Google Apps has taken over many of the things we use the internet for—email, managing schedules, organizing photos, creating websites, and so much more! Now, they’ve released Google Drive, the app that allows us to share and store files over the internet.
Google Drive is like Google’s version of “The Cloud” but it offers several additional features, including: it integrates with your other Google apps (including Google Docs!), offers 5GB of storage for free, and it goes beyond other storage apps by offering live collaboration features.
Google Drive is an app that is downloaded to your computer. After downloading Google Drive, you will be able to sync your files on your computer to your Google Drive. They will then appear on the web for you to access whenever you need them! Any time you put a file in the folders synced with your Google Drive, they will appear in your Google Drive on the web. You will then be able to view, edit, share, and collaborate live on your files.
Google Drive offers many additional features for you to check out. The integration of Google Docs allows users to create multiple types of documents, there is a search feature that can help you find anything, and you can get Google Drive on the go through their apps for Android and iOS devices (coming soon)!
We love discovering free, new web-based tools that are interactive and can easily be used in higher education. Today, we have found exactly that for you! We are loving Glogster, a free tool that allows users to create interactive “posters”. But these aren’t just posters-they are glogs. A glog is essentially a web-based poster that includes text, images, graphics, videos, audio, links, and more. Users can create their posters and then share them through social media tools like Facebook or Twitter, or even check out the glogs created by other users in the Glogster community.
Glogster is a great way to encourage your students to express their creativity and think outside of the box for an upcoming project. By using various resources such as YouTube videos, links from other informational websites, images, and audio clips, creating a glog is an exciting multimedia project. Because Glogster is free and web-based, it can be accessed from anywhere with internet service-simply log in and create a new glog or access existing glogs. The ease and accessibility makes it a great tool for the busy college student.
If you are interested in using Glogster in your classroom, or would like to learn more about it, feel free to contact us! We would love to introduce you to “Glogging”!
Sometimes a break from lecturing is not only nice for your students, but you as an educator as well. Check out YouTube EDU and I can almost guarantee you will find a YouTube video that can be integrated in your class material. You can even check out the channels of prestigious universities all over the world and tap into what they are broadcasting. Stay up on current events at UIS with UIS’ YouTube Channel!
Check out this video of the Dalai Lama talking about the Nobel Peace Prize, found on the Nobel Peace Prize’s Channel!
What if a student in your class started a campaign on Facebook sharing their opinions about issues that reached thousands of people across the world? What if they created a YouTube video being viewed by people everywhere at any given moment? College students are sharing their knowledge through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, etc. and making a difference by reaching people in other cities, states, and continents.
As I write constantly on this blog, technology is changing the way the world interacts. Years ago it would not have been possible for a student starting a campaign on AIDS awareness to reach thousands, even millions of people across the world, but technologies like Facebook make that possible today. Share a page with 10 people, each of those people share with 10 more, and it goes on and on. Within days, a page dedicated to AIDS awareness is reaching an extreme number of users. As an educator, inspire your students and encourage their involvement in using these social media tools by incorporating them into your class. What may start as an assignment may evolve into something much more impactful.
Visit UIS’ Sights and Sounds page for links to UIS’ official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media applications. Click here to view a list of all the great Facebook Pages or Twitters for UIS departments and groups. These are a great way to stay updated on events at UIS and also see how others use these social media applications in education!
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What I’m blogging about today isn’t a new tool that is going to revolutionize the way you present your lectures. It is, however, a tool that can be used to spark the interest of students, promote brainstorming and discussion, and spread ideas.
For an engaging way to present material in your class and gain the attention of students without having to ask for it, visit http://www.ted.com, a website full of motivational, educational, and interesting videos of speeches from all over the world. TED’s mission is to spread ideas to change attitudes, lives, and successively, the world. What better place to begin spreading these ideas than in your classroom?
From topics focusing on poverty to collaborating in business to “what makes us happy”, you will be guaranteed to find a speech that can somehow be integrated with your class material. You can even search by speaker if you already have a particular person in mind. Think of TED as a “YouTube” containing only motivational and unique speeches about topics worth listening to. So spread some new ideas, get your students thinking, and then maybe they will change the world.