In this UsingTechnologyBetter Show, we talk about about what is new in the world of Google. Below you will find the recording of the video and the show notes. If you would like to receive an email invite to our next UsingTechnologyBetter Show click HERE.
0:03:03 Google released a number of updates to Google Drive
0:06:12 Changes to Google Drive Space costs
0:07:03 Editing word Documents natively in Chrome OS
0:08:22 Does this allow us to merge cells in Tables in Word Doc through Google?
0:09:26 Why suggested Changes in Google Doc will be great for secondary and tertiary students
0:12:07 New wearable technology and the Moto 360
0:15:11 Google is releasing a new Design Language which will change the way all their products will look
0:18:17 Chromecast Advantages and Updates
0:22:05 Google Classroom demonstration
0:31:22 Is Google classroom a Learning Management System? (LMS)
0:37:04 Google+ Premium Release has some great benefits to schools
0:39:56 An introduction the the Using Technology Better Conference
0:44:03 Adrian Francis’ Strand for Using Technology Better Conference
0:46:48 Samantha Vardanega’s Strand for Using Technology Better Conference
0:49:19 Blake Seufert Strand for Using Technology Better Conference
0:51:35 Annie Parker Strand for Using Technology Better Conference
0:54:12 Mike Reading Strand for Using Technology Better Conference
LINKS FROM THE SHOW:
New stuff from google IO:
Moto 360: https://moto360.motorola.com/
New design coming to all Google products called “Material Design”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8TXgCzxEnw
Chromecast update with android mirroring and other interesting features:http://www.droid-life.com/2014/06/25/chromecast-getting-android-device-mirroring-and-more/
The latest Google Apps Update Newsletter from Google
Mike: Hi everyone. Welcome to today’s Using Technology Better Show. And today is a great day for a Hangout on Google and how we can better use Google to motivate and engage your students.
I don’t know if you’ve seen on social media and maybe across your emails. You might have seen a whole lot of updates that have just been released by Google. And I don’t know if it’s good luck or good fortune or just really good planning, but we got a whole lot of Google Certified Teachers and Trainers on the call today. And so we’re going to go through some of those new releases and have a little bit of a chat about them.
And we’ve also got a really special announcement for you towards the end of the show. So we’d love you to stick around and be a part of that as well. We do have a doc that you can work with us in. And feel free to ask your questions and collaborate with other teachers on there.
If you go to bit.ly/usingtechbetter2 that will take you through to that doc. And you’ll be able to contribute there. So as always, I’ve got my co-host today. Blake, how are you mate?
Blake: Yes. Good, Mike. Good, just surviving the freezing winter down here in Melbourne. Things are going well. I think there’s some good snow on the mountain. So I look forward to that. But yes, of course welcome everyone. This is the show where technology and pedagogy collide. And as Mike has said, there is a ton of news to come out sort of a Google I/O overnight.
For those who don’t know what that is, that’s a tech conference in San Francisco whereby Google often launch new things and talk to developers. And it’s certainly an exciting time for Google products. So I’m going to dive into those in a minute. But we also have some other guests with us today, Adrian Francis who’s a great friend of ours, he’s been on a few times from Concordia.
Adrian: Greetings. How are we?
Blake: Going well mate, going well. And we have Samantha as well, Sam V. So she’s from Simplify Solutions. And maybe you just want to introduce yourself Sam, your work with Monash and what you’ve been up to.
Samantha: Yes, sure. Thanks, Blake. So, hi everyone. I’m glad to be here for the first time. So as Blake mentioned, I’m doing some consulting at Simply Solutions now. My background is in tertiary education actually with Google Apps at Monash University. And I finished up there about 12 months ago and have been working with other educational institutions since to spread the Google love further. So that’s exciting for me.
Blake: Yes, awesome. And Sam and Adrian are part of our sort of big announcement coming later on this afternoon. So let’s jump straight in. What I’m going to do is share my screen and just go through some of the new stuff that’s been coming out of Google I/O overnight.
Let’s see. So huge updates to Google Drive is the first one. There’re new plans being released, new order and admin controls for it. And the big thing is this unlimited plan. So if you ever hit your limit in Google Drive which is pretty hard to do, for ten dollars a month you make it unlimited. And they said they’ll take files up to five terabytes in size which is just enormous.
So there’s been different stuff going on there with Drive. I think there must be, I don’t know, trying to compete with SkyDrive a little bit and other companies are just lowering their process. So, good stuff there.
Also now Word Docs can be edited from Chrome, Chrome OS. So rather than you having to convert into a Google Doc, it’s just edited. So that’s not available yet. I haven’t seen that. I believe, Adrian, you’ve got the new Drive on your account. So I think you’d be able later on if you’re interested.
So other things coming out of that, obviously Chrome and Chrome OS getting all those updates as well. And Google Docs is getting a suggestion feature. I’m sure we can all see that. But now when we’re editing a document, if I select some she’ll make a change up in the top right here. There’s an Editing or Suggesting option.
So I can say Edits Become Suggestions. I click on that. And I make it change here. And then we can see on the side, it says that we want to replace this. And then if people agree and we tick that, it actually makes that edit happen.
So that’s a great way to sort of collaborate on a document rather than everyone writing out of the top of each other and trying to get it through Revision History. You just make suggestions, which is really cool.
And the third option there is just to view, read or print the final document. So that’s just sort of a View Only, what it’s going to look like when you’re finished, so really interesting stuff. I mean I don’t think that’s stuff people have been asking for. That’s just why we sort of love Google is that they go and do things above and beyond and surprises with things that we didn’t even know we needed. So that’s good.
Apart from that we’ve had these heaps of other announcements around Chrome OS, so what the operating system that Chromebook’s from and now going to be able to run certain Android apps. So this opens the door to all sorts of things. One of the things they demoed on the stage was using Vine which is sort of an Instagram app now using a webcam in the laptop and just taking a photo or a quick video and making it into something.
So we’re probably going to see a lot of video editing apps and things that Chromebook’s typically not being excellent at being imported across for the Chromebook. And just that’s going to change everything. I mean I don’t know what the rest of you guys think about it. But certainly from my perspective, thinking about running Android apps like Instagram and all these sort of other apps on your Chromebook is really going to make Chromebook a super platform. At least that’s how I see it.
Mike: That’s cool, right. Let’s go back and run through a couple of those for a second before we move on. With the Drive space, so it’s just ten bucks up to ten – you don’t have the stage plan anymore? Do you know about that?
Mike: You had to pay two dollars and get up to one hundred gigabyte and so on.
Blake: So I do that. At the moment I have all my photos backed up on a Google Drive, my personal photos. And I think that I pay ten dollars a month for a terabyte. And now that will turn into ten dollars a month for unlimited. So I’m pretty happy with that. It just opens the options up if you want to back things up. Suddenly it’s not really a barrier anymore to do it on Google Drive where it’s accessible everywhere in any device. It’s just it’s a big plus.
