G Suite for Ed Gets New Name and Pile of New Features — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Google announced a spate of changes to its education offerings, including a renaming of its education bundle of productivity applications and a limit to free storage for schools and colleges. Security and engagement updates are also being added to the education version of Google Meet, and Google Classroom will see enhancements later this year. The announcements came during a 90-minute virtual session on “learning with Google.”

A New Name
G Suite for Education has been renamed. Starting today, it’s known as Google Workspace for Education. 

Addendum on 2/24/21:

 

How to become a livestreaming teacher — from innovatemyschool.com by Bobbie Grennier

Excerpts:

What is an encoder?
The format that a video camera records content in has to be transcoded so that it can be livestreamed to a destination like Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch and Periscope. This is accomplished using an encoder software. An encoder optimizes the video feed for the streaming platform. The key to using an encoder is to learn to set-up scenes.

From DSC:
It will be interesting to see how learning-related platforms develop in the future. I’m continually on the lookout for innovative ideas across the learning landscapes, especially due to the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision that I’ve been tracking this last decade. The pieces continue to come together. This might be another piece to that puzzle.

An online-based teaching and learning marketplace — backed up by AI, cloud-based learning profiles, voice-driven interfaces, learning agents, and more. Feeds/streams of content into how to learn about any topic…supporting communities of practice as well as individuals. And people will be key in this platform — technology will serve the people, not the other way around.

Daniel Christian -- A technology is meant to be a tool, it is not meant to rule.

 
 

Best Online Educational Games for High School Students — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

…the introduction of educational games to kids helps increase their motivation and engagement, enhance visual skills, improve students’ interaction and collaboration abilities with their peers, and apply gaming values in a real-world situation; most importantly, it improves learning.

Learning Apps For Kids To Explore in 2021 — from edtechreview.in by Priyanka Gupta

Excerpt:

Living in a digital era and in times when technology has kept education going, let’s look at some promising learning apps for kids to explore in 2021.

 

 

4 of the Best Android Audio Recording Apps for Teachers — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Following our list of  the best web tools for recording audio, we received a couple of requests for recommendations for Android apps. For those of you using Android-enabled devices, below are some of the best recording apps to consider. These are apps students can use to record lectures and meetings, capture audio notes, save voice memos, share audio feedback and many more.

Addendum on 1/18/21:

 

From DSC:
For me the Socratic method is still a question mark, in terms of effectiveness. (I suppose it depends on who is yielding the tool and how it’s being utilized/implemented.)

But you have one student — often standing up and/or in the spotlight — who is being drilled on something. That student could be calm and collected, and their cognitive processing could actually get a boost from the adrenaline.

But there are other students who dread being called upon in such a public — sometimes competitive — setting. Their cognitive processing could shut down or become greatly diminished.

Also, the professor is working with one student at a time — hopefully the other students are trying to address each subsequent question, but some students may tune out once they know it’s not their turn in the spotlight.

So I was wondering…could the Socratic method be used with each student at the same time? Could a polling-like tool be used in real-time to guide the discussion?

For example, a professor could start out with a pre-created poll and ask the question of all students. Then they could glance through the responses and even scan for some keywords (using their voice to drive the system and/or using a Ctrl+F / Command+F type of thing).

Then in real-time / on-the-fly, could the professor use their voice to create another poll/question — again for each student to answer — based on one of the responses? Again, each student must answer the follow up question(s).

Are there any vendors out there working on something like this? Or have you tested the effectiveness of something like this?

Vendors: Can you help us create a voice-driven interface to offer the Socratic method to everyone to see if and how it would work? (Like a Mentimeter type of product on steroids…er, rather, using an AI-driven backend.)

Teachers, trainers, pastors, presenters could also benefit from something like this — as it could engage numerous people at once.

#Participation #Engagement #Assessment #Reasoning #CriticalThinking #CommunicationSkills #ThinkingOnOnesFeet #OnlineLearning #Face-to-Face #BlendedLearning #HybridLearning

Could such a method be used in language-related classes as well? In online-based tutoring?

