April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Google’s new Talk to Books: Semantic search for book and idea discovery

I am truly excited about sharing this new approach to search!  Imagine if you had the power to ask authors across time and disciplines your most burning questions or for their best advice.  Now you can. This week TED curator Chris Anderson and futurist Ray Kurzweil introduced Talk to Books. The feature was developed by a Google Research team […]

Google’s new Talk to Books: Semantic search for book and idea discovery

I am truly excited about sharing this new approach to search!  Imagine if you had the power to ask authors across time and disciplines your most burning questions or for their best advice.  Now you can. This week TED curator Chris Anderson and futurist Ray Kurzweil introduced Talk to Books. The feature was developed by a Google Research team […]

Google: On knowing where to start

We all search Google. But I am not sure if we’re always sure of the most effective place to begin our Google searches.  The basic and familiar search box may not be the only one and it may not be the smartest place to begin. Among the Google options are Books, Images, News, Newspapers and […]

Google Docs and Drive Add-ons for CC0 images

If you use Google Docs and Slides to create and communicate, you may be interested in how easy it now is to incorporate free, copyright-friendly images into your projects without having to leave your document to search for them. I was surprised to discover my very favorite image portals were available in the form of […]

Thinking about Google Arts and Culture’s “Is your portrait in a museum?”

You may remember that the Google Arts and Culture App was selected as an AASL Best App for 2017. The app’s new “Is your portrait in a museum?” feature uses facial recognition to connect your own selected selfie to a Google Arts and Culture doppelganger, a look-alike from among its millions of collected portraits. Introduced quietly […]

Librarians Use “Ready to Code” Grants, Learn From Each Other

Librarians from across the country are helping ALA create a toolkit of coding resources.

A true gift from SHEG: DIY digital literacy assessments and tools for historical thinking

You may remember Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) for its groundbreaking and utterly depressing report, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning. In the November 2016 Executive Summary, the researchers shared: When thousands of students respond to dozens of tasks there are endless variations. That was certainly the case in our experience. However, at each level—middle […]

A custom solution: Creating a Google Custom Search Engine

How do we keep our kids focused in their free Web searches while we ensure their discovery of the stuff we know is worthy of discovering?  A Google Custom Search Engine could be the answer. A Google Custom search (or CSE) allows you to guide searchers to the sites you want them to search or […]

Google launches Applied Digital Skills

Need a little inspiration and seeking to add a little fun to middle, high school, college, PD or independent technology learning as this school year opens? Google just launched Applied Digital Skills, designed to help your students succeed online and prepare for their careers.  The program includes free lesson plans and digital skills videos designed for […]

Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship | Tech Tidbits

Teacher librarian Phil Goerner offers tips and tools for keeping up-to-date on the resources needed to teach students about Internet safety and digital citizenship.

Google AutoDraw

What Auto-Tune does for singers, Google’s AutoDraw AI experiment now does for those of us with limited visual talent. I’ve just discovered this handy tool and considering its power in demonstrating AI, as well as its affordances for so many everyday tasks. AutoDraw got its start as Quick Draw  a Google game/experiment in which when you drew on your […]

Nine Chrome Extensions (and a Google Add-On) too good to miss

Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve become particularly fond of a few Chrome tools that I consider too good to miss.  These would be handy across the board, but especially in Google Classroom and Chromebook environments. Here’s a rundown of nine of my favorite discoveries in no particular order: 1. Google Keep is […]

ALA, Google Seek Libraries to Apply for Coding Pilot this Summer

Is your library ready to code? The American Library Association and Google want you. Here’s what you need to know about applying for the $500K pilot launching this summer.

More News from ALA Annual 2017:

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The New Google Earth | Picture of the Week

SLJ got a demo of the new Google Earth, released today, April 18, at an unveiling held at New York’s Whitney Museum.

Google Launches Toontastic 3D, an App for Telling Animated Stories

Unlike other tools that focus on the technical aspects of filmmaking, Toontastic 3D emphasizes storytelling, according to Google, which released the free app for Android and iOS devices today.

New York Libraries To Offer Wi-Fi Hotspots to Needy Students

New York City Schools partners with the city’s three library systems, Google, and Sprint to bring free, year-long Wi-Fi service to households without it.

Migrating from G+ Hangouts on Air to YouTube Live (Thanks, Nikki!)

I was in a serious panic a few nights back when I discovered my go-to strategy for meeting and sharing with my classes and hosting and archiving guest visits was kind of (but not really) going away. Hangouts on Air was so, so easy to use. So when the news that Hangouts On Air was […]

Happier sharing: Google Chromecast (2nd gen) and Cast for Education

I experienced a bit of gadget lust this weekend. Visiting my daughter and her boyfriend in Boston, I tried out Google’s 2nd generation Chromecast tool. Available for a modest $35, Google’s cute little device plugs easily into the HDMI port on your TV and allows you to stream media from your mobile device or your laptop or […]

Gboard: Don’t know how I lived without it

I am a bit mobile keyboard challenged. While I type like a maniac, I’m what anyone would call a slow texter.  I have trouble with tasks others find simple–finding the perfect emoji, as well as basics like copying and pasting.  So, for me Gboard is a major keyboard shift. Last week, the Official Google Blog […]

Google Slides Q&A and the laser pointer

When you are presenting or teaching, it helps to know what your audience is thinking.  A little while back I gathered a little round-up of interactive presentation tools. This week, Google Slides announced a very handy new feature. Slides Q & A allows presenters to accept questions and vote them up or down during a […]