Mike: Yes. That’s. And that’s affordable. I guess QuickTime – no, QuickTime. Quickoffice is now being wrapped up and put into that. I would see edit Word Documents online in Chrome OS now. So that’s a great one, hey.
Blake: Yes. So I think the big thing with that is – I mean Quickoffice was a strategic purchase for them. And they said well let’s buy Quickoffice because we can’t use Word Docs. So we don’t have to deal with those. And this is a sat there for a while and was difficult to use. And now they just rolled it all into one.
So if you get an email with a Word Doc, you can just click on that Word Doc and edit it. It’s pretty awesome. Yes. And also they added an interesting feature which when you email a Google Doc, if you’re emailing it to someone who doesn’t have a Google account, you can actually email it as a Word Doc just straight out. So I don’t know how that’s going to work. But yes, that’s interesting. They announced that on stage this morning. So I had that chance to look into that.
Mike: Yes, that’s cool. So Adrian, what do you reckon about that update? I mean your school uses 365 and just Google Apps at the same time.
Mike: Does that sort of – I know you guys are looking towards you to make a decision one way or the other. Does that sort of help that decision? Or what’s your initial thought?
Adrian: I think it will. I’m sitting here at the moment editing a Word Doc in Google. And it seems to be working fine. It doesn’t quite like the Tables. I just grabbed an assignment from year ten science on Isaac Newton. But anything else seems to work really well.
Mike: Can you show me that, Adrian?
Adrian: Actually it’s on another computer.
Adrian: I’ll get it set up and I’ll let you know.
Mike: Yes, maybe a bit later on. That’s fine.
Mike: Yes. So it still doesn’t solve the Tables problem right?
Adrian: Let me just see.
MIke: People are screaming everywhere and no, come on, give me Tables.
Adrian: It’s not too bad. As long as the Table is being brought in from Word, because I’ve got a merged cell here, let’s see if it likes that.
Adrian: Oh, it does. It does. It fits from being a merged cell in. There you go.
Blake: Well, that’s exciting. They’re just going to fix it in Google Docs now. That’s the problem.
Blake: And it used to work in Google Docs. It’s a strange one.
Mike: What’s your thought, Sam? Have you had a look at it, had a bit of a play? Have you got any opinion on this?
Sam: Yes. Yes, I do. The massive one for me is actually the Suggested Changes feature in Docs because that I’m in a tertiary environment. And that was a huge thing that I would always get asked is I’m not happy using Google Docs because the Revision History doesn’t – it’s not enough for me. People in that sort of sector are very pedantic about changes and what people do to their Document.
So to me it’s just we’ve just eliminated these huge barrier now because there were so many people that wouldn’t use Drive. You wouldn’t use Docs because they didn’t have that. And now that problem is solved. So I’m really excited about that feature. It’s going to be a real game changer I think.
Mike: Yes. That’s cool. I wonder if add-ons like track changes will become less attractive in terms of an add-ons feature.
Sam: Yes. You think so. Logically you think so, wouldn’t you?
Mike: Track changes works half the time and not the other half of the time. So if it’s more stable, that’s a good thing right?
Sam: Yes, totally.
Mike: That’s cool. Hey Blake, there’s a question in the Q&A in the Hangout here. By the way guys if you’ve got a question and you want to use the Q&A app running inside Hangouts, then please do that. But it’s just saying when did you think it’s going to roll out for the schools? Was there any talk about schedule to Rapid Release around?
Blake: Yes. Yes, absolutely. So this is one of the ones that’s coming out now. So this is Rapid Release. So the only thing to watch there is whoever’s administrating your domain, so whoever looks after your domain will have to have it setup for Rapid Release.
If you’re on a scheduled release, there’ll be push back by a few months just to give administrators time to communicate the change. We run a Rapid Release here just because of the nature of what we love to do and be on the cutting edge. So we just got it straight away. And this morning I logged in and there it was. So yes, for the schools that are on just log out, log back in, you should have it.
Mike: Yes. And if you want to change to Rapid Release in the Admin panel, how do you do that?
Blake: You need to go to your Google Apps. I think it’s under Profile. I have to double check mate.
Mike: It’s under Profile. I put you on the spot. It’s under Profile, right? So go to your Profile tab and it’s underneath that.
Blake: Yes. And you get a Rapid Release. Thanks for that, Mike. I appreciate that, Mike.
Mike: That’s cool.
Blake: Yes. So that’s sort of the stuff with Drive. I might just roll onto a few other interesting topics probably a little bit left of field, maybe not so education related. But there’s some interesting stuff happening around these wearables. I don’t know if any of you heard about wearables.
Blake: Yes? So that’s been a big push from a Google sort of new thing. We want to have wearables everywhere. And this is this thing called the Moto 360 which I’m super excited about. So it’s sort of an extension of your Android phone.
So for those who are using Android can sort of get – obviously it tells the time and it does a few other things. But you can talk to it and it’ll show you directions. You can get the weather on it. Yes. It’ll show you what messages, SMS’ you’ve just received. It’s just – yes. It’s a pretty cool little device. 250 bucks, you can go and register now on the website if you want to receive one.
And it’s interesting. I can’t really think of a – for most new technology,. But I can’t really think of a good use case for this in the classroom. I mean maybe voice control, something. I don’t know what you guys.
Mike: Is that going to run on any Android, connect to any Android phone? Or is it going to be just the Moto phones?
Blake: Not every Android phone. So it’s built on a platform called Android Wear. And Android Wear is something Google released that any watch manufacturer or device manufacturer can run. So there’s an LG one coming out as well, the LG watch. And I think there’s another model coming in as well. But the one I’m interested in is this one because it has the circular face which I think is a big step forward. I think I mean people are going to be more willing to jump to something that looks like that. I don’t know. I think a square device that does all sorts of other things, it looks a bit overwhelming. So I don’t know. It’s going to be interesting. I think it’s the early days with it.
But I don’t really wear a watch at the moment. I mean I used to, but. I just stopped wearing a watch. And I think if there’s another reason to put a watch on, it’s probably – it creates a different environment especially if you’re in a social situation. If you get your phone out and look at it it’s quite rude, but to glance at your watch isn’t so bad. So I don’t know. It’s just some interesting social sort of impact like what it can have.
Mike: Yes. Well Tim Wicks, from think fizz – he’s a consultant. He’s got one. Samsung’s had one for a while.
Mike: And he’s got one that’s attached to his Samsung phone. And he said that’s what it’s great for. You don’t have to look rude when you’re taking your voice messages or your text messages, your chat messages.
Blake: Yes. Well this is like that on steroids. I mean the app developed can easily extend their app onto the watch. It’s really straightforward. your phone, you don’t have to install anything. So I think it’s going to be big. I think it’s going to be pretty big.
