12 of Google Photos’ Most Amazing Features


“Google Photos has grown into an awesome service. From automatically backing up your phone’s pictures to letting you easily share your photos, there’s a lot to love for anyone who works with photos. Whether you want to make a mini stop-motion animation or just make a slideshow of related pictures, Photos can help. Select the Animation button under the Assistant tab, and you can choose from 2–50 photos to add. Once you’re satisfied, click Create and you’ll have a neat little GIF ready to share.” — Ben Stegner

Read Full Article.

Hundreds of Things to Ask Your Google Home


“Google Home now has more than 200 third-party skills, also known as conversation actions. If you’re just getting started, or you want to really see what your virtual assistant can do, check out” this list from PC Mag. — Sascha Segan, PC Mag

Why You Should Be Using Google Photos


Google Photos “takes your entire photo library — every photo you’ve ever taken on your phone, as well as screenshots and photos taken within Instagram and whatever else — and uploads it to the internet. The photos remain private, hidden behind your Google account information, but now you can access them anywhere. On your laptop? Yep. On a new phone? Yep. On your tablet? Yep, there too.” — Ben Gilbert, Business Insider

360-Degree Cameras in Education: A Quick Introduction

Guest Blogger
Kasey Kennedy

Some say 360-degree cameras may be the next big thing in education. What is a 360-degree camera? It is a camera that allows you to capture photos and videos in a spherical format. The spherical format allows the viewer to pan around the entire image or video in a 360-degree fashion.

View this 360 degree image to get an idea of what these kinds of cameras can do.

Enjoy this video, What Happens in Your Body?, and enjoy a 360-degree exploration of your circulatory and digestive systems. Follow the directions below the video to navigate this spherical video.

Click on the following image for a 360-photo of the North Pole.

Using 360-Degree Cameras in the Classroom  

Virtual Field Trips: Take a moment to view this video. You could create a video to go along with whatever you are teaching, and the students could work themselves through the video to get more information. Another example could be using a 360 video to help students explore the cells of the body.

School Events: What if you could play the camera on the stage while a student performed? This would let the students view their work, and see the performance as the audience sees it.

Parental Involvement: This would be a great way to get parents involved. Most cameras will only record parts of the room, unless it is carried around. By using a 360 degree camera, a parent could pan around to their child, and watch their child the whole time. This will help the parents see what is going on in the classroom, and it will get them more involved.

Outside of the Classroom Field Trips: When on a field trip, the camera could be used to take pictures, or a video, and the teacher could replay it for the students as they do their reflections. This could also be an opportunity for any students who missed the field trip to receive the same experience. (Source)

Tips for Using 360-Degree Cameras

Geoffrey Morrison shares six tricks for getting the best photo and video spheres. 

I also recommend 10 Things I Wish I Knew before Shooting 360 Video by Vanessa Hand Orellana.

360-Degree Virtual Tours

The Lincoln Memorial

Luray Caverns

The Secret Annex of Anne Frank’s Home

Rainforest

Pokémon Go Automatically Granting Permission to Read Your Gmail

Pokemon Go

The Verge is reporting that “Pokémon Go has become wildly popular in the days since its release last week, but the app may be hiding a serious security issue. In many cases, users who sign into the app through a Google Account are often inadvertently granting broad permissions over all information linked to the account, including the power to read and send emails. At no point in the sign-in process does the app notify users that full access is being granted” (Source). Read more at The Verge.

Perhaps the app developer will correct this issue in the near future.

Integrating Virtual Reality with the Superman Roller Coaster

“The Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster has been remade as a VR experience as riders strap on Samsung Galaxy Gear headsets” (Source).

Superman Ride of Steel

Easily Turn Video into Engaging Lessons with EDpuzzle

Larry Ferlazzo describes EDpuzzle as “a new innovative site that lets you take just about any video off the web, edit it down to the portions you want, add audio notes and questions for students, and create virtual classrooms where you can monitor individual student work” (Source). Perhaps the best part is that teachers and students can use it for FREE.

To see an example, view Bobby Barber’s EDpuzzle that he uses in his math classroom.

Edpuzzle

Getting Started

The following quick demo will help you begin using EDpuzzle.

Flipped Learning and EDpuzzle

“EDPuzzle is a great resource for the flipped classroom, allowing teachers to create and present innovative lectures in a safe environment” according to Education World. Further, iLearn Technology notes that as “students watch, [the teacher] can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction.”

Educational Connections

EDpuzzle can be used:

  1. In flipped classrooms (as discussed above).
  2. To make lecturecasts, tutorials, video directions, etc. more engaging and interactive.
  3. For compiling data and information about students’ performance, and perhaps understanding, which can helpful formative assessment.
  4. So that students can annotate video reflections, recorded reports and skits, and more.
  5. To allow students to develop tutorials and quizzes about the current topic of study. Putting students in the teacher’s role can encourage higher-levels of thinking.

Ideas for Using ThingLink in the Classroom

ThingLink Logo

ThingLink is an interactive media platform that empowers publishers, educators, brands, and bloggers to create more engaging content by adding rich media links to photos and videos…Use ThingLink to create interactive news photography, maps, posters, family albums, infographics, and shoppable product catalogs in minutes” (Source).

Getting Started

The following video will help you start using ThingLink.

Setting up ThingLink for the Classroom

This playlist, compiled by Susan Oxnevad, contains tutorials for setting up ThingLink channels, embedding Google docs, setting up student accounts, organizing students into project groups, and more.

Educational Connections

ThingLink can be used:

  1. To communicate the directions and expectations for class projects, small group activities, independent learning, etc.
  2. With book reports, research projects, and science projects.
  3. To add narration to images.
  4. For teacher and student introductions at the beginning of the year.
  5. To develop interactive posters to communicate with students and parents.
  6. For student reflections.
  7. To integrate multimedia and dynamic data with maps, infographics, Wordles, and other images.
  8. For organizing and sharing professional development resources.
  9. To organize online scavenger hunts and webquests.
  10. As interactive digital bulletin boards.

Examples

U.S. Regions

 

Home of the Cardinals

 

Animal Cells: Their Composition and Functionality

Extended Learning

Creating ePortfolios with ThingLink

ThingLink launches Virtual Reality Lessons App For Education

VR Lessons by ThingLink – iOS App

Interesting Ways to Use Thinglink in the Classroom

ThingLink in the Classroom – One image. Tons of possibilities.

20 Ways to Use ThingLink in Education

10 Innovative Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom

Historic Images are Everywhere