Using Google Images

Source image to the one : By Bronwynne Gwyneth Anne Jones , CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

One of the most common misconceptions that people have about using images online is that you can use whatever image you find when you search. That is simply not true. All images are copyrighted the minute they are created. They are owned by the photographer or artist. In many cases, images that end up online are used by people without permission from the owner of the image. This is a common practice that is, in fact, illegal. So, what can you do if you are putting together that killer presentation and you find the greatest image ever, but it’s not yours? You could reach out directly to the person who owns the image to ask for permission, although that could be difficult depending on where the image came from. However, there are ways to find images where the creators have already given permission for various kinds of use (so long as you give attribution to the creator.) These images are licensed under Creative Commons. There is a special page on their site for media searches or you can do a Google Image search and then use the search tools to limit your results by usage rights. Regardless of the method, it’s much better to find images that you can legally use.

Special thanks to Judy Van Alstyne for her mad proofing skills!

Tech Tuesday 2.11.14 – How to get the most out of Google Calendar

We are a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school, and we have been for about 4 years. As a school, we have not yet tapped into the power and convenience that GAFE provides. One of the most common untapped resources is the calendar. There is nothing more annoying than emailing 4 people and trying to find a common meeting time. You proceed to “reply all” to the email until choices are narrowed down. There is a much more simple and elegant solution to this problem. Use Google Calendar for everything. Enter your class schedule, enter your appointments, create potential appointments and meetings for others. We should also be using this with our students. Some classroom teachers do utilize Google Calendar and create a class homework/project calendar. Watch the short videos below for some ways to incorporate Google Calendar into your everyday workflow.

How can we utilize Google Calendar better with our students?

EdCamp Home 2.0 – Wow!

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EdCamp Home badge created by Kevin Ashworth.

I am a huge fan of the EdCamp model for professional development. I was able to attend EdCamp Philly last year with three colleagues and it was an amazing experience. For those of you that don’t know, EdCamp is an unconference or open space style conference for educators. Unconference style conferences are unique because the content is driven by the participants. There are no pre-planned sessions.

I first heard about EdCamp Home from Markette Pierce, whom I know from Twitter. EdCamp Home is an online version of the conference, meaning all of the attendees would participate from home. It was held on January 4, 2014. Each attendee registered and was then invited to a private Google+ Community. The day before the conference, attendees generated topic ideas. There were two sessions. During each session multiple topics were being discussed in different Google Hangouts. There were a total of 47 different sessions at EdCamp Home. It seemed a little crazy, and it was. It was crazy awesome.

The first session I attended was the “EdTech Coaches Meetup.” We had fun connecting and sharing ideas about how we work with teachers. All the notes from that session can be found here (thanks to Markette for creating the document). Here are the videos from all of the different topics held during session 1: EdCamp Home Session 1.

The second session I attended was called “Helping Teachers Build a PLN.” (I am passionate about this topic and even presented on it at NYSCATE with colleague Amy Oliverihere is a link to our presentation.) There were so many good practical ideas shared in this session. Here are the videos from all of the topics held during session 2: EdCamp Home Session 2.

Here are some links from EdCamp Home 2.0:

  • Snagit – an awesome Google Chrome extension and app for annotating any image you can take a picture of on your computer.

  • Atlas Learning – Too hard to explain but cool, click the link.

  • Lucid Press – Awesome templates that link to Google Docs, available in the Chrome Web Store.

  • Haiku Deck – A new innovative app and online presentation creation tool.

  • PLN Yourself – Great personal learning network resources.

For more ideas check out the EdCamp Home Slam!

You can also catch up on the entire Twitter conversation via the TweetChat link#edcampHome

Experiencing EdCamp Home 2.0 has given me some new ideas for delivery of professional development with the faculty at my school. I was part of the organizing committee that introduced the unconference style of professional development to our faculty for our Professional Day last Spring. It was a huge success. If the EdCamp Home 2.0 organizers can create a robust online environment for collaboration on such a large scale, why can’t I create something similar on a much smaller scale with the faculty at Allendale Columbia School? Why not create Google Hangout PD sessions for faculty? The sessions could be based on faculty interest. Expert guests could attend the hangouts to chat with our faculty in small groups. Would you as a teacher attend a scheduled PD Hangout in the evening? I can’t wait to give this a try.

Kudos to the organizers Karl Lindgren-Steicher, Kelly Kermode, Shawn White and David Theriault, for putting together an amazing event. I can’t wait for EdCamp Home 3.0!

