Using digital tools to create infographics to present data with ‘an agenda’

This blog post was produced after a request by one of my colleagues about how to use digital tools to produce infographics. The students were to be asked to produce infographics that present data that is ‘true but skewed’ to support a certain point of view.

Research the data to be presented

Before the students even start ‘Googling’ they need to predict the data they are looking for. What do they want the data to show? Who might have and share that kind of data? This thought process should give the students ideas of what the ‘search terms’ will be that they want to use.

For example:
Googling ‘Greenpeace nuclear data’ gives a selection of possible ‘research leads’ within the first page of results, to a webpage such as this one:


http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/nuclear-delusions/blog/35617/


Selecting some data from this webpage:
“A study of carbon and nuclear power by the Australian government and Sydney University, found that nuclear plants emit about 60 grams of carbon-dioxide equivalent per Kilowatt-hour of electricity 3-times the comparable emissions from wind turbines.”


“In 2009, the New York Academy of Sciences compiled data from some 5,000 research papers not reviewed for the IAEA/WHO reports and estimated 985,000 excess deaths due to Chernobyl radiation, 250-times more deaths than reported by the nuclear industry.”


Students may then want to find statistics to act as a comparison to the data they are presenting to help emphasize the skew they are working on. What data point would act as a useful comparison to help students make their point? What could they use as their  ‘search term’?


For example:
“number of people killed in road accidents per day” 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate 


Presenting the data as an infographic


My current preferred online application for producing infographics is piktochart.com.  By going to piktochart.com staff and students can then choose ‘Start for free’ > Sign up with Google using their @ecolint.ch or @learning.ecolint.ch account. The free account provides enough functionality for the students although I will be looking to explore their Education PRO pricing in the future to evaluate what it offers.


This demo video from piktochart.com can be used, if needed, for staff and students to get support before getting started. The basic procedure is: Create new > Infographic > Free Templates > ‘It’s a blank template’. One the left hand toolbar > Tools > Charts. Users need to delete some of the ‘placeholder’ items entered into the blank template - they are just there to give ideas about the structure.


It is possible to quickly create a visually pleasing product in 30 minutes once suitable data has been collected.

For example: 
https://magic.piktochart.com/output/18648684-is-nuclear-energy-as-clean-as-you-think

Using MindMeister as a research organizer for students

Why is MindMeister a better ‘research organizer’ than Google Docs?

  1. It is non-linear.

  2. Sections of the mind map can be ‘closed’ to allow the focus to be upon sections that need to be addressed.

  3. It allows images and videos to be embedded within the structure.

  4. You can add (annotated) connections between ideas.

  5. The ability to ‘playback’ the sequence in which the mind map was created which can help in the process of student reflection.

  6. The ability to easily create ‘tasks’ from parts of the mind map to help structure further developments and the write up.

All staff and students at International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations can have a MindMeister account linked to the Foundation's subscription.

  1. Go to mindmeister.com > Sign Up > Click on the red G (Google) > use your school @learning.ecolint.ch or @ecolint.ch to login.

  2. You may have the word ‘Upgrade’ in the top left hand corner of the screen. To ‘upgrade’ to a full account as part of the Ecolint subscription you need to follow a link given to you by the TLC - just email and ask for it before the lesson and share it with the students via email or ManageBac.

Students can share their mind maps with the teacher so that progress can be monitored and fed back upon.

Teachers can create a template to help structure the process.

  1. This template needs to be exported (in MindMeister format), shared with the students via Google Drive, email or ManageBac and then imported by the students.

Key MindMeister skills

  1. Creating a new mind map (the Blank template is best, in my opinion)

  2. Adding a child idea

  3. Adding a sibling idea

  4. Adding a relationship between two ideas

  5. Adding an image to an idea

  6. Adding a video to an idea

  7. Adding a note to an idea

  8. Adding a link to an idea

  9. Adding an attachment to an idea

Support

  1. Video Tutorials

  2. MindMeister Academy

Videonot.es - taking notes that are automatically synchronized

VideoNot.es is a great online application to explore if you wish students to make notes upon the contents of a video. The notes that are made are automatically synchronized with the video. So if a note is added about something mentioned 3 minutes into the video then they are time stamped at 3 minutes. Clicking on these notes (at a later point in time) with return to that part of the video.

