#DigiLit Sunday Google Slides, Wordle, Veterans Day

My favorite presentation tool: Google Slides.

First of all, it has really advanced since the time my students created the project I will share. Take a look at this Parent Night Slideshow. Google Slides has transitions, animations, and themes to really help students learn talking points and design.

That’s part of what two students did in my class a while back. The loved Wordle.net, but wanted to bring it in line with what we were learning about presentation, and to connect it with Veterans Day.

Every year the Nespelem American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a contest for Veterans Day. The theme is usually “Honor All Veterans.” Veterans Day is an important event in our community. In all the towns around, breakfasts, dinners, school assemblies, and Pow Wows honor those who served our country to keep us safe and free. We thank all those who sponsor activities, and especially the Nespelem American Legion Auxiliary.

The seventh and eighth grade students started with a prewriting plan in Google Docs which helped them think of nouns, strong verbs, and actions of those who served in the Armed Forces. Next the students revised and edited their work.

Two students, Tristen and Mysti, asked the  students to create word clouds using their essays as the source for the words (Wordle.net ). Each then saved the images, uploaded the wordles, and pasted their essays into a Google presentation. Each student explained why they chose the colors, word arrangements, and layout. This is their gift. Thanks to Tristen and Mysti for asking their peers to join.

We asked other schools in our Quad Blog Team to comment about our project and about Veterans Day. You can read those at our student blog here.

It was an engaging way to learn writing and design while also honoring our veterans. We may just do that again this year. How about you?

Based on this post: Writing Class Veterans Paragraph

 

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, October 5, 2014.

sundaydiglit

#Digilit Sunday Google Apps and iPads

 

 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 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.

Google Education Groups

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 Blogging Challenge

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

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

connectkindly

DigiLit Sunday #clmooc Writing

sundaydiglit

 

DigiLit 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 I’m rethinking the writing process and tools.

Prior to digital tools, students would prewrite, draft, revise, review, revise, find feedback, and publish on paper. I’m not sure how many writers actually write this way. I know for fiction, I just start writing in Google Docs and let my characters start their journey. How would I help students experience this? How would it help develop word choice and plot?

Digital Tool

I’ve discovered a new tool I love, tackk.com . Be sure to sign up at the Education version if you chose to use this. It shares to Edmodo, and can be assigned through Edmodo so students can login with their Edmodo credentials. The Global Read Aloud is even using Tackk this year.  Public, or private, designing with Tackk is super easy. I like to know these things up front before I get excited about a new tool.

How can I help students experience the on-demand and online strategies of writing and revising?

Digital Prompt and Model

I designed a Tackk: FindWay as a story prompt and model to share with students. The prompt starts with the story and ends with directions and revision questions for peer collaboration.

Prompt and Model: Finding My Way

I created this story online, starting with a quest to find relief from the heat in a favorite swimming spot with friends. Tackk allows you to find glyphs, images, and videos to augment your own text using their built-in search for each. In addition, you can upload your own images and video.  It’s easy to move sections up and down and revise as needed.

During the story writing, I composed as a I wrote [see Directions at end], to fit the images that I could find. I prefer stills; I like the that I put myself into the image, instead of having action of a video clip take over my and my readers’ imaginations. It’s my choice; each writer must choose their own. I noticed many animations in the ‘gliphy’ search, which could work well for student stories.

During the story writing, I edited/revised as I wrote — descriptions, dialogue, imagery, action, etc.

During the story writing, I found the repetitive phrase to bring the good luck/bad luck of the story together: I sighed; I smiled.

When I present this, these are discussions for our class, including asking students for feedback on my work, which I ask them to do as they finish their stories. Of course, they could opt to create a story, revising together as I did.

Tackk, as you see, illustrates beautifully, including sound. The right sidebar offers choice in design, easy to discover, and a custom URL can be created.

Finally, Tackk lets others collaborate or comment. It can be shared with many sites, like Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. And it can be embedded in a webpage or blog [see below].

Digital Writing

What do you think?

I can see this for sharing nonfiction ideas as well as fiction. I found it very easy to revise as I designed and composed with many options inserting media.  Students would be able to follow a creative process and share their efforts. This is a powerful tool for composing: thinking and revising with text, images, and video alone or in collaboration.

How could you use Tackk in your classroom?


 

Maker MIndset #clmooc #teachdonow

Jackie Gerstein at UsergeneratedEducation pushes us constantly to think through the educational mandates and silver bullets to focus on students and their learning. What will best guide students to become thinking, caring, productive persons?

The first thirty-eight slides of her presentation [ below ] provide thoughtful background theories and key questions to consider for our classrooms.

 

Slide 8: Something to do. We lost this when state standards developed in the 1990s. We removed the authenticity of doing and replaced it with intangible verbiage, which would have been the learning had we continued with the doing.

Slide 22: The most important question for classrooms – because doing is learning.

Slide 27: Love this question. After all, aren’t we trying to make the world better?

Slide 29: The Soft Skills – the process of planning, searching, gathering, sharing, collaborating, listening, debating, revising. The skills we learn through doing and doing together.

With each of these first thirty-eight slides, I say – that’s what what we need to consider! That’s our goal… I appreciate that Jackie shares these slides and continues with examples in the latter part.

Jackie’s Thinglink provides more information to consider:

Refer to the work of those who focused on learning as opposed to standards or skill objectives. Review the work of Dewey [and here], Vygotsky, Bruner, Papert [and here]. For Language Arts, see the work of James Moffett [ and here ].

Consider these ideas and questions. Consider the students in your classroom. When did we lose the doing? We learn what we need while doing something. We learn the strategies as we go, with support from our collaboration with peers or colleagues. Every time we do something, we build on what we learned before. That is the power of project-based learning. Students today are fading out in classrooms, bored with the posted objective; they want to learn what is of interest to them — or a question, an issue that piques their interests. With information readily available, it is the questions asked about that information that leads to learning and understanding it; it is what we want to do with the information that allows us to learn deeper. It is the sharing and collaborating with a shared purpose that propels us to do more and better to discover an answer and produce the results for others to contribute; this is learning. It fits in any classroom.

How will we as educators bring the power of the question and the doing back into our classrooms?

dewey_doing

 


Source of Quote

Dewey, John. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. New York: Macmillan, 1916. Print. p. 181
Cross Post