Category Archives: Communication

Back-to-School 2016 * Google Goodness for You!

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your summer days! There have been some exciting updates and releases this summer in the Google Apps ecosystem that I’d like to share with you, along with some other resources to help you jumpstart your technology integration efforts this year!

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Google Forms Quizzes

Google Forms now has the ability to self-grade forms you create as quizzes. Released in June, this post from the Google for Education blog shares this new feature. Step-by-step tutorials can be found here. What can Google Forms quizzes do?

“…we launched Quizzes in Google Forms on Monday to help teachers quickly create, deliver and grade assignments or assessments. With Quizzes, teachers can select correct answers for multiple choice and checkbox questions to reduce repetitive grading. They can also enter explanations and review materials to help students learn. And to make sure students understand the lesson material, teachers can prevent students from sending themselves a copy of their responses. ” via the Google for Education blog

Exciting stuff! Check out a video tutorial here:

If you previously used the add-on Flubaroo to grade student Form responses, this post by Eric Curts gives a great comparison of the two features and when to use each.

Note: Stuck with anything in Google Apps? The Google Help Center is THE place to go to find the answers you need!!

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Image via http://hyperdocs.co/about_hyperdocs

HyperDocs

As someone who built webquests for students in the early 2000s to promote interactivity with the web, HyperDocs appear to be a similar way to help students interact with online content in order to collaborate and create content of their own to build understanding. A HyperDoc is very simply a Google doc or Google Slides set that is built to include hyperlinks to resource sites, videos, images, and more to engage students in learning more about a topic. In order to make them most engaging, HyperDocs should include tasks for students and provide a variety of student-driven choice options when possible. If not thoughtfully designed, a HyperDoc can simply turn into a digitized worksheet. Try to avoid this at all costs by including maximum opportunities for student engagement, creation, voice, and choice!

The term “hyperdocs” was coined by Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis in their book, The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps

Resources for you:

Image via https://futureofstorytelling.org/google-expeditions/

Image via https://futureofstorytelling.org/google-expeditions/

Project Ideas & More

Google Maps and Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions was a new program running at select schools last year, utilizing the latest in virtual reality (VR) applications to take students on global explorations. This summer it was announced that Google Expeditions is now available for use by all students! If you’re interested, talk to your building principal and consider applying for a Spartan Foundation grant to acquire devices and Google Cardboard viewers. The app is free for Android devices and is coming soon to iOS devices as well. Read more to learn about how students are using Google Expeditions!

There are many applications for Google Maps in the classroom. From math to social studies to geography and science connections, students can create custom My Maps, calculate distances, and explore landforms. Check out these resources on ways to use Google Maps in the classroom:

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Fonts for Days!

I know you love beautiful typography for your classroom creations… kiss Comic Sans goodbye with Google Fonts. Did you know that while you’re working in a Google doc, you can click on your fonts menu and browse all the way down to More Fonts…. to be taken to another collection of fonts you can add to your apps?

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You can also visit the Google Fonts website to browse the collection of fonts to find exactly what you’re looking for. From this site you can select fonts by clicking the red + sign next to the font (you can even type in the textboxes to see how they will look with words you type often!) and downloading the font file to your device and installing for use in other applications outside of Google.

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Wishing you a wonderful school year, filled with opportunities for you and your students to connect, collaborate, and create together! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Tim with any questions or needs!

Created by Georgina Tanaka via https://twitter.com/GtanakaTanaka/status/761965169517834240

Created by Georgina Tanaka via https://twitter.com/GtanakaTanaka/status/761965169517834240

#gafe4littles

Follow the hashtag #gafe4littles to learn more about ways to incorporate the use of Google Apps for Education with even the youngest learners! Educators Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler recently held the first #gafe4littles workshop in California and are sharing their resources via the hashtag and elsewhere. Keep an eye out for some wonderful things being shared, and don’t forget to share what’s happening in YOUR classrooms via the hashtag and your blogs as well!

May 2016 Updates

Thanks, Mr. Leister! 

