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Beyond Google Apps

Don't get me wrong, I love Google Apps for Education.  Seriously, this is me and Google Apps:
However, sometimes they don't quite go far enough and lack features that modern, connected educators demand.

Coggle

Note-taking on a Google Doc is just fine, but does not go very far beyond writing notes with paper and pen.  Some students find it easier to organise their notes in a more non-linear form, which is where mind-mapping comes in.


Students can sign-up to Coggle using their Edmonds Google account and get started with a more engaging form of note-taking and planning.  Some may struggle with the concept initially, which is where a lesson on how (and why) to mind map may come in handy.  There is a great guide here from Tony Buzan.

Classroom Example:  English students can plan essays using a mind map to connect their ideas about different concepts (theme, character, imagery, etc.), and organise textual evidence.  Science students can use a mind map of the scientific method to complete throughout an experiment, and quickly fill-in their ideas as they work.

Bunkr

Google Slides is great, but often the embedding of content can be clumsy and limited.  Bunkr allows you to embed content from a wide variety of sources -- audio, video, code, charts, social media feeds -- to make your presentations not only more interesting, but more interactive.


Click above for a quick example of some of the content that Bunkr can pull into your slideshow.  (Side note: If anyone can explain Coub to me, I'll be in the comments.)

Classroom Example: Teachers can use Twitter as a backchannel in class, so students can ask and answer questions on their own devices.  The Twitter feed can be displayed live in a Bunkr slide, alongside other content relevant to the lesson.

Infogram

You've probably seen those long, vertical images online that show a lot of facts and figures in an interesting and engaging manner.  Wouldn't it be great if students could use those for class reports?  Now they can with Infogram.  They can enter data in manually, or connect it to their Google account to pull data from Google Sheets and Google Forms.

Some features have to be paid for, but there is plenty of functionality in the free version for students to really let their creativity fly with what otherwise can be some very dry information.

Classroom Example:  Social Studies students can use infographics to compare populations, immigration numbers, and other cultural statistics.  Infogram will allow them to better visually represent the data using maps, images, and a wider range of graphs than Google Slides.




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