#Digilit Sunday Google Apps and iPads

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DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, September 21, 2014.

 

 What I learned on Twitter on Sunday….

Tips for Using Google Apps on the iPad

Note: the most common tip from the experts:  Use Google Chrome app.

To keep up with all news Google Drive, follow their blog: Google Drive

or the official Google Blog

 

1. Five Tips for Google + iPad: Click here to go to article: Tips


Summary:

1. Download Google Apps: Install all of the featured apps on this page: Google Apps for iOS. All of Google’s mobile apps work as a team. Links will open in Chrome instead of Safari.

2. Google Search App: Enable hands-free, voice search trigger for the Google Search app.
Now simply say, “Okay, Google,” your device will beep, and start “listening” for your search query. If you ask a question, Google will read the answer back to you! Think of how much this can help students.  “Okay, Google,” can be enabled in Google Chrome on the desktop. Chrome on the iPad can also do voice search, but not “Okay, Google.”

3. gMail App: Use the gMail app, not the native iOS Mail app, which sucks up your storage space. The Gmail app is better, faster, and is cloud-based. The Gmail app will also let you connect multiple gmail accounts. If you don’t have a personal gMail account, consider getting one for all the benefits of the spam filters, speed, and the other apps associated with it.

4. Use a Google Calendar App: Google Desktop Calendar plays nicely with most other calendar applications out there, but to get the gcal functionality you have on the desktop, use a Google Calendar app.  Although Google does not offer an official Google Calendar app for the iPad, choose one with gcal functionality. Kasey recommends Sunrise (free) or Calendars 5 by Readdle ($6.99).

5. Google+ Google Plus is currently the fastest growing social network. With Google+ app on your iOS device you can auto-backup your photos and videos to Google! What is the number one storage hog on iPads?  photos and videos. Let Google+ back up to your Google+ account.

Also, Google+ is builds your personal learning network and your collaboration with like-minded educators. Kasey’s 5 Reasons Educators Should Use Google Plus.

2. Add images to Google Docs on the iPad

 

Watch the video in the link; read the directions.

Summary:

1. Chrome app works best.

2. In Chrome choose “mobile site” and go to drive.google.com to log in.

3. Create a new document– stay in Chrome; don’t go to the Drive app.

4. Choose Document and add a title, click create.

5. This is the important part: When the page loads with your new document, click on ‘Desktop’ for the page mode type at the bottom of the page. See bottom of above image.

6. Now you can click “insert —> image” from the menu. [screenshot]

7. Click the blue Add Image button in the middle of the pop-up that appears. Choose Camera Roll.  [screenshot]

8 Choose your picture.

 

3. Google Drive’s Magic ‘i’ — the iPad and Google  = Collaboration

On the desktop, when you click a document [pdf, slides, document, spreadsheets] in  the list on your Drive, the new Drive asks “Open-in” from which you can open virtually any document.

How do you get to the “open-in” on your iPad?

When you click the “i” button in an iPad app, you discover the choice to “Open in.“  Almost any product you make on the iPad can be uploaded to Google Drive and housed in the cloud.

Example: Students [or teachers] create an iMovie. They go to Google Drive, choose the upload button and then upload that iMovie from the camera roll into their Drive accounts using the “Open in” choice. They can share that file and/or movie/photo with their peer from Google Drive, and now the students can collaborate in iMovie — or what ever app file you’re working with.

As you can see, I’ve added to my knowledge from the experts on Twitter, where anyone is an expert if you know an answer to the questions asked. It’s an open forum that levels the field: experts and novices become collaborators with their own expertise.

Sunday, I focused on learning about Google Apps with the iPad since our teachers use their iPads with our Google Apps for Education.

How do you start Twitter? Start with a personal account. Here are several resources:

Twitter 101 

Twitter Prezi 

Twitter Handout

Twitter Post

As Steve Jobs said, “Just ask.” What are your questions?


Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

#DigiLit Sunday Assessing Blogs

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How do you assess blogs?

What is your purpose?

That is the question.

sundaydiglit

DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, September 14, 2014.

