Ed Latham Offers Adult Educators Free Series of Google Hangouts beginning July 6th, 7pm ET

Technology and Learning CoP member, Ed Latham, posted the bulletin below to the Nonformal Education Micro-group. I thought it might be of interest to T & L CoP members, too.

David J. Rosen

Moderator, Technology and Learning CoP



Good day everyone. As promised earlier, I have created a webpage with information about a weekly hangout for all educators titiled "Hanging with Ed(ucation". Think of it as a informal, digital gathering where we can all share thoughts, ideas, practice and questions with each other. The right column of the website has a suggestion form and everyone is encouraged to add topics you wish to explore with others in this weekly forum. 

Sessions are only an hour and all participants can contribute text input. For those that wish to have an active mic in the conversation, you are encouraged to email me to share some ideas of what you would like to contribute in the week's topic. There is a limit of having only 10 voice activated panelist in each session. 

The link to this week's event is here: https://plus.google.com/events/catfs51gmjoiqvuns7n6gmo29eo

Please share this event with anyone in education you think would like to be part of short, weekly support and discussion for educators at all levels and all subjects. If you have any questions of me, please email me or you can post questions here as well. I look forward to Hanging out with the great educators we have here in in the LINCS Forums. 


Good day everyone. After a successful start last Wednesday, we are launching into an exciting exploration this next Wednesday! On Wednesday 7/13/16 at 7pm to 8pm EST, there will be an opportunity for all educators to join a Google Hangout in which we explore a tool that allows us to take notes within a video. The videos can then be shared and every note taken acts as a bookmark to get to a specific place in the video. So many wonderful implications and so easy to use. This is a very informal and interactive format open to anyone with interests in learning from each other and having fun with the craft of education we are all passionate about. 

Every Wednesday, from 7pm to 8pm EST on Google Hangout; If you need help getting into Google Hangout, I have this guide to help you learn a bit about the tool. Of course you can always message me or email and I can offer assistance as well! 

Link to Event Page: HINT: if you sign up on this page as a viewer it will sent you email reminders of the event.

Link to webpage with schedule and form for you to submit future discussion topics or ideas

1. Ensure you have a google account or gmail account and you are logged in. Although this is not absolutely required, participants my share resources that are linked through Google Drive or other Google tools and having your account active and ready to go may make accessing the materials others may share easier. 

2. For every event there will be an event page link shared in a post. As an example, here is the event link for the 7/13/16 session https://plus.google.com/events/c7i1vms3h5t7e589fa5kb75hjro?hl=en

3. On the event page, on the day of the event, you will see a post from me with a link you can click on that will allow you to join as a voice member. Voice members may have a pop up show up asking for permission to use their microphone and headphones. This should be a one time thing and if you have done any Voice over Internet before you probably will not be prompted. Google Hangout supports up to 10 voice participants. 

4. For those that wish to view the session but not have an active vocal connection, you will have the ability to hit the big Play button (looks like an old cassette play triangle) in the image that is located on the event page. This will open up a new window and share the conversation with you. You will be able to type questions in, inside this interface. It is important to note that this participation view might be a few seconds delayed from the actual conversation. Every effort is made to ready your question posted, but it may take a bit for the voice participants to catch your post. 

5. These sessions are informal and there is an expectation that all participants are able to respectfully share opinions, experiences, suggestions and questions with each other. The sessions will be recorded and posted to YouTube (probably without much editing) so that others may enjoy the discussions if they were not able to attend the live event. 

6. If you have questions at any time, you can email me at: ohgeer@gmail.com and I will do my best to try to help you get set up ...Ed Latham

For any that wish to review our discussions in our weekly Google Hangout this week, here is the link to the unedited youtube video


Very informal gathering going on every week from 7pm to 8pm EST. You can find a suggested schedule, archived discussions as well as resources we reference on this site:


Please take a moment and share a future topic in the form on that page. 

A big thank you to all that attended both in voice and in the text chat. So wonderful to hear experiences from others in a comfortable and relaxed environment :) 

This week we play with paper to create many STEM explorations with Unit Origami. Participants are encouraged to have a nice stack of 25+ square pieces of paper about 3" - 4". If you have experience with origami, you may use smaller paper. Those with poor manual dexterity may want even bigger. 

We will explore at least two units you can teach your learners. These units can be assembled in many ways to create different models that learners love to explore. Throw in the right questions and challenges and you will be developing many of the standards of mathematical practice that are usually difficult to directly support. Those with experience with unit origami are encouraged to join us and share your units and models as well so we can all increase our experience. 

Remember that this is an informal gathering and all experience levels are welcome to come share what we know so we can learn together. If you struggle to get into the event, please email me and I can offer support. 

Link to this week's event is here.

Link to the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site is here. Feel free to use the form on that page to input your ideas for future weeks' topics!

Looking forward to some paper folding fun this Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm EST!

Technology and Learning Colleagues,

I attended the first two in this series of Ed Latham's free Google Hangouts; I learned a lot and had fun, as did the other participants. These Google Hangouts are informal, focusing on a different tool or resource each week, and they also are a great way to learn about Google Hangouts, a free online platform to use with your students, with other colleagues, or to offer professional development.

