EdWeek for teachers has 10 ideas for 2015. Some I have already used but some have some interesting twists that look quite interesting and effective. 10 Classroom Ideas to try in 2015. The Twitter Tuesday idea is new to me. Here is a great intro to Twitter from Miles MacFarlane. Click here to Check out his poster on how to use Twitter. Twitter is my lifeline to finding and sharing ideas.
This is my mid year reflection for the 2014-2015 school year. It reflects how we are trying to address both teaching and infrastructure challenges.
For the 2014-2015 school year I am continuing to use the same guidelines that are included in the District Technology Plan. The SAMR model of technology integration (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition), the district ICT standards, (I can statements),and Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. During the fall of 2014, I have continued to meet with media personnel and teachers throughout the district. We have collaborated to implement multimedia projects that enhance student publications. I have provided training for Google Classroom and helped teachers enhance their Blizzard Bags. I have continued to stress the proper siting of images and materials that are “free to use” on the Internet. I feel that we have made real progress in exposing students to the Creative Commons concept. I am already seeing an increase in the acceptance of CC in the middle school. This is because the students have been introduced to CC in the lower grades. I presented a workshop on Creative Commons at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference. I also conducted a video making workshop. To face the challenges in technology infrastructure, I have been working with IT to provide solutions that include the increased purchase of Chromebooks, adding RAM to to units that can accept upgrades, establishing criteria for future purchases, and addressing issues of bandwidth. The goal is to provide each student in the district with adequate technology access whenever and wherever it is appropriate. It will also be necessary to provide this quality of access for online testing. The task force is also looking into the feasibility of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). The good news is that bandwidth issues are surfacing because of the acceptance of Google Apps and Internet usage. Now that our staff is showing the ability and willingness to use technology tools, it is important that we provide them with the proper resources. I would like to see staff members taking advantage of online learning opportunities and the task force is looking at internal webinars. I continue to follow many education experts via Twitter, blogs, and curation sites such as “Scoop It.”. I will continue to share ideas using district e-mail and my blog. I continue to be one of the administrators of the district Google Console and I am the webmaster for the middle school. Rebecca Bureau, Jo Williams, and I advised the students who successfully submitted a completed three minute video to the Governor’s “Manufacturing is Fun” film making contest. This is the kind of project that is very gratifying for both the students and the teachers involved. The students were very proud of what they accomplished. We were proud of them. Unfortunately my schedule makes it difficult to keep up with helping students to continue to create the KRMS TV show. I am hoping that perhaps collaboration with Jo Williams and Scott Geiessler may lead to the continuation of this program. In the future I intend to continue to work with teachers and media personnel throughout the district. I am encouraged by the progress that has made made. I see my task as being there to help get beyond the substitution and augmentation levels in the SAMR model. Through collaboration and a willingness to take risks we can all enhance what we are already doing. We will be able to redefine how we teach using technology, not as a means to an end, but rather as a tool that can enhance powerful student and teacher learning.
Click here for my latest Scoop it posts.
Here is a new update for Google Docs. You can now adjust image colors and filters. This was recently introduced to Google Slides and now you can take advantage of this in a Google Drive Document. Adjust Image Colors and Filters
I post the awhile back but this is a reminder that Read and Write for Google is a Google Chrome extension. It is available in the Google Chrome Store . Once you have installed the trial version, you can register as an educator, and the extension is free. The yearly subscription is normally $100. The registration is on the upper right hand corner of of a Drive document. Listed below are some of the things Google Read and Write can do. Also check out TextHELP for more information on this useful extension.
- Read Aloud with dual-color highlighting
- Word Prediction
- Talking and Picture Dictionaries
- Fact Finder
- Highlighters and ability to collect highlights
- Vocabulary Builder to easily create a list of words with text definitions and images
- Annotations (PDF and ePub)
- Navigational tools (PDF and ePub)
Another great idea from Richard Byrne. His “Free technology for Teachers” website is full of ideas for using free technology in the classroom.
How to Create Interactive Collages Using PicMonkey and Thinglink
More links on my Scoop It
Going to the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Manchester New Hampshire on December 2-4? Rebecca Bureau and I will be presenting “Inexpensive Video in the Classroom” on Tuesday December 2. We will also be presenting “Bring Your Students Notebooks into the 21st Century” on Wednesday December 3. I will also present “Using Creative Commons in & out of the Classroom” on December 3.
Google has launched five improvements to Google Classroom. This is in response to teacher suggestions.
1. Groups integration: This will provide the ability to pre-populate classes using Google Groups. It appears that this may take some behind the scenes work, but I believe we may be able to export names from Power School into Google Groups.
The rest of these improvements should be readily accessible to all classes using Google Classroom.
2. Mark assignments as “done”: Students can mark assignments as complete even if there is nothing to turn in (e.g. watch a video, read a chapter, bring something to class)
3. Export all grades: Teachers will now have the ability to download all assignments at once making it easier to export assignments to any gradebook.
4. Sorting: Teachers can now choose to sort by first or last names.
5. Greater teacher controls: Teachers can now set permissions for whether or not their class can post comments in the Stream. They can mute individual students from posting or commenting and teachers can view previously deleted items in the Stream.
Google Classroom Enhancements