What I’ve Been Watching

Here are some of the things I have been watching this week (other than College Basketball):

Sir Ken Robinson – TED Education – 2013

 

Learning and Creating with iPad’s in Kindergarten:

 

Kids React to Rotary Phones – The Fine Brothers

 

Android Wear – Information that Moves With You

 

Jamie Casap – Address to educators at NAF Next

 

QR Book Project – The Giver

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Google Apps for Education Summit – Phoenix

During Spring Break, I attended the Google Apps for Education Summit presented by the EdTech Team. It was a great conference and here are my notes and thoughts from the sessions I attended.

 Day 1

Keynote – Iterating Education – Jamie Casap – www.jcasap.com@jcasap


 I didn’t actually take any notes during this session, but it was still a great way to start out the GAFE Summit. The main message was that at Google, it is ok to fail as long as you own up to it and learn from it. Also, everyone collaborates, so we should in schools as well.

Here are some other places that I have heard Jamie Casap speak:
Google Educast – Episode #135
YouTube – National Academy Foundation – Technology & the Web

Breakout Session 1 – Google Apps Tricks & TipsMonica Martinez@mimg1225

In this session Monica Martinez went through the main Google Apps and gave some great ways to implement them into a teachers workflow. A few of the tips that stood out to me were giving commenting rights by adding an email address to the comment in Google Docs, how to remote log out of all other sessions, and using a script to generate QR Codes automatically in Google Sheets. The Google Document for this session can be found here.

Breakout Session 2 – Making Magnificent MapsJim Sill@mistersill

In this session, Jim Sill went over the new Google Maps and some of its features. He talked about how Maps can update themselves & sync over devices based on previous searches and information from an Android Phone. He also talked about Street View and Underwater Maps. The real new “wow” information came when he showed the Google Maps Engine (his resources here). He showed how easy it was to create your own map and add media like images or YouTube videos. We also filled out a Google Form with information and he used it to populate markers on the map. This would be a great resource for anyone working on any learning objects that were place based.

Breakout Session 3 – Beginners Guide to the Google Apps ConsolePeter Henrie

google admin Peter Henrie went over the Google Apps Console and set-up procedures that would be helpful to someone that was setting up or maintaining a Google Apps for Education adoption. Unfortunately for me, I only have access to be able to manage devices. It was nice to see the options available in the Google Apps Console, and if I ever have more access, the information he provided will be useful. Cory and I made it into the picture that was shared on Twitter.

 

 

Breakout Session 4 – Chromebook 101Chris Bell@cbell619

This session was set up at a “choose your own pace” based on the information available here. Chris went over some of the basics of a Chromebook then allowed us time to explore. He then circulated throughout the room and answered individual questions. It was a nice change to the “sit&get” sessions and the resources provided could be used to facilitate the same type of session with staff that are unfamiliar with a Chromebook.

Day 2

Keynote – Maximizing the Power of the Web – Monica Martinez – @mimg1225

Monica Martinez started this session talking  about how her parents chose her name and added to a Google Doc using the research tools. She inserted photos and information then added where the information was from to a bibliography instantly. The main focus of her keynote was that if students can Google the answer to a question, it is not a question that will enhance thinking. She shared many websites and services that could be useful in the classroom.
WolframAlphaTeach Parents TechConstitution Project

Breakout Session 1 – Creating Presence in an Online Classroom –  Chris Bell – @cbell619

cbell-onlineIn this session, Chris Bell talked about Online Classrooms and best practices for a teacher in them. The sticking point was making sure that the teacher still connects with students on a personal level. He talked about adding photos of himself and his family even though they may not have been “learning objects” because it allowed students to know more about him. He also talked about the importance of giving individualized feedback using Screen Casting or tools like Kaizena. He talked about how easy it is to add video using the My Webcam feature of YouTube, and also using the YouTube Video Editor. Other tools mentioned that can be used in an online/hybrid classroom setting: Google Hangouts, Google Voice, Google Groups, Google+, Google Drawings.

Breakout Session 2 – What Can App Scripts do for You? – Monica Martinez – @mimg1225

weeklyemailMonica Martinez showed off the Scripts Gallery in Google Sheets in this session. When she gave this presentation, the Script Gallery was not available in the New Google Sheets. As I’m writing this, it is now available. She showed us scripts like GMail Meter – which gives you data about your Gmail use, Flubaroo – used to correct multiple choice forms (available in Add Ons), and Map Mail Merge which can add photos and mapped directions to an automatically created document. I have used Flubaroo quite extensively, but GMail Meter was new to me. It gave me a ton of information about my Gmail use over the last month.

Breakout Session 3 – Art Appreciation – Jim Sill – @mistersill

Sunday Afternoon I went to this session thinking it would be a “break” from all that was going on. I was getting tired from all of the great information we were receiving and this session was in the room where the projector wasn’t very good and the lights needed to be turned off. I thought I’d be able to just sit back and relax. I’m sure I could have, but then Jim showed us the Google Art Project. Wow! I barely took any notes in this session because I was “playing” with the content the entire time. If you want to end up using up an entire day of your time, just go to the Art Project link and start looking around. The gigapixel paintings are amazing, and the ability to “walk” through an art gallery is incredible. Here are some links to more information: Art Talks, For Educators, Jim Sill’s Gallery

 

 Closing Keynote – Reckless Creativity –  Jim Sill – @mistersill

In his closing Keynote, Jim Sill talked about how everyone desires to be creative. Students are able to “talk” to millions of people using tools like YouTube and Instagram and they use these services as a “proof of travel” by using the location based features. Students are “living in a time of reckless creativity … without a safety net.” They will fail, and fail often (iteration). “How can we change the world with an idea?” “You are living in a __________ world & We are a _________ girl (or boy)!

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Photosynth

The Backstory:
During our Leadership meeting Thursday morning, the grade level representatives used play-doh to collaboratively create a bus. We would like you to vote on one of the busses. Use any criteria you want for the voting.

The Intent:
First, we thought we’d show you these cool busses. Second, I wanted to show you a few technology resources that you could use in your classroom to show off student work, collect information from students or parents, etc. The website used to create these “synths” is Photosynth. To create your own you would need to have a Microsoft account (free) and a digital camera (I used my phone after the busses were completed). The votes are being tracked in a Google Form (did you know you could embed those?).

Bus 1 (Click on this bus for a better view)

Bus 2 (Click on this bus for a better view)

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Start of the 2013 – 2014 School Year

We have completed the first week with students of the 2013-2014 school year. I am not in the classroom as a teacher this year, so I think I need to change the focus of my blog. This year I am one of two Instructional Coaches at a K-8 public school in south Phoenix.

Tasks Completed this week:

  1. Visited every classroom and used the In – and – Out coaching technique.
  2. Created user accounts for every teacher and student on Kid’s College.
  3. Met with the leadership team about PLC Norms.
  4. Checked with teachers daily that were having trouble with the attendance system.
  5. Hooked up many laptops to projectors and Interactive Whiteboards.

The In – and – Out coaching technique was great for me to see. Myself and the other Instructional Coach observed teachers in their classrooms for around 10 minutes. Then we met and exchanged notes on what we saw in the classroom. Then we came up with an idea that we thought may help the teacher. One of us then conferenced with the teacher for a few minutes while the other I.C. taught the class. We focused on student engagement this week and our teachers were very receptive to the strategies that we thought may be helpful.  It was a very positive experience and we were able to see great teaching going on in our classrooms!

I started reading “The Homework Myth” this week, so I will end this post with a quote from the book.

Whenever homework crowds out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities, and whenever it usurps time that should be devoted to sleep, it is not meeting the basic needs of children and adolescents. (p. 16)

 

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