortcuts. If you press Ctrl+alt+? you will be able to find all the shortcuts that Chromebooks have, which is around 50 different shortcuts. (The Geek Stuff has a good list all the shortcuts.) However there are only some key ones that you need to know.

Shortcut

Shortcut
Description
Alt+backspace
Delete
Alt+search
Caps lock
Ctrl+5th Key (full screen key)
Mirror Monitor
Ctrl+6th key (switch Windows key)
Take Screenshot
Crtl+shift+6th key
Partial Screenshot

More Investigation

The more I worked on the chromebook the more I had to find ways to do the same thing I could do on a PC. The biggest solution I found where extensions and add-ons. 

Extensions

There are a couple extensions that I absolutely love that really brought my adventure to life. The first one is url shortener called goo.gl. Since, I was using only G Suite and had to share documents in presentations this url shortener was a real lifesaver. Here is how the url looks: https://goo.gl/GCxvnq. The link will get you the web store to download the extension.

The second extension that I couldn't live without was Crafty Text. This extension displays text in a large font. It is great when a student ask you for a spelling or even directions. Below is how it works.


Add-ons

I found a couple add-ons I could not live without in my adventure. The first add-on comes from Google Doc called Avery label maker. There are two ways to use this add-on. One you open up the Avery label maker and a new document opens up and shows you how to use is. From there you can just put what you want on your label and a full document of that one creation will be created.

The second way is the merge data from a Google Sheets. This one has come in handy for many things. I use it to make login cards for my students. It was easy to merge the data. Watch the video below to see how Avery Merge for Google Docs works.


From the video you can see you have few templates to choose from. My personal favorite is the name badge templates. They are great for login cards. The only disadvantage to this label maker is there are only a few templates you can choose from. They do not have a return address template or others that you might want. However, if you are using it for basic use it is great.

The second add-on I like is formMule. This add-on is an email merge that has become life blood in my school when I started using it. This video will give you an idea what formMule is.


What I do with this add-on is two-fold. I set this up at our school to communicate with teachers on how students are doing in our non-intentional learner club. We call this club Cougar Club. Teachers use a Google Forms to have a student come to the club that is either not finished with in class work or that intentionally does not do the work. Once the form is submitted it is connected to a Google Sheet.

Then we use formMule to keep communication with the teacher. We give the teacher feedback and based on that feedback we use a certain type of template.

In conclusion Chromebooks have become the new norm in education. We as teachers need to get used to using Chromebooks to help our students succeed. As discussed above I took a year long challenge where I only used a Chromebook. It was an eye opening experience and it was extremely beneficial when it came to help my student with their Chromebooks.

In that year I discovered Chrome extension and G Suite add-ons that really helped with getting around using a PC. So, I have two questions for you: Are you ready to make the plunge to use just a Chromebook for a year? Are you ready to be challenged? Today, I challenge you to take the year-long Chromebook challenge.
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The life of a #GooglePD Summit Speaker

by +Liu Yi Jie

One of the common questions participants always ask is “Wow you’re from Singapore? What made you want to fly all the way here to XXX to present?”


The short answer is that I enjoy it. But behind those 3 words, there are a lot of reasons to uncover.

Read on.

The travel

Singapore is well-connected within South-East Asia, and exploring various countries on weekend getaways is a common pastime. Exploring various cultures and connecting with different people is an immersive way to make sense of the world we live in.

One of the highlights of the trip is to explore the city after dinner and drinks, and appreciating the vibes and charm of the place. The authentic food, friendly locals and unique pulse that each country grooves to is worth marvelling at.

Take, for example, the more recent AppsEvents Hong Kong Summit 2017. It was an invaluable opportunity to visit Hong Koong from an educational perspective, with the rare chance to visit the beautiful German Swiss International School situated on The Peak and soak in the breathtaking views on the balcony at the end of the day. Contrast that with the hustle and bustle when wandering the streets in Hong Kong Central, and it almost seems like 2 separate worlds.

