Google Classroom vs Apple Classroom

The use of Google products and Apple products has grown significantly in the educational environment both in school and out of school. Whether it’s iPads or the Google Drive app, these devices have become common for learning due to the connections and education that they bring between the teachers and students. Although both companies have lots to offer, deciding which one to work with is mainly based on preference and choosing the one that will be most beneficial for you.

Both technological companies have created multiple apps and resources to better educate students and a familiar app that has been around for a while is Google Classroom which focuses on making it easier for teachers to assign work and help students stay organized in terms of submitting assignments as well as getting updates of new work. But recently Apple created their own app, also called Classroom, to assist teachers and students in their academics.

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A student’s point of view of an assignment


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The Google Classroom App








After a student completes the assignment, they can directly turn it in their work, such as a Google Doc, link or file and mark is as done. In a Classroom’s homepage, students are also offered a whole list of assignments  (done and not done) that are sorted by date to help them stay organized of what needs to be finished. And even students have more than one class that uses Google Classroom, the application helps them see all the work that needs to be done all at once. There is also a comment section under each assignment where students can ask questions they may have for the teacher.

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A student’s point of view of a classroom homepage

What teachers may enjoy about Google Classroom is the organized and easy system of assigning work and turning in work and also the fact that it is 100% paperless,  so they don’t have to worry about having large piles of work cluttering their desks. Teachers who are most likely to get the most out of Google Classroom are those teaching English or even Science since students can easily attach essays and research papers from Google Drive.

But while some may find Google Classroom to be more beneficial, others could prefer Classroom which is offered by Apple. The use of iPads in school have become more common throughout the world. So it seems logical that these iPads should include an app that can help “teachers focus on teaching so students can focus on learning,” which is the main goal of Classroom. Unlike Google Classroom, the Classroom app is focused on making a lesson more interacting between the teacher and student. First students are offered a Shared iPad they will use throughout the class when working on an assignment. And as they work, teachers are able to use an iPad to view what app each students are using at that moment as well the ones that were most recently used by that student. There is even a Screen View option where teachers can see the same screen that is opened on a students iPad (the student will be notified if their teacher is viewing their screen). This app can be very helpful for teachers to make sure that students aren’t getting sidetracked.

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Video Editing on iPads using iMovie

iMovie is a free, easy to use video editing app available across all Apple products. With more technology geared towards education, and many schools adding classroom iPad carts, iMovie is a great way to create fun, engaging school projects on these iPads while also learning beginner video editing skills. I will be going through the ropes of the many features of iMovie.

Beginning a project.

  • After opening the app, hit the create new project box in the center of the screen.
  • From there, you can select whether you want to create a movie or trailer.
  • Finally, you can scroll through the different themes at the bottom, and hit create at the top right corner once you have found your theme.

Creating a movie.

  • iMovie directly connects the music, videos, and photos already on the device directly into the app, allowing for easy access to your library. To add any of these, simply click on either the video, photos, or audio tab on the right, scroll through your library, and click on the desired item to add it to the video.
  • Each audio, video, or audio you add to the movie will be added to a track at the bottom. Each item can be selected by clicking on them, and you can increase or decrease the length of each item by pulling the yellow lines on either side of the clip. Also when these clips are selected, options appear beneath the clip to add modifications like titles, color filters, and deleting the clip. These clips can be moved around by simply holding down on them and then dragging them to another location.
  • Images and audio can also be recorded right from inside the app using the microphone or camera buttons on the left.
  • Another simple addition to the movie is by adding transitions between each clip, which is done by clicking on the small bracket between clips, and then selecting a transition.
  • Also note that the video can be previewed at any time by clicking the triangle play button under the preview screen.
  • If you forget any of these options, iMovie has provides helpful descriptions of each option by just clicking the “?” at the top right corner. Next to this help button is a gear, where you can change general video settings like the theme.

Finishing up.

  • Once the movie is finished, or if you are at a stopping point, just hit the done button at the top right corner of the screen. Here you can change the title by clicking on the title and editing it.
  • At the bottom, there are three options. The play button is to simply preview what your video looks like fullscreen. The middle button with and arrow coming out of a box allows you to share this video over multiple programs, including email and youtube. The final trashcan button is to delete the video.
  • To exit the saving screen, hit the “X” at the top left corner, and you will be brought back to the homepage, where you can either select and edit a previously made movie, or make another one.

