Ready, Set, Go Live!
It's an exciting time of year to be an educator. Students are heading back to school and all of the hard work that you have put in to getting your learning spaces ready will finally pay off when the excitement from the students echo your anxiety and enthusiasm.
A new school year means a new group of students, a few fresh faces on staff, and the chance to grow as a professional. If you are like me, all of the articles, conferences, hard work, and much needed relaxation and reflection time will soon be put into practice. It can certainly be overwhelming, and change is never easy, but put your mind to it and just imagine the payoff.
Personally, this summer has been the most grueling of my career, but I am optimistic that a new vision and all of the hard work that my team and I have put into getting the schools ready will all be worth it.
I'm very excited to start the new school year off with Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts for everyone (staff and students K-12). The ability to create, communicate, collaborate, and extend the learning past the regular school day reaps huge benefits. Using a tool that is non platform or device sensitive is also key for individualized learning and collaborative work.
Also, for the first time in York, teachers will be given admin access to their own laptops. This will allow educators to tailor their own devices to their learning and teaching styles without delays waiting for a member of the tech staff to update these machines for them (upgrade schedules will be emailed to the school news groups shortly).
Students accessing school devices can now login locally to the machines using a local login, or a Guest account. This will speed up login times, and increase instructional time within our classrooms and computer labs.
Google Drive will enhance communication, collaboration and learning within our schools. No longer will students and staff have to export files and find ways to open them up again on devices that cross platforms or do not have similar software applications.
Staff and students are also encouraged to move files from their school's server folder to their Google Drive folder. This will increase access to these files beyond the physical space of the schools and provide a more efficient way to edit and share these files.
With Google Forms, formative assessment and immediate student feedback has never been easier. A quick Google Form can quiz students' understanding and provide immediate graded data to the teacher and/or the students. Similar to the Socrative Clicker app for the iPads, teachers can create a quiz, post it online and have students fill it out. The results are automatically sent to a Google Spreadsheet that can then be sorted based upon the students' answers.
Google Calendars enhance how teachers structure their day and sign up for mobile labs, spaces within their school and even book support specialists. A teacher can now sign out the end zone of the football field for an hour in the morning and this space is now hidden from the rest of the faculty during this time. Virtual meetings, homework assignments and even parent/teacher conferences can be arranged through Google Calendar. Google Calendar even has the ability to set up appointment slots, so that anyone viewing the calendar can sign up for a spot. This change happens in real time, so that nobody else could sign up for this spot.
Google Sites can be used as both a web space for communication between teachers and their students and/or their parents, but it also can be used as a tool to present student work in a safe private manner. Google Sites can also be used as a tool for ePortfolios, collaborative group presentations, or even as Intranet sites within an organization.
Using Google Sites as a tool to create an Intranet Site means that the site is only viewable by people that have been given permission by the creator of the site. Teachers could use this tool as a way to assign student work, layout an entire course, or as an online forum for discussion and collaborative work. Administrators and educators often use this tool for work that would otherwise be communicated through conferences or news groups in their older email systems. This way, staff can work on documents, programs and plans online without the rest of the public seeing it until it's ready to be published.
Included with the GAFE account, is a YouTube Channel for teachers. Teachers now have the ability to publish any video content to their very own teacher YouTube Channel. This way, students could create videos on the iPads or laptops and submit their project to be reviewed and published under the teacher's channel. There is no need to burn disks, and figure out which media format needs to be saved in order to view in class.
Streamlining the workflow and concentrating more on the learning than on the process in which to utilize the tools to create, present and publish, is our mission. The main focus is on expediting the work and enhancing student learning and understanding to provide for deeper meaning. Google Apps for Education will provide the tools to do just that. It's truly an exciting time to head back to school.
Create an Image Quiz in Google Forms
New Links of the Month
Oxford Owl is an award-winning free website packed
with expert advice, top tips, eBooks and activities to help
you support your child's reading and maths at home.
Choose from pre-made templates, or create your own form, application, or PDF document to send or publish to get feedback for your classroom or school.
Smithsonian Quests inspire students to explore their own ideas and interests online, in school, at home, and across the nation. The quests connect and reward learners of different ages and in different regions as they learn through discovery and collaboration. Rewards include digital badges that students (and teachers) take with them for life!
Google Apps for Education login page. There is a link on all of the school web pages, as well, for this login screen.
A Google A Day challenges help your students put their search skills to the test, and to get your classroom engaged and excited about using technology to discover the world around them.
1. Open and Edit Word Files in Google Drive.
2. Create PDFs in Google Drive.
3. Use Google Documents Offline.
4. Give Yourself More Room to Work in Google Documents.
5. Create and Organize Folders.
Google Calendar has become indispensable for organizing my own time and sharing my schedule with friends and coworkers. But what about letting others know about my preferred availability? Likewise, when I look at my hairdresser's online calendar, I wonder why I can't just book the open slot instead of remembering to call during regular business hours. Now, with appointment slots in Google Calendar, any individual or business can manage appointment availability online 24/7.
In these YouTube Tutorials, learn how to Compose, Share and Organize your files and folders within Google Drive.
Create a Web Page Using Weebly.com