I think in about six months, we’re going to be hearing about this everywhere. So I’m looking forward to it. So the next thing is something they’ve done as well, another big thing change they’re rolling out.
And this is huge. They’re implementing a new design language for all their products. So they’re going to be really skinning everything with this thing, design language they call Material. And this is what it looks like. I don’t know. Can you guys see that okay?
Mike: No. It hasn’t come through for me though.
Sam: I’ve got it.
Blake: Yes. So this is what it looks like. And it’s probably going to scare a lot of people. It’s very minimalistic. They hide away a lot of the settings. If you look at Gmail now, there’s a lot of stuff going on. This is just Gmail. And they’re pulling this across all platforms. And they’re going to say that the mobile platform, the Google Docs and Google Apps platform, everything’s going to come together into this one look and feel.
It’s going to be very similar across mobile, tablet and desktop. And it’s interesting. It’s very interesting. I don’t know. I don’t know whether to be scared about it as an administrator. I want to be excited about it, but I don’t know. Have you guys seen this before? This is pretty shocking stuff.
Sam: Yes. You sort of. You kind of hope that there’s going to be levels of customization because it is quite clean which is awesome. But I guess everyone’s got different preferences for how clean they like it or what – if they want to have things at their fingertips. So it’d be interesting to see what kind of control comes back to the user just to customize their experience a bit.
Blake: Yes, definitely. Anything from you, Adrian?
Adrian: I think the simplified version of that looks really good. I can just see it being a lot easier. But with Sam, I’d love to be able to also customize it for myself. And I reckon kids in the classroom would want to as well. But let’s see what. It’s got to have some sort of customization in there because that’s what makes this stuff really powerful.
Blake: Yes, exactly. And I think the labs, are a the big thing. I’m sure they’re going to keep those in some way. So yes, it’d be really interesting to see how they implement it.
And I mean this is early days. It may not look like this in the end. But just the fact that they’re bringing it all together, I think it’s a positive step to make it easier across different platforms and less jarring I guess when you change devices and things. So –
Mike: Yes. everyone wants to see. You got tabs across the top if you’re not using Inbox view. And everyone wants to say I want to be able to change my Social tab and something else and you can’t do it. So it’d be nice if you could do that as well and make those a little bit customisable.
Blake: Yes. Another thing they’ve added in here as well is this. I don’t know if you can see it. It says Feedback on Request. Good or bad. They have integrated tasks a bit better? I don’t know.
Some of you may not even be aware of it. In your email, there’s a Tasks option. If you click up the top it says Mail and Contacts, you can click on Tasks. And it’s sort of a feature they’ve never really added to since. I mean we’ve had Google Apps now for four years. And it’s been the same since we got it. So it looks like they’re giving that a refresh. And they’re putting emails alongside Tasks and keeping it all in one place which certainly helps for what we’re doing in IT Support and that sort of stuff is excellent.
Mike: That’s good.
Blake: Yes. It’d be really good. I’m looking forward to that. So the last part is Chromecast. Now I noticed, Adrian, you posted the other day about this. So you unboxed one. We’ve had a couple here for a while. And our biggest thing with –
Adrian: Yes. They’re cool.
Blake: There he is. prepared one earlier.
Blake: So our biggest thing with them was great because we spent hundreds of dollars on VGA cables. And anyone who’s in that scenario with HDMI and VGA cables in classrooms know how they break constantly and you can’t rely on them. So we were looking for a wireless solution. And this seems to fit the bill.
We’ve got Chromebooks. We’ve got – everyone runs Chrome. They can cast their entire tab with Chromecast to the screen and play videos and presentations. Anything you can do inside Chrome, you can put on the projector. So from that point of view, excellent.
But the issues we had were once they set up, anyone can cast to it. And anyone can reset it up and knock it off the Wi-Fi because it’s Wi-Fi direct. So there’s a few sort of administrative hurdles. And I think this is the first step in addressing those.
So they’re saying – they announced today that you don’t even have to be on the same Wi-Fi network to cast to the screen. But rather the Chromecast itself can be set up so that it can allow certain user accounts. So it’s the user accounts and certain email addresses can cast to it. It’s been very vague, we’re not quite sure yet. But if that’s the case, it’s going to be big news for computer rooms and for anyone using interactive projectors and things like that being able to cast your screen without kids knocking you off it and all the issues that currently happen. It’s going to a big one. Now I’d love to hear if you’ve actually used this in your class Adrian.
Adrian: Yes. I used it. What’s today? Thursday, yes I used it yesterday in class. I wandered in, got up to the projector and whacked it into the back. And then we’ve got a separate Wi-Fi network for our staff. And so I was just on that one. So I just plugged into it away I went and it worked really well.
The thing that I really like about it, maybe out of the top of apple TV, was that I could – I set a question out for my math kids in class. And they had the question on the board just on one tab.
And then I went into another tab that wasn’t been shown, developed the answers. And when it got to the right time, I could just flick it over and they could see what’s going on there.
So that flexibility in a class was wonderful. It worked really, really well.
Blake: Yes. And I think they’re going to be great. And I think Google has recognized that it’s a big boon in education. There’s a big call on the market there. And I think they want to move towards having something that’s going to work in schools and be a bit more administratively happy. So yes, so I’m looking forward to that.
We’ll see what comes out of that. They’re saying late summer for that update. So that’s our winter, late winter. So yes, it should be interesting. Any thoughts on that from you, Mike or Sam?
Sam: Yes. I’ll also say the other thing I saw that was going to change too was at the moment you can’t actually cast the Chrome, the whole Chrome window from an Android device which just is quite frustrating. But they’re also going to change that so you can. So I think that’s really awesome particularly if you’ve got the kids on tablets, and you do want them to be casting or you’ve only got the tablet. It sort of eliminates that issue. So that’s a really big step I think too.
Blake: Yes, absolutely. An Android phone, so it’s like forAndroid mirroring basically. Instead of a 120 dollar Apple TV, it’s a 35 dollar Chromecast. So yes, it’s a big deal.
And the last thing I want to run through is Classroom, Google Classroom. So this has been a huge thing. I mean how much press has there been about Google Classroom over the last few weeks? It’s been massive. So we applied for our invites on day one of them announcing it. And we got our invites yesterday. So anyone who applied relatively early should be getting their invites pretty soon. And I thought I’d just show you how it works briefly. I haven’t actually created a class in it yet, but I’ve seen it happen. And someone’s created a class for me.
It was created by one of our teachers here,. And he has just basically set up a quick test for me to have a look at how it works. And I can go in and have a look at this assignment that’s been assigned to me. And I can see that this test is due today. I can put a comment in there as a kid. So it’s in the. He’s put a little announcement in here saying welcome to whatever. This is what we’re going to use.