 

Timnit Gebru’s Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI — from wired.com by Alex Hanna and Meredith Whittaker
The situation has made clear that the field needs to change. Here’s where to start, according to a current and a former Googler.

Excerpt:

It was against this backdrop that Google fired Timnit Gebru, our dear friend and colleague, and a leader in the field of artificial intelligence. She is also one of the few Black women in AI research and an unflinching advocate for bringing more BIPOC, women, and non-Western people into the field. By any measure, she excelled at the job Google hired her to perform, including demonstrating racial and gender disparities in facial-analysis technologies and developing reporting guidelines for data sets and AI models. Ironically, this and her vocal advocacy for those underrepresented in AI research are also the reasons, she says, the company fired her. According to Gebru, after demanding that she and her colleagues withdraw a research paper critical of (profitable) large-scale AI systems, Google Research told her team that it had accepted her resignation, despite the fact that she hadn’t resigned. (Google declined to comment for this story.)

 

Google announces switch-off date for Android Things — from itpro.co.uk by Danny Bradbury
Google calls time on ambitious Android-in-everything project

Excerpt:

Google has put an official expiry date on an ambitious internet of things (IoT) project that failed to catch light: Android Things. In an announcement, the company warned developers wouldn’t be able to create new projects from the platform as of January 2021.

Launched in developer preview in 2016, Android Things is an embedded operating system designed to run low-power IoT devices with as little as 32 MB of memory. The operating system used a protocol called Weave, which Google announced simultaneously with Android Things, to communicate with other devices over Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi.

Also see:

Internet of Things device identification — from techlinkcenter.org
Air Force researchers have invented a wireless, non-intrusive system for authenticating Internet of Things (IoT) network devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches.

Excerpt:

IoT networks pose threats to the security and privacy of exchanged information. For example, different types of data breaches, such as information leakage and false data injection, may be initiated in one network device when connecting to another device. Implementing existing security techniques in IoT architectures may not be feasible because devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches have less battery and processing power than computers or smartphones.

 

23 Greatest Engineering Highlights from 2020 — from interestingengineering.com by Christopher McFadden
These are some of the greatest engineering highlights from 2020.

23 Greatest Engineering Highlights from 2020

 

Google Launches Code Next Connect — from thejournal.com by David Nagel

Excerpt:

Google’s free computer science education program, Code Next, is adding a virtual component and expanding into more states. The launch of the virtual component of the program, called Code Next Connect, was announced as part of Google’s Computer Science Education Week activities yesterday.

The Code Next program is aimed at black and Latinx high school students (primarily grades 10 and 11, but open to all high school students), providing training and experience in coding and leadership and offering mentoring and other experiences for participants.

 

The Digital Divide for Tribal College Students — COVID, CARES Act, and Critical Next Steps — from diverseeducation.com

Excerpt:

In this episode staff writer Sara Weissman shares a story that focuses on the digital divide for Native Americans by bringing in voices of tribal college leaders and their students during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service. Hear first-hand how students from Diné College and other institutions are currently affected. Carrie Billie (Big Water Clan), President & CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and Dr. Cynthia Lindquist (Star Horse Woman), President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota, break down the data and lay out critical next steps necessary to address the digital divide.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service.

From DSC:
When will there be justice!? Let’s join in and make amends and provide the funding, concrete assistance, products, and services to Native American colleges, universities, and communities. Some potential ideas:

  • For the short term, could there be Loon balloons deployed immediately to provide free and stronger access to the Internet?

Could Project Loon assist Native American colleges, universities, and communities?

  • Could our Federal Government make amends and do the right thing here? (e-rate program, put Internet access in, make policy changes, offer more grants, other?)
  • Could Silicon Valley assist with hardware and software? For example:
    • Can Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others donate hardware and software?
    • Can Zoom, Adobe, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and others donate whatever these communities need to provide videoconferencing licenses?
  • Could telecom providers provide free internet access?
  • Could MOOCs offer more free courses?
  • Could furniture makers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others donate furniture and help establish connected learning spaces?
  • How might faculty members and staff within higher education contribute?
  • How could churches, synagogues, and such get involved?
  • Could the rest of us locate and donate to charities that aim to provide concrete assistance to Native American schools, colleges, universities, and communities?

