Posted in #COL16, #GoogleEI, EdTechTeam, GAFE

Google Innovator Academy – #COL16 Reflection

Google Innovator Academy – #COL16 Reflection

As I sit at the airport in Denver to fly back home, I still struggle to put into words my experience with The Google For Education Certified Innovator Academy. It was an amazing time of learning from fellow educators from around the world and trying to steal the awesome things they do in their classes that could improve my school (Ash Grove School District, MO).

Here are my 4 biggest takeaways:

1.  Networking, Networking, Networking.

IMG_2893
Working With Nick Brierley  (Teacher in Australia)

One of the most powerful tools that individuals (regardless of occupation) can harness is the ability to network with other people. Growing up, this was a tool that I never really was taught. Yet, over the last few years (especially this last year), I have begun to understand the power in accessing the intelligence and experiences of those around the world. While I had slowly started building my own “Personal-Professional Learning Network (PLN)” (Check out “What Connected Educators Does Differently” by Whitaker, Zoul, and Casas for great ideas on how to form a powerful PLN), it wasn’t till the EdTechTeam GAFE Summit in July of 2015 that it completely rocked my pedagogy.

 

IMG_20160630_092531
Working On Making A Lightbulb

So why list networking at the Google Innovator Academy as the top on my list? Simply, I met “personally” some amazing educators who are actively challenging themselves to provide the best teaching experiences for their students/staff/community, and sharing it with the world. There is something powerful about seeing someone in person that provides a deeper connection for sharing ideas and questions. The exciting part about meeting these people personally is that I not only have their personal experiences, ideas, questions but also of their own “PLN” they have developed over time. When I ask them a question, they don’t have to know the answer personally, but probability has it that they “know” someone (either virtually through social media or personally) who could be of help. The academy provided 36 fellow educators (who became classified as innovators through the academy) and various coaches/mentors/developers who can help me to impact my school and beyond.

2.  “Your fears are smaller than you think but your dreams are so much bigger than you realize.” Sergio Villegas (Twitter: @coach_sv)

IMG_7572
Sergio Villegas

This powerful statement from one of the academy coaches, Sergio Villegas, articulated everything that teachers believe about their students. How many times as teachers do we tell a student, “Persevere, you are so close! I know that seems like a big obstacle, I promise you the reward is worth it! It looks like a mountain, I know, but if only you can fight through it!” What hit me though about this statement was the power this could give to the staff members that we work with directly (as in our school district) or through our PLN (Social Media, Conferences, etc.). For much of my career I have allowed self-doubt and fear to keep me from making pedagogical changes that would make a better experience for my students and their learning. Ultimately, fear is a powerful tool, but dreams can drive you to places your fear could never fathom.

3.  “84% of your staff are not ready to embrace your ideas. How are you going to excite them?” Jennie Magiera (Twitter: @MsMagiera)

IMG_2896
Jennie Magiera

Have you ever been to summer/church camp where you were with like-minded people who share your passions? Then once you returned “home” to the “real world,” you found yourself depressed because not everyone shares the same passions? Academy Coach Jennie Magiera discussed the idea of how statistically 84% of your staff, students, district, do not operate the same as you. So how do you “get them on board”? Her solution was as basic as you can get, yet the hardest things to do. Meet the 84% where they are and encourage every “little step” or “new iteration” they do to improve their students’ learning. If you are in the 16%, it’s likely that you are ready to “jump on the boat” with new and exciting tech pedagogy. Everyone else would prefer to use what’s “safe” because they have developed “safety nets” for those older pedagogical practices. So consider few steps, according to Jennie, to help move the 84% forward: Print out paper material for them to use as resources, guides, how-to, etc.; meet with them personally to help them get over the struggles they (and all of us) encounter (as this will help them to develop new “safety nets”); administrators need to model in PD or other staff situations what they expect their teachers to do in their classroom. If you are in the 16% and fail to meet the other 84% where they are, you will fail to truly impact the school district.

