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?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Padlet - Engaging All Learners

Padlet is a digital bulletin board where students and teachers can post messages, collaborate, reflect, share links, share videos, and share pictures. Padlet is a great resource to support engage students in digital learning experiences.
  • Padlet has 7 different styles that you can start with, including Wall, Canvas, Stream, Grid, Shelf, Backchannel, and Map. When you create a new Padlet you have the option of previewing each one to determine which fits best for your students and any connected learning goals.
  • Padlet posts can include file uploads, links, Google searches, photos, webcam recordings, audio recordings, screencasts, drawings, map locations, or links to other Padlets.
5 Reasons Why Padlet is an Essential Tool for Today's Classroom Connected to the ISTE Standards for Students

ISTE Student Standard: Empowered LearnerStudents leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.

ISTE Student Standard: Digital Citizen Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.

ISTE Student Standard: Knowledge Constructor Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

ISTE Student Standard: Innovative Designer Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

ISTE Student Standard: Computational ThinkerStudents develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.
Problem Solver

ISTE Student Standard: Creative CommunicatorStudents communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
Authentic Audiences
ISTE Student Standard: Global Collaborator Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

What Can Padlet Do for Educators and Learners?
Padlet is a very versatile tool that can be used with both students and educators to meet a variety of learning goals. Here are a few reflective questions and ideas connected to my exploration of Padlet as a tool to support teachers and learners. 

How can Padlet be shared with colleagues?
I think I would start by doing a quick 20-minute presentation on how I use Padlet with my students, followed by 30 minutes of exploration facilitated by me and any other teachers who are already using Padlet with students. The focus would be on student voice and creative communication.
I would also include several related resources for any staff who are not sold on using Padlet for future exploration. 

How can Padlet be explored collaboratively with students?
When my students create something connected to our learning experiences, I want them to have an authentic audience. I will primarily use Padlet as a place for students to share and comment on creative digital work. Each unit will have a unique Padlet and students will be asked to share some of our creative digital work with the class.
Currently, I use tools like Flipgrid, Adobe Spark Video,  and Screencastify with students to create recordings connected to our classroom activities. Padlet can be another tool that we can use to record student's voices and create screencasts connected to different learning processes. 

How can Padlet be used to promote digital citizenship and empower student learning?
ISTE Student Standard - Digital Citizen: Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
Padlet is a great tool to help students collaborate and communicate in a digital learning environment. Students can share digital creations and then comment on each other’s work. The backchannel options is a great place to host a digital backchannel during a learning experience. Students and teachers can work together to refine digital communication skills in collaborative Padlets connected to classroom content and objectives.

I really like the versatility of Padlet and I think it is a great tool to empower student engagement. The different options for posts can easily be connected to student choice. Students can share ideas and create responses in a variety of ways including text, visuals, video, and audio. Padlets can also be used to be students to create digital portfolios.

How can Padlet transform work with colleagues?
Padlet is a great way to create an archive of professional development activities. Educators can share ideas and ask questions as they explore resources to support learners. 
Padlet can also be a great tool to share resources. An individual educator can create and share a Padlet of resources or a Padlet can be opened up to an entire PLN to share and collaborate.

Which ISTE Standards can be connected to Padlet?
The versatility of Padlet makes it a tool that can be adapted for almost every ISTE Standard, but I would start by focusing on the communication and collaboration standards. 
ISTE Standards for Students - 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.
ISTE Standards for Students - Global Collaborator: Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
ISTE Standards for Educators - Collaborator: Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems.

What questions do you have about Padlet? How do you or could you use Padlet in your role? 

How about modeling how Padlet supports collaborative engagement by posting your questions and ideas in this Padlet?

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