Popped over to Google+ for a quick hello to that stream. Saw this cool little share from Danny Silva who works for CUE and was one of the lead learners at GTAUK10 where I earned my Google stripes.
I wondered what CK-12 was so clicked through – looked legit (which it is). So, I re-shared his post. I tweeted it. All good…
And then I actually clicked all the way through to get a copy of one of the free titles. They were free because CK-12 is a non-profit shared under creative commons licence.
But to get here, I had to make sure my Google Wallet is active. It didn’t cost me anything but my bank details had to be up-to-date. Am I being cynical or is this Google Play FREE book share a teaser to get your Google Wallet in good order? Or to get users into Google Play?
BTW: the book is 610 pages long (who studies basic algebra for 610p?) and one of many free titles in Maths and Science. If you want to browse them please don’t let me stand in your way – after all they cost you nowt! Links to iPad and Kindle versions here. Possibly no wallet required…
@daibarnes Students share Docs comment-only with teacher. Teacher’s interventions and student’s response visible in revision history. #awesome
Google Apps for Education offer some great tools that can really boost your teacher or learner workflow! None of these big systems are perfect but if you cherry pick the best features as learning tools, you can end up with a great pedagogical toolset.
I’m a big fan and user of Google SketchUp 3D modelling software. You can build all sorts of things in SketchUp and then create an AVI movie and export it to showcase your work (image above shows this in action). It works very well in the classroom, engaging pupils beyond standard expectations, boys and girls alike – every year I introduce it to Y8 and am blown over by the amount of time the majority spend working on their creations. Also, we have started using it in GCSE Graphic Design course instead of ProDeskTop (blogpost about that here). But I’m not going to miss SketchUp because it is only changing ownership. See this official blogpost for more info. I’m mildly concerned about the future of SketchUp in schools. Google are good to education. Trimble are the new owners and they will be seeking revenue streams. But a grand don’t come for free.
This is also symptomatic of Google’s move away from products that do not sit comfortably and compliment their development to a fully online ecosystem via Google Apps, Google+ and the Google OS on chromebooks. I don’t think there’s a way SketchUp could work in the cloud and therefore no way it could be part of Googles online strategy. I’m making this up of course – I have no idea about Google’s strategy; it does seem logical that they are building an ecosystem. Other products have disappeared seemingly because they are built with the wrong code or do not somehow provide what Google are seeking to achieve – thinking WonderWheel and her friends.
Let us hope SketchUp continues to be free to educators and learners. It is truly an awesome product.
I am a Google Certified Teacher. Whatever this means – elitist, exciting, exclusive, awesome, globalisation, brilliant, egotistical – Google offer a fantastic range of tools that are more or less free to teachers and pupils. Well, a grand don’t come for free, so that makes us – the users – the product generating revenue for Google through advertising. Do I look bothered? Well, yes I do, somewhat. But I use Google products all the time in my work and leisure. Reservations are not dissimilar to what Doug Belshaw writes here.
Today was GTAUK12, the second GTA in London. I was at the first and it was awesome; inspiring and energising – I can still recollect the buzz I felt that day, a privileged invitee to Google’s offices. And now I have a badge!
Most importantly, what the day brought was many great teaching and learning resources. And so it did today. So here are a few I found:
I have undoubtedly missed many great links. All the resources used on the day are on link #3. My bookmarks include those from GTAUK10.
If there is anything else you think should be on here, please reply in the comments or tweet at me.
Finally, I made a quick twitter list of all the GCT’s I could find whilst GTA was on today (let me know if I missed you and I’ll add you – and apologies :). You can subscribe to it or follow the people on it. Mostly they are the newly certified Google teachers. Welcome to you all! The more the merrier.
If you have been following these early posts for the ICT in Subjects project, you may realise I am a bit daunted by all the planning that will be necessary to make a success of it. To help me stay organised and allow others – inside and outside school – to monitor progress of the project, I have created a Google Site to curate all ideas and thoughts.
If you would like to comment or contribute to the site, please email me to request access.