4.  “Compare yourself to yourself from yesterday… nothing else.” Molly Schroeder (Twitter: @followmolly)

IMG_3737
Molly Schroeder (Our Coach)

As I prepared to attend the Google Innovator Academy in Boulder, I looked through the other 35 accepted innovators projects and digital footprint. Honestly… I felt as if I did not belong because of how awesome their ideas were, along with all the awesome things many of them were already doing (via their digital footprint). Then as we collaborated at the academy, they would ask insightful questions and articulate their amazing projects! Then Molly Schroeder (My coach from team “Awkward Smoothie”) reminded us that the comparative game only has one powerful tool: Are you better than you were the day before? Is your project one step (even if an inch) closer to improving student learning? If you can answer yes to those two questions, then you are rocking it! Ignore the progress of others, unless that progress can help you move forward. Some ideas inherently get completed faster, but that doesn’t make them better. Do not look at the educators around you as though they are miles ahead and that you could never attain their “awesomeness” because it’s true. What you have to realize is that you personally have an “awesomeness” that no could ever attain. Be you, and make yourself a better “you” everyday. How does one do that? Read. Connect with others. Challenge yourself. Experiment and fail… frequently… then re-iterate.

Reflection’s End

As my flight arrives here shortly, I must wrap up a 3 day event that was a once-in-a-lifetime event. How do I wrap an experience where I was able to collaborate in person with just over 40 incredible educators of all skills, meet with Google for Education product managers to discuss how to better improve their tools for the classroom, and develop a project that will hopefully make this a better world for us all? I can not with words. I can however use these experiences to positively impact my own students, share it with the world, and then thank the Lord above for another day to live and do it all again.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Uncategorized

Personal Ed Tech Adventure

IMG_1822
Hanging out with Andy Love at the KC GAFE Summit

It has been a whirlwind year both personally and professionally.  It started in July of 2015 by attending a Google Apps Conference in Kansas City put on by EdTechTeam.  While at the Google Apps Conference in KC, I got the opportunity to attend a Pre-Summit Google Apps Trainer Bootcamp put on by Jay Atwood.  I was in awe at all the possibilities that Google Apps had to offer a teacher (even though I had dabbled in GAFE the previous school year, I did not realize it’s full potential till the conference).  From there, I was encouraged to get my Google Educator Certification level 1 & 2 (Which had just been released the week before).

Once I had passed those two exams, I set my eyes on the Google Certified Trainer Program (Which is about to be updated FYI).  After failing at some of the tests a couple times, and feeling the pressure of the December deadline, I was afraid my goal of getting Trainer Certified was slipping through my fingers.  With only a day to go, I passed the last exam necessary and began working on my Trainer application.  In December, much to my surprise, I received an email informing me that I had earned the Trainer Certification!

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.42.20 PM

Through this adventure, I had slowly built up my Professional Learning Network (PLN) via Twitter and was constantly amazed at the awesome stuff teachers around the world were doing in their classrooms.  I also received the opportunity to present at the Kansas City Google Apps Conference held in February of 2016 (Random Fact: presented that Saturday morning/afternoon in KC, then drove to Bolivar to coach a basketball game at 8:30 PM, then drove back that evening – Getting to the hotel at 1:30 AM – only to present that next morning.  #Exhausted).

One person whom I am constantly challenged by is Patrick Dempsey (also the best man in my wedding), who is a middle school science teacher at Webster Grove School District outside of St. Louis (He recently received the Allen Distinguished Educators Award).  One of the things that he said that really ignited many of his ideas and collaborations was the Google Innovator Academy he attended a couple years prior.  With that in mind (and so I could be as cool as “PDemps”) I decided to apply for the Google Innovator Program in Mountain View, California.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.41.34 PM

With only a couple weeks to put my application together (as the application was due in January), I struggled to put a good application together.  Not only was it tough because of it being in the middle of the school year, it was also in the middle of Girls Basketball Season (for which I am the Head Coach), and my wife was 6+ Months pregnant with our second child.  Despite those hurdles, I still applied… and was rejected.

