Tag Archives: Google

Guest Blog: Configuring Google Apps Content Filters to Support Anti Bullying

In this article, we will take a close look into mechanisms for content filtering available in the Google Apps platform.


This is a way for Google School Administrators to filter emails for certain words and phrases to try to alleviate certain bullying tactics through email.

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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in


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Google+ Auto Backup for desktop – Picasa and Picasa Web Albums Help

It’s now easier than ever to backup all your photos with Google+ Auto Backup, available for Windows and Mac. Automatically sync photos from your desktop computer and any time you connect a p


I have not been inclined to put all my photos on to Flikr or Picasa for some reason. But now that these are all accessible through my Google+ account and I have unlimited free storage space with under a 2048px photo I will batch upload them all after I download the product. Next, I need to organise them all.

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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in


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Google Classroom – Teacher and Student view – YouTube


This is a handy look at both views of Google Classroom.  Google obviously needs to develop their product a little more, as Roger Nixon points out, but it is coming along.

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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in


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Sign in – Google Accounts

Download a copy of your data from Google.


Supporting 17 products and counting…Bookmarks,Mail,Calendar,Contacts,Drive,Voice,Profile,Hangouts,Google+ Circles,Google+ Stream,+1s,Google+ Pages,Blogger,Messenger,YouTube,Google Photos,Google Play Books

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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in


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Technology and Self-Control – The necessary new skill

Regarding the article, “The Flight from Conversation”, I would argue against Turkle’s (2012) endorsement that, “My students tell me about an important new skill: it involves maintaining eye contact with someone while you text someone else; it’s hard, but it can be done.”  Wouldn’t the important new skill be putting the device away and paying attention to the person with whom you are making eye contact?

Image representing Google Glass as depicted in...

But things get worse (better?).  Right now smart phone devices are only handheld; however, Google is planning to release Google Glass to the public in 2014.  Jeff Utecht just said last week at the ECIS 2013 conference that some students at Singapore American School already have it.  Wow.  Cool.  Really?

As educators, Utecht points out we need to ask ourselves, “How is this Google Glass device and ones like it going to change the way I do things in my classroom?”  Our natural responses to most new technologies is to ban it.  However, will this be the best solution for something that is so powerful and will continue to change the way we do business in school.  How do we ban something that eventually doesn’t look like Google glass, but only like a pair of reading glasses?  This will happen as technologies get smaller and smaller.  How do we ban technologies when they are planted directly into humans and are interfacing with the brain?  Utecht posits this to be around the corner as well.

How do we start to work towards this future?

Googleable and Not Googleable

As an educator, starting Monday, if you are not doing this already, stop teaching the stuff that is “Googleable” (McIntosh, 2013), “Wikipediaable”, “Wolfram-Alphaable”, “Khan Academyable”, “Youtubeable”, and “MOOCable”.  As McIntosh explains in the previous link, put a board on your wall in the classroom: “Googleable” and “Not Googleable” questions.  When students ask the former type of question, ask them to write the inquiry down on a sticky note and post it on that board.  Inform the student they need to find that answer and come back to the class with the response.  This is where the iPhone 5Ss, Galaxy S4s, HTC Ones, and dare I say, Google Glasses will come in handy.  We, as educators, can have students use these devices to our advantage.  For the other types of questions, the “Not Googleables”, let’s write those questions down too, post them on the wall, and delve into them.  They are deep.  They need conversation, guidance, and debate. 

However, I digress, the article was about the dystopian future, like the one illustrated in the movie Wall-e.  We are becoming disconnected in real life as we become connected to the ‘people cloud’.  If you have ever watched Star-Trek, we are becoming the Borg – lifeless, robot-like humans, who are getting assimilated into “the hive”.
So the bigger question is “how do we battle this?”
I would argue that my job description in the near future will turn from “tech integrator” to “tech disintegrator”.  We are adopting and adapting technology at an exponential rate.  We need to step back and start having talks about “How much is too much?” and “How do we manage these devices and the disconnections they are creating in everyday life?”  We need to model real-life connection when we are in life.  We also might need to start calling a spade a spade.  By this, I mean, we need to ask our colleagues, friends, family, and lovers to put down the device and be with us.  At the same time, we need to be ready to do the same when someone says this to us.
I love the ideas that Turkle puts forth, which are “At home, we can create sacred spaces: the kitchen, the dining room. We can make our cars “device-free zones.” We can demonstrate the value of conversation to our children. And we can do the same thing at work. There we are so busy communicating that we often don’t have time to talk to one another about what really matters. Employees asked for casual Fridays; perhaps managers should introduce conversational Thursdays.”
For those with less will-power, we can start by putting limits for ourselves on devices and internet.
Try scheduling your router:
For controlling kids devices, try something like this:
To lock your Samsung Galaxy S4 at certain times:
We shouldn’t need this, but some of us do.  This brings me back to my original argument, which was that the new skill is not learning how to make eye contact while testing to someone else, but it is having the will-power to put the device away while you are with your loved ones, your family, your friends, your colleagues, and having the courage to put it away when you are only with your self.
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Education, Technology


