Screencastify and Google Slides
"App Smashing", the act of using more than one digital tool at the same time for a student product, can yield creative results. This blog outlines how to "smash" Screencastify and Google Slides for student reflection.
From the blog:
In her article Digital Portfolios: The Art of Reflection, Beth Holland points out that when students reflect on their learning experiences, “they become more aware of the processes and strategies that make them successful, allowing them to learn from their successes as well as their challenges or failures.” Thus, a reflection journal that also includes video screencasts not only provides students with the opportunity to look back and reflect on their work, but also facilitates a media-rich experience for doing so.
Fortunately, Google Slides offers two great features — the ability to easily create links to outside content and the ability to play YouTube videos in a slide — that can be combined with screencasts to enable students from elementary school through high school to create powerful video reflection journals in just a few steps.
In all, students could create a media-rich screencast after writing an essay, creating a presentation, constructing a drawing, or creating any type of artifact of learning and reflect on their learning using audio and video. In their reflection, they could discuss their process of creation, their feelings of success, or explore the challenges they experienced along the way.
Some reflection questions students might discuss are:
Is this my best work?
What could I have done to improve this essay?
Why was I successful when I created this presentation?
What will I do differently next time to augment the process?
What did I learn?
How did I learn?
Why do I think that I learned the way that I learned?
Google Drive is our storage area for all Google files.
Read on to see how Drive is so much more than cloud storage.
The priority page allows you to access the files you need through a combination of suggestion and work spaces.
The prioritized files are the documents that Google thinks are most relevant to you. It will also pull up files that you open regularly at that time of the day or week.
Make it Visual
Store files in two places at once.
You can make a file appear in more than one folder by using shortcuts. This is different than making a copy, as the shortcut traces back to the original file. Anybody with access to the folder can see the shortcut. However, if they don't have access to the actual file, they won't be able to open the shortcut.
To make a shortcut right-click the file and select Add Shortcut to Drive.
Convert Microsoft Files and PDFs to Google.
Upload a Word file or PDF to Drive by dragging it from your desktop into the correct folder in Google Drive. You can also click the +New button in Drive and then select "File Upload." Then, in Drive, right-click your Microsoft file and choose "Open With" and choose the appropriate Google Match for your file
Keep multiple versions of a file.
From Drive right click on the file and click "Manage Versions." You can then upload and save a new version of the same file. Versions will be deleted after 30 days unless you manually select "Keep Forever."
Use the Explore button.
You will find a star shaped button at the bottom of each of these Apps that will open a right-hand pane while you are in the program.
Sheets: highlight your data and Explore will offer you functions, formatting, data analysis and more!
Slides: Explore in slides will offer suggestions to make your slides more visually appealing.
Docs: Explore in Docs allows you to do manual searches. You can also cite your source.
See Revision History.
When you are in a Google File (Docs, Sheets, Slides etc.) you can click on File > Version History > See Version History. Here you can name versions, see who made which edits, and restore the document to an older version, if necessary. Note: you must be an editor of the file in order to use version history.
Use the right mode for the job.
Editing: The standard editing mode.
Viewing: Let's collaborators see, but not edit, a file.
Suggesting: Each edit you make to the document will strike-through, underlining suggestions for editors to either accept or reject.
Access Calendar and Keep from Google files.
This is handy so that you don't have to open multiple tabs in your browser. Simply click on the Calendar, Keep or Task icon in the right-hand menu of your screen in Docs, Sheets or Slides. You can also drag and drop content from your Google Keep directly into your Docs, as well!
Communicate while you collaborate.
Google Drive shows your fellow document collaborators in the upper-right corner. Click the chat bubble next to the collaborator chatheads and type your message. Unlike a private message, everyone else in the file can see your discussion, too.
Jeffco Ed Tech Ebooks
With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way students and educators learn and teach, Jeffco Ed Tech has also changed the way we provide professional learning. Sure, we continue to offer in-person sessions on Jeffco Ed U days, but we realize those days and times many not work for all staff. We wanted to give the opportunity for more faculty to engage in the learning we offer, so we began building out our professional learning sessions as eBooks. And, what better way to do that than with our new Jeffco-supported eBook tool, Book Creator?
