Hangouts Chats: Tips and Tricks
Google has delayed their full transition to Google Hangouts Chat. For now, both Hangouts and Hangouts Chat are available in Jeffco. Below are a few helpful tips and tricks to help you navigate the change.
Hangouts Chats vs. Classic Hangouts
Hangouts Chat: Chat Rooms vs. Direct Messages (DM's)
YouTube Brand Accounts
YouTube has suspended Brand Accounts for educational environments. Brand Accounts allowed users to use certain Google services, like YouTube, with a separate, potentially anonymous identity. Staff brand accounts can be temporarily un-suspended so that videos may be downloaded and saved. Student brand accounts cannot be reactivated. For more information on how to preserve brand account data, and for support on what do do if your account is suspended, please see this support document. Action regarding brand accounts must be taken by October 31st.
YouTube Live to YouTube Webcam Record
Many schools used YouTube Live streaming through Google Hangouts to stream their news broadcasts and other learning opportunities. This functionality has been changed by Google and is no longer available in Jeffco. The current solution is to use YouTube's Webcam Live Stream. You can quickly go live using your computer or Chromebook's built-in webcam. YouTube Webcam also allows the user to schedule future live stream events. Unfortunately, the ability to share your screen, or allow participants to speak in the recording, is no longer an option. But there is a text chat feature.
Coming to Jeffco: G Suite for Education Summit
The Colorado EdTechTeam Summit featuring G Suite for Education is coming to Jeffco November 2nd & 3rd at Arvada West High School! See schedule here. "With two action-packed days featuring keynote speakers, a mix of 90 and 60-minute sessions, a playground, and a demo slam, you'll have a chance to create and explore new ideas and topics while connecting with other teachers, school, leaders, and world-class speakers. " - EdTechTeam Inc.
Because Jeffco is hosting the event, we receive special pricing of $249, which includes breakfast and lunch (standard registration is $349)! If registering with a Jeffco accounting string, please use this form. If registering using personal funds, please use this form and connect with your school's 1:1 lead for the promotional code.
Google Level 2 Bootcamp
For those considering their Google Certified Educator Level 2 Certificate, the EdTechTeam Inc. is bringing the Level 2 boot camp to Jeffco on Nov. 1st.
"Google’s Certified Educator Level 2 focuses on meaningful and creative ways to integrate the 4Cs in the classroom. Level 2 teaches the advanced features of G Suite including HyperDocs using Google Docs, Maps and MyMaps for geo-instruction and virtual field trips; digital portfolios with Google Sites; and using screen-casting techniques for developing learning libraries in YouTube and more. Level 2 is the perfect place for teachers who are ready to try something new and engaging in their classrooms all while preparing them for Google’s Certified Educator Level 2 exam." - EdTechTeam Inc.
This one-day event will be held at 581 Conference Place (cost $199, includes lunch). If registering with a Jeffco accounting string, please use this form. If registering using personal funds, please use this form.
Google Certified Educator Clock-Hour Credit
Considering getting your Google Level 1, 2 or Trainer certificate? We offer ESS clock-hour credit for these certifications!
To get your credit, follow these instructions:
Make any Google Slide Presentation Interactive with Pear Deck
Pear Deck is an online tool that provides formative assessment in real time. It's web-based so it works on any device. Teachers are able to check for understanding in their classroom through a variety of question types. When teachers use Pear Deck they are able to adapt instruction based on student understanding and students can receive feedback in real time.
How Does Pear Deck Work?
Pear Deck is an Add-on that works with Google Slides so it is easy to use! We have automatically added it for you in Google Slides! To utilize Pear Deck, you can create a new Google Slides presentation or add Pear Deck to an existing presentation. Once you've opened the Pear Deck Add-on, you can create your own questions or use the Template Library.
Pear Deck Math Templates
Get Started with Pear Deck
Here are some great ways to start using Pear Deck in your classroom:
Formative Assessment with Pear Deck
Pear Deck is designed so that all students are engaged in the learning. Students answer questions in real time and teachers are able to give quick, immediate feedback to the students. Teachers can see who is answering and able to project student responses that are anonymous. Through the teacher dashboard, teachers can see each student's responses. Teachers can even add a question on the fly to help alleviate misconceptions or get additional information from the class. At the end of the session, teachers are able to publish student takeaways. These takeaways are sent to the students and the teachers.
Present With Pear Deck
After creating your slides or adding your questions, it's time to present. Make sure to use the green present with Pear Deck Button. When you Present with Pear Deck, your students will join your class with a code and your lesson can get underway. Pear Deck is a great tool to get students and staff engaged in their learning. Being a Google Add-on allows anyone to create a Pear Deck slide presentation. Contact your Ed Tech Specialist or your Digital Teach Librarian to get started using Pear Deck.
