Friday, June 20, 2014

Got Google?

Yowza! I am just coming off of a two day Google Solstice workshop. I consider myself pretty tech savvy and most computer skills come second nature to me. But I now know that l have been missing out -- majorly! Who knew there was so much to Google?

The conference opened with a TV/Film producer, turned teacher, turned world traveling education technology consultant. He’s not only a Google Certified Teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, and certified trainers for both, but he’s also a great presenter. I followed him around to his breakout sessions for most of the second day and I was blown away. I learned how to set up a classroom YouTube channel and then, even cooler, I learned how to edit within YouTube to create what he calls “cinematic narratives.”  For a storytelling geek like me, this was huge. I was giddy the entire day knowing that there is something else out there other than just iMovie.

Coming into the workshop my goal was to use Google Docs to help me get serious about organizing my files. Especially now that I am creating products I think it’s crucial that I have my stuff saved, filed, and somewhere safe other than just on my computer. I know… I know… most of you probably think of Google Docs as old hand. Hopefully I’ll be joining you all, as I continue to create, share, edit, file, and save Google Docs too.  

I also attended a session on Chromebooks. I was happy to learn that you can still work offline on a Chromebook. For those of you that don’t know, Chromebooks are “computer-like devices” that run Chrome OS as their operating system. Basically, they are meant to be used online to your web-browsing delight.

They also:
  • start within seconds so there is no long “booting up” time
  • update automatically and there’s no need for antivirus protection
  • have an app store full of cool free and paid add-ons
  • are cheap super cheap - $250-$350

Our district is looking at Chromebooks as a way to facilitate our state assessments that are supposedly going to be given on a computer. Are your districts doing the same thing, or do you already use Chromebooks?


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