Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Try Google This Summer

Try Google Apps this summer -- play around with our apps and see what they can do.

This  learning GoGoogle Site updates automatically, so just click the links -- try a video or read about Mail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Contacts, Sites.

These are just the basics.  Google Apps have powerful add-ons and collaborative aspects built in.

It's part of the world today to connect on Facebook, but there's so much more, and our students expect us to teach in ways that interest and are relevant to their lives. Let's build that into our school's curriculum through the power and collaboration of Google Apps.  

Try the sites below to learn more. Note: If you are on an iPad, you will need a Flash Browser to view the Interactive Tours. Puffin Flash is $3.99  and  Photon Flash is $4.99 [click the lightning bolt. 
and How To use these browsers


Google page: Overview

Google Drive / Docs

Interactive tour of Google Drive [Docs]  Note: our domain name is nsdeagles.org

About Drive/ Docs: Think about our classroom supply list -- it's a Google doc like this one so we can all add the information in one place [from any internet connected computer]. Documents are all private unless you share them.  You can share to view only or to comment only or to edit. You can share with one person, the whole district, anyone with a link [like this one], or to the public. It's your choice, and all your work is saved, even if your computer crashes.  And, instead of 20 different emails, you have one document. I do almost everything in Google Drive unless I need Pages [Mac] for layout. Did you know you can save anything to your Drive? Photos, pdfs, Word, Excel, etc.  And there it will be, safe for you when you need it.  Play with documents this summer; you'll be glad you did.

Here are examples of assignments for my students using Google Apps. Notice they direct the students to make a copy.

Argument: Hero or Traitor?
Persuasive Letter Template
Figurative Language [now view only] where all students worked on the same document

Instructions to Teachers on Introduction Practice using Google Docs


Interactive tour for Calendar


Interactive tour of Gmail  Info about Contacts


Interactive tour of Hangouts [ I love these 10-person video chats, and often connect with people from around the world to discuss and plan educational projects.]


Learn about Google Sites  My class opens up to my website for assignments. LAGoals [2013-14] Write [2012-2103].  Grade Eight students created this website about Tornadoes.

Self-Graded Quizes and Exit Slips  / Google Forms

Yes, you can create self-graded quizes using Google Forms and Flubaroo.  Here are resources for learning how to do this:

Flubaroo -- links to blogs of directions and a video
Flubaroo -- For Pete's Sake blog
Elections, Statistics, Etc with Google Forms

Here's my Google Form example: Reading Notes
The student responses fill a spreadsheet that I can print out and confer with students. Click image to enlarge; names are blacked out.

Other Excellent Learn Apps Resources

Here are Dr. Wesley Fryer's excellent resources: Google Apps Presentations 2014

Check out Eric Curts's site App User Group.  For instance, learn about how Google Presentations can be an interactive story or a quiz.

Mike Reading's iTunes podcasts.

Google Apps for the iPad

Google Drive

Google Tasks [ this is the one I use for TPEP -- documenting collaboration; I bought the Pro version] 

Google Sheets

Google Apps for iOS

How about Gooru Learning?

If you click on the Apps Icon [the p squares to the left of your name], and click "More," you can choose Gooru [ lower left in image], a platform through your Google account to find and organize lessons gathered from all over the Internet.  Here's is a link to a search I did for "argument." You can see the CCSS standards are marked. I can gather the lessons I need into a collection and provide a link for the students. It's awesome.

I've used this for student iSearch and Genius Projects based on their interests. I search for their interests and provide them with choices I know will be appropriate and accurate. That way, students still have choices, but I know what they are searching for will be valid.

Go ahead -- login to your account, go to Gooru, and start searching and collecting for next year.

Have a go this summer -- Learn your Google Apps!

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

#CCSS #CCSSBlog Blogathon

Want to reflect on you #CCSS lessons from this year to share with others? It's a perfect reason to begin blogging -- here's a video invitation and the signup information from CORELaborate, from Puget Sound ESD's Common Core Resource:

 The theme is "Common Core: What Works," but if you don't want to blog, just go HERE to their site to read the blogs posted from around the nation at CORElaborate.  Follow on Twitter at #CCSSBlog .

If you want to start a blog, just ask -- I can help get you up and running easily.

Why should you blog? Here's Tom Whitby's post at Edutopia to explain: Do Educators Need Blog Posts?

Join in the fun and reflection to get and share ideas on "Common Core: What Works."

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

#clmooc Welcome and Invitation

Welcome to Summer!
Have you considered what you will learn this summer?

How about a summer connecting with other educators and making stuff?

That's what CLMOOC is all about: Making Learning Connected so we can update and revitalize our own teaching in the fall.

