Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Podcast Channel created by Elementary Students

Guest post by friEdTechnology Associate & 3rd grade teacher,  Melissa Summerford, Tweet her at @SummerfordStars

My name is Melissa Summerford and this is my fourteenth year in education. I am a 3rd-grade teacher at Bear Branch Elementary and I absolutely love my BBES Family. I realized I wanted to be a teacher while working as a paraprofessional in 2003.  I saw the impact teachers were making on students lives and I wanted to be apart of that club.  I was twenty-six years old and had three kids when I decided to go back to college. Six years later I became the first in my family to earn a college degree. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Prairie View A&M in 2008.  After 10 years of teaching, I have decided to work on a master's degree from Lamar University.  I am majoring in Digital Learning and Leading.  I have learned that showcasing my learning is a way to grow and improve my craft of teaching.  My ePortfolio website is a place where I can reflect and share my experiences as a teacher.  It is my goal and desire to inspire others to learn and grow using new and challenging methods.  

Student voice is something I strive to give my students and I consider it to be an important component in my classroom .  Student voice “is the individual and collective perspective, and action of students within the context of learning and education".  One way I incorporate student voice is through Podbean.  Podbean is a site that hosts podcasts for all types of learning and interests. Incorporating a classroom podcast has created another way for my students to share their learning globally.  I believe when students know they are sharing with the world their desire for learning increases.  

Go ahead and check out our class podcast here!!

How does it work?

Create a Podbean account here - You can try it for Free

You can sign up through facebook, twitter,  your google plus account, or you can create a new account using an email.

There is also an app you can download from the app store.  This is a handy tool because I can record podcasts straight off my phone.  I love this tool because my students get so excited when they know they are about to be featured on the channel.

I also allow students to create recordings of their own.  They use a google extension called voice recorder.  Students are able to save their recording in their google drive and share with me.  I review their recording(s) and then upload to our station.

ePortfolio : bit.ly/SummerfordTeachingBlueprint

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Adopt a Classroom Project

Many Houston & Greater Houston area classrooms have lost all of the teacher and parent purchased supplies. As schools resume September 11, teachers will begin attempting to rebuild their classrooms. Please consider partnering with an impacted classroom & teacher via the Hurricane Harvey Adopt a Classroom Project. We'll help match you with a teacher in need and help your classes get connected via Google Hangouts.

If you are a teacher who wants to adopt a classroom impacted by Hurricane Harvey OR a teacher whose classroom needs help, please fill out our form to make a connection.

If you are a teacher who needs help in the greater Houston area, friEdTechnology will facilitate connecting you to your partner classroom via Google Hangouts. Here are some other links to help...

How to make an Amazon wishlist: https://goo.gl/quC5ct      
How to share an Amazon wishlist: https://goo.gl/zRqmKT
If you need help creating your list, please email harveyhelp@friedtechnology.com
IDEAS Elementary List: https://goo.gl/8vGGPp
IDEAS Secondary List: https://goo.gl/SG5Zf1

Friday, April 14, 2017

Doc Stickers: Google Docs + Google Keep=Brilliant Feedback Idea! Guest Post by Stephanie Filardo

Stephanie Filardo: Photo credit
Valerie Callan Photography

Guest Blog Post by Stephanie Filardo, follow Stephanie's blog here and find her on Twitter here

Stephanie is currently a teacher in St. Louis, Missouri

I remember getting papers back with stickers and stamps as a kid.  While I may not remember the specific assignments and what I learned from them, but I remember how it made me feel when I saw a sticker or stamp on them.  While my teachers were just taking stickers from a page and adhering them to all of the student papers, it meant something because they took them time to do it.  They didn't have to do it, they cared enough to do it.  It meant something to read "Excellent!" "Great job!" "A+!" and even better when it was the coveted scratch-n-sniff sticker!

This idea is brought to you by the wonderful integration of Google Docs and Google Keep.  Enjoy!

Today, I'm excited to tell you about DocStickers! If you can give me 90 seconds of your time, this video is worth a watch! Otherwise, continue below.

Sticker: "Grape Job"
One of my students asked for this sticker,
so I made it. I may have to provide grape 
bubblegum with it for the full effect though!

With most of my assignments having gone digital, I still want to be able to bring this joy to my students.  I've kicked this idea around for a while, but there really wasn't a seamless way to get images/digital stickers into a Doc...until the latest Google Keep update (in Docs).  So while I can't bring you a way to make your student papers smell like grapes, cherries, or bubble gum, I can show you a way to bring the joy of stickers to your students' digital assignments.  DocStickers was born!

Photo example of a DocSticker in a student assignment.
Example of a DocSticker in a student assignment.  "Now you're flying!"

Check out the Original Post for some pre-made DocStickers, templates, and tutorials for you to get started (link opens in a new window):

One thing I want to make VERY clear.  This isn't about turning a worksheet into a digital assignment just to add a sticker to it.  It isn't about creating more work for you as a teacher.  It IS about helping you give feedback to students (and making your grading time a little bit cheerier).  It IS about making sure we aren't just "passing back" (returning on Google Classroom) assignments without some sort of feedback.  Much of the work my students do has gone digital.  This was true in my math classroom, and it is a reality in my computer science classes.

There are many forms of feedback I utilize and this is a complement to written and/or verbal feedback.  Can it be more than that?  I hope so.  The Google Keep integration lets you insert more than just images, and Keep is very much a lesser known tool despite its power for cross-device bookmarking, shared lists and notes, etc....the possibilities are seemingly endless.  I look forward to sharing more ways you can utilize this tool both as a teacher and with your students.

I have high school students who remember getting stickers and stamps on their work when it was handed back.  And although it may seem childish, they miss it.  They miss the way it made them feel; .I want to make sure that joy doesn't go the wayside as we go paperless.

Tweet me @i3algebra #DocStickers I'd love to know what you think!

If you would like to share this idea (edcamp, tips session, etc) I'd also love to collaborate with you to help you share this idea in the greater context of student feedback.

Click the link above to access this pdf
Quick-Start Flyer

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Google Team Drives Solve a BIG Problem (But They May Be Hard to Wrap Your Head Around)

Scenario One: Organized Ms. X

A group of teachers wants to work together on unit plans. The department chair creates a folder and gives each of her colleagues edit rights to the folder. After all, she doesn't want to have to change permissions on every individual file.

Along comes Ms. X who is new to the Googleverse. She has her very own organizational structure and being a very organized person, she wants to put her lesson plans into the folders she has created for each of her units throughout the year, so, she drags each of those lesson plans out of the disorganized mess of a folder created by her department chair into her own organizational structure.

You know what's next. UH OH. All of those materials have now "disappeared" from the folder where they once lived---the folder that gave the entire team the ability to work together on the files. 

Scenario Two: Upwardly Mobile Mr. Y

Mr. Y is a part of the same team as the department chair and Ms. X described above. He is always looking for his next coaching position in a bigger district with a better football team. (Sorry for the stereotype Mr. Y.) After school ends...during the month of July, he finally finds his dream job and his district releases him from his contract so that he can take it.

Mr. Y has created each of the files in the first 9 weeks folder of this team. By the end of July, his account with the district has been automatically deleted. His team comes back to school in August to find the first 9 weeks folder containing all of their mutual work is completely empty. Turns out, Mr. Y owned all of the files within even though the entire team contributed to them. Unless the technology department can restore his files and transfer ownership, they are gone forever.

Google Team Drives solves two enormous Google Drive issues that have plagued us since we became dependent on collaboration and the cloud. 

Google's official documentation describes them best . . .
Google Team Drives are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device. 
Unlike files in My Drive, files in Team Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.
Note: Team Drives is available on G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Business, or G Suite Education editions. If you can’t use Team Drives, contact your administrator.

Want to take a look at how to create a Team Drive and learn more about what they are? Watch the video below!

