Monday, March 14, 2016

March 2016 #ELLEdTech Chat: Google: Do You Love It, Hate It, or Ignore It?

Is Google evil or just everywhere?  I remember when the company introduced its search engine.  Up until then, I had used Yahoo, or Yahooligans with my younger students. AskJeeves was also great because kids could just type a regular question into the search bar and not worry about using key words or Boolean logic.  Then, not long after that, a colleague told me about Google’s search engine and I decided I had to check it out.  It took only a short while to get used to it and once I did, I was converted and have never looked back. 

My Google (Non-Search) History
But Google is so much more than a search engine.  I used several programs in my teaching: I used Sketch Up with a few of my 8th grade boys, but I didn’t really know what to do with it in my ESL Social Studies classes so that didn’t get very far.  I used Google Translate to communicate with the parents of some of my students. I liked Google Earth and used it a fair amount in my teaching even though it was very slow to load.  Outside of teaching, I used to use Google Maps but now I’ve gone back to MapQuest because I don’t like the new version.  Obviously, I also use Blogger – and have been using it since before it was acquired by Google.  I’m not really an early adopter so it took a while but eventually I created a Gmail account, too.  Of course, YouTube also gets a pretty good amount of my attention, too!  You can read about the history of Google and when various programs began here; I thought it was interesting to see how the company has evolved.

Google Apps for Education
Why am I bothering to relate all this history?  Because the second #ELLEdChat is all about using Google Apps for Education!  But I have to confess that for various reasons, which I’ll try to go into during the chat session, I didn’t use them very much.  So I am really looking forward to learning more how educators today incorporate them into their teaching.  On the other hand, Laurah, my co-host from TPT store Tools for Teachers by Laurah J, is a Google Certified Education Trainer so I’m sure she will have lots of great ideas.

Whether you use Google apps every day in a 1:1 classroom, share a set of Chromebooks with other classes, occasionally use Google Docs or Slides with students, or just wonder what the heck is all the fuss about and how does Google Drive work – you will probably find something of interest on March 20th at 7pm Eastern when we discuss how teachers are using Google Apps in Education today.  And who knows -- you might just change your answer to the question I posed in the title of this blog post.  :-)

Join the #ELLEdTech Twitter chat on March 20, 2016 at 7pm Eastern
Join us on March 20th for the 2nd #ELLEdTech Twitter chat!
Schedule and Questions
7:00 = Tell us your name, location, level and subject taught #EllEdTech
7:05 = Q1: How many of you are currently using Google Apps with ELLs? #EllEdTech
7:13 = Q2: Which Google tools are you currently using with your ELLs? #EllEdTech
7:21 = Q3: How are you using these tools to support language growth? #EllEdTech
7:29 = Q4: What benefits do you see from using Google Apps with ELLs? #EllEdTech
7:37 = Q5: What advice do you have for teachers just starting to use Google Apps with their ELLs? #EllEdTech

Directions for Joining the Chat
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.
4. Starting at 7:05, @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.
7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurl, bitly, or to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet. If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.

Is this your first Twitter chat? Here are our rules:

1. Please stay on topic.
2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked.
3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.
4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!
5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.
6. When responding to someone, please be sure to "mention" them by including their Twitter handle.
7. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, teachers, school staff, administrators--may see what you tweet.)

You are welcome to let any of your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us know about this Twitter chat. We can't wait to chat with you on Sunday evening!

Can't make it to the chat? Check out the archives to see what you missed!