This video produced by the excellent @rmbyrne outlines how to use VideoNot.es and shows how a teacher could use the service to pose questions to students.

Updates to Google Forms that you may have missed

Quizzes in Google Forms

With Quizzes, it is possible to select correct answers for multiple choice and checkbox questions to speed up the process of feedback. You can enter explanations and review materials to help students learn.

Image source: Google

Image source: Google

You can then specify point values for each multiple choice question. In that same menu you can enter answer explanations. The quizzes setting also gives you the option of letting students see their scores immediately after completing a quiz.

These updates are welcome but for ‘quiz power users’ sticking with Socrative or Kahoot will offer you more options. For those who want to take their use of Google Forms further try the feature-laden Google Sheets Add-on called Flubaroo.

Support from Google on making quizzes, assigning points etc can be found here.

Add images to questions and answers in Google Forms

Image source: Google

Image source: Google

You can now craft even more effective forms by inserting images into survey questions or adding images as multiple choice or checkbox options in Google Forms on the web.
You can also add an image to a question.


The ability to add videos into Google Forms has existed for a while.

Untitled_form_-_Google_Forms 2.png

Updates to Google Slides that you may have missed

Google Slides is a presentation application. It is Google’s version of Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote. It comes with all the online collaboration features that you would expect from G Suite for Education application. All staff and students have G Suite for Education accounts and therefore access to Google Slides.

Google is constantly updating its applications - refining and adding features. The following features have been added to Google Slides in the last 6 months. 

Allowing participants to submit questions and vote on them during a Google Slides presentation

To see the feature in action, check out this video:

A few things to note:

  • The Slides Q&A feature works on all devices that can open a browser - so in the context of Campus des Nations laptops or smartphones would work.
  • You can only use Slides Q&A if you have edit or comment access to that Slides presentation.

‘Accept and present audience questions’ support available here.

Use your mouse as a laser pointer in Slides

Just choose the laser pointer option from the toolbar and move your mouse, and a red laser-like dot will appear in the same place on screen.

Managing group work - Assigning an Action Item

You can manually assign an Action Item to someone in the Docs, Sheets and Slides desktop and mobile apps by mentioning their name in a comment and checking the new Action Item box. The assignee will get an email notification and see the Action Item(s) clearly highlighted with a blue bar when they open the file.

The assignee is responsible for marking the action as being completed. This is useful for giving feedback to students and working with a team of colleagues upon a project.

‘Assign an Action Item’ support here.

Using the ‘Explore’ feature to make design polishing simple

As you (or students) work, ‘Explore’ dynamically generates design suggestions, based on the content of your slide. Simply pick a recommendation and apply it with a single click - no cropping, resizing or reformatting required. This should speed up the process of design and allow you (and students) to spend more time focusing on the content of the presentation.

At the bottom right, click Explore.


You might see images or information you can use to help finish your work.

  • Layouts: To choose a new layout for your slide, click the one you want.
  • Web search: Search the web for information related to your presentation.
  • Images: To preview an image, click Preview Zoom in. To use an image, click it. This will also add the link to the bottom of the image.
  • Google Drive: You can search Google Drive for content to use with your presentation.

‘See and use suggested layouts in a presentation’ support here.

Inserting charts from Google Sheets into Slides

To save valuable time, G Suite is now making it possible to update a chart in a Google Slide with a single click - without ever needing to leave your document or presentation.


To get started, simply go to Insert > Chart in Google Docs or Slides on the web. Insert a new chart, or select From Sheets to add an existing chart from the spreadsheet of your choice. As long as you check the Link to spreadsheet box, you’ll be given the option to update the chart with one click if its underlying data in Google Sheets changes. Should you no longer want to be notified of updates to a particular chart, you can simply unlink it. This same functionality is available if you copy and paste a chart into a document or presentation.    

Using Social Media in the Classroom Tip 2 -­ Be clear why you want to use it

This series of 10 posts is an effort to document my thoughts about and collate resources upon the theme of social media and it’s use by educators.The starting point was a lecture I gave titled ‘Social media -­ 10 tips for using it effectively in the geography classroom’ at the 2016 Geographical Association Conference in Manchester, UK.

