Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Organizing your Google Drive (Today's 30 Minute Workshop)

Organizing Your Google Drive Workshop

Sharing Folders
  • hover over folder you want to share>click down arrow>share
Nesting Folders
  • drag and drop
  • hover over folder you want to nest within>click down arrow>create>folder
Color-Coding Folders
  • hover over folder>select down arrow to the right
Organizing Documents
  • drag and drop
  • select>more>organize
  • when document is open>click folder to organize

Some tips from Richard Byrne of Free Technology For Teachers
5 Essential Google Drive Skills
Richard Byrne’s comprehensive book about Google Drive and Docs

Why I'm taking this MOOC (and what is a MOOC)?

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

MIT is offering a free MOOC titled, Learning Creative Learning.  I along with a few others from HSD are embarking on this new learning adventure.  While I have taken some really wonderful online classes through UVM, I admit this will be my first venture into a MOOC.  I am excited about the opportunity to engage in the course material and with the other participants in a way that works for my learning style and with my schedule, and I also fully support free, open access to information and learning.  So if you're interested in learning more about Learning Creative Learning, or if you just want to see what a MOOC might have to offer you, check out this course from MIT: Learning Creative Learning

If you'd like to be grouped with others from HSD, let me know and I'll send you our group code.  See you out there!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fascinating Article on Our Relationships with Our Machines

This morning on the way to school I heard a story on NPR about the relationship humans have with their machines titled, No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines.  A brief summary of the article is that all societies have a system of reciprocity, meaning if you do something nice for me, I will feel inclined to do something nice for you.  A few scientists were wondering how this might translate to our ever increasing relationships with our machines.  I will let you read the full article for the details, but what struck me was the impact this research has on education.  If we agree that we do have a relationship with our machines and we are ascribing them with a certain degree of human characteristics, it is important that we as educators pay attention to these findings, and also that we work with our students to help them understand their relationship with their machines.  What really got me thinking is how we can use this idea of a system of reciprocity that it seems we are transferring to our machines and how we can use that to teach our students to better care for and be more mindful of their engagement with electronics.  This may also open new doors for our creative students to improve the way we interact with our machines.

30 Minute Tech Workshops for February

Thursday, January 24, 2013

QR Codes at the Biography Fair

Our 5th graders at DBS held a biography fair where they shared what they have learned about their historical figure.  The fair was impressive from the costumes the students constructed, their knowledge of their historical figure, and their presentation boards that highlighted their character achievements.  On the surface this might look like a traditional fair, but if you look closely you'll see that the students also created qrcodes that linked to their biography reports and to their voice recordings of their I Am poems.  These little tech touches allowed parents and other students to scan the codes to access more information either during the fair, or to take home with them.  The 5th graders did a great job of blending tech and traditional learning to create a memorable biography fair.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Classroom Connections

One of our fourth grade classes at DBS created a video to help explain their learning about the three states of matter.  When they were finished they shared their video with first grade students at WRS.  The WRS students watched the video multiple times and sent some feedback to the fourth graders.

Watch their videos here:

Dear Mrs. Gilbert's Fourth Grade Class,
     We watched your States of Matter Video that is on your class blog.  Our Class learned some facts about the states of matter. One thing we learned is that if you break something apart. It stays the same weight. Another idea we learned was that when you pour liquid into different shaped containers their weight stays the same. We also learned that all matter takes up space. Lastly, we learned that gas molecules move quickly. These were just a few things we learned from your video.
           We liked many things about your video. An example was how you moved around in the video, using your hands and your body. Another reason we liked it was when you used expression with your voices. Our class liked the way you used many materials to teach us about the three states of matter.
Thank you,
Mrs. Locke and Mrs. Zayas First Grade Classroom

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dynamic Landscapes 2013

Dynamic Landscapes, one of Vermont's best tech conferences is seeking presentation requests.  This is a really great conference where teachers, tech integrationists and librarians share the interesting and innovative work they are doing.  Here are Hartford we are doing some really great things, and I encourage you to share.  If you're interested in presenting, please let me know and I can help you organize your proposal.

Check out the details here:

Friday, January 11, 2013

YouTube EDU

As you have heard, soon (2/1) we will be switching to YouTube for Schools.  What this means:

1) When students go to YouTube they will now be directed to YouTube EDU.  They will no longer be able to access regular YouTube.

2) When you go to YouTube you will now be directed to YouTube EDU.  If you would like access to all of YouTube, you will need to give me your YouTube username.  There is a video below that shows you how to set up your YouTube account and where you'll find your username.  Once you have chosen a username, please add it to this Google Doc

Your username can just be your email username (for ex. paquettea, or another name, mine is HartfordK8Tech.  Yours can be your class name).

*If you do not provide me with your YouTube username, you will only be able to access YouTube EDU content.  You can send me your YouTube username at any time.

3) You can use your YouTube channel to collect and share video resources. You can create playlists (folders) of videos to share with your students.  This is a great way to organize videos and share specific resources in a safe and managed way with your students.  Students should suscribe to your YouTube Channel to view content you have saved and organized.

Please view the video tutorials and information below for more information.  If you would like help setting up your YouTube Channel and creating playlists, please let me know and I would be happy to help you.

We will be testing the switch on the inservice on 1/18, so your access to YouTube will be limited that day.  We hope to make the final switch on February 1st.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Digital Tools to Connect Local Schools

Hartford Schools are featured again on Edutopia for their work using mobile devices to connect students and classrooms across our district. Read the full article here: Digital Tools to Connect Local Schools.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

30 Minute Tech Workshops for January

My Tech Resolutions

While January 1st doesn't really feel like a new year to teachers (that happened in September), I am still sentimental and like to use the January 1st date to kick off some new tech goals.  Here are some ways I plan to incorporate tech in the New Year.

1) Develop our YouTube Channel for Hartford
We are a Google Apps for Ed school and thus have access to creating YouTube accounts that link to our gmail accounts.  While I and some of our teachers are using this feature, it would be great to have a school or district YouTube account where we highlight student work.

2) Digital Connections
I plan to continue to find and support tools like Twitter, blogging, Google Docs, WallWisher, Popplet, that encourage collaboration amongst our students and teachers.

3) More Learning
I plan to set a monthly calendar of professional development classes for teachers to continue to learn new tips and tricks of how to integrate technology.

4) Create iBooks
I have been playing with iBook author, and love the potential for student and teacher created resources.

If you have any new tech goals that you would like help achieving this year, let me know and we'll tackle them together.