The rejection email was tough to take, as I really looked forward to the opportunity to collaborate with other great educators, but it was obvious that God had even better plans for me.  The rejection allowed me to refocus on what was important at the time, being a husband/father, devoted teacher, and hard-working coach.  Plus, it helped me to reevaluate my goals as a teacher and how I could best help my school district.  With the help of a couple teachers in my district, we decided to put on a tech conference (much like we had the year before) but this time offer it to other school districts as well.  I also worked with the my principal (Chris Thompson) to offer a student help desk class for the next school year (It’s goals are to make them Google Apps Experts to help other teachers, and to provide some maintenance on the chromebooks).  Ultimately I decided, as Tom Mullaney discussed in his blog “Rejected For Google Certified Innovator? Don’t Freak Out!” that I was going to impact education whether I was a Google Innovator or not.

When the new window opened for Google Innovators Applications, I decided to apply again but this time decided on a tool that I had previous experience with in the classroom but that I wished could be better (Google For Education Certified Innovator – My Application if you want to check it out).  On May 20th (While I was home sick on the last day of school), amazingly I was accepted for the Boulder, Colorado Google Innovators Academy (#COL16) for June 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.40.40 PM

After my acceptance, I received a call from my boy Patrick Dempsey and he had some words of wisdom.  He said essentially that the Academy is awesome, but it is the face to face collaboration that truly makes the program wonderful.  Fellow #COL16 Peeps, how are you going to use this academy to better your students’ lives?  How will your teaching, and the teaching around the world, make this world a better place?

So as this school year ends and the preparation for the new school year begins, I stand thankful for all those who have helped me in my career thus far.  I am blessed to work in a school district that supports me and is willing to challenge themselves in their educational approaches.  Ultimately I am thankful for a wife (Amanda Houp) who loves and supports me and is willing to join me in these adventures!

FullSizeRender
Austin, Amanda, Eli, and Ezra Houp
Posted in Uncategorized

The Year of Tech

At the end of every school year, it is natural to reflect on what transpired.  Was it what you had expected?  Pleasant and unpleasant surprises?

As a school district, we had one of the most transformational years that I have ever haAcer-Chromebook-11-C740-nontouch-zoom-big.pngd the joy to be a part of.  As detailed in August, we have been slowing transitioning to technology in the classroom, starting with iPads nearly 4 years ago.  This fall, we bought a few classroom sets of chromebooks (Acer C740 specifically) for all the buildings in our district.  We also implemented the Google Apps for Education district-wide, from the Superintendent’s office to the lunch lady.

Something that we did as a district that seemed to go over extremely well was the implementation of two different professional development days:  A summer Google Apps Conference (held and administered in house) and a Google Play Date on one of our PD days during the school year.  These two PD events not only exposed teachers to Google Apps, but gave them the resource of local teachers to be a sounding board for their tech adventures.  It was amazing to see how various staff members developed their own uses for Google Apps, including: School Calendar by the Central Office, Spreadsheets by coaches for practice plans, Google Classroom as a Learning Management System (LMS), just to name a few.Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.11.56 PM.png

Also as a district, we set a goal of all the staff getting Google Educator Level 1 Certified by the end of the year and ultimately about 80% of our staff got the level 1 certification (Two other staff members beside myself got level 2 certification – Kelly Blankenship and Lindsey Buckley)!  Despite some of the aforementioned successes, we did have our share of failures.  We implemented many of the tech advancements without first updating our infrastructure.  Our wifi was spotty and awful which discouraged and frustrated staff and students (That was fixed though by 2nd semester due to E-Rate Funding and wifi upgrades by the district).  Also, we didn’t have an easy way to monitor student use of the chromebooks, but once we discovered GoGuardian that problem was alleviated.

GG

With all these successes and failures, we are now looking ahead to next year and the possibility of being in a 1:1 environment for the coming school year.  Not only that, but we are putting on a technology conference on August 3rd, 2016 TechCampAG.  This is a free tech conference for schools of all sizes or stages of tech implementation are welcomed.  Also any and all to are encouraged to attend or present.  If you are interested in presenting, feel free to fill out the following Presenter Form.

What has been your school’s adventure?  How can we work together to impact this world as fellow educators and schools?  We’d love to hear your story and ultimately let’s collaborate!

