There is no doubt that 2016 was a tremendous year of growth for me as an educator. Through my connections with other educators in both the physical and virtual worlds, I was able to enhance my own effectiveness as a leader. Sharing is definitely contagious and I am so thankful for all the great resources and ideas that people shared this past year. In sticking with the spirit of the season, I am sharing ten resources I worked on during 2016 that you or others might find helpful to utilize in 2017.
Don’t forget to register for the 3rd Annual Tomorrow’s Classrooms Today Conference at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on Saturday, May 20. There will be over 40 presentations and a keynote address by Angela Watson. Click here to register.
We are excited to announce that our next book, Hacking Google for Educators, will be available to purchase on a virtual bookshelf near you in the Spring of 2017. This will be the second book that we have written over the past few years that focuses on the impact technology can have on the educational world. It’s also the first time that the Evolving Educators will collaborate on a project with Mark Barnes and the Hack Learning team. We really feel that there is a place in the market for this sort of book, that will provide readers with varying perspectives on how Google tools can move learning environments from good to great. Hacking Google for Educators will provide readers with a unique opportunity to flip to any part of the book and immediately apply what was read within the context of their current educational environment.
The book will highlight a plethora of Google apps, extensions, add-ons, and tricks that can be incorporated by any school stakeholder. Well known tools like Docs, Slides, and Sheets will be featured in ways that will allows students, teachers, and administrators to thrive in an innovative and efficient manner. Other not so well known tools like Cardboard, Tour Builder, and Orange Slicewill be clearly explained and demoed through a series of screen shots. We really want to inspire teachers and administrators to take risks and try new methods that ultimately impact the success of students.
So what does a Hack Learning book look like? The chapters are called hacks that identify problems prevalent in our learning environments. Say for example, that there is an issue with students who are reluctant to write. An app like Google Docs can assist students that have writers block through a feature called voice typing. Just think of the possibilities that students have to show what they know through the writing process by being able to speak directly into Google Docs. The “what you can do tomorrow” portion of the chapter is characteristic of all Hack Learning books and guides you through specific uses of the hacks that are highlighted. So for the Google Docs chapter, additional enhancements will be examined such as the Explore feature, translation services, and using comments to provide real time feedback.
Hacking Google for Educators will be a useful and applicable resource for teachers and administrators. The book will change your mindset and show what is possible when technology is leveraged to enhance student learning experiences. There is no doubt that Google Apps for Education, or what is now referred to as G Suite for Education, is a game-changer in how people collaborate, create, communicate, and critically think in their learning spaces. Hacking Google for Educators will provide a framework for classrooms, schools, districts, and organizations to move forward in a meaningful direction that will push students to learn, teachers to teach, and leaders to lead in ways once thought unimaginable.
Brad Currie, Billy Krakower, and Scott Rocco.