Monday, July 17, 2017

Chrome Apps for Teaching and Learning

Chrome Apps are web-based applications (programs) that are designed to be used entirely within the browser. Chrome Apps add functionality and features to a Chromebook or your Chrome Browser.

Chrome Apps can be accessed on Chromebooks by clicking on the Chromebook launcher or by clicking on the Apps Launcher in Chrome menu if you are not on a Chromebook.

Apps can be explored and added to the browser in the Chrome Web Store.

We've also organized a collection of Recommended Chrome Apps to Support Teaching and Learning in this Google Document.

Recommended Chrome Apps

Additional Resources

Monday, July 3, 2017

I Wish My Students Knew . . .

Before reading this post, can you reflect on this question? 
What do you wish your students knew? 
I'd love for everyone who reads this post to share 3 wishes for their students in the comments below. 

Over the years I've read and explored a variety of educational posts with a wish list of what teachers want students to know. Some of these posts have been very positive and some have mixed in a bit of teacher frustration. Some have gone in some unique directions. I will link to a few that I've saved to Pocket over the years at the end of this post. 

My list is not meant to be complaints about my students. I love all of my students and my goal is for each of them to embrace life-long learning. Please, consider my 3 wishes to be proactive goals and not frustrating failures. Here are my 3 wishes for my students. 
I wish my students remembered what it was like to be curious. I teach high school and too often my students get so focused on what they think they need to know that they forget to ask questions and explore what they want to know. 

I wish my students knew that the best learners are active participants. I've shifted to a student-centered classroom model, but I still have kids ask me to lecture. They just want me to tell them stuff so they can passively engage in the learning experience. They should not be waiting for someone else to tell them what is important, they should be telling me and each other what is important. 

I wish my students knew that the journey is more important than the end result. I believe that the best learning experiences connect almost everything to the 4 Cs of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. Content is important, but the process of learning is a skill that we all need to develop. 

I could probably continue to add wishes, but I think three is enough for now. 

Here are a few more posts about what students should know.

I'd love for everyone who reads this post to share 3 wishes for their students in the comments below. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Organized Learner - Special #ISTE17 Edition

Full disclosure, I've never been to ISTE, but I've been reading some great tips and tricks from some incredible educators to help me prepare for the conference. The purpose of this post is to share a few general tips to better organize your digital life at ISTE this year. 
(I will include links to some great tips and tricks from my PLN at the end of this post.)

While I can't rely on my past ISTE experiences, I have attended a few conferences and I've learned that being organized can make or break your conference experience. There are many great digital resources that support organization and these tips include some of my favorites. I hope you can make the most of your experience before, during, and after the conference with these quick tips.

Tip 1 - Stay Organized with Google Keep
Google Keep is a great resource to create reminders, notes, and checklists. If you use the extension you can save links to resources. The Keep Notepad in Google Docs is a bonus!

Learn More
Google Essentials - Google Keep

Tip 2 - Organize Your Notes & Shared Session Resources in Google Drive
Google Drive is a great collaborative resource, but it can quickly become a cluttered mess if not organized. Check out the posts below to learn more about staying organized with Drive.

Learn More
Organizing Files and Folders in Drive
Creative Organization of Google Drive with Google Keep
Organizing Files and Folders in Google Drive - Move vs. Add

Tip 3 - Team Folders in Google Drive
I've only recently begun to explore Team Folders on Google Drive. Google Drive is a great place to share resources when attending a conference. 
"Google Team Drives are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device.
Unlike files in My Drive, files in Team Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done."
I've organized a Google Team Drive for anyone interested in exploring this resource for collaboration. If you are interested, please share your G Suite email in the comments below. 

