Setting the stage
As Gru from Despicable Me exclaims… “Light Bulb!”
This is exactly how I felt when I saw the transformative learning in my classroom this past week. I have been using HyperDocs for two years now, first learning of HyperDocs while attending the Google Summit in Denver 2016. My DTL picked up the book “The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps” by Kelly Hilton, Lisa Highfill, and Sarah Landis. Let’s go back to 2016...I POURED over this book.
I sat in the HyperDoc session (and honestly the others I attended) going through my current lesson plans in Google Drive, trying to figure out which ‘activities and lessons’ I can turn into a HyperDoc… I mean, it's just a glorified webquest right? Throw in my digital link for my note catcher, attach the same news article for kids to read.. And boom ‘HyperDoc!’... Right? I was so wrong.
The past year or so I have been reinventing my so called ‘HyperDocs’. I have been very pleased with my latest HyperDoc - The Bill of Rights Restaurant, A Learning Menu.
I teach 8th grade US History at Summit Ridge Middle School. Knowing that freshman year the students will have an entire semester of government, I wanted to make sure that the students understood how citizen can participate in government. Moving forward into freshman year, they then can fully understand the role of a citizen in a society and how citizens can affect change.
As we know, menus are all about choices. And with a variety of choices comes a variety of prices. The ‘price list’ on my learning menu indicates the level of activity students can expect if they choose the menu item. $ = not there yet, $$ = ready and waiting, $$$ = yes and I’m off! Presenting level indicators allows students to self-reflect on their own current ability, yet provide opportunity for students to challenge themselves with the next activity or text set.
As with most HyperDocs, having students engage and explain are pretty common. These menu options include a Smart Songs Rap, Mr. Betts Video, History.com article, and Scholastic books I have in the classroom as resources. Just because the HyperDoc is digital, does NOT mean EVERYTHING on the HyperDoc must be too. Many of my students picked the Scholastic books over the internet articles. But the important part was the choice. This differentiation of resources allows ownership on the students part to decide how they will acquire the information. If the resource is not a good fit, then they have other options handy, as happened several times over the course of the week. This self-awareness of student learning is incredibly powerful when in action.
Next on the menu, drinks. Here I provided three different articles with three different content topics related to individual rights. My students love to read about real world examples. They also love to see what their peers think about these real world examples. After reading the articles, student used Padlet to answer a form of an analysis question. Students can also read/comment on each other's posts, creating a dialogue that goes beyond the classroom walls. A student from my period 1 class can read the same article as a student from period 5 and they are dialoguing about how our rights as citizens are protected or bent in order to provide security in America. That is powerful.
Dinner is the next thing on the menu, where the application occurs. Here students were able to pick from 3 application activities. A Summit Ridge Bill of Rights, Analyzing the Bill of Rights to real world situations, or Petitioning their local, state, or federal representatives about a topic of their choice. Again, the $ indicators reveal the level of each of the activities. I hyperlinked each of the activities directions and expectations via Google Docs. Additionally, I allowed for students to partner up for this part of the learning menu, further expanding the dialogue and learning beyond the computer. The product topics range from changing school cell phone policy to a federal ban on certain assault style weapons. Students are transforming their learning and applying real world issues in the classroom. Many are researching who their local representative is in order to petition for change. Why did they drain the Blue Heron Lake?
Finally, as with most Americans who dine at a new restaurant, we want to leave that Yelp! review to praise or warn others. I am extremely excited about this part of the menu, as this is the sharing and self-reflection and evaluation of the dinner option. Flipgrid allows students to posts videos, much like a digital bulletin board (padlet). Students were given three prompts to answer, one required and two choices, but must do in video form. For many students, recording themselves is a risk, so I am allowing them to use their dinner product at the visual for the video. To calm their nerves, I posted several video explanations on how to use flipgrid (and ridiculous stickers on my face). Check out my student A.K. and his self-reflection. He wants to run for Congress! After recording and posting, students can, once again, view and comment on eachothers product and self-reflection. The opportunity for self-reflection provides students ownership of the learning and deeper processing of the information. They were able to identify their own gaps in learning, if any, and where to focus their attention moving forward. Check out my Bill of Rights Flipgrid HERE
If you are like me, I am constantly trying to reinvent my teaching. I do not think the old saying ‘why reinvent the wheel?’ applies in education…..we’re not even using wheels anymore. We are provided with an almost infinite amount of resources for our students to transform their learning into something deeper and long sustaining. When we teach students to use the technology as a tool, not a toy, they tap into their creativity and ingenuity.
The possibilities become unlimited.
You know that moment when you go to a Google tool and something new appears or disappears?
You either say "Hmmm, what does this do?" or "I swear this was here yesterday". Features in various Google tools change on a daily basis.
Here is a brief recap of some of the changes in the G Suite this school year.
Google has expanded the font catalogue in Docs and Slides to support 62 languages, including additional new fonts. To find these new fonts and others, simply click More fonts at the bottom of the Fonts menu. There you’ll also find suggested fonts, based on your document’s language.
Keep now integrates with Google Docs and Slides! Within the app, click on tools and then click Keep Notepad. You can drag your Keep notes over and they the text will copy!