There is effort involved in using social media in an effective and efficient way. Social media content is usually public facing. There are privacy concerns, copyright issues, school policies to work with. It is a constantly changing environment. Therefore it is necessary to be clear why you would want to use it to make this care and effort worth while!

Two relevant quotes from Dr Doug Belshaw writing about social media in Further Education:

“One thing that social networks have brought us is the ability to follow the everyday work and contact people who, in previous generations, would have been inaccessible.” [1]

“Students can follow debates that public intellectuals and experts in a particular field are having today. This can lend a vibrancy and freshness to learning that textbooks and other ‘static’ media cannot provide.” [1]

I believe it is important to see different use cases of social media. Firstly there is an educator using social media to develop ideas and get support via a network. Secondly there is the integration of social media into teaching and learning practices. Thirdly there is the use of social media in engaging with parents and other stakeholder members of the school community. 

Social media lets me engage with other teaching professionals across the globe. I really enjoy seeing what Matt Podbury is up to in his geography classroom in Toulouse. I use Twitter to harvest ideas for lessons, offer and receive support and encouragement and keep up-to-date with the changing approaches and ideas.

Student (and stakeholder) engagement and the acknowledgment that social media is the current norm in digital communication and are the main reasons I champion it’s use. Our students will be exposed to more social media - not less - as they get older. Social media usage will become a greater element of their further education and academic studies not smaller. Social media engages with (most) students. It is highly culturally relevant to them. I believe that they need help seeing both the useful social and communication elements of it. It doesn’t just have to be the use of a Facebook to ‘collaborate’ on homework. As Dr Doug Belshaw mentioned it allows much easier access to relevant organisations, experts and academics. I feel that our student need support to know how to make the most of this opportunity and approach these individuals and organisation in a polite, respectful and effective way.

The reason why I encourage IB DP geography students to ‘like’ the geographyalltheway Facebook page is that by posting a relevant article (and linking it to the syllabus) I hope to get some academic/geography into their news feeds.

Engaging colleagues within your school with social media can be challenging. Start small. Do not expect to mention Twitter in one professional development session and then expect everybody to be tweeting by the next day. Expect conversations about what is ‘best to try’? Ask questions - what sort of media are you trying to curate and share? Who are you trying to engage with? Do you want to present a flow of information or start a dialogue? These questions and their possible answers are important? Can you get all of one department using the same digital social tool?

Social media has a huge potential in engaging with parents. Social media posts can provide a snapshot into what is happening in a classroom, department or school. My children’s school actively posts to Twitter. I follow those tweets. The conversation that starts ‘so what did you do at school today?’ is extended far beyond ‘not a lot’ if I can add that I saw a photo of my daughter watching a visiting speaker or my son doing some group work. There are privacy issues to deal with - ‘I wasn’t on Twitter at school today Daddy because somebody in my group isn’t allowed’ - but with open communication with parents about the reasons behind what you are doing and by taking sensible steps such as not including names, means positive and productive steps can be taken.

[1] Belshaw, Doug. "The Increasing Significance of Social Media in the Learner Journey [FE Week]." Open Educational Thinkering. N.p., 09 July 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Using Social Media in the Classroom Tip 1 ­- 'Be clear what social media is'

This series of 10 posts is an effort to document my thoughts and collate resources on the theme of social media and it’s use by educators. The starting point was a lecture I gave titled ‘Social media -­ 10 tips for using it effectively in the geography classroom’ at the 2016 Geographical Association Conference in Manchester, UK.

Students use it, most parents use it, some parents are concerned about it, a lot of staff use it personally, less staff use it professional and as the ‘Technology for Learning Coordinator’ I am always harping on about how we should all be embracing it more. It has a place in the ‘geography classroom’ and I believe social media can support the teaching and learning in most, if not all classrooms.

When we talk about ‘social media’ - some people applaud, others look away awkwardly and a few state ‘I do not do it’ - it is important to be clear what ‘social media’ is. 