This week’s DigiLit Sunday is a follow-up to Margaret’s question last week: How do I turn this activity into data? 

How do you assess blogs?

What is your purpose?

That is the question, and that determines the data.

For some, the purpose may be writing fluency. Then assessment would be to provide feedback on the increased number and length of posts.  [ CCSS: 10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. ]

As students develop fluency, suggest organization of paragraphs — not the five-sentence paragraph, but the idea of topic and support. [CCSS: 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ]

Next, add in conventions — sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

If fluency and foundational skills are not the focus, then consider:

  • design — the theme, layout, widgets, links, focus, invitation to participate, categories, tags [CCSS: 6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.] 
  • content — topic, support details, vocabulary, questions, style [ CCSS: 1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. 2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. 3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. ]
  • conventions

Perhaps the focus is writing:

  • organization
  • ideas
    •  [CCSS: 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ]
  • voice
  • word choice
  • sentence fluency
  • conventions
    • [CCSS: 5  Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. ]

Perhaps the focus is collaboration:

  • research
  • connect
  • share
  • collaborate
    • [CCSS: 6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others  7  Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. 8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism. ]
    • [CCSS Speaking and Listening 

Comprehension and Collaboration 1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. 3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas 4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. 5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.]

For a thorough review of blogging with students, see Silvia Tolisano’s work at Langwitches:

I especially like this rubric she created [click to enlarge]:

Silvia Tolisano’s Rubric

My hope is my “assessment” is a conversation with students and students with each other, so that the learning is a growth goal of which reflection inspires improvement. Therefore, an ongoing component of blogging would be a reflection by the student of the growth their blog demonstrates. If I must give score from a rubric, the important part is still the conversation, goal-setting, and reflection!

What are your thoughts about assessing blogs and gathering data?

Google Education Groups

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There’s an exciting thing in the Google World — Google Educator Groups [GEG ] in each state. We’ve even got one in Washington State:

GEG WA

gegWA

 

I just watched the recording of our first virtual meetup, hosted by +Justin Talmadge, with special guests +Andrew Marcinek, +Kimberly Allison, +Jeff Utecht, +Brian Cleary, +Mike Schwab and+Alexandrea Alphonso . It was a great conversation about Google Classroom, Google Sites, Google Docs.

I had planned to attend, but a teacher meeting popped into the schedule. I’m so glad I watched the recording.

I am a classroom teacher [language arts middle school] and the super-admin for our Google Apps for Education [GAFE], which we started way back in 2009 when domains were either public or private, so we are one of the schools with two domains: one for staff and one for students and their teachers. I’m wondering if we should combine those now… as a small school, we could. It would be a lot of work to set that up; as a K-8 School, we’ve set up more restrictions on the student end.

I really appreciate the PSESD’s forward vision, and participated in their CCSSBlog this summer. And I am so thankful for GEG WA.

Our Tech Team carefully compared [in 2009] GAFE and MicrosoftLive [wasn't it 360 then?] and GAFE was so much further along for collaboration, options, and apps. It was the obvious choice because of that and for one other important reason: Google Sites! Your conversation really emphasized that — we needed to save money and Google Sites became our free district website that was so much more customizable than the expensive platform we were using.

I wish there were a Blogger-edu, but we use Kidblogs and Edublogs for blogging in middle school. But the conversation about portfolios was terrific: What is the purpose? Is there reflection? Is there a capstone project? Is the data portable and interoperable? Because we are a K8 school, it’s not that much of an issue; students who are 13 work with their parents and me to transfer their best stuff to a personal account.

My students love Google Apps; we use Hapara Teacher Dashboard to monitor and quickly provide feedback to student work. Kids in the eighth grade already work with tech that is invisible to what they do — they choose the tool [docs, slides, blog] that fits their audience and purpose, taking care to cite their sources and use Creative Commons images. We are just learning the research tool – that is so awesome. We also use Diigo to highlight and annotate.

I’m so thankful for GAFE because it provides that platform for learning — for sharing and creating not just evidence of learning, but authentic places for student voice, choice, and community or world solutions. Thank you, Google!

