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The Latest in Tech, Tools and Toys for Teachers.  Lesson Plans, Classroom resources and ideas for busy teachers.  iPad Apps and Android Apps for teachers and students.

Google Slides arrives on iPad alongside other Drive upgrades

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I have written a couple of articles around the issues of using Google Apps for Education on the iPad as it has been a poor cousin to a PC or Chromebook if you are a serious Google productivity user.

Today Google went someway to improving this position by releasing slides for iOS which gives you the ability to create presentations collaboratively and syncs in well with Google Drive for iOS.

This is the first time we have seen the ability to use images in any real capacity with an iPad and Google Apps and as such it should open up a number of opportunities to be a little more creative and collaborative.

Alongside with this release we also see an upgrade to docs and sheets that now allows the ability to import Microsoft Office files and edit them on the iPad too.  This will be useful for many who are either new to Google Apps or just love MS office a little too much to let go completely.

Google Slides is now available from the App store for free and would be a must have for GAFE users who own an iPad.

COMPETITION – WIN A FREE, SIGNED BOOK!!!!

Garlic, Hankies and Hugs is a fantastic new picture story book written by Michelle C. Monaghan that celebrates cultural diversity.  I worked with Michelle a few years ago now, at a primary school in Melbourne’s south-west.  She also shares my love of technology in education but her first book focuses on something a little closer to home. 

This story is based on Michelle’s own family, and in particular, it explores one of the quirks of her Greek background.  Being a primary school teacher for over 14 years, Michelle wanted to bring a bit of fun to this story, while providing a jumping off point for discussions around culture, difference, diversity and acceptance. 

Told in rhyming verse, this picture story book would be a great addition to any classroom or child’s home library.   It is fun, informative and just a really great read. 

To purchase a copy visit www.facebook.com/GarlicHankiesandHugs or you can try your luck in our competition to win your very own signed copy.

For your chance to win a FREE signed copy simply follow the simple steps below:

1>     LIKE the official Garlic, Hankies and Hugs page www.facebook.com/GarlicHankiesandHugs

2>     Find the EdGalaxy competition post and leave a comment guessing what the ‘C’ in Michelle C. Monaghan stands for – be as creative as you’d like.

Keep your fingers crossed as one EDGALAXY winner will be drawn on Tuesday 30th September 2014.  Good luck!!!

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

·         Entries close at 11:59pm on 29/9/14 (GMT) One winner will be drawn on 30/9/14.

·         Entries are limited to one, per person. 

·         One winner will be announced and contacted via Facebook and asked to provide a postal address and name (if they would like the book personalised). 

·         Winners have five working days to provide this information or another winner will be drawn. 

·         The judge’s decision is final.

All standard postage costs will be covered for the winner. 

Create Animated GIFS in seconds direct from YouTube

Although incredibly popular in the nineties animated GIF's seemed to disappear from the web for a lengthy period of time once YouTube hit the scene.  But they are back with a vengeance of late.

For the uninitiated an animated GIF is just an image that plays like a short movie up to 10 seconds long.  (See demo on left.)

The process of making an animated GIF used to be time consuming and difficult but now it cannot get much simpler.

gifyoutube.com will convert any YouTube clip in to an animated Gif in seconds with just a few keystrokes.  All you need to do is visit your YouTube clip you want and then add GIF to the start of the web address such as this http://gifyoutube.com/yourmovie and you will be transported to the GIF editor.

Alternately you can just visit gifyoutube.com and go from there.

Either way it's plenty of fun and doesn't get much easier than this.  Your students may wish to crate some animated GIF's to place in presentations or websites and this is just the tool for it.

Google Classroom opens its doors to all teachers today.

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As of now Google Classroom is available to all Google Apps for Education (GAFE) users.

Classroom is a tool within the GAFE that allows teachers to set up different classes, set projects, assign homework to groups and grade them all within a single space.  Classroom also records student grades and progress.  It should be a worthwhile assessment tool once you have begun using it with your students for a couple of months.

Remember, what you are using at the moment is essentially Classroom 1.0 and as such it is quite limited in it's functionality and flexibility, but so was everything in Google Apps when it was first released and Google have certainly demonstrated a commitment to upgrade and enhance their products continually.

It will take you all of about 2 minutes to set up your class and get cooking so all I can suggest is give it a shot and see where it takes you.  You certainly won't be wasting your time fro my brief encounter with it so far.

Here are a couple of resources and links to get you started and I'd love to hear about your experiences thus far.