Tip 4 - Organize Your Social Feed

  • The hashtag this year is #ISTE17 and it will be going fast. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are great resources, but I also recommend some of the built-in Twitter features.
  • Create a Twitter list of anyone who catches your interest. Great way to narrow down some of the clutter that a busy conference hashtag will generate.
  • Have a heart and like tweets to save them for future reference.
  • If This Then That (IFTTT) has some great Twitter Recipes to help you save and organize tweets.
  • Particpate is a great place to keep up with your Twitter Chats and Hashtags. They will be a great ally for anyone at ISTE17
  • Another great place to share is the ISTE Google + Community

Tip 5 - ISTE App and Agenda
The ISTE Website has some great resources for attendees and I recently discovered the mobile app. I've only scratched the surface of the app, but I already love the Agenda (mobile calendar) that is personalized for me. 

Additional Tips From Some ISTE Veterans

Monday, June 19, 2017

Questions That Can't Be Answered by Google

I would say that I am 75% yes and 25% no on this recent Twitter post. (Those percentages are completely made up, I really do not know how I would quantify this idea.) I do not believe that we should be creating assessments and activities where every answer can be memorized, but I do believe that that searching for some answers that could have been memorized from a lecture or found in a textbook has value. 
In this new narrative, learning ceases to focus on consuming information or knowledge that’s no longer scarce. Instead, it’s about asking questions, working with others to find the answers, doing real work for real audiences, and adding to, not simply taking from, the storehouse of knowledge that the Web is becoming. It’s about developing the kinds of habits and dispositions that deep, lifelong learners need to succeed in a world rife with information and connections.”  Will RichardsonWhy School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere
The idea that educators should focus more on skills and less on content has been around for a few years now. The growth of BYOD and 1 to 1 initiatives have shifted where we all learn. Teaching has become more challenging because educators are no longer the only best source of knowledge. We need to learn to be both teachers and facilitators. 

Where do you go when you have a question or want to learn how to do something? Shouldn't we make sure our students are learning how to effectively find an answer when an "expert" is not in the room? 

  • Siri . . . ?
  • Alexa . . . ?
  • OK Google . . . ?
  • Google?
  • Yahoo?
  • Bing?
  • YouTube?
  • Something else?
How does a teacher avoid questions that have answers that are a simple Google search away? Have you ever taken a look at one of your activities from a textbook and searched some of the questions in quotes? You might find the activity with the answers available for anyone. 

I teach AP Environmental Science so I will admit that it is often pretty easy for me to create some questions that can't be Googled. The world of Environmental Science often does not have questions with established answers. We also have a great deal of content that the students must know, so the quest for knowledge never ends. 

I am still learning how to best incorporate digital resources, but here are a few things that I do to help my students use the web and search as a learning resource.

1. All of our quizzes are open internet. While I occasionally have partner quizzes, the only resource I tell them they cannot use is other students in the class. I work very hard to emphasize that just getting the answer from another student does not help them or me understand what they know or still need to learn.
Here are some tips for creating an assessment or creating an activity that is open internet.

  • It is ok to have some questions that students can find the answer using a Google search. The students appreciated this and I think it helps them learn to use search effectively. I like to believe that they are gaining some additional as they look for the answer. 
  • Set a time limit for the assessment. I don't want my students to Google every question, so I let them know that they should expect to run out of time if they are trying to Google everything.
  • Most of our multiple choice questions have 5 choices. I try really hard to have no throwaway answers. I am often looking for the best answer, so Googling any question may not always lead them to the best answer. I think 3 or 4 options makes it too easy for them to narrow down the search. I do occassionaly like to use a creative true / false question that gets them thinking. 
  • I sometimes throw in some "Mark all that apply" questions. Often there is more than one correct answer for these questions and sometimes there is not. These questions drive my students crazy because they really need to look at the question and the answers carefully. 
  • Look at the data, if a question has 100 percent of the students getting it right then you might want to do a Google search yourself to see how the students are "finding" this answer. 
  • Some open-ended or free-response questions are necessary. One of my favorites is, "What is something you know about this unit that was not on the quiz?"
  • Follow up with some assessments that do not allow them to use any additional resources. I love to compare the results with my students. "Why did you get it right here, but not there?" is a favorite discussion question.
When creating a digital activity I try to build in a mix of different web resources. I don't want to always just focus on text, videos, images, or interactives. 
Here are a few tips for tips for creating an activity that is open internet.
  • I try to find resources that allow me to blend different media. My best activities include text of all sorts, images, audio, and video. 
  • Student choice is important. Don't just provide them a single resource for the concept they are exploring. I love them to compare and contrast what they learn from different sources connected to the same content. 
  • When I create a web-based activity I try not to ask too many specific questions where they can ignore any content not connected to the question. Most of my questions are opened ended on activities. For example, "What are 5 new things you learned from the resource?" or "What takeaways would you share with someone who did not see this resource? Get the students talking to each other during the activity. 
  • HyperDocs are a great framework for creating digital activities. I try to build digital activities that are more than a worksheet of questions. I want students to collaborate, create, think critically, and communicate effectively. 
What tips do you have to help teachers shift away from questions that can be answered with a Google search? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Extend your learning with this connected Mindshift Post.
How Has Google Affected The Way Students Learn?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Innovative Educational Organizations to Follow on Twitter

It's essential to keep moving, learning and evolving for as long as you're here and this world keeps spinning” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

In 2012 I read an Atlantic Article titled "Alone in the Classroom: Why Teachers Are Too Isolated?" I rediscovered this article a few weeks ago as I began to explore creating a list of Innovative Educators on Twitter and I believe it serves as a great reminder why we cannot stand alone in our classrooms.

I was just beginning to develop a PLN in 2012 and I started by following a variety of educators and educational organizations. My PLN has grown over the years and educational organizations remain a big part of my learning and sharing.

I purposefully left educational organizations of my first list with the thought that I would create a separate post. This post will be dedicated to some of my favorite educational organizations. I know it is not a complete list, so please consider this a starting point. 

My goal for this organization list was to provide some diversity by choosing organizations that cover a wide range of educational philosophies. This is not meant to be a "Top 10" list, but instead, an opportunity for me to share some of the educational organizations that have influenced me in the past and continue to influence me as an educator today.

Here are some of my favorite education organizations. The best way to experience each organization is to explore their Twitter posts. Please feel free to suggest additional organizations in the comments below.

Edutopia @edutopia

"A comprehensive website and online community that increases knowledge, sharing, and adoption of what works in K-12 education. We emphasize core strategies: project-based learning, comprehensive assessment, integrated studies, social and emotional learning, educational leadership and teacher development, and technology integration."

Mindshift @MindShiftKQED

"MindShift explores the future of learning in all its dimensions. We examine how learning is being impacted by technology, discoveries about how the brain works, poverty and inequities, social and emotional practices, assessments, digital games, design thinking and music, among many other topics. We look at how learning is evolving in the classroom and beyond."

EdTechTeam @EdTechTeam
"EdTechTeam, a California Benefit Corporation, is a global network of educational technologists dedicated to inspiring and empowering other educators. The team is best known for a world-wide series of Summits featuring Google for Education, EdTechTeam Online was launched in early 2016 to provide an online professional development experience on par with the face-to-face experiences EdTechTeam has offered for years. EdTechTeam Press was also launched in 2016, with a goal of capturing the stories of  EdTechTeam’s most inspiring speakers – and sharing their expertise with more educators around the world."

Future Ready Schools @FutureReady

"Future Ready Schools® helps district leaders plan and implement personalized, research-based digital learning strategies so all students can achieve their full potential. We believe every student deserves a rigorous, personalized learning environment filled with caring adults and student agency. District leaders must recognize the potential of digital tools and align necessary technologies with instructional goals to support teaching and learning."

EdTechTeacher @EdTechTeacher21

"At EdTechTeacher, we understand teachers because all of us have been in the classroom. Given our backgrounds, we recognize the challenge of preparing students for an increasingly complex and cognitively demanding world, so we leverage our experiences to provide professional development to teachers who are dedicated to creating innovative learning opportunities for their students."

Google for Education @GoogleForEdu
"The mission of Google is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Ensuring teachers and students everywhere have access to technology to learn and work together fits naturally with that mission."