Mike: It just went blank for me a little bit. I wasn’t sure if it went blank for everyone.
Mike: We’re back on now.
Blake: Cool. So at the top here we have the assignment that he set for me. It’s called the Test and the Open button. So I click Open. And then from there, there will be an attachment I can create here. So I need to submit this back to him. So I need to create something. I go to Google Drive. And I can select the document that I created and add it in this way.
So if I had that, it could sit in there as the submission. And then I click the button Turn In. And that’s all I have to do. I can put a comment in with it and say, hey, this is my submissions or whatever it might be.
So it’s really straightforward. But really what’s powerful about this is while I’m working on a document, say if I go back to this document I was working on, there’s a button up here you call Turn In. So it actually puts a button inside Google Docs. I can just click that button on any document. And it’ll ask me where I want to turn it in because it knows I have assignments open in Google Classroom.
So yes, pretty powerful stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing how that gets used. So that was sort of as the kid’s view. And to set up an assignment is really easy. Anyone can set up an assignment. So whether you’re a kid or a staff member, it doesn’t member. You just go to Create a Class from the plus button. Give it a name. Say –
Mike: So while you’re filling that in, any student can go and create a class did you just say?
Blake: Yes, anyone. So there’s no administrative control. It’s not like me as the system admin sets up all the classes. You have to set up the class yourself. And while you do, you can do it in a number of ways. You can see I’ve just created this class. It’s called GCT Class. We can change the photo. We can set up an announcement in here. But obviously there’s no one in here yet.
So one thing to do is give them – give kids this class code. So we can say go to Classroom and punch this code in. And we can send that to them via email or something. Or we can go to the Students tab and click Add and just select people. Just go through and start ticking people and add them in. So it’s really straightforward, really straightforward to get it going.
Mike: Are you going to – are you concerned that kids are just going to start creating class after class just to knock around and some? Have you that through? I know it’s in the early days. But –
Blake: Yes, sure. So kids can go in and create their own classes. Well for us, I mean, that’s not really a concern. What is a class? A class is just a place where they can invite people to turn in a document. That’s really all Classroom is. I mean for us that’s not a concern. I don’t see how that would be used maliciously any more than sharing a document with the school or sending a mass email out to kids. So yes, I think we’re pretty safe on that front.
Sam: Would that feature sort of be useful, Blake, if you do have the students working in small groups on a prolonged assignment or something particularly for them to sort of have that space where they can collaborate and work together given they’ve got the discussion stream in that as well? Do you think that would be a good use of the students creating classes?
Blake: It could be. It certainly raises the question of Google+ because it’s quite a similar thing. You can set a post so to speak which would be an assignment or the title and the due date, attach a resource like you would in Google+, and then people can have comments against that. So I think this is just a more directed approach. I think it’s really suited for teachers. I’m not sure how. I don’t – I wouldn’t see kids picking it up and using it. But I could be wrong about that. I could be very wrong about that too.
Certainly from my initial impressions, I think teachers are going to love it. Teachers are coming up to me using this preview and are saying it’s awesome like it’s going to change everything.
And the big thing with it is if I create an assignment here and then I set a due date here and create with a Google Doc, I still like the Google Doc that I want to use, and in the corner here we can say make a copy for each student which is similar to Hapara’s smart copy for anyone who’s used that.
The difference being once I click Assign, it’s automatic. So there’s no waiting for it to smart copy out. It gets in the kid’s inbox within a second. And they have their own copy to work on. And then that can be turned into the teacher by the due date. You can see all of that. Yes. It’s pretty awesome.
Adrian: Blake, can you – when you’ve assigned it like that, can you see what the kids are working on at any time? Or is it in their drive and they own the viewing permissions of that?
Blake: Yes. So you can’t see what they’re working on. Once you’ve assigned it, it sits there. And they can have comments. And this is all you get. You get how many have been turned in and how many haven’t been turned in.
Blake: So that’s all you get. If you’ve got 27 kids in the class, you just get a figure. And then under here you’ll see them starting to be filled out. So you’ll see Adrian Francis has submitted this. And then I can give it a mark out of a hundred, just a numerical mark. And that sends right back to the kid. I can put a comment in there as well. So yes it’s very straightforward and very directed at I think specifically teachers, primary and high school teachers.
Adrian: But if you wanted to comment and kind of help with drafting on the way through, all the kid needs to do is share it with you and you’ve got that permission.
Blake: Yes. That’s right. So Hapara is well suited for that because you can look into their drive and share the document with yourself and check how they’re going and stuff.
And the other thing this does is it groups. I can’t show you now, but it groups all the responses and set up the other class that we just looked at earlier. It groups them all into a folder for them so he can see all those replies. If he’s 27 kids, it creates a folder in his drive. And as they get turned in, it just pops them in that folder. So it’s really good for his work flow in terms of correcting. He can just save it, go to the folders at the top, work his way down inside Google Classroom and give them marks. So he absolutely– everyone who’s using it is loving it. I’ve got to tell you. It’s quite a simple premise, but it’s working really well.
Mike: I’m interested to see the feature releases that come out on that over the next year or so too.
Blake: Yes, definitely. That’s about it for me from I/O and exciting stuff. Does anyone have anything else to add to that Google Classroom? If you have questions as well and you’re watching live, just pop in the Q&A app or into the Live doc. And we’ll follow along there.
Mike: Yes. So there’s a question in here in the Q&A app. It says have anyone used Blackboard or a similar LMS? And how does that compare? I don’t know. Do any of you have any experience with Blackboard?
Sam: Yes. So we’ve used Blackboard and moodle. I think it’s naïve if we say Google Classroom’s an LMS.
I’m not – nothing against Google by any means so don’t take it that way. But an LMS is generally a lot more feature rich. But that’s why it’s also suited to something like the university environment. Google Classroom wouldn’t have any attraction in the university. But things like Blackboard are often too feature rich for school. So they’ll do a whole lot of stuff that they won’t use. And often they won’t do exactly what they want very well.
So if you’re looking for a solution that’s more than just submitting assignments and doing a little bit of commenting and Q&A, then sure maybe something like Blackboard. But as Blake’s just showing in terms of those basic features, I think it does it really, really well.
Blake: Yes, absolutely.
Mike: The guys of Blackboard sat in on my session of are now looking specifically about they could integrate Google Apps into Blackboard. So if you’re a Blackboard user, I guess maybe watch this and see what comes up from them in the next few months.
Blake: Absolutely. And I just something to add to that as well, LMS that phrase, it gets thrown around all the time. And what is an LMS?
For many schools, it’s many different things. And I think Google Classroom is a way to hand assignments in. That’s what it is. It’s a way to manage your classroom assessments and put them in somewhere where there’s a bit of context and nice workload and marking and stuff like that.
