Yes to a Portable Monitor

Teachers sure have had to adapt quickly during this pandemic. Just the logistics alone. Never thought it would ever be a thing in my lifetime where a teacher would be required to teach students remotely or through a hybrid setting. I give them lots of praise for all that they have been able to accomplish. It isn’t easy. 

Teaching 25-30 students on an 11 inch screen is just not enough real-estate when you have to talk to students, share a screen, do attendance, check email etc. I could go on and on and on. We also knew that there probably would be times where teachers had to teach from home. We wanted the flexibility of teachers being able to have a second monitor where ever they were (our teachers also don’t have their own classrooms). 

We wanted to get teachers a monitor. However, we wanted to think different. We wanted to think 3-5 years from now and didn’t want to just buy the first monitor that we found. We wanted to think different. After doing some research, we decided we should purchase portable monitors that could be easily set up in any setting, instead of getting a desktop monitor that would only live in the classroom. The model that we purchased was: AOC e1659FWU 16″ LED USB Powered Portable Monitor with
case.

Continue reading “Yes to a Portable Monitor”

One Question Inquiry Followed by Immediate Results

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Over the past school year, our administration has asked staff to provide their thoughts about particular topics. In order to collect the data, Mr. Jozokos (our Assistant Principal, now Principal) would send out a Google Form that only had one question in it. Right to the point…asking our thoughts through a multiple choice question.

He designed these Google Forms with a purpose. He wanted to get the appropriate feedback. Kept the forms short, sweet, and to the point; only encouraging more staff to complete it. But the best part was that he always turned on the feature that allowed people who have answered the form to see immediate results at that point. In other words, if I were to answer the one question and then hit the submit button, I had an option to click on a link that says see summary results.

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Teacher Tip – Flippity: On the Fly vs. Planned Groups

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There are many elements to my job that I absolutely love. Today was another reminder! Seeing as though I help support curriculum in the classrooms, I am able to observe great teaching strategies from the high school staff. We all do great things and have great skills that are unique to us as an individual.

Continue reading “Teacher Tip – Flippity: On the Fly vs. Planned Groups”

Curate Images with DriveSlides

DriveSlides is a chrome extension that was created by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler to help get images into one place, more specifically into a Slides presentation. Below, I have provided an explanation of how the extension works as well as given a couple of examples in how this tool can be implemented.

How the extension works:

  • Curate all images into a folder in your Drive
  • Be sure to open said folder showing the list of all images
  • Select the chrome extension DriveSlides
  • Automatically, the extension will curate all of the images in the folder and place each one on its own slide in one Google Slide presentation. You will notice that the Slide presentation is located in the same folder as the images for further access.
You really cannot ask for a simpler process in getting images into one place. Alice Keeler is all about helping educators (and students) be more efficient with their time.
DriveSlides Examples
Curating Pics for Staff Slideshow
On our first staff day for the school year, it is tradition to watch a slideshow of staff experiences over the summer. Here staff can celebrate marriages, highlight family outings, and/or share new experiences. In past years, staff photos were curated in different ways:
  • Staff would email individual photos to the person who was creating the slide presentation. You could image the number of emails that this person must have received. Then to only download each picture to their desktop, followed by inserting the downloaded image into a Google Slide presentation.
  • Staff would add their own pictures to a shared Google Slide presentation. You could image that this is not as fun as staff could see what others had imported prior to the first staff meeting showing.  
This past year, Mrs. Croft, created a Google Form and asked one simple question. Upload your photo. She allowed staff to fill out this form as much as they wanted. Because of the way the ‘File Upload’ question works in Google Forms, a folder is automatically created in Google Drive. Here, Mrs. Croft was able to open up the folder and use DriveSlides to automatically move all the images into a Google Slide presentation. From there, she was able to move slides around, add text to some slides, as well as insert her own slides to create title slides. DriveSlides, saved her a lot of time.

Note: With the ‘File Upload’ option in Google Forms, participants filling out the form must be signed in with their Google account in order to submit a file to you.

Google Classroom Assignment
With the design of how Google Classroom has been created on the backend, DriveSlides works perfectly. To help with organizing files, for every assignment that is created in Google Classroom, a folder is made. Thus, if you ever have students turn in an image, such as:
  • photos taken for photography class
  • screenshots showing graph created in Desmos
  • picture of written work from webcam on Chromebook
you can use DriveSlides to curate them all in one Slide presentation.

Once you open an assignment in Google Classroom, you will find a folder icon above all of the files turned in. You would select this folder icon to then view all images uploaded in the folder view. This would allow you to then use DriveSlides.

You might say, well why do I need all student work from the class in one slide presentation. Maybe you

  • want a way for students to collaborate and provide feedback on each piece of work. With the appropriate sharing permissions (anyone with the link can edit), you can allow all students in the class edit that one Google Slide presentation and provide feedback/add content.
  • want an easy way to show what the overall class thought process was like after the lesson
  • want an easy way to share student learning with administration
The possibilities are endless with this chrome extension. If you are interested in learning more about how you can use this extension with your curriculum, you know where to find me. 
And that is my spiel…

Using & Sharing G-Suite Templates

Let’s face it…there are times where you are not interested in creating something from scratch or you do not want your students to have to either. You just want to be able to use a template that has already been made. Why reinvent the wheel? Well, Google Drive has some templates that you can choose from. The question you might ask is, “Well, how can I find templates for docs, slides, forms, etc.”

If you are in the Google Drive tab, you will notice that when you go to create a new document, by selecting the new button, you are not prompted with an option to create a document from a template.

Instead, you will want to actually be on the landing page of the type of file that you are looking to use a template. For example, if you are looking for students to compose a letter or write newsletter for an assignment, you might have them go to the landing page of Google Docs (docs.google.com) OR select the docs icon in the top right waffle icon.

By doing this, not only will you find Google Docs that you have in your drive, you will also find some templates that have already been created for anyone to use and alter. Even if you do not like what is provided, the templates will give you an idea of how one has created them. This might give you some inspiration on how you can design some of your files moving forward. This might also give you some inspiration to share your own templates with your school domain.

Finding a Template

One row of templates are located at the top.

By selecting the word TEMPLATE GALLERY, you will find more options to choose from.

Select the one that you are interested in and away you go.

Providing a Template for Your School Domain
You have the ability to add a template for your school domain as well. Once you are in the template gallery, select your school district tab. Then follow the steps to submitting a template.

Recommended Templates for Teachers

Google Forms has a couple of templates that can help teachers get started: Exit Ticket and Course Evaluation.

Of course, if you have any questions, you know where to find me.

And that is my Spiel…