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.

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



Training Video: Google Slides for Stories, Quizzes, and Games

posted Mar 22, 2015, 1:03 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 1:04 PM ]

Below is the recorded video from one of my recent EdTech webinars "Google Slides for Stories, Quizzes, and Games".

Session Description: We all know Google Slides is a great tool for making multimedia slideshows. But did you know it can also be used to make "Choose Your Own Adventure" style stories, interactive quizzes, and online Jeopardy games? With the ability to link to specific slides and go to different slides depending on the choice, you can make and use interactive slideshows. Learn how teachers and students can use Google Slides to create more than just presentations.





Session Resources:
Help guide for this session - "Creating Interactive Google Presentations" - Google Docs Link
Sample Interactive Story - "Dragon Quest" - Google Slides Link
Sample Interactive Quiz - Google Slides Link
Template for Interactive Quiz - Google Slides Link
Sample Jeopardy Game - Math Terms - Google Slides Link
Jeopardy Game - 5-topic Template - Google Slides Link
Jeopardy Game - 6-topic Template - Google Slides Link
Extra - General Google Slides Help Guide - "Using Google Slides" - 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

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




Discovering Pi with Google Sheets

posted Mar 12, 2015, 4:40 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 4:40 PM ]

Many concepts in mathematics can be discovered by students rather than simply being told. Sometimes this is called inquiry learning. Math is full of patterns and predicable relationships. When students discover these patterns themselves and the draw conclusions they will understand and remember the concepts so much better than if we were to just tell them the information.

One example of this is the concept of pi. It is very easy for us to say "Pi is 3.14" or "Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of the same circle" but that is just giving the students information, not helping them discover and truly understand what pi means.

One way to do this is an activity that uses Google Sheets and allows the students to measure real life circular objects, examine some calculations, look for patterns, and discover what pi is and what it means.

The spreadsheet to be used for this activity can be found here:


Note: The Google Sheet is read-only, so you will need to make your own copy of this Google Sheet so you can use it and edit it for your class. To make a copy simply open the Sheet, then click "File" and "Make a copy".

Directions for the activity:
  • Each student will need a circular object, such as a can, lid, frisbee, plate, or such. For best results the items should be a variety of sizes.
  • Students will also need a tape measurer (one that can easily wrap around the circular object).
  • First each student should measure the distance around their circular object.
  • Next each student should measure the distance across their circular object, being careful to go directly through the middle of the circle.
  • The students should then record their measurements on the spreadsheet tab titled "Data"
  • The spreadsheet will automatically calculate the ratio of the circumference to the diameter for each student.
  • The spreadsheet will also calculate an avarage of all the ratios from all the students.
  • The students should examine their ratios to see if they notice any patterns.
  • Finally switch over to the spreadsheet tab titled "Pi" to compare how close the students' average ratio is to the real value of pi.
By doing this activity students will discover that no matter how big or small a circle is, the distance around the circle is always a little more than three times as much as the distance across. That is, the circumference is always pi times more than the diameter.



My Sessions for OETC 2015

posted Feb 7, 2015, 9:20 AM by Eric Curts   [ updated Feb 7, 2015, 9:25 AM ]

I am excited and honored to once again present at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC 2015) in Columbus this February 10th through 12th. 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 OETC 2015, 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:
  • Online Assessments Toolkit
    Tue, Feb 10 - 2pm to 5pm - Room E160
    Session resources: nextgen.apps.sparcc.org 
    Description: Online assessments are more important to schools than ever with the rise of high stakes, next generation assessments and the need for more evaluation data from students. This workshop will dive into the benefits and challenges of online assessments, technology skills students need, resources schools can use to assist students, and tools teachers can use to create their own online assessments. Specific topics will include: technology skills students need for online assessments, free online resources to help prepare students for next generation tests, an overview of tools teachers can use to create, deliver, and evaluate online assessments including Google Forms, Socrative, Quizlet, and Kahoot, and in-depth training on using Google Forms for the entire online assessment process.
  • FREd Talks
    Wed, Feb 11 - Noon to 1:00 pm - Lobby of the E-Pod
    Description: 5-minute talks by a variety of educators. I will be sharing "The Big Blank Wall"
  • Google User Group Meet-up
    Wed, Feb 11 - 1:00 to 2:00 pm - Room E172
    Stop in to meet other Google-using educators!
  • Improving Writing with Google Docs
    Wed, Feb 11 - 3:45 to 4:30 pm - Room C110-111
    Session resources: tiny.cc/curts13
    Description: Google Docs is much more than just an online word processor. It is a tool for improving student writing. Learn about peer editing, tracking revisions, having students' writing read aloud to them, giving feedback through text and voice comments, the integrated research tools and citation tools, publishing student work, and more. With the power of Google Docs, you can help your students become better writers! 
  • Desktop Distance Learning with Google Hangouts
    Thu, Feb 12 - 11:00 to 11:45 am - Room C220-222
    Session resources: tiny.cc/curts35
    Description: To do distance learning in the past meant expensive special equipment, software, and connections. Now with Google Hangouts you can connect to anyone across the hall or around the world right from your computer for free. Learn all about using Hangouts including connecting with up to 15 people, screen sharing, chatting, and more. Also see how to find distance learning opportunities including Google's Connected Classroom, the EduHangouts site, Mystery Location Call schools, and more. 

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:


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:


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