As the end of the school year approaches, please take a few minutes to complete the survey and explore some new technology resources:
 
  • Digital Learning Tools at ELANCO Elementary – At the end of each school year, teacher input concerning the paid educational programs at ELANCO is very important.  Please take a few minutes to complete the Elem Digital Learning Tools Survey to share your opinions on current programs, as well as to offer suggestions for future programs and professional development needsOne of our August in-service days will have sessions based on your suggestions. 
  • New Q&A Feature in Google Slides – A newly released feature in Google Apps for Education provides the option for presenters to allow their audience to submit questions and vote on them during Google Slide presentations.
  • Quizizz now integrates with Google Classroom – so that you can use the Google Classroom Share button to easily send out Quizizz games to your students.
  • Subscribe to your School’s Calendar in MS Outlook – Follow these directions to add the your school building’s calendar to your Outlook Calendar. 
  • End of the School Year Backups – It’s approaching the end of the school year and teachers will soon be packing up their classrooms for the summer break. However, teachers should also consider packing up (or backing up) their digital classroom as well.  Consider some steps that you could take to cleanup and secure your computer files, browser settings, and Email.  Yes, email….Take the ‘Inbox Zero’ Challenge and get to zero emails in your Inbox before leaving for the summer and claim your ELANCO Credly Badge here.  Remember that you can claim other Elanco Digital Badges for your many tech skills. 
  • May Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Check out posts and pictures of the Blue Ball Big Read, our HS spring sport athletes, GSHS Prom 2016, GS chorus concerts, and more. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.

April 2016 Elem Tech Updates

April 2016 Updates from Mr. Leister

While the students are testing this week and next, perhaps you’ll have some time to explore some new technology resources:
 
  • Quizlet Live is a new feature from Quizlet that allows teachers to play an in-class game using existing online flashcard study sets. The game requires students to collaborate in small groups to find the term that matches the definition.
  • Google Classroom has added a new polling feature!  A recent blog post from Google for Educationshows some creative ways teachers are using polling in their classrooms.
  • Kahoot has added a new ‘Team Mode to their online game system to better “nurture collaboration, teamwork, leadership skills and good communication.”
  • ThingLink is an online tool for teachers to create interactive images by adding ‘hot spot’ buttons to overlay text, images, videos and more.  Here’s one example for learning about the U.S. Presidents
  • Nearpod is a great classroom presentation tool with the formative assessment tools are built right into the presentation allowing students to respond on their computers with open-ended answers, multiple choice questions, or the use of drawing tools.  I have 2 Nearpod Teacher accounts that were paid for by the district for any Elementary Teacher who is interested in having the full version of the program through February 2017. First come, first serve!
  • April Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Check out pictures from our guidance department of the Class of 2016 accepting their college admission offers. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.
  • Remember that you can claim your own Elanco Digital Badges for your many tech skills. 
 

March 2016 Elem Tech Updates

Thanks, Mr. Leister!
With Lyn out on maternity leave, I thought that I’d send out an update with some new resources that are available to Elanco Elementary Teachers and Students.  Some to the links below will direct you to Lyn’s Elem Tech Blog, while other will go to my Garden Spot Tech Blog that I use with the secondary teachers. 
 
  • Recent Updates to Google Drive – Voice typing in Google Docs makes typing easier, especially for those students who struggle. New templates in Docs, Sheets and Slides allow for quick access to pre-formatted, professional looking documents. Google Keep for all those reminder sticky notes that have in the past only existed on your desktop.
  • Kiddle is a new safer and more secure version of the Google search engine. A great way to better eliminate those unwanted Internet search results for young students. 
  • The Student Blogging Challenge, which happens twice a year, is starting up again in March and includes a series of 10 weekly tasks created by Edublogs which you can customize for your class. For more information about Elanco’s Edublogs, visit the Edublogs & Blogging page. 
  • Quizalize your Formative Assessment by using the online tool called Quizalize to randomly assigning students to teams while answering questions that accumulate points for their team in real time.
  • TED-Ed explains the answers to some of life’s most basic questions, such as “Why are there so many insects?”, or “What does outer space do to your body?”, or “Why are manhole covers round?” with short video lessons using animation and simple terminology for students.
  • March Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.
 