In the words of Ollie Bray ‘social media is ’both powerful and purposeful [1]’. He adds scale to what most of us are seeing by stating ’pretty much the whole of the Web has now turned social and most new content that is published online allows for social interaction [1]’. The rating of a hotel on Bookings.com, the review of a restaurant on TripAdvisor, reading a review before you stay at a hotel or eat at a restaurant, sharing photos with far flung family members and the option to share what you have just bought from Amazon via Twitter or Facebook are all elements of social media. 

I have cobbled together my definition of social media as: digital tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas and media through a network of 'following' or being 'followed’. 

Not all digital tools that allow you to create something are ‘social’. The creation of a paragraph of text in a Google Document does not have to be ‘social’. As soon as it is shared with the purpose of collaboration it becomes ‘social’. I however do not believe that an educator saying ‘we have ticked social media as we do Google Docs’ is really taking advantage of what is out there! 

Sharing a link to an news article that may be useful to students reflecting upon a certain concept or theme is easy with a whole range of social media platforms. Sharing a link to a resource that you have produced and feel that others would benefit from. Tweeting to share your experiences and offer advice to colleagues (wherever they may be geographical). All these are powerful and purposeful uses of social media.

Exchange is two-way sharing. ‘The more you put in the more you get out.’ It is more than acceptable to be a ‘lurker’ on Twitter hoovering up the good ideas, support and links. However contributing and sharing your views and suggestions enriches the network (more about these in a minute) within which you operate.

Whatever type of information, ideas and media you are after there is a social media network for it. Instragram and Flickr for sharing images, Pinterest for curating them. YouTube and Vimeo for video. Soundcloud or YouTube for audio. Flipboard for curating content into magazines. Twitter for micro-blogging. Facebook for most of the above in one way or another. 

You build a network by following and being ‘followed’. The acting of building a network allows you to control who can see your shares and whose shares you can see. Having a private account and then allowing access to people as they request (as is the case with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter at the very least). Following certain individuals and organisations can really help you connect with the information, media and ideas you may want. An example maybe following a Twitter list that somebody else is curating like IB Geography Teachers on Twitter or the Instagram account of Tony Vincent.

You don’t have to be tweeting what you had for breakfast, sharing all your holiday photos on Facebook or sharing all your lesson plans online to be making effective and efficient use of social media. 

As an educator it is about accessing support and ideas beyond your immediate geographical area. 

As an educator working with students it is about accessing and sharing with a potentially huge audience.

As Dr Doug Belshaw wrote: 'The networks we use to communicate all have benefits and drawbacks, inbuilt biases and tendencies.  However, the question is not whether we should use these platforms, but how. [2]'


[1] Bray, 2012, Social Media in Education: Enhancing Learning and Managing eSafety, Bloxx
[2] Belshaw, Doug. "The Increasing Significance of Social Media in the Learner Journey [FE Week]." Open Educational Thinkering. N.p., 09 July 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Opening Tango Teach

"Tango Teach is designed to simplify the use of digital teaching resources within the classroom. It provides an easy way to collate and store your media and then easily deliver it within your lessons with no special training necessary. If you need any additional content, Tango Teach allows you to search for YouTube videos and Google images directly from the software." Source

 

To find and open Tango Teach:

  1. On your school provided laptop - click on the 'Windows' icon in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.
  2. Click 'All apps' > scroll down until you find the Tango Teach folder > click on it > click on 'Tango Config Editor'.
  3. In the Tango Config Editor ensure the 'Touch input sources' are set to 'Windows Native Touch' only > click OK. You only have to do this once - the computer will remember this setting.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 and click on 'Tango'.
  5. Click 'New category' - may I suggest a year level - for example: 'Y13'
  6. Click on the category you have created.
  7. Click on 'New subcategory' - may I suggest the name of a class for example: 'HL Geo'
  8. Click on the subcategory you have created.
  9. Click 'New lesson' > the workspace should load and you are ready to use Tango Teach.

I will be posting more support over the coming weeks. If you would like some face-to-face support please just email me [richard.allaway@ecolint.ch].

So you are leaving us...

