Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Edpuzzle: Google Classroom integration

Google just keeps getting more awesome. Google and Edpuzzle have combined their power with Edpuzzle's integration into Google Classroom. Now, it is easier than ever to create an assignment in Edpuzzle and assign it to your class. With Edpuzzle, you can now import all your Google Classroom "classes" into Edpuzzle and automatically have the students enrolled. Google Classroom integration allows for some key advantages: Students can access their "Edpuzzle" assignment right from Google Classroom so they aren't confused on where to find it. Once they finish their Edpuzzle assignment, like any assignment in Classroom, it tells the teacher who is done/not done. Within your Edpuzzle account, all classes are organized into your Google Classroom class for easy navigation. 
A couple screen shots to get you started with Integrating Google Classroom and Edpuzzle.
Video Tutorial

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

4 ways to have Students write for an Audience

Students should write a lot in school but too often, they are writing for an audience of ONE (the teacher). They are given a task of writing creatively or an essay on a topic or a story, their thoughts and ideas are amazing. They work hard, put forth great effort and complete their work. They are proud of it. They are excited about it. The "due date" comes and BAM! the student is hit with the realization that all that hard work will only be viewed and appreciated (or even worse, just skimmed) by one person: the teacher. We want, no-we need, to provide our students with a bigger audience. We want them to be heard! An audience of one does not produce a very high level of concern. But an audience of hundreds, if not thousands makes it real and gives the writing meaning.  Here are a few ways to create a large audience for your "authors" (students).

1. Create an ebook. Creating an ebook isn't as difficult or complicated as one might think. In fact, there is a tool that you can use that you are already familiar with--Google Slides. Yes, great for presentations, but it can also be used for creating an ebook, which can be downloaded and shared. Create a new google slides, change the dimensions of the slides to the standard 8.5" x 11." When finished, go to "File"--"download as"--and then click "as pdf." This is a great way to create a picture book. With the "sharing" feature of Google drive, collaboration is not only possible, but easy!

2. Google Docs: Writing a story via google docs makes it easy to turn into a "webpage" and share or post.

3. Widbook: Allow students to create a online/ebook with this site and get it added to the Widbook collection of other ebooks. This tool allows students to work collaboratively on the writing project.

4. Blogs: Tools like Blogger gives students a voice and an audience. In our world today, more than ever the youth want to be heard! So give them the opportunity to blog about: what they know, what they learned, what they think, what they feel, what they dream about, what they fear, what they want to know, what they wonder, and what they want. A blog gives them a voice to share and be heard.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Flubaroo: Send Student results via Google Drive (no email needed)

Google Forms is a great tool for formative assessment, gathering data, and compiling information. Google Forms added a new feature to make it even better. In the past, students could not see their results after submitting their Google Form. The only way to see results would be to ask the teacher OR the teacher could share the grades with the student by emailing them through Flubaroo. It's best to avoid using the email address whenever possible, so this new feature allows the teacher to share the students results via Google Drive, with no emailing at all. Here's how you do it.
1. After the students complete the Google Form, run flubaroo to grade it. 
2. After Flubaroo finishes, while still in the spreadsheet, go back to "Add-ons"--"flubaroo"--"share grades". 
3. Go through the steps to signify which question asked for the students Google Drive account. (See picture) 
"Email Address Question" should be the name of the question you asked to get their Google Drive account. 
"Grade Sharing method" should be "Share via Google Drive (no email)" 
Finish the rest based on your preferences. 
4. Click "Continue" and Flubaroo will work for a while to get everything shared. Might take a few minutes depending on how many submissions you have. 
5. All students will get a document in their "Shared with me" folder that has their results. 

You also have a copy of the students grade report. When sharing grades via flubaroo, a new folder will automatically by created in your Drive called "Flubaroo-Shared Grades". Inside this folder will be a folder for each Google Form you do this with. So if you named an assignment "Algebra exit check," you will get a folder called "Algebra exit check" which will contain all the documents. Since both teacher and student share the document, you could comment back and forth for feedback purposes. 

In order for this to work, you have to include a field in  your Google Form that asks for the students Google Drive account. Without this, it will not work. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Great formative assessment: "GoFormative" is a powerful tool with tons of potential in your classroom. If you are familiar with Google Forms, think about that tool on steroids. It gives the teacher the ability to do instant formative feedback to the students, to ensure understanding. Teachers can create a class and have their students enroll without even using an email address. Once enrolled into the class, teachers can then assign their assignments to the students, which they begin working on. While the students are working, the teacher can see the progress in realm time on their own screen. It is a more interactive, immersive experience. Teachers can provide instant feedback and help as the process goes. For the assignment itself, teachers can use multiple choice questions, short answer, and true/false. Teachers can also have the students draw something, either on a blank canvas or a picture that had been uploaded. Teachers can add content to the assignment/assessment such as an image or drawing.  
Check out these tutorials to get started with 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Why do kids say "Hello" ?

After you've been a teacher for a while, you start knowing more and more kids. You start seeing former students around more often when you are out and about. When you see a former student, let's say at a sporting event or grocery store, there are only two things that could happen: 1. the student says "hello" to you. or 2. The student does not.  So why do kids say "hello"? What moves them to walk up to you, as their former teacher, and say hello? In some cases, you could have been their teacher 15-20 years ago, yet they still say hello. So why? Well, it certainly isn't because of what you taught them. Former students do not come up to me and say "hello" to me because I taught them what a Ziggurat was during our Mesopotamia unit. Former students say "hello" because of how you made them feel. Because how you greeted them each day. Because of how you answered their questions. Because of the experiences you created for them. Because of the atmosphere of your classroom. Because of how you pushed them to reach their potential. Because of how you gave them self-confidence. Because of how you created a safe environment. Because of how much you cared. 
The position we are in to make an impact is such an awesome responsibility, so make one! 
After years and years and years and different teachers and different people and different experiences in their lives, for a human being to come up to you and say "hello" after all that, I'd say you made an impact on that life. Well done.