Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Doodle for Google ~ Great Creative & Artistic Opportunity for All Ages!

Have you heard of Doodle for Google?

Maybe no, maybe so. Maybe you know someone who won or maybe you are a previous winner! 
Doodle for Google logo

It's a contest with great prizes!

Doodle for Google is an annual contest, celebrating it's 10th anniversary, for students in grades K-12 to enter a Google doodle for a chance to have it go 'live' on Google as well as win a variety of other great prizes.  

There are grade level categories with state/territory winners, national finalists and 1 national 'winner.'  All the winning finalists will get some great Googly swag and have their Doodle Entry featured in the gallery. The 5 national finalists (1 from each grade group) also earn a $5000 college scholarship & a trip to Googleplex in Mountain View (I've been there and it is AMAZING!). The national grande prize winner will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology award to his/her school of choice (incentive for you to encourage your budding artists ;)

Share through Libraries, Extended Learning Programs, Classrooms

Please, please encourage your creative, artistic students who may scribble and sketch as their hobby and possess great talent! Send a note, email, add to your site or blog!   There are teacher guides for each grade category with lesson plans and a downloadable/printable poster.  

This year's theme 'What Inspires' Me will be judged based on artistic skill, creativity and theme communication.  

The deadline is March 2, 2018.   T
here's still time! 

My favorite Doodle taken during a visit to Google NYC in 2013.  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Great Google PD in the USA this Spring/Summer!

Lot's of great opportunities to learn about leveraging Google Tools in your classroom and office this year, even become a Google Certified Educator!

In May, come along to the AppsEvents NH Upper Valley Summit featuring Google for Education in May to learn about the latest updates. Book before March 4th to take advantage of the Super Early Bird promo pricing! Be quick and book now - the discount is only valid for the first 50 tickets sold!

Not sure whether it’s for you? Here are some feedback from our event in Albany, GA last month:

Otherwise, check out all of our upcoming events happenng all across the US below. Keep an eye on our website for more events to be released.

May 4th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 Bootcamp

May 5th 2018
1-Day Google Summit

June 6th - 7th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 Bootcamp

June 11th - 12th 2018
2-Day Google Summit

June 26th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 Bootcamp
June 27th - 28th 2018
2-Day Google Summit

July 17th 2018
Google Educator Level 1 & Level 2 Bootcamps
July 18th - 19th 2018
2-Day Google Summit

September 28th - 29th 2018
2-Day Google Summit
Are you a budding trainer? If so, we are also accepting summit session proposals. It’s a really great way to raise your profile and practice presenting in front of people outside your school. What’s more, if your sessions are chosen, you’ll get free entry to the summit!

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our USA Director, Allison Mollica, by emailing 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Google Slides Updates 2017

Google announced new Slides features on September 27th.   I've highlighted some of the newest (and not as new but useful) features that teachers, learners, administrators can all benefit from knowing about!  The video playlist at the bottom (broken into short intro's and how to's) include the following:

slides icon
Keep Notepad
Now you can insert a note from Keep directly in Google Slides.   This can be good for notes, images, drawings (from mobile) and items you've collected using the Save to Keep Chrome Extension.  As students use keep more and more they will find these integrations invaluable.

Insert Diagram
New addition ~ diagrams templates you can add and modify directly from the Insert Menu.  Diagram options include Hierarchy, Timeline, Process, Relationship and Cycle.  

Insert Chart
Not as new but seriously useful.  You can insert a chart and modify data from scratch.  Most of the time, however, we have collected data and created charts that need to be included in presentations.  On the Insert>Chart menu is the option to Insert>Chart>FROM SHEETS.  You can then search Drive for a specific sheet that has said charts.  If you update the data in the sheet make sure you select the update chart button on the slide to accurately reflect the updates.  

AddOns & Explore
Add Ons are now available for Slides.  If you have not used Add On's before they have been available for Docs and Sheets for a while now.  They provide 'added functionality / features' by selection.  On the Slides menu you will find a link now to Add On's. Click on Get Add Ons to explore the 'marketplace' of free offerings.  In the video I demonstrate the Unsplash Photos and Icons by Noun Project.  

A not as new feature (Fall 2016) is the Explore tool for slide formatting.  In the video I highlight using it with the Unsplash Photos to quickly format a nice looking slide.  These are two unbelievable features that will make any slide creator more efficient and happy.  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Android Apps on Chromebooks and How to Set Up in your Edu Domain

Android coming to Chromebook has been talked about for over a year now.  It is now here and ready for you to use in your Edu Domain!  It is in BETA mode but it is VERY FUNCTIONAL and if you have a compatible Chromebook (running Chrome 53 or later) you can configure your domain to put a 'PLAY' store of APPS available to your teachers and students.

