Electronic Verbal Feedback w/ Read & Write

Last month, a colleague of mine, Donna Dennis shared with me an efficient way for a teacher to give electronic verbal feedback on student work. She was introduced to this idea at the Christa McAuliffe Tech Conference, I think it came from Jenn Judkins. I thought it was a very clever idea and wanted to share.

Instructions on how to get things set up and actually record comments can be found below in the Google Drawing below. However, in order to access the links provided in the Google Drawing, you will want to click HERE. In order to use this process, you must be using Chrome as well as the Read & Write chrome extension.

What I appreciate most about this process is that students do not need access to a separate account (through an add on, chrome extension, or google app). Only the teacher needs access to Read & Write to leave electronic verbal comments in a students’ Google Document. I also appreciate the fact that Read & Write will give an educator a free account if they do not currently have an account. Not only is the process extremely simple, it also forces the teacher to provide quick, short feedback as the default to voice comments is a minute or less. Just as we ask our students to think about their thoughts, it forces teachers to also do the same.

All voice comments that you leave can be found in a folder in your drive called “My Voice Notes”. Read & Write organizes these all for you.

When a student wants to play a recorded comment, they select the link provided and listen to the comment in a separate window.

Of course, if you have any questions or want me to work with you to get things set up, you know where to find me.

And that is my spiel…

Supporting Students through Appointment Slots

A year ago, I wrote a blog post on how you could set up appointment slots in Google Calendar for people to sign up to reserve a time. This is a helpful process as it automatically shows up in your calendar. This feature can be used for many purposes, such as student conferencing and/or presentation time slots.

Well this year, I have a follow up to that blog post. This year, a humanities team decided to give their students an opportunity to choose what they wanted to learn, during a particular unit, and showcase to the rest of the class. Of course there were parameters as the learning had to be tied to an essential question.
Krystin Cooney and Jess Hatzidakis asked both the librarian (Jess Gilcreast) and I if we would be willing to help out their students when it came time for researching and finding the ‘right’ tool to showcase their work. Of course, we said yes! They clearly stated that they were not looking for Gilcreast and I to put together a presentation to the whole class. Instead, they wanted students to sign up for a time slot to meet with either of us to talk more specifics about their project. To be honest, Gilcreast and I thought that this was brilliant, especially since students had choice in what and how they were presenting to the class. Both the students and Gilcreast and I got more out of the conversation than if we spoke in front of the whole class. This is something that I hope to continue doing in the near future for other classes.
Process for Creating Appointment Slots
  • Krystin and Jess sent Gilcreast and I a couple of dates to choose from to be available to come into class. Gilcreast attended class a week prior to me seeing as though she was helping the students with research questions. I showed up the following week to help answer questions on putting ideas together.
  • Jess Hatzidakis then created the appointment slots for students to choose from. Want instructions on how to do this? CLICK HERE These appointment slots were created under her account. We had talked about how Jess Gilcreast and I could each create our own appointment slots but the teachers wanted to make it easier for the students to sign up and only have to look through one calendar. – Very smart thinking on her part!
  • Once a student signed up for a time slot, Jess Hatzidakis went into the calendar event and added either Gilcreast or myself to the appointment, depending on whether it was for research or type of tool question. I would then accept the invite and it showed up in my own calendar. The nice thing about appointment slots is that Google automatically adds the person who is requesting the time slot to the title. Very handy!
This image shows what my calendar looked like from students signing up. I just marked off in my calendar to be available from 11:00 – 2:30 for my own purposes. You will notice I had a meeting with 4 different student groups (12:10pm, 12:20 pm, 12:40 pm and 1:30 pm). I choose this mode so that you did not see student names associated to the calendar. This method was great as I knew exactly who I was helping prior to going to the classroom.
If you have any questions on how you can use this method in your classes, you know where to find me.
And that is my spiel…

New Year – Reflection and Being Present

So I am going to be one of those people who adds their own thoughts about the new year and moving forward. Here is my top five list.

Reflection – can be an important and valuable thing – and I have found myself doing this a lot more lately, which is a GREAT THING.

What have I been reflecting on you might ask?

1. Being creative and innovative – now that we no longer new to #GSuite I am constantly trying to find ways of being more creative with the tool. One of those is how I am delivering professional development for the staff. This year, the librarian and I have created our own badge system (with inspiration from others) to help encourage our staff to take their learning to the next level with a combination of Google Classroom and Google Sheets. How can we continue to push the envelope and take things to the next level? Can’t wait to find out!

2. Learning from peers – Last month we had some visitors come to Bedford High School to see how technology is integrated into classes. While this has not been the first time we have had visitors, I decided to stay with the visitors during the classroom visits this time around. Even though I know what tools our staff use in the classrooms, I still found myself learning a trick or tip from them. If I had not of stayed in the class, I would have missed these great moments. This is why I am now going to make an effort to carve out some time during my schedule at least twice a month to visit some classes and see how teachers are in fact using the tools that are at their disposal. We all do great things, we all can learn from one another, and I look forward to seeing what cool things I will discover from others.

3. #Observeme – This concept connects with bullet 2 on learning from others. This concept was shared with me last month where staff members encourage their peers to observe their lesson to either help give feedback or share something new that is being implemented into the classroom. This is something that I hope to implement either in the classroom or during teacher trainings that I give. To learn more about this concept, check out the twitter hashtag.

4. Virtual Reality – When you turn on the TV you see more and more people talking about the new direction we are going (or already in) in – and it is called Virtual Reality. What does VR look like in the education setting – beyond just being submersed in a 360 movie? How can students create their own VR project? These are great questions that I look forward to diving into.

5. Living in the Moment – Over vacation break, the video “This is exactly what’s wrong with this generation” was shared multiple times on my social media feeds. I decided to actually watch it (even though it was 15 mins long) and realized that this video does not just pertain to millennials. This video pertains to everyone that uses mobile devices. While watching, I found that I could relate with checking my phone at times that I shouldn’t.  While I am not addicted to being on social media, I know that I can cut down my use. I want to live more in the moment.  This video is another great reminder that we need to help support our students handle their mobile devices.

Of course, these are not the only items that I will focus on throughout 2017…they just happen to be on my mind at this time.

At that is my spiel…