Getting Googly at the Colorado Summit
Approximately 250 Jeffco Educators spent the weekend of November 4th and 5th at the Colorado Summit featuring Google for Education. Of those 250+ educators, 192 were from Jeffco's Title I schools. These schools were given the opportunity to send interested educators to the summit to learn how to build on the 1:1 technology initiatives that are happening in many of Jeffco's Title I buildings.
This summit was one of the best to date; it was overflowing with hands-on breakout sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, ignite sessions, and a dynamic demo slam! The summit offered a range of sessions that spanned from beginner to geeky. Participants attended compelling learning on apps in the G Suite, digital portfolios, digital solutions, and cutting edge best practices in educational technology and pedagogy. Many Jeffco educators also engaged in creating or building their professional learning network as they connected with other educators within Jeffco, in other districts and across the world using Twitter! #edtechteam
KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING
Learning is our main thing. There was energy exuding from Jeffco educators during the summit and that energy has proven to continue as teachers are already implementing what they learned at the summit in their buildings. Our teachers embraced a growth mindset as they engaged in this professional learning opportunity and continue to do so, as is evident in their willingness to share this new learning with their staff and students.
Our learning, as a community of Jeffco educators, ties into the Jeffco Generations vision. Everything that was learned and is now being transferred into Jeffco classrooms connects back to a leaf on the Jeffco Generations Skills tree.
Sharing our great work!
Did you take away an amazing idea from the Colorado-Ed Tech Summit that you are excited to share? Add that learning to our Padlet (click here or scan the QR code) under the Generations skill that it embodies!
As you create lessons that connect to Jeffco Curriculum, we also encourage you to add them to Jeffco's Bridge to Curriculum to share across the district!
Lastly, we would encourage you to present your new learning and any additional technology integration ideas you have at our very first Get Your Tech ON! event on January 5th! You don't have to be an expert, you just have to be willing to share what you have tried and what you have learned along the way! Visit our Get Your Tech ON website to sign up to present or to attend (sign up coming soon).
"To make the most of the internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence."
Be Internet Awesome is a campaign launched by Google in June 2017 to support parents, educators, and students with the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety.
Designed for students in 3rd-5th grade, the campaign focus on five fundamentals:
Be Internet Smart: Share with Care
Be Internet Alert: Don't Fall for Fake
Be Internet Strong: Secure Your Secrets
Be Internet Kind: It's Cool to Be Kind
Be Internet Brave: When in Doubt, Talk it Out
Video is an ever evolving form of educational technology; however more often than not, the way educators have used video in their classrooms has not evolved quite as quickly. One component of video tools that you should get on board with is live streaming or broadcasting. A live broadcast takes the components of a regular recorded broadcast, but adds the capability of interacting with your audience in real time, easily sharing your videos with very little lag time, and allowing you to save your broadcast for others to view later.
why chrome devices?
Chrome devices run on Google’s Chrome operating system, and they deliver applications over the internet. This means that software is primarily web-based and does not need to be installed. They provide easy access to all the G-Suite tools so work can be collaborative, apps can be integrated and work is saved continuously to the cloud. Chrome devices boot up quickly so very little class time is wasted waiting on a device. Chrome devices, unlike Windows devices, actually get faster with age as new operating system updates get installed. But let’s face it, the best thing about Chrome devices is the budget-stretching low price.
which chrome device?
Jeffco is now offering many different flavors of Chrome devices for purchase, so how do you match the right device to the right instructional purpose? The key is to begin with your learning goals and teaching vision in mind, and then choose the device and tools that can help teachers and students achieve those goals. Look through the slide deck for details about each device type.
what are some other considerations?
What do you need to know if you are making a change to Chrome devices from Windows devices or iPads? Chrome devices do not run “installed software” like Microsoft Word or Smart Notebook and they also do not print. This can be a shift, especially for teachers currently using a Windows laptop as their primary device. For students or teachers moving from iPads, the new touchscreens on Chromebooks and flips can ease the transition. Not all iPad apps are available for Chrome devices. Although this might take a little exploring to discover a Chrome app, extension or web tool that has a similar functionality, new apps are added daily.
teach and learn from anywhere in the classroom
Do you ever have students hold up whiteboards to show their answer? Maybe put student work under the doc cam? Do you ask students to share a document with you so you can share it with the class? Now you can do all of these things with a Chromebook and a projector. The ability to cast with a Chromebook is now here for Jeffco. Similar to using an iPad with Air Server, Cast for Education lets you share your computer screen from one Chrome browser to another.
Teachers invite individuals or groups of students to cast by selecting individual email addresses or by inviting classes that are set up in Google Classroom. Students have the choice of casting one tab or their entire browser. Teachers will be prompted to accept or deny the requests. Sharing ideas and thinking digitally is easier. Now teaching and learning can happen anywhere in the classroom.
Are your work and personal spaces cluttered with sticky notes reminding you what you need to get done? Do you ever wish you could easily collaborate on your to-do lists or keep them all in one handy place? If so, Google Keep might just be the tool you didn't know you needed.
Check out these benefits of Google Keep: