CR-48: The Google Chromebook

My daughters wanted to know what was in the box when we opened it on April 14, but I knew immediately what it was. I had been hoping since I had filled out the form for the pilot program, that I might receive a Chromebook

I’m sure you will agree that there’s nothing like unboxing a new computer. They’re so clean and pretty and they are a blank canvas.

Usually, the first thing that I do with a new laptop is install my must have apps like Skype and Tweetdeck. But the only installs on this laptop were going to be Chrome Apps. I knew I wanted to take it with me to the NJECC meeting the following day, so I spent about 30 minutes checking out a few things making sure it was ready to go.

      1. Turn it on.
      2. Take a picture using it’s camera for your profile
      3. Log in using your Google Account
      4. Select a Theme
      5. You are ready to go!

The next day at the meeting, I had some more time to look into things. (Yes, I was multitasking.) I found Tweedeck and Diigo in the Chrome Apps store. I also realized there was no way to take a screenshot from the keyboard, so I installed a screenshot app as well.

I am happy to report that after 2 hours of heavy browsing, I still had 74 % battery life. Even after an additional hour, I still had 62% power remaining, but the meeting was over, so I shut down. One of the benefits to the CR-48 that I found out in the following days, was the built-in 100mb of Verizon 3G per month. I realize that this is not a lot, but to have this available at no extra charge during the 2-year pilot, was awesome. (You can purchase additional data.)

So, just over a month later, news has come out that Google will be leasing out these computers. You can read about it here. There is some skepticism about this hardware that you can read about here and here, but on the whole, reviews have been positive and helpful.

I’m enjoying it and so are the other four users that have accounts on it.

Have you tried Google Cloud Print?

Source: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com

So perhaps I’m a little behind, but when I was in Australia a couple of weeks ago at the GTASYD someone mentioned something called Google Cloud Print.

On my home network, I have been having a problem getting my Win7 laptop to print over my wireless network. Not having read the FAQs for Google Cloud Print, I thought it might be an easy solution. The bad news is that after reading a post about it on the Google Mobile Blog, I learned that this application only works on mobile devices, so it will not work from my Win7 laptop.

The good news is that it will work from my:

Who needs the Win7 laptop at this point anyway? Really!

If you have a mobile device such as the ones listed above, or an iPhone, consider adding Google Cloud Print to your list of tools. All you will need to do is alter some settings, in Chrome, on the computer that is attached to your printer. Follow the directions here and you’ll be able to print form the Cloud.

Get Your Google Earth Going

There are so many innovative ways to use Google Earth with your students. Some of these may be familiar to you, but hopefully some are new and will help you improve upon a unit with your students.

Some of the educators behind these amazing projects are Thomas Cooper, Jerome Burg and Carol LaRow

Google Lit Trips
Each trip is an interactive multimedia experience created using Google Earth and stored as a KMZ file. (Although they may sound complex, KMZ files that run Google Earth are relatively easy to create and navigate.) Following Burg’s lead, teachers and students are creating their own virtual literary trips and sharing them with the online community.

Investigating Earthquakes Using Real Time Data
Students learn to how to integrate the use of real-time web-based technology in trying to solve a problem earthquakes cause scientists every day, earthquake forecasting.

Google Historical Voyages and Events
This site is dedicated to the explorers, voyages, events, and historical backgrounds of countries throughout the World. We’d like to hear about famous explorers who surveyed or traveled through your community long ago. Perhaps you’d like to tell us about historical events that shaped your locale or region. You may wish to report about a catastrophic event in your area. Or, you may want to tell us how your community was founded, its historical background, early settlers. Every community, every town, every country has a past, and we’d like to hear about yours.

Real World Math
This site is all about using Google Earth in the math classroom. Within this site you will find lesson ideas, examples, and downloads for mathematics that embrace active learning, constructivism, and project-based learning

Sally Ride Science Content for Google Earth
Take an educational tour through the universe beyond our own solar system with this preview of “It’s Astronomical!”, a series of books created and published by Sally Ride Science. Sally Ride Science is dedicated to fueling girls’ and boys’ interests in science, math and technology.

Google Earth Lessons
This site includes some how-to’s and lessons for your students in science, geography and math.

Google Earth Classroom Resources
From the folks at Google: popular methods to implement Google Earth in the classroom for a variety of subjects.

GoAPES Wiki
Thomas Cooper lists here the many collaborative Google Earth projects he has worked on with his students over the last few years.

I hope you find one or more of these projects and ideas helpful. I’m sure I missed many, so feel free to leave a comment with a link.

The Next Google Teacher Academy – Sydney, Australia

Image Source: http://momoge.com

Google has announced the next Google Teacher Academy.

This time, they will be hosting the resource and networking packed day at the Sydney, Australia offices at 5/48 Pirrama Road

“The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.”

Event Date: Thursday, March 10th (with an optional half day unconference on March 11th)

Application Deadline: 11:59 PM PST (UTC/GMT -8) on 27 January 2011

Applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been accepted on or before 18 February 2010.

SPECIAL NOTES:

Please read through all the requirements and directions BEFORE completing the application.
Educators worldwide may apply, but must pay for their own travel and lodging.
Previous Google Certified Teachers are not eligible.

Good luck to all those that apply!!

Who Owns Your Data?

I have been reviewing many questions recently about storing data in the Cloud. With so many districts moving to Google Apps I decided to put together some resources on data ownership and privacy. I hope you find this helpful:

Who owns the data that organizations put into Google Apps?

Resource: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106876

  1. Google won’t share your data with others except as noted in their Privacy Policy.
  2. They keep your data as long as you require them to keep it.
  3. You should be able to take your data with you if you choose to use external services in conjunction with Google Apps or stop using our services altogether.

The best tool for taking your data with you is Google’s Data Liberation Front at http://www.dataliberation.org/. You can even use this tool to export all of your Google Docs out of your personal Google Account and import them into your school Apps account.

Security and Privacy – FAQ’s

Resource: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60762

In Google’s Security Whitepaper, they cover, in detail, some of the issues we find ourselves talking about with Administrators and even Board of Education members before we can utilize Google Apps. Some of these issues include:

  • Google corporate security policies
  • Systems development and maintenance
  • Regulatory compliance

Google Apps is a technology platform schools can trust

Resource: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/privacy.html

Here you will find the following:

  • Google complies with applicable US privacy law, and the Google Apps Terms of Service can specifically detail their obligations and compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations.
  • They offer Google Apps Education Edition to schools for free. It’s also completely ad-free — which means your school’s content is not processed by Google’s advertising systems.
  • To reduce exploit risks, each Google server is custom-built with only the necessary software components, and the homogeneous server architecture enables rapid updates and configuration changes across the entire network when necessary.

I’m hoping folks will find this information useful as they field questions from their colleagues and possibly even parents of the students they work with.

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