You’ve almost made it. It’s the final stretch. And it’s starting to feel a little bit like survivor out here.
We know your plate is full. You’re teaching, grading, and closing up shop. But just as you clean and close out your physical space, don’t forget to clean up your digital space too. Your Google Drive is like a giant filing cabinet. Use the same habits in your digital space as you would in your physical space.
We’ve curated 5 easy ways to help you jump start your Google Drive as you head out the door for summer.
1. Clean Sweep
Does the thought of opening your Google Drive stress you out? Perhaps you’ve got a long list of files that just need to be organized in a folder, but you have no idea where to start. Silence that visual noise by moving all of those files into a folder!
2. Brush up on your Driving skills
Now that you’ve got that cleaned up, start exercising some healthy digital organizational habits. Need a basic lesson on Google Drive? Check out our Google Drive Multimedia Text Set to jump start your Driving skills.
3. Create visual interest
4. DO not Enter
Never go to the “Shared with Me” folder. This folder will never be neat and organized because it is a continual collection of everything that has been shared with you. Looking for something that was shared with you? Just use the Search bar at the top of your Drive. You can click the drop down arrow on the right to narrow your search by file type, specific person, and even owned by you. You can add it to your Drive when you search.
5. Quantum mechanics
Do you need a Doc to live in 2 places? Perhaps you created a math assessment during the PLC’s. This document lives in a shared folder with your team. However, you would also like the document to live in your math content folder. Great news! This IS possible and it’s pretty easy!
Gear up for next year
Looking for more opportunities to learn more about Google Apps and tools? Whether you're listening to a podcast on a road trip, reading by the pool or ready for face-to-face learning, we've got an opportunity for you!
LISTEN: Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning and Matt Miller from Ditch that Textbook join forces to create a weekly 30ish minute podcast. Google Teacher Tribe provides teachers with practical tips and tricks for using the G Suite and other Google tools for instruction.
WATCH: EDU in 90 is a video series by Google for Education. These short videos provide just in time learning regarding updates, programs and resources. Subscribe today!
READ: Prefer to read for your Professional Learning? The Ed Tech Team has a variety of books to help you get where you want to go. Here are some of our favorites:
ATTEND: There are also a number of face-to-face opportunities for Jeffco employees to learn more about Google. We hope to see you there!
Our school makerspace has all sorts of cool things- robots, Little Bits circuits, Makey-Makey kits, cardboard, old math materials, rubber bands, paper clips, art supplies, yarn for days, and the list goes on. You name it, we have it. The problem is that these materials have sat in the library untouched by many, and tinkered by few. The only purpose this makerspace served was that it was an attractive exhibit for parents considering our school.
I came to realize that we didn’t actually have a makerspace, and all these materials were just a waste of space.
An official definition by Wikipedia says, “A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately complex contraption in which a series of devices that perform simple tasks are linked together to produce a domino effect in which activating one device triggers the next device in the sequence. “ After watching this music video, my mind began racing and this was my “ah-ha” moment. We needed Rube Goldberg in our makerspace. I asked the art teacher at my school if he would like to co-facilitate a Rube Goldberg after-school club, and he agreed! This club (for kids in grades 3-6) has pivoted my makerspace into what it actually should be, and is changing the culture of how the kids use this space.
The kids plan backwards, one contraption at a time. It has been hard for the adults to refrain from “jumping in” and solving the problems, so we are practicing the “Yes, And” protocol. What’s been so amazing about this protocol is that the kids come up with solutions that the adults didn’t even see. The kids are driving the inquiry. We’ve done a ton of filming in slow motion so that we can see just where the contraption went wrong. This video is a great example of how filming in slow motion can help pinpoint the problem. In the many times in which the kids failed, the whole group stops to willingly participate in collaborative problem solving. This has been the finest example of failing forward I’ve ever seen.
If you are looking for a way to kickstart your makerspace, Rube Goldberg is your “in!” Our makerspace looks chaotic now, and it’s beautiful. There are tons of resources online, but my advice is to watch a few Youtube videos, and let the kids take it from there!
Back in my high school years, each ELA teacher required that students write a variety of essays. These essays were scored, entered into the grade book, passed back to us for a quick review of our grade, and then saved in our teachers' filing cabinets. At some point, usually in the late spring, the teachers returned all of our essays and asked us to pick the 3 best samples to create a portfolio. I'd make the recommended changes my teacher had listed and hit print -- good enough. Knowing that my teacher was going to be the only one who would be reviewing my work (again) did little to motivate me to think critically and improve my writing. Usually, my score did not change.
"If students are sharing their work with the world, they want it to be good. If they are just sharing it with you, they want it to be good enough." - Rushton Hurley
In my college years, after all my learning had been finished, I was again asked to build a portfolio as the cumulating task. After hours of scrapbooking and collecting artifacts, I had a beautiful 3" binder full of lesson plans, photos, and beautifully designed (and protected) pages only my professor would ever see. My hard work would never be looked at by a future employer or anyone in my industry. Although I was proud of the final product, much of my time felt wasted and little was actually learned by doing this task, with the exception of becoming a better scrapbooker.
