Posts tagged Google
6th grade students are deep in the study of SketchUp. Skills practiced so far:
- View manipulation
- Zoom to extent
- Advanced features
- Section Plane
- Keyboard Shortcuts
The last 7th grade class was a note-taking day, and an intro to spreadsheets. Based on our current knowledge of the similarities and differences between Microsoft Word and Google Documents, we made some assumptions about the quality and ease of use of the free online offering. We tested in individual files and didn’t run into any issues with loading or overwriting.
Notes are below:
Google Spreadsheets is an alternative for Microsoft Excel. Google’s offering is free but you may be subjected to advertisements and you may lose your file if the company has server issues or changes their business model. Microsoft offers more advanced functions, but there are so many options that it can be confusing to learn at first.
Spreadsheet – a table that stores information (data) and can display data in different ways (information graphics)
information graphic – an image that allows us to understand data quickly. Info graphics take advantage of the human ability to make visual comparisons and don’t rely heavily on written language.
Data visualization – the process of making information graphics. Making perceptual meaning out of information.
Header row – first row in a table or database that defines the data below it (columns)
Parts of a formula:
=: tells the spreadsheet to perform a function
function: tells spreadsheet to do something with a range of data
range: a series of data
criteria: a condition that must be met for something else to happen
example: =SUM(B2:B8) | This will add all the data from the second column in rows 2 to 8 (answer from below spreadsheet is 24).
example: =COUNTIF(B2:B8, “<4″) | This will count the number of times that a data range meets the criteria (answer from below spreadsheet is 5).
example: =TODAY() | This returns today’s date, with “today” meaning whatever day the spreadsheet is opened. No range is required.
7th grade students had their scientific understanding of evolutionary adaptation put to the test in a scary simulation. News reports from around North Seattle were coming in about mysterious happenings surrounding Billings Middle School. We used a Google Map to document the stories, some include newspaper clippings. It seems as though a pattern is emerging…
What type of creature could do such a thing? Biped or quadruped? Herbivore, carnivore or omnivore? Can it swim? Students used facts from the stories to support conclusions about dietary needs, description and origins of the mythical monster. Click on the pushpins below to read more about the incidents.
Just when things couldn’t get any scarier, we found a mystery jawbone in the rain garden while on break! How does this jawline and the teeth present affect our hypotheses already established?
8th grade students dug back into their memory banks to remember some useful facts about 3 of our most talked-about companies: Google, Apple and Microsoft. Teams competed to gain the most points for accurate answers.
|Founded by||Larry Page and Sergey Brin||Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne||Bill Gates and Paul Allen|
|Founded location||Stanford University, CA||Los Altos, CA||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|HQ in||Mountain View, CA||Cupertino, CA||Redmond, WA|
|Web browser||Chrome||Safari||Internet Explorer|
|Operating system||Chrome OS||OSX||Windows|
|revenue per employee||$1.2M||$1.4M||$702K|
|price per share||$482||$268||$25|
Technology is everywhere at Billings, but it’s not just students that find ways to innovate and use tech to be productive. Teachers have been looking for an easy way to take attendance and get a view into records by grade or student.
Goals of the new system:
- easy to use – teachers are busy, we need to enter an “A” or “T” and move on
- ‘live’ view of attendance – once a student is marked absent or tardy, all teachers have access tot he information
- student trends – an alert system that uses color-coding to spot absence or tardy trends by student
- grade trends – an alert system that uses color-coding to spot absence or tardy trends by grade
- daily trends – an alert system that uses color-coding to spot absence or tardy trends by day
- accessible – from anywhere on campus or from home
- automatic backups – version history is important for record keeping
- levels of access – summary pages should be locked down, daily records should be editable by teachers
We found an answer in Google Spreadsheets. Beyond meeting the above requirements, the solution is a free one. After creating a few formulas, it was just a matter of copy & paste. Some of the more interesting formulas:
=countif(L3:BC3, “a”) + countif(L3:BC3, “e”) – this counts up all “a” (absent) and “e” (excused) marking across a row (for an individual student)
=countif(P2:P31, “a”) + countif(P2:P31, “e”) – this counts up all “a” (absent) and “e” (excused) marking down a column (for an individual date)
=SORT(FILTER(’7th grade’!C2:E ; FILTER(’7th grade’!K2:AZ;’7th grade’!K1:AZ1=G1)=”a”), 3, TRUE) – this formula was created with help from Ahab, a Google Groups community member who volunteers to assist others with Google Spreadsheets. The filter figures out today’s date, searches all columns for that date, and then returns all students absent in that column. Definitely a nice feature…with this formula our Spreadsheet Sheet 1 displays all students absent for the day along with the number of previous absences each has.
