Saturday, June 27, 2015

The new Training Center: professional development by and for educators

Reblogged from Google for Education

Editor's note: Twenty thousand educators from around the world will share ideas, tips, and trends for the upcoming year when they gather at ISTE, one of the largest education technology conferences in the world. If you’ll be in Philadelphia, come visit us in the Expo Hall at #1808. You can learn more about the new Training Center and check out any of over 50 short sessions that will share more ways to engage and inspire students.

Technology can transform education, but only when it enables and supports amazing educators. Effective professional development is thus a crucial part of creating real positive change and preparing students for the future. For this reason, we’re proud to introduce the new Google for Education Training Center, a free, interactive, online platform that helps educators apply Google’s tools in the classroom and beyond. 



Professional development has long been a challenge for educators and administrators. A 2015 survey by the American Federation of Teachers found that the "adoption of new initiatives without proper training or professional development" was the primary reason for workplace stress, with 71% of respondents citing it. This is why we worked closely alongside educators to design professional development tools that fit the needs of their peers.

“We didn’t need another help center with how-to articles; we needed to start where teachers start, with learning objectives, classroom tasks and teaching strategies,” said Jay Atwood, EdTech coordinator at Singapore American School and project lead for the Training Center’s lesson creation. “With the new Training Center, we do just that.”

The Training Center provides interactive lessons with a practical classroom focus, allowing educators and administrators to customize their learning paths by choosing fundamental or advanced courses. Each course is organized around three themes: 



Educators can access different units and lessons in any order they prefer. After completing either the fundamentals or advanced course, educators can then distinguish themselves as Google Certified Educators, Level 1 or Level 2.

The lessons support different skill sets, grade levels, content specialties, capacities and interests. “I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about Google, but in each session I learned something new,” says Carla Jones, a teacher at Cook Elementary School in Chicago, IL who previewed the Training Center content. “I learned tips and strategies that I could immediately use in my classroom, and each session got me super excited about how to make my classroom more tech integrated.”

Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third largest school district in the United States with more than 600 schools and 400,000 students, worked with Google for Education as a launch partner for the new Training Center. CPS will use the Training Center as an integral part of its technology professional development program, and teachers’ time spent on Training Center courses will count toward their professional development hours.

“The new Google for Education Training Center empowers teachers to drive their own learning and track their progress,” says Donna Rom├ín, EdTech instructional specialist at CPS. “It combines differentiated content, flexible pace and application with the collaborative magic of Google Apps for Education in a supportive learning environment.”

The Training Center reflects what we value most about education, focusing on the process of learning rather than the tools themselves. “The Training Center was carefully designed around good pedagogy and instructional practices,” explains Mark Hammons, EdTech coordinator at the Fresno County Office of Education and a contributor to the platform. “Not only will teachers learn how to use Google Apps, but they will also learn how to apply them meaningfully in the classroom.”

To learn more about the Training Center, visit g.co/edutrainingcenter and try out a lesson or two.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Undo Send for Gmail on the web

Reblogged from Google Apps

Previously a popular feature in Gmail Labs, and recently added to Inbox by Gmail

today we’re adding 'Undo Send' as a formal setting in Gmail on the web. 

'Undo Send' allows people using Gmail to cancel a sent mail if they have second thoughts 
immediately after sending. The feature is turned off by default for those not currently using 
the Labs version, and can be enabled from the General tab in Gmail settings.
undo-send.png
People currently using the Labs version of 'Undo Send' will have the setting turned on by 
default at launch.

Release track:
Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks

For more information:
Help Center

Friday, June 19, 2015

Your Google companion await you this Ramadan

Reblogged from Google

Today, more than a billion people around the world begin observing the holy month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn to sunset, gathering with families and loved ones for meals, laughs and stories. 

Growing up, the best part about Ramadan was eating way too much lentil soup with my family and catching up on the latest episode of our favorite series, "Bab Al-Hara." Today, living more than 1900 miles away from my family, I rely on technology to get close with them during Ramadan. Whether it’s sharing moments on Hangouts, my sister sending me pictures of the iftar spread of the day, or receiving an avalanche of recipes from my mother for me to save and try out, technology helps us stay connected and celebrate Ramadan together even when away. 

In fact, technology helps more than 200 million Muslims living away from their families connect and share moments with loved ones. People look to Maps to navigate traffic and make it home from work for Iftar, download Google Play apps to plan their day around the sunset and sunrise, and look up Ramadan opening hours of their favorite local shops and restaurants.



To help you get the most out of Ramadan, we've launched My Ramadan Companion (g.co/Ramadan), which gives you customized and locally relevant information, tips, and other content highlighting the richness of what the web can offer during Ramadan around you. You can find out the sunset time in your location and plan your day accordingly, check out the traffic in your area, navigate to the closest charity Iftar, find and share recipes, and enjoy Ramadan content on YouTube ranging from drama series and comedy sketches and health tips to stay fit during the 30 days of fasting.


Depending on your location, Google Now will show you a range of relevant cards with popular YouTube videos, latest Ramadan news and information, and recommendations for apps that alert you to wake up for Suhur, enable you to design greeting cards for Ramadan to share with the family, find Halal restaurants around you, and countdown to Iftar time. 

With My Ramadan Companion, we hope we can help you take care of the little things, so you can focus on the big things. Ramadan Kareem! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Insert images into Google Sheets when offline

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

We’re making it easier for your employees to work on the go—and without Internet access—in Google Sheets on the web. With this launch, people can now insert images into Sheets even when they’re not online, provided they’re working in Chrome and have turned on offline access. Those images will be synced once the person gets back online. Try it out in Google Sheets today.

Release track:
Scheduled release and Rapid release