If you think back to your educational years, I'd bet you have a similar experience building portfolios to demonstrate learning. Creating a portfolio of student work can be a very beneficial activity for both the student and the intended audience, but how we build them can be better than what I experienced. To do this, we can consider having students create digital portfolios. Essentially, digital portfolios are the same as a traditional portfolio, but what differs is the manner in which the learning is presented. What makes digital portfolios relevant is that they give students the ability to demonstrate growth of learning, skills, and reflection over time to an authentic audience. This authenticity helps build confidence and a sense of achievement for the learner as they share their work with the world. It also encourages them to go beyond "good enough." In secondary years, students can develop a brand or image for who they are as they apply for continuing education and seek employment opportunities.
"Digital portfolios aren’t just a way to archive work—they’re also an excellent vehicle for students to reflect on their growth and learning." - Avra Robinson
3 Types of Digital Portfolios
The Google Infused Classroom, by Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith, outlines 3 different types of digital portfolios that could potentially be created by students in any grade level or subject, as a demonstration of learning. If you haven't read this book, it's a great one to add to your library. Here is a brief synopsis of the different portfolio types:
The Process Portfolio:
The purpose of the process portfolio is to make students' thinking visible by documenting and reflecting on learning. Throughout this process, students create, reflect, receive feedback, and publish. Students' very best work is mixed in with work that shows improvement over time.
The Showcase Portfolio:
The showcase portfolio highlights a student's very best work. This type of a portfolio is an assessment of student learning. The students create and then publish only their final products. The 3" binder portfolio from my college years was an example of a showcase portfolio.
The Hybrid Portfolio:
As you might guess, a hybrid portfolio is a combination of a process and showcase portfolio. In this portfolio, students create, reflect, receive feedback, then select one (or more) of their favorite pieces to share with a global audience. A hybrid portfolio can be a great way to carry learning forward from year to year as a student progresses through grades. My first experience with the high school essays was a hybrid portfolio.
Digital Portfolio Tools
Although there are many options for creating digital portfolios, the new Google Sites and Seesaw are two of our favorite tools for this purpose.
"It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn't online, it doesn't exist." - Austin Kleon
A few last thoughts...
The purpose of digital portfolios is to create an opportunity to share learning with a larger and more authentic audience. Sometimes this can feel frightening when thinking about student data and privacy. Instead of limiting an audience and locking down a portfolio, consider having students use their first initial and last name, or just a first name, to keep student work global but their identities private. Also, remind students not to share personal information such as their address or phone number on their portfolios.
As you are considering ways to integrate digital portfolios into the student learning experience, it is important to remember that not all artifacts have to be digital. Snapping a photo of a physical piece of evidence, or recording a video of a student speaking, is a great way to allow the physical and digital worlds to collide and create a bigger picture of what a student can do!
Want to Know more?
Technology and our Little Learners: Co-teaching in the 2nd Grade Classroom. A Spotlight on Ute Meadows
Recently, I had a chance to share cookies (the crumbly kind, not the kind servers pass to your web browser) with the Digital Teacher Librarian and a 2nd grade teacher at UTE Meadows Elementary School.
They joined forces on a cold December morning. Tom Gilgenbach had signed up to teach a Google Classroom session for the Chatfield articulation area in January. That’s when he started looking for partners. If you were to meet Mimi Crockett, you would instantly want to collaborate with her, teach with her, plan with her and more.
That very next Wednesday, the true art of co-teaching came to life at Ute Meadows. Their planning meetings start with a look into the Bridge to Curriculum. “It’s a great resource,” Mimi says with enthusiasm! “We start with the question, how do we take the curriculum we have and match that with the skills that they need and create experiences that matter to kids." The skills they are speaking of are outlined in Jeffco Generation and are echoed in the ISTE Standards for Students, which have been adopted by Jeffco, as well.
See what we did there?
Check out the video below to find out how you can Screen Record on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch!
Wanna jump right in? Go to 1:00 to skip the intro.
Get the cliff notes:
How to Screen Record from your updated iOS device:
We'd love to hear from you!
How might you use this feature in your teaching?
Comment below, Tweet @jeffecoedtech or even VLOG about possible uses of screen recording in the classroom.
“Now I’m multilingual! I know English, Spanish, and I’m learning computer language.” -B from Ms. Grindle’s STEAM Club
Ms. Grindle (described as a wonderful teacher by her students) decided to put together a STEAM club at Marshdale Elementary for students in 3rd through 5th grade. The goal of the club is to expose students over time to each of the components of STEAM-science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Ms. Grindle decided a STEAM club would be beneficial because it would provide students experiences in elementary school that would prepare them for computer science electives in middle school, and ultimately, a wide array of job opportunities later on.