Posted in #GoogleEI

Google For Education Certified Innovator – My Application

What Is The Google Innovator Program?

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 8.32.31 AM

It is a program designed and implemented by Google For Education in order to support those teachers who are determined to make a positive impact on educational practices throughout the world.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 8.32.43 AM

Interested In The Program?

Pass the Level 2 Google Educator Exam (If you need help with passing the exam, check out Google Educator Blog), Go to Certified Innovator and apply!

Below is my application that I just turned.  Feel free to provide any feedback or ideas of how we can make this project a success for students!

About You

If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?

Answer:  Where there is coffee, there is a way.

Tell us how you have transformed your practice, your classroom, your school, or your community (500 Character Limit).

Answer:  I returned to my HS to impact the school that had impacted me. I started the tech movement in our district: joined the tech committee, played an integral part in the implementation of Google Apps, Chromebooks, & encouraged improvement of technology infrastructure in the district. Also, I organized & setup the Google Apps Domain in the HS, then the district as a whole. I redesigned my classroom from a lecture (1950’s structure) to using various tech tools so the students became the researchers.

Link to a piece of content you’ve made.

This is a Google Slide that I use in presentations for educators at various conferences on how to use Google MyMaps in their classes: MyMaps: Student Created Maps!

Grow: Where do you find new ideas and inspiration? (500 Character Limit)

Answer:  1st, my students. Many of my subtle, but meaningful changes in my approach have come from suggestions of students. 2nd, my fellow teachers that I teach with both in the past and presently. Their willingness to challenge me, or their new ideas make think, “How can I do that?!” The 3rd & final place is my PLN via Twitter, Google+, EdCamps, etc. Constantly I see what they’re doing in their classroom, or challenging questions they ask that cause me to re-evaluate my own practices.

Your Vision

Your Vision: Title

Answer:  MyMaps Global Initiative

Your Vision: Brief Description: (250 Character Limit)

Answer:  Database for students & teachers to display/collaborate on MyMaps projects with 3 part: Details on all the various methods of using MyMaps, display completed projects, space for MyMaps that can be collaboratively completed by other teachers/students.

Vision Deck: Link to your public vision deck.

Answer:  I used SlideCarnival to help me create this snazzy vision deck:  MyMaps Global Initiative

Vision Video: You have one minute to creatively explain your problem and your vision for tackling it!  Google Innovator Application “Vision” Video – Austin Houp

Imagine you are able to have coffee with one person (currently living) who would mentor you in support of your vision. Who would you pick and why? (500 Character Limit)

Answer:  I’d pick Stafford Marquardt as a mentor, who was the product manager for Google MyMaps. He introduced me to MyMaps at the EdTechTeam Google Summit held in July at Kansas City. Obviously I’d be willing to work with anyone in that product line, but I greatly appreciate his knowledge, conversational ability, & willingness to share ideas. Not only would he help me to understand the intricacies of how best to manipulate MyMaps, but he’d also be a means to improve the resource for teachers.

Closing

Today I submitted my application but will not hear about wether or not I was accepted till May 10th.  Best of luck to everyone, and continue to change the world through your students!

Posted in GAFE, Uncategorized

Google Forms – Responses, Flubaroo, and Classroom (Part 2)

Google Forms – Responses, Flubaroo, and Classroom (Part 2)

You checked out the first Google Forms Post and you created a Google Form to give to your students.  That’s awesome!  Now what…

ResponsesScreen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.52.10 AMScreen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.02.14 AM

Once the assessment is designed to your liking, click the “Responses” tab at the top of the Google Form.  This will give you a myriad of options to collect student information.  First, create a Google Spreadsheet by clicking the “sheets” button at the top.
This will give you the option to “Create A New Sheet” or attach it as a tab into an existing spreadsheet.  If you are giving this as an assessment, then at this point you are ready to share it with your students!Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.11.57 AM

Tip: Technically you don’t have to create the spreadsheet before giving the test, but that is just how I normally do it.

Google Forms - Creating Spreadsheet

As students begin taking the assessment, their responses will appear on the Google Form Response page (but only after submitting the assessment).

