Tuesday Tips from #GoogleEdu
This was a new one for me, hat tip to Kasey Bell of Shake-up Learning, but #GoogleEdu has a series of Tuesday Tips now. These are for Forms, Classroom and Google Expeditions at the moment, and come as a slide deck- see links below. I couldn't find any other source for these tips, so follow #GoogleEdu on Twitter to stay informed.
MAP Test Correlation Tool
I wrote a while back about the MAP test correlation tool being used by KIPP schools on the west coast, referencing this site and spreadsheets. This worked, but was pretty clunky and labor intensive to set up. Each student had a color coded sheet, which related to their scores on the MAP test, and they also had their own copy of a color coded Kahn Academy list of skills to practice and check off. A lot of flipping back and forth. Lo and behold the NWEA folks have come out with a new tool - a prototype- to do the same thing. This is the tool. It is easy to use; I tried it today with 3rd graders. Here's the instruction page for teachers. Students in grade 3, 5 and 6 are all set up with their most recent MAP scores. There is also a new icon on the hes.symbaloo page which matches the little icon on the top left of this paragraph. Don't ditch the other spreadsheets since this is a prototype and may disappear.
The other cool thing about MAP tests, and I don't say positive things about tests lightly, is the new next gen student profile section with breakouts for instructional ideas. I went to a webinar last week on it and was honestly impressed with the ways to use the data. A bit time-labor intensive, but when you have time- check out the next-gen student profile section. This is a link to the recorded version of “Student Profile Report – Instructional Module.” Below is an example of these reports. You can go through the step by step and see some short videos here.
Most of us have had that magical moment in the classroom when the YouTube video we plan to show now has nasty ads, or obscene comments- which weren't there when we previewed it.
There are lots of ways to get around that sinking feeling, but they do take a bit of planning.
Here's a symbaloo with some ideas for you. I will also pop this onto the HES Teachers symbaloo for those of you who use that as a start page.
So, what are these? The top row- are all places that you can paste the YouTube url and get a clean version to show your class. The row on the right- all ways that you can download the video and put it on your drive. You need to be aware that the TOS for YouTube asks that you do not download and view. The way YouTube makes money is through ads and clicks- not from folks downloading.
The row on the bottom is kind of a mish mash. You can chop out pieces of videos to show. Perhaps you only want the middle 3 minutes of a 20 minutes video... adjust it. I also added a couple of chrome extensions that you can use to hide comments or ads.
One very easy workaround is to insert the YouTube video you want to show into a Google Slide. No ads, no comments- just the video, unless you click thru to the YouTube site.
As many of you know, I come from "The Land of No Testing"... actually my former school did do a couple days of ERBs and I think it was 7th grade that had to take the Otis-Lennon to be eligible for the Johns Hopkins G & T programs. Needless to say, the amount of time devoted to testing and preparing for the tests in public schools, not just my current school, amazes me.
I am not against accountability, not against using some sort of measure to see if kids are learning what we are teaching and helping teachers reach more students. The data we collect from the tests must be useful, must be timely and actionable. I spent a lot of time recently collecting data about assistive technology use in our district. Dealing with the data itself, making some sense of it and then wondering if anything will come of the data can be a frustrating process and this did not cost any money, just time.
The data collected from MCAS, from MAP testing, etc, etc... what is it used for? No, I don't mean how it is used to rate schools or teachers- but how is it used to help kids? How is it actually used to inform instruction? As learners, we all need feedback in order to make progress. Feedback months later is not always useful.
This weekend I was catching up on some blog posts from EdSurge and noticed an article about KIPP schools in the Bay area who use the MAP test scores to inform their math instruction by correlating the MAP data with Khan academy videos. NWEA has info on their site about this. I also contacted the author of the article and he sent me a link to a lot of material, including examples of how they are using this data.
While I am on a math tangent, last spring I attended an edcamp at Worcester Academy. I learned about Jo Boaler and her site youcubed, the WIM (week of inspirational math) and her book, Mathematical Mindsets (I have a copy if you'd like to borrow it). Last week I saw a post from Alice Keeler, referencing this book that really resonated with me, a certified math phobe. Check out the WIM activities- K-12.