But LMS, I mean we’ve sort of gone bottom up here. I mean giving all the staff access to Google sites. They create their own site and use it how they want to use it. They can put Google Forms in there. They can use Classroom with it. And I think that’s been far more transformative in terms of staff really having ownership than what we used to have which was sort of a cobbled together LMS. And I don’t know. Anyone who’s used LMS’ will tell you it’s painful, whether it’s SharePoint or it’s Blackboard or it’s Moodle. It’s painful because there’s too much stuff in them usually. And they’re had to be managed by someone. You have to have someone in there who’s constantly working on it. And the bottom approach for us has been really good.
I’d like to see LMS as removed ultimately, I think, giving staff the power to create their own resources and put them in their own format and do what they want with it. Because what is an LMS? It is what the teacher wants it to be. And I think that’s how they should be approached. So I don’t want to rant too much, but yes.
Adrian: Look. I see Google Classroom. One of the big ticks on it is that it seems to be incredibly easy to use. So for those teachers that find it hard to adapt to something new coming in, this kind of copies what they do now automatically. The workflow can be absolutely amazing. And it could be so much easier to use. So I think that it’d be quite a good thing to do. So I can’t wait for them to get here.
Mike: Let’s go ahead. I was just thinking about all those changes that are coming out today and there’s even more. But Google+ has just lit up over the day. It’s been really hard to stay focused on my work.
But I don’t – and so I’m just seeing Apple at the moment is really struggling with their design concept. They brought out the iPad and the iPhone and it was revolutionary. And everyone was on Apple. Then they kind of tapered off and everyone’s kind of getting over them.
It seems to me like Google has just got some way of just managing to always just keep creating. Look at that, the Gmail that you sent through, that Gmail view. I mean that’s a overhaul. That’s a rethink. It’s about being simple and designed out. But it seems like there’s a real design element behind everything they’re doing at the moment.
So it’s just a real interest to me. These guys are able to just be able to stay ahead of the curve. They’re always wanting to change. I think it’s a real testimony to the culture that must just pervade through the company.
Blake: Absolutely. And I think the – a good friend of mine always says that Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is getting better at Cloud services like what Google is doing. So they’re really able to do it, aren’t they?
They give you things like some things that we ask for and other things that come out the left field and turn out to be really revolutionary. So they’re actually trying new things and interesting things. They’re not just iterating a product. And I think that’s where Apple is stuck at the moment. But it’s probably a conversation for another day, that one.
Mike: Yes. Excellent, all right. So I don’t know. Sam or Adrian, have you seen anything else being released today you want to mention quickly before we move on?
Sam: Well as you said there’s so much stuff. I’m just trying to think. Completely not related to education, I personally was so excited about the fact that – the whole concept of Android auto. So the fact that Android is going to be in a car and then I can potentially drive a car that’s going to drive behind the scenes, I just thought that was mind blowing. So – and I think it just shows that we focus on the things that Google’s doing in terms of Google Apps and the technology on that. But it goes so much further. So yes, that was my excitement for the day.
Blake: In the know, you know what’s going to happen. They’ve got Android on everything. Now they’ve got Android TV as well. They’re released today. Android everything, so it’ll be interesting to see how those things are integrated back into what we’re doing. Android TV may become something useful in a classroom down the track. So you just know. And it’s always good to keep your finger on the pulse that’s for sure. Anything from you, Adrian?
Adrian: Well I look the new look of Drive. To me, that seems to tick a few boxes for being able to track workflow a little bit better. A lot of the new incoming tabs, they can see what’s there rather than shared with me. Yes. This seems to be a bit cleaner as you showed with the outlook. The Google vision of the Google mail, the Gmail, I think this is a lot cleaner. And to me it seems to be pretty cool. Yes. And that was a five to ten minute player in during a listen. So it’s cool.
Blake: We can’t be so lucky to have access to that, Adrian. But I’m interested to see that actually.
But I think we’ll all get that in the next day or so. So that’ll be good. So apart from that, I think that’s all the sort of big tech news. There’s tons more of it. And Mike will post up a link to some of the new stuff in Drive. There’s a page and a half with the new Drive features alone. So he’ll put that in the show notes and feel free to drop through that at your own pace, put some exciting new changes in there for sure.
Mike: Yes. Well I’m – yes. We’ll put that in the show. I also noticed that this week Google+ Premium was released to everyone. So what that means for education accounts is that you can limit your post just to your domain. And you can also have the ability to hide students’ profiles from public searches. So if some – if I was a student and someone searched for Mike Reading, then my profile won’t show up. So it’s just locked down to the school domain which is pretty nice. I’m going to try and turn that feature on for me personally because I’ve got so many Google+ profiles that you can’t turn off.
Mike: And if I can hide them, I mean even that’s just going to be a good benefit for me as a teacher.
Blake: Yes, absolutely. Don’t go down the path of migrating your Google+ because I’ve done it and it was. a nightmare.
Mike: Yes. I did that months ago and it was horrible. I just didn’t like it at all.
Sam: Yes. So the other great thing with the Premium features is that it extends the Hangouts to up to 15 people. It’s just awesome.
Blake: Oh, yes. That’s awesome. They need to get that out to class size.
Sam: Yes, yes.
Blake: That’d be big.
Mike: Yes. Well that’d be cool. Yes. I’m just looking at the collaborative doc as well. There’s a question in there. What grade level did you start your students using Google Apps for education?
We’ve been – I’m just finishing up a tour of New Zealand at the moment. And in one of my sessions, there was a teacher who was teaching preschool so years three year old and four year old students. And she was getting both students onto Google Docs and Google Apps and getting them with apps and extensions.
So it was quite an interesting discussion because we had teachers who were teaching year five and now going maybe Google happened to be at a good point for them now. They’re just getting old enough. And she was just like, man you’ve got to change your mindset. You can get your students using Google at any age in a really safe way, a safe environment.
So I’d encourage you to just to start to think a little bit about how you might be able to use Google Docs even some apps and extensions to get them creating some content to get them interacting with each other. There really isn’t a limit to it. So I’m always interested in how people are pushing the boundaries a bit. And this lady was doing a fantastic job of that.
Now that’s good, excellent. Well that’s a heap of an updates. And I’m just really excited.
One of the things we wanted to do for the people who are watching this show live and also for those of you that are watching the recording later is to just let you know about a new initiative that Blake and I are going to launch in September this year. And we’re using a whole group of our friends and colleagues to really be able to try and help education move forward with the training and with the development and so on.
And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to launch a conference in the 29th and 30th of September in Sydney. And then we’re going to repeat it in Adelaide on the 2nd and 3rd of October.
So there’re two conferences in one week in two different states of Australia. And the whole idea of this conference really has been birthed I guess it just birthed out of my frustration.
