Welcome to the Apps User Group website.  Our purpose is to connect and assist schools in the use of Google Apps for Education.  The site contains resources for implementing and using Google Apps, news from the Google blogs, links to schools that use Google Apps, a discussion forum, and more.  All uses are encouraged to share resources, ideas, questions, and comments.



Below are the latest news posts for the site.  If you have news to share, please submit your article using this form.

4 C's for Education

posted Aug 16, 2015, 3:27 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Aug 16, 2015, 3:29 PM ]

Recently I had the opportunity to give a kick-off presentation at our 11th annual SPARCC Education Technology Conference. My hope was to help attendees consider how technology can prepare our students for their future, not our past. To do this, my focus was on the four C's of education:
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
By integrating these 21st century skills into our teaching and our students learning, we can help our students be ready for whatever the future may hold.

Below is the Google Slideshow I used for the kick-off presentation. It may lose a little bit with just the slides, but hopefully you will still get the main ideas and be inspired to try our my 4C/3A challenge.

(Also a big thanks to David Grimes for creating the infographic included in this post to illustrate the main points of the presentation!)





Google Education Certifications Overview

posted Jul 13, 2015, 6:57 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Jul 13, 2015, 6:58 PM ]

Confused about the different Google Certifications available to educators? See below for a slideshow overview of the four main certification options.

Recently Google announced two new certifications for educators, which are:
  • Google Certified Educator Level 1
  • Google Certified Educator Level 2
These are in addition to the previous certifications:
  • Google for Education Certified Trainer (previously called Authorized Google Education Trainer)
  • Google for Education Certified Innovator (previously called Google Certified Teacher)
To help give an overview of the certifications, I have created a slideshow that explains all four options here:


Or click for the slideshow - Google Slideshow


Personal Gmail account vs GAFE account

posted Jul 12, 2015, 11:03 AM by Eric Curts   [ updated Jul 12, 2015, 11:10 AM ]

Google provides free Google accounts with an @gmail.com email address to anyone. Google also offers free Google Apps for Education accounts to schools.

So why should schools use Google Apps for Education accounts instead of regular Gmail accounts?

There are many benefits for schools for using Google Apps for Education. Below is a link to a presentation I put together that highlights many of the differences between a personal Gmail account and a school Google Apps for Education account.

 Slideshow - "Google Accounts: Personal vs GAFE" - Google Slides link



Feel free to use this slideshow to help schools that are considering a move to Google Apps for Education. Additionally you may find this other presentation below useful, which offers a general overview of Google Apps for Education:

 Slideshow - "Google Apps for Education Overview" - Google Slides link


GoogLoops!

posted May 17, 2015, 6:04 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated May 17, 2015, 6:04 PM ]

Searching for the perfect breakfast? Try GoogLoops!




My Sessions for the 2015 ITIP Ohio Summit

posted May 12, 2015, 3:22 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated May 14, 2015, 6:27 PM ]

I am excited and honored to once again present at the ITIP Ohio Summit Featuring Google for Education (#ITIP15) in Sandusky, Ohio this May 14th and 15th. I always look forward to this opportunity to see old friends, make new friends, share some ideas, and learn so many new things from others.

Below is a list of sessions I will be presenting at this year's ITIP Ohio Summit, along with any associated resources. Please feel free to join me for any of these sessions. I look forward to sharing, learning, and chatting with you!

My Sessions:
  • Integration Mashup: Add-Ons and Extensions
    Thu, May 14 - 1pm - Room: Indigo Bay
    Description: You'll love the format for these information-packed sessions! Each of the Mashup sessions has a panel of educators who will share their experiences, tips, and recommendations for integrating these Google tools!
  • Google Tools for Special Needs
    Thu, May 14 - 2pm - Room: Mangrove
    Session resources: tiny.cc/curts34
    Description: There are many tools, apps, extensions, and features available for Google Chrome to assist students with special needs. This can include students with vision or hearing impairments, or challenges with reading, writing, organization, and more. Learn what tools are available and how to access and use these with students.
  • Google Lounge
    Thu, May 14 - 3pm - Room: Kalahari Ballroom
    Description: Come 'hangout' with fellow Google-lovers! Several Google Certified Trainers (a mix of Tech Directors and Educators) will be on hand to answer questions and share their experiences with Google. Topics are determined by your questions...Add-ons & Chromebooks to Vault & Admin Console...and anything in between. Stop by for just a few minutes to get a quick tip or spend more time as you move from table to table.
  • Google Slam
    Thu, May 14 - 4pm - Room: Zambezi
    Description: The Google Slam is a fast-paced, quick look at a favorite Google or Google-related tool, app, extension, use, etc. Each Google Slam presenter has 5 minutes for "slamming" their favorite Google or Google related tool or app. Presenters will be judged by audience members and winners receive Slam bragging rights!
  • Google User Group Meeting
    Fri, May 15 - 8am - Room: Zambezi
    Event link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/chq269gmouvk1rsid3jkmi6qi6g
    Description: Join us for a GEG Ohio meet-up! This will be a great way to kick off the day, meet other Google-using educators, share ideas, and have fun. You will even have a chance to win Googley prizes! Hope to see you there!
  • Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers
    Fri, May 15 - 11am - Room: Aloeswood
    Session resourcestiny.cc/curts38
    Description: Graphic organizers are a powerful learning tool for students. With mind maps, concept webs, Venn diagrams, and more, students can express their knowledge, plan their projects, and explore their content. There are many tools available to create graphic organizers and Google Drawings is a great free option. Learn how students can use Google Drawings to create graphic organizers, use existing templates, collaborate with others, and share the final product
  • Google Slam
    Fri, May 15 - 2pm - Room: Zambezi
    Description: The Google Slam is a fast-paced, quick look at a favorite Google or Google-related tool, app, extension, use, etc. Each Google Slam presenter has 5 minutes for "slamming" their favorite Google or Google related tool or app. Presenters will be judged by audience members and winners receive Slam bragging rights!

