School’s out Friday

What’s in a name?

Well, plenty of us will be soon to find out as we return to school and start talking about G Suite instead of Google Apps for Education.

Yes, Google made an announcement today that they are changing the name of Google Apps for Work to G Suite and Google Apps for Education will now be known as G Suite for Education. That’s an awful lot of rebranding that’s going to have to take place at Google’s end, and those of us used to using the #GAFE hashtag for Twitter posts and bookmarking are going to have to adapt too.

One of the changes introduced is the addition of ‘Explore’ in Google Docs and Slides. (Explore was introduced in Sheets a while ago). The idea behind explore is for it to give you suggestions based on the content within your document. Unfortunately, explore has replaced the Research tool that I found to be extremely useful to use with students. What is missing now is the ability to filter content according to Creative Commons licencing and you can no longer add a citation and select the citation format you would like to use. Hopefully the folks at Google will recognise that many teachers directed students to this tool and they will improve functionality within explore by introducing features from the Research tool.

After having spent the last few weeks of Term 3 emailing staff and students about the access they now have to Google Apps for Education, I’m going to have to think about how I start talking G Suite and not Google Apps. Adaptability – it’s the name of the game in today’s world.

Enjoy the weekend. Those of us who reside in Melbourne will be consumed tomorrow afternoon with the AFL Grand Final. I’m hoping to see Footscray rise to the occasion and take the win. Nothing like seeing an underdog succeed.🙂


School’s out Friday

If you’ve been trying to impart the digital literacy message as long as I have, then you’ll appreciate a new video to help you spread the good word. Data to go from the UK’s Cifas (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service) is very effective. Ramming home the message that protecting your privacy settings on sites like Facebook is an essential life skill in a world where what we share or inadvertently reveal about ourselves can be used by fraudsters is something that deserves airtime in classrooms today.

While some may think there are a gazillion digital literacy/safety videos out there, the reality is somewhat different. The true reality is that once you’ve shown a video to a group of kids and it’s made an impact, then it’s done its job and they aren’t going to be tolerant of you rolling it out at your next opportunity to help them in understanding what it is they need to be doing to protect their privacy or reputation in online spaces. Setting up a YouTube playlist is a good idea to store the ones you know about and sharing this with your parent community can also be beneficial. Good reminders to myself to do that very thing.😉

Enjoy the weekend – the end of the holiday period for Victorian teachers. Back to the grind on Monday!🙂

School’s out Friday

This will brighten up your weekend.

Meet SpotMini, the latest robot from Boston Dynamics. This one can pick itself up after a fall, negotiate tricky spaces in your dining room and can even stack your dishwasher. A less attractive and embryonic version of Rosie from the Jetsons. I’m not sure about you, but if you’ve seen the state of my kitchen when I return home from a long day at work you would understand why I’m thinking SpotMini is a more than attractive option right now!

On another note, is it any wonder Google is off-loading Boston Dynamics? There has been speculation that peoples’ reactions to these robots fall into the ‘freak people out’ category and Google is distancing itself from them as a result. The reality still is that these robots are not making conscious decisions to rise from a fall or place a glass in a dishwasher. Human beings program them and control these actions.

We’re still a bit of a way until we see Rosie in our households, so until then, I’ll continue picking up after every member of my household and stacking and unstacking the dishwasher. Nothing like a decent bit of manual labour to distract you from the baggage of a hard day’s work.😉

Have a good weekend. Revel in your humanity and stack the dishwasher by yourself.🙂


School’s out Friday

Hey, it’s Friday. I don’t know about you, but I sure could do with a laugh, and Chewbacca Mum manages to make me smile every time I see her. Combine her with James Corden and there’s a Friday night treat to see us into the weekend.🙂

My advice for this weekend ahead.

Chill. Sleep. Laugh. Eat chocolate. Appreciate your family. Spend time with good friends. Head out for a coffee. Catch a good film.

I intend to tick of a few of these. I hope you can too. Enjoy.🙂


School’s out Friday

There’s nothing like the the passing of an iconic popstar who inhabited your formative teenage years to make you sit back and take stock. Prince’s music formed part of the playlist of my youth. I can remember dancing to 1999 at nearly every party I attended in my 17th and 18th year. I always thought he was so clever to have written a song in 1982 that was guaranteed to be played at near on every New Year’s Eve party in the modern world at the turn of the century. And yes, there I was in 1999, dancing to just that song as we nudged closer to the rise of the new century.

It’s been a bit of a year for it. David Bowie, Glenn Fry, Alan Rickman. I suppose every year is much the same really. People who occupy our screens and playlists meet their demise and we ponder our own uncertain fate. I quite like this quote about death from Terry Pratchett

“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”
Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent
Make it count. Enjoy the weekend ahead, and the rest of it for that matter.

School’s out Friday

Now, I’m not sure how the leadership of Brigham Young University are feeling about this video given that the two young men (who attend the university) are not current missionaries, but I’m thinking that it’s done a power of good for the young elders who are out there knocking on doors hoping that someone invites them in to discuss ‘The Book of Mormon’.

Posted three days ago, 729,793 views to date – a bit of marketing genius right there. Great piece of storytelling. The narrative arc  flows.


Nice analysis activity of new media storytelling for your next English class.🙂

Have a great weekend. If they knock, maybe it’s time to open the door…



School’s out Friday

Yes, it is April the 1st. Yes, this is one of Google’s April Fool’s day pranks.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t look as ridiculous to me as does the image below taken of an audience wearing the Oculus Rift headset.

Oculus rift

It’s probably best summed up by this comment from Matthew Humphries;

Almost like intensive farming, only with humans hooked into a virtual world.

Unfortunately, reality, not an April Fool’s Day joke.

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t see this catching on to the extent that some of the pundits are suggesting. I certainly don’t want to be restrained in a headset device like this to experience virtual reality. Call me old fashioned, but give me unrestrained real world experiences any day of the week.

Enjoy the weekend. Head outdoors, appreciate the world we live in, headset free.😉