[ Updated - Monday 19th June 2017 ]

Your @ecolint.ch, @learning.ecolint.ch or @pgce.ecolint.ch account is a 'Google Apps for Education' (GAFE) account. Depending on whether you are a staff member, a PGCE student or an Ecolint student dictates how much time you have to get any content out of your GAFE account before it is deactivated and then deleted. My advice is to decide upon what you want to keep and complete the necessary processes as soon as possible.

Mail - start here

Firstly ensure you have set up another email account. This following series of processes is only really fully possible if you have a personal @gmail.com account. If you are creating a new @gmail.com account now is the time to think about your new email address as it may be with you for a while. sparklyunicorn2016@gmail.com may not be the best address to share with future academic institutions and employers!

Set up an 'Out of Office' reply for your school email account. Use the message to explain that this email address will soon cease to function and what your new email address is.

Set up email forwarding from your school email account to your new email address. Ensure you make the effort to update the sender of each email you receive with your new email address. 

Mail - Contacts

To export your email contacts do the following:

  1. Go the the Contacts screen in your school email account (there is a small triangle near to where it says 'Mail' in the top left hand corner of the screen').
  2. Click on 'More'
  3. Choose 'Export...'
  4. Decide which contacts and the necessary export format.
  5. You will then need to import your contacts into your new mail account using a very similar process if you have chosen to use a @gmail.com account.

Mail - your emails

Firstly do you need all your old emails? Can you just find and print (as PDFs) the ones you need? If you want to get all your school mail messages try Gmail's Mail Fetcher feature - details can be found here - remember you have a 'Google Apps address'. Alternatively you can use Google Takeout (if you are over 18 years old) to download a 'MBOX' file of all your email - you would then need to use a third-party programme to get these messages back into a @gmail.com account.

Google Drive Documents

Easiest... but downloads the files as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, image or PDF files. This service is only available for staff, PGCE students and Year 13 students due to age restrictions. If you are in Year 7 to Year 12 you will have to use the 'Trickier and more time consuming' approach below.

Use Google Takeout to download all the Google Documents, Drawings, Forms, Presentations and Sheets that your are the owner of. You can decide upon which file type each of these types of file is downloaded as.

Trickier and more time consuming... but gets the files into Google Drive. Create a folder in your school Google Drive and place all of the files in this folder that you want to transfer. Share this folder with your personal Google account. Once shared, open the folder in your personal Google account, highlight all the contents of the folder (Ctrl or Cmd + A should do the trick), then right click over the highlighted files and 'Make a copy' of all of the contents. You will need to do some 'tidying' of these copies to recreate your folder structures etc. These copies are owned by your personal Google account. Access to the files that were shared from your school Google account will be lost as your school account is archived and deleted.

Google Sites

To begin, open the Google Site from within your school account.

  • Go to More Actions (the cog/gear shaped icon) > Manage Site.
  • Select the 'Sharing and Permissions' option in the left-hand navigation panel.
  • Share your site with the email address of your personal Google account making sure you select “Is the Owner” in the drop-down box.
  • This will send an email to the account you entered (as long as you ticked the 'Notify people' box) which will include a link to the sites current location within the school domain.

Steps to take place in the personal Google account:

  • Open your personal Google account and Gmail to view the email and therefore link to the site you just shared.
  • Click the link to the shared site and ensure you login with your personal Google account when/if prompted to.
  • Once you are logged in, open the site and click the More Actions > Manage Site options.
  • Select the General option in the left side navigation panel.
  • Click 'Copy this Site'.
  • Type in the (new) site name and take note of the new URL which should read: http://sites.google.com/site/(new site name here)
  • Click the button to 'Copy Site'.
  • To remove your school account as an owner of the site go to More Actions > Sharing and remove the school account as an owner of the site.

Any files that have been inserted into the Google Site that are saved in Google Drive will still be located in your school Google account after ownership of the site has been transferred.  Individual items in the Google Site will need to have their new location (if you have transferred ownership or copied them to your personal Google account) updated.

If you have difficulties with the processes described - please use the comment box below.

[Thank you to Jenny Fenton for outlining some of the processes.]

Searching rather than Googling?

Google has a monopoly on the language of ‘search’. When referring to research on the internet do you ask students to do ‘a search for…’ or do you ask them to ‘google ...’?