Please contact me if you have any questions about any of these updates or want to discuss methods to integrate technologies into your classroom.
 
Thanks.

BrainPOP updates, Nearpod interest?, and Formative assessment tools

about-brainpop

BrainPOP is getting a makeover… if you and your students log into BrainPOP and things look “different,” that is why! Here’s a screencast from BrainPOP highlighting some of the changes, and more details about the updates are on the BrainPOP blog.

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We are still looking for elementary teachers interested in piloting the use of Nearpod during the second semester! An email about this opportunity was sent to elementary staff last week. Please email Lyn if you’re interested!

Image via Graphite

Image via Graphite

At last week’s Wired Wednesday we explored formative assessment made fun (with convenient  access to student data!) and this resource was shared. Feel free to access it to get some ideas for use in your classroom. It outlines tools, links, key elements of the tool, and includes videos to see it “in action!” Let me know if you need any support or would like assistance trying out any of these tools in your class!

WiredWednesdaysLogo.001Looking for ideas for Wired Wednesday workshop topics on December 9 and December 16. What are you interested in learning more about? Email Lyn with ideas and your input!

 

It’s Connected Educator Month!

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It’s October! You know what that means, it’s Connected Educator Month! You may have heard me talk about the power of connected learning and teaching and leading in the past… my stance on it hasn’t changed. Having a strong personal learning network (PLN) is vital to the success of any educator. Local networks and teacher communities are very important, but there is great benefit to connecting beyond the walls of our schools and district boundaries to collaborate and network with teachers and administrators from all over the world. Over the past five years, the number of educators using social media tools to connect with one another to share resources, provide support, and energize one another has increased exponentially.

It is well worth an investment of your time to find a network with which to engage to better your practice. Whether it is via Twitter, by joining a book club hosted by CEM or facilitating a global collaboration project such as Global Read Aloud in your classroom; through discussions in a Google+ community or posting to Pinterest boards, finding an Instagram hashtag to follow, or another connected learning endeavor, the possibilities are endless to get and stay connected with fellow educators!

Here’s the Connected Educator Month calendar. Check it out and see if there’s something in which you’d be interested in participating! These events are not solely focused on technology use in the classroom. Topics span everything from literacy to interventions to real-world problem solving to social-emotional learning! There’s something for everyone.

The focus of our November 18 Wired Wednesday workshop will be using Twitter and other social media tools to develop a personal learning network. Sign up in My Learning Plan to join us!

Follow the #ce15 hashtag on Twitter to read the latest and greatest contributions from educators around the world who are sharing their learning during Connected Educator Month…. and beyond!

If you participate in Connected Educator Month, please be sure to grab the CEM Credly badge! Along with all of the other badges you’ve earned this year thus far!

We’re baaa-aaack!

1499271428_f55f12ec5bWell, almost!

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! I’ve enjoyed working with many of you over the past few weeks. I appreciate your energy and enthusiasm learning to integrate technology into your teaching and classroom activities!

Get “Remind”ed!

This year I’m going to use a service called Remind to send out snippets of useful information, tips & tricks, and more via text or email. It’s an opt-in service, so you can choose to receive the updates and how you prefer to receive them. Many of our schools are using Remind to update staff on emergency school closings. It works the same way, and this past year I subscribed to Kyle Pace’s PD classroom via Remind and thought it was such an easy way to use the platform to support professional learning!

To join the Mrs. Hilt’s Tech Tidbits Remind class, follow these instructions:

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Here are the instructions in PDF format, including how to subscribe via email: HiltRemindinstructions

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Google Classroom Updates!

Today Google announced some updates to Google Classroom, including the ability to post questions, post assignments with no due date, and, most excitedly, CALENDAR INTEGRATION is on the way! These productivity updates (and more!) will help make Google Classroom a fantastic tool to use to organize teaching and learning activities in your classroom.  The Google for Education blog has all of the details here! 

I look forward to working with you this year! Don’t forget to check out the Wired Wednesdays schedule, which kicks off September 9!

Photo Credit: courambel via Compfight cc