 I participated last year and so enjoyed meeting teachers who are inspired to expand their knowledge with others, joining in projects that are fun and inviting. I signed up again this year, and was honored by an invitation to join the project. The National Writing Project and Connected Learning have asked me to participate as a supporter. I'm so excited, because it is that support that kept me going -- the wonderful support of the people involved in the project. So, I'm inviting you to join the conversation and activities as well.

Don't have a lot of time? Then just lurk around and check in once in awhile.

Would like to learn more about projects and writing and making? Then join in on the projects planned for our #CLMOOC -- and it truly is "ours," the participants.

Whether you have an hour or a day or more, please come visit and join the Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaborators!


Here's a step-by-step Blendspace to guide you. Just click play and click the arrows to learn more.

Note: if an image doesn't appear, just click the "i" icon at lower right for the link or the comment icon on the right sidebar.

Here you will be welcomed, introduced to, and provided a link to sign up. If you've never participated in Google Plus, directions for activating it in a gmail account are also provided [directions are for Google Apps for Education using your school account, but you can open a personal gmail account and follow the same directions].

 Here's a link to a full screen version: Blendspace Welcome to #CLMOOC

Come and join the fun!


Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Web 3.0 Digital Writing: not just for students

What is Web 3.0? Web 2.0 is Facebook: interactive communication-- online whenever you choose to collaborate and share.  Web 3.0 goes further: it's a semantic web network that can predict what relates to you by interpreting what you input. Amazon makes suggestions on your previous orders. Google predicts what you are typing based on your and everyone else's prior searches. It's like having a personal assistant that gets information for you that you may not even have thought about.

Web 3.0 changes everything. It's why I'm trying to bring our staff into the collaborative nature of our Google Apps for Education. The image above is from a conference presentation by EdTechTeacher, which shares a Web 3.0 process of digital writing with students using iPads. We may not have iPads, but we do have Google Drive as part of our Google Apps. Whether working with students or working with colleagues, Google Apps allows us to communicate and collaborate in many ways: writing, audio, video, note-taking, etc.

Debra Pankey is working on iPad integration with us, which gives us yet another opportunity to bring our school into the 21st Century [ it is 2014 ]. Even without the iPad, our Google Apps allows us to work together as colleagues and as guides to our 21st Century learners. Of the apps in the above image, two are part of Google: Drive and Blogger. In addition, others work with Google Apps so students can save their work. So, I'm wondering, how have you explored your Google Applications: mail [including chat, tasks, and contacts], calendar [please see last post and try it], drive/docs, YouTube [create your own channel -- mine is nsdedwards], sites, ? Note: links connect to our domain; be logged in to link to them.

I write virtually every document, spreadsheet, presentation, report card in Google Apps. Here's what my drive looks like, and with Google search [top bar] I can easily find my files, whether or not I organize them into folders. Wherever I am, when connected to the internet, I can get to and work on these from any device. It's awesome to have my work whenever I need it. And, it's all private unless I choose to share it. I can share public or with one or a group of people. It's definitely leading towards Web 3.0.  I have a personal account, and it looks the same: filled with my documents, which I can share with family and my peeps [ online colleagues ].

 Here's my student launch page: a Google Site [ and here's my personal site from my own account ]:

Have you looked at your settings in mail? Just click Settings and see what's there. Check out Themes and personalize your mail, or add a background image -- the one below is from Cresent Bay walking that old dog of mine.

Or notice my image?  Click your name and you will see a link to "Account." From there you can edit your profile, add your image, and many other settings.

Do you notice the +Sheri in the above image. If you click that [teachers only], you will be able to enable your Google Plus App to join our NSD Private Community. And you will have access to Google Hangout from which you can collaborate with up to ten other people on Google. Teachers around the world are collaborating with this tool, with each other, with experts at NASA or universities, business experts. It's an amazing tool and opportunity. Below is a screenshot [remixed] of my peeps and I collaborating on a project.

If you click the icon with nine dots, you should see the G+ symbol to start your profile. Just keep choosing "continue;" you don't need to add friends, etc. to start. Once you're on, I can invite you to the NSD Private Community.

It includes many topics already:

 So, if we're to think about our learners, we need to  think about where they are -- and they are well into the twenty-first century [ baby  and Joe ]. This summer I hope you play around with our GAFE: Google Apps for Education and are ready to fully use their power next year. Just email, chat, or hangout with me if you want help.

There are tons of teachers like edtechteacher who want to share ideas like this Google Presentation. Four of my favorites are:

Kathy Schrock
Classroom Live 2.0
Learning Revolution

Thanks for reading this; I appreciate your time. I keep trying. 
If you've read this, please ask a question or add an idea in the comments. Thank you.

Another suggestion: start a Google Doc with your questions, and share it with me. I'll try to answer.

I may be failing at engaging our staff, but I keep trying.

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.

Michael Jordan

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.