Monday, September 14, 2015

Slides in Sites



Flipped PD

This year, I'm attempting to streamline my "flipped" professional development opportunities. I ultimately want to be more efficient with not only my own time, but the teachers' time as well. Flipped PD opportunities also lend itself to more possibilities for personalization. I have more opportunity to analyze specific needs as a group of teachers come ready to communicate their thoughts and opinions. 

Here is a rundown of my format: 
  • Teachers are to attend a session with a prerequisite for participation. I typically have a blogpost that I want them to look over that has a video of some sort. 
  • Then when we have our training session, they have a lot of the legwork out of the way. The bulk of our actual meeting time can be on discussion and specific needs that need addressed in relation to the topic. Here, we way may just chat about practical applications of a piece of technology, or specific questions that they need addressed.
  • Teachers digitally communicate concerns, needs, or goals so that I can address them at a later time. Follow-up may be through email or in person. It may include more resources or further training. 
Now, is my format a guaranteed success? I have no idea. I'm just letting everyone know what I'm up to. :) If you have any tips or thoughts for flipped professional development ideas, please add a comment to this blog.

Sites on Slides

Last week, I had a session on Google Sites. The prerequisite for attendance was to go over my colleague's (Kelly Clifford) Google Sites resources to fill in any holes that they had from previous training opportunities. During the session, teachers expressed their needs on a shared Padlet.com page that I built. Here, I posted the link to the resources as well as posed the opportunity to communicate thoughts, frustrations, and goals. (The same could be accomplished through a Google Doc, but I like the format of Padlet as it looks like digital post-it notes.)

While teachers were plugging away, I came to the conclusion that we need to find ways to streamline Google Sites; ways that teachers can update their websites without putting a lot of time into it. There are quite a few ways to go about accomplishing this task, but I went ahead an busted out using a Google Slides presentation in a Google Site so that all that has to be done is the updating of a few slides here and there. Frequent updates = traffic to your site. Parents and students will not look at your website if it is rarely updated.

Here is how to put a Google Slides presentation into your Google Site:


One teacher in attendance noticed that this same concept could be done for a list of links. If a teacher wanted to quickly communicate a list of websites/resources for students/families to access, publish a Google Doc and insert it into your Google Site. Same goes for a picture slideshow. Want to show a few pictures from a field trip? Create a slideshow, insert images, and embed it in your site.

Follow-Up

The main purpose for this blogpost was actually a form of follow-up for my teachers that attended. I wanted them to have access to a resource that would run them through the steps again. I also will be addressing the other details teachers communicated through my Padlet. That's what I'm doing right after I publish this post.