Ipad and Iphone Tips and Tricks

The ipad and iphone is a great tool that allows students to maximize the learning resources they have access to. Students can surf the web and create anything from an essay to a movie on and ipad or iphone. Of course in order to use these you have to know how to use them. Below are some tips that make using an ipad or iphone as easy as possible.


  • When switching between apps double tap the home button and swipe from left to right to see what apps are open. To go to one of these click on the app. If you would like to close one of these swipe up on the app.
  • In order to restrict apps go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > enter a passcode to allow what apps can and cannot be used with out the passcode. When done make sure to return restrictions to off so the ipad can be used freely again.


  • Hit the space bar twice to type a period and a space.
  • Double tab the shift key to enable caps lock.
  • Hold down keys to see special characters/ letters.
  • In order to add international keyboards go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard. In order to use the keyboard in the selected language look for the globe in the bottom left of the keyboard on the screen and tap on it to cycle through the different languages.
  • Hold the .com key down to get other options like .us, .org, .edu and .net
  • Find a word or phrase in safari by going to the search bar when on the page and typing the word or phrase and taping the word or phrase under “On This Page”.

Quick Tip for Smartphones: Taking Screenshots

Sometimes you want to show pictures of your screen for various purposes, such as showing a screen from a website or making a how-to. It’s not too hard to do from a computer using a tool like Snagit for Google Chrome, but what if you’re using a smartphone or tablet? Fortunately, that’s even easier. On an Android device, press and hold down the volume down and power buttons, and on Apple devices press and hold the sleep/wake button and press the home key. That’s all it takes. On Android you can find your screenshots in the Screenshots folder in your Gallery, and on Apple in your Camera Roll. You can share, email, or upload your screenshots just like any other picture. What will you use mobile screenshots for? Continue reading

Document Camera’s In the Classroom

The Document Camera

Technology has found a way to revolutionize teaching. Now with new technology and software like google classroom, teaching and learning has been made easier for both kids and teachers. Just like google classroom has made teaching easier of teachers, Document Cameras have also found ways to enter the classroom and make teaching easier. Documents Cameras which are also known as visual presenters are real time image capture devices used for displaying an image, magnify and project images or documents for a large audience.

In education, document cameras actively engage students in the learning process. This gives teachers to opportunity to explain information whiles displaying it for students to gain a better understanding.  Document cameras also help decrease the copying process. Instead of a teachers printing copies for a class of 30, with a document camera you can place one copy under the camera, display it using your projector and have kids copy what is being displayed. Science teachers can use a document camera for dissections, you can give them a walk through using the document camera, this does not only give kids a hands on opportunity but also the chance to make sure they are doing it right whiles following the teachers steps. Some companies sell attachments that you can connect to a microscope, you analyze and look at microscopic items in class. Also using the time laps photography on a document camera science teachers can show the step by step process of things, for example a growing plant, or bacteria spreading or maybe a chick hatching. This can give kids a better understanding on that particular topic. A document camera helps teachers take pictures of a students work, which can be used in later classes, or can uploaded into the classroom website for students or parents to access. Documents cameras can also record videos, so as a math teacher, you can record how you solve a problem and upload it for students to access and learn how to solve that particular problem. English teachers can explain literature books by displaying the page of the book using the document camera and explaining it to the class for a better understanding.

In conclusion, document cameras have made teaching and learning much easier, giving teachers a wide range of options to teach new topics without the stress obtained from teaching a big class.



Using iPads in the Classroom

Teachers can utilize iPads in the classroom to greatly enhance the learning experience of their students by keeping them engaged and by teaching material in new ways. iPads have several useful features as well as a plethora of educational apps and uses, one of which is airdrop. Using airdrop, teachers can project wirelessly from their iPad what is showing on their screen. Teachers could open a note-taking app (like the free one Notability) and write notes or math problems on their iPad screen for students to see. What they write is projected in real time onto their projector screen. Thus, they can teach and write things “on the board” while walking around the classroom, checking on everyone and gauging their understanding. Also, when students are using the iPads in the classroom, the teacher can require them to turn on airdrop so that all their screens appears on the projector screen, deterring students from surfing the internet or going on apps that they are not supposed to.

Students could also load a powerpoint presentation onto the Google Drive app on an iPad (also free) and more readily present, changing the slides when they want to. The teacher is free to grade and enjoy their presentation, as are all other students (who no longer have to sit and change the screens). 