I get to speak in a lot of conferences. And quite often as a presenter I’ll get to do a one hour session as an elective. And then the next lot of participants will come through and I’ll do another hour session. And then the next lot will come through and I’ll do another hour. And what I see from these conferences is that teachers get inspired but they also get overwhelmed. And as you go back through and you continue the discussions with the teachers, two weeks or month later, they really haven’t implemented anything.
And so what you have is hundreds of teachers who might go to a particular conference and a very small percentage of them implement.
And the reason is that I know what it’s like to be a teacher who’s incredibly busy. You’ve got your marking, you’ve got your classroom management, you’ve got all your school commitments. And so for you to go away and come back with all these new ideas, it’s hard to pick one to implement. And then it’s hard to find the time to create your resources to tweak the teaching programs, maybe to change your delivery methods a little bit and then take a risk. Because if it doesn’t work, then you’ve lost time and you’ve got to make that time up.
So Blake and I have been discussing this for a long time. And we’ve decided that what we’re going to do is run a conference for teachers, educators, IT professionals and IT managers and admin staff and so on.
And the conference is going to be where we come for two days. But each day you just pick one strand and you stick with that strandfor the whole day.
And so basically we’re going to have a short keynote to start. It’s not about the big star speaker in front of the room. It’s just going to be a short time in the morning to get everybody together. And then you’re going to head off into your breakout groups. And we’ve invited experts like Adrian, like Sam. And there’re a whole lot of other people who are coming. And they’re going to lead you for a whole day through one strand.
And so at the end of it, this is what we want for you. We want you to walk away with resources already created and ready to implement and a thorough understanding of the topic that you’ve chosen.
And so we’ve got a whole range of topics. It’s not just a Google Conference. It’s a Using Technology Better Conference.
So for instance we’ve got Karin coming down from Darwin. And she’s going to go storyboarding and using iPads in the classroom to engage your students.
We’ve got Tim Wicks coming. He’s a Minecraft expert. And he’s going to show you how to use Minecraft and delve into game-based learning to teach your students.
Hopefully we’ve got some guys from Microsoft who are going to come and show us their new Surface tablets and what’s happening around Office 365 and Windows 8.
And so we got someone who’s going to do Google sites as e-portfolios. But it’s not just going to be how you create a Google site. This will be understanding e-portfolios, understanding the theory behind them, why they work and then creating an e-portfolio that works.
I’m going to be running a session on the ACARA and the ICT General Capabilities and the national curriculum. So, national curriculum is on its way out. And teachers just don’t have time to unpack that national curriculum and to find out where their students are at and what their students should be doing and what their expectations are.
So I’m going to take a whole day just to unpack the national curriculum, and then look at our teaching programs and find out what we’re already doing, and then be able to just tweak our programs a little bit and come out having all those boxes ticked so that we know by the end of the year our students will meet the criteria, meet expectations. And it’s not going to be a whole lot of extra stress and effort.
So maybe Adrian, do you want to just tell us a little bit about the strand you’ve got planned for the conference?
Adrian: Yes, yes. I’d love to. Look. I don’t know about you, but the whole push is for personalized learning. I hear that kind of catch phrase being thrown around a lot. And what does that actually mean in the classroom when you’ve got a stack of kids that you’re working with?
And how do you actually tailor make a program, a learning program, that meets the needs of every kid? So in my strand, I’m going to show you how to set out some really easy automated workflows where you can assign assignments out to kids. You can track how they’re going. But more importantly, you can actually measure the outcomes of each kid individually and really easy graphically represent that on the page.
So you can see how far kids are progressing through your course, what they’re struggling with, what concepts you haven’t taught really easily, what things that you might need to revisit. So when you have your kids in your classroom, you’re actually targeting their specific needs.
It sounds a bit kind of overwhelming and big but it makes teaching incredibly easier. I can wander into a class and my kids – grab the four kids who are struggling with Concept A. Sit down with them. I don’t bore the rest of my kids. They can move on and go to the next bit. And I can target my teaching to be really specific.
And in doing it, I’m finding for me I’m spending more one on one time. And I have the kid in my classroom. So if that intrigues you and you want to come and increase your workflow and target your teaching to meet the needs of each kid in your class, then my strand is the one to come to. It’s pretty easy to do. Don’t get overwhelmed. We’ve got a lot to do with sheets and forms and a few other bits and pieces. But after a couple of hours, you’ll be flying. And you’ll be able to set up a system that assesses kids and gives them personalized feedback that’s targeted at exactly where they should be at and help somebody out instantly. So there you go.
Blake: That sounds awesome Adrian, really good. And of course you’re going to be building this stuff aren’t you with them? So you’re going to come out of this session – like if I’m going to do this session, I’m going to come out with the materials to go implement this straightaway.
Adrian: Yes. My goal is that you walk away with – one of your classes is set up to run like this and in such a way that it can be scaled so you can run it with any other class that you’re running as well.
Blake: Yes. That’s awesome, loving that.
Mike: In the next, I don’t know, one or two years differentiation of lessons and learning analytics is going to be the thing that every school has to target. It’s moving that way now. It’s happening as a worldwide movement. They want to know where the students start and where they finish at the end of the year. And they want to know what the teacher’s done to value add to those students.
And it’s not going to be in a notional kind of way. It’s going to be linked back to hard data. So the, this is the kind of strand that is really going to help you set your lessons up and set your understanding up for these changes which are coming to education over the next year or so. So I’m really excited about that strand. I think it’s going to be fantastic. Now Sam, what have you got planned?
Sam: Thanks, Mike. So my strand, I’m going to look really deep into Google+ but obviously beyond just Google+ as a tool. We’re going to focus on two areas, so the first being Google+ as a tool for formative assessment.
And I think what’s really key about that is when we’ve really explored how to use it, it can help formative assessment not being an add-on to your lesson. It’s just part of it because as you’re using the tool so much that you do, it just becomes really easy to integrate it. So what I do have too is an awesome special guest coming into my session,. So we’re going to be using the technology to actually deliver part of it. And he’s going to deliver a whole lot of theory on formative assessment for you in a fun and exciting way not the boring traditional theory way that you may suspect.
And that’s going to give us an awesome grounding for moving forward in how to apply it. And the second part, we’re going to look at connections because Google+ is a tool about connecting with people in a whole lot of different ways whether it be connecting with your students, whether it be your students staying connected to your school and the school community, or you connecting with others. And there’re so many different applications of that. And I think it’s really exciting particularly for students that may be at risk of being disconnected or if you are in a school that’s professional and you’re feeling a bit disconnected from your community. It would be ways to connect with others. So I’m really excited about that part.
And I’m really thrilled to be able to have four hours to really take people on a journey and rather than sort of getting to the end of an hour and going wow there’s so much more I wanted to share with you and I can’t because we’ve run out of time. So I think it’s a really great setup.
Blake: Yes. That sounds awesome. I’m looking forward to that especially the Hangout. That’ll be good demonstration technology. That’d be very good.