You can find all of the Jeffco Ed Tech eBooks on our our internal Ed Tech website and by clicking on the eBook button. Our eBooks can also be found on respective tool pages, as well. For example, you should be able to find any books related to Pear Deck under our Pear Deck site.
Staff that read our Ed Tech eBooks are eligible to earn a 1-hour PD Certificate, which can be used for relicensure. All you need to do is read an eBook of your choice and then fill out the Form at the end of the book. Ed Tech will email out the certificates monthly; you will not find them on your ESS report.
EdTechTeam Inc Free Conference Resources
Did you miss the free conference last weekend? Register HERE and get access to the entire Untamed Learning Recorded Experience for Free! You will get the following: Access to 34+ session recordings, access to all 3 keynotes, a PD certificate form for recertification, and access to all session resources. You will have access for 1 year.
EdTechTeam Inc Course Catalog
ALL Jeffco staff have FREE access to EdTechTeam’s on-demand course library until May 31st, 2021!
Course content includes topics such as:
Jeffco staff members will need to create their own individual account in order to access the courses. Use your @jeffcoschools.us account and your Jeffco password when creating your EdTechTeam PD account. Please see the videos on the site for support in creating your account and signing up for courses.
* If you previously completed coursework with EdTechTeam Online, then you will not need to create a new account, but will need to complete this form in order to have the subscription added to your account
Each course is FREE and requires 15-hours of learning and creation. Your work will be evaluated and graded by a member of EdTechTeam Inc. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion that can be submitted to CDE for recertification. Additionally, you may apply for graduate credit through Adams State at an additional cost ($155/credit).
Please see specific courses for additional details.
JEffco Ed U
Save the date! The next round of Jeffco Ed Tech Ed U sessions will be on April 30th!
InnEdCO 2021 will be June 14-18, 2021 in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado (remote option available)
ISTE is going remote this year during the week of June 26-30. Registration information can be found HERE
This Friday, March 12, various departments will be gathering (online, of course!) to provide professional learning opportunities for teachers. The EdTech department will be bringing you a variety of options throughout the day to further your skills and knowledge on our digital tools!
Here’s is an overview of the sessions being offered by our department this week… Also linked below, some of these sessions come as asynchronous learning eBooks as well!
If you have questions about any of these sessions, please reach out to your EdTech Specialist. To join these sessions and to see the full line-up of sessions for Friday, please click here.
As we continue to teach, work and learn in these challenging times, we all need brain breaks. A brain break is a break from whatever we are focusing on. They may have an elementary notoriety, but they are also needed for teenagers and teachers. The key is to get them in BEFORE fatigue, distractions, or academic overload sets in. According to Morin, “For grade-schoolers, that’s typically after 10 to 15 minutes of work. At that point, they may need a three- to five-minute break. Middle- and high-schoolers can work for longer—up to 20 to 30 minutes before a break.”
Brain break research has continued to show positive effects on academic performance and behavior management. A simple brain break can decrease stress, increase productivity, boosts brain function, and provides opportunities to learn social skills. These can all lead to replenishing attention, improving learning, and boosting creativity.
Here are a few tips to get you started (from Understood.org)
Here are a few digital & Socially distanced ideas
Check out our C & I partner's blog - https://www.thepulsefromcandi.com/
Look around your tech filled world. Beyond the screen used to read this blog, technology and the computer science behind it is in everything we do. We can help students not only understand this world through computer science education; we can lead them to design and innovation. The goal of computer science is to teach your brain new, general purpose, and widely applicable ways to think. The concepts are applicable to everyone and help students think in ways that apply across content areas.
What does it look like?
How can we start this foundation early?
Code.org, Tynker, and CodeSpark Academy all have free and approved curricular resources to use in the elementary classroom. Although students can lead this learning, here are some ways to dive in for your own learning:
Try this 2-day virtual workshop through mindSpark Learning:
Code.org Computer Science Curriculum/Robotics
Over 80% of Jeffco Elementary schools have had teachers attend this learning and 35 schools have received Robotic kits from the Gill Foundation!
Ready to Learn on Your Own?
TRY THESE ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES:
Teaching CS Fundamentals
Teaching CS Fundamentals K-5 is intended as an introduction to Computer Science Fundamentals and the Code.org K-5 resources for elementary teachers. Through reading, viewing videos, completing interactive puzzles and reflecting on your learning, you'll develop your own understanding while preparing to teach computer science in your classroom.