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Connecting around the world (within Timezones)

One of the projects on the back of my mind for our school is to buddy different classes or grades with “sister school” throughout the world.  Where this most often becomes is through technology, authentic needs and projects, and through meeting synchronously at the same time.  To alleviate this last worry, I was examining the idea to limit the schools we would connect with to those within our own timezone (for now).

Time Zones

Time Zones

This would mean that we could still get a cross-cultural feel for how things are in different parts of the world, but never have mix-ups or hiccups because of timing.  I can envision it now:

“Ok, great.  We’ll Skype with your class at 2pm then.”

“Wait, 2pm your time or mine?”

“Oh, ours.”

“Oh, we will already be gone home.”

This preplanning could fix all of this hassle down the road.  Because I am in Istanbul, this gives me a wide gamut of places and schools to consider, for example, Finland, Kiev, Bucharest, Cairo, Lubumbashi, Pretoria, Cape Town, and the list goes on.

Asynchronous conversations would end this worry and could be done through ideas like: Edmodo, Wikis, Blogging, Google Docs, Twitter, Twijector, and more.  However, there is definitely something about connecting in real-time.   I am excited about the idea and will comment further about the progress and the new problems we may face.


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Doing a Masters or Doctorate? Tools you need

Are you planning to take more schooling, like a Master’s degree or a PhD, or are you already enrolled?  If either of these is the case, I highly recommend you invest in ALL of these tools and I will explain why.

  1. Dropbox or Google Drive Both are FREE! – First thing you do not want to do is lose any or all of your documents, readings, discussion posts and replies, or assignments.  In order to do this, you should create an online area where your files can be stored.  This means that you create an account, download a small program and move your files to this folder.  Many people are worried that this means the files will look different or they won’t be able to reach them if the internet is down – Wrong!  The files look and act exactly the same.  They are housed on your computer and BACKED UP on the internet in “the cloud”.  This means that if your computer or flash drive breaks down, which they often do, you do not need to worry because you can download the program on another computer and login.  All your files will download to that device, open, and react exactly like you are used to them doing.  Just remember to write your login and password where you will remember it.  
  2. Mendeley FREE for 2GB of cloud space! (Costs after that, but you won’t likely use it all) – Time to organize your documents and retrieve or search through them easily.
    -Did I mention it was DRAG and DROP?
    -Did I mention it auto-generates your citations and bibliographies with a plug-in in Word?

    WATCH VIDEOS or Get guide here:

    [Read my more detailed directions about Mendeley at the bottom of this article]

  3. Perrla for APA or MLA ($34.95 USD) – 


    Perrla will generate citations in APA and MLA, but use it to set the proper margins, headers, title pages, spacing, and so much more.  They auto set tables and figures in APA proper formatting.  When you read the APA (and I am sure the MLA, but I haven’t read it) manual you find these details are very tedious and time-consuming to apply.  Perrla guides you through 200+ citation types and explains every detail along the way – if you want to know more about what is happening with your Mendeley citations or how to do those weird, super esoteric ones.  

