#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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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

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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!

 

#clmooc #light #constellation collaboration

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Chief Astronaut: Kevin Hodgson

In Week 5, our challenge was light. How do we make and write with light? Under the inspiration of Kevin Hodgson , we were invited to remake the night sky with our own constellations and stories. How? He created directions, and let our imaginations take us to find in our #clmooc sky, the stars and stories hidden inside our own worlds. Click on the Star Sky Chart above to enjoy the constellation stories created by us.

Listen to the sounds of our space, courtesy of Kevin: G+Post. Kevin’s Post. Sound Cloud Audio.

Remember who we are.

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden   …..   Joni Mitchell  on Rock.Genius

I think this is my favorite Make of all the #clmooc cycles. It brought people together with different tools. Problems arose and people hacked the solutions. For example, the story length was an issue, so members wrote blog posts of their stories. We were challenged, we were interested, we helped each other, and we created a sky worth viewing.  It brought us to places in memories and imaginings that we shared, like Jennifer Sharpe’s snowstorm and my Three Brown Dots. Thanks you Kevin.!

CLMOOC StarChart Complete

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Digital Adventure Story-5 Slides-5 Artists-2 Stories #etmooc

We’re on our way to 5 adventure stories.

Enjoy our presentation (here’s how we started- Adventure Collaboration ).

Who are we? @gallit_z   @MsLHall   @lindapemik   @mrsdkrebs  @grammasheri

Imagine your own story as you flip through the slides 1-6. On slide seven (7), click one of the links to hear a story from these same slides, but rearranged for each author. More coming soon.

Adapted from #etmooc
7: Plan a “Choose Your Own Adventure Story” (Collaborate) Adaptation:
Draw an object Then ask a peer to draw a related object. Pass your peer’s drawing on to another peer and have them draw a related object. Keep doing this until you have 5 drawings (including your original object).
Create a story that links the original object with the last object drawn. What is the connection between the first object and the last object?
Write a brief story, then try to create multiple pathways that a user could go through the story. Use a mind-mapping tool

http://etmooc.org/

What story do hear? Want to create your own? Make a copy of the slideshow and rearrange the middle three slides of the story (slides 2-5) to create your own. Let us know the link to your adventure in the comments below…