The Google search engine is definitely a very useful tool that can be used effectively and efficiently with the correct approach. However there are alternatives tools with which information can be found. The use of these alternatives is well worth exploring with your students. Such an activity would link to the ‘evaluate and select digital information sources based on the appropriateness to specific tasks’ or ‘reflect critically about how information is collected, reshaped, and shared online’ standards within the Technology for Learning Framework.

Three alternatives that are worth exploring are Bing, Wolfram|Alpha and DuckDuckGo. Below I have provided some links, a brief outline of what they are and their pros and cons. I have also shown the results for the ‘kings of france’ should you use each to search.

bing

What is it? Microsoft’s search engine.

Pros:

  • The ‘image search’ is well developed in terms of easy access to various search filters such as ‘Date’ and ‘License’.
  • Teaching point: with students - try a search in both bing and Google - which gives the best result for the type of information you are looking for? Which is the best tool for the task you are doing?

Cons:

  • It is weakened by the fact that it doesn’t have as many users as Google. This leads to less optimised results, more spammy and irrelevant results.

Searching bing for 'kings of france'

What is it? ‘A computational knowledge engine’... so it not a search engine but more of an ‘answer engine’ looking at it’s own databases for the answers. It relies on licensed databases and content entered, tagged and catalogues by Wolfram Research employees.  

Pros:

  • For getting ‘data’, calculations, conversations and localizations.
  • There is a whole range of suggestions on the homepage - have a play and reflect on how it may be useful for the subject you teach.

Cons:

  • If the data isn’t there - it can’t find it. It is not a search engine.

Searching Wolfram|Alpha for 'kings of france'

What is it?   It is an anonymous search engine - it does not keep track of your searches. DuckDuckGo aggregates results from Bing, Yandex and other engines and displays them privately to the 'searcher'.

Pros:

  • They have a strict one-add-a-page revenue model.
  • Teaching point: with students - try a search in both DuckDuckGo and Google - which gives the best result for the type of information you are looking for?
  • Teaching point: discuss with students the pros and cons of not being tracked by your search engine.

Cons:

  • There are no personalized results. Like bing it lacks the number of users that Google does and therefore the benefits all that ‘knowledge’ and ‘patterns’ brings.

Searching DuckDuckGo for 'kings of france'

Building collaborative YouTube playlists with colleagues and students

All staff and students that use the Ecolint 'Google Apps for Education' domains (so anybody with a @ecolint.ch or @learning.ecolint.ch email address) has a YouTube account.

YouTube playlists are a convenient place to curate a set of YouTube clips for a whole number of reasons. Maybe you want to provide a playlist to help students revise. Maybe you are working with a set of colleagues to pool resources used for teaching a certain unit or topic. Playlists do not have to be collaborative if you do not wish them to be and they can be public, private or unlisted.

To create a collaborative YouTube playlist:

Choose the first video you would like to add to your playlist. Click on 'Add to', give the playlist a name and then click 'Create'.

Click on the 'the burger' (the three parallel lines) in the top left hand corner of the page to access the YouTube menu.

Click 'My Channel' and then click on the playlist you have just created. Click 'Playlist settings' and then 'Collaborate'. Click the switch to the right of 'Collaborators can add videos to this playlist' and then copy the link that is generated. You can now send this link to the people you wish to be able to collaborate on your playlist. When they click on the link, they will be taken to YouTube and there will be a blue banner for them to click upon to acknowledge their new powers!



Using Google Photos to build collaborative albums

Google has a cloud photo management system - Google Photos - which some consider to be the current best solution available.

This week Google has added the ability to create 'shared albums' - where multiple people can contribute images into a single collaborative album.

This could be rather useful! Imagine a team of teachers or students using a single album to curate photos from a trip or experience. It works online and via the Android and iOS Google Photos apps. As as a 'Google Apps for Education' user you have unlimited storage.

Google Photos can be found by clicking on the 'waffle' in the top right hand corner of any of the Google apps. Once you have started to create an album you can then choose the sharing options and choose how the album is shared and who can contribute to it.

 

Create a custom search engine to focus student research

Using Google to research can be too big at times!