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.01.47 AM
Example of Student Responses

 What’s great is that it gives you the overview of each question!  For Example, 37% of participants chose the wrong answer.  Questions to consider: Bad wording of question?  Insufficient teaching of the material? Etc.  You can also click on “Individual” and see the participants assessment and which answer they specifically selected.  This is less intuitive than the “Summary” tab, but still helpful none-the-less if you want to see how a specific student answered.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.52.35 AM

Flubaroo

FlubarooOne of the great things about using Google Forms, especially for Formative Assessments, is the ability to use Flubaroo to auto-grade the participants answers.  Realize though that Flubaroo is not a Google Forms add-on but a Google Sheets add-on.  To access Flubaroo, go to the corresponding sheet (click on the sheet button at the top of the “Responses” tab).  Once on the spreadsheet, do the following:  click “add-on,” select “Get add-ons,” search “Flubaroo,” click “+ Free” to add it to your sheet.  

Tip: After you “Get Flubaroo,” it will always be an option for your spreadsheets, even if you don’t create the spreadsheet through Google Forms.

Google Forms - Answer Key
Answer Key Gif

Now that Flubaroo is added to your spreadsheet, you have a lot of different options.  To set up the grading, you must take the assessment personally so that Flubaroo can use it as a template for grading all the student assessments.  When doing “Auto-grading”, Flubaroo then gives you various options for each question type including: “Identifies Students,” “Skip Grading,” “Normal Grading,” and “Grade By Hand.”  

Tip: For the name, use “Answer Key” to remind yourself when you go to create the template for Flubaroo.  

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.13.10 AM
Example of Student Responses
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.12.11 AM
Bottom of Flubaroo Spreadsheet

Identifies Students – Used for non-grading purposes, specifically sending the results to participants after completing the assessment.

Skip Grading – As stated, will skip grading the question and won’t be given as a option for sending results to students.  This is great for getting their perspective, or testing questions without any consequence to students.

Normal Grading – Will give you the option to provide various point levels for these questions.  This would be for the multiple choice/matching style questions that it matches to your answer key.

Grade By Hand – A great way to do short answer questions.  However, for most essay style questions, I use Google Docs and the Add-On Doctopus to grade.  I will do a blog post about that later on in the year.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.13.32 AM

Personally, I love the auto-grade option, so that students can get feedback immediately on where they stand with the content.  Due to the immediate response, I do not do any short answer questions (besides Identifying Student Type) so that students can know how they did.

Google Classroom

When assigning the assessment to students, use Google Classroom!  Create an assignment on Classroom, and add the Google Form Assessment from Drive.  What’s great is that it will keep track for you of what students have taken/not taken the assessment.  The only frustration is that the grades are not carried over to Google Classroom (but should Google Classroom really be for grades or should it just be used for feedback?  Something to think about.).  Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 3.14.23 PM

Any other thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Posted in GAFE, Uncategorized

Google Forms – Basic Design (Part 1)

Google Forms – Basic Design (Part 1)

 

forms2blogo
Google Forms

This year as a school we began implementing “Student Learning Objectives” as part of our curriculum.  In order to do this, we followed the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of Missouri’s suggested “SLO – Progress – Tracker.”  In order for the tracker to be effective, teachers needed an easy way to collect quantifiable data on student performance and content knowledge.  For many teachers, the easiest way to do this on a consistent basis is Google Forms!  In part 1 of Google Forms, we are going to discuss some ideas of how to design your Google Forms to be effective in the classroom.

 

Google Forms

To access Google Forms, go to forms.google.com or go to your Drive Account (drive.google.com), click “New” – More – Google Forms.  When accessing it from forms.google.com, it will give you quick templates that could be useful to have assessments within minutes.  

The Basics About Google Forms

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 1.35.53 PM
Title

Just like every other Google Apps product, when the Google Form is first created, they are “untitled.”  Change the title to the appropriate standard or assessment (Tip: In the title include a shorten name for Formative/Summative Assessment for organizational purposes.  For Example: “FA” for Formative Assessment.)  I have attached a Google Document that goes into more detail the specific options you can do with the form, so that I can get into designing the form. (Google Forms – Cheat Sheet)

 

Design

Obviously there are a slew of ways to design your form, but the following has been wonderful for my purposes.  The first questions I always ask are First Name, Last Name, Hour, and Password.  The two names and password are setup as “short answer” and the Hour “Drop Down.”  To get the password question to work appropriately, you go to “Data Validation,” “Text,” “Contains,” enter desired password.  Tip: If “custom error text” is left then the password will be revealed to the students.  Instead, create a standard response like “Incorrect Password.”  For Example, for my American Government test on the Judicial Branch, I could use the password “Chief Justice” that students would use to access the assessment.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 1.14.20 PM
Data Validation

 

 

After the sign-up page is completed, create a new “section” which are essentially pages to the form.  From this point forward, you can incorporate a variety of questions to help you assess your students content knowledge.  

Brian “Lewis” Pier suggested that in lieu of a password, create all the necessary copies of the Google Form and connect their responses to the same spreadsheet.  Then post each Assessment to your Google Classrooms in draft mode so that students can not access it till you publish it.

Suggestions

  1. If you are a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school, then I would suggest setting up a short answer question that requires them to put in their school email account.  This will allow you to use Flubaroo to send students their results upon completion of their assessment.  (A post about Flubaroo will be completed later)
  2. When doing a “Matching Question” use “Multiple Choice Grid.”  I have found putting the question on the “row” portion and answers on the “column” portion it has been easiest for students to view.  Tip:  Put no more than 5 matching words-definitions per grid so that students can easily use the grid.

    1. Be sure and click “Require one response per row,” “Limit to one response per column” and “Shuffle Rows” to help deter cheating between students.Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 1.52.15 PM
  3. Provide yourself multiple “Sections” throughout the assessment.  It helps break-up the test for students and provides opportunities for corrections on the part of the teacher.  For example, if a student notices that something is spelled wrong (which happens) students can go to a previous section while you correct the error.  Once corrected, students return to the section and it is corrected on their form.  (I generally do no more than 7 Multiple Choice Questions per page)
  4. When making these assessments, I first create it on a Google Doc.  This is handy when going to create a form, because Google Forms will automatically detect the “Enter” was used and make that into a separate “option.”  Here is a Gif demonstrating how it works: Gif of “Enter”
    1. Tip: There is an Add-On to do the Google Form but I generally just have two windows open side-by-side between the doc and form.
  5. On a multiple choice question, I always put the correct answer as the bottom answer.  The reason is when students complete the assessment, it makes it easy to identify how the students do collectively.  Under the “Responses” tab, the form will color code each option (Gif demonstrating how it looks).  Since nearly all my multiple choice questions are four options, then the correct answer will be green (option four is green).  Definitely handy when trying to quickly determine collective student comprehension of material.

Any other ideas? How do you incorporate Google Forms into your classroom?  For more ideas, check out Alice Keeler’s Google Forms Section.

Posted in Professional Deveoplment

Twitter – Just A Nudge

Twitter.com
As the school year rolls along, I thought it was a good time to encourage you to be involved in Twitter.com for professional development purposes.  For those who have never tried it before, feel free to go to https://twitter.com/search-home and start seeing what is available to learn today!

Some of the basics include:

1.  Twitter handle is your identifying name (similar to email address).  For example, my Twitter handle is @coachhoup24 .  If someone wants to “tweet at me” (again similar to sending a message on email), they just compose a message with “@coachhoup24 …” and I will receive it.
2.  There is nothing wrong with being a fly on the wall with Twitter and just following people.  Nothing says that you need to ever personally tweet.
3.  Hashtags (#) on Twitter can be used in one of two ways.  First to demonstrate your nonverbal communication.  For example, a tweet could say, “Today’s lesson plan involved puppets and singing! #TheKidsLovedIt #ProudTeacher”
4.  Tweets can use no more than 140 characters, including anyone that you mentioned.
5.  If you don’t like what people are tweeting, then simply unfollow them (They will never know!).

Join Us!

