Learning moment for me yesterday. It all started with this text message on my phone: “I figured out how to print comments from a google doc and I am crying tears of joy”. This came from one of our Humanities teachers, Steph Nichols. Of course, we connected to talk through the process that she discovered.
The Back Story
Every year, some of our teachers have to submit Internal Assessments for IB in order for our IB students to be assessed. In many cases, the IB program needs to see evidence of the feedback that the teacher has provided the student on their internal assessment. Our students and teachers use Google docs with the commenting feature. BUT, one of the major issues with printing a google doc is that you can’t print comments with it.
Well, obviously this is not helpful. I asked Steph Nichols what she has done in the past. She indicated she would:
Print the Google Doc
Re-hand write the comments that were already provided on the google doc
Scan the document with written annotations and send to self to add in Google Drive
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.
One positive thing that has come out of our pandemic is the fact that both teachers and students are enhancing their skillset when it comes to technology. One such example happened last week with our students who are in the DECA club. Each year, students from the club participate in state competitions. It has always been a big deal to participate in a 2.5 day conference. Just like everything else, the conference had to be virtual this year. The conference competion had to be reimagined. Once the DECA advisors, Mrs. Wilczewski and Mrs. Doyle, learned the rules and guidelines for participating in this years conference, we got together to problem solve how students were going to meet the requirements in the most efficient way possible.
Here were the requirements/guidelines…
Students had submit a video of their competition
The video has been submitted via YouTube
The video could not be publicly listed
In team competitions, both students had to appear in the video at the same time
Students had to submit and create their video within a short period of time
This past week, I had the pleasure of participating in a recorded Google Meet roundtable with two colleagues, Jon Greiner (mathematics teacher) and Steph Nichols (humanities teacher). The purpose of the conversation was to talk about how they have been using Jamboard with their students during remote and in-person teaching. From the conversation, one can easily discover that teachers are truly trying to create learning experiences that mimic in person learning as best as possible. From the examples shared, students are encouraged to collaborate with one another remotely. Jamboard has been a great platform to help with this task.
Below are some pro-teacher tips when using Jamboard with your lessons.
Jon Greiner was asking students to determine if triangles could be formed based on the three side lengths given. Students would drag an example in the chart, followed by dragging the answer. When Jon creates his activities, he always make sure that there are more choices to choose from.
The pro-tip? Create the table in a Google Doc first. Then take the screen shot of that graph and insert the screenshot into the Jamboard with the insert image feature. Jon also customizes the height of each cell to fit the hight of each sticky so that the stickies fit the table.
We have made to it Day 10. I truly enjoy doing this each year. There is so much information out there. Lots of changes. My hope is that you were able to take some new knowledge back with you over the past two weeks from these bit sized learning opportunities.
Our district decided to go the route of Google Meets for all remote instruction. Meets sure has seen big changes over the past few months. While there is still room for improvement, teachers over all in our district has been happy with the enhancements that have been added.
Just this week, Google announced that they are adding Captions for languages beyond English. Students will have the ability to turn on captions under the settings gear of their Google Meet. There is also indication that once a setting is set, it will remember the language that was chosen. This is a user setting, so a teacher cannot force this on the student.