No previous experience with coding or computer science education is assumed. This is a beginner's course.
Brand New Robot Modules!
Checkout a robot to take home and learn in these modules!
Get to Know Dash and Dot! In this self- paced asynchronous course, you will learn by doing! After checking out a Dash robot kit (including Dash, Dot, accessories, and challenge cards), learn what these sassy and mighty robots can do and how to incorporate computer science thinking and problem solving into your classroom.
Just want to focus on coding?
Ready for something more advanced? These tools are approved and have free tutorials:
Popfizz Computer Science is created for Middle and High School teachers and students. With hundreds of exercises, auto-grading features, and step-by-step tutorials, learners are able to progress from basics to Advanced Placement Computer Science.
School budgets are always a sore subject--especially when we are also experiencing a pandemic. Often, schools need to be creative on where to find extra pots of money. This year, like past years, schools and districts looked to grants. One grant that provides many school district library departments and public libraries with funding is the Colorado State Libraries Grant.
The Colorado State Libraries is a division of the Colorado Department of Education. Their mission is to help libraries, schools, museums, and other organizations improve services, making it easier for all Coloradans to access and use the materials and information they need for lifelong learning. Every year they offer the State Libraries Grant for school districts as well as public libraries to apply for funding. These funds help libraries provide resources they would otherwise be unable to afford.
Once again, Heidi Floyd, Library Services Coordinator, applied for the grant and was awarded a little over $20,000. Heidi spends countless hours to ensure that the funding will affect as many of our students as possible. She begins by gathering feedback from DTL’s (Digital Teacher Librarians) on what resources they feel will be most helpful to their staff and students.
In previous years many of our students have benefited from these funds. Last year, over half of our elementary schools received a one year subscription to one module from the online database Pebble Go. This is a favorite database for both students and staff. It is a safe, fun, curriculum-based research tool to use with our younger students that allows them to research a topic on their own. Not only does this database provide engaging material, it also will read the text to students which improves accessibility for all students.
Another purchase with last year's grant money was padcasting and podcasting (videocasting) kits. These kits have all the necessary supplies one would need to create a podcast or a padcast/vlog. Using these kits empowers students to become creative communicators (ISTE Standards). Schools may check out the kits for two weeks at a time. For more information go to the Ed Tech page.
With this year’s grant money we will again be purchasing a module from Pebble Go. The exciting part is that we get to purchase it for ALL our elementary schools. After gathering feedback from our DTL’s, we are changing it up this year and will be purchasing the Science module. This will offer all elementary students the opportunity to use Pebble Go to research or just to learn more about different science topics. Some of the topics are Physical Science, Important Inventions, Math, Science and Engineering Practices and many more. All in all, teachers and students will be learning a lot over the next year as they dive into this engaging online resource.
The State Libraries Grant will be supplying middle and high schools with sets of Lightbox interactive books. These books incorporate videos, Google Maps, worksheets, audio, quizzes, and other exciting interactive features. Each bundle provides unlimited access the ebook, along with a hard copy for the library. Middle schools will receive an Ancient Empires and Civilizations bundle made up of 6 different titles and High schools will receive a Psychology bundle, consisting of 5 unique titles; both supporting the social studies curriculum.
These resources are a great addition to our schools this year when so many things are in flux. Students will be able to use these resources to complete assignments, but also have the opportunity to just use them to explore new topics on their own. If you have any questions please ask your Digital Teacher Librarian.
Using Digital tools to create in the classroom
Book Creator allows you to bring creativity and critical thinking to your classroom in any grade level or subject area through the creation of digital books. Combine text, images, audio and video to create: interactive stories, digital portfolios, research journals, poetry books, science reports, instruction manuals, 'about me' books, comic adventures and more! All Jeffco K-12 students have access to premium Book Creator accounts.
How can book creator be used?
Book Creator can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. It can also be used for professional learning and as a way to communicate with other teachers, parents, and students.
Teachers can create exemplars, how to books, or even a course guide or textbook. Book creator can be used as a way to communicate with students and parents.
Students can use book creator in a variety of ways too! Check out these great examples.
New to Book Creator-Templates
Adobe Spark is an integrated suite of media creation applications for mobile and web developed by Adobe Systems. It’s comprised of three separate design apps: Spark Page, Spark Post, and Spark Video.