Here are the steps to set up Android in Admin Domain for Chromebooks.

In short, you need to login to  Go to Device Management > Chrome Devices and then select Android Applications.  Next, accept the Android for Work Agreement.  When that is enabled you can select and configure Android Apps.  

Click to Configure the Apps.  Click on the + sign to shop for the apps.  Select an app you want to make available to your students.  Once you APPROVE it you need to CONFIGURE IT!  If you don't configure it then it won't show up in their SCHOOL PLAY STORE as an option.

When you configure the app you have a choice to Force Installation, Pin to Taskbar (which I recommend for Google Classroom, for example) BUT you can simply make a tool like Toontastic, WeVideo, etc as an install option.  

Once you set up your store, you probably want to know what the user experience looks like.  I've created a video below to show you how the student experiences the play store accessing and using apps.

With the PLAY store app pinned to the student task bar they can open and see what is available in the store and install as needed:

I would LOVE to hear your feedback!  Are you as excited about the potential as I am?  What will be your first apps to send out and how will this change how you are DBA at your school?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Admin Settings to Open Classroom to Outside your Domain

A quick post today, but really important one.  So often we hear of updates to GSuite Apps and just take it for granted they will work until we are in a setting that this 'new feature' doesn't work properly because our ADMIN had to do something in the admin panel to make it possible.  

When Google Classroom was announced as an open tool stakeholders went wild for a variety of reasons.  If you are one of those stakeholders you know why.  For example, I can now teacher an Adult Ed course for parents using Google Classroom and they can join with their gMail Accounts.

What many were excited about was the idea of going to conferences and workshops and being to have the entire audience seamlessly join your Classroom!  No more obstacle for teaching 'Google Classroom' outside your domain!  YAY!  In theory and reality this is GREAT and POSSIBLE!

It requires that the Admin Settings in Classroom be modified to do this.  I created a help video below, but in short you just need to sign into, go to Apps> GSuiteApps> Classroom> ManageDomainAccess and set it to 'any user.'  Any user means even if they just have a gMail consumer account they can join.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Graduate Credit at AppsEvents Summits, Certification Bootcamps & More!

Announcing for All AppsEvents as of September 1, 2016
Available via AppsEvents worldwide beginning Fall 2016 ~ graduate credit through the College of Saint Joseph!  Join us in Hong Kong, Seattle, Zurich, Barcelona, Finland, Arkansas, Italy... visit for a complete list scheduled public events.
College of St. Joseph is partnering with AppsEvents so participants can earn up to three graduate credits for participating in either a Google For Education Summit Academy or Bootcamp.
Once the student completes the Google for Education Bootcamp or Summit Academy, the rest of the course will be completed 100 percent online. The student will have two weeks (14 days) from the last day of theGoogle for Education Bootcamp or Summit Academy to develop the required documentation. The documents must be uploaded to the designated Google Drive folder, before the due date, to earn full credit.
The amount of time spent at and outside of the Google For Education Bootcamp or Summit Academydeveloping the lesson documents must be comparable to the number of academic credits being sought:
1 credit = 15 hours
2 credits = 30 hours
3 credits = 45 hours

Course Requirements

  1. Successfully complete either Google For Education BootcampSummit Academy, or both.
  2. Develop an approvable lesson or project proposal BEFORE beginning the development of any lesson documents.
  3. Develop a learning activities (or activities) that will integrate computer technology into a lesson(s) at the adaptation level of the CSJ Technology Integration Rubric.
  4. Write a reflection documenting any new learning acquired from participation in the course.


The cost is $150 per credit, payable to College of St. Joseph
Available via AppsEvents worldwide beginning Fall 2016 ~ graduate credit through the College of Saint Joseph!  Join us in Hong KongSeattle, ZurichBarcelonaFinlandArkansasItaly... visit for a complete list scheduled public events.
If you do not see an event in your area, please contact us about hosting a Summit Academy, Google Educator Certification Bootcamp and/or Summit.  Email directly for more information or submit your request here..  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Google Expeditions: Bring Google's Expeditions Program to Your School!

This post was originally published here by AppsEvents on April 8, 2016

Written by Allison Mollica and Rachel Small

Google has developed an economical way for schools to virtually visit attractions all throughout the world. Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program created over a hundred curriculum based 3D virtual field trips for teachers to guide students through various destinations using Google Cardboard and an inexpensive device.

It was a wild day of @GoogleForEdu’s #GoogleExpeditions at Memorial Elementary School in Burlington, MA. Last week, Burlington Public School students from grades 2-8 worked with various Expeditions ranging from Biomes, Historic Philadelphia, Famous US Landmarks, Canada, Desert Habitats, Landforms, Taj Mahal, and Coral Reef...  

Sean Musselman leading third grade students through
various rooms of the Staten Island Transfer Station.

Using Google’s Expeditions technology (and his schema), Sean Musselman (BPS Science Specialist) directed students to various areas of the Staten Island Transfer Station in New York, New York while sharing information and essential questions given to him via the Expeditions app. Many heartfelt “oohs” and “ahhhs” came from students and teachers. Sean led third and fifth grade students on a tour of the recycling process starting with throwing trash away, working its way through the recycling plant, and then getting loaded for delivery to production facilities. As Sean talked about aseptic (e.g. milk, orange juice) materials and how they go through the recycling plant, students focused directly on a 3D image of the actual plant. Sean and the students discussed how bales are transported to the paper mill to be turned into paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, etc.

Expeditions Recycling
Virtual Reality Panorama Titles
1 - Staten Island Transfer Station
2 - Rail Yard
3 - Sims Municipal Recycling Center
4 - Bale Storage Building
5 - Lower East Side Ecology Center
6 - Gowanus EWaste Warehouse

Ali, a fifth grader, recalled, “It was really cool we could explore and discover different places in one room. I felt as if I were there!”

Sean Musselman teaching fifth grade students about the recycling process.

Tyler C. said, “I like going places virtually because we can go almost anywhere to learn without leaving the comfort of our own school or risk getting hurt at the sites.”

Tyler taking comfort as he visits Historic Philadelphia.

Rozzi exclaimed, “I love Google Expeditions. It really helps us learn about places we may not ever be able to actually go.”

Our Expeditions Timeline

Hope & Dream

  • Over winter vacation, Rachel Small (Memorial’s Teacher Librarian) indicated Memorial’s interest for Google’s Expeditions here


  • Expeditions asked Rachel to submit a schedule proposal that met all requirements as well as a contract signed by Deb Dressler (Memorial’s Principal)
  • Deb Dressler, Paula Weldon (Technology Integrator), and Rachel created a schedule proposal
    • Expeditions requires 18-20 sessions throughout the day. Memorial Elementary School could only come up with 16 sessions because grades 2, 3, 4, & 5 have four classes each.  (Expeditions is only for children ages 7 and up.) We invited a couple of Marshall Simonds Middle School classes to come experience a few Expeditions.
    • Katie Bercury (BPS Social Studies Coach) and Sean Musselman (BPS science specialist) documented all applicable expeditions that fit BPS social studies and science curriculum by grade level
    • Teachers selected the Expeditions they wanted their students to experience
  • Expeditions accepted our schedule proposal and sent confirmation

Google’s Expeditions Day

  • Alex, an awesome Google’s Expeditions associate, brought everything we needed that included Google Cardboard and phones for 60 students and two tablets to run the phones. Once a tablet is set to a destination, the phones travel accordingly.
  • Alex taught participating educators about the app in a quick 15 minute training session at the beginning of the day
  • Two concurrent 30 minute Expedition sessions ran throughout the day. (There was a required hour lunch break in the middle of the sessions in order to charge the phones!)
  • Allison Mollica, as well as many members of the BPS EdTech Team, came to observe and help.


  • Students reflected upon their experience using this Google Slides Template that can be found in Slides if you are a Google Apps for Education School.

More information about the Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program can be found here.

Allison Mollica is a Google Certified: Educator, Innovator, Administrator, & Education Trainer as well as a Secondary Virtual Instructor of Computers and Web Design and an educational technology leader, facilitator & enthusiast! Allison has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has a Master's in Technology in Education and Advanced Certificate in Online Instruction through Lesley University, Boston, MA.  @AMollica can be found on Twitter.

Rachel Small is the Teacher Librarian at Memorial Elementary School in Burlington, Massachusetts. She has been a fifth grade teacher, curriculum coordinator/ literacy coach, and middle school English instructor. Rachel is also a presenter, education/ technology/ social media consultant, and a Google for Education Certified Trainer. She is extremely passionate about helping teachers blend the best practices of literacy with connected learning while trusting the process. @RachelVSmall can be found on Twitter.