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 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 – Responses, Flubaroo, and Classroom Part 2 Blog Link)

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.  With the new option in Google Classroom to assign Forms to specific students, it helps prevent students from seeing the test prior to your class period.

Suggestions

  1. If you are a G Suite 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.  (Google Forms – Using Flubaroo)
  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:

    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.

    2017-07-10_22-04-47.gif
    It is quick and easy to identify content that was not grasped by the students, which allows for re-teaching, analysis of the question/options, etc.

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

Also check out Google Forms – Responses, Flubaroo, and Classroom Part 2 Blog Link

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 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!

Posted in GAFE

Google My Maps – Student Created Maps

Maps

As a high school social studies teacher, I constantly use different types of maps for all of my classes.  More times than not, these are maps created by other individuals with various amounts of information that may/or may not be pertinent to my classroom.  


After attending the GAFE (Google Apps For Education) KC Summit this summer, the idea of map creation (as opposed to map consumption) became a real reality.  The presentation was done by Stafford Marquardt (Product Manager for Google My Maps) on how to use mymaps.google.com to create interactive maps.  Simply put, this presentation rocked my world in all the right ways!
Title the Map

So how does it work?

Outline an area
First go to mymaps.google.com and start creating maps!  One of the cool features of My Maps is that the file is automatically saved in your Drive so that you can access it like your other Google Docs.  Which means you can also share them just like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.  I realize that right now I need to provide more details on what to do, but really just messing with My Maps will amaze you. 

Tips/Tricks

Title the shape
Create various different “layers” in order to keep it nice, neat and organized.  If you want students to work on the same project, then have a different layer for each student.  

Use the drawing mechanism to outline states, cities, etc. and then apply a color over the top.  Once the color is applied, you can change the transparency to the desired level.

Provide a color to the shape

When you use the “marker” option, you can include pictures, videos, descriptions of that marker or location.

Insert a marker with various Details
If you do not want to create maps, or have students create maps, Google has provided some pre-built maps.  These maps can be found at both of the following:

MyMaps Gallery

Google Maps Gallery

I have created a short Youtube video (60 seconds) that demonstrates how to download one of the template maps as a KMZ file and then import it into My Maps:
Also provided is the Presentation done by Marquardt that explains and provides examples of other ideas using My Maps:

MyMaps Presentation

Classroom Example:  

Have students draw the path of Lewis and Clark from St. Louis to the Pacific and back.  Break up the students with the job of a specific city on the route to another city (St. Louis to Omaha).  Then have students trace the path, provide images of those location (Past and Present), and include words/images from the Lewis and Clark Journal (Link to Journal) to the spot where it was likely written.

Conclusion

I want to end with the following statement I have used constantly in the last two months. Start by messing with it and do not be afraid to break it.  It normally is easy to fix and you will be shocked how capable you are at creating cool/interactive things!
Posted in GAFE

1st Day Activity

Welcome Back!

Every new year brings with it a lot of new and exciting opportunities for our students.  In the fall of 2015, one of those opportunities for our school included the influx of chromebooks in a few classrooms.  I was blessed with these new devices after working with iPads for the last 4 years.

Thought-Provoking Idea

 

New Ideas

As I began to prepare for this first day, I was challenged by a tweet from +Alice Keeler.  Her tweet challenged the following idea: ‘Who says we need to go over the syllabus the way we have for the last 50 years?  Who says that we need to “talk” over everything the first day?’

With this thought provoking idea, I developed a new idea.  Why not have students create something that was shared out to the world that describes the syllabus, the class, and them personally?  After talking to my principal, +Chris Thompson, and a fellow teacher (My wife), +Amanda Houp, I created an assignment on Google Drawing for the first day.  (Copy of assignment Link)

My Example

Procedure

As students came into my class, I had them grab a chromebook and log into their School Issued Google Apps Account.  Of course a few students had forgotten their passwords, but with me being the Google Apps Administrator it was easy to change their passwords.  Then I directed the students to the Google Classroom site in order to enroll in my “class” (classroom.google.com).  To do this, I displayed the enrollment code on the TV.  Some students logged on, others struggled.  To help alleviate this and get students on the same page, I had the logged in students (experts) help those struggling.  This helped everyone get on the same page much sooner.  Also, I created a basic example that I would turn in if I were a student which gave visual learners an idea of how to approach the assignment.  (Copy of Example)

Google Drawing Template (Copy)

 

Details of Assignment

Google+: Student Work Shared

At this point in the class period, students began to work on the Google Drawing by “making a copy.”  I would use this time period to periodically teach students different tips/tricks with the Chromebook/Google Apps Account.  Overall, students gained the following skills:  Location of my website (full of resources); Use Google Apps/Drive/Drawing; Find Images/Text; definition between public domain; A few details of my class syllabus; Class Direction/Content; etc.

Tips/Tricks:

Here are a few of the shortcuts I learned and passed on to my students:

Ctrl + L-C-V
Created using Google Drawing


Ctrl+L= Highlight URL

Ctrl+C= Copy

Ctrl+V= Paste

On a chromebook, use three fingers on the trackpad to switch quickly between various open tabs within Chrome.

Final Reflection

Are there other ways to do this?  Absolutely!  But overall I was very happy with the amount of preliminary skills students developed.  If you have other ideas or tips, please share for others to learn!

Google Classroom Assignment

 Resources:

My website for all my classes:  Coach Houp’s Website
Alice Keeler’s Website:  Teacher Tech

Posted in GAFE, Patrick Dempsey

Google Apps Principal Resources

“Beginning of the Year”

We are one week away from our “Beginning of the Year” meetings and professional development.  As we prepare for this new year, our first as a Google Apps For Education (GAFE) school, I looked back to what I have learned over the last month or so.  I attended the Google Apps Summit in Kansas City and was inspired by +Melinda Miller‘s presentation on tools for Administrators.  So I scheduled a meeting with the four Principal’s in our school district (HS/JH, Athletic Director, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary) to demonstrate some of the possibilities of Google Apps.  In preparation for this meeting, I enlisted the help of +Patrick Dempsey (Google Apps Certified and has his Masters in Administration).

“Gobs of Possibilities”

As I looked over all of +Melinda Miller+Patrick Dempsey, and various other resources suggestions, I was amazed at all the free possibilities with Google Apps for Principals (Or teachers for the matter).  I found myself struggling to truly demonstrate all the possibilities and ultimately decided to keep the suggestions brief.  At our school (probably similar to many of yours) our Principals carry many hats/jobs/responsibilities.  While I know they would love to do all these (and more), their available time to work on them is minimal.
Here is the slide I will present to the principals:

“Advise”

Realize that I am simply a teacher and I have never been an administrator.  If you have any other suggestions to provide to the principals at our school district, please feel free to pass those suggestions on to me!