Mike: So who’s coming in via Hangout, Sam?
Sam: So we’ve got Mr. Chris Harte from John Monash Science School down here in Melbourne. So that’s really cool. So he – formative assessment is his thing. And a whole big part of Hangouts in the classroom is to bring an expert in. So I’m like, well hey let’s actually do that. So he will be joining us.
Blake: Yes. I can’t wait. It’s going to be good. And Chris has been on Hangout with us previously talking about formative assessment. And we’re just going to really turn the volume up on that. And hopefully the two of you will give everyone something to leave with.
Sam: I’m looking forward to it. It should be good.
Mike: What have you got going on, Blake?
Blake: Sorry, Mike. Yes. I’m going to be doing some stuff around Chromebooks. So we’ve done one of the biggest Chromebook rollouts in Australia, here at McKinnon.
And one of the things that we hear from a lot of schools, they’re running have 30 Chromebooks and may not be using them that well. They’re not sure how to use them. All we’re going to do is firstly just discover what it is.
We don’t have any prerequisite knowledge. We’ll go through what it is and why they’re important to education and why we sort of value and what we were trying to achieve with them and then what we have achieved with them. So that’ll be the first session.
Then we’ll go through and explore some ways that we’re using them. And we’ll sort of build up some apps and go through some stuff that works really well in the Chromebook. And once we’ve done that, then in the last session we’ll sort of look at work flow and how we can use Teacher Dashboard and other tools to keep your classroom running smoothly with Chromebooks to control them. And so about equipping you with tools that when you go back and you want to use those 30 Chromebooks you’ve got at your school whatever it may be, you have a better idea of how to use them and a better understanding of why you’d want to use them.
So yes, that’s my strand I guess.
And Mike, if I can just touch on as well, the different sort of concept to this conference. And one of the big things that I’ve noticed when we’re making time to do PD with staff is that they go in and do their PD. It may last 30 to 40 minutes or whatever it may be. And that’s all the time they really have to implement that stuff. And we want to change that.
We want people to come along and say, well, I’m not only getting information but I’m able to apply it because time is scarce. You ask any teacher what they need more of, it’s time and money as well, but mostly time they’ll say.
So yes, so that’s really the number one thing. And we also want to be there when you get stuck. I don’t want you to go back and start doing the stuff in your classroom and get stuck and then not know where to go and give up.
We want to build these resources in the class – in the conference with you. So if you get stuck, the experts are around there to help you. So yes, that’s just a little bit about sort of where we’re coming from with the conferences. And I really hope that we’re going to be – I know we’re going to be amazing with it with the great educators we’ve got on board. So who else have we got coming?
Mike: Why don’t you tell them about Annie from Code for Kids?
Blake: Yes, sure. So we’ve got Annie Parker who’s – she runs up an initiative, Code for Kids, in the association with Google. I think Sallyann Williams from Google is heavily involved as well.
And they’re sort of trying to get the idea of coding a bit more, I guess, a bit more deeply integrated into what schools are doing because most teachers don’t know how to code and fair enough.
There’s a lot to learn. And a lot they’re doing is creating structured programs, very simple to follow, that puts all the back on the student and back on researching. And they’re trying to help the teachers as well. They have one on one sessions with the teachers who are running it. Teachers don’t need to have coding experience. And they do it as an extracurricular thing, an afterschool thing, a lunch thing, start a code club at your school, because you can talk about how to do that.
She’s going to run through some of the exercises, get you really comfortable with it, and dig into those materials that are already there in the Cloud that you can use. And I mean she sought some pretty impressive statistics. She’s saying there’s something like 200,000 open jobs for software development that can be filled at the moment. And that’s going to increase fivefold over the next ten years. So if that’s there, the best thing we can do is equip our kids with these skills if they want to learn it.
I read that the number one job in terms of financial success, the number one job you want to have, is a software developer. And the number two is something to do with systems integration and analysis. So IT is taking up in a huge way. And just out of interest on that was number eight was a doctor. So it’s right down there. So it’s really interesting.
And I think I’ll take my hat off to what she’s doing. She’s doing it all out of the goodness of her heart and giving her time for this sort of charity I suppose to try and turn things around for us and help our next generation be prepared for the workforce and have the best future they can have.
Mike: Yes. And she’s – was it Annie that we were talking to on the phone the other day, Blake? Was she the one who was saying that in the UK coding is mandatory as part of the curriculum now?
Blake: Yes, absolutely. And coding I think year six or something, really young as well.
Mike: Yes. But it was actually mandatory. So all these teachers have to teach coding now, and they’re not being trained to do it. So it’s becoming popular. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that sort of thing starts to show up in your school. But the thing is it’s engaging for kids. They just love to be able to code. And they put it in such an easy way and to be able to understand it. And so that could be a strand that you’d be interested in having a look at.
I’ll be doing another strand. I’m going to do one strand each day. One of my strands also is going to be just how you power up your pedagogy. So if you’ve listened to anything at all we ever said, it’s always been about how do we engage and motivate our students better.
And this whole tour of New Zealand has been all about how do we just power up our pedagogy and just having great results with that. So you might want to come along and just look at how you’re teaching and then be able to look at how technology can actually magnify the results that you make in your classroom.
And so it’s not about working harder. It’s sometimes just about using the right technology in the right way. And we’ll be able to really help you with your student engagement and motivation and with your exam results a little bit as well. I think that’s a pretty good overview.
What we’re going to do is this is not a money making exercise for Blake and I. This is honestly just about resourcing and equipping teachers.
And so for the two day conference, we’re going to charge just 297 dollars for that. But if – we wanted to be able to reward people who are a part of tonight’s show and for those who are listening to the recording. And so if you head over, and we’ll put this into the Doc, but if you head over to this link… There’s probably not an easy way to put it on the screen, is there? So you’ll have to just listen well. It’s bit.ly/usingtechbetterconference.
If you head over to that link, you’ll be able to put your name and your email address in. And if you do that, we’re going to give you a discount off your ticket. And we’re going to let you guys know about it first. So we’re sure this conference is going to sell out. We’re not making it a huge conference. So I suggest that you register early and you register fast. But here’s the link. I’ve just put it in to the doc now.
Mike: Copy that, go over there and just give us your details. And as soon as we have got the form up and everything ready to take registrations, we’ll send you an email and you’ll be the first which should be great.
I’m really looking forward to also just spending a couple of days with Sam and Adrian and Tim and Karin and Annie and a whole bunch of people. So it’s also going to be about culture. So Blake, why don’t you spend just one minute just talking a little bit about what we’ve got planned in terms of culture and activities and so on?
Blake: Yes, absolutely. So I’ll just briefly do this because I know we’re running it up close to our hour at the moment. But we’ve got a lunch palour happening day one which is a really interesting sort of experiment where we’re going to get all these great minds in the room and have a question or a topic that we’ll pose.
