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Showing posts from March, 2017

MSDSC Technology Team

Moonshot Thinking My moonshot thinking started about a year ago. I had long collaborated with Chantell Manahan (Director of Technology) for the need of a team of teachers with which I could collaborate, train, and encourage to develop leadership skills. Around December, this committee started to be formed. Chantell and I made a list of individuals in each building and sent out invitations. With the invitations that were sent out, I received responses from 16 individuals that will participate in quarterly meetings with myself and other various members of the technology department. We will plan professional development opportunities, analyze district needs, and provide support as MSDSC has many experts on utilizing technology. By forming this team, the members can glean information and resources from one another as we journey down the road of utilizing Chromebooks in a 1:1 technology setting. 
Our team had their first meeting here in March of 2017. It was a great experience to discuss …

Google Docs Assigning Tasks

Let's get organized! For quite some time, Google Docs has been the king of online collaboration spaces. They changed the way we work together. Google Docs has certainly spawned much of the collaborative online spaces that exist today. Even other technology giants have found their hand forced to rethink cloud-based workspaces due to Google's influence.

As a teacher or organizational leader, the tasks built within a Google Doc (Sheets and Slides as well) is fantastic. It allows the user to use the comment feature to highlight specific parts within a collaborative document and assign that highlight directly to an individual. To do this, add a comment (ctrl+alt+m), add a plus sign along with the user's email address. The comment box will suddenly populate with users within your organization and allow you to assign the task to that user. The assigned task will then alert the user via email and provide a checkbox within the document for when the task is completed.

Check it out:


Google Classroom Speed Grading

Time A teacher's time is so valuable. Technology is intended to aid in the ability to save time. Google Classroom is a tool that can do just that. You can instantly distribute content to students with just a few clicks. The teacher has an automatic checklist of who has completed an assignment and who hasn't without having to flip through a pile of papers and check off names. Teachers can access classwork everywhere! It is like having your paper turn-in tray everywhere you go as you can easily access Classroom via the web or mobile app. Earlier this year I posted how you can utilize an iPad or an Android device to handwrite on the students' assignments. This was a nice feature added that bridges the gap between our individuals that like to mark papers with a pen and technology.

With all of these positive aspects of Google Classroom, I still hear a cry for help as Classroom and grading is not a match made in heaven. The teachers I hear this complaint from are correct. There…

Google Keep and G Suite

Keepin' it real Being a longtime fan of Google Keep, the recent news of Google including it as part of their GSuite products is exciting news! I've utilized Google Keep for a variety of purposes and Google continues to add to the awesomeness. It is simple, easy to use, and very versatile...finally available for all students to use. I have posted about Google Keep in the past but felt it was necessary to revisit it due to recent news.
What does Google Keep have to offer? Post-Its In a nutshell, Google keep is digital post-it notes. Just like the real post-its, you can select from a variety of colors, make quick lists, organize them however you want, and then throw them away when you are finished (or archive if you think you might need it later.) Create checklists, take notes, and share with your peers. It works across the platform as users can access by visiting keep.google.com or downloading the Android or iOS app.
Collaboration Need to make a shared list? Add collaborators t…

Google Calendar Appointment Slots

Scheduling... A nifty update to Google Calendar is the option for appointment slots. Create an event on your Google Calendar, select the appointment slots option before you save your event and you are well on your way. It will give you an exclusive link to the appointment slots available on your Google Calendar. The link would merely need to be posted and available for all participants to access. It could be sent out via text, Remind, email, or even social media outlets. (This should probably be limited to closed formats to avoid unwanted scheduling. A closed Facebook Group would be a good example of where you could post appointment slots.) This would be a great option for scheduling appointments for parent/teacher conferences (with some limitations that I'll list later) or principals that need to schedule evaluation meetings with teachers.
What about students? Could you utilize appointment slots with students? Of course! Teachers could post time slots for project conferences. St…

Google Play for Schools

Where I'm From... I've provided technology integration training for Windows machines, iPads, and Chromebooks. I spent four years primarily focusing on using the iPad as I worked in two elementary buildings. All the while, I used a Chromebook at home and my phone of choice was and still is an Android. In the Summer of 2015, I was provided with a new job opportunity as technology coordinator at MSD of Steuben County. It seemed like a great fit as I have love for both the iPad and the Chromebook; here I had both. At the start of this year, we took our aging iPad 2's from our kindergarten through second-grade classrooms and provided them with the Asus Chromebook Flip. I thought the transition from iPad to Chromebook would be smoother since we were dealing with a touchscreen device.

In reality, the transition from iPad world to Chromebook has been a love/hate relationship. I love all the Google has to offer, but I always felt that the touch-friendly app realm of the iPad was a…