As I'm sure most of you are aware, Google Classroom made some changes over the summer. Aside from what I consider the 3 big changes, two things I have noticed over the last couple weeks as we begin our year: One: Don't forget to click on the gear for settings! This is where you can adjust who gets to comment. Depending on your class, you may well not want student comments on your assignments. Two: You can now turn off notifications for some of your classes. Getting too many emails from classes you co-teach? Turn them off by going to Menu/Settings/Notifications/Class Notifications. H/T to Jenn Judkinsfor the gif.
The 3 big changes:
This is a new site for me. I had never even heard of this until #edcampCT in August. At a session on Primary Sources (notes) folks from CT public TV, as well as CT teachers brought this site up several times. So, what is this Thinkalong? Created by CT public television, its goal is "to help students become better critical thinkers and media consumers by giving classrooms access to news-based learning activities made to enhance their curriculum." Aimed at middle and high school students, it can help students learn to discuss difficult topics and have important, serious discussions. I love the approach they take. Check out the intro video... or just go ahead and check out the topics.
I have enjoyed using Storyboardthat since it first came out. It provides a clean, safe, easy way for students to visually organize and tell a story. Great templates are provided as well as lesson plans. This afternoon I attended a webinar which featured the new story cube and worksheet design tools. These are pretty easy to use and if you use worksheets in your classroom, you may want to check them out. They have over 40,000 objects to choose from and lots of pre-made diagrams, and instructional templates. One thing that came up at the end of the webinar was that they are having a one day sale at TPT on all of the "stuff" they have created. Each packet is going for $1.00/each. Some of these are usually 5, 10 or even $20 each. Great deal if it's something you can use...and it's a One Day Deal- Wednesday 9/12/2018
Microbit Global Challenge
As many of you know, I spent time this summer learning more about makerspaces, raspberry pi, new features of Scratch 3.0 and more. One of the things I really liked learning about was physical computing... making "stuff" and using tech to code it to do something.
Microbits have been used extensively in the UK as part of their national coding instruction. Now Microbit.org has combined forces with The World's Largest Lesson and ARM and will run a global challenge, based on UN SDGs ( Sustainable Development Goals). Cool idea! Read more about it here.
For those of you who are new to Hadley- this is a weekly tech update. I try to post info that both the elementary and middle/high school teachers could find useful, although some pieces apply more to one age group or discipline than others. As usual, the world of edtech did not stand still over the summer. I have a whole list of things that changed to talk about, but for tonight I will try to focus on just a couple things. Just a reminder to HES teachers- please give feedback on what you would like to see in the new HES STEAM space.
Flipgrid is here. https://flipgrid.com/hesteachsteam
Practical Ed Tech Handbook
One of my all time favorite edtech bloggers is Richard Byrne- www.freetech4teachers.com/Free Technology for Teachers. I still remember when he came to ISTE as the newbie of the year and now he is a leader in the field, bringing his love of history, dogs and the woods of Maine. Recently Richard posted an update of his useful The Practical Ed Tech Handbook. You can visit his blog and read the embedded copy there or use his download link to obtain your own copy. www.freetech4teachers.com/2017/09/the-practical-ed-tech-handbook-for-2017.html
I am a big fan of Google Classroom as a great way to help streamline student workflow. Today I came across this hyperdoc about Google Classroom, clicked thru a few links and thought that many of you would like to give it a try. Great way to explore more about Google Classroom. Thanks to Ben Cogswell for sharing this Google slide hyperdoc. Click the image to see Ben's work. Remember we now have GSuite from grade 2 on up- even younger students can use these tools.
Shawn Beard does a nice job of summarizing the latest features that were rolled out this summer.
Looking for more ways to use Google Classroom? Alice Keeler shares 35 More Ways...
Watch the Playlist
Google has also launched a Welcome to Your First Day of Google Classroom site with tons of resources. Check it out here. www.blog.google/topics/education/welcome-your-first-day-classroom/
Google offers an excellent service for students who are graduating or moving, as well as teachers retiring or moving to a new school to save and move your files and all your data. It is called Google TakeOut and Mr. Duffy has now enabled this for our district. There are several good blog posts with tutorials out there to choose from: Kyle Pace has his take, Sean Beard, his version, Jeff Bradbury's podcast and my favorite Jenn Judkins. Sean has a nice handout, if you prefer a print version. I shared Jenn's video below. Her site has a nice set of written instructions to follow along with as well. I used the service when I switched schools and it was relatively fast and painless... and that was 4 years ago.
Google Data Gif Maker
Google recently announced a new tool to make animated Gifs from data. I read about it here, confess that I have not tried it out myself. Got boring data? Jazz it up with the new Data Gif Maker. Here are some basic directions. You can play with it here. I just used their basic example to make a gif to show you. It does seem to take forever to download from their site and that was with pretty much no real data. Perhaps it is just pokey hilltown internet.
Google Classroom Cleanup
For many teachers this has been the first full year of Google Classroom. Now that the school year is coming to a close, Eric Curts has some excellent advice on how to clean up your virtual classroom to keep things organized and ready to go next year. His six steps to success are on his blog. Check it out; you'll be glad you did. Although I must say there has been some discussion about #6 on Google + as some folks never, eveh, touch anything in "shared with me" unless they are moving it to "My Drive", but some folks do clean it out, etc.
I would never recommend #6.
Not under any circumstances.
It's way too easy that type of "cleaning" gets out of hand.
Much easier to just teach students and staff "that's where everything shared with you is listed", period.
"If you wish to organise stuff shared with you, add it to your My Drive. If not, don't do anything."
EPSB District Technology was inspired by Eric's post to make the video below.