Using Technology Better

Leigh BlackallCurrent thinking in learning design3 Comments

Andrea and Leigh attended the Using Technology Better Conference (UTB) last week – a two-day skills sharing conference, largely focused on the ways teachers are using Google products, but not exclusively.

UTB is typically attended by school teachers, and there’s lots to gain looking over the shoulders of such teachers and the way they use technologies in their teaching practice. Not least because some of their students are soon to arrive in universities.

There were some very impressive demonstrations in the skills workshops, ranging from show and tell sessions for apps and add-ons, to how to use Google Forms to create quizzes that mark and send feedback automatically.

The format of show and tell sessions was particularly interesting, and might be useful in professional development sessions here at RMIT. Basically, people get up and give 30 second show and tells on a particular application they use or find interesting. The rapid turn around means they cover a lot and largely focus on a little known technique or product feature, or an add-on or Chrome extension that is obviously useful to teaching and learning work.

Unfortunately, many of the add-ons demonstrated are not available to people using an RMIT Google account. We hear this is about to change, but await more detail. It is certainly worth knowing what we’re not using, and perhaps consider if we might use them through a personal capacity. RMIT does have access to the Chrome extensions and features within applications which are just as valuable.

Below is Andrea and Leigh’s notes from these show and tell sessions:


  • Use Google+ Communities for Course and Program communications, project communications and ongoing professional development

Google Books

Please note, Google Books is not enabled on RMIT accounts.

  • Use Google Books to collect and share books, and find them in local libraries
  • Use NGram viewer to search and compare trends and historical use of terminology in books published since 1800

Google Drive

Google Add-Ons

Please note, Google Add-ons are not currently enabled on RMIT accounts.

  • Combine spreadsheet data with other data around the web using Fusion Tables
  • Leave voice comments on Google Drive documents using Kaizena
  • Organise, share and assess student work in Google drive using Doctopus. You can also use Goobric in Doctopus to mark Google Drive work against a rubric
  • After creating the self-marking quiz with Google Forms, use Add-ons to copy data from the sheet and email pre-configured feedback to respondents
  • Add notes to a video timelines using (also syncs with Evernote)
  • Highlight sections of a  Google Doc using Texthelp Study Skills, which then allows you to collect all highlighted sections together.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
Howard ErreyleighblackallAndrew Rodda Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Andrew Rodda

Seriously kick-ass list here Leigh, thanks for sharing.
I will certainly try to review and implement, many of these add-ons.
I would have liked to have gone to this, are there any lists of upcoming events along similar lines?


Thanks Andrew, credit must go to Andrea as well, we both wrote this post. Great to hear it is immediately useful, we’d be interested to hear what you use and how, and how you work within the limitations of what RMIT has enabled. As for future events, we also rely on “word of mouth” by following a range of Google+ Communities and Twitter hashTags. We’ll try and relay what we find in a timely manor here, on our G+ pages or on the project communities on G+. This particular event was picked up by Howard. He’s across a lot of… Read more »

Howard Errey

The Google Education Group Melbourne is a good one to join
and I have just created this group for Google further ed users to which you are invited.