Also check out this (better organized!!) video from my colleague JP Hale from Taylor ISD

IT Directors: This is the one to send to your teachers to help them learn about Team Drives before you turn it on.

Interesting aspects of Team Drives:

  • They have themes! Much like the current version of Google Forms. 

*At press time, you cannot change the permissions of objects inside the Team Drive. I wonder if this will be possible in the future?

*It's also not possible yet to add a file to your own Drive AND a Team Drive with the Shift+Z "trick." << Sad Trombone>>

The "hard to wrap your head around it" part comes when you start considering WHEN to create a Team Drive. For example, you'd want a Team Drive for the English Department not for First 9 Weeks Unit 1---anytime you have a new group who all needs to see a set of files, that's Team Drives time, but not necessarily with a new project, unless the new project also entails a new group. You feel me? Maybe not, this is going to take some time!

Learn even more about Team Drives in the G Suite Learning Center here

Monday, March 27, 2017

Google Classroom: Opening the Door to Everyone

Guest post by friEdTechnology Associate & EdTech Guru, +JP Hale, Tweet him at @haleedtech

As both a Google for Education Certified Administrator and Trainer, I try to keep a healthy balance of safety and security and powerful instructional strategies in mind.  Recently that has become a bit more challenging with Google Classroom becoming available for any G Suite users.  The feature is off by default and has to be turned on in your district domain.
In this post we will examine the various settings to be considered.  These settings are managed by a Google Administrator for your specific domain.  (Learn more: Control User Access to Classroom)
  • Users in your domain only—Only G Suite for Education users in your domain can join your domain’s classes
  • Users in whitelisted domains—G Suite for Education users from domains you allow can join your domain’s classes. You need to whitelist these domains, and domain administrators from those domains need to whitelist your domain.
  • Any G Suite user—Any G Suite user can join your domain’s classes.  That includes anyone outside your domain in other districts.
  • Any user—Any G Suite user eligible for Classroom or personal Google Account users can join your domain’s classes
  • Do you allow everyone in the district access to Google Classroom?
  • Would your teachers benefit from joining classes outside your district for PD, etc?
  • In order for users in other domains to join classes, an administrator must change the sharing permission on files.  Do you allow such sharing?
  • Every Google classroom should be managed and monitored by a teacher.  That teacher provides the needed Class Code to join or has to send an email invitation.  Do your teachers know how to monitor their student accounts?
  • A teacher can reset or disable this code at anytime if there are issues.  They can also delete any users that are added to the class.  Do your teachers know how to delete user access?
  • Do you think parents will want to join this way instead of just getting the notifications?

Here are some questions to consider as you decide what is best for your district.
What are your thoughts?  Respond to this post or send JP a Tweet @haleedtech

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book Review: A Must Read EdTech Hit Out FRIDAY

Shout out to my friend and Education Technology colleague +Lisa Johnson (TechChef4u) on the publication of her first book available Friday THIS WEEK! After perusing the praise of my colleagues for her work, I'm so excited to get my hands on it. Here's what Kyle Pace had to say . . .
This book is the most practical guide I have seen to truly help secondary students be “future ready.” The advice and tips that Lisa Johnson shares should become a standard digital literacy read for all middle school and high school students. 
—Kyle Pace, Instructional Technology Coach Grain Valley School District Kansas City, MO
I'm most excited about the chapter on Visual Literacy, which I've long believed is an important skill to teach without having a convincing argument as to why or really understanding how. Lisa provides both, and I'm buying it, literally and figuratively. Check out her four guiding questions for students (full descriptions of each one in the book). Even this ONE chapter is worth the purchase and there are so many more!

Communicating the Organization of Content Within a slide Deck  
  • How do you hook your audience’s attention? 
  • How do you capture the most important details and information? 
  • What is the best logical order for your information? 
  • How do you leave your peers with an impression? 

Buy it now before it's sold out! (Just kidding, it's digital! But you should still buy it!)


Corwin Book Code: N173H5 for 25% off the list price, expires 4/30.