We need to do the right thing here. This is another area* where our nation can do much better.

* Here’s another example/area where we can do much better and make amends/changes.

 


Addendum on 12/7/20:

 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter showed me a “Bitmoji Classroom” that her mentor teacher — Emily Clay — uses as her virtual classroom. Below are some snapshots of the Google Slides that Emily developed based on the work of:

  • Kayla Young (@bitmoji.kayla)
  • MaryBeth Thomas 
  • Ms. Smith 
  • Karen Koch
  • The First Grade Creative — by C. Verddugo

My hats off to all of these folks whose work laid the foundations for this creative, fun, engaging, easy-to-follow virtual classroom for a special education preschool classroom — complete with ties to videoconferencing functionalities from Zoom. Emily’s students could click on items all over the place — they could explore, pursue their interests/curiosities/passions. So the snapshots below don’t offer the great interactivity that the real deal does.

Nice work Emily & Company! I like how you provided more choice, more control to your students — while keeping them engaged! 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

From DSC:
I also like the idea of presenting this type of slide (immediately below, and students’ names have been blurred for privacy’s sake) prior to entering a videoconferencing session where you are going to break out the students into groups. Perhaps that didn’t happen in Emily’s class…I’m not sure, but in other settings, it would make sense to share one’s screen right before sending the students to those breakout rooms and show them that type of slide (to let them know who will be in their particular breakout group).

The students in the different breakout sessions could then collaboratively work on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you could watch their progress in real-time!

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

Also see:

 

Google Photos’s promise of unlimited free storage is going away — from fastcompany.com by Jared Newma
Starting in June of next year, new Google Photos uploads will count toward a storage limit, even at reduced resolution.

Excerpt:

Starting on June 1, 2021, Google will begin counting new photo and video uploads toward users’ storage limits, even for the compressed “high-quality” images that Google stores for free today. Existing photos and videos won’t count toward the storage limit, but for anyone who keeps using the service, the core promise of unlimited free storage is effectively going away.

 

Saving — and Enhancing — Music Education With Online Learning — from edcircuit.com by D. Travis Washington

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

I teach Choir and lead the Young Vocal Scholars Program, and before COVID arrived, we were excited to move forward on the culmination of learning through live performances. With school closure, all that changed, and we were forced to adapt to virtual learning. Through the initial transition, we discovered that online learning options such as Soundtrap could not only extend projects we were currently working on but expand music learning to previously unimaginable heights.

When Covid hit and we couldn’t continue with the traditional choir program, my school looked for remote solutions. Soundtrap was exactly what we needed. We began conducting Young Vocal Scholars choir sessions remotely through Soundtrap and filled our extra Soundtrap seats with students from the District 8 Choir who weren’t being served music at all — doing similar projects that we had been creating previously in my classes. It was incredible to suddenly recognize that there were far more students interested in music who could connect via their laptops and tablets at home.

Also see:

Soundtrap for Education empowers students and teachers to explore creative sound recording in all subjects, for all ages and ability levels.

Soundtrap revolutionized my classroom in a virtual setting. Students became more engaged than ever before. My “4-star artists,” as I refer to my highly motivated students, kept making songs. I recall one of them saying to me, “Music class was cool because we sang together, but Soundtrap is cooler because it allows us to make projects together and they sound good.” 

 

Expert Tips for Using PowerPoint Presenter View (2 screens, Windows) in Zoom or Teams — from thinkoutsidetheslide.com; with thanks to Tamara Kravits for this resource

Except:

In this article I want to share some of the expert tips for using the features of Presenter View. I will use the common scenario of Presenter View showing on one screen while the slides show on a second screen which is shared in the meeting platform. This allows easy access to all the Presenter View features.

If you need to add a second screen, check out the options in this article and if you want to learn more about using Presenter View in different setups, I have complete guides to using Presenter View in Zoom and in Teams.

From DSC:
Along the lines of using two monitors with a videoconferencing application, below is a graphic I created for our faculty members at the WMU-Cooley Law School.

Ways to setup your two monitors and jump around different applications

Also relevant/see:

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian