Saturday, July 9, 2016

First Webinar!


Learning On My Own Terms 


         I just completed my first Webinar with Simple K12.  It was an amazing experience.  I really liked the presenter Jerry Swiatek.  He was very informative and spoke very simplistically and well.  I'm glad this was my first webinar.  He spoke about 15 free web tools.  There were 584 attendees, but I felt like I was the only one in the room!
          On Twitter, I've seen some of these web tools, but I'm a visual learner.  The webinar helps me see someone do it and I took notes on the notepad.  I can then go back and check my notes when I need to see how to do something.  This is what he went over and I will tell you one or two take-a-ways from each tool.

                     1. Advanced Search Features - Good to show students how to narrow results.  You can                                     click the gear and change file-type, language, and much more.  

                       2. Custom Search - cse.google.com - You can share the URL or put it on a Blog for 
                                     students.  You can also restrict the search to certain websites that would help
                                     students narrow their search.  

                      3. Google Images - He showed how you could change the search by size, color, type,                                   usage rights, aspect ratio.  The most impressive thing he showed was
                             dragging an image of a puppy from his desktop into the google search bar and                                       google finding similar puppies! 

                       4. Google Keep - I've been using this and love it.  I found out some new things to do                                          with this - set a reminder and send it to your phone!  Also, he showed that you                                      can send the note on Keep as a Google Doc.  Brilliant! 

                       5. Google Arts and Culture - www.google.com/culturalinstitute - You can search by                                         art movements, historical events, and museums.  You can favorite the images                                        so that you can find them the next time you enter.  

                        6. Google.com/sky also Google.com/moon or Google.com/mars - all of them have 
                                        images and implications for the classroom.

                        7. Buildwithchrome.com - My son loves legos and I don't have to clean these up!  He                                          tried it out and said it was very much like Minecraft.  I was thinking my 
                                         students could build Crucible-like villages.  

                        8. https://docsstorybuilder.appspot.com/ This was neat.  You could have different                                               names and then have them have a dialogue and set it to music and play it                                              and save it.  I'm going to try to make some videos for students with this and                                           then let them use it as well for a project.

                         9. https://fonts.google.com - You can use any of these fonts on the web only, but
                                         they would be great for sites and blogs.  

                        10. Google Forms - the new thing about forms is the self-grading quizzes.  You go to 
                                        the form and then the gear and then the quizzes tab.  You can make a quiz                                             and release grade.  It's only for multiple choice.  I used the add-on
                                        Flubaro that can do a bit more, but forms would be good for a straight good
                                        ol' quiz.

                         11. Google Sites - he said that in a couple of months sites is going to be a
                                      Weebly-like site and will look a bit different.  Our school has every English                                            student on their own site so I am hoping things will convert.  

                         12. Google Voice - can be used by the teacher on their Macbook or computer.  You 
                                       can get a voice number and it will forward to a personal phone number.  This
                                      will allow me to call parents without walking up to the main office and 
                                      finding a phone.

                        13. Google News - news.google.com - Good for students to personalize their news
                                        and they get recommendations.   

                         * Note: Google moon and Mars counted as two more above on #6.  

                          I decided to take a second webinar a few hours later and was not as impressed, so if you take a Webinar and don't like your first one; don't be discouraged.  Try another one and you may be amazed.  Also, if you have children, know that the webinars are only one half hour, but have something planned for the kids to do.  My kids made a fort in the living room.  They had fun, but some clean-up afterward! :)  

  


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