Using Google Apps to Foster Global Collaborations #globaled10

I was honored to present for the Global Education Conference today. Here are the slides I shared and the accompanying links. The archive of the webinar will be posted soon at

These are the links I shared during the webinar today.

Places to look for Global Collaborations:

List of Educators on Twitter:
Add your name to the list:

Educators who attended the Webinar and are looking for Global Collaborations:
Add your name to the list:

Additional Resources:

2010 Global Education Conference Session

The 2010 Global Education Conference will be held November 15 – 19, 2010, online and free.

“The conference is a collaborative and world-wide community effort to significantly increase opportunities for globally-connecting education activities and initiatives.”

There is no formal registration required for the conference, as all the sessions will be open and public.  All sessions will be held in the Elluminate platform, will be broadcast live, and will be available in recorded formats afterwards.

There is an amazing list of sessions available.

These sessions are categorized by Tracks:

  • Teacher Track
  • Student Track
  • Curricular Track
  • Policy and Leadership Track
  • Global Issues Track

I am slated to present…

TITLE: Using Google Apps to Foster Global Collaborations

PRESENTER: Lisa Thumann, CMSCE, Rutgers University (USA)
FORMAT: Presentation
SHORT DESCRIPTION: One of the most effective ways to get students collaborating with each other is to use tools that are easily accessible. If the tools are browser agnostic, have no demand for installations or updates, and are intuitive, the collaboration is more likely to be effective. Together, let’s look at Google Forms, Docs and Sites as a suite of tools to facilitate and foster Global collaborations.
TRACK: Teacher

This is an invaluable opportunity for professional development. Please follow the hashtag #GlobalEd10 to stay informed.

Many thanks go to Steve Hargadon, Lucy Gray and the Advisory Board

Steve Hargadon

Lucy Gray

International Educator Advisory Board

Have you looked at Google Docs lately?

Every time I turn around they’ve added a new feature to Google Docs. It’s tough to keep up, I know. I subscribe to the Google Docs Blog, which is quite helpful.

Allow me to bring you up to speed on some of the latest additions/improvements:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Have you seen what they’ve added to the Drawing features in Google since it first came out? You need to take a look! There is so much more flexibility and so many more shapes to pick from. You can also now create your own custom filled shapes.

Picture 4
Image Source:

Thursday, October 12, 2009

You can now share an entire folder. Apparently this was the most requested new feature. Just put all the documents you want to share into the folder and then share it with your Collaborators.

Image Source:

Also on this same day, Google announced that you could upload more than one document at a time. I thought this was great. Especially when bringing new teachers into Google Docs. So you want to convert all your science PowerPoints to Google Presentations?? You can now do it all in one batch. Simply click on Upload –> Select files to upload –> Select destination folder –> Start Upload. It’s that simple.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I guess after making it so simple to upload all your documents, Google decided it was time to make it simple to download your documents as well. I was excited when I read about this as I needed to remove some of my older Google Docs, yet wasn’t quite ready to part with them. This option really works for me.

You can now download your Google Docs in MS Office or Open Office Formats or as PDFs (up to 500mb at a time) in a zipped file. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the files you want to download by checking them
  2. Click on More Actions (on the right of the Google Docs screen)
  3. Click on Export
  4. If you are exporting a lot, you can select the option to have Google e-mail you when the export is done. Otherwise, you can just wait and then either Save or Open the Zipped file.

Some other features you may consider checking out:

  • The Equation Editor –> Click on Insert – Equation
  • Language Tools –> Tools – Translate document
  • Formatting –> Insert – Page break

Tech Forum Take Aways

“Technology needs to be like oxygen. Ubiquitous, necessary and invisible.”

Chris Lehmann, Principal, Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia.

TFNY09 002

Chris was the Keynote Speaker at Tech Forum yesterday in Palisades, NY and set the tone for a fantastic day. The day from my perspective was really all about how to push ourselves and our colleagues for change. The day was not about tools or technology. The technology was in the background.

Building School 2.0: Creating The Schools We Need was the title of Chris’s Keynote presentation. He spoke not about the 1 to 1 laptop initiative in his school, but the driving questions that the teachers used. He spoke about how the teachers worked as a community and that the students ultimately did to. He also stressed the idea that our students learn best when it mattered to them and that they needed to be  engaged and empowered.

As I was listening to Chris speak, looking at the images that he projected, and typing some notes, I also was Tweeting a few things. I opened up a column in Tweetdeck for  #TFNY09 and there were quite a few folks in the room that were also Tweeting. It was great to see what was catching their attention and participating in that backchannel.

Next I went to the Walking the Walk panel discussion with Kim Carter, Mary Moss, Alissa Berger and Chris Lehmann. Each panelist spoke on how they started schools from scratch.  My biggest take-away was when the last panelist, Kim, said “You can’t empower kids if you don’t empower adults. We must have PLCs in schools.” It was good to hear not of assessment and tangible needs.

From there I headed to the Roundtable discussion I was co-hosting. Dana Lawit, Robin Newman and I spoke with a room of about 30 educators on the topic of Social/Academic/Professional networks for students and teachers. We had a Plan A, B and C going in to the room not knowing our participants, but in the end, it turned out that the group really wanted to talk about using social networks with students. Here’s a link to the Google doc we put together.

The last full session of the day for me was Making it Happen: How Our Imaginations Can Give Us The Schools We Want with Patrick Higgins.
He divided the group by the question we chose to answer:

  1. Who are the students you want leaving your classroom every day?
  2. What do you hope they know how to do with what they’ve learned?
  3. What do you hope they care about?

Ultimately, each of the formed groups was challenged to answer the following question:

What does it mean to be well-educated in today’s world?

  • To be flexible and agile
  • Be able to collaborate and communicate with other
  • have a foundation of math and reading literacy along with cultural and global awareness
  • Collaborative. To know certain things, and to be able to find out certain things.
  • To be able to navigate information to create your own knowledge.
  • Have a broad knowledge base, knowing how we learn, adaptable, flexible

This was the best place for me to have ended my day. Patrick defined “literacy” as what you need to know to do the things that matter to you. So simple. Yet such a great definition.

Remember, change begins with you.

Thanks @tombarrett for the “Interesting Ways To Use” Series

I’ve been meaning to collect these awesome Google Presentations all in one place. I actually was talking about it with the group of teachers I was working with yesterday as I shared the Google Docs presentation with them. Then, this morning, I saw this Tweet from a new follower.

brownswordI new immediately what Miss Brownsword was referring to and went right to Tom Barrett’s blog where he had posted all 12 of his Interesting Ways To Use series. I had contributed to a few of them in their early stages, but I was not aware of some of the newer ones, or how lengthy some of them had gotten.

Though you can visit Tom’s blog to see these fabulous resources, you can Google them, find them in my Delicious and Diigo bookmarks, I’ve also decided to list them here. Take a look. Perhaps even contribute. (Thanks, Tom, for setting up these collaborative resources.)

21 Interesting Ways To Use Google Docs in the Classroom

42 Interesting Ways To Use Your Interactive Whiteboard in the Classroom

24 Interesting Ways To Use Google Earth in the Classroom

40 Interesting Ways To Use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom

40 Interesting Ways To Use Wordle in the Classroom

27 Interesting Ways To Use Twitter in the Classroom

10 Interesting Ways To Use a Wiki in the Classroom

13 Interesting Ways To Use a Visualizer in the Classroom

23 Interesting Ways To Use a Nintendo DS in the Classroom

34 Interesting Ways To Use Search Engines in the Classroom

17 Interesting Ways to Use Voicethread in the Classroom

5 Interesting Ways to Use Prezi in the Classroom