Author Archive

Chris Betcher:  resources here.

creating banners –

image editing and creation –

fancy text for headers –


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Wes Werner:  link to the presentation:  HERE

….. and to all his presentations

Also WeVideo in Chrome is great – demo given. Has app as well.

Youtube Editor –

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 11.40.50 am

ways of setting up audio – from the cog at the top of the page => creation tools:

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 11.45.25 am



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Robs site Learning Architects

link to presentation


  • range of tools – lots of parts and lots to learn.
  • Google moderatorlink to main page.  lets you have questions adn able to interact with them.


  • Cloud based – easy access 24/7/365
  • lots you can do to make it 'safe' – digital citizenship issues.
  • easy to install and run.  Mahara.
  • Help is good in GApps – show this to people.
  • highly customisable ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Process for deployment in presentation has links to things to do as well as things to consider.
  • school 'start' page.  Splash screen …. place you begin for the school staff and students – for content and tools.  GSite?  Ways to make it easier for the people.
  • GAFE blog worth subscribing to!
  • sell the value propositions and support the 'how'.  Stuff on stickers so peole can keep with laptop/diary/etc.
  • links in Robs presentation for egs of ways have been used.

Some really good egs shown of using spreadsheets for documentation.  Not seen used in this way before ๐Ÿ™‚


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I am at the GAFE (Google Apps for Education) Summit in ChCh at the moment.  Thoughts prompted already ….

Adam Noir from Google is doing the opening keynote.  He mentioned the conecpt of "the rising tide lifts all boats".  True to some extent.  I also think about the polar opposite – "don't water the rocks".

rising tide lifts all boats

don't water rocksThe challenge, as always, is finding the happy medium.  We have an obligation to the students of the teachers who are the proverbial rocks to support them to be the best that they can be in the same way as engaging with the frontrunners.  Do we though, need to go at the pace of the slowest runners?  Interesting challenges for school leaders and managers of change.

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ULearn13-e-Tools-_Tools_for_professionals.pdf by gregc5

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Interesting time this afternoon with the crew from the Dunedin branch of Cyclone Computers and Adam Naor from Google.  I have not had a whole lot to do wiht them before but they do seem to offer a more viable option than netbooks.  In my experience netbooks soon become a source of frustration because of the screen size primarily.  The ChromeBooks are certainly fast!  Not the most fantastic build quality …. but hay, for $399 who cares.  


Anne sent me the link to this:


… later this evening.  

Makes the same points Adam did:

  • fast
  • integrated
  • easy
  • have everything you need (most of the time)


Adam did say Google are keen to hear from educators about features in Google Apps we are keen to see.  Did mention merging cells in tables to him (seconded by Dave!).  He mentioned we should see off-line Spreadsheets in the next few weeks.  Heard it here first! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chrome extensions for teachers doc HERE


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One of the interesting things visiting the Melbourne schools was the differences in the ways they approached organising 'ownership' of space and students.  The two are related I suppose but I put the slide below together to try and capture what I was seeing as the differences in approaches:

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 11.12.58 AM

At one end there is the INDIVIDUAL teacher who oversees a home group of students for much of their programme.  They coordinate the pastoral, academic and organisational aspects of their school life within the collaborative space of the MLE that may have over 120 students in it.  They are responsible for all the process things like assessment and reporting, coordination with families and being the person who is 'responsible' for knowing them well.

At the other extreme is a collective responsibility where all teachers in a space hold COLLECTIVE responsibility for 100+ students.  All staff collectively work with students across the group on the needs that are identified.  Groups are fluid and teachers report on the bits of the curriculum they have particular iinsight into for instance.  There are careful mechanisms for collecting and collating achievement and pastoral information.  We saw instance of these in Google Docs and more formal proprietary SMS systems.


Both extremes work.  Both have their strengths and challenges.  It is figuring out where you sit …

Once you have done that it is thinking through ALL the implications:

  • Assessment
  • monitoring
  • organisation
  • reporting to families
  • organisation of teaching materials
  • attendance
  • behaviour management
  • etc, etc, etc

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From the Google blog:

Quickoffice has been a part of the Google family for over a year now and we’ve been focused on making it easier for you to get work done in Drive — no matter what type of document you need to work with. Converting old files to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides is still the easiest way to share and work together, and we’re working every day to make the files you convert look better. But sometimes the people you work with haven’t gone Google yet, so we made the Quickoffice mobile apps free for Google Apps for Business customers. And today we’re making Quickoffice available for free to everyone: students, businesses, nonprofits, governments, consumers and anyone with a Google Account.

via Official Enterprise Blog: Freeing Quickoffice for everyone.

VERY handy for those who work across platforms and operating systems.  


While we’re on the topic of free stuff, if you sign in to your Google Account from the new Quickoffice app for Android or iOS by September 26, 2013, an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage will be added to your account for two years (look for it in the next few weeks.)

…. and there is no such thing as to much free online storage!

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