If you are considering joining Twitter, here is a resource to help guide you in developing a professional Twitter account:  New 2 Twitter Resource .  This resource provides ideas on how to set your own account up as a educator and what to do once you are active.  When we as a district did a survey a couple months ago, some teachers already involved with Twitter provided some of their “top people to follow.”
They suggested:
This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but none-the-less a good place to start.
The final benefit one gets from Twitter is the opportunity to participate in events called, “Hashtag Chats.”  One great one to follow is #MoEdChat, which takes place every Thursday at 9 PM CST.  It’s a great event to just jump on and see what other educators throughout Missouri doing.  One final chat that is great to follow is #GAFESummit, which is used by +EdTechTeam for their Google Summits held throughout the world.  It is a “slow chat,” meaning it is happening throughout the day, and most active when they have summits on various weekends.

Other Resources:

Continue reading “Twitter – Just A Nudge”

Posted in GAFE

Google Forms Do More Than Just Surveys (S. Gadient)

By: Sharon Gadient – AGHS Math Teacher

Intro

It’s that time of year again — the “third quarter slump”: that time when I am desperately searching for some way to gain and hold my students’ attention long enough to stuff some knowledge in their heads. Switching up instruction is one of my tried-and-true strategies, and since I just got a working set of iPads in my classroom a few weeks ago, I was looking for a free tech tool I could use to get more interaction from my Algebra 2 students, allow for “think time” and help students self-assess. After playing with Socrative and Nearpod, I found it in a surprising place when I turned to a couple of features in Google Forms that give students real-time feedback on their guided practice problems.


What kinds of interaction does forms allow?

There are two tools that we can use for this depending on the type of question:
  1. “Go to Page Based on Answer” is an option in Multiple Choice questions that gives students different feedback depending on the answer they select, and can redirect them to try again.

  1. “Data Validation” is an option in Text responses that tells students immediately if they are wrong, will not let them proceed until they get it right, and can give students hints.
Click the link below to see a silly example quiz that demos some of the interactive things you can do with forms.

Make your own

In the video below, I walk through the process of creating interactive questions in forms.
For a text version of the directions, go to this link:

How I use it

I create a few “Guided Practice” problems that students complete as we talk through our note-taking guide, and I sometimes add in some or all of their homework assignments to be completed in forms. Students get feedback on the guided practice, right/wrong feedback on the first couple of homework problems, then they are on their own and I can have forms grade their responses automatically with the Flubaroo add-on. I also leave these forms posted in Google Classroom after the lesson for students to access any time for review.
I have found that Students are more engaged and ask more questions during the lesson than they did without using the forms. This is especially popular with my weaker math students who gain more think time and build confidence with the guided practice.

As always, playing with it gives you a better feel for the process, so tinker away — I’m sure you’ll discover things I never thought to try.

Bio:

Sharon Gadient is a Math Teacher at Ash Grove High School. This is her eighth year of teaching mathematics, and she still loves it. Sharon enjoys applied mathematics, and has a special fascination with fractals (both the pretty and the useful). Her hobbies include playing with technology, writing, and curling up on the couch with her German Shepherd to watch Dr. Who.

Twitter Account: @library_ghost

Posted in Uncategorized

Spice It Up With EdPuzzle! (B.Watts)

https://edpuzzle.com/
This is a blog post written by one of the students at Ash Grove High School.  

Spice It Up With EdPuzzle!


Are you tired of boring presentations? Do you need a way to ‘spice up’ the classroom to engage your students? If you’re ready for an overhaul of awesome, prepare for the incorporation of EdPuzzle, the latest and greatest in class video presentation technology. (Think Billy Mays here)

With EdPuzzle, making an interactive video for students is simple! For easy presentation and conciseness (and less work on my end), I have developed a very easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide!


Step numero uno:

Get that ‘thang’! Get to their website here or get the Chrome app here (this will make a link on your Google Chrome, which will just take you to the website.)


Step 2:

Create a free account.

Did I mention it was FREE? Oh yeah, I did.
(Google App teachers, feel free to use that account to seamlessly connect to your classroom. “Seamlessly”, or at least those overlapping seam-things that don’t make that awkward bump on the shoulder of your shirt. We’ve all been there.)

Step Tres:

Make your first video! Either upload a video from YouTube or anywhere else (Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, and more), or your own video. I’m sure you won’t encounter any copyright law infringements.

Step 4:

After uploading, you can crop the video, add voice over commentation, and even add quiz questions that pop up throughout the video. It’s like an interactive YouTube for schools.

Step Cinco:

Share or “assign” the video to your class on EdPuzzle, or your Google Classroom class, if you used your Apps account.


See? It’s as simple as that. Now you must take action. Go, take what I have given you, and teach those kids. Let us know how it goes and any other suggestions you might have for using EdPuzzle!


  • Post videos or use from YouTube, Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, and more
  • Crop video, add comments, insert voice-overs, and create a quiz for video
  • See data of student quizzes taken
  • Engaging, Effective, and FREE



Brandon Watts Bio: 

 Brandon Watts is a Senior at Ash Grove High School. He is excited to continue his education in 

human health and science at Missouri State University (Fall of 2016). He enjoys doing everything, whether it’s swimming, biking, running, all three of those combined, futbol-ing, hiking and enjoying the day, or even reading a good book on differential calculus or exercise physiology. Brandon is a lifeguard, lifeguard instructor, and pool supervisor, meaning he has some level of responsibility. Having fun is his main concern, and he is ready to take on life!

Posted in GAFE

Lucidcharts To The Rescue!

Web Diagram

In my American Government class, we began the discussion of the legislative branch.  One of the important aspects of this branch is the process of how a bill becomes a law.  This semester I decided that we would do it with a tech tool, which could allow for collaboration, correction, etc.  
Initially, I had students use “Mindmaps by mindmapmaker.org” to diagram how a bill becomes a law.  After the first day of students working with this tool, it became apparent that it was a frustrating tool for the students.  (Mindmaps may be a wonderful tool, but for what I was asking my students to do, it was not helpful.)

Doesn’t Work… Fix it

As I saw the frustration on my students’ facez, I decided it was time to find a new tool.  So I went back to drive and looked for another web diagraming tool.  That’s when I found “Lucidcharts for Education,” and immediately I knew it was going to be a better tool for our project.  It allowed students to make any adjustments seamlessly, while also saving instantly (which mindmap failed to do).  

Lucidcharts

Initially when you sign up for Lucidcharts, it places you in the “free-version” which has various restrictions such as:  create only 5 documents and the use of 60 “complexities” (or as I told my students “symbols”).  For the project we were doing, the “complexities” limitation was frustrating, but as a program, the students absolutely loved it!  It allowed for quick adjustments, additions, and reformatting that was excruciatingly tough to do on Mindmaps.

How to use Lucidcharts

To create a web diagram using Lucidcharts, just go to your Drive and click the following: New–>More–>Lucidcharts.  Then create a document (either blank or from one of their templates) in order to get started.  From there, you can drag various symbols over from the left toolbar such as Text, Shapes, etc.  With the boxes or text on the document, you can draw lines to help create a flow from one step to the next.  (After Lucidchart approved our school for the free education upgrade, you will have unlimited complexities!  That definitely made all the difference).  To help make the web diagram stand out, students can change the fill color of the boxes, lines, text, etc.  

For our project, I suggested to students that they color code the steps to help them quickly identify things like vocabulary or the house/senate differences.  Finally, students can share their projects with each other as a point of reference.  It was interesting how different students found steps/information that other students had missed, so sharing it with each other helped them to add them to their own project.  Also, (unlike Mindmaps) Lucidcharts allows individuals to work simultaneously with one another (just like the other Google Apps Tools). 

Google Classroom – Turn It In

  

I provided the assignment through Google Classroom with the expectations.  As students found valuable resources, they would share them via the “class comment” so that other students could use them.  When students finished, they would add it to Google Classroom the same way they would turn in other Google Apps products (docs, sheets, slides, etc.).  

Student Examples



Suggestions

Any other suggestions for fellow teachers to use this (or similar) tools in their classroom?  Give us your thoughts!