Sunday, December 1, 2019

Digital Resources for Social Studies Education

We are working on updating our collections of digital resources for different content areas. Today the focus is on Social Studies Resources for K-12 education

If you have suggested resources or ideas can you share them with us?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Power of Google Forms to Engage Students - Now With the Form Notification Add-on

Have you explored the Form Notifications Add-on for Google Forms?

I have been a huge fan of formative assessment to engage students in the learning process. I use a variety of tools, but Google Forms is still one of my favorites. I was lucky enough to attend this year's Google Midwest Summit and I learned about the Form Notifications Add-on while I was there.

There are two great features in this Add-on.
1. You can turn on "Notify on form response" and set how often you receive a notification email when someone submits a response. You no longer need to create a sheet for every form to get notifications when someone submits a form response.

2. I think I am the most excited about the ability to send a customized email using this Add-on. While there are many great tools like Autocrat and Form Mule that allow you to set up email responses when someone submits a form response, none are easier to use than this Add-on.

Here is a sample quiz if you want to see Google Forms with this Add-on in action. This is a copy of a quiz my students in AP Environmental will complete in the locked-quiz mode. It is all about the layers of the atmosphere, but I won't judge anyone who hasn't studied these concepts. 

If you want to learn how to quickly set up the Add-on in Google Forms here is a quick step by step tutorial for you.

Additional Google Form Quiz Resources

More Formative Assessment Resources

Friday, November 1, 2019

Digital Resources to Support World Language Educators and Students

We are working on updating our web resources for different subject areas. Today we are focusing is on World Language Web Resources for K-12 teachers and students. This is the working document:

Can you suggest additional resources?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Words Matter - Building and Instructional Coaches Mindset

What Words Connect to Your Philosophy of Teaching and Learning?
Share your words in this Padlet

I have never believed there is a single path that leads to great teaching and learning experiences. There are just too many different types of learners for me to ever say that there is only one best to engage all of them. This is why the best educators are always taking risks and trying different new things to engage all learners. It's ok to take a risk.

When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” - Ellen DeGeneres

I am lucky enough to work with both teachers and students daily. This has helped me build and rebuild a mindset connected to instructional coaching. I am not close to perfect, but I am always learning. When people ask me about my instructional coaching mindset, I always start with the word why.

My mindset is built around questions connected to exploring why I do what I do! Why we do what we do!

For me, there are 4 stages of understanding why I do what I do to support teachers and learners.
Stage 1: What is our purpose? If we don't know why we are doing something, why are we doing it?
Stage 2: How will we engage learners? What pedagogical strategies will we use to support the learning process?
Stage 3.:How will our content help students develop essentials skills connected to collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity?
Stage 4: How will both the teacher and the students know if they've learned? What assessments strategies are part of our learning process?
These stages are all part of my mindset of why. I believe this is a mindset that will keep us moving forward, keep us innovating. 
I am not telling you that your mindset needs to be this way, but I do believe that all coaches need to develop a mindset. Your mindset will probably change and evolve over time. Mine has and I hope it will continue to grow. #GrowthMindset
Have you found your why?

I am going to dedicated the rest of this post to some of the resources that have contributed to my mindset of why and the words that have influenced me as a teacher and a learner.

If you are interested in exploring or building your why, I think these two resources are a great place to start.
Here are some of the books connected to instructional coaching that have helped me develop my ever-evolving mindset connected to teaching and learning.
Here are a few additional resources that might help EdTech and Instructional Coaches build their mindsets to support teachers and students.
If all of that wasn't quite enough, here is one more collection of links. I hope there is something here that you can connect to your mindset. 
My final thought about what drives me to be who I am! 
Questions Are More Important Than Answers
Of Course, Our Kids Already Know This!

What courses, resources, ideas or books do you think are essential to help build an Instructional Coach's Mindset?

Friday, October 11, 2019

Google Lens - Search What You See

Google just released a great tool called Google Lens! My only regret is that I didn't know about this app last week! 

I spent the first part of this week with about 80 students in Northern Wisconsin. We study the flora and fauna in the Northwoods at the University of Wisconsin's Treehaven Campus. I spend most of my time at Bearskin Creek. Part of our exploration involves identifying Benthic Macroinvertebrates as indicator species.

We have some great dichotomous keys and are pretty practiced at identifying most of the critters, but every once in a while we run into something we've never seen and can't id on the spot. While some great apps help identify plants (PlantSnap and PictureThis), we've never found anything that can reliably help us identify insects on the spot.

Today I discovered Google Lens and tested it out on some of my photos from the trip. It works great! It takes just a moment to scan the image and then up pops names, images, and links to learn more. 

Right now the stand-alone app is only available on Android Devices, but Google Lens is built into the Google Photos App and the Google App on iOS.

There are also some other cool features that I have not explored yet, including the landmark scan. You can learn more about Google Lens here

How could you use this resource with your students in creative ways?

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