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Tidy up you Digital Life

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It is hard to believe that the 2018-2019 school year is over for our students in a couple of weeks. Last week I blogged about some end of the year activities that you and your students may want to try. This week I would like to share a few things that we all  need to visit to finish up our school year and get ready for the next. There are some easy ways to "Tidy UP".



1) Archive all of your Google Classroom Classes -  By archiving your Google Classes it will remove those classes from your Classroom dashboard. Also, it will remove the classes from your students dashboard as well.  It may be confusing for our students if they see both presesent and past classes on their Dashboard.  When you archive a class you are not deleting or losing that class.  You can "Reuse post or Reuse assignment" and post the assignment in future classes. Also, all of the student submissions still live in your Google Drive. It is even organized for you! Next year you will be able to create …

End of the Year Activities

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Happy Friday!

As the school year closes there are lots of great ways that your students can digitally reflect upon their year. Not only do they have the ability to reflect but they also can create and share their knowledge with students who may be entering their class next year!




FlipGrid -  Have your current students use FlipGrid to discuss their greatest achievement for the year OR advice for new students who will be entering their grade

Wevideo - Middle School and High School students can create tutorials that can be used for next year's class

Google Sites -  Students (or a group of students) can create a Google Site as a portfolio to take with them for the next school year.


Finally, this is not a reflection piece, it's just pretty amazing.



Poem Portrait - I just read about this today! It is very interesting.  Poem Portrait is part of Google Arts and Culture. You enter one word and take a selfie (using the camera on the chromebook)  and Artificial Intelligence creates a poem th…

Are We Going All in For Our Students?

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Have you been watching Jeopardy lately?  James Holzhauer, a Professional Sports gambler, has crossed the Million Dollar mark in an epic run.   I'm a huge triva nerd and it has been amazing to watch him win. Well, not just win, absolutely obliterate his competition. He always starts with the hardest questions first then begins a strategic search for Daily Doubles, which when he finds he usually doubles his winnings. He's also a walking Wikipedia. It's amazing how well rounded his knowledge is. He has stated that his weakness is Pop Culture and television but he has been killing  that  as well. He says that he studies and researches non stop. . . . The Atlantic  claims that before James became a father he was studying 30-70 hours a day. It is paying off and paying off big time.  It's amazing to watch. I just feel bad for people, like me, who probably have been waiting their whole life to be on Jeopardy and get to say, "What is Smokey and the Bandit" or "Wh…

Using Video in the Classroom

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Happy Thursday!
We have tomorrow off so I thought I would go ahead and create my blog post today. Did you know that Youtube is now the number 2 search engine in the United States?

My son and I are playing Lego Avengers.  We have a deal at home  and if he keeps up his end of the deal we play Lego Avengers  for 20 minutes before bedtime a couple of nights a week. We had the hardest time getting  past this one level. The Hulk has to go underwater and ride a crab then use the crab to trigger a crane that breaks through a underwater power generator?! It sounds so strange typing it BUT if you played it with a 7 year old it gets  way weirder and more frustrating. Anyhow when we were really frustrated Ty said, "Come on dad get out your phone and look it up on Youtube".  We did and with the help of a  video from a teenager in  Australia we found out what to do. It took all of  3 minutes. It is mind blowing to think that we had instant access and knowledge from  a kid, thousands of mi…

Updates coming to the Google Suite of Education

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Happy Friday!

There are lots of updates that were announced at the #Googlenext Conference this week.  For this week's Friday Tech Tip I wanted to focus on Two of them that I thought were really great!  These updates should show up in Elbert County School District in the next couple of week.  I have created links to the directions on how to use them.


You can now import audio into your Google Slides! How awesome is that? I'm asked about this all the time and  people were often not happy about this because that was there favorite feature in Powerpoint. Now I can say "Yep, you sure can, check out my presentation on that topic to the sweet sounds of Huey Lewis and the News"  Just kidding, I wouldn't do that to you.  Or would I?  But, we now can have a way to add audio to our slides. There are lots of places to find royalty free music.  One of my favorites is the Free Music Archive.  You can format the sound to  loop, change the volume, and add sound icons. Another acti…

The Spring Break Edition

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Happy Thursday!

Last year around Spring Break I talked about the importance of unplugging. Again, I encourage all of you reading this to take a couple of minutes around Spring Break and ask yourself "Am I being intentional with my technology? Am I creating spaces for my students where they are using technology intentionally?" It is sometimes a struggle for my family.

   We cut the chord at my house about a month ago in an attempt to be more intentional about how and why we use devices in our house.  We still have a television but we have decided to go with a streaming service  and get far far fewer television channels.  Because he is a kid and he has ninja/ Russian hacker technology  skills  my 1st Grade son was sneaky and found a way (and I kid you not) to watch 1970s era Popeye cartoons. It drives me and Allyson  absolutely up the wall. I mean, I'm proud of him but it drives me crazy for a couple of reasons.

1) Look, I'm Sorry, 1970s Popeye is no where as good as o…

Redfining with Video

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Happy Friday!
In the last couple of years in the Elbert County School District we have been talking about the SAMR model to purposely align Technology with our learning outcomes. