Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Shower Moment

Did you once have an awesome activity that you stopped doing with your students? Why, did you stop? I'm not sure why I did but here is my shower moment of the day.

In the "olden" days I always had my kids write a letter of advice to the students who would be taking their place in my classroom...why did I stop doing this? So today my kids will create "products" instead of letters for the new group of students that will start Genius Hour next year. The hardest part for many students, with genius hour, is simply getting started, so I hope one of the products produced by my awesome kiddos will solve that.

Product vs Letters: in my courses students learn a variety of tech tools and I am hoping they use something jazzy and creative vs a letter. My thoughts on what they could use include (but I really hope they app smash and I am not sharing my list below with them!):

Here is the Rubric I will share with them and I will be sure and share some of their best work. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Scout's honor, it was a great day!


So, before I mentioned awesome Tori Wardrip and the observant gal she is asked how tabs were pinned in one of our tutorials. In Chrome simply click on the tab and select "pin tab" to remove the pin repeat the process. Boom, Slam, Pin.

Tori is Terrific

Look at this awesome student creation from Lewis and Clark Middle School. Tori Wardrip, an amazing teacher had her students storyboard, create the pieces and use Lapse it to make! She also did this in about two class periods with 7th graders!

My students are the coolest, most creative creatures around and I love them forever and ever, amen. (p.s. this was made in one 50 minute class period... if you understand the logistics of a classroom full of twenty-nine 7th graders, then you understand why this result is especially impressive)

Posted by Tori Wardrip on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

What the LMS?

First off...flirting in Middle School is SO HILARIOUS! I love being in the halls and noticing the love lashes!

But for real... every kid has a device, every teacher has a device and we are thinking of picking an LMS (Learning Management System). Two platforms are frequently used in our district: Edmodo and Schoology. Several teachers are holding out for Google Classroom  but after participating in Classroom (which is awesome) it’s not a true LMS and won’t be available until at least January for our district (since we have multiple domains). I suggest you pick an LMS NOW (before fall) and kick off your year with it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 11.05.24 AM.png

Which LMS is best for WJ’s?
Ease of Use with iOS devices
Schoology  download.png
Teacher ease
Edmodo Edmodo_logo.svg 2.png
Grading online
Schoology but neither connects right with PowerSchool download.png
Compatibility with Google
Tie download.pngEdmodo_logo.svg 2.png
Used at West High
EdmodoEdmodo_logo.svg 2.png
Differentiation of Assignment (grouping)
EdmodoEdmodo_logo.svg 2.png
Online Discussion Tool
Tie download.png
Schoology download.png
Trainers in the district
We know both :) download.png
Feeder Schools (Elementary)
Edmodo Edmodo_logo.svg 2.png
Parent access
Edmodo Edmodo_logo.svg 2.png
Tie download.png

Learn More:
Teaching like it’s 2999
A picture is worth a thousand words!

How do you get your photos to your computer? Did you know it's simple with Google+ and/or the Google Drive through these slides to learn more or stop and see us.

Slide Alternatives!

Yes, I am a business teacher and I just said PowerPoint is so yesterday. But perhaps this phrase should be switched to “sick of Slides”.

  • Animoto-create quick videos with music, text and images
  • Thinglink - an interactive image tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image into a multimedia launcher
  • Google Drawing - one of the most powerful, yet underutilized tools in your Google collection!
  • EMaze - impressive but easy-to-use cloud-based presentation tool with enough pizazz to impress, but not too much to overwhelm creators (or viewers!)
  • Nearpod-not only is this a great way to take your slides and deliver something awesome there is already pre-made lessons that have been vetted by Nearpod...Boom Score!
  • Canva - Oh, Canva, how you steal my time. Posters, documents, presentations, and more. Sigh.
  • Go Animate - "Making a video shouldn't be a drag. It should be drag & drop." That's their motto!
  • Movenote - take Docs and Slides up a notch by presenting them with video!
  • Slides-I still love Google Slides but instead of using them like Power Point take them up a notch by adding hyperlinks, Youtube videos or changing the page layout to create custom books. Slides can be more than PowerPoint

Cheat Sheet made by Ann Brucker!

Your students (or colleagues) shared their work and you know it’s in Drive, but how do you find it? Here are some cool ways to search your Drive to locate those files.

" " (quotes)
To find documents that contain that exact phrase.
"my teacher is amazing"
To find documents with at least one of the words.
cactus OR evergreen
- (minus sign)
Exclude a particular word from your search. If you want items (Docs, Slides, etc) that mention “cactus,” but not “evergreen,” use...
cactus -evergreen
Stuff owned or shared by a specific person
Documents you shared with someone else
Search by the type of document. This covers: folder, document, spreadsheet, presentation, pdf, image, video, drawing
before:YYYY-MM-DD after:YYYY-MM-DD
Find items that were edited before or after a certain day.
Search by the item’s title.
title:"Tech Fair 2014"
Find stuff that can be opened by a specific app.
app:"Google Docs"
Search for stuff that has been shared publicly to the billingsschools or billingsstudents domain
source:domain it over the summer!

A great way to keep your students and their parents informed is to have a Website! Did you start one but have a few questions before you can get that baby published? If so, stop by and I can sit with you and troubleshoot. Or, just come jazz that baby up with a geek at your side!

If you want to know my favorite part of having a class website...I’ll tell you! It’s having my Calendar embedded and YES, my calendar is my lesson plans and all handouts kids need.

If you have never started a website and are too shy to ask me for help here is a place to start

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Speaking at ISTE

Yep, our Google Teacher Academy Student Tech Squad team was accepted to present at ISTE 2015. I am so excited for this and bummed that my portion of the presentation will need to be virtual as I can't get to PA. BUT, way to go GTA sisters Sandra Chow from Canada, Michelle Green from Kentucky and Caren MacConell from New Jersey.  Here is the start of our website!

Thursday, May 21, 2015