May 12, 2018

Tech Tuesday for May 1st, 2018

Teachers Using Technology
Teachers of the Week: Robb Hedges and Jeremy Marvel, Principal and Assistant Principal at SSES.

SSES is currently using a podcast, delivered through Google Classroom, to improve communication throughout the school building. Robb and Jeremy record the podcast using Soundtrap. They use the podcast to share big picture ideas with the staff.
The podcast is usually 3-5 minutes and this format allows staff to listen whenever they have time. By delivering the content as on-demand audio, they can save time during staff meetings and it allows staff members to gather their thoughts on the topic so they are ready to discuss at staff meetings. Since time is freed up by doing this, staff meetings become a place where they can dig "deeper" into the topic. This results in more engagement during whole group meetings. Another benefit of using Google Classroom in this way is that teachers can comment on the post as they listen. This helps to build community around it since people can see that others are participating.
Connect with Robb: @SSESROCKS
Connect with Jeremy: @mrjmarvel
Do you know of a great use of technology by a Westfield Teacher? Share your own technology tip with me or nominate another teacher!

Thoughts on Communication
For Shamrock Springs, creating a podcast like this was the right solution. How could your building, team, or grade level use technology to improve communication? Some buildings have created a shared Google Calendar and migrated their staff handbook to Google Docs. Others have rolled out professional development using Canvas. Some teams have created a group chat with Google Hangouts. Remember, whatever your communication needs are, technology is not the end goal; it’s just a tool. I’d love to hear how you are using technology to improve communication. And if you want help finding the right solution to your communication needs, please reach out to me and I’ll help you put together a plan.
Google Tip of the Week
Comment on Files in Google Drive
We’ve always been able to comment on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, but now we can comment on other files too. This works with  Microsoft Office files, videos, pictures, audio files, and PDFs. Just double click on the file in Google Drive and it will open in preview. Then click on the comment button in the top right-hand corner.
What I've been training on
Google Cast for Education
Google Cast for Education allows you to send your Chromebook screen to your desktop computer, which then shows up on the projector in the front of your classroom. If you are not already using this give it a try! If you are, please let me know about it and how and why it helps your students learn. I’m also interested in any other ways that you are controlling the screen in the front of your room. Do you use the Promethean Pens? Mouse and keyboard? AirPlay with your iPad? What’s your ideal solution for this?

This video shows how to use Google Cast for Education.
Here are a few other topics I have helped teachers with recently:
  1. Headers and Footers in Google Sheets
  2. Can you “Upload” a Google Doc?
  3. Move your H: Drive to Google Drive
Blog Pick of the Week
G Suite Creation Station
Matt Miller is an Indiana educator and the author of Ditch That Textbook. In this blog post, he shares 6 ways that students can use Google tools to create content and display their learning. One of my favorite ideas is creating captions or thought bubbles in Google Drawings.
GirlTrek TED Talk

An inspiring movement at the intersection of mental, physical, and community health.

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