Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Google Expeditions - virtual reality to explore the world - resources and instructions

Google Expeditions is a virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world — get up close with historical landmarks, dive underwater with sharks, even visit outer space!

Built for the classroom and small group use, Google Expeditions allows a teacher acting as a “guide” to lead classroom-sized groups of “explorers” through collections of 360° and 3D images while pointing out interesting sights along the way.

There are over 500 expeditions available with more being developed all the time, and you can even sign up make your own! Students can explore the Great Barrier Reef, International Space Station, Mars, major museums and almost anywhere on our planet.

Here are some basic setup instructions. You can buy kits from EdTech resellers.

Basic Setup Instructions:

Power on Teacher Tablet

Sign in with a G Suite for Education account that was set up for the device (recommend not using personal or teacher account for this. Ask your Google Admin to setup a new account just for this purpose)
Get the App - it can be pushed out by the Google Admin, or you can go the Play Store and install it yourself. https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/7374369

Make sure the student devices have the Expeditions app as well

Click on the Expeditions App and select “Lead” https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/6335098

Select lessons to download https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/7271183

Power up and setup Router - make sure all devices are connected to it

On the Teacher tablet, click on the Expeditions app and tap the Play button on the expedition you would like to sent to the student devices https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/6335098

The students should have the device on and opened to the Expeditions app.

Put the student device in the viewer

And you are off on a wild adventure

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

New tablets for Education - comparing the new Acer Chromebook Tab 10 and the new Apple iPad

Last week had two interesting announcements for EDU - a new iPad and the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 tablet. There have been a lot of different reactions from the two, but most reactions were very positive towards the Chromebook Tab and very "meh" to the new iPad. Here are my thoughts and some articles that were posted about them.

I've used iPads and Chromebooks, as well as managing them in the education space. I've been using a Chromebook Tab 10 for over a week now and here are my thoughts and comparisons:

  1. Management and Deployment - Apple still hasn't gotten this right. Chromebooks, including the new Tab 10, are the easiest devices to deploy and manage. iPads are not easy and require 3rd party tools. This means less headaches, work and cost for school IT departments. 
  2. Price - $329 for the Tab 10 includes the stylus, which docks into the tablet and does not need charging. The $299 iPad doesn't include the stylus and there is no where to dock it. In addition, the Apple Pencil (and Crayon stylus) require charging. With the Apple Pencil, the iPad is now $388 ($348 with crayon stylus). 
  3. Specs - display is the same, Tab 10 has 4GB of RAM and iPad only has 2GB; Tab 10 has a microSD card slot, nothing for iPad; processors are both hi end and optimized for their platforms; both have 32GB onboard storage; Tab 10, and G Suite, have unlimited G Drive storage, iPad comes with 200GB of iCloud storage; similar battery life and dimensions; similar cameras and sensors.
  4. Stylus - similar performance and latency, but Tab 10 includes a garaged stylus, while Apple Pencil is extra ($89) and not garaged. 
  5. Apps
    1. Chromebook Tab 10 has G Suite, Chrome Apps and Android apps, as well as a full desktop browser for true web surfing (and still supports Flash)
    2. iPad - iOS apps and a mobile browser

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 D651N - overview design - Large

And don't forget that Professional Development and well designed curriculum and lessons are the really important thing.

The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is easier to deploy and manage, less expensive with a stylus, and can do pretty much anything.


Airtame - wireless streaming with enterprise level controls

Airtame dongle

Airtame is an HDMI device that plugs into a display or projector and allows you to wirelessly display to that device. You can share your screen from any device, on any platform. It includes full screen mirroring on Mac, iOS (Airplay), Windows, Chrome and Linux. They are partnered with many other companies, including Google, Trello, Zoho and more to setup dashboards.

It is very easy to use, but also provides enterprise controls and analytics from a cloud dashboard, providing better security and control than similar consumer devices.

Cloud interface

Some of the things that make Airtame different than other solutions:
  • Cross platform access. With Airtame full screen mirroring is possible from all major platforms. It is compatible with devices running Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, or even iOS and Android devices.
  • The Cloud platform adds the unique value to the product among other similar products, on the market. With Airtame Cloud you can manage all your Airtames from the Cloud.
  • True screen mirroring. Compared to different solutions it provides full screen mirroring, instead of streaming singular content to a bigger screen. 
  • You can share one computer screen to multiple Airtames. This is a perfect solution especially for large auditoriums or meeting rooms using more than one display screen.
  • There is also a digital signage solution for when an Airtame is not in use. You have an option to set a dashboard, website, slideshow, or custom image. You decide what’s displayed when you’re not streaming.
  • There also have an option of Pin Code Connect, type in a 4-digit pin code to start a stream. This way users from another room can’t interrupt your stream and you won’t stream to the wrong screen by accident.
For more information or to setup a demo:


CK-12 Certified Educator Program is back! Great program from a great resource

CK-12 is one of my favorite resources for educators. They have digital, interactive textbooks, practice assessments, simulations, virtual labs, study aids, concept maps, adaptive practice and more, for almost every subject and grade level. And it's all free! And works on all platforms. 

They recently announced that they have brought back their CK-12 Certified Educator Program, which is also free. 

This program helps you learn how you can utilize CK-12 to help you personalize learning, engage students, assign work, and track progress. It also gives you a deeper understanding of all of the resources CK-12 has to offer and how you can customize the content to meet the needs of your students.

CK-12's Certified Educator Program will take place during July 2018, with a variety of live sessions offered multiple times a day between July 9 and July 20.

The live sessions will teach you about all of CK-12's resources to get you prepared for the upcoming school year. Register today and they will send you more information about the program in the coming weeks.

Take a look and see how CK-12 can help you help your students. 


More about CK-12 and their excellent resources


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Android Apps for Education - work on Chromebooks and Chrome OS Tablets too!

Android Apps for Education 

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, running on smartphones and tablets. But, you can also use Android Apps on Chromebooks, including the new Chromebook Tab 10 Chrome OS tablet. Chrome and Android all in one! And don't forget about all of the Chrome Apps, Extensions and full websites Chromebooks and the Chromebook Tab can access.

Finding good apps can be hard, so here is a list of Android apps for Education to use on Chromebooks, Chromebook Tab and other Android devices.

Explore these apps and try them out in your schools. 



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