Furthermore, students can use iPads or even their own phones to play games like Kahoot or participate in e-classrooms like through the Socrative app. Kahoot enables the teacher to make a fun, competitive game online, which students can then access through any mobile device and play together. This provides a fast-paced, engaging way for students to review material and for teachers to gauge their understanding. Socrative is similar in that you can see the realtime student responses and engage the entire class. However, Socrative is probably better for topics that require more thinking; as the upbeat game-showy atmosphere of Kahoot, while exhilarating at first,  could quickly become stressful if you are trying to solve math problems.

With the easy video-making apps available (mostly for free) on iPads, students can make videos in under 30 minutes and send them to the teacher so that the teacher can play them for the class. Our iPads have iMovie and Animoto, which can both be used for entertaining yet educational review or case study. For instance, a teacher could assign small groups topics to explain to the class in short, often memorable videos. No doubt this alternative method of introducing material would stick in students’ brains very readily.

Teachers could also use an automatically graded survey platform such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey to assess or probe pupils, who could use either their phones or iPads to answer the surveys. Since these grade and report their responses automatically, it saves teachers time and is a personal way for students and teachers to explore their understanding.

Another way teachers have used iPads in the classroom is by using them to talk about sensitive subjects like sexting that students might not feel comfortable speaking out about for fear of being judged by their classmates. One teacher used an app like Notability to conduct a class discussion. While she asked questions to direct the conversation, students wrote their responses on the app and held it up for her to see, and even the shyer students could contribute. 

With two iPad carts in AHS and so many interesting and engaging ways to use them in the classroom, the variety of methods which teachers can use to edify their students is expanded vastly. The only thing left to do is to explore all of the tantalizingly easy-to-use approaches to using them in the classroom.

Burns, Monica. “Resources for Using IPads in Grades 9-12.” Edutopia. Edutopia, 13 May
Web. 29 Mar. 2016.



Google Classroom Quick Tips


Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools that aim to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. Classroom saves time and paper, and makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn’t completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.

How to Use:

  1. Sign in through click teacher Google Apps for Education username and click Next. Remember: Your Google Apps for Education username looks like
  2. Teachers can accept an invitation to teach a class by navigating to Classroom directly or by clicking the link in the email invitation.  
  3. Click add at the top of the page and click Create class. Enter the class name in the first text box.
  4. Click the class you want to add students to.
  5. At the top, click Students.
  6. Click Invite.
  7. Check the box next to the students you want to invite or check the Select all box to invite all the students listed.
  8. To see other contact lists, click My contacts.
  9. To see all the students in your school’s domain, click Directory. You can also search for a student by name in the search box.
  10. Check the box next to any additional student you want to invite.
  11. Click Invite Students.
  12. Enjoy!

Tips and Benefits:

  • Easy setup—Teachers set up a class, invite students and co-teachers, and then share information—assignments, announcements, and questions—in the class stream.
  • Less time and paper—The simple, paperless assignment workflow allows teachers to manage student work quickly, all in one place. 
  • Better organization—Students can see assignments on the Work page, in the class stream, or on the class calendar. All class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.
  • Enhanced communication—Teachers can create assignments, send announcements, and start class discussions instantly. Students can  share resources with each other and interact in the class stream or by email. 
  • Works with apps you use—Google Forms, Calendar, Gmail, Classroom share button to share from other websites, etc. 
  • Affordable and secure—Like all other Google Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free.


Explanation of iMovie

There are many times in a class in which you may want to have students create a video. IMovie is a useful tool for this. It allows students to pull in videos, sound, and photos from the internet (as long as they have a way to download the video) along with videos taken on the iPad or computer. Videos can be cut and shortened to wanted lengths, and audio can be adjusted, deleted, or added. Finished videos can be exported by email or to youtube in order to share them. They can also be saved in the iMovie theater.

When working on a video, a student can drag around different pieces of a video to different places in the finished ‘movie.’ Clips taken on the iPad or downloaded can be cropped and shortened. Audio can be detached and removed, which can be very useful. For example, if you want to hear music instead of someone’s voice, you can take out the voice and add in the music. A student can also add text over a video, whether it is for a title or a label in the corner of the video. Video clips can also be sped up and slowed down as needed.

If students need to compile interviews, or make a reenactment to a project, iMovie is the perfect tool. Using iPads with iMovie, you could have a class project for students to make videos in small groups in order to reinforce taught topics.