Showing posts from September, 2015

Website Find - (replacement for Google Moderator)

Since Google Moderator disappeared this summer, I've been looking for an alternative that provides a way for my training participants to both provide questions, AND mark them up so we can see biggest needs.  I think I have finally found it in allows the presenter to do polls (think Poll.Everywhere), but it has some additional features that make it so much more versatile!  The biggest features I was looking for was the ability to back channel in questions (think Today'sMeet) and then have participants "thumbs up" the questions they also have. does this.

And they make it very easy for people to join what they call an "event" and do polling and the Q&A in the same place.  In my limited use, it is very flexible for a presenter and a participant.

Google Spreadsheets - Filter Views

Back in May I showed how to use filters in a spreadsheet to show specific data without deleting it. 

If there are several different ways you need to filter data, you can take this one step further and use Filter Views.  Filter Views are saved views of the data using any combination of filters you need.  You can have multiple filter views saved, so anytime you return to the spreadsheet you can apply the filter with a couple clicks. 

To set up filter views:
1. Click on the small arrow to the right of the filter icon, and select "Create new filter view"

2. The spreadsheet will gain a dark gray border around the data, and an additional area at the top of that border that displays the filter name and range on the left, and on the right filter settings & "x" to close the filter and return to the full spreadsheet.

3. Set up the filter view to view the data you wish it to display.  In my example, I'm planning future PD for those that struggled with the first round…

Google Email - Keeping the Inbox at (or near) ZERO

Email is a great way to communicate...but it can consume your time if processes are not in place to control it.  It can also quickly become overwhelming, a place items get missed because of the sheer number in the Inbox.

Here are three of my personal processes for managing email - how I keep my Inbox at (or near) to ZERO.  All of these techniques are easy for even a beginning Google Mail user.

1. The OHIO Principle - Only Handle It Once
Before implementing this, I cannot tell you the number of emails that I would open and read five, six, ten or more times.  Each time I opened it, that was time used.  Make a commitment to only handle each email ONE time, and prioritize it with an action right then.  For me, I answer it, make a calendar event so I have scheduled time to deal with it, or archive it the first time I read it. Others use the starring system in addition to these.  Whatever your process, have a set one to get it all OUT of the inbox.

2. Schedule a Time for Email
I find that w…

Google Classroom - New Features

Yesterday I noticed that several of the new features were enabled on our domain for Google Classroom.  Here are a few of the changes you might want to know about if you are just getting back in after summer break:

1. "New way to post to your stream"

 Along with a new way to post, there are new icons in lower right corner - Reuse post, Create question, Create assignment, Create announcement

2. "Bump posts" - push any post back to the top

3. "Create Question" - create a form like question on the fly in your stream

 4. "Calendar view of work" - view due dates for items from classroom in a calendar view.
In addition to the view within Classroom, a secondary calendar is created in the user's calendar

The METS Group: Fall EdTech Rally

The EdTech Rally team has settled on a group name - METS (Michigan Educational Technology Specialists) and has planned a fall EdTech Rally.

Date: October 1
Time: 9am - 3pm
Location: Eaton RESA (1790 Packard Hwy Charlotte, MI 48813)
Audience: The meeting is open to any K-16 Michigan educator who supports other educators with instructional technology and wants to collaborate with others who have related roles (either full, part time or extra duty). You do not need to have an official title...

Please visit the Smore Flyer for more information & to register.

The Virtual Debate

Found this in MACUL's Big Deal Media enews - sounds like a great way to involve students in an argumentative writing at a higher level!  Because it is ongoing, it should be easy to add to an existing curriculum at the right time.

"The Virtual Debate project began as a way to infuse technology into an authentic argumentative writing experience by giving students an audience. To get started with the Virtual Debate, students in two classes agree to engage with one another and select a topic based on their interests and passions. Past topics have included police presence in schools, competitive sports, and digital detox, to name a few. Once a topic is selected, the two sides face off in a coin toss through Google Hangouts to decide the pro and con sides. Students then conduct research and even have the opportunity to contact experts to formulate arguments. Teachers who wish to participate in the virtual debate will find minilessons, anchor charts, and other resources o…

Learning Opportunity - Celebrate Manufacturing Day

From our Discovery Education Representative -

"Discovery Education, in partnership with the Alcoa Foundation, will be hosting a LIVE virtual field trip from Whitehall, MI’s Alcoa Power and Propulsion to Celebrate Manufacturing Day on October 2.  More details including the link to register can be found below.  Please share!  This event will be also archived on Discovery Education Streaming, along with all of our other virtual field trips from the past, webinars, etc. here:"

Manufacture Your Future
Live from Alcoa Power and Propulsion
Whitehall, MI
Monday, October 2, 2015 at 1:00 PM EST

Discovery Education and Alcoa Foundation are back to celebrate Manufacturing Day with a LIVE Virtual Field Trip on October 2 from Alcoa Power and Propulsion in Whitehall, Michigan. Students will be transported inside one of the most sophisticated manufacturing facilities in the world to learn about key components that keep our planes …

REMC 12E #CISDInspire Session - Making Data Useful

The fall REMC 12E #CISD Inspire session is next week.  This session will focus on making data useful.  Some key questions we will look at: How do we want to use data in our school districts?How can data collection be useful and efficient?When: September 22, 2015, 8:30-11:30 Where: Calhoun ISD (Marshall) Cost: FREE Audience: This session is appropriate for superintendents, principals, teacher leaders, curriculum & technology personnel, and any other school employees who work with your district data.
Lunch will be served at 11:30 - it is optional, please indicate when registering if you will be joining us.

Google Mail - Create Calendar Event that Includes Email Message

There are many time I get an email that I want to make into an event on my calendar - both to make sure I block out the time, and to move the information out of an email in my inbox into the event. 

There is a feature called "Create event" that let's you do this - it is available in the More options when you are viewing the message. 

Once you select create event, Google opens up a new window, loads your calendar, and creates an event with the message subject as the name of the event, and the body of the message as the description within the event:
You are then able to edit the date/time as needed to finish creating the event. 

One adds everyone that was part of the message to the Guest list (see above in red box), so unless you want it to be a group event you will need to click the x next to everyone's name but yours.

PD Opportunity - Michigan Digital Learning Conference

Thanks to a collaborative effort between MISD, MACUL, and the REMC Association, we are pleased to announce the3rd AnnualMichigan Digital Learning Conferenceon October 13-14, 2015!  Conference website: Mark your calendars now and join us for two action-packed days of technology infused learning at Macomb Intermediate School District. This conference brings Michigan Educators one day of pre-conference sessions, and one day of hands-on workshops and engaging conference sessions. Plan to attend one or both days! Check out innovative resources, new and emerging technologies, and classroom applications to get started today. Find out how to successfully integrate technology, and network with educators to develop best practice in technology embedded instruction.
This year Leslie Fisher will be on hand to share "Tools You Can Use Tomorrow".This exciting keynote will help you sort through the many resources available to focus in on those tha…

Resource - Differentiated Instruction: Resource Roundup via Edutopia

If you are looking for some suggestions and ideas for differentiating your classroom, Edutopia has put together this collection of a wide variety of resources.

 Differentiated Instruction: Resource Roundup

Topic areas include:
Understanding Differentiated InstructionKnowing and Assessing StudentsPlanning Tips, Ideas, and ToolsTeaching Diverse LearnersAdditional Resources on the Web

Learning Opportunity - Kilimanjaro Expedition (via Discovery Education)

From Discovery Education -

Discovering a Sense of Place - Taking Learning to New Heights
September 23 - October 1

The GLOBE Program, GLOBE AFRICA, Colorado's St. Vrain Valley School District and Discovery Education are proud partners in a scientific and learning expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

About the Hike
Embarking on the expedition will be 10 students, 12 educators, and 4 scientists representing Nigeria, Oman, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States. This international team will attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world's Seven Summits, and the tallest mountain on the African continent.

Follow along as they explore the incredible terrain of the mountain as well as the culture and surrounding wildlife. Each day, the team will submit a blog post on that will capture their unique perspective on the journey through the eyes of the students, teachers and scientists.

Learning Objectives
From the scientific study…

Google Contacts - Newest Area to Get Some "Google Love"

Be ready!  Your Google Contacts is about to update its looks. 

I don't know about you, but I don't go to Google Contacts often.  I just don't like it.  If you need a refresher, this is what it looks (looked) like -

Looked & felt very...dated. 

This morning in going to one of my Google accounts, I got the pop-up window in my contacts.  Here is a screenshot of the new look -

Hoping that the Google Love includes more than just the interface.  If there are any big changes that make Contacts more easily managed & navigated, you can be sure to see another blog post or two about it!

Every Kid in a Park - Teacher Edition!

Have you heard about the Every Kid in a Park?  It is an initiative to provide every 4th grade student across the country with personal experiences on public lands and waters.  Starting September 1, every kid in the fourth grade has access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass, giving them access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges. 

Lesser known is the the fact that if you TEACH fourth graders you can download an lesson to use in your classroom, and print out passes for ALL your STUDENTS.  The lesson is focused on the question "What are federal lands and waters, and why do they exist?" and has students create a new protected area - identifying the activities and rules for the area, and sharing why they picked it.  According to the teacher instructions, it takes approximately 2 40 minute class periods to complete.

You then get to generate passes for your students.  Each pass has a unique code that will give them free access to all national parks, l…