A Google Hangout can be small, informal, and highly interactive, such as Ed's, or large and formal such as those offered by U.S. government agencies. It's quite a versatile tool.

In Ed's first Google Hangout in this series we learned, for example, that the participants can all watch the same video at the same time and that the host/moderator -- Ed, in this case -- can also talk over the video narrative to point out things in the video. In Ed's second Google Hangout, we saw that the host/moderator can show participants a video and using VideoNot.es *, can also take notes on the video while we watch it. Those notes could, Ed suggested, be teachers' questions to students instead of study notes, and using videonot.es each note is automatically linked to a particular place in the video, and all the notes are automatically saved to a folder in one's Google drive, and can easily be sent to a group, for example a group of students. This could be one way for teachers who use a flipped classroom approach to create a video assignment with the questions built in to the assignment.

Although it's more fun to attend these Google Hangouts in real time, beginning with the second one, they have been, and will be archived.

The link to this week's event is here.

The link to the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site is here. Ed says, "Feel free to use the form on that page to input your ideas for future weeks' topics!"


* Look for an announcement here soon of my Tech Tips for Teachers blog article on using the free Videonot.es video note-taking software.

David J. Rosen

Moderator, Technology and Learning CoP


Just a reminder that a live, informal Google Hangout will be starting up at 7pm EST. Today we are discussing origami and it's implications in STEM. I have a couple of models to share that encourage engineering and creativity and all are encouraged to share models they feel help get learners fire up about STEM work in their learning. 

The link to this week's event is here.

The link to the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site : Recordings on YouTube, of the session will be present on this site soon after each event. Feel free to stop in and offer suggestions for future weeks with the form on the webpage. 

Hi, Ed. I don't know how many folks were able to join you last night. If you had good attendance, I look forward to reviewing the session on YouTube. If attendance was low, I propose that you repeat that session for those who, like me, were not able to attend. I love the topic, and will recruit folks in this area to join us next time. I think that members of the math and other groups might also be interested.

Alternatively, a topic that I know is of interest to many is Twitter: how to join, how to use symbols, and with enough time, how to use it for teaching. I use it for learning, but I would really appreciate a slow, easy intro to all of the steps needed to become a Twitter user. Thanks, Leecy (Remember that it takes time to create habits. Hopefully, this one will become one very soon!)

Does anyone else have a request for the next or additional Hangouts? Leecy


Good morning. Because you mentioned that you'd like to learn how to use Twitter, you may be interested to know that the social network offers detailed information in their online Help Center. It explains how to set up and use accounts there. I think it is a nice first stop for new users. You may wish to check it out in advance of a Hangout about Twitter strategy for educators with Ed. Also, GED Testing Service offers social media tips for educators in an easy to read infographic here. I hope this helps! Have a great weekend.

Thank you Jessica for sharing these resources and thank you Leecy for getting the topic started. 

I receive many request from teachers wishing to know more about ...(insert a tech tool here). I struggle with these requests a bit because my focus is so often on wanting to know how to improve some learning need....(insert a classroom or learning challenge I encounter daily or some way to extend learning options). As I focus on my educational needs I often do a review of existing tools. Tools constantly change as does the applications for each tool. Because my focus is on the learning needed at that time, I am better able to browse through tool write ups and experiences to determine which tools I might want to play with to meet that particular learning need. In this way, I often find some great ways to use tools to fit a need and that usage is often not even listed as a preferred application on the tool's supporting websites. In a technologically changing world, it is our ability to adapt and innovate in any given instance that increases the likelihood of finding "the right" learning option for an individual's need. 

Still, I am respectful of the fact that people should have a general awareness of tools that are available. We could do a session on Twitter (putting it on the schedule for the 8/3 session) but I will have some homework for participants. As Jessica has shared, there are many supporting resources available for Twitter as it has been around the block for some time. It may be helpful for people to reflect on a list of usage options to cherry pick which options might be "the best" applications of twitter today. I think that discussion could be rich and fruitful. For those nuggets we collectively find value in, we can dive into the "How"'s. Remember you have a week and a half for this homework to be done... perhaps we need a twitter handle to remind everyone?  Check out #hangwitheducation 

Thanks, much, Jessica. I have used Twitter again for a few months now. I started years ago and dropped the practice since I didn't work directly with colleagues at the time who also used it. I attended a technology conference in Utah, where most presenters and participants all around me were using Twitter during the presentations to comment on what was being said. Participants were competing for prizes using Twitter throughout the event. Although I'm a strong technology advocate and teacher trainer, I was blown away by the experience. I wanted to hide in the corner even though I was one of the presenters at the conference! :))))

More recently, I met colleagues who were using Twitter and took me through the initial steps to get me going again. I check Twitter regularly now and use it for my own professional development. I still don't post regularly, but I think that as I develop more ease, I could start using it more for professional dialogue. I am at the very tip of what I know is a deep iceberg, which I hope to explore more. I'll check out the resources you shared. Much appreciated. Leecy

Leecy, thank you for your encouragement and suggestion! 

