Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Google + Pictures Moving to Google Drive...Hurray!

Displaying I have been a Picasa user for years.  I love the ease of use and the way it allowed me to share pictures with my family, friends, and as a teacher - the parents of my students.  A couple years ago, however, Google moved their photo storing service to Google+.  I did not appreciate this change because it made something that was easy and seamless for me to become a lot more cumbersome.  I still have some teachers in my district who use this feature, and I help them whenever possible, but my love of the tool has waned.

This is why I was so excited to read in my email today that Google is moving Google + Pictures to Google Drive!  Most of the teachers in my district are becoming comfortable with using and navigating Google Drive.  Having a folder labeled "Google Photos" will increase their ability to share photos via their Google Sites and Google Blogger.

So, PPS Staff, according to the Google release notes:

"This feature will start rolling out for consumers today in Drive for Android, iOS and the web, and will roll out gradually to Apps customers in the coming weeks. A notification in Drive will give people the option to add a Google Photos folder to My Drive, allowing them to manage their photos and videos alongside other types of files if they so choose. Existing Google+ Photos users will notice their photos and videos available in Drive in the coming weeks."

If you get a notice asking you to add a Google Photos folder to My Drive, make sure you "Allow"!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MACUL 2015

The Michigan Ed Tech Conference - MACUL - will be in Detroit this week.  We are very excited with the number of teachers and administrators PPS is sending to this conference.  As we learn new ideas for integrating tech into the classroom, we will be sure to be thinking about how we can bring these ideas back to all our colleagues at the students in PPS.  If you would like to follow along what is happening at MACUL, check out the hashtag #macul15 on twitter.  People will be tweeting to this hashtag all week!

To learn more about MACUL, head to MACUL.org!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Remind Chat and Common Sense Media Partnership

For all those Remind users out there...read this article!
(Formerly, Remind 101)

So perhaps you have heard that Remind will soon begin offering a chat feature for teachers to stay in better contact with students and parents. When I first heard of this new tool I will be honest, I thought it was a horrible idea! My reasons for that thought are that communication between staff and students should always be of the utmost professional quality and, well, with chat I could see professional and informal lines becoming blurred as well as potential for putting educators and students at risk. Sorry, I'm just a very protective person and if I can help someone avoid a pitfall, I am compelled to do so.

However! Remind really impressed me by partnering with CommonSense.org, a respected non-profit that works tirelessly to protect children in this new digital age. What did CommonSense do for Remind? They developed a week long introduction to Remind Chat with daily subject material about digital citizenship while introducing new features within Chat. I really respect a company that has enough foresight to see that, used improperly, their product could cause harm and, therefore, took direct measures to teach users the best way in which to use their product.

If you are a Remind user and are considering using Remind Chat, I highly recommend that you read this article from CommonSense.

Good Luck and Safe Computing!