Google Earth Pro is Now Free – Used to be $400

I love Google Earth and have used it for years with my students. Because of the price, I did not use the Pro version although there were some features I really wanted to use. Now I can! I can’t wait to see what teachers and students come up with using the Pro version.

Download:   http://www.google.com/earth/download/gep/agree.html

Get License Key:   https://geoauth.google.com/gev0/free_trial.html

You can check out the some of the features of Pro here:

https://www.google.com/work/mapsearth/products/earthpro.html

Making Movies in Google Earth Pro 

https://support.google.com/earth/answer/176684?hl=en

Google Earth Pro Advanced Measuring Tools

Google Earth Pro Map-Making Tool

Google Earth Pro data import tools

NJECC Conference 2015

Presenting at NJECC Conference 2015

“Crossroads Technology + Education”

http://www.njecc.org/conference/

I will be presenting 2 sessions on January 6th:

Google: More and Even More
Just when you thought you knew Google. There is so much information available to us now it can be overwhelming. Learn how to tame this information and explore many of the wonderful resources under More and Even More to help you get what you need or do what you need to efficiently. We will explore some amazing and not as well known parts of Google.

Undiscovered Treasure: Free Public Domain Books Online
This session will focus on the best sites for free books. The books we will specifically be looking for will be authentic pieces of literature that are in the public domain. These books can be powerful tools for encouraging and strengthening reading skills. You will be amazed at how easily you can access and share many classic books in your classroom on a variety of devices, including computers, tablets, and e-readers.

Plus, I will be doing an Ignite at the end of the day.

Looking forward to a great day!

Chatterpix and YakIt: Great Apps to End the School Year

This first appeared as a guest post on FreeTech4Teachers.

The year may be winding down, but you still have your students for a few more precious weeks of school. If you have access to iPads in your classroom, a great end of the year activity with your students is to make pictures talk, create animations that anthropomorphize objects, or use personification to demonstrate understanding. It’s actually a great activity anytime of the year. You can create with your students and keep them engaged and learning right up until the last day.
Two fantastic sets of apps for creating talking pictures on iPads are ChatterPix /ChatterPix Kids and YakIt / YakIt Kids. With both sets, the non-kid versions provide additional sharing features such as uploading to e-mail and social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, while the “kid” versions only save to the Camera Roll.

Chatterpix

ChatterPix Kids & ChatterPix

ChatterPix Kids and ChatterPix from Duck Duck Moose are simple, elegant, and useful apps. Both allow students to take a picture or use an image saved to the camera. With a swipe of their finger, students can draw a mouth on any image. There is one button to press to record, and the mouth then animates with the recording.

Features:

  • 30 seconds to record.
  • Add stickers, frames, or text.
  • Send movie to the camera roll.

YakIt

YakIt Kids & YakIt

YakIt Kids and YakIt from Freak’nGenius are similar to ChatterPix Kids but have a few more features which make them slightly more complicated to use but add more to the final product.

These apps have the same features as ChatterPix Kids and ChatterPix plus:

    • Several different types of mouths. Spend a little time aligning the points of the mouth and chin to create an interesting effect.
    • More stickers. Create different types of faces on imported objects.
    • Change the pitch of the voice. Instead of a standard recording, make some audio tweaks. While this may seem like a very simple change, I have found that being able to change the voice brings out more from our introverted students.
  • Multiple scenes. Rather than just one taking image, string together several different talking pictures.

Since all of these apps save to the camera roll, they are great for app smashing or building and blending with other apps to create something that exceeds the possibilities of just one app.

Here are some examples:

Face on coins & Chatterpix

Face On Coins Booth + ChatterPix Kids

YakIt Smash

Garageband + YakIt + iMovie

Creating talking pictures or animations offer amazing possibilities in the classroom. These two apps are so easy to use, students can complete a simple project in a short amount of time or make more complex projects that can lead to collaborative videos, ebooks, or websites. Not only are these apps fun for students, but they also allow them to think, create and demonstrate understanding.

Flipped Classroom & Twitter

It’s exciting when you see work you’ve done days, weeks, months or even years ago reappearing on social media. Back in February, I did a webinar on the flip classroom model in education. Just recently EdTech K-12 magazine (@EdTech_K12) posted an article The Do’s and Don’ts of Flipped Classrooms. The article included quotes from the webinar as well as the video itself. It’s been tweeted around for the past few weeks, which is really awesome.  If you haven’t checked it out, the video is below.

So while I’m on the subject of flipped classroom and Twitter I wanted to let everyone know about some great opportunities to learn with me this summer. I’ll be doing the flip classroom in Chicago June 19 and 20th and in Cambridge July 17 and 18th I’ll be doing a workshop on Twitter and PLNs June 23 and 24th in Cambridge.

I love doing these workshops. I have seen incredibly thoughtful and creative work produced by caring, energized educators come out of the flip classroom workshops. I love the flip classroom concept because it really addresses how we can maximize our face-to-face time with our students. It also starts great conversations which allow me to constantly evolve and grow as an educator. I strongly believe that technology in the hands of energized and thoughtful educators can transform our educational experiences. The flipped classroom helps kickstart that process.