Last Wednesday, there was no one live and no one in the text chat so I decided to cancel that session. One of my main goals of these hangouts is to create an informal chat space for teachers to share and learn together. Sure, I could do a one hour show just with me blabbing away and some might find value in it, but I believe there is so much more power in hearing the voices, thoughts and experiences of others. This is the focus for the weekly hangouts and it will take some time to develop into a habit. 

I picked the Wednesday time slot because it seemed to be one of those days that has less interruptions in the week. Perhaps we should explore bumping the time slot from 7pm est to maybe 8pm est? That may run into east coast TV "prime time" viewing which may be important to some people out there. I don't want to go changing time slots all over the place either because I am hearing from fans of the hangout that they are working to rearrange their schedules to be available for more Wednesdays free at that time.

I received many emails from lurkers yesterday sharing with me their interest in Origami and their disappointment that there was not a recorded session from this week. With that feedback, I propose we run Origami again as a theme this Wednesday 7/27. I will have another post here in this thread when the event link is created so that people can go to the event and register if they wish to go. Seeing that there are people on the registration list helps me decide if I pull the plug on those times when people are not around when the session starts. 

Teaser: Origami ... I think many will enjoy this session as we get to learn how playful exploration with paper can help us foster growth in those Habits of Mind and Standards of Mathematical Practice that always seem so poorly supported in terms of activities or lessons available. I will be sharing two examples: one is building a transformer model that can shift it's appearance and the other model is what I playfully call "Paper Engineering Units" because I can't call them "Paper Legos" due to copyrights  Look for the link to the event either later today or some time tomorrow. 

Ed, a friend just emailed me in response to my comments about the challenge of getting people to dialogue on critical topics in adult education. She said, "..the title of my book one day will be, 'It's hard to collaborate alone :)' We should explore that issue more.

I totally get that you want to avoid creating another video showing people how to do something. You want dialogue. A strong learning principle that I constantly advocate is "Learning occurs through interaction." As an aside, in online classes, that interaction occurs primarily among participants around content and least of all with the instructor. That's one reason that I love teaching online.

Your Hangouts offer an opportunity for educators to interact while learning valuable skills. It will take time to develop a dependable audience, but I think the ideas has promise, especially since it is open to everyone, not just LINCS members.

To practice my Twitter skills, I'll announce the next event on Twitter, once you post the instructions. I'll also spread the word among Colorado practitioners. Let's see if we can attract learners!

Thanks for persevering. Leecy

Good day everyone. This week we will try again on the topic of Origami and STEM. I have a few models to teach people and it is HIGHLY ADVISED for participants to have some square paper available. I find 4 inch squares work well and you can cut 4 of those squares from a standard sheet of paper. Of course some colored paper will add some pop to your experience  I suspect you will want around 20 squares if you can get them prepared.

The focus will be on Unit Origami models and how they contribute to STEM learning, which of course includes Mathematics. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences with each other, ideas for how we might enhance learning opportunities and for any origami models that might be helpful for others to know about. 

Link to the event is here: https://plus.google.com/events/c4v4f4uado4mb1aukpn7l8p0gkk

Link to the Hanging with Ed(ucation) website is here: https://sites.google.com/site/correctmenow/hanging-with-ed-ucation

Please feel free to share the links with any educators you know that may wish to participate in an informal 1 hour session of educators talking shop and learning from each other. All educators are welcome!

Hi Ed,

WiIl this Hangout again be scheduled at 7 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday?  (If 8 PM, I could also do that.) In any case, I plan to cut my 4" squares of paper and join this Origami STEM fest. Since I am an expert in neither math teaching nor Origami, I expect to learn a LOT!

David J. Rosen


Great to have you David and any others that are not experts in math or origami ! 

The Hangouts are scheduled to start at 7pm est every Wednesday. Should be great fun for all!

Just to recap, Ed, participants are invited to https://plus.google.com/events/c4v4f4uado4mb1aukpn7l8p0gkk , the link where Wednesday's event will be held. On the right side of the page is a question, "Are you going to watch?" They should click "Yes" if they plan to do so. On the day of the event, they go to the same link and click on the video arrow to start the session.

Would you jot down a couple of instructions for how folks can access the session through interactive video (only ten people allowed), through live texting during the video session, or by just watching the live-streaming session on YouTube? Thanks!

I will add that your main site, with information on planned sessions, there is a link to a Hangout Guide, which you developed. It's at the top of the page. https://sites.google.com/site/correctmenow/hanging-with-ed-ucation

See you then! Leecy

Before the Event:

When you see an event link shared, you can click on that link to go to the Hangout Event page. EX: Event on 7/27/16. On this page there are a few areas of importance. 

  1. In the top left you will find a video image with a triangular "Play" button
  2. Directly under the video image on the left side of the screen is a chat area 
  3. On the right side you will find Details of the weekly event
  4. Below the Details area on the right you will find a prompt asking "Are you going to watch?"

When an event is offered, it is advisable for people to look for that prompt "Are you going to watch?", and indicate if they have intentions of watching. If you don't plan on watching, you do not need to indicate that, but indicating that you wish to watch does a few things. Primarily, it triggers the system to send you reminders about the event and you will receive any updates about the event automatically. Your indication of a desire to attend does not lock you in and you are by no means "stuck" having to show up. It is simply an indication that you are interested in attending and hope to do so on that day. The organizer(s) may be better able to plan activities if they know how many potential viewers wish to join in.

