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Showing posts from May, 2016

Teacher Tech Tip - Controlling Collaborative Hyperdocs

Hyperdocs rock! The true advantage of Google Apps for Education is the use of real-time collaborative documents, but how often is it really used? I frequently hear about the horror stories of when a teacher allows all students to edit a document simultaneously as they fight for position. This frustration is why many teachers abandon the use of whole class collaborative documents. This creates the need for a hyperdoc. It creates learning space. Space for students to gain access to materials. Space for students to respond. Space for students to collaborate. For collaboration in the classroom, a hyperdoc is a necessity. 
So let's say you start up a collaborative brainstorming activity. At some point in time it is really handy to turn off access so that the items listed can be kept and discussed verbally. The process is simple if you share a document through Google Classroom with "can edit" access. The document is not shared with the entire class. It is actually shared with…

"Orange" Ya' Glad You Tried Rubric Maker?

Rubric Maker by ThemeSpark I love utilizing rubrics to set the expectations for projects. What I do not like is the creation of rubrics. It is painful to create all the learning indicators. It is like experiencing a bad case of "writer's block." Way back in the day, I used Rubistar for all projects/presentations my students completed. It worked great as they have a ton of pre-made/customizable rubrics ready to go. It is still a viable resource today as I occasionally refer teachers to it. 
If you are looking for a quick way to create a rubric and fully customize it without all the intense brain labor, try Rubric Maker! With this tool, teachers can create a rubric based upon the Common Core Standards. This is somewhat of a strange thing to say since I'm from Indiana and they do not use the Common Core. However, the standards are very closely related. There are some variations here and there, but for the most part the skills lists are the same. The process is simple a…

Teacher Tech Tip - Ctrl + F

"Seek and ye shall find..." Scanning for specific pieces of information in a website can be very frustrating and tedious. Take out the stress by using ctrl + f. When looking for information, hit ctrl + f in your Chrome browser to pull up a search box. This tool will then highlight and created a clickable list wherever that exact combination of letters exists. This allows for quick identification of key terms or phrases. 
From a teacher's perspective, this is especially handy when you are discussing an online text. Instead of scanning through the entire website for a key point or term that you want to chat about with the students, use ctrl + f to quickly jump to your needed text. Teachers could have students do the same thing when looking for important points and directing their attention to them. 
Forms and Sheets I actually use this keyboard command on a daily basis. I use Google Forms to keep track of conversations and other various helps I provide for teachers. I use…

Interactive Q & A with Google Slides

Q & A on Slides There as been much said about the new feature of question and answer on Google Slides. I'm probably a little late in the game as many videos and blog posts have been pushed out about it. However, I typically am not a headliner when it comes to the newest and latest. I pretty much reserve my posts for things that I believe will work really well for my teachers and students. 
So here are my thoughts on the new feature and training needs for teachers: 1. The Q & A feature is not available on all Google Apps for Education accounts. In order for me to make my video, I had to use a personal gmail account. I'm sure that this update could be pushed out more rapidly if I would turn on the rapid release in my school district's Google Admin Panel.  A way to tell if it is working is to start up a Slides presentation and see if the laser pointer and presenter view options are available on the bottom left of your slides when in presenter view. If the new feature…

Booktrack Classroom

Amplify your writing! Booktrack Classroom is an awesome resource that lends students a couple of opportunities. First, it has free books available to read with a soundtrack assigned to it. Students can put their headphones on and become absorbed into the text through the audio playing in the background. Second, students can publish their own writing and add their own soundtrack to it. What a great opportunity to create a quality published piece along with sound effects and music.
Creating classes Teachers can create their account with students connected to it. All the teacher needs to do is create a class and give students the class code. This is much like setting up a Google Classroom class. Then the teacher can see any booktracks created by students by accessing the bookshelf. The bookshelf will also contain texts that are built into Booktrack Classroom for free, but the items can be filtered so that the teacher can see only members of his/her class. From there, teachers can share …

Teacher Tech Tip - Crunching Chromebook Tabs

Controlling Chrome Usually my "teacher tech tips" surface due to questions I receive from teachers. Through the many conversations I've had over the last few weeks, I've noticed a need to discuss managing Chrome windows and other apps on their Chromebooks. This week's tech tip demonstrates how you can split items on your screen so that you can view two items simultaneously. I also demonstrate how you can quickly switch between items through using the alt+tab keyboard combination. I hope you find this week's teacher tech tip helpful! 

Google Summit Recap

Better late than never...I had the pleasure of participating in my second Google Summit in the middle of April. It was a great experience of connecting with educators around Indiana that are passionate about what Google Apps for Education has to offer for students and teachers.
Ultimately, I love going to events like these because it gives me an opportunity to better know my staff. When traveling from building to building, understanding their needs can prove to be difficult. Attending these events proves to be extremely valuable just for the sake of making connections and building trust with staff. Of all people, teachers understand how essential a level of trust is when working with students. Being a resource for teachers is the same.
Earlier this week, I asked my teachers that attended to help out a bit by sharing some of their big takeaways from the conference. I felt this would be more beneficial than my own ramblings of lessons learned. So we'll start with Leslie Lantz. Leslie…