Upon interviewing the students, it is clear that they love attending this club! They come to the club for optional exploration for a half hour after school, then stay for the STEAM club for 1 hour after that. They don’t mind staying into the evening because it is just that engaging!
What makes the club so engaging is the variety of tasks they get to perform and concepts they get to explore. Students have had experiences such as dissecting cow eyeballs and designing comics using Comic Life 3! They have also designed video games and written code. . Of course, that’s not all, but it gives you a sense of the unique experiences students get to have in this STEAM club.
One recent experience was having students explore batch scripting, which is written code that contains a series of commands that tell a computer operating system what to say and do. (watch this child explain what @echo off is *he is not from Jeffco)
On one particular day, the students had a special guest - a 7th grader! He came to help the students at Marshdale understand how to code using “@echo off”, a command, which prevents commands from the batch file from displaying on the screen. Students loved the experience, and even parents commented on the excitement students had in having a middle school student teach them to script. An example of a student’s @echo off batch script:
Barb Grindle makes this club happen with community supports and support within her school because it’s important to her to provide rich experiences for her learners. She has been invited by InnEdCo, an annual technology conference in Keystone, to present on how she fundraises for the STEAM club. She’s also presented her club at the ISTE conference. Impressive accolades!
Meet the Jeffco Robotics and Coding Cohort-- a group of elementary educators that are coming together this spring to test drive various robotic kits in their classrooms. These teachers applied for an opportunity to come together and spend time to ideate, innovate, prototype and develop lesson ideas around ISTE Standard #5: Computational Thinking. Time was spent connecting computational thinking, coding, and robotics to Jeffco Generation Skills and curriculum. Imagine the excitement in the room!
Kits include Bloxels, Bee-Bots, Cubelets, cue, dash and dot, Makey-makey, Ozobots, and spheros
Watch for the quick reference guides, resources and lessons designed by this cohort-coming to Bridge to Curriculum in May!
Tracey Boychuk has been teaching at Pomona for 25 years. She has spent 18 of those years teaching 12th grade Economics. For a number of years, she has been shaking things up for the 12th grade Econ students. Years ago, Tracey went to a Blended Learning PD offered by Jeffco Schools. She was convinced that the blended learning model could be transforming for students. Tracey knew that students were lacking the computer skills, digital sense and expertise necessary for the workforce or college. Blended Learning was an innovative way that students could use virtual learning to practice digital skills online and get the content, as well. The best part says Tracey, "I don't have to lecture!”
Schoology has the ability to count instructional minutes and Tracey says that the system she has put in place keeps students engaged and self-motivated. Students have at least seven “Virtual Days” a semester. A virtual day consists of students consuming the content using digital tools. They come back to class to explore ideas, collaborate and create! The students come prepared to engage in discussion and real-world tasks.. “It works” she says-as she knocks on wood!
To learn more about Blended Learning-watch this video.
Beginning March 12th, we encourage you to join us on a 10-day Twitter challenge to network with other educators, both within Jeffco and globally, and chat about how technology is transforming teaching and learning in your classroom. To participate in the challenge, log into Twitter each day and complete the following activities, using #JeffcoChat in each of your Tweets. You may also choose to include #JeffcoGenerations or mention us (@JeffcoEdTech), as well.
Here's your challenge, should you choose to accept it:
"The key to any great musician is an outstanding music teacher." - student
Spend a couple of minutes in Mr. Goodman's music classroom at Thomson Elementary, and you will discover he is one of those teachers. Sam's goal isn't to make every student into a musician; he knows that isn't a passion for every child, just like he admits to not loving football; however, he does hope to instill an appreciation of music into each of his students. To do that, he uses technology to help make music relevant and authentic.
Keeping it Real
Students select an instrument of their choice for the semester. The class starts together and talks about the goal for the day. Then, they get started practicing their instruments. As they practice, Sam moves from group to group, providing mini lessons and support to his students. Knowing that he can't support all groups simultaneously, he has created a YouTube channel that provides just-in-time support for students. Students can watch, pause, practice, and rewatch segments of the video, based on their individual needs.
Pulling it all together
Some of Mr. Goodman’s students head off to middle school and high school and continue engaging in their passion for music. He receives invitations from former students who are pursuing interests in sound engineering and instrumental music. For him, that is the best part of being a music teacher -- seeing his students grow an everlasting appreciation for music.
Interested in Getting STarted?
Do you want to know more about Ableton Live and The Push? Check out this district-approved software on Ableton’s website and watch artists use the instrument on Ableton’s YouTube channel. If you are interested in having students learn about creating beats and loops, but are not ready to purchase Push devices, you can experiment with Ableton's web-based program. Sam has also graciously offered to connect with any Jeffco teachers who have questions about Ableton software or the Push devices emai him at Samuel.Goodman@jeffco.k12.co.us
Lastly, YouTube videos and playlists are a great tool that can be used in any grade or subject to flip or blend learning for students! If you are interested in learning more about creating YouTube channels and playlists for student use, check out our Jeffco Ed Tech YouTube website to help you get started.