The perspective

Travelling helps us gain new insights into a place, and presenting at a conference provides a different lens into a country.

Having already visited Hong Kong before for leisure and competition, the sights and sounds took in on every trip have been markedly different. This time, taking it in from a conference perspective has helped shed light on the education system and beliefs that the country holds.

German Swiss International School

The added twist to this is getting to present at regional AppsEvent summits to enthusiastic educators who often sacrifice their precious weekend for professional development. As a Google for Education Certified Trainer, sharing resources and training other educators on the various innovative ways such tools are used in the classroom levels the playing field, and such sessions usually benefit mutually when participants share their learning points too.

View from the top

Unlike what most people think, I do not parachute into a foreign classroom to sagely dispense Googley wisdom. The “Oohs”, “Aahs” and “Wow I didn’t know you could do that” does bring a sense of satisfaction, but it is all the more imperative to ensure participants get to learn something new to make up for the loss of their personal free time.

More often than not, I pick up pointers too when other educators feedback what works and what doesn’t for them, allowing me to pick up the pulse for various education systems in each country. I always come away from each summit more inspired and eager to refine my sessions and improve as a speaker. Which eventually translates into becoming a better classroom teacher and pacing my lessons better to differentiate the learning.

The friends



Saving the best for last. Travelling solo can be liberating, but it can get dull at times. I have been lucky to have colleagues who are innovative Google Trainers in their teaching fields and who also have a penchant for travelling. It’s always great to have company on the long flights, and people to bounce off ideas with. And of course, attending different sessions results in a multiplier effect when we take away 3 times as many teaching ideas and give each other suggestions on how to improve our sessions.

Not to mention the extra joy we derived because Maggie presented at the Demo Slam during the Summit – a high-intensity session of bite-sized Google tricks, winning herself a nifty Google Home to chatter to in her apartment. Nice one, Maggie.

So, the next time someone asks again “Wow you’re from Singapore? What made you want to fly all the way here to XXX to present?” What I’m actually hearing is “Wow you’re from Singapore? Why fly here to XXX for a weekend getaway with great like-minded friends to enjoy the city vibes, soak in the sights, know more people and inspire yourself with new teaching ideas to use in the classroom?”

And I guess that response is self-explanatory after all.


About the Author:
Liu Yijie
School of Science and Technology
Secondary Math Educator
https://borderlesslearningblog.wordpress.com/

Yijie is a Mathematics coordinator who has been teaching for the past 10 years. As a Google Certified Innovator, Trainer and EdTechTeam Teacher Leader, he is fascinated with leveraging on digital pedagogical tools to enhance lifelong learning. Connecting with educators around the region is a great way to share and stay inspired in an ever-changing world.

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January 2018 G Suite Updates



Google released a couple of updates for G Suite last month. Here is our digest of some key updates you might find helpful.

More Refined searched in Google Drive

Searching for content in Drive is now much faster with the addition of the option to search only from a specific Google Drive folder.

In the web version of Drive, simply click on the drop-down arrow in the search bar and select the folder you want from the Location menu. You may also right-click on any folder and search within that folder.


Note that only folders that are within your My Drive or within Team Drives can be searched; if you have a folder that is shared with you, you must first add the folder to your My Drive.

Screen magnifier now enabled in Google Slides and Drawings

For Mac and Chrome OS users, the screen magnifier feature was previously only available in Docs and Sheets. Now, screen magnifiers will also work with Slides and Drawings. Visit the Google Help Center to learn about enabling screen magnifier support.

Google adds Braille support to Sheets

Visually impaired users will be able to use a Braille display to read and edit cell contents as well as navigate between cells in a sheet. However, support in Sheets will only be available on Chrome OS with the ChromeVox screen reader. Google is working to add support for other platforms and screen readers in the future. For more information on Braille support, please see this link.