Office of EdTech @OfficeofEdTech
"The U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology (OET) develops national educational technology policy and establishes the vision for how technology can be used to transform teaching and learning and how to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible for early learners through K-12, higher education, and adult education."

WeAreTeachers @WeAreTeachers
"WeAreTeachers is an online community for educators committed to one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs out there. Our mission is to inspire teachers and help them succeed by sharing practical classroom ideas, the best freebies and giveaways, and teacher-to-teacher advice and humor."

Simple K12 @SimpleK12
"Our mission is to help educators inspire their students, engage their learners, perfect their craft, and share their experiences to help others do the same. Never stop growing. Never stop learning. Never stop sharing. Online professional development. Anytime. Anywhere… even at home in your pajamas!"

Ed Tech K12 Magazine @EdTech_K12
"EdTech: Focus on K-12 explores technology and education issues that IT leaders and educators face when they’re evaluating and implementing a solution. EdTech: Focus on K-12 is published by CDW which is headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill."

ISTE @isteconnects
"Because, ultimately, it's not about the technology at all. It's about changing the way learning and teaching takes place to make it more meaningful and impactful for educators and learners around the globe. It's about working together to turn what-ifs into what is."

Edudemic @Edudemic
"Our mission is to prepare educators for the classroom with innovative, informed, and engaging tech resources. Our vision is to provide a place for readers to discover and engage with information about the newest technology, data trends, and digital tools available to them in order to meet the needs of all students in the communities they serve."

TeachThought @TeachThought
"We are dedicated to supporting educators in innovation in teaching and learning for a 21st century audience. This starts with ideas and resources for K-20 teachers through our site, and extends to our design of school models, learning models, curriculum, technology, apps, and other learning tools through collaborations with other organizations."

eSchool News @eschoolnews
"eSchool News covers education technology in all its aspects–from legislation and litigation, to case studies, to purchasing practices and new products. First published in March of 1998, eSchool News is a monthly print and digital newspaper providing the news and information necessary to help K-20 decision-makers successfully use technology and the internet to transform North America’s schools and colleges and achieve their educational goals."

Tech & Learning @techlearning
"For over three decades, Tech & Learning has remained the premier publication and leading resource for education technology professionals responsible for implementing and purchasing technology products in K-12 districts and schools. Our team of award-winning editors and an advisory board of top industry experts provide an inside look at issues, trends, products, and strategies pertinent to the role of all educators –including state-level education decision makers, superintendents, principals, technology coordinators, and lead teachers."

Illinois Computer Educators @ice_il
"ICE's Mission - The mission of Illinois Computing Educators is to lead the educational community in enhancing learning through technology.
ICE's Vision - Illinois Computing Educators is the leader in supporting and promoting innovative education for all."

"Founded in 1943, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. The association provides expert and innovative solutions in professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead."

CUE @cueinc
"CUE inspires innovative learners by fostering community, personalizing learning, infusing technology, developing leadership, and advocating educational opportunities for all."

What am I missing? What are your favorite educational organizations?

Monday, June 5, 2017

25 Innovative Educators to Follow on Twitter

If you've ever visited my Twitter stream you will know that I follow quite a bit more than my share of educators. I pretty much follow anyone I think I can learn from. My stream goes fast and sometimes I miss something, but that is why I love lists, retweets, hashtags and likes. If I missed it today, I am sure I will find it tomorrow. 

Over the years I've seen many lists of teachers who are great follows on Twitter. Each of these lists connects to some incredible educators and I thought it was about time that I shared my favorite follows. Narrowing down my PLN favorites to just 25 educators was not easy. I know I am leaving out many great educators, but I needed to start and end somewhere. We all know that there are way more than 25 educators sharing great resources and ideas on Twitter.

This list is not a "Top 25 List". There are many incredible educators sharing wonderful and innovative ideas that I know I've missed. Please feel free to share any of your favorite Twitter peeps in the comments below. 

What are the qualifications to be on my list?

