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Showing posts from January, 2016

Screencastify and Share to Classroom

Screencastify...AgainScreencastify is a great resource. I've blogged about it numerous times. It is extremely user friendly as teachers can quickly make a video of their screen or using a document camera. Just as quickly, they can upload the lesson to Google Drive and/or Youtube. They can even control the privacy settings of the video from Screencastify before you send it off to Google Drive or Youtube. (Pay for the full version and you can trim the start and finish of your video.) It just works.
Like Peanut Butter and Jelly As it turns out, Screencastify has become even better. As soon as a teacher is finished with their video, a "Share to Classroom" icon appears as long as the video privacy is set to unlisted or public. What's the big deal? The teacher can create the assignment/announcement/question straight from Screencastify without even going to Google Classroom!The teacher can click on the Share to Classroom icon, select their class, and create the assignment.…

Tour Builder with Google

Students using Google Tour Builder to create their own European Vacation. #msdsafari@Mr_Yoder@leadlaughlearnpic.twitter.com/scw0rbEW6Y — Mike Winters (@AHSWinters) January 8, 2016
As you can see from the Tweet above,  I recently had the opportunity to visit Mr. Winter's class. Here they were to plan out an entire European vacation (not related to the movie) with destinations and total cost of the trip. Students did quite a bit of research about locations, airfare, hotels, points of interest, etc.

Interested in what it looks like? Check out this example.

Why Tour BuilderTour Builder with Google provides a unique map exploration experience where the user can pinpoint specific locations, add detailed information, images, and utilize Google Earth/Streetview images all in a format similar to using a Slides Presentation. It is user-friendly and fun as users can create a learning experience far greater than the traditional report. 

Get Started with Tour Builder All you need to get start…

Preparing iPads for Virtual Learning

Recently I posted about preparing elementary teachers for virtual learning. (For more information, here is the link to that post.) The teachers have much to contemplate as they prepare for their first round of virtual learning on February 19th. They are building lessons, making videos, and attempting to sort out all the logistics of the students taking their devices and completing a school day from home. 
Preparing iPads The tool we are using to prepare iPads for virtual learning is Google Drive. The reason being that students can access digital materials offline through the Google Drive app. So whether a teacher supplies a video, image, or document, the students can access it offline. 
Teachers start by having a shared folder in Google Drive. The students only have view access to this folder so that they cannot change or delete the shared learning content. To get iPads ready, I would highly recommend having students start off by making the shared folder part of their Google Drive. I…

Flip Your Classroom - Hangout with Jonathan Bergmann

Flip Your Classroom On January 7th, the Flip Your Classroom book study group met together for a Google Hangout with Jonathan Bergmann. It was an awesome experience as teachers were able to get their questions answered straight from the author. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet with Mr. Bergmann as were my teachers.

Thanks for chatting with my #msdsc teachers today. It was awesome! #msdsafari#flippedlearningpic.twitter.com/lmRxQj84SF — Lance Yoder (@Mr_Yoder) January 7, 2016
Takeaways Small Steps The biggest takeaway that my teachers took from the experience is to start small. Jon's recommendation was to start with one class. Try to flip a lesson once a week. That way you and your students can get a feel for the format. Flipping a few lessons also helps breakup the routine. Often times students need some variety and a change of pace to keep the learning experience fresh. 
The Elementary Flip Many of my teachers had questions regarding what the flipped model lo…

Google Plus Communities

What is Google Plus?Google Plus is Google's social media network. It first launched in 2011, but became more widespread in 2012. Sure, just like any other social media platform, you can follow various topics, keep up on celebrity gossip, and post a picture of your dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. What truly makes Google Plus of great value to an educator is the option to communicate and collaborate through Google Plus Communities.
CommunitiesWithin Google Plus, users can create or join various communities on about any topic you like. In these communities, individuals share resources and their expertise through images, links to websites/articles, and text. All of these items can be categorized by preset categories made by the creator/moderator of the community. This makes it much easier for users to find  items as the community is searchable and sortable. Users can also comment on one another's posts so that any questions or thoughts can be addressed.
Communities deliver a gre…

Virtual Learning Snow Days

Virtual Learning Snow Days? This year, MSD of Steuben County has been approved to participate in virtual learning snow days. That means that we are preparing to allow students to still participate in school even if it is canceled due to severe weather. This is the the first year that MSD of Steuben County is considered a full 1:1 technology school district. The opportunity to provide a quality learning experience at home is ultimately our goal, and the availability of our digital resources makes it even more possible.

Training Opportunities
iPads To get prepared, I've been working all week with kindergarten through second grade teachers as this is the first year that their students have devices. They have certainly rose to the challenge as adding devices to the classroom creates a new dynamic and mindset while teaching. They are utilizing digital tools in a meaningful manner by provide opportunities for students to participate in a blended learning environment and prioritize the …

Google Classroom Data Analysis

Interactive Data Lessons When teaching lessons, I love to poll the audience. It is great to see how students feel about a topic and using that data to drive future discussions and lessons. Not only that, but live data is intriguing for students. It is relevant to them; it is their voice.

The funny part is that I was doing this long before awesome tools like Google Forms and Google Classroom existed. I just made columns on the board and had students cast their vote by writing their name or using a sticky note. We would then pull the data together to form graphs so we could represent the data. On a big data analysis lesson, we would create polls on paper and have students walk around to each paper to cast their votes on various topics. Students love to create graphs on data that is relevant to them.

Google Forms Saves the Day! Now with Google Forms, the entire process is streamlined. Teachers have been using Google Forms for the purpose of gathering data for quite some time. They can m…

Blogger for Students

Why Use Blogger? Blogger is a great platform for students to have their very own blog. It is easy to set up, simple to customize, and provides a chronological record of student learning. Students can use their blogs for specific classes or even as a digital portfolio of their learning throughout their entire school year. Students can enhance their blog with their own images in their Google Photos account or videos straight from their Youtube channel. It can meet the needs of any learning outcome as students can utilize Blogger to document the learning process.
The Blogger Advantage Blogger provides students with some advantages over other blogging platforms. This is especially applicable if you are a Google Apps for Education school district (GAFE).  Access Images and Videos from Google/YoutubeStudents control their own privacy settings (limit to public or specific readers)Students can add authors to their blogSchool districts with Google Admin Panel still have access to blogs Complet…