#DigiLit Sunday #NaNoWriMo Google Apps

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, November 9, 2014.

sundaydiglit

 

Our students in grades seven and eight are participating in #NaNoWriMo again this year. Each students sets their own goals and we continue to follow the Common Core State Standards aligned curriculum by Young Writers NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. I wrote about it last week, and this was our first week.

We actually have only twelve days of classroom time to allot for this due to trainings, conferences, and Thanksgiving. However the students are writing about what they know: their hobbies and interests. They took that lesson to heart: writers write about what they know [or research]. So students are writing about friendships made and lost, sports goals and goofs, and characters new and ancient.

Students draft their writing in Google Docs.  Our Teacher Dashboard by Hapara allows me to quickly see new additions, view, and click to add comments to encourage their continued efforts. I point out the positives to encourage their continued use of those strategies such as dialogue and description to help set the mood and tone for their action.

teacher_dashboard

 

nanao comments

 

Students share their novels with each other to also add comments and encourage each other. Students or teacher and student can carry on a feedback conversation through the comments and when completed, just click “Resolve.” The collaborative aspect of Google Apps for Education encourages writing by students through this process; it’s personalized learning at its best.

When not writing for NaNoWriMo, the apps allow for students to choose the app that best fits their audience and purpose: a blog? a Google site? a document? a slideshow? a survey [forms]? a spreadsheet with charts for data? a HangOut with experts? To meet the Common Core State Standards, collaboration and multi-media information are key. I’m so thankful our school district adopted this for our students.

 

 

#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!

 

#edcampspokane Links

Thanks to #educampspokane organizers and sponsors and Mobius Science Center for a pre-event evening!
mobiusedcampspokane

Things to share:

Google Apps

Benefits of Google Apps

About Google Voice

Learn Google Apps  Lessons

Just Google It Presentation: Apps Based Classroom

Google Apps in the District: Our Websites and Collaboration – teacher  / student; process; example [ Cove Assignment student collaboration]

40 Ways to Start Using Google Apps in the Classroom by Becky Evans

Flubaroo Self-Grading

Google Docs BackChannel   Video 1

iTunes GAFE podcast

iTunes Video podcast

YouTube Training Videos

Google Apps Blog

Eric Curts work:  Google Plus for Schools  Apps User Group

Google Apps User Groups for NW USA

Google Hangouts on Air   Google Plus Hangout Community

Using Google Apps as a Free LMS (community)

Connected Classrooms, a Google Community

Learn Google Apps — for Students — Google Ninja

Google science fair – kids design science project, collect data, analyze, create website.

Google Keep — save, organize, notes

Google Apps Security

Google + email Trick  for other apps (Animoto, Voki, etc.)

Why Google (NSD)

Note: Many sites allow connection to Google for log in, such as Goorulearning:

gooulearning.org  Transform Learning. Inspire Students. Create and share collections of engaging web resources with your students. Browse courses in our K-12 Community Library to get started.

Tips from Google Apps Session with Tracy Sontrop, Session 3

Session 3 Notes

Lesson Plans for Google

Google Search Tips (Richard Byrne)

Better ReSearchers

Google Earth Walks

Google Earth Maps

Ask the Google Gooru

Google for Education

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PBL:  Project / Problem Based Learning

Kathy Schrock’s Authentic Learning Resources

Buck Institute for Education and PBLU (to reopen April 2014)

Projects, Problems, or just projects? by Jackie Gerstein

Genius Hour:  Wiki and Community  Twitter Chat: First Thursday 9 PM Eastern #geniushour

 Add Our Genius: site that includes specific scaffolding for students who need it

Joy Kirr: LiveBinder and Blog

Genius Hour ePub for our district

I Stand Eight: under construction PBL

All Dots Matter and Blog

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Build Your PLN

Edudemic’s Guide to Twitter

Edudemic / Shell Terrell Build Your PLN  Shell on Twitter

ASCD Will Richardson Build Your PLN

Edutopia’s Pinterest for PLN

Extend the Conversation and Blog (Two Friends — Denise Krebs ) and Site

#leadershipday13 Answer: How Do Busy Administrators find time?

Each year Scott McLeod challenges us to challenge our administrators to move forward with technology for the learning processes of our schools. Thursday, August 15, 2013 is #leadershipday13.

How do busy administrators find time to do all the tasks expected with their school board of directors, their staff, their students, and their communities?

Administrators have many stakeholders to consider throughout their day — it’s difficult to juggle these expectations. How might technology help?