There are three ways you can participate in these events:

  1. Active Voice/Video: You wish to be a part of the video/voice part of the presentation. People prefer this method if they wish to be verbally active in the discussion or feel they may have things to share with others. Most just find it easier to see and be seen in terms of feeling like we are all part of a group. You should have a microphone set up and video camera is often desired. Please try to have headphones available if you join events this way! Without headphones, there is a good chance that we get audio feedback loops and the moderators will need to mute your mic if this happens. Headphones eliminate any risk of audio feedback. We are limited to only 10 active voice/video slots and people will be able to jump into those slots during the session (see instructions below under During the Event)
  2. Viewer with text input: At this level you are listening and watching the Active Voice/Video people while having access to a text chat area. Your comments and questions posted in the chat will show up to the presenter to be addressed. Please be patient as the verbal conversations typically need to have a bit of a wrap up before someone can take the few second break needed to review the chat comments. I make every effort to try to do so often. It is helpful to word your comments in a way that is explicit. For example, "That is really cool!!!" is nice to read, but it may only be read after 2-5 minutes of verbal conversation has just wound up and it will not be clear what you thought was cool. Alternatively, "It was cool to see how that tool was used to pull in struggling readers!!!" is not time dependent and is easy for all to understand when read at any point in the conversation. 
  3. Lurkers: Perhaps you can't be a the event at the listed time. After every session, a recording of the session will be posted to allow you to watch the unedited conversations. This comes with all the goof-ups and human interactions that make these experiences informal and very approachable for many educators. Since this is a recording, you will not be able to post questions in that event, but you can always post questions here in LINCS and those attending can respond. All resources or materials referenced are made available on the Hanging with Ed(ucation) page and will be available with the link to the recording in the Archived Sessions area at the bottom left of the page. 

During the Event:

All live participants (Active voice/video and the Viewer with text input) will follow the event link to get to the event page.

On that page, in the chat, I will post a welcome as we get near the event start time. About 15 minutes before the event, I will post a link in the chat on the event page. This event is for any that wish to join the voice/video option. Viewers that simply wish text input do not click on the link shared in that chat. 

At the designated time of the event, I start the hangout proper (recording) and that opens up the event for the Viewers with text input to participate. I will post a message in the event chat sharing that the event is starting and Viewers click on the triangular play button in the middle of the video image that is in the top left corner of the event page. 

During the event, links will be shared within the google hangout for the Active video/audio participants to access and then links will be shared in the event chat dialog. In this way all active participants can play and experience the resources and tools shared. 

Your contribution is important! 

These events are intended to be very informal sharing of ideas and thoughts. As moderator, I will have some set things to share, but my entire design is to get people thinking and talking about ways we might use the topic. We have people interacting at multiple levels and being aware of the following can help facilitate everyone getting their voice heard easily:

Audio/Video Participants: If you are talking, find frequent places to pause in your thoughts. These pauses are necessary to allow for others to interject questions or thoughts. The Internet has variations of lag that make interjecting a question difficult a you end up having multiple people trying to talk at the same time at times. If this happens, please don't feel you have done anything wrong, it happens to all of us on the Internet. Just keep an ear our for pauses and if you are talking, work towards introducing breaks in your thoughts that allow others to jump in. This will take practice for us all to get good at :)

Video Text Chat Participants: As stated before, your comments/questions may not get addressed right away. Be sure to be as specific in any references you make. Ambiguous references like "that, it, those..." will often cause some confusion because your text will so often get read two or three thoughts after you initially post it. They will all be read and addressed though, so please type your thoughts, feelings and questions as they come. Your patience in getting those text prompts addressed in appreciated!

Most of all, everyone should feel comfortable and able to contribute. Participants share, "This was really fun!" after these events and I think those feelings are present because everyone feels they have a voice in the conversation. No one is dictating direction. My role is simply to act as an instigator and offer a few skeletal bones we can build off of. It is up to everyone else to help flesh out what these experiences become. So much fun!

After the session:

Within a day or two of the event, I will have the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site updated with the event archived and all resources linked. This will include a link to the recording of the youtube video. My plans include creating a Hanging with Ed(ucation) playlist that people can subscribe to on YouTube, but I have not had the time yet to set that up. I appreciate your patience while I get to that. Once I get the playlist thing set up, subscribing to the playlist will automatically get you the recording each week delivered to your email :) 

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to post them here in LINCS discussions or if you are one of my many shy lurkers out there, you can email me and I will get you clarification as best I can. I look forward to learning from all the wonderful people we have out there in education and hope our time together every Wednesday afternoon from 7pm to 8pm EST can become a productive habit for many. 

August 3rd: Twitter: what educational uses are viable today and how do we integrate those uses into our classrooms? It is suggested that participants review this list of suggested uses (and others you might find on the Internet). As you review these lists, think about all the other tools available that might do similar actions and determine if Twitter would be your "go to" tool for any of those uses. Our discussion will center on those opinions and the opportunities Twitter may offer.

Link to the event is here: Remember that saying Yes to the "Are you planning on attending?" prompt on the right of the event page will set you up for automatic reminders before the event. 