One of the Eight Core Tools Jeffco EdTech is supporting this year is Soundtrap, a robust yet simple-to-use audio recording and editing app for grades 3-5. This post will explore why podcasting is a great project to pursue with your students, regardless of content area, and how to get started with your first project! We’ll also check in with a couple teachers in Jeffco already using podcasting to great effect in their own classrooms.
Podcasts have exploded in popularity over the past few years. Everyone from media conglomerates to best-selling authors to stand up comedians to news outlets have found a new voice through podcasting. Interested in History? There are podcasts for that! True crime? News? Music? Trivia? There are podcasts for all that too! Simply put: a podcast is an audio file covering a given topic. More established podcasts are published on a regular schedule such as weekly, monthly, etc. But often, podcasts are created and published as a stand-alone/one-time event.
“What do I need in order to get started?” - Less than you think! Most podcasts can be made with only a quiet space and a Chromebook. A good-quality microphone and some headphones are nice additions, but not necessary.
“How many people do I need to create a podcast?” - It is absolutely possible to have students create individual podcasts, however, the workflow and format of a podcast lends itself to a small group as well. NPR has a great “Getting Started with Podcasts” page that describes some of the roles students may play in podcasting. Keep in mind you can combine these or assign more than one person to the same role, depending on your assignment or class format.
Helpful hint: Being mindful in how you assign students to roles (perhaps your producer is also your editor on a project) may save you some headaches around classroom management down the line! For instance, some roles might be busier during the beginning of the project. How can the editor be helpful during that point in the workflow? Can they assist in research?
“OK, what do we talk about?” - Anything that is genuine to your content area! In math class, it may revolve around how students solved a difficult problem. In Science, perhaps it’s a debrief of an experiment they recently completed. In English, maybe it’s an opportunity to practice storytelling or creating a skit.
NPR offers a variety of prompts for podcast topics that can work in different content areas…
But how does it connect to content?
ALL of the Jeffco Generations Skills can be grown and practiced with a student-created podcasting project!
Podcasting in action
There are a number of teachers in Jeffco already working with students to create podcasts about the world around them. Here are a couple teachers making podcasts work for their content!
Andrea Pless at Kyffin Elementary has successfully integrated podcasting into a few different standards-aligned projects over the past two years.
Her students practiced reading fluency by creating short podcasts for younger students at Kyffin, reading picture books and creating their own turn-the-page tone. Students in other classrooms can then read along with their own book at a later time. Talk about a 21st Century book buddy system!
A group project she’s used involves students reading short stories (before creating the podcast) and using the podcast to discuss their personal connections to the stories. She houses all these student achievements on her website, The Plessroom. On her website, you’ll also find notecatchers and rubrics she’s used with her students.
In addition, each year, Ms. Pless works with a small group of students to serve as her website and Soundtrap experts. They support other students in their learning and teach their classmates about the features and uses of Soundtrap.
When asked about her biggest piece of advice for teachers who are thinking about diving in, she says “Go for it!” She explains most students are more native to technology in some form or another and besides the Soundtrap Intro video (linked below) and some basics of where to find which capabilities, students are quick to latch on to the workings of Soundtrap, as long as they have a product they are working toward. Don’t worry that you need all the answers!
John Swartz at Moore Middle School regularly publishes a Podcast with his 6th graders. This podcast is entering its second year and discusses upcoming community events and features interviews with teachers, students and other community members from the Pomona articulation area.
Here's a link to the Pomona Area Podcast page! Happy listening!
There are countless resources available for teachers to get their students started. As Soundtrap is the supported audio recording app for Jeffco, here are a couple links to get you going!
Soundtrap Crash Course
Soundtrap Lesson Plans
Other websites and resources...
NPR’s A Guide for Students (Getting Started with Podcasting)
Lesson plan to create a podcast from Rosen Digital
Project Audio: Teaching Students How to Produce Their Own Products
Summer Reading UPdate & New Resources...
Did you know…that Jefferson County is comprised of 773 square miles (or 494,588 acres) and has approximately 580,000 residents across the county?
With such a large county we have some amazing resources that are available to all of our residents and in our case, all of our students and staff. Jefferson County Public Library and Jeffco Schools have historically had a supportive partnership, over the last few years this parternship has grown dynamically and continues today. The collaboration supports a variety of experiences, from the Summer Reading program to the Jeffco/JCPL newsletter that supports our DTLs and teachers to STEM Clubs (and upcoming MS EPIC STEM program) as well as Speed Dating with a Book and other literacy based ventures in schools.
Our Jeffco Squared team (comprised of Jeffco’s Library Services Coordinator & a mix of JCPL teams) meet monthly to collaborate and find more ways to bridge our work in order to support our community. Beyond the summer reading challenge, one of the other topics we discuss on a regular basis is the collection online tools and databases that are available for use. Listed below is the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge update along with a small selection of tools available through JCPL.
