Google Classroom for Group Work

At the faculty meeting on Monday, Mike mentioned the option of using Google Classroom as a collaboration tool for each Core Competency group to use. Although designed for more of a teacher/student model, it can be adapted easily for the type of resource gathering, discussion and sharing we will be doing. Why try it?

  • Provides a central location for people to have ongoing discussions (without big, long email chains)
  • Fully integrates with our Google Drive documents
  • Can be easily shared with faculty in other groups as it makes sense

We wanted to give you a quick introduction to Classroom and invite you to explore this tool. Here are two options for learning more:

  • The first 3:30 minutes of this video can give you a very quick introduction to Classroom. The rest of the video is helpful only if you are interested in launching Classroom for your students.
  • If you want to see a Google Classroom in action, please feel free to explore the Google Classroom Tutorial we created. To access it:

1. Make sure you are logged into your Applewild Google account

2. Go to classroom.google.com

3. To join a Classroom, find and click the “+” sign toward the top right of your screen

4. Enter the Class code: vxvmcj

As always, Mike and Molly are both here to help you explore this resource.

 

Advertisements

RenWeb Grade Books

 

renweblogoThings look a little different for teachers setting up their grade books on RenWeb this year.

For those who don’t want to spend quality time with Mike learning how to use the new Gradebook in RenWeb, here is a link to a 10 minute video (https://youtu.be/LmTcmxkccLI) explaining how to get setup.

Let Mike know if you have any questions.

ISTE – Creative Communicator

ISTEposter-I-am-a-digital-age-learnerLast week we introduced you to the ISTE standards that Mike and I are using as a framework for our Tech Tuesday tips and discussions. This week, we want to dig into the Creative Communicator standard:

Creative Communicator: Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

What might that look like in your classroom? 

  • Flipgrid and Padlet can both be used to have students answering questions or sharing their ideas about a topic. Careful implementation can allow the class to hear from all voices, not just the students usually comfortable with speaking up to share.
  • Animoto, a video software, is currently used in 8th grade short story projects. Using Animoto gives students the ability to choose images, text and sound to discuss a short story. The time limit of the segments require them to make careful decisions about what to include to express themselves fully.

What Tech Tips might apply directly to this standard?

  • Students creating Little Bird Tales to share their knowledge
  • Many ways of using Google Slides that can include images, videos & graphs
  • Creating a website (Google Sites are very accessible to students used to working on the Google platform) to demonstrate knowledge (student portfolio, NHD projects)
  • Writing, recording and editing a podcast for National Poetry Month
  • Using LucidPress to create compelling fliers and posters

What would you add?

Welcome Back!

As we look forward to our year of learning and innovation, Mike and I will be working to share tech tips that will support your efforts. “Innovation” does not automatically entail the introduction or use of technology, but we hope you will consider exploring tools we share to help transform a project or unit in your class.

Many questions came up in our opening meetings about how to evaluate innovation, and we don’t have answers for you on that! However, we have been thinking about and looking for ways to help evaluate technology you might consider using. There are a number of standards-making organizations with a technology focus, but the newly released ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards seemed to mirror many of the 21st century skills discussed in meetings and found in our Core Competencies.

The standards outlined below (I am a Digital Age Learner) provide an interesting framework to decide what value the technology might add. For instance, how might the addition of a class Padlet help students enhance their skills as Global Collaborators or Creative Communicators?

What do you think of this vision of students and technology?

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 6.22.58 PM

These standards have evolved over time. Where do you think technology use is right now at Applewild? In your classroom?

ISTEposter-I-am-a-digital-age-learner

Faculty Spotlight: Karen Flanagan & Mike Grant

Teacher(s) name(s):Karen Flanagan and Mike Grant

Subject: 6th Grade Math

Specific topic being taught:  Decimal Math

Learning Goal: Students should learn the basic concepts of decimal arithmetic before coming to class.

Technology used: edpuzzle.com website

Description: We worked on an action research project investigating the use of the Flipped Classroom model. One aspect of the Flipped Classroom model is the use of videos for homework to introduce topics to students so they are ready to get right to work in the classroom. We used edpuzzle.com for this purpose. Edpuzzle allowed us to use pre-existing videos from YouTube, trim the start and stop times, and add questions throughout the video to make sure the students were paying attention. The software has a class management aspect that allowed us to see if students watched the videos, how many times they watched them, and how they answered the questions.

Pros: Can Check homework status before the students even get to class and see what questions they got wrong.

Frontloading students with basic instruction helped the class time go smoothly with less repeated instruction.

Cons: It does take some time find quality videos or make your own.

It can be tough to manage when students don’t do their homework and aren’t as well prepared. They may have to watch the videos during class and miss out on in-class work.

Would you use this technology tool again? Yes, maybe weekly rather than every night.

Is there anything you would do differently next time?

Make more time to find the videos and formulate the assessment questions.

Flipgrid.com

unnamed-2
Are you looking for a new way to assess your students, allow them to express themselves, and generate discussion? Take a look at flipgrid.com. It allows you to use simple video recordings to ask questions and collect answers. It is very popular among foreign language teachers.
Here is a quick video introducing Flipgrid! Let Mike and Molly know if you want to try it out!

Think like a computer?

It’s not new, but lately Computational Thinking (CT) is cropping up in every education publication and on ed blogs all over. This New York Times article from today looks at where the movement started and where it is today.

In thinking about how to teach computational thinking, it’s important to go beyond “approaching problems the way a programmer would” as described in the article. For a better understanding, please check out this  practical definition of computational thinking created by the team at Harvard University that brought us Scratch programming (the language used by our fourth graders with Mr. Grant).

Below are some examples of lessons teachers in all disciplines are using to incorporate computational thinking into their classrooms:

  1. Sample lesson on drawing monsters from code.org
  2. Sample lesson including “decomposing steps,” abstraction and algorithms from code.org
  3. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) maintains a project page with their own definition and presentations for teachers of all grade levels to add computational thinking to their lessons.
  4. Another ISTE blog post on 3 easy lessons

Are you still with me? Feel free to start a conversation by answering any of these questions in the comments section.

Where do you see computational thinking at work in our current curriculum? (i.e. the steps in a shop project)

Did you see any lessons or ideas that would be easy to incorporate into an existing project?