Maybe you just want to give students a curated set of sources to search within. It is possible to create your own search engine that will only search within a certain set of sites or even sections of sites.

  1. Go to cse.google.com and then click on 'Sign in to Custom Search Engine'.
  2. Sign in with your school Google Apps for Education account [firstname.surname@ecolint.ch].
  3. Enter the URL of one the sites you wish to focus upon into the 'Sites to search' box.
  4. Repeat step 3 for each of the sites you want the students to search within.
  5. It is possible to include individual pages of websites, entire sites and even just sections of websites.
  6. Give your search engine a name and then click 'Create'.
  7. You now have a couple of options:
    1. You can get a link to visit your custom search engine's search box on its own individual webpage (this link could easily be shared with students).
    2. You can embed your custom search engine's search box into a webpage (of your own website, your departmental website or a section of ICT Nations - if you wish)
  8. It is possible to go back and edit the sites your custom search engine search uses etc.
  9. You can create as many custom search engines as your wish - so you could have ones for different projects or even different year groups.

Example

The following search engine could be used to focus student research upon climate change. It only searches the following: ed.ted.comun.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-changeclimate.nasa.gov and theguardian.com/environment/climate-change. You can use the custom search engine below or at this webpage.

Having a file in multiple Google Drive folders

In Google Drive it is possible to 'add selected items to an additional folder'. This means that you can have a file in more than one folder. You are not duplicating the file - you are just putting access to it in more than one place.

The process:

  1. Select the file you would like to have in more than one folder.
  2. Move the file to one of the folders you want to keep it in. Do this by 'right-clicking' on the file and then choosing 'Move to'. You then need to choose the desired folder.
  1. Now go and find the file you have moved in the folder you have moved it to.
  2. Select the file by clicking  (left-clicking) on it.
  3. Press Shift+Z to show this window:
  1. Then click the folder to which you would like to add the file. You are not copying the file. You are just adding access to the file to an additional folder.
  2. Done.

Other keyboard shortcuts for Google Drive on the web can be found

here

.

Forcing students to make a copy of a Google Document, Sheet or Slide

You have produced a Google Document, Sheet or Slide and you want the students to make a copy of it so that they work upon their own copy.

You can share the document with the students - with the students only having the right to view the document and then ask them to go to File and then Make a Copy. However this is a multi-step process for the students.

An easier way is to share an edited link with the students that forces them to create a copy.

Firstly get the sharing link for the document - as you are sharing from one domain (@ecolint.ch) to another (@learning.ecolint.ch) setting it to 'Anybody who has the link can view' is the easiest approach.

The link will look something like this:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13aPUn-TLSdnaBp7UYyo5jlwGu8MDauD-ta9pWGkKD6c

/edit?usp=sharing

You need to remove everything after the final

/

and replace it with

copy

- for example:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13aPUn-TLSdnaBp7UYyo5jlwGu8MDauD-ta9pWGkKD6c

/copy

You can share this with the students via email, ManageBac or your website.

If the student clicks on the new link and is not logged into their Google Apps for Education account it will ask them to do so.

A journey through Search

The following steps may help you guide students (or staff) through various search skills.

Tip: ensure that you are all using the same Google domain - either google.co.uk or google.fr. Using google.com geographically localize to the Google domain of the country you are in. 

  1. Search: hurricane - how many results are there?
  2. Search: hurricane katrina - how many results are there?
  3. Search: "hurricane katrina" - how many results are there?
  4. Choose the top result - why is it Wikipedia?
  5. Ctrl+F or Cmd+F to search the webpage for: landfall
  6. Ctrl+F or Cmd+F to search the webpage for: cost
  7. Search: $108 in CHF - this converts $ to CHF for you.
  8. Search: define:hurricane - explore the 'Translations, word origin, and more definitions'.
  9. Search: filetype:pdf hurricane katrina
  10. Search: site:theguardian.com hurricane katrina
  11. Search: site:youtube.com hurricane katrina
  12. Search "hurricane katrina" - then click 'Search tools' > explore the possible time brackets you can put on the publish date of the digital content.
  13. Search "hurricane katrina" - then click Images, then click 'Search tools' > explore the Size and Usage rights.