  4. SPSS (Approx. $90 USD) – You’re going to need to do some data crunching and analysis, even if you think, “No, I will just do a qualitative dissertation or thesis.”  Nonetheless, you will probably end up doing some predictive analytics after you gather all of your interview and case study material.  SPSS is one of the most widely used statistics softwares.  It is relatively cheap, is relatively simple to use (when you know what you are doing – Watch some Youtube videos about the specific types of analysis you plan to do and type “SPSS” in the search), and it is versatile.  
  5. Atlas.ti (Approx $99 USD – with Student ID) – If you are going to delve into qualitative research, this is the cheaper way to go and still has almost all the functionality of Nvivo.  It allows you to analyze and find patterns in documents, recordings, PDFs, quotes, and memos.  From there you can code, organize, develop nodes, and visually represent your data in many unassuming forms.  
  6. Evernote FREE! – Get started with this early! Use it to embed and tag articles, websites, clippings and even import text through Livescribe pen scanning ($69.95+).  Search through every item you have collected to realize information you have accumulated for your comprehensive exams and your dissertations.  It is an excellent and necessary way to stay organized.
  7. Free Natural Reader (PC) or Speech (MAC) Both are FREE! – When you are ready to turn in an assignment or submit a discussion post, you need to review it.  The best way to do this is to hear it out loud.  On a PC, there is no software built-in so the Natural Reader is an awesome download you need to get.  Macs have an advantage in this area because they have this built-in.  Go to the APPLE (in the top left corner), go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES, a dialogue box will appear, go to SPEECH, check “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”, SET KEY (I would choose OPTION + S) – Highlight some text and try out either of these options to hear it read back to you.  You will notice mistakes so much easier.
  8. Harzing’s Publish or Perish FREE! – If you need to find the seminal articles written around a 
    Harzing's Publish or Perish

    Harzing’s Publish or Perish

    subject, this is the software for you.  Search for any subject and voilà, you have found the most cited, the highest ranked, the number of citations of the article per year, and more.  Download this into Windows or a parallel system that enables Windows on a Mac, like Parallels ($79.99 USD).  

  9. Windows and Microsoft Word for Windows – The reason I recommend using the Windows environment for post-graduate work is because many of the products listed above work naturally in this operating system.  I also enjoy that Microsoft Word on PC allows for click editing of words to bold, italicize, underline and change other attributes without moving your cursor all the way to the menu bar across the top.  Plus, if you opt not to buy Perrla, which I highly recommend that you do, Word on a PC has more up-to-date APA and MLA citations.

Bookmark these sites:

  1. Crossref – If you are using APA 6, you need to find DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers).  This website allows you to reverse look up journal articles and sites to find if there is one available.
  2. – You are going to need to use ‘the other word’ often.  When writing a paper, Microsoft Word has a bult in thesaurus, but offers, furnishes, grants, and presents more and better options.
  3. Smartthinking – I hope your school offers this services free of charge.  They have online tutoring, essay submission and editing, APA editing, math help and so much more.  It is awesome but I just examined the pricing – not so cheap.  It depends upon what you need, so have a look.  Well worth it for major essay editing help.
  4. Turnitin – Again, I hope that your University uses this service.  To make sure that you are not plagiarizing, this site locates all the information that turns up from other sources.  Remember, as a rule, your essays should not have more than 20% of other people’s work.  After submitting an assignment, Turnitin highlights areas and determines where it has come from.  Your profs may use it.  You should too!

If you have other software, hardware, websites, or tricks that you use, please tell me in the comments.  Finally, remember to thank me in your Dedication. Good luck with everything.

Mendeley details:

  1. Create an account
  2. Download the desktop version – install
    • Drag and Drop your downloaded PDF articles into the Mendeley interface
    • IMPORTANT – Double check newly imported article’s details are correct – 80% – 90% reliable – be especially careful that the DOI didn’t get truncated because of a forward slash: /
      • (This will add completely different details for articles with the other DOI number)
      • If you lose the article because of incorrect DOI auto-fill – search “Recently Added”
    • Ensure correct “Type” is chosen (e.g. Journal Article, Thesis, Book)
      • For chapters of a book, select “Book Section”
    • IMPORTANT – “Sync” often (2 GB of free space in cloud – paid for extra space: ability to install Mendeley on multiple computers and keep up-to-date)
    • Create Folders with terms that are useful (e.g. Dissertations, Recommendations, Case studies) – drag and drop articles into folder
    • Add notes where applicable to articles
    • TIME SAVER – Have notes tab open and click through “My library” articles to quickly see notes you have written
    • RECOMMENDATION – Use Stars to delineate articles that are 3 years or newer for easy reference
      • In “My Library” “All Documents”, click “Year” header to sort column
      • Star all documents that are within the 3 year date range – deselect others
    • RECOMMENDATION – Use Green / Grey dots to delineate which articles have been cited in dissertation or paper
    • TIME SAVER – With article open and selected, click “Contents” to jump to areas in articles
    • Search to get an overview of where this query can be found in every article
      • Double click an article to open it in a new tab
  3. Download the Mendeley plug-in for Microsoft Word – install
    • Find Mendeley auto-references under “References” tab
      • Click to insert –> Type name of first author of document
      • If needed, type into reference in paper to edit –> Select “Keep Manual Edit”
    • Insert Bibliography into paper (Note – this auto-updates upon insertion of new reference)
  4. Yay!!

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