A couple other reflections from the conversation:

–Love the search in Chrome’s URL bar

–Love Google Sites

–Agree with Kimberly that the new “ease of use,” consistent drive menu takes getting used to — and the search for documents is limited to whichever space you’re in, which is inconvenient.

–Most of our small staff is reluctant to learn because they haven’t grown up with it, and our previous admin hadn’t made it a priority; I’ve provided links, help, resources as much as possible, but it takes vision and encouragement to change mindsets. Fortunately, our current principal has vision and realizes the benefits of collaboration with GAFE!

Finally, it’s important to keep the vision. Again this year, with new district administration and new fiscal managers who are not current in educational technology and possibilities, that vision must be reviewed; I really appreciate the inspiration from my my Google PLN and new principal!

So find a GEG Group today to keep your vision!

 

#DigiLit Sunday #Chalkabration Poetry

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sundaydiglitIt’s Sunday!

 

DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, Aug 31, 2014.

 

chalk-button-14

We also join Betsy Hubbard’s Chalkabration.

 

 

To be digitally literate means that you communicate with the tool that fits best. Betsy asks us to share poetry in chalk, on chalkboard, on black paper, or on the sidewalk. Some people may even want to play with neon writing in apps as an adaptation. If you write or draw your poem, you’ll need a tool to snap the image and upload it to your computer to place in your blog: that could be a digital camera or phone. And perhaps your poem is fits with a video format, using an app like Vine.

 

The important idea is to choose the tools – digital or analog – that fit your audience and purpose.

summer_chalkabration

What about the poem? Of course, you’ll need to write your poem, using powerful words and chalk that colors that make your idea pop. Don’t have an idea? Read others’ poems to for a spark of an idea. Then use your powerful writing strategies to write your idea, to create an image in the reader’s mind. Snapshot. Figurative Language.

Writers don’t just prewrite, draft, revise, edit, publish. Writers are always thinking about the end — what the words look like and sound like, and how to best get those word ideas across – with color, image, video, illustration, etc. It’s a recursive process, moving back and forth into drafts to make the words, and the accompanying media, work together.

If you look at my poem in the image or Vine, you won’t see how I thought about the end of summer and moving into fall. I didn’t use “Fall” or “Autumn.” But I inserted the word “slip” as another word for fall to complete the alliteration of “Summer slips slowly.”  I then thought of “falling” to bring “Fall/Autumn” in with “slip,” adding “with leaves” to complete the connection. My colors start with spring green, summer great, yellow, and two shades of orange to move the words through the seasons. The small leaf added the final touch, the end of summer. Since the breeze kept blowing away my leaf, I added the vine, a perfect tool to accentuate the poem.

So, the writing process started with the spark of the end of summer, and through thoughtful give and take of ideas and words, my poem came alive — using the tools needed to share with other #chalkabration writers.

How about you? How do you show your digital literacy? How is your process?

 

 


Common Core State Standards

Anchor Standards

Writing

5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

6.3E Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.

Reading

6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

#DigiLit Organize Twitter PLN Lists

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DigiLit Sunday

It’s Sunday!  DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, Aug 24, 2014

Question: My Twitter is overflowing – How do I manage it?

Where did my PLN go? Twitter is my go to place for resources and connections. As you gain followers and follow others, you Twitter feed will grow with wonders amazing: lessons, strategies, connections, questions, answers, resources, etc. And we want those literacy connections to be at the forefront…

Eventually, though, you’ll wonder where that original group of connections is in your Twitter stream. You’ll wonder where the key people’s tweets disappeared to. You’ll know you’re missing something on the topics of specific interest to you that those key people mostly tweet.

Yes, we’ve got #hashtags, but I there’s a conversation and stream of ideas from those connections that are near and dear to your heart– those whose ripples of information and conversation connect mostly with your [and their] situation?

How do you keep connected with those in addition to you regular stream?

Lists.

First of all, here are resources:

Here are the experts’ advice:

Twitter

Twitter Media

Mashable

Mashable: How To

Second, a quick over view:

Create a list

When logged in to Twitter, go to the gear icon and click Lists.

go to list

 

A list page will open, and you can create a list. Give it a name [can't start with number].

create list button

create list

 

Note you can make it public or private as needed.

