Google Classroom Updates

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Hello, everyone!

I know many of you are using Google Classroom with your students, and perhaps more of you are looking to use it next year! Because Google values feedback from teachers, there have been many enhancements made to Google Classroom this year.

  • You can now schedule assignments, questions, or announcements to post at a later date!
  • Use questions to poll students!
  • Coming in the fall: parent notifications!

Read all about the updates here.

The Google Classroom team is also planning to offer developers deeper integration among their services and Google Classroom, so you may see more opportunities for using Google Classroom in different ways in the future.

The What’s New in Classroom help page from Google lists each update with more details about each. Keep that page handy along with subscribing to the Google for Education blog so you never miss any news about Google Classroom or other Google products! You can also follow Google for Education on Twitter!

If you’re not currently using Google Classroom but you are taking advantage of the collaboration and communication suite of Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms, I highly encourage you to give Classroom a try next year! Reach out to a colleague using Classroom, Tim, or Lyn, and we’ll be happy to support you getting started! All of the Google Classroom support resources can be found on our tech blog here.

P.S. For you Google Slides fans… there’s now an integrated Q & A feature! Great to engage students and obtain feedback during lessons!

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.

Kiddle – A Search Engine for Kids

kiddleEven the best school district Internet content filters will sometimes allow inappropriate content in the search results for teachers and students. Kiddle is a new customized search that uses the Google search engine, created just for young kids. Using Kiddle will allow students to still utilize the search power of Google without receiving some of the unnecessary information that comes along with their search results.

Below, you’ll read the benefits of using Kiddle with young students as described on the Kiddle About Page.

1) Safe search: sites appearing in Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, as we filter sites with explicit or deceptive content. 
2) Kids-oriented results: the boxes below illustrate how Kiddle returns results for each query (in the order shown):

  • Safe sites and pages written specifically for kids. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 1-3.
  • Safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but have content written in a simple way, easy for kids to understand. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 4-7.
  • Safe, famous sites that are written for adults, providing expert content, but are harder for kids to understand. Filtered by Google safe search. Typically, results 8 onwards.

3) Big thumbnails: most Kiddle search results are illustrated with big thumbnails, which makes it easier to scan the results…..
4) Large Arial font in Kiddle search results provides better readability for kids.
5) Privacy: we don’t collect any personally identifiable information, and our logs are deleted every 24 hours. Please read our full privacy statement here.

To make Kiddle easily accessible for students, an icon has been added on the new Elanco student gateway homepages (here’s Blue Ball Elem) with the Google Search icon. googlesearch

This free resources might be one to share with parents as well. Keep in mind that as with any search engine, there is no 100% guarantee that all search results yielded are child-friendly. Continue to be vigilant about assigning meaningful online work for your students and supervising their activity.

Upcoming Wired Wednesdays Info

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Creative Commons License Sonya Green via Compfight

Wednesday, December 9 and Wednesday, December 16 are the final two Wired Wednesdays of the semester. I’ll be holding informal drop-in sessions where you can bring your device(s) and discuss any instructional tech info you need to feel supported in your implementation efforts. Want help organizing your Google Drive? Let’s work on it together! Want to learn more about Google Classroom or Edublogs? Let’s chat about it! Need an idea for how to integrate technology into a classroom project or activity? We can explore options together!

No need to register in My Learning Plan, just drop on by for as much time as you need, and hopefully have your questions answered and/or explore anything new that interests you. If you’d like me to prepare resources for you in advance or have a specific system ready for you to engage with, please email me a few days in advance of the date if possible.

Wed., December 9 – Blue Ball Elementary – 4-5 PM in the library

Wed., December 16 – Brecknock Elementary – 4-5 PM in Room 101

Hope to see you then!

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 Digital Citizenship Week! And some updates!

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October 18-24 is Digital Citizenship Week! As educators we need to model strong citizenship, both online and off, and provide our students with the support and knowledge needed to be skillful and safe contributors in digital learning spaces. Check out these resources to support your ongoing digital citizenship and safety talks with students. Great talking points and graphics to share at an upcoming class meeting!

Resources for educators from Common Sense Media, videos, and classroom posters

6 Digital Citizenship Resources from Edutopia

Citizenship in the Digital Age infographic from ISTE

The 7s of Meaningful Learning Start with Citizenship by Shelly Terrell


Our next Wired Wednesday will be held on October 21 at Brecknock Elementary, from 4-5 PM. The topic is Elementary Research! We’ll review key copyright topics, explore the built-in research tools in the Google Apps suite, and check out other elementary-friendly research sites. Please register in My Learning Plan!


Have your students begun blogging and now you’re in need of some ideas to help them take their blogging to the next level? Check out this recent post from Edublogs, 50 Ideas for Student Blogging and Writing Online!  


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BrainPOP is offering a free webinar on how to get started with My BrainPOP on Wednesday, October 21 at 4 PM. These sessions are archived if you can’t watch live. Click here to learn more!


In case you missed it, Elanco STEM featured in Lancaster Online this week!