And hopefully Adam from Google who’s put his hand up to come down and curate that discussion. And basically just have a chat and we’ll see if we can work through some big issues and just pose some interesting questions. And let’s see what comes out of it. So we’re running that on day one.
And on day two, to finish off the conference, we’re going to have a twilight beer and cheese. So you can come along and rub shoulders with other great educators who are at the conference and will be presenting.
We’re going to have the likes of Microsoft people there. We’re going to have Lenovo guys there Chromebooks. It’s going to be all of us there, some people from Google. So yes, definitely get yourself registered. And it’s a really good opportunity just to start thinking about other things and have a bit of fun with it. And hopefully it’ll be an enjoyable experience all around.
Mike: I’m certainly looking forward to that. It’s going to be great. Yes. So hey, we’ve got a few – I just want to – people take the time to put in their question. I really want to make sure we try and answer as many as possible. So let’s just make this like a 30 second quick fire Q&A. We’ll knock over these questions then we’ll wrap up.
So someone – Gale is just saying is there a Google equivalent to Turn It In for submitting assessments and plagiarism checking? So I guess Classroom would kind of take some of that. And plagiarism checking, there is an add-on in Google Docs but you have to pay for it. I don’t know if you guys have got another answer that would be better than that.
Blake: No, same deal. You can use Assessment Classroom to turn it in. And there’s an add-on to check for plagiarism. Or you can use the Research Tool. I select some of the text and use the Tools Research and it’ll actually Google search that for you and check if it’s been in article or if it’s been on a website or something like that. So definitely check that out, Tools Research.
Mike: All right, so quite. Lance, they’ve got 200 Chromebooks and they’re looking at purchasing some chromeboxes. Is there a model that you suggest? I haven’t at all. I have seen the one. But Blake, have you seen anything around that?
Blake: Yes. I’ve seen the HP and the Asus or Asus. How do you say that? Yes. I’ve seen by those models. They’re very much the same. I mean the chromebox is just sort of a web browser.
It has some of the advantages of you put into a kiosk mode if you can have it screen at the front of your school or something like that. Look honestly I don’t think it’s so much about the device. It’s more about what it runs and whether it’s suitable for what you’re trying to do.
Mike: Excellent. Adrian?
Adrian: No, I haven’t heard. I haven’t used them or played with them. So I’m not really sure how to use them in the classroom. So I can’t be much help. Sorry.
Mike: Sam have you played with it?
Sam: Yes. We had a couple of the early ones. Samsung’s actually a couple of years back when they first released. But to me, as Blake said, they’re more of a kiosk. Or we’re also thinking of them in terms of a library. So where you would typically have Desktop, so rolling out in the library or also just and stuff like that if you’ve got notice boards and things.
If there’s not a better solution to that. But if you are just replacing it using a desktop at the moment, it’s a good replacement for those.
Mike: Yes. That’s cool. Excellent, all right. Well hey I really want to appreciate Adrian and Samantha for taking out some time to be a part of today’s call and also just to help us launch that conference. We’re really excited about it. These are great people. And Adrian, you must be due to head off to the States in the next couple of days. Is that right?
Adrian: Yes. No. I’m off in about a week, a week. So I’ve got a week of school left and a couple of days, whole days and I’m off which should be good. So I’m going to the ADE Conference in San Diego. So it’s the 20th year anniversary of that. So it should be pretty cool. The agenda is coming out every now and then. They’ve got some exciting stuff there. So I feel I’ll come back with a few tricks and tips that we can use with Apple stuff and see where they’re heading or where their educational stuff as well.
Blake: That’d be good.
Mike: If you are going to that. Then you should find Adrian and go up and say hi. I’m sure Adrian would buy you a beer if you went up and shook his hand.
Blake: I’ll guarantee you that he will buy you a beer.
Mike: Sam, what are you up to in the next couple of weeks?
Sam: I’ve got four days of leave. So I’m excited about that taking a bit of a mini break. I’m just sending out my next issue about Google newsletters. So I’m putting some articles together for that. And yes, generally checking out new feature. So I think that’s awesome. So –
Blake: Yes, cool. the holidays. Sam, you’re not in any conferences or anything?
Sam: No, no. Not for – no, not until the end of July. The next one I’m at is the LTV down here at Victoria. So – which is at the end of July. So that should be a good couple of days there.
Blake: Awesome. Well hopefully we’ll see you there.
Sam: Yes, for sure.
Blake: That would be good.
Mike: Blake, what do you got on?
Blake: Nothing too strenuous, mate, a nice holiday coming up. I think that just continuing on with what we’re doing here with Chromebooks and looking at new models and stuff like that, so nothing too crazy.
I’m working on a resource, a way to provide sort of flipped PD for your staff through a blogger site like a template that people can use. So keep your eyes peeled for that. I’ll probably try to knock that over on the holidays and have something the next time which could be exciting for some people.
But apart from that, yes just business as usual. But I’m more interested about where you’ve been Mike and what you’ve been up to mate. You look like you’ve been training for a role in Wolverine or something.
Mike: I’m just just finishing my speaking tour of New Zealand today. We’ve been to the North and South Island. And always a good place to finish is Queenstown. So we’ve finished up two days training here in Queenstown. My wife and kids were meant to fly in today and meet me. But their plane out of Sydney was delayed so they missed their connecting flight. And so they’re stuck in Auckland. And I’m down here and they’re flying tomorrow morning. So we’re going to catch up and just hang out for a little bit over here which is good.
And then mate we just get the ground running when we get back. So we’ve got I think every week a different state or a different country somewhere. So I just love getting out on the road and seeing. And so I’m really looking forward to that.
Blake: Yes. And when you say training Mike, are you talking about hitting the gym right?
Mike: Yes. That’s it.
Blake: Getting the guns going?
Mike: Excellent, all right. Let’s wrap this up. And I’ve got – I just want to thank you guys once again for watching and being a part of the community. That Google Doc, just feel free to drop your questions in there. Or you can always shoot us an email, Blake and my email addresses are at the top of that document. And at any time, shoot us an email if you’ve got any questions.
And we’ll see you in another fortnight. I think in the fortnight we’re just going to delay because actually all of us are going to be in my hometown doing some training for a school where I live.
So Blake and Sam are coming up. Adrian couldn’t be a part of it. He’s in America. But we’ve got Tim coming down from Darwin to be a part of that training. So we’ll all be airports and doing different things.
I think what we’ve got is Annie Parker coming up for our next conversation from Coding for Kids. And so that’s going to be discussion. If you want to be a part of that, then just send us an email.
And what we do is we email you out when we know when those next conversations are. But generally they’re every two weeks, every fortnight on a Thursday. So yes, thanks for watching guys. And we’ll see you again in about two weeks’ time.
Blake: See you.
Adrian: See you.