Adobe Post allows students to make graphics, posters, flyers, and infographics. These single images can combine text and images. They’re saved as picture files. There are numerous templates or you can start from scratch. Here are some ways to use in your classroom:
Adobe Spark Page is a web page builder that puts the power of creating a web page in the hands of anyone with a story to tell, a product to sell, or a passion to share.
Adobe Page is a great tool to create web pages, slides, and web stories. Some ideas for the classroom include:
➊ Photo Essays
➌ Online Journals
With Adobe Spark Video, you and your students can create compelling videos in just a few minutes using professional looking themes and music. Adobe Spark Video is a free online video making software that allows you to easily combine images, video clips and icons into a beautiful, shareable movie. Add text, music and your own voice to personalize your video. Here's a video made with Adobe Spark Video:
Making it work in the classroom
Both Book Creator and Adobe Spark are great tools for creation and allow students to express themselves. Students can create original works, communicate complex ideas through a variety of multimedia tools within each of these and publish and present their work to their classmates, teachers, and globally if they choose. Check out the Technology Integration Ideas for Upcoming Units for ways to use these tools in the classroom.
For more information on these tools check out the Jeffco Ed Tech website or our YouTube channel.
Teachers are incredibly resourceful and multi-talented. But, when it comes to balancing: a hybrid, an In-person, a remote classroom, or a conglomeration of all three, it gets wobbly for all.
Here are a few tips, tricks, and strategies to keep you from teetering off the teaching high-wire.
Balancing In-person and Remote Learning Strategies
Differentiating engagement opportunities is a priority, especially for students online. Teachers can bring a lesson to life for all students with just a few implementations.
One advantage students have who learn remotely, is they often don’t need to wear a mask. Plan ahead and ask one of them if they would like to be the discussion leader. Give them the topic and questions ahead in case they are interested in looking into the content. Project the discussion leader on the “big screen.”. This gives the remote students a voice and an audience.
Ask a remote learner to be a Search Expert. They can research the topic or questions asked in class and drop the information or link into the chat, or a JamBoard etc.
Have a student summarize the lesson using a few sentences, a meme or a phrase. The next day, start the lesson with the student's summary from the day before.
Designate a chat monitor in-person. The student chat monitor can answer questions in the chat and can raise their hand in class to ask a question out-loud on behalf of a remote learner.
Provide Break-out rooms by differentiating group assignments to meet student needs. Change it up and once in a while; give the online learners a different objective than the in-person learners. Make sure both are aware of each others' outcomes and the groups' outcomes are both valued and shared.
Seek for Cross-Collaboration with online and in-person students by requiring students to comment and question on each other’s contributions.
Up the engagement by providing interactive opportunities such as: Polls, Kahoot, PearDeck, Wordle, Word Cloud etc. Both online and in-person students can interact and learn collaboratively.
We know through research that teachers who augment engaging lessons and ignite communication give their students a better chance to grow and improve. Investing time to blend and build meaningful online and in-person learning balances out and levels the playing field for increased achievement for all students.
Albert.io. Image of a student looking at teacher online. Publicdomainpictures.net. 2020.
Cook, Emily and Travis. 6 Tips for Teaching Online and In Person Simultaneously. 2020.
Dorn, Emma. Image of Teacher in Mask sitting at computer. McKinsey’s Silicon Valley. 2020.
Flaticon.image of a breakout session. 2020
Publicdomainvectors.org. Clipart heart designed with people. 2020
Shutterstock. Clipart of Remote Learning. 2020.
Spataro, Jared. Image of smiling student. Microsoft.com. March, 2020.
Swartz, Sarah. How to Make Lessons Cohesive When Teaching Both Remote and In-Person Classes. Education Week. August, 2020.
With National Library Lover's month starting in just a few days, we thought it would be great to share some of the work that has been happening in libraries over the past 10 months.
Since March 2020 our schools have worked through a flux of transitions between remote learning, in-person learning, and hybrid learning. Not just once but multiple times during the school year, depending on the health and status of each cohort, class, school, our county and the state. As our schools have focused on supporting students and families while continuing the learning, our school libraries have continued to work to meet the needs of each instructional mode, safely providing access to resources and instruction for students and staff.