Good day everyone! Based on feedback from the Hanging with Ed(ucation) page, The topic this week will be Google Docs/Sheets Q&A. There are a good number of teachers that have heard about Google's tools and may have even tried those tools, but challenges have been in the way of adoption of those Google tools. In many cases, activities done in Word, Excel or other programs may not be easy to reproduce in Google Docs or Google Sheets. I have been able to find "the Google way" to accomplish many of these challenges and welcome questions or frustrations people are encountering. 

Even if you don't wish to attend this event, it would be very helpful if people could share a frustration or need they have had in Google Docs/Sheets with me so I might address that in our session on Wednesday. I have a form set up to take in any challenges or questions you have here

For those wishing to attend the event live, here is the link to the event page. Remember that if you indicate you will be attending the event, you will get email notification a day before the event as a reminder. It is not necessary to indicate that you are attending, but it sure does help me feel that I will not be just sitting alone and talking to myself :) 

If you wish to review past sessions and materials, the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site has all materials archived on the left side of the page. On the right you will find a short form for you to share any future topics you might wish us to address in our Weekly sessions on Wednesday afternoons 7pm to 8pm EST. 

I am always open to helping anyone, 1:1 to digitally get comfy with Google Hangouts, so if you have wanted to attend but you are not comfortable with Google Hangouts yet, please email me (ohgeer@gmail.com) and I can help you get set up and more comfortable to join our live experiences. 

Good day everyone. 

The link to the video recording of our discussion about Google Drive tools is here

If you have a topic you would like to have us concentrate on next Wednesday, you can go here and fill out the suggestion form. 

We had some people encounter difficulties joining the hangout with voice/video set up. We were not able to pinpoint what the difficulty was, but I share the following thoughts for those that wish to try voice video next week:

  • I can send invite links directly to emails if people wish. Just shoot me an email before the Wednesday sessions and I can ensure you have a direct link sent to your email.
  • A gmail or google account are required to be able to participate in the live video/voice section
  • If you don't use Chrome browser, you need to ensure that your browser is up to date every week before the session to ensure your browser can communicate correctly with the Hangout software.
  • If you are joining a hangout from a school, university or organization there may be some local settings that prohibit the type of service that Google Hangout is. Verifying that users are allowed to use google hangout with those outside the organization system may be a good thing to check. 
  • I am almost always available to set up a hangout test to verify we can get you connected before our Wednesday events. It is great fun and very easy once you have your system set up for it. 

Always welcome to hear more voices! I will have the new event topic posted here Sunday. 

This week we look at how Diigo can help teachers and learners collaborate to create powerful collections using Diigo, a free online social bookmarking tool. In addition to being able to set up many types of shared bookmarks, Diigo also offers incredible opportunity to take notes on almost any content on the Internet. These notes can be for individuals or shared with groups to promote asynchronous discussions over time. Tons of power and fun this Wednesday at 7pm est. Event Link

To prepare for this week's session, you may wish to get a free Diigo account. (https://www.diigo.com) If you wish to collaborate with everyone, please use this form to share your Diigo user name (my Diigo name is "ohgeer" for example). Armed with this list, I can easily add you before the session to a group activity if you wish to actively participate.

Hope you can make it to experience the many powerful ways this free tool can be used with your learners!

Link to the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site with schedule and topic suggestion form.  

The Hanging with Ed(ucation) session on Diigo has been posted to youtube here. It would be interesting to see how others might be using Diigo. If you wish to link up in our Diigo Communities, I would welcome everyone adding me into their community. My Diigo nickname is "ohgeer" and you can use my email to "invite friend" (ohgeer@gmail.com). This allows us to see the tags we each put into Diigo and will quickly expand our communal access to great resources on the internet!

Google Hangout on Air service will be shutting down at the end of the month and Hanging with Ed(ucation) will be moving over to YouTube Live streaming. This will take a little learning and adjustment as all transitions between technology does, but I believe it will be much easier for people to join in and view the sessions once we are set up in the YouTube Live system. If any of you have experience with the YouTube Live Streaming, I would appreciate some time with you walking me through all the set up and instructions we might share with the field to help people be able to easily participate. 

Ed, you turned me on to Diigo when we were working on the resources project, and I liked it so much I transferred my Delicious collection there because searching seemed to have become wonky. I'm using it as I had Delicious - to collect resources for teaching students and providing PD, and for my own PD. 

Thanks, Ed.

Sorry for the late update, but I will not be able to do a hangout this week (8/24). Travel arrangements do not allow for Internet access that would make it possible for me. I fully expect to resume on Wednesday 8/31. 

If you have any topics you would like to discuss next week, please visit the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site and share your thoughts in the online form there. 

Good day everyone,

This week, on Hanging with Ed(ucation), we explore some resources for educators to introduce learners to computer programming. No programming experience is required for this. A teacher simply needs a desire to help others explore and a good collection of resources. Of course, learning to program along with the learners can be great fun and open other learning opportunities as well. Join us this week to get excited about computer programming.

Link to the event: Event opens about 20 minutes early for those wishing to join by voice/video to get set up. Viewers can tune in at 7pm est sharp to watch and communicate by text.