Jamboard now a core G Suite service

Google’s collaborative digital whiteboard enables G Suite users to interact with jam content on their phone, tablet, or on the web. Starting January, Jamboard will become a core G Suite service.

What this means:
  1. The Jamboard service is now covered under your existing G Suite agreement and offers the same technical support and service level commitments as any other core service.
  2. The Jamboard service will be removed from the list of Additional Google Services and added to the list of core G Suite services in your Admin console.
To learn more about Jamboard, please visit https://gsuite.google.com/products/jamboard/.

Google Sites gets publish to specific audience option!

A highly requested feature for the Google Sites was released this week. Users of the new Google Sites for the we can now define who can view their content.

To publish your site to a specific audience, select the “Share with others” icon and change the Published settings to “Specific people can view when published.” Next, add the individuals you want in the “Invite people” box and select “Can view published.”


For more info on publishing in the new Google Sites, visit the Google Help Center.
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Entrepreneurship for teachers (and students)

As a lot of my time nowadays is taken up being CEO of AppsEvents, I present less now at summits and bootcamps then I used to. I still love to present each year though, mostly about my main areas of knowledge and interest....which is anything 'techy' and focussed on school IT staff.

One 'off-topic' session I have often ran as a closing session on day two of the summits is about entrepreneurship and how it relates mainly to Educators. I've decided to retire this session and merge it into a different one so I thought I would post it here for posterity :)

My basic premise is that entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial attitude generally is good for teachers, good for the schools they work at and good for society in general. Often educators who work in the fairly hierarchical and traditional workplace of a school have missed the huge changes in the ease of starting a business, mainly due to the huge range of web tools available and the possibilities to partner with other individuals and outsource tasks.

I only recommend one book in the presentation and that is 'The Four Hour Work Week' by Tim Ferriss. Despite the gimmicky title it is the one book that opened my mind to how to build an organisation, and I used many of the philosophies to build AppsEvents into a distributed team running 300+ events a year quite literally across the world.

Some common entrepreneurial routes for teachers are coaching, training and developing online courses.... both for students and teachers. but I know teachers who have developed their own software products and even teachers with manufacturing businesses! It honestly amazes me the things some Educators manage to run when they look to automate and outsource all or part of the running of their business.

A question that sometimes gets asked in my session is "should teachers be working on projects outside of their job" and my opinion is a huge YES. Any business begins as an 'evenings and weekends' project and it always requires sacrifice. Your friends are meeting up on Thursday for a drink and this is the time you are locked away working on your project.

Teacher workload is always another objection to taking on a side project and while I hugely sympathise with this, I find when you dig into things it often comes down to effective time management. I know teachers who are single parents with three children who do this so I know it is possible....if not always easy.

So here is the presentation. If you have any questions please message me at dan@appsevents.com I'd love to jump on a hangout with you and give you any advice I can.

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New G Suite Admin exam open for Beta, Google Sites update, and more


Announcements
Finally! Google Sites gets publish to specific audience option!

A highly requested feature for the Google Sites was released this week. Users of the new Google Sites for the we can now define who can view their content.

To publish your site to a specific audience, select the “Share with others” icon and change the Published settings to “Specific people can view when published.” Next, add the individuals you want in the “Invite people” box and select “Can view published.”
Image
For more info on publishing in the new Google Sites, visit the Google Help Center.
The new G Suite Admin exam is open for Beta
Interested in becoming a Google Cloud Certified G Suite Administrator? Register for the Beta and save 40% on the cost of certification. You can learn more about the new Admin Certification exam here.
Take your Google Admin Certification Exam in Qatar
For those who aren't ready to take the Admin Certification exam on its early Beta stage, you can opt to join our upcoming pre-certification bootcamp to increase your chances of successfully passing the exam. James Sayer, AppsEvents Asia Director, is one of the first Beta testers and will be leading our Google Admin Bootcamp in Doha, Qatar this April.
Qatar Summit

Summit Highlight
Attended a #GooglePD last January? Check out our event archives!
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