Now find people to add to your list. Search names or usernames.

find people

click gear to addClick the gear icon and choose add or remove from list.

find and add to list

When in your twitter stream, just click a name.

click name

Their profile will pop up — click the gear and add.

gear in profile

Of course, you can delete lists as well.

Just click the icon in your profile. Choose your list by clicking the title.

choose list

click delete

Click delete.

Third, find and subscribe to lists.

Now that you know how to create, add to, and delete a list — there’s a great option to get started with a pre-made list. For example, I wanted a list of Language Arts Teachers, and wouldn’t you know it, Judy Artz has a list. How do I know?

When at Judy’s profile, click more –> Lists.

judy profile

See all her lists, and click the name of the one of interest.

judy language arts list

click subscribeClick subscribe.

unsubscribeNotice that the button changes to “unsubscribe from list” in case you need to.

Notice that you can see all the members — with a gear icon by their name so you can add them to the list directly from her list.

see followers and add to list thereNotice it shows who you already follow.  And you can see the list of subscribers as well with the same information — add to list; see who you’re following.

subscribed to members of

Finally, use your lists.

Now that you’ve got the lists relevant to your PLN and your interests, just click the name of the list to see the tweets from those members. You don’t even need to follow a person to add them to the list, but usually you do.

Go forth and add a few manageable canals to your Twitter stream.

Back at your lists, you will find the lists to which you have subscribed, and the lists to which you have been added as a member!

twitter list stream

What Twitter organizing strategies do you use to keep focused on literacy strategies?

#DigiLit Sunday Blogging Challenge

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sundaydiglit

 

It’s Sunday!  DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Click here.

This week: Get started or restarted with  class blogging !

I want to dive in to blogging with my students. We blog with Kidblog (Grades 6, 7) and Edublog (Grade 8). Last year was our first real attempt at blogging, as you can see at Kidblogs. I’ve archived my Grade 8′s already.

First of all, why student blogging? Read what Connected Principal George Couros says: 5 Reasons Your Students Should Blog. The main reason for me is to help students become  lifelong, connected and civil learners in our connected world. The second reason is that student blogging fits right in with the Common Core State Standards. Technology is integrated throughout the standards [ See the integration here, by Beth Goth], and students who blog will be synthesizing texts and using media to analyze and discuss the issues about which they are studying. And they’ll be applying the writing  / communication skills needed to share those reflections, compositions, and arguments. And, learning to leave a positive digital footprint that leads right back to them.

How will I restart this blogging habit to develop both reading and writing skills?

I’ve started the Edublogs Teach Class Blogging Challenge to get myself blogging, connecting, conversing, ready to get my students going as well. My first post at my class blog, Eagles Write, shares my new theme and some great ideas by three other teacher bloggers. I’ll remember all the tricks and tips and trials of starting a blog, and be prepared for my students. I’ll learn a few new tricks.

How about you? Are you thinking about blogging with your students? A good way to start is with one class blog — that’s how I ease into blogging with my new class of sixth grade students each year.  So how about joining a challenge?  Try Edublogs or other challenges — or join a group of teachers and just start together!

How do you start something new with students? Challenge yourself!  Dive in. Learn with them.

 

 

+++++++++++++++++++

Another Resource:

Why teachers should blog by Matt Davis

#leadershipday14 Leadership – Be the Compass

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cropped-connect2learn-1pc4deg

It’s Leadership Day 2014, a call from Scott McLeod to offer insights for leaders in education. One topic of importance Scott addressed when he first started this discussion is

  • “what it means to prepare students for the digital, global world in which we now live.”