Hanging with Ed(ucation) site: Schedules, archived session links, and form to suggest future topics

As always, if you have questions, please don't hesitate to post them here or email me (ohgeer@gmail.com). Hope to see you Wednesday afternoon!

The link to our discussion of Introductions to Computer Programming for Adults.

We introduced many tools and resources which are all available here in the archives on the left side.

Perhaps next week we might explore Scratch or any one of the tools shared based on feedback I get from those interested.  

As always, it is great to hear topics and ideas from people. It would be great to have more discussions in the sessions so it is not the "Ed Show and Tell". If you have a topic you would like to lead the discussion on or maybe you just want to share experiences centered on a topic, please let me know. It is always better to hear from many voices and our weekly Hanging with Ed(ucation), one hour sessions, are a great forum to get resources and ideas shared with each other. It's all free and great fun to hear from each other when there are discussions. 

Hanging with Ed(ucation)   This week we follow up on our introduction to programming with a more indepth look at Scratch. In our hour discussion, we will explore how to make images move, basic animation, interact with the mouse, interact with the keyboard and even interact with other images. Should be great fun for people of all ages! Event Link   Note that if you wish to program along with us, it may be advantageous for you to join the event with microphone and video enabled. That way you can share your screen if something does not work as you intend and we can all troubleshoot. Exploring how programs go wrong is often more valuable than any set of programming instructions!   For more information on Scratch, visit MIT's site

The wonderful people at MIT saw some disturbing trends some time ago. People were just not getting into programming careers as much and the numbers were dropping off quickly from the rush of programmers in the 80s. Because coding languages are perceived as the domain of the super smart or super geeks, many people erroneously assume they can not code. MIT has created a number of tools that make programing available to learners of all ages by using puzzle piece icons instead of computer code. Scratch is the one tool that spans the widest number of ages in terms of appeal and approachability.  I have watched 3rd and 4th graders making their own interactive animations and games with this system. Likewise, adults of all ages have found equal success programming due to a very simple interface and the fact that all the work is done in a browser. There are no downloads, installations or clunky manuals to study. One simply dives in and starts exploring and engineering. 

For the adult educator, there are many ways Scratch can be used with adult learners.

  • The most obvious is to turn learners on to the incredible number of career options that are accessible within the field of programming.
  • For students that struggle with Algebra concepts and procedures, programming in scratch is a great, hands-on approach to building mathematics understanding and skills
  • For artistic learners, programming opens up a world of options in terms of how beautiful graphics can be created through programming. 
  • I contend that programming is a foreign language in that it has it's own syntax, structure, means of expression, it's own logic and many ways to communicate and process the language of machines. Scratch programming is very accessible to those that have non-English native languages. Many claim that Mathematics is a universal language. If that is true, computer programming may not be far behind in terms of languages everyone can find success with. 
  • Scratch is often considered the easiest way to get introduced to programming in a way that opens up many learning paths. There are a wide number of "next step" tools that proficient Scratch users can easily migrate to. I consider Scratch the gateway tool most programming learning opportunities.
  • Oh, did I fail to mention that Scratch is completely free and is supported by TONS of support materials for educators and learners? 

You can read up more on Scratch here on MIT's site

This Wednesday, 9/7/16 at 7pm, we will have a free Google Hangout event, called Hanging with Ed(ucation), in which we explore Scratch and get educators and learners started with this powerful tool. The event page is located here

Of course if you have any questions about Scratch or programming you can share those in this thread. There are many in the field that have played with programming in the past and I suspect we have some with Scratch experience out there that could provide us with a wealth of experiences. We would love to hear what your experiences (good or bad) have been with Scratch or programming in general with Adult Learners!

As Edward said, “[b]ecause coding languages are perceived as the domain of the super smart or super geeks, many people erroneously assume they can not code.” Compared to a spoken language, the “grammar” of a programming language can be mastered in a couple of months, while that of even one of the easier languages can take years. And you don’t need to be a math genius to learn one. The math prerequisite for most introductory computer programming courses is high school algebra. Because computer science and math departments are closely linked, coding practice in a class generally involves solving increasingly complex math problems. In the outside world, the degree of math needed depends on the context. If you’re programming a rocket that will orbit Mars and launch a lander that needs to make a soft landing, you’ll need to be a math “genius.” If you’re writing a simple business app, high school algebra is probably enough.

Almost everything electronic these days has a component that needs to be programmed. There is and will continue to be a need for people who know how to program these devices. When instructors are mystified by computers and believe that programming is only for the “super smart,” they risk -- intentionally or unintentionally -- passing this misconception on to their learners, potentially closing a door to a lucrative career. If someone believes they aren’t smart enough to do something, they’re probably not going to take that path in life.

I’m familiar with Scratch. Programming is one of those things that looks extremely complex to the uninitiated, but after you’ve done it a bit, you say to yourself, “That’s all?”  Scratch a lot simpler than a real programming language, but it’s a great tool for demystifying programming.

For learners, programming also helps develop many soft skills. The pass/fail cutoff for a computer is 100%. Making a program run correctly improves your attention to detail, perseverence, problem solving and critical thinking skills, creativity, and self confidence (after you’ve finally gotten it to work). These skills can generalize to other areas of their lives.