Our administrator focuses on communication and collaboration with our community and staff. He writes “Thoughts to Share” for school board and staff and sends home a calendars of events.

Paper handouts often wind up tacked to a fridge or cabinet door, piled with other handouts, or stuffed in a briefcase or book bag, or filed in a folder. What if all those communications could be organized and accessible as needed? How could a busy administrator find time to share, communicate, and collaborate? Perhaps technology can help.

1. Public Google Calendar on the school website

What’s next? What have we done? When is that meeting? that track meet? Embed the school calendar to a page in your blog and to the website for quick access.

Why? By adding the important school events to a shared, public calendar, all members of the school community have access to school events (sports, meetings, field trips, trainings, conferences, etc.).

2. Start a community blog (public) 

Our community loves to hear what is going on. What would you share? How about blogging once each week, just a paragraph, on four different topics (listed in categories)?  What categories would you choose?

While making rounds in the classroom, writing thoughts to share, or considering upcoming events, make a note of those things and perhaps snap a picture on your iPad.

Once a week, schedule a time to write a brief post in one category:

 Possible Categories

Vision — How are we’re doing?

Classes — What learning and engagement do you see in classrooms to show the vision and progress?

Parents — What are students doing? Who can you thank? What happened at events?

Next month— What’s coming up? What’s the focus? What should we expect? How can families and community help?

By creating categories, readers can view the category needed and review the year in those posts.  Add polls for parents to complete and accept or contact by email for ongoing open communication.

Of course the public calendar would be embedded a blog page.

Why? Open communication, photos and blurbs, and ongoing information contribute to showing and sharing the daily efforts of students and staff towards learning and growing as a community; it brings the outside in and the inside out.

3. Start a Staff Blog (private) or Website

With so many items that must be attended to as we strive for school excellence, what can an administrator do to share and organize information? Administrators, especially principals, have weekly thoughts and ideas to share, meetings to plan and attend, questions to ask, and strategies and documents to share. How can all of these be shared in a timely manner– and be available as a reference when needed?

How about a blog accessible to staff? Ask questions, share documents, link to collaborative, shared Google Docs for input, provide upcoming events, etc. It would be the “goto” place for the most current information and expectations, organized and accessible to staff in one place whenever it is needed.

Perhaps a page could be added for all document links. Provide the information needed ahead of time for staff meetings so everyone is ready and prepared for discussion and action. Embed the calendar on another page.

Again, use categories, tags, or Table of Contents to organize the information: announcements, documents, meetings, items due, queries, readings (for example). What would you use? Would a site or blog work best for you?

Why? A paper trail gets lost in a folder or pile. A “go to” place allows access and organization whenever needed. The trail is clear and available. In the busy times of teaching all day, the ability to find and refer to important organizational needs and focus is paramount to building a professional community where everyone is part and everyone has access so the vision of that community is embraced and lived. Pop open your laptop or or tablet device, and you can review any of the items or add to the conversation on shared documents.

4- What about Collaborative Documents?

Link to documents in the blog or embed them in the website for staff (or community). Provide information or ask for input:

Staff meeting questions or readings before meetings?

School Improvement documents

Google forms to ask for input

Instead of waiting for meetings or emailing staff, use the blog to post questions and link to the shared document with your domain. Staff can subscribe to the blog to receive each update.

Why? Collaborative documents and Google Forms provide a means for communicating and sharing ideas without calling a special meeting or waiting for a staff meeting. It allows everyone to participate and share their voice; it inspires ideas that might otherwise be lost: it helps build the professional community that drives improvement and teamwork.

Which step would you take?

These are four ways busy administrators can connect, communicate, and collaborate with various stakeholders in the school community. The blogs/websites are hubs of outreach and input for an ongoing conversation and report of school events and progress for the community, and are hubs of communication and collaboration with staff for continual progress and sharing of programs and events that can eliminate meetings and provide the place for building a community of practice that includes all staff.

The extent and depth of participation and collaboration will be up to each administrator, but these ideas provide keys to keeping communication current — and curated for review.

Why? Your time is valuable; a place to post relevant information for different stakeholders saves time for you in distribution and organization; it builds community and trust through your input. It builds a history of possibility and progress.

What do you think? Could these four ideas help stamp out the “im” and make possible better, more organized, and curated communication for your school’s professional learning community? Which one could you start?

leadershipday2013

Cross-posted at AskWhatElse