For leaders today, take time to do four things:

  1. Consider the Common Core State Standards for their Technology Integration; Beth Goff has done this for you here.
  2. Consider the ISTE NETS Standards for Administrators
  3. While considering these, watch kids: Not in the classroom, but wherever they gather
  4. Consider the world outside education, and what is “college and career ready”

1 Consider the Common Core State Standards for their Technology Integration

The  Common Core State Standards [CCSS] and the new assessments for these standards expect students to read online, research online, annotate online, compose online. Take a look at Michael Graham’s Google Apps Meets the Common Core. If your school is a Google Apps for Education [GAFE] school, then you already have an advantage for those integrated and expected technology skills in the CCSS. Students can research within their Google Docs with the research / scholar tools, share and collaborate on projects, revise and offer feedback, consider their revision history, and publish to an audience. They can use Calendar to plan their own or collaborative projects; they can call experts to interview through mail or hangouts; they can create websites of information that address issues. Teachers and students work together; assessment can be interactive or individual – with immediate personalized feedback; families can view what students are doing. Virtually all technology integration for CCSS is covered as a GAFE school.

2 Consider the ISTE NETS Standards for Administrators

Just look at the Admin Essentials. Here are a few:

Shared Vision–Proactive leadership in developing a shared vision for educational technology among all education stakeholders, including teachers and support staff, school and district administrators, teacher educators, students, parents, and the community

Empowered Leaders –Stakeholders at every level empowered to be leaders in effecting change

Curriculum Framework –Content standards and related digital curriculum resources that are aligned with and support digital age learning and work

Student-Centered Learning–Planning, teaching, and assessment centered around the needs and abilities of students

Assessment and Evaluation—Continuous assessment of teaching, learning, and leadership, and evaluation of the use of ICT and digital resources

Engaged Communities–Partnerships and collaboration within communities to support and fund the use of ICT and digital learning resources

Each of these requires the use of more than email. Today’s technology allows teachers to assess standards efficiently for focused instruction today.  I’ve already mentioned Google Apps ability to assess. GAFE also works with the free learning platform called Edmodo, which has just offered a free CCSS assessment tool, Snapshot. Ask your techy teachers; they’re already aware and willing to share. Build that shared vision together; empower your teacher-leaders. Help them build that curriculum centered on students. Build an engaged community with today’s tools: shared documents, video chats [hangouts], shared calendars. If collaboration is key, and the newest NWEA study indicates so, then using these tech tools to do so makes sense; the adults need to learn these tools as well to understand what students today already do.

3 While considering these, watch kids: Not in the classroom, but wherever they gather

Do you see many kids watching TV these days? Nope: they watch YouTube. YouTube is the go to place for learning. Need to know how to cut your bangs? Go to YouTube. Need a quick gift to make? Go to YouTube. Like the new duct-tape gifts — go to YouTube. Need to know something on Minecraft — go to YouTube.  Kids today find what they want to know online. Need help writing that essay for English — text or Facebook for help.  And they are creating and sharing what they know online. The are producing, not just consuming.  What does that say for rows of desks and your textbook? It’s time for change, with students at the center and technology as the tool for research, collaboration, and creation.

4 Consider the world outside education, and what is “college and career ready”

The world is flat; we don’t need to fly to Florida. We can confer with technology. Everything is interconnected. Information is everywhere, anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to build relationships and connections, to gather relevant and valid data, and to synthesize that for the project for your business requires new literacies and new collaboration skills. That’s why the CCSS integrates and expects students to use those tech tools.

 

There’s a great post by A J Juliani about how little our classrooms have changed — at least when considered from the outside, because many teachers are already innovating and reforming their classrooms.  A J Juliani picked up on the sad state of outside views of education in his post, Hey @Disney, Here’s What the Modern Classroom Looks Like. The Disney movie showed the same rows of desks with teacher at front as you would see in 1900′s. He says:

“If society continues to see this view of teaching and learning in shows and movies then their perspective on the educational system will be one that is outdated. Worse, it will be one that sees no need for change.”

Leaders, we’ve got to tell our stories — and wake up to the needed changes. So, leaders: let’s consider together: “what it means to prepare students for the digital, global world in which we now live?”  What do those tech standards in the CCSS really mean for today — and tomorrow? How much do our students know — and how can we guide them towards those collaborative and connective skills so needed in their world tomorrow?

Let’s collaborate on getting ourselves and our students into today’s connected world. How about I share a Google Doc and we get started thinking about what we can do? Let’s be the compass that guides us forward together.

CC Flickr by TheKarenD

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