Summer Reading Contest
The JCPL Summer Reading Contest concluded in August and now the results are in! Each of the following schools will be receiving a trophy and each of their libraries will be receiving a check for $800. To read more about the contest and to see where other schools ranked, visit the JCPL website.
The resources mentioned below are all available through JCPL, and can be accessed with a JCPL library card. These tools have been vetted by the district and approved for use. However, they are not district supported - meaning that staff need to contact the vendor or JCPL to work through potential issues, as Jeffco IT does not manage the technical side of these tools. Kanopy has been vetted by Jeffco, however the platform is best used by teachers, as it is not filtered and contains adult content.
Mango Languages describes themselves as, “the only single solution that combines quality content, intelligent technology, and an adaptive algorithm that delivers practical phrases from real situations”. Just recently, Mango Languages increased the total number of languages they support to 71 different & unique languages!
They offer engaging interactive lessons in everything from the most common languages studied, such as Spanish, English, French, and Chinese to unique languages such as Bengali, Dutch and even Pirate! Participants can easily access Mango by visiting the JCPL site and entering their library card number. There is no need to create an account, as users can particpate by selecting guest user at the Mango login screen.
CreativeBug is a new addition to JCPLs collection of resources this year. It has been vetted by Jeffco and is an approved resource that like Mango Languages, is not district supported. Creativebug does offer online video arts and crafts workshops and techniques. Particpants can learn how to paint, knit, crochet, sew, screen print, and more. Their topics range from Art and Design to Furniture Refinishing to Cake decorating and Canning.
Some ideas for curriculum connections with CreativeBug, include using the videos as
Kanopy (Teacher REsource)
An additional resource that is great for teachers is Kanopy. Kanopy is a tool similar to that of YouTube, in that it offers a wide variety of videos. In Kanopy Kids, they offer popular book titles as videos including documentaries, Global Studies, Education, Instructional Films and Lessons. Kanopy also offers an elementary based collection for preschool and up. Kanopy Kids categories include Learning Languages, Animated Storybooks and Classic Films. The Animated Storybooks category in Kanopy Kids is a great resource for our elementary teachers, when connecting literacy to learning.
These are just a few of the many tools JCPL offers their patrons. If you have questions about the resources and databases available please connect with your schools' Digital Teacher Librarian to find out what resources might support your next unit.
Curious about using robotics with your students? Robotics are a tangible way to introduce students to computer science while providing learning experiences that foster creativity, problem-solving, and perseverance. Beyond the fact that robots are fun and highly engaging for students, the depth of learning and the application of Jeffco Generation Skills that are possible when using them in instruction provides for transferable opportunities for students.
“When students program physical robots, it’s easier for them to see what goes wrong as they learn what robots can and cannot do. They learn the skills needed to create precise and accurate instructions and have fun while learning valuable lessons. Teaching robotics in schools gives students the opportunity to address the growing demand of teaching STEM subjects while learning how science, engineering, math, and technology work together and interact.”
- Matthew Lynch, "Five Reasons to Teach Robotics in Schools", The Edvocate
Jeffco Ed Tech has the following robotics available for teachers to borrow for 3-week checkout periods. To check availablity and access the check out form, click on the Ed Tech Robotics website. All kits are picked up and returned through Jeffcat at 809 Quail.
The Dash robot can be programmed to respond to voice, record voice, and navigate objects. The challenge cards are aligned by grade level to the Code.org curriculum. There a 6 different apps that students can progress through while learning to code. With Wonder software, kids can also program the robot to do multiple tasks in parallel. Blockly introduces fundamental and advanced coding concepts through playful projects and puzzles. Kids learn about coding by exploring variables, events, conditionals, and more.
An ozobot identifies lines, colors, and codes on paper or digital surfaces. Bots can be coded online using OzoBlockly or on paper using markers. The bots will trace the path and react based on the colored patterns--changing speed, direction, timing, and even performing "cool moves".
The Bee-Bot is an easy to learn entry point into coding for young learners. These can be used for teaching directionality, counting, sequencing, estimation, and problem-solving. Students can code Bee-Bot to remember up to 40 instructions/steps at a time.
Learning to code, coding to learn...
Robots can be used to create learning experiences using design thinking, collaboration, and inquiry. Students can create models to demonstrate abstract and complex thinking, solve problems using data, and learn from the iterative process.
“This opportunity helps students develop a respect for their own abilities. As students develop strategies to facilitate the learning process, they experienced growth in their meta-cognitive skills, too. Introduction to coding and robotics is as relevant to our world as learning to write. Today’s learner should experience opportunities to practice coding and robotics in the classroom from an early age. This foundation will serve them as learners, digital citizens and world leaders,”
- Julie Dweck, How Robotics is Transforming STEM in Elementary Schools
To check availablity and access the check out form, click on the Ed Tech Robotics website. All kits are picked up and returned through Jeffcat at 809 Quail.