Evaluation Form:

Thank you for attending my professional development training session. Please take a moment to fill out the evaluation form linked below. Your feedback is very valuable to help me improve the training sessions. This is an anonymous survey.

My Other Resources:

My Google Resources:
My Other Tech Resources:
SPARCC Resources:

Connect with Me:

I would love to stay connected with you after the conference. Please feel free to connect with me in any of the ways listed below:


Google User Group Meeting - Mar 2015

posted Apr 18, 2015, 7:53 PM by Eric Curts

Below is the recorded video from our March 2015 Google User Group Meeting, along with the meeting agenda with links to all the resources and updates covered.

Each month we hold a meeting of our Google User Group. The purpose of these meetings is to:
  • Connect Google-using educators in the area
  • Share the latest Google Apps news and features
  • Provide tutorials, demonstrations, and how-to’s
  • Share best practices of how Google Apps is being used within the districts
  • Ask questions and get answers
For those who cannot attend in person, the meetings are broadcast live using a Google Hangout. Users can join the Google Hangout remotely to participate in the meeting, or can simply watch the live stream. The video from the meetings is recorded and available for later viewing for those who cannot attend or connect live.


Meeting agenda - Google Document link

To see the schedule for upcoming Google User Group meetings visit: http://google.apps.sparcc.org/usergroup




Training Video: Google Communities for Schools

posted Apr 18, 2015, 3:59 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Apr 18, 2015, 4:00 PM ]

Below is the recorded video from one of my recent EdTech webinars "Google Communities for Schools".

Session Description: Google Communities are powerful online forums centered around a shared interest or topic. Communities are an awesome tool for schools that can be used for class discussions, online courses, professional development groups, professional learning networks, finding partners for collaborative projects, learning about best practices and the latest resources, asking questions and sharing answers, and a great way to connect with like-minded educators on any topic. Learn about some of the best Google Communities to join, how to participate and post, and how to create your own communities.





Session Resources: 
What is one of your favorite Google+ Communities for educators? - Google Form link
Help Guide - "Google Communities for Schools" - Google Docs link
Session Slideshow - "Google Communities for Schools" - Google Slides link
Help Guide - "Google+ for Schools" - Google Docs link

Session Evaluation: Please provide your feedback on this session.
Evaluation - Google Form link

Get Certificate: Earn a certificate of attendance for one (1) contact hour by watching the training video and passing this quiz
Session Quiz - Google Form link

See a full list of past recorded and upcoming webinars.



Training Video: Online Assessments with Google Forms

posted Mar 22, 2015, 1:26 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 1:26 PM ]

Below is the recorded video from one of my recent EdTech webinars "Online Assessments with Google Forms".

Session Description: With Google Forms and Flubaroo you can create online quizzes and other assessments. The quizzes can be graded automatically giving you and your students detailed results. This is a great tool to help prepare students for online standardized tests and PARCC, deliver common assessments, and add more formative assessments to your class.





Session Resources:
Sample quiz for session - Google Form link
Help Guide - "Using Google Forms for Online Assessments" - Google Docs link
Help Guide - "Using Google Forms" - Google Docs link
Slide Show - "Using Google Forms for Online Assessments" - Google Slides link

Session Evaluation: Please provide your feedback on this session.
Evaluation - Google Form link

Get Certificate: Earn a certificate of attendance for one (1) contact hour by watching the training video and passing this quiz
Session Quiz - Google Form link

To see a list of upcoming webinars visit: http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/pd
To see a list of past recorded webinars visit: http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/videopd



Google User Group Meeting - Feb 2015

posted Mar 22, 2015, 1:17 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 1:18 PM ]

Below is the recorded video from our February 2015 Google User Group Meeting, along with the meeting agenda with links to all the resources and updates covered.

Each month we hold a meeting of our Google User Group. The purpose of these meetings is to:
  • Connect Google-using educators in the area
  • Share the latest Google Apps news and features
  • Provide tutorials, demonstrations, and how-to’s
  • Share best practices of how Google Apps is being used within the districts
  • Ask questions and get answers
For those who cannot attend in person, the meetings are broadcast live using a Google Hangout. Users can join the Google Hangout remotely to participate in the meeting, or can simply watch the live stream. The video from the meetings is recorded and available for later viewing for those who cannot attend or connect live.


Meeting agenda - Google Document link

To see the schedule for upcoming Google User Group meetings visit: http://google.apps.sparcc.org/usergroup




Training Video: Google Tools for Special Needs

posted Mar 22, 2015, 1:09 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 1:09 PM ]

Below is the recorded video from one of my recent EdTech webinars "Google Tools for Special Needs".

Session Description: There are many free tools, apps, extensions, and features available for Google products to assist students with special needs. This can include students with vision or hearing impairments, or challenges with reading, writing, organization, and more. Learn what tools are available and how to access and use these with students.





Session Resources:
Help Guide (more detailed) - "Google Tools for Special Needs" - Google Docs Link
Slide Show (less detailed) - "Google Tools for Special Needs" - Google Slides Link 

Session Evaluation: Please provide your feedback on this session.
Evaluation - Google Form link

Get Certificate: Earn a certificate of attendance for one (1) contact hour by watching the training video and passing this quiz
Session Quiz - Google Form link

To see a list of upcoming webinars visit: http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/pd
To see a list of past recorded webinars visit: http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/videopd



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