Libraries are the heart of the school community. Often referred to as the hub of the school, school libraries offer support for all students and their families, host community events, hold a diverse collection of books and resources for all, offer a place for all learners to explore interests and provide an instructional partner for teachers in the Digital Teacher Librarian (DTL). DTLs serve many roles in a school, but one of the most critical is to be a partner and coach for teachers, as teachers and DTLs collaborate and explore innovation in their teaching practice, in particular integrating technology and critical thinking skills throughout lessons.
The work for libraries, in particular our Digital Teacher Librarians, preceding the pandemic helped to prepare our schools for a smoother transition into remote learning. Grounded in the ISTE Standards, DTLs authentically embed digital literacy skills in content, working to prepare our students to be future ready citizens. Information and Media Literacy coupled with fostering a love of reading, DTLs curate relevant and meaningful resources for all students, providing opportunities through instruction to reflect and grow as learners.
In a traditional, non-pandemic setting, the library is a busy space all on its own. Now with the added challenges that come with properly quarantining resources and overseeing the management of the library in a whole new way we have found some great opportunities and continue to address the evolving challenges.
Bradford K-8 South Digital Teacher Librarian, Denise Cushing, found a new way to connect with students and promote a love of reading with their “Breakfast and Books” program. The group, of over 40 (mostly Kindergarten - 2nd grade) students, meet online weekly before school starts and engage in discussions and share books. Over Winter Break, Mrs. Cushing and the students participated in Read Across America and shared titles connected to states, such as Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (Utah) and Big Moon Tortilla by Joy Cowley (Arizona).
From the start of the pandemic the request for books to be read aloud has been resounding nationwide. Publishers have responded and have temporarily adjusted their copyright permissions during this time to allow read alouds. With the guidelines shared, students and teacher librarians have found new ways to share their love of literature.
Kyle Walker, Digital Teacher Librarian at both Kullerstrand Elementary and Maple Grove Elementary, recently shared his read-aloud of Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, retold by Eric A. Kimmel. (you can watch as snippet of the video below).
Another success during the pandemic, students discovered new access to thousands of ebooks on their school library websites (Destiny Discover Library System). This is the result of a project three years in the making that happened to come together in the Spring of 2020.
During the periods of in-person learning, school libraries have worked to continue to support the desire for books. More now than ever before students appreciate and miss the ability to browse the stacks of books in the library. Our elementary libraries are working diligently to fill the demands as students request and place Holds on selections of books. The challenge in this time is managing the balance of properly allowing books to sit in quarantine for 72 hours, pulling the requested titles and (the best part) delivering the books to students in their cohorts. Our DTLs have had to think creatively about how best to support teacher and student requests, some schools are managing well over 200 requests at a time. Now, 10 months into this pandemic each day seems to get a little bit smoother.
Delivering books to students in classes has been one of the highlights throughout this time -the students are all so excited for new books!
Secondary students have been managing remote and hybrid learning throughout the school year. Middle School and High School libraries have worked to support students and staff through the new and innovative formats of asynchronous and synchronous learning. It has been a challenge to support the ever growing demands of overseeing the management of thousands of TechforEd devices deployed throughout the district, while continuing to keep the focus on the instructional practices that have grounded our DTLs, as they are teachers first.
Angie Wagner, DTL at Bear Creek High school, shared that she feels that one positive that has come from this time is that , “The students appreciate our space and all we do more, knowing how good it used to be when they could come and hang or work on work, a place to recharge.” While the challenge has been “Helping those students who really like coming in and thumbing through books. They like to put their hands on them, see the size of the font, the length, etc.”
At Conifer High School, Digital Teacher Librarian Karen McIntosh, reached out to the author of Watermarked, Danielle Butler, from the UK and connected her virtual reading group for an author visit.
Colleen Sologub-Sobering, DTL at Brady High School, said it well when she shared, “We are a conduit for our students and our teachers and staff to navigate through this uncertain time. They are looking to us for help in researching, learning, and trying new things. Not that this is so unusual, but it is the fact that we are working without always seeing the kids face to face, but we are helping them as much as we can.”
So if you get a chance this February - share some love with your school libraries! It will be greatly appreciated.
check out "The Elementary ELement" Below:
Jeffco's one stop curriculum resource shop for K-5 teachers!