12 Days of App-mas Review

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

Here is a review of all the Apps presented during the 12 Days of App-mas.




Google Drive


CK-12 Study Now


Raising Modern Learners

Explain Everything


12 Days of App-mas: Google Drive

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

Google Drive – Free

App: Google Drive Download from the App Store Cost: Free Description: Google Drive is one safe place for all your stuff. Upload photos, videos, documents, and other files that are important to you, then access what you need wherever you go, on any device. Get going with up to 15GB of storage.

The app I use the most with my classes is Google Drive. Students are able to upload and share files, photos, presentations, and more. If they take photos using their iPad they are able to upload them to Google Drive and access them on a desktop computer by simply logging in with their Google account. They are able to collaborate within a document that is being updated in real time. No waiting for someone to email you the “most recent version” of a project. Right now art and biology students at AC are using Google Drive to collaborate, share, comment, and create a document describing the scientific accomplishments of Dr. Hitomi Mukaibo. Students are able to turn in homework and assignments paper-less-ly using Google Drive. As an advanced user you can even automate the way students turn in their homework using a Google Script called Doctopus.

How to Embed a Keynote or PowerPoint into a blog

I have been searching the web for the answer to this question, “How can I embed my Keynote in a format that is clickable into my blog?” I want viewers to see and click through my presentation and I don’t want to create a Slideshare account. I finally found a WordPress support document that describes how to embed a Google Presentation into a blog, but there was no video. So, I decided to create a video tutorial that describes how to take a Keynote (Apple’s PowerPoint equivalent) or a PowerPoint, convert it to a Google Presentation and put in a blog.

Let mew know what you think.


A Google Hangout with the Kindergarten

Our two kindergarten classes are currently studying the Arctic and Antarctic. Students posted questions on a bulletin board in their classroom and we have been working together to find answers.

I introduced the kindergarten to the concept of doing research. I am calling it “guided research.” We are using the resources we have available through our library. Thanks to AC Librarian, Judy VanAlstyne, there is an excellent selection of kid friendly online encyclopedias available for us to use.

Kid Friendly encyclopedias:

I wasn’t able to make it in to school one day this week, so I decided to work from home. I checked to see  if AC kindergarten teacher, Amy Mealey, who I collaborate with regularly, would be willing to try an experiment.  I wanted to continue to work with her class by using a Google Hangout.

The lesson went pretty well. The kids were able to ask questions and I was able to show them my screen as we did our research. Classroom management was a bit hard from a computer screen, but the kids seemed to have fun. I would absolutely do this again and recommend it to anyone who is in a similar situation.

Here is a short clip of what it looked like. Unfortunately the audio didn’t record due the fact that Jing only records the microphone input. I plan to test out ScreenFlow4 for future screen recordings. Look for a post about it sometime in the next few weeks.  Sorry, the audio didn’t record.

As always, questions, thoughts or suggestions are always appreciated.

Google Sketchup for Art 7

Last year, 2010-11, I stumbled upon Google Sketchup, which I promptly shared with Allendale Columbia Middle School art teacher, Amy Bonner. She immediately put it to use with her Seventh Grade students. Students took turns using the 5 iMac computers in the art room to build an interior or an exterior using Sketchup.

Fast forward to the 2011-12 school year. The Google Sketchup assignment has evolved. This year the assignment is delivered using Edmodo. All students can work simultaneously in our new state of the art Digital Art Lab, featuring 13 brand new 27” iMac computers. Students work through a series of self-paced tutorials provided by Google. The three self-paced tutorials can be downloaded here. Here is Amy Bonner to describe the assignment:

When they finish the tutorials they have an interdisciplinary assignment linking geography, climate, architecture, and design to complete. They begin the assignment by looking at this presentation of Unusual Buildings.

This helps spark their interest in architecture and show them that anything is possible. They then choose a location outside of the US that they would like to research. They will use Google Street View, Google Earth, and Google Advanced Search over the course of the unit, to study their city and create the best design for their specific location.

Last week, Amy asked me if I wanted to stop up to visit as her students worked on there Sketchup projects. So, I stopped up with with my trusty Kodak Playfull video camera to get some students in action in the lab. I saw excited, engaged, focused students. The class was working independently but also collaboratively, as they helped each other when confused about using the many tools available in Sketchup.

See for yourself…