The Twitter workshop allows me to help educators discover the world of social media and become a part of it. When it comes to learning, it is my best PD. When it comes to sharing and reflection, it expands my reach allowing for multiple and varied perspectives. And when it comes to support, there’s an entire world of educators out there who have been there and done that and will help you through. Together we are better, and social media can bring us together.

Hope you can join me!

Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman

I just heard Maya Angelou passed away. (NY Times Obituary) She has always been a person I admire. I remember reading her books and poems and always being inspired.

Some Favorites
Still I Rise-Text

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings-Text

On the Pulse of Morning-Text

Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library

Phenomenal Woman-Text

From “Letter to My Daughter”
I have made many mistakes and no doubt will make more before I die. When I have seen pain, when I have found that my ineptness has caused displeasure, I have learned to accept my responsibility and to forgive myself first, then to apologize to anyone injured by my misreckoning. Since I cannot un-live history, and repentance is all I can offer God, I have hopes that my sincere apologies were accepted.

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.

Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.

Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.

Thank you, Ms. Angelou for doing something wonderful.

21445_10151724904248349_805043118_n

 

Saw this article of her last tweets. I just had to add it. I love this one from May 17. It is both beautiful and simple and it’s message.

MAmay17Tweet

And, a beautiful last tweet…

MALastTweet

 

Gratitude

What a wonderful weekend! I got to see my cousin get married and had a nice relaxing day with my kids for Mother’s Day. Funny, but on both days I got reminders of my work as a teacher and admin.

At the wedding I ran into a former student whose work I still use today in my Digital Storytelling workshops. She gave me a big hug and we got to talk. She is in college now and is a beautiful, intelligent young woman. I had her in my class in 8th grade, so it has been about 6 years. It was so nice to see her and talk with her.

Today, I got a message from a former parent telling me that “you and your efforts are not forgotten.” He went on to say how certain things I had put in place came to fruition. Gulp!

I was so grateful to hear from both, I just wanted to share. Our profession, teaching and education, is all about delayed gratification. We may not see the fruits of our labor for years after we have had a student in class. This is why assuming teacher effectiveness can be measured in standardized tests is flawed. They can test our kids by any metric they want, but the real assessment of our work is what they become and how they live their lives. Our job as educators (and parents) is to show them the world and help them find their place in it. If we can make a difference along then we have had a great career.

An Introduction to the New Google Drive iPad Apps

This first appeared as a guest post on FreeTech4Teachers.

Check out the added information at the bottom.

Google just announced new apps for Google Drive. Earlier this month, I wrote about how Google Drive is one of the Two Free Google Apps that Bring Out the Best In an iPad. As much as I like the Drive app, I have been hoping for some more features when working in Docs and sheets – like the Research tool. When I heard that Google had created some new apps, I just had to check them out.

With these new apps, Google split parts of Google Drive into individual apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Docs and Sheets are out now for both iPad and Android. Slides will be coming soon. All of the apps are free and Google Drive is still available.

Right now there are really only three ways in which the apps differ from the Drive app.

1. Each app is dedicated to just one individual tool in Google Drive.

2. When you open the app, you see your most recently edited files of that type only, which does mean less time searching and scrolling.

3. The apps have better built-in offline support, so you can easily view, edit and create files without being online.

When the new Slides app comes out, you will be able to create and edit presentations, so that will be a great new feature. Like I said above, I was hoping for more features, but these apps seem like  a step in the right direction.

You can download the apps here:

New Google Docs App                    New Google Sheets App                  

   docs                               sheets

Docs App in for iPad                      Sheets App in for iPad

Docs App in for Android                Sheets App in for Android

 

Google Slides - Coming Soon!

slides

You can still view and present from Google Drive

The Google Drive app is still an important tool on iPads, Android devices and computers. It is the bridge that connects all of the work you create in Docs, Drive, Slides and other apps. For workflow with other apps on your mobile devices, Google Drive is a powerful app to store, transfer and coordinate with other apps. These new apps, are also great because you will now have easy access to the specific Google tools you need.

Google Drive App 

Drive

Google Drive for iPad

Google Drive for Android

If you are new to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, you can find some great information here to get you started:

Get started with Google Docs

Get started with Google Sheets

Get started with Google Slides

Added Information

So, I explored the apps even more and just a few days after I wrote the article above, there were some more changes.

Google Drive on the iPad no longer opens up Docs or Sheet in the app. If you tap on a doc in Drive it will open up Drive. It will do the same for spreadsheets. I can not wait until they come out with Slides so we can finally add and edit presentations on the ipad.

There are other features I had hoped to see, and I am hoping that separating the parts of drive into different apps is just the first step in that direction. I am really hoping for the research tool and the ability to add and edit images.

Jeanne Reed, @jeannereed1 , started a quick conversation on Twitter about other features that would be great to have on the iPad.Miguel Guhlin, @mguhlin , mentioned adding tables to Docs. Tim, @biology , mentioned adding charts to Sheets. I agree with both of them. We were all lamenting the loss of access in Drive, but I am sure we will get used to it.