1. The educators on this list are active collaborators on Twitter. They do more than just tweet quotes, images, and links. They share, connect, and engage with their PLNs.
2. These educators share practical ideas and resources that every teacher can explore and bring back to their classrooms.
3. Everyone on this list shares some incredible tools and resources, but they also share ideas to help teachers teach and students learn and innovate. They are not just aboutsharing the tools.
4. Everyone on this list is an innovator who is willing to try something new even at the risk of failing. They are original risk takers who learn by doing. 
5. The educators on this list model life long learning. They are passionately curious.
Who are the people in your PLN?

Here is the list of some of my favorite Twitter educators. Great follows for new and experienced educational explorers. 
  • George Couros @gcouros 
    “If students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them.”
  • Matt Miller @jmattmiller 
    “Don’t just teach a lesson, create an experience.”
  • Kasey Bell @ShakeUpLearning 
    "Cultivating a culture of communication in the classroom creates a foundation for building the other, ‘C’s:’ collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking."
  • Alice Keeler @alicekeeler 
    "The only difference between 'I'm techie' and 'I'm not techie' is the willingness to click on stuff and see what happens."
  • Tom Murray @thomascmurray 
    "Simply digitizing past practice serves little instructional purpose and ultimately leads to low levels of learning."
  • Joy Kirr @JoyKirr 
    "Coloring hair is NOT crazy. It will grow out in no time. Trying new things in the classroom that might benefit our students is NOT crazy. Some people even use the word 'innovative.'"
  • Aaron Hogan @aaron_hogan 
    "Because so much is changing so often, educators have a choice to make: change or be changed. I, for one, prefer to take an active role (as much as is possible) in that process."
  • Richard Byrne @rmbyrne 
    "With a few keystrokes and a click, students can discover new information and challenge more old information."
  • Andy Fekete @FeketeEDU 
    "We have found great value in student perspective on redesign."
  • Dave Burgess @burgessdave 
    “It’s not supposed to be easy—it’s supposed to be worth it.”
  • Josh Harris @EdTechSpec 
    "In education, no one’s crater is deeper than the classroom teacher’s crater. Their impact is profound and personal."
  • Katie Siemer @Katie_M_Ritter 
    "As tech coaches and integration specialists, it is our responsibility to act as change agents in schools and to bring teachers along on that journey with us."
  • Carrie Baughcum @HeckAwesome 
    "Your skills and your style are your skills and your style, own them. Be proud of them."
  • Dr Justin Tarte @justintarte 
    "When the student becomes the teacher, there are no limits to what s(he) can learn ..."
  • Coach Ben @cogswell_ben 
    Curiosity is a great driver. I try to build some up providing interesting content with guiding questions."
  • Jen Giffen @VirtualGiff 
    "The passion for learning fades because we choose the curriculum content over passion."
  • Adam Welcome @awelcome 
    "Talk and talk and talk and talk - and build the relationships, there is no other way!"
  • Will Richardson @willrich45 
    “Teaching is learning, and learning is the teaching.”
  • Tom Whitby @tomwhitby 
    "Teaching kids HOW to learn becomes more important than teaching them WHAT to learn when the goal is life long learning."
  • Eric Curts @ericcurts 
    During any professional development training it is important to break things up, add some variety, and most importantly have some fun and laugh."
  • Eric Sheninger @E_Sheninger 
    “I don't find the time to learn and get better. I make the time to learn and get better.”
  • Joe Sanfelippo @Joesanfelippofc 
    "Bad professional development initiatives are tied to a leader. When they leave, so does the momentum. Good professional development is participant driven and owned."
  • Trevor MacKenzie @trev_mackenzie 
    "Content isn't the starting point of inquiry, the question is."
  • Jaime Casap @jcasap 
    “Don't ask kids what they want to be when they grow up but what problems do they want to solve. This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, to what do I need to learn to be able to do that.”
  • Jeffrey Bradbury @TeacherCast 
    "I don’t believe in children.  I also don’t believe in adults.  What I do believe is that we are all amazing human beings and have the power of doing great things."
Here are a few more lists, if my 25 were not enough. 

