Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ok Google, I'll Keep you around

When I hear about something new, I want to try it. Sometimes I like what I see and sometimes I can live the rest of my life without it. I have downloaded and deleted apps in the same day.

I received my first introduction to "Ok Google" at CUE last March. I found it fascinating and looked forward to using it and seeing how it could benefit me, my students, my family. When I upgraded my Android phone in June, I got excited as I discovered that all I had to say was "Ok Google" and my phone would find things for me. Now, I observe my students as they use the voice searches on their Chromebooks in class, then hop in my car to go home and say, "Ok Google, take me home" and love hearing, "navigating to home." It took me about eight or nine months to finally start using it more, but I find myself using it a little more each day. Between that and my BlueTooth enabled vehicle, I do a lot of talking in the car, even when I am seemingly alone. With my help from my mobile friend Google, I can get directions, look up phone numbers, and even make a note to myself. Which leads me to my next item...

Screen shot of my first tries with Google Keep.
The graphics, of course, were added later in my Photo
Studio (on my phone) in preparation for sharing here.
My other new "toy" is Google Keep. I heard about this app in passing, did a little research of my own, and decided to give it a try. I keep finding things that I can do with it. So far, I have started a shopping list that I have shared with my dad because we share grocery duties I love that we can mark things off and then when we need them on the list the next time, we can just tap them and they reappear. I have made notes on student presentations as they present. These are notes I can then take into Google Classroom for grading purposes as assignments are completed. I rather like having a separate place to make notes, and it's quick and easy to do on my phone. (I will add it to a tablet next.) I have set memos with reminders. This has been especially helpful for meeting the deadline for submitting my weekly lesson plans, but even better than that, I have one for when my small groups need to switch. The memo is something I can share with colleague or sub if necessary and the reminder helps keep my timing on track. Reminders on Google Keep are especially interesting to use. In addition to the more typical clock reminder (like an alarm), there is a way to set a reminder connected to your location. That being the case, I have set up a very special reminder with a neat memo for my kids and me. Every time we arrive home, my phone reminds m to Hug, dance, laugh, and love. Thank you, Google Keep!

Have you tried Google Keep? If so, what is your favorite feature so far?

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