What is it?Google Docs is essentially an online office suite that was developed by Google. There are Google-native applications for word- processing, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings, and more. Google Docs uses cloud-based storage. Recently, Googlereleased the consolidation of Google Docs into Google Drive, which combines all of the applications and features from Google Docs and has improved storage space. Google Drive www.drive.google.com
How it is used www.drive.google.com• Cloud-based storage services like these allow users to keep all their files, including word documents, images and music, on a remote server. This allows easy access across web-connected devices (computers, cell phones, tablets) – Each user is given 5 gb of free cloud storage, with payment plan options for increased storage space• The BEST thing about Google Docs is the element of remote real-time collaboration. The documents are “shared” with multiple users, making it possible for all of the users to edit and contribute to the document.• Users have the ability to save their documents in a variety of formats – Google Cloud Connect is a plug-in for Windows Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 that can automatically store and synchronize any for Microsoft Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or Excel spreadsheet to Google Docs in Google Docs or Microsoft Office formats.
Tips and Techniques• The best new feature to Google Docs is the research toolbar. – The research toolbar is a window sits in the lower corner of your Google document, allowing you to do research without closing your document. Of of my favorite parts of this feature is the ability to choose the type of Google search, with Google Scholar being an www.drive.google.com incredibly valuable resource for any student or teacher. There is also a citation tool included in the research toolbar.• I have successfully used Google Docs in all parts of my job. – I use Documents to create, share, and edit service outlines with the clergy at my congregation, and lesson plans with my co-teachers – The Google Presentation tool is something I use regularly to create, edit, and share presentations for song sessions and services with my co-workers – I am currently using Google Spreadsheets as part of a collaboration of URJ camp songleaders. We are compiling a comprehensive music repertoire, and using that data to create a digital Shiron (songbook) • The ultimate goal of this project is to compile all of the songs that are being used at URJ Camps, and create a presentation resource for camp songleaders to use, making the incorporation of technology at camp, in prayer and musical moments, a reality. This will mean less time in front of a computer trying to make slides for every song in the camp repertoire, and more time teaching and engaging in the music itself!
What is it?Skype is online communication software that allowsyou to use your computer (or web-enabled device) tocommunicate with people all over the world!Skype is a free application that can be downloaded ona computer (or other web-enabled devices).Registered Skype users are able to video-chat, instant-message, transfer files, and even call landlines andmobile phones. Most of Skype’s features are free- theonly exceptions being text-messaging cell phones,calling landlines or cell phones, video conference callsand group chats up to 10 people. www.skype.com All of the screenshots come from my iPhone. Skype has a different interface, depending on which device you are using
How it is usedSkype is a free (or cheap, depending on what features you use) wayto stay connected with friends, family, students, and co-workers! Video calling is the most popular feature on Skype. It allows for face-to-face interaction, without both parties having to be in the same location. There is also a file-transfer feature, making sharing Users can pay for Skype credits to add their account, which are documents immediate and used to call landlines or mobile easy. phones. This allows Skype users to communicate with Skype provides the people who might not have Skype or immediate access to opportunity for real-time the internet. interaction between family, friends, peers, co-workers, and teachers and students. www.skype.com
Tips and Techniques• Keeping in touch while studying and traveling abroad• Out-of-state job interviews• Language – I was skyping weekly with an Israeli friend as part of my Hebrew courses in college. I was able to enhance my studies by communicating with a native Hebrew speaker regularly, and increase my vocabulary outside of what we were learning in class.• Tutoring – As an educator, I have used Skype to communicate with my students outside of class time. I have tutored Bar and Bat Mitzvah students via Skype, a technique that many of my colleagues have been using for the last few years. This eliminates the need for parents and students to find another time in their busy schedules to come into the Synagogue, and brings their study of Torah and Jewish learning into their home. – I have also taught guitar lessons over Skype, creating flexibility for me and my students.• Online Learning – As a student, I have participated in online lectures via Skype. I also studied text with a Professor I had in Jerusalem for many months after I actually left, and still participate in his lectures on Jewish mysticism and spirituality. www.skype.com
What is it?Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that gives users aninteractive, social platform to explore, save, and share their ideas, inspirations, tips, and more! www.pinterest.com
How it is used www.pinterest.comUsers register with Pinterest to create their account and pinboard. Everyone’spinboard is unique, because the user creates individual “boards” on their page. Each board is categorized by content, which can really include anything; recipes, fashion ideas, decorating tips, photographs, DIY crafts and projects, travel, and my favorite, education ideas and tips.The content of each pin or board is compiled and organized by the individual user. There is also an optionto open boards and allow multiple users to post, creating an opportunity for collaboration. Quality controland copyright issues can be problematic, but you can use your judgment to figure out what is useful oraccurate. These pins are not scholarly resources, rather they are used for inspiration, organization ofideas and projects, and as another creative way of sharing information.
Tips and Techniques I use Pinterest for myOne of the best features of Pinterest is their internal search function. personal and professionalUsers have the ability to search individual pins, boards, and pinners life. I am always finding(users of Pinterest) through keywords and phrases. ideas for new crafts, lessons, and activities for work, as well as recipes, work-out This is an example routines, fashion tips, and of a search for inspiration for just about boards related to everything! Jewish EducationURJ Camp Harlam (the camp where I grew up,and have worked for the last 6 years) has its ownPinterest, which serves as a great resource forcampers, families, and staff. Their boards includea packing list, ideas for camp projects, games andprograms, care package ideas, and much more.Organizations, schools, and businesses are allable to use Pinterest to promote, organize,engage people outside of a formal setting, andsort out their own ideas, goals, etc… www.pinterest.com
What is it?Wordle is a website used to create word clouds. A world cloud is aninfographic that is generated from an excerpt of text, making themost used words more prominent than words used less frequently. This is an example I generated using the following text from the website that explains Wordle: Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. www.wordle.net
How it is used Wordle is very simple to use! All you have to do is copy and paste the desired text into the box and click “go” This will generate a word cloud from your text, making the most-used words bigger, making the text into a visually- interesting graphic, opening up the text for deeper interpretation. www.wordle.net
Here is an example Wordle I created using text from the Union for Reform Judaism’swebsite. This particular excerpt is the first few paragraphs from their page “What isReform Judaism?”Upon dissecting and analyzing this word cloud, one might make the following assumptions;1) Reform Judaism is centered around Torah, tradition, God, diversity, and people.2) It is an innovative movement that works for peace, repairing the world, building relationships, and preserving culture3) Israel is a part of the Reform Movement4) History, tradition, and commonality are important in Reform Judaismhttp://urj.org/about/reform/whatisreform/
Tips and TechniquesThe easiest way to save a Wordle is to take a screenshot of the final product, and save theimage to your computer. There is an option to publish your Wordle to a public gallery, whichwill provide you with an html code to embed the graphic on a blog or website. • Use Wordle, or other word-cloud generators, to help yourself and your students approach text differently. – Using the graphic as a vehicle for interpretation creates opportunity for a fresh look at text, highlights points or themes that might have been overlooked while reading, and helps different kinds of learners access what was once just text-based material • Activities I have done with Wordle: – Use Wordle to create a word cloud based on the translation of parshat hashavua (weekly Torah portion) and ask students to use it as a way to interpret and discuss the content of the portion. – Students brainstorm and type a list of Jewish values, compile all of the lists and use text to generate word cloud. Use the graphic as a catalyst for discussion with students.