Who am I missing from your PLN?

Next week I will share some of my favorite Educational Organizations on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Visual Creativity - Infographics and Sketchnotes

Creative Communicator
Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

In the course of my teaching career, I've tried many tools and strategies to engage students with creativity and visual learning. Despite this, I am often disappointed when many visual student projects share more text and not enough creative use of images. When images are included they often are poorly connected or they may even distract the viewer away from the learning goals.
In recent years, I've adopted two methods to help my students explore visual learning: infographics and sketchnotes. These methodologies have provided my students with new opportunities to create visually. 

Infographics - "Infographics support focused data with good design to tell a shareable story in a clear and concise manner – Three rules to great infographics: 1. compelling data, 2. rich graphics, 3. viral title. " Source

Sketchnotes - "Sketchnotes are purposeful doodling while listening to something interesting. Sketchnotes don't require high drawing skills, but do require a skill to visually synthesize and summarize via shapes, connectors, and text. Sketchnotes are as much a method of note taking as they are a form of creative expression" Source

There is no single best way to create infographics and sketchnotes. I do believe it is important to have students explore and discuss visual literacy, before having them create either infographics or sketchnotes. 
I always try to start my planning for a visual activity with a Google search to find an infographic or a sketchnote that connects to my content. I will have students analyze and discuss both the content and the design of any visual resource I discover before getting them creating.

If you are interested in having your students explore and create infographics or sketchnotes, here are a few general resources to help you get started. 
Ready to Start Creating? Explore These Creation Resources
  • Google Autodraw - Google has created this web-based tool that pairs machine learning with drawings created by talented artists. 
  • Google Slides - Google slides is much more than a slide by slide presentation tool. Google Slides include many feature-rich drawing tools and the slides can be resized as you design an infographic or create digital sketchnotes. 
  • Thinglink - Free and user-friendly digital tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image into an interactive graphic
  • - A simple infographic web tool that empowers anyone to create and share powerful visuals... no design experience needed!
  • Piktochart - A web application that helps non-designers create infographics. 
Visit this Google Doc to explore even more resources connected to visual literacy.
Have an idea or resource connected to infographics or sketchnotes? Share it in this Padlet.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Creative Communication with the Bitmoji Chrome Extension

What is Bitmoji?
Bitmoji is your own personal emoji creator. That you can use right from your keyboard! Create an expressive cartoon avatar. Choose from a growing library of moods and stickers – featuring YOU!
How can these be used?
The Bitmoji Chrome extension works directly on many websites. Bitmojis can also be downloaded and inserted into most digital resources for display or printing. The extension is also directly compatible with Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Slack, most email programs, and just about anywhere you might communicate on the web. You can insert Bitmojis as you type, or drag and drop your character into comments and posts.

Bitmoji in Education
  • Digital Badges
  • Student Projects
  • Awards
  • Feedback
  • Twitter Avatars
  • Digital or Print Classroom Signage
  • Online Posts
  • Google Docs
  • Presentations
I would not recommend that younger students use Bitmoji on their own. While most of the Bitmojis are pretty tame, there are a handful of created avatar poses that involve alcohol or mildly inappropriate suggestions.

Installing the Chrome Extension
1. Click here to access the extension in the Chrome Webstore.
2. Click on Add to Chrome and then Add extension in the pop-up.
3. The extension icon will appear in the top right of your browser window, and a sign-up screen will appear.
4. If you already have a bitmoji account you can log in. If you don't, click Sign Up with Email.
5. If you've used Bistrips in the past, you can retrieve the avatar from Facebook. Otherwise, skip this step, and you can create your avatar from scratch. Follow the onscreen instructions to create your avatar.
6. After choosing your avatar features, click on Save Avatar. (You can change your avatar and outfit at any time.)
7. Click on the bitmoji icon, and a window will open that allows you to Edit your Emoji, search by keyword, or browse the categories.
8. When you click on the Bitmoji extension icon you can drag and drop bitmojis onto compatible sites, or right-click to save them to your device, or right-click to copy / paste them.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Growing my PLN - My New Blogging Buddies Group

