Tag Archives: Google

Google Advanced Image Search

This post will show you how to do a Google Advanced Image Search in order to find images that are licensed to be used in student work. It is important that we teach kids how to be good digital citizens. Enter Creative Commons (or CC). CC allows owners of images, music, video etc. to basically ‘give away’ some (and sometimes most) of their rights to their work. Watch this screencast to see how you do an advanced image search using Google and where to find the license once you locate images.

If you’d like to learn more about Creative Commons, check out CreativeCommons.org and Wikipedia’s entry on Creative Commons.

Special thanks to Laurie Vitale (@lauriev88 on Twitter) for her contributions to this post.

TTP #21 Advanced Google Image Search from Chris Hyde on Vimeo.

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Block Facebook?…Why?

Let’s say a district decided to block Facebook for teachers when it had been open in previous years. And let’s say that the district discouraged any administrator from even having a Facebook account…period!
If this were the case…I have a few thoughts and questions.

1. Why the decision to block it now? Too many people wasting district time being on Facebook during school hours? Then I suggest you block Twitter, YouTube, Google, and ESPN for that matter. While you’re at it, lock the faculty room, do away with coffee and the newspaper too. Be sure to ban talking to your colleague across the hall about your weekend, upcoming plans, or how the kids are doing. Facebook is no more a distraction from the workday than any of these others.

2. There is constant talk regarding how we should educate students on digital citizenship, their digital footprint, and responsible usage of the Internet and social networking. So why do we choose not to educate the adults who are supposed to teach these ideals to students? Instead of educating the teachers, we just block the site! All that does is force them to figure out a way around the filter such as mobile devices and 3rd party applications. Why not show them some examples of positive and negative interactions and what benefits or consequences may result. We should practice what we preach.

3. If there are individuals abusing privileges or not following responsible use policies, then address the individual! This is something I’ve watched occur most of my professional career at every level. Why do we punish an entire staff for the actions of a few? I would never give my entire class detention because 2 kids were in the back goofing off.

4. If this hypothetical district’s concern is inappropriate or negative postings about the school or district as a whole, then why would they discourage administrative presence on Facebook? I’m inclined to believe that if there was an administrative presence out there on Facebook, then teachers may be less likely to post anything negative because they know their administrator/s are “out there”. This online existence by administration presents a real possibility they may see what teachers are posting. I think that may be called transparency. And if there is a recurring issue, I have to refer you back to #3.

5. Finally, I believe the only message this sends is that we trust you with kids but not the Internet.

That is all…for now. Please feel free to tell me if I’m off base or offer another perspective. Thanks for stopping by!

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Fun With Words

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Chris Blakeley

Are you looking for a fun, new way for students to interact with words? Need a unique title header for a presentation? Want a way for your own children to spice up practicing for that spelling test? Or just looking to send a friend/loved one a nice message? Look no further than geoGreeting and Spell with Flickr. These two sites have made it fun to spell words and send messages!

geoGreeting is a site that allows you to type a message with a maximum of 40 characters. It then pulls images of buildings from Google Earth in the shape of the letters you’ve typed. It provides a link that you can share which contains your greeting. I like the originality of the message it sends…”The surface of the Earth holds a message for you. You just need to look a little closer…” geoGreeting drops a place marker to show you where the building is located on Earth. Finally, if you click on each letter, it will open a map also showing you where the building is located. On my mac, I chose to take a screen shot using Shift+Option+4 and then used as an image above this explanation.

Spell with Flickr is another site that allows you to type words and it will find matching images on Flickr.com to create your message. Once it produces your message, if you don’t like any of the letters, you can simply click on that letter and will automatically find a new to replace it. Once you are happy with your words, it will provide you with html code for embedding. Or you can choose to use the screen shot method mentioned earlier to create an uploadable image.

These two sites certainly have some possibilities for students. Please check them out and share any ideas you may have for using them here. I would love to add some ideas and examples to my wiki! Thanks.

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Need a Reason to Use Google Docs in the Classroom?

Picture courtesy of Flickr.com/topgold

Here’s 5 of them!

  1. Anytime, anywhere access – using Google docs allows students to NOT be tied to the school network! When a student creates a document at school and then wants to work on it at home, Google docs makes it easy. They can open that document with any computer that has internet access. No worries about the network crashing because your document is in the clouds.
  2. No pen drives. Students will never have to worry about a forgotten pen drive, a pen drive that becomes corrupt, or trying to remember which drive their document is on…it is in the cloud just waiting. No more excuses.
  3. Sharing – using Google docs allows students to share with one another and you, the teacher. Teachers and classmates can provide feedback and guidance when it comes to assignments and there is no overwriting or emailing. You can also track all edits and revert previous versions.
  4. No version issues – unlike Microsoft or iWork, when students use Google Docs there are no version issues. Whether a student works on a Mac laptop or a library Windows computer that can be accessed at school or whatever personal device they have at home, all they need is Internet access and they can work!
  5. Real-time environment/Collaboration – Students can work on documents or projects with classmates and discuss or make changes now. There is no waiting until they check their email or delay if one member doesn’t like a particular change. They can work together on something and see those changes in real time as they’re working.

Google Docs can be a powerful tool in the classroom to overcome many hurdles that have previously impeded extending learning beyond the classroom walls. Teachers and students now have an avenue to collaborate, learn, and share anywhere, anytime.