7th grade is focused on technology in the news. The last few weeks we’ve been following the upcoming iPhone, Facebook privacy updates, and a lawsuit against Google for Street View information.
iPod touch with camera shows up in Vietnam
Apple loses a second 4th gen iPhone, new insights discovered
iPhone Finder Regrets His ‘Mistake’
Police Raid Gizmodo Editor’s House, Confiscate Computers
Google Street View troubles:
Google faces U.S., German probes on data collection
Class 6B were lucky enough to spend a class period with Michael, an engineer from Google who works on the Gmail team. Michael used Google Maps to show a street-view of his middle school in Alabama, and talked about how his life choices resulted in East and West Coast employment through his interest in technology. He shared screenshots of the code he creates everyday and explained how he spends his hours at work communicating with machines and people.
Thank you, Michael!
The 6th grade has been learning about world-changing companies for a couple of weeks now.
We’ve got in depth with the history of Seattle native Bill Gates and learned about how he hacked his way from middle-school mischief maker to Harvard and then beyond. We followed his empire as it moved from the early days in New Mexico back to Washington state, and how Microsoft has weathered competition to become a worldwide brand with significant market shares in gaming, search, software and hardware.
Today we talked about 2 Stanford guys who changed the way search engines rank websites to help us find what we are looking for. Their project (called BackRub) became more than just a company…Google is a verb and a website that millions of people use everyday. We spoke of how Google has tried to compete in various web endeavors that have failed (Google Video, Google Pages, Orkut), and how they’ve bought other companies that do things well (YouTube, KeyHole, JotSpot).
When asked who the people and companies that will make it huge in the next few years will be, students responded with an enthusiastic “we are!”
As part of these conversations, we’ve been using online maps and stock charts to illustrate concepts and we’ve been practicing our listening and participation skills in preparation for the guest speakers that will start sharing their technology experiences next week.
Spirited 7th grade conversation today, as students tracked the latest developments in the case of the iPhone 4G.
We started by tracking Apple’s stock price this year, beginning with the iPad announcement and following through until yesterday’s report that Apple made over 3 billion dollars in the last quarter.
Using Bing’s finance charts and Google’s time-related search results, we mapped increasing share price and product announcements over the last 3 years. We found a clear trend – stock prices rise between the announcement of a new product and it’s actual launch.
Also, we realized that much of the pre-launch marketing around Apple products is free – news outlets and bloggers share stories and compete to scoop each other with rumors and insider (mis)information. This is great news for Apple, since they don’t have to spend all of their money to get the word out.
Now to the rumor of the week – an Apple employee supposedly left a prototype of the new iPhone (to be released this summer) in a California bar. The device was sold to Gizmodo, which has dedicated an entire portion of their site to stories about this gadget. This creates more buzz for Apple as other news outlets report on Gizmodo’s reporting.
Students used Google’s real-time “updates” to monitor how many stories are bouncing around the blogosphere and Twitter channels about this story. While there is a bump in traffic, we don’t think that this story is enough to sustain interest through the summer. What else will Apple tell us about the new product to keep news outlets interested?
Some students wondered if Apple had “lost” the iPhone on purpose to try and get free advertising from bloggers, newspapers, television and radio. Some bloggers suggest that Gizmodo got punked by Apple.
One class had an unexpected find during class today, a webpage that simultaneously searches Google and Bing, displaying results side-by-side. In Firefox, you can actaully set http://www.google-vs-bing.com/ as your default search engine if desired.
Teachers, 7th and 8th grade students use Google Apps for Edu daily to collaborate, present, capture information, and express creativity. Google just announced an upgrade to the system with some great new features that will help us be more productive. Watch the official video for more information: