Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Brighten up your space!

Let's face it, with remote learning, most educators are video conferencing with their peers, administrators, and with their students on a daily basis.  Many are attending meetings, teaching live, and/or providing edtech support and assistance to staff.

I found myself comparing my lighting  to others and came to the conclusion that the light I had cast shadows on my face and that I was very dark, as shown in the picture below. 

With some research and recommendation from my friend Bruce Reicher, I decided to purchase a Lume Cube light for my desk to brighten up my face while I am video conferencing. I figured with the many video conferencing sessions I am doing on a daily basis, and with live recording on my show The Suite Talk, I thought it would be worth the investment.  

Well, I was totally shocked!  I purchased the Lume Cube Air LED light for $49.95 and now I can't live without it!  This small light packs a big punch and I would highly recommend it. 

It comes with two diffusion bulbs for softer and warmer light, a lanyard to use on the go, a micro usb charging cable, and a suction cup.  It will pair with your mobile device, (bluetooth), it has four levels of brightness and a strobe light effect, it is waterproof, magnetic, rechargeable, and a tripod mount.  I absolutely love it!  Look at the picture below, I have it set on my mini tripod on the corner of my desk, set to the first level of brightness, and I am using a diffuser.

Although I am still experimenting with placement and adjustments, this light has made a big difference for  my video sessions.  I would highly recommend it.  

If you do purchase the Lume Cube, please use my referral code, and you will receive 15% discount on your purchase.  http://lumecube.refr.cc/kimmattina

Monday, April 13, 2020

Google Meet Integration with Google Classroom

With remote learning taken over many schools and classrooms, most teachers are using tools to virtually connect with their students.  With many concerns about security, I always recommend going over digital etiquette and proper use of these virtual sessions with students prior to connecting.  Students need to be aware of hacking and what to do if someone hacks your session.

I am happy to announce that the Google for Education and Google Meet teams integrated a new workflow that will allow teachers to create Google Meets within their Google Classrooms. Read more about the update on Google's blog

First, in order to use Google Meet, it must be enabled for the students and teachers at your organization. Contact your Google administrator for assistance.  

Next, educators can generate a unique Google Meet link for each of their classrooms.  Go into the setting gear of the classroom and scroll down to the general section, and click on 'Generate a Meet Link'.  At this point you can turn on or off to allow students to see the link. 

If students are allowed to see the link, it will be visible in the Google Classroom header and there will be a Meet option on the top of the Classwork page. 

They can click on either of these two links to join a Google Meet.

However, I would recommend to generate a Google Meet link for the class, but not to make the link visible to the students. Click on the Meet link, then select copy.  This will copy the Meet link to the clipboard.  

Afterwards, create a new assignment or an announcement, and paste the link into the post.  The students are forced to open the post and click on the Google Meet link to attend the virtual session. This way, they don't know the Meet link, and it will prevent them from being distracted.

With this new update, the Meet link is an ad-hoc link meaning it will be refreshed or reset about 1 minute after the meeting is over. However, it is still recommended that teachers be the last one to leave the session and to wait about a minute after every leaves to end it.  

Here is a Google Meet YouTube playlist about the Google Meet and Google Classroom integration. 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date on video tutorials I upload.  

Friday, April 10, 2020

Stepping Up to Google Classroom is HERE!

Stepping up to Google Classroom is available now for purchase on Amazon.  If you are looking for methods to help you get started with Google Classroom, this is a great book for you!  

We wanted to make this book available now considering the issues with school closures and remote learning. 

Here is the link on Amazon.  You can also go to Dave Burgess Consulting website to see our book and many others they published. 

We hope this book will be helpful in this time of need.  Thank you for your support and good luck.