My PLN has been an essential resource to help me grow as both a teacher and a learner. I am always looking for new ways to connect, so I recently joined the ISTE EdTech Coaches Network Blogging Buddies to connect, collaborate, and share. 
What are Blogging Buddies?
Blogging Buddies were inspired by Jennifer Hogan's "Compelled Blogger Tribe!"
Blogging Buddies are designed to be a chance for ed tech coaches (and those tasked with helping teachers integrate technology) to connect, network and learn from other coaches via blogging. Many ed tech coaches value blogging as a form of personal growth and reflection in their practice, but don’t always receive that online feedback in the form of comments from our coaching peers that we’re hoping for. So Blogging Buddies groups will be made up of about 5 ed tech coaches bloggers who come together to commit to posting on their blog at least once a month, read one another’s blogs, comment on one another’s blogs, and share the posts with their own networks. That’s it!
Learn more and sign up to be a part of the Blogging Buddies experience here

If you have any questions, please email Katie Siemer at or add your thoughts to the comments below.
My Blogging Buddies Group
Follow all Blogging Buddies on Twitter with this Twitter list here.
Follow all Blogging Buddies with this stream on Feedly here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Critical Thinking and Formative Assessment

Resources to Support Formative Assessment in 1 to 1 Classrooms

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.- Alvin Toffler
  • Formative assessments should be part of the learning experience in all classrooms, but they are particularly important in 1 to 1 classrooms. Quick formative assessments help teachers and students connect learning goals to classroom activities. 
  • Many digital resources can help teachers and students create and engage in quick formative assessments at any time with little extra effort.
  • Good formative assessments help both the students and teachers gauge understanding and adjust teaching and learning on the fly. Formative assessments can also be fun.
  • Before creating your own assessments using any of these resources, we recommend exploring the tutorials embed in most of the resources. If you do want to jump right in, get started by searching for assessments that have already been created. (Most of these resources have a library of shared public assessments that you can copy and modify.)

Quizlet Live
Quizlet Live is an in-class, team-based learning game. Students work collaboratively to correctly match a Quizlet set of terms and definitions. Teachers can create their own Quizlets or find one in Quizlet's public collection.


A bit more teacher centered, but the students get very excited to do this. They do sometimes focus more on speed than accuracy. You can search and find existing public Kahoots that you can modify for you students.


Quizizz allows you to create & play awesome multiplayer quiz games, both in class & at home. Quizizz is similar to Kahott, but a big advantage is the option for students to complete a Quizizz assessment anywhere and at any time.


The easiest way to engage your students with videos. pick a video, add your magical touch and track your students' understanding. EdPuzzle has some excellent searchable channels and public video assessments.

Google Forms

Flubaroo or Superquiz are Google Sheets add-ons to help grade, analyze, and return assessments in traditional forms. Flubaroo | Super Quiz

Quizzes in Google Forms
Teachers can select correct answers for multiple choice and checkbox questions to reduce repetitive grading. They can also enter explanations and review materials to help students learn.

Looking for more formative tools?
Visit this Formative Assessment Google Doc to explore more formative resources.

If you have a favorite formative assessment resource or method please consider sharing in our please Formative Assessment Google+ Community.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Google - Take It With You

Transfer or Download Your School Content

Your School Account Your Stuff  Take It With You

Educational G Suite accounts are typically closed when students are no longer enrolled. This means that students who transfer or graduate no longer have access to the files and resources in G Suite. Students should either “Transfer content” or “Download data” before leaving their school.

Transfer your content from Drive and Gmail
Copy and transfer your emails and Google Drive files to a personal Google Account.

If you need help, click on the Help Icon near the top right of the screen.

2. Follow the onscreen instructions to copy and transfer your school stuff to a personal Google account.

Download your data from all G Suite products
Create an archive with a copy of your data from your school Google resources.

If you need help, click on the Help Icon near the top right of the screen.

2. Follow the onscreen instructions to create an archive of your data.