Hi Robert,

I really like your points about the relative ease and importance of learning some basic programming for developing a range of other skills. It reminded me of this TedTalk about a 10 year old and the benefits to learning he found in learning to code. 

Steve Quann
Director, EdTech Center
World Education, Inc


To paraphrase and misquote the last sentence in this New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/09/automobiles/your-cars-new-software-is-ready-update-now.html?hpw&rref=automobiles&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well, and to add to what Jonathan in the TED Talk and I have already said on the subject, “[computer code is] part of the world we live in.” To understand this world and navigate it successfully, it’s essential to have a good, basic understanding of what is going on “under the hood.” 

One does not need to be an economist, but understanding basic concepts such as opportunity costs can make the difference between financial and career success or failure. One does not have to be a political scientist or historian, but understanding how these aspects of the world work help make one better informed when making a choice in the election booth. One does not need an advanced medical degree, but understanding the basics of human biology makes it a lot easier to have an intelligent conversation with one’s doctor. Now that code underlies almost everything with electronics these days, not just cars, and one does not have the choice to opt out, one does not necessarily need to be a programmer, but one does need to understand how code works when making choices about purchasing and upgrading these technologies. This applies to both instructors and learners, because both live in the same world.

I just wanted to add that modern programming introduction languages like Scratch, Alice and others are not only less intimidating to look at, they all offer support materials that vary in the type of application a new learner engages in. It is not about building the next space blaster game. There are activities that get learners experiencing programming for webpage interactions, using animations and interactions to create interactive digital story lines. Throw in the range of devices one can engage in and there is a very diverse and rich pallet of choices available. I encourage anyone interested in exploring how programming might be introduced to a specific goal, to post a profile and our community can offer resources that are "best fits". For example, maybe you have a sports nut that loves a particular sport but wants to explore how programming might help her collect, process and report data from local leagues or teams. Another example might be a small business owner that wants to start up her own online digital store. 

In short, for every person, there are some best fit programming options that can support the individual's goals. By sharing interests, our community can offer suggestions.


I intend to offer a Hanging with Ed(ucation) session this Wednesday 9/14/16 with a topic of Using Financial Simulations to Learn About Investing.

As you may have read from an earlier post or on the Internet, Google's Hangouts OnAir are discontinued as of today. They are replacing that service with YouTube Live which allows for streaming sessions and recording the event to YouTube. There are a few challenges I am still trying to work out.

I know I can just stream life and people can join in, but I am unsure how I could direct people to find that jumping in point.

I believe there is a way to schedule the event and get a link but it is much more involved than the Hangout OnAir and I have not mastered that process yet.

Another challenge is that I have not figured out how others can join me live in voice/video yet. I really wish to have discussions in these sessions and it is hard when there is only one voice. 

For those that wish to just view and text chat, it appears the YouTube Live experience should be much better, once I figure out how to get you to a link or means to join the session when it starts up :)

By Tuesday night, if I have not figured out answers to the above challenges, I may just have an open session in which volunteers can pop on to help me troubleshoot and figure out this new system? I hope that by documenting my learning struggles in transitioning to this new format, I can reassure people that are often intimidated by technology and the many changes that go on. The struggle is real and even computer techies struggle in transition at times. The key is to be willing to fail and have fun along the way because it is all learning and learning is fun! If anyone out there wants to fail and have fun (learn) with me Wednesday, let me know here and perhaps we can just record that for everyone to learn from. 

More news by Tuesday night.


Well a little more research and I think I might have a little clue how to operate YouTubeLive. If I am correct, people can click on the link below:


at 7pm EST and see the live stream. I have not figured out how to have others join me in live voice chat or if that is even possible, but everyone should be able to at least view and chat. I hope to get some more time to test things tomorrow afternoon. My goal is to still share a nice simulation that might be used in financial literacy, but I suspect we will all be spending some time learning how even "high tech" people can struggle at times with the technology :) It should be great fun!


Well the Bad news was that my first attempt at YouTubeLive was not effective. The good news is that I have learned much and now believe I have the system set up to stream and record sessions properly. At least all the tests I did last night seemed to indicate all was well. In fact, the quality of the recording and some of the "extra features" I have available are exciting! 

I am thinking that this next Wednesday, 9/21 we will revisit the financial simulation and get people introduced to the YouTubeLive system. I have still not found a way to have others join me in video/audio in the session, but I will continue to explore that. My ultimate goal is to get people discussing things and sharing. There have been a few that have done a wonderful job of contributing from just the chat screen in past sessions, but there is a different level of engagement when it is visual and audio I think. Step by step we will get this working 

If anyone is interested in how to stream to YouTubeLive, I can certainly entertain questions. I am by no means an expert but I have accumulated a great number of things you don't want to do within that system . You may find this video helpful. He was a huge help for me. Unfortunately, there was no way he could have helped with configuring all the techie bits that have to plug in all just right. It turned out that one little sound setting was causing my recordings to only be lasting 45 seconds. Once I found the offending setting then played "guess and check" on what that setting needed to be for my system, POOF, everything was awesome! It may have been 3 or 4 hours later than I had planned, but recordings were working as expected and all seemed set up correctly. Learning is so exciting!

Last week's attempt at YouTube live was a mixed experience. Google Hangout On Air shut down a couple of weeks ago and I had to learn a whole new system that is a fair amount more geeky than the On Air system was. The good news is that for viewers, the system should be quick and easy as you will read below. 

This week, I think I will stay with the topic of Financial simulations and tools that help teach learners about stocks, bonds, and making it rich on Wallstreet! I am unable to figure out at this time, how to have others join my thread in live video/audio, but that is something I hope to be able to set up down the road. 

All participants simply need to go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/Ohgeer/live. On the right side of the screen you will see a chat window that you can interact with others and myself. When I start the stream, the feed will automatically turn on if you are on that page. No fuss at all to connect :)

Of course this is if I did, in fact work out all the bugs as I thought I had last week. I spent two hours going through setting after setting to find that one little setting that was causing my stream to just stop after 1min 43sec. 

I hope to catch a few of you in chat this Wednesday at 7pm EST. Please don't be shy about saying "Hi" in the chat and sharing any tools or simulations you know about that help our learners crack into the mysteries of Wallstreet and all that Big Money enterprise. 

This week we will explore how using Google Slides can be used to create comics while teaching vital technology skills our adult learners need in a digital society. 

We will be continuing to experiment this week. Last week we managed to have the session live with people viewing but not able to really participate completely because voice and video were not options. In digging around through options, I think I have come up with a plan.

Google Hangouts still work and are up and running fine. The only aspect Google shut down was the Google Hangout On Air service that would automatically record and post the session to YouTube. Now that we are set up on YouTube Live's service, I can simply record a Google Hangout live. 

If you wish to participate in this week's session with voice and video, you can send me an email sharing your gmail address and I will send you the invite 15 minutes before we start up. 

Meanwhile, everyone else can still view the session by simply clicking on this link http://www.youtube.com/user/Ohgeer/live  around 7pm est on Wednesday 9/28/16. Hope to see you there as we have fun with making comics!

In this week's hangout, we begin to explore how the Google tools might be used in adult education. We start with the intake process. There are many individual forms that people may be familiar with like Learning Styles Inventories, Multiple Intelligences and ways for learners to share individual educational experiences. Using the collaboration available in Google's cloud tools, we will explore how easy it is to collect all the vital intake material and get that to instructors immediately in easy to process ways. 

To join us this week, simply go to http://www.youtube.com/user/Ohgeer/live at 7pm EST on Wednesday 10/12/16. 

This Wednesday, October 19th at 7pm EST, we will be exploring an example of how the Google Tools could be used to help learners explore College and Career options. This is a continuation of our discussion that started last week in which we started exploring how Intake data might be collected and shared with teachers in efficient ways using the Google Tools. If participants have forms or systems they use for College and Career explorations and wish to share them with others, please email me (ohgeer@gmail.com) so we can share your ideas with others this Wednesday. 

Link to the live stream that starts at 7pm EST on Wednesday: http://www.youtube.com/user/Ohgeer/live

Past episode resources and form to share content ideas at: https://sites.google.com/site/correctmenow/hanging-with-ed-ucation

This Wednesday, October 25th, Hanging with Ed(ucation) will be taking a break. There are so many discussions going on in the Teaching Problem Solving in the Technology Rich Environment discussion, I would hate to take time away from people keeping up with all the wonderful ideas and experiences people are sharing in that discussion. 

If you have ideas or suggestions for topics next Wednesday, please email me or use the input form on the Hanging with Ed(ucation) website. Hope to see you next week!

This Wednesday, 11/2/2016 we explore the many options that Google Sites offers to get educators and learners up and running with a webpage quickly. Teachers may use the website to share digital resources, interact with learners or to collaborate with other educators. Students can create webpages that make effective digital portfolios or just a page that expresses their goals and aspirations or something they are a fan of. It's all free and easily integrates with all the other Google tools seamlessly. 

Link to the event that starts live at 7pm EST on Wednesday is: http://www.youtube.com/user/Ohgeer/live


This week we continue our exploration into Google Sites. Specifically, we will explore a few options that demonstrate how other google tools can be used to create interaction with learners on your site. We will be starting from scratch to build these examples so you will have the sequence laid out and recorded if you should wish to try to add these interactive elements to your own site. 

Live stream starts at 7pm est on Wednesday 11/9/16. Link to the live stream is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Ohgeer/live

As always, you can go to the Hanging with Ed(ucation) site to enter ideas for future weeks or review materials from past weeks. 

You can find my complete recorded previous session play list here

In this session we explore Google Sheets and some simple ways teachers may wish to use Sheets. We will learn a few basic functions that make sheets into interactive spaces and we will look at how formatting options allow us to do much more than one might think we can do in a spreadsheet. There will be a few examples shared that are beyond the basics to simply illustrate some of the power available after basics are mastered. 

Link to event starting at 7pm on Wednesday 11/16


This week we explore a free business simulation game that educators may find valuable to teach learners the different components and costs of running a business as well as many of the basics of our economic system. Learning can be great fun through structured play. Come join us as we look at one example simulation and how it might be useful in our education efforts. 

As always our session starts at 7pm EST and you can view the session at this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/Ohgeer/live