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August 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

PostHeaderIcon EasyBib & Google Addons

 

Easybib Icon

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1yePTHL

EasyBib is a great app and it has recently been included in Google Docs Addons.  Addons are a recent addition to Google Docs and a great one.  I can only assume that more addons will be added in the future.  Students can easily add their citations in their papers with the add on.  The addon allows students to stay in the same window.  You are able to achieve a lot with the free version.  The paid version gives you more options including taking notes.  Though I will review Evernote very soon and I am starting to prefer this to noodletools and other notetaking sites.

Citation is the bread and butter of librarianship along with research.  Anything to make the process easier for students is key for me.  Bibliographies and giving credit is a big problem for students.  It is imperative for us, as teacher librarians, to instill in students an understanding of digital ownership.  If we are going to go to Google Images use creativecommons.org.  Okay, I am off my soapbox.

EasyBib is an app that takes the wonderful free citation creator website and repackages it as an app.  You can keep track of your bibliography and email it to yourself and it is even easier with the addon.  It is very easy to use on an iPad because you can save to the app and access later if you are logged in.  Three styles are included on the site: MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian (however to use all the types you have to pay).  (From Appstore: Create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Build and manage your works cited. Once done, email your citations and then export your citations to EasyBib.com’s popular bibliography management service.)  The scanning of the barcode is exciting to me.  It is also a GoogleApp.  Your Google Administrator can add it to your Google Apps account.  The App is free and has MLA styling.  

There are, of course, other options out there including:  Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) Citation Maker

 

PostHeaderIcon Google Forms @ Lib

Google Forms Library EditionVery quickly during my first year at the middle school level I discovered the need to automate the pass system.  In the past study hall teachers gave permission for a few students to come during each period.  This was problematic because I was transitioning the library into a learning commons model.  I wanted and still want to create self-directed learners and all students would need access to the library by their own choice.  Putting the power into the hands of the students continues to be important to me.

Google Sign Up

This is how students sign into the computer.

Although students do forget to sign up for the library there are still ways for them to gain access.  They can get a project pass (from the teacher they have a project with) or come on a ten minute pass to get a book.  All students go into the google spreadsheet which is accessible from the library website to anyone (staff and student alike).

I have around 150-200 students coming to the library every day during various periods.  Mistakes do happen and occasionally a student’s name is missed on the morning list.  I do require that students sign-up by 7:20 in the morning in order for me to aggregate the data for the coming day.  It is amazing how many students sign up at 7:19!  I have looked at other programs to sign up students but currently Google Forms is the best.  My only complaint would be that I cannot cut off the number that sign up for a given period.  I have tried to use the script for course registration that is in Google Scripts but it does not function correctly.  If there are any javascript experts out there please comment.  I have limited space for the students but thus far the numbers work.

As you can see the Google Spreadsheet the students come in to cross their name out is not the same as the spreadsheet created with a Google Form.  I do have to create an additional spreadsheet.  However, once it is created the entire sorting process in the morning takes at most 10 minutes.  I have even done it in five on a busy morning (what morning is not busy :))  I can see the revision history so if any funny business goes on it is easily viewable.  I can access the spreadsheet from any computer or device.

The form itself can be viewed here and it is embedded into my website.  The students can add this link to their devices and can sign up in the library.  One of my catalog computers has been turned into a sign up machines/catalog.  Most students use that computer to sign up.  I am working on getting the students to use it beyond the library.  Interestingly I did see a student the other day signing up in their study halls.  That was great…I want students to be self-sufficient.

PostHeaderIcon Google Shortcuts

Becoming a Google Wizard - All the Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts you need to know

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1oxx0c1

Google Shortcuts (PDF)

Google has created lots of shortcuts to help us search more effectively.  It has also included a research tool within Google Docs that has me giddy with glee.  It can autocite resources using MLA, Chicago, and APA.

Although it is not entirely accurate it is a good first step in trying to help students remember to source.  All of the information needed to source the information appears within the document once a cite button is pressed within the Research Window.

Above you will see the PDF I created on some of the shortcuts and helpful hits that I have come across in the past few months.  I thought I would share it with everyone.

Searching Do’s:

  1. Do Search by Reading Level
  2. Do clarify your image search by color, size, type, etc.
  3. Do Autocite citations and information using the Research Bar in Docs
  4. Do search by a Translated Language this will give students the opportunity to see other perspectives on a topic
  5. Do search for an image using an already saved image! (No more forgetting to cite images!)
  6. Do search Full-text of Books and utilize portions of books you have not purchased

Google Shortcuts:

  • Filetype:
  • Time
  • Weather
  • Define:
  • Translate
  • allintext:
  • allintitle:
  • ~ = Related Search Terms
  • phonebook:
  • bphonebook:
  • inurl:
  • daterange:
  • movie:
  • view:timeline
  • cache:website address
  • site:

PostHeaderIcon Apple vs. Android

Apple Logo vs. Android Logo

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1m8XIpY

So I was reading a blog that did a nice job laying out public opinion on the Apple vs. Android discussion.  Should schools get iPads or Android Tablets?  Which is the best solution?

One of the big concerns with Apple is the way they are marketing the iPad.  Users seems to be looking for a netbook replacement.  They want to be able to hook in their peripherals.  They want USB, HDMI, & SD Card ports, not to mention the limits of Google Apps on iPads.  Android allows users to use Flash and other popular tools.  Though with the transition to HTML5, maybe Flash will not be such a big deal in the future.

I do wonder if jumping on the tablet band wagon is necessary….could education wait until the price goes down?  Are there cheaper options such as the Nook Color adding Android accessibility options?   Companies are rushing to come out with the next solution.  Is the first solution the best?  Should schools even be buying these things when students can bring them in to school to use on a wireless network?  Not all students have these tools…so buy a few instead of for all students.  Cellphones are quickly replacing laptops for simple and general computing.  Things change every day…I look forward to the next advance with interest.

Another user notes the ease in which Google makes app creation.  In the Google App Inventor, users can easily create apps.  This is ideal for students.  However, Apple caters to education and has a variety of educational apps.  Android needs to catch up to be a threat in that field.

To create an iPad, iTouch app there are a few more steps.

“First start by joining Apple’s iPad Dev Program ($99).  With your membership you will get iPhone SDK with Xcode, interface builder, ipad simulator, sample codes, video guides, forum, and performance analyzer.  Download and install the latest version of the iPhone SDK. Note, you will also need a MAC or  Mac Mini with the freshest Snow Leopard installed in order to run it. If you cannot afford a MAc. you may try to develop on a Hackintosh PC. Here is a tutorial on building a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard, no hacking required that might help you in your project.  There are some great places with tutorials and guides or forums to ask for help from other developers: Apple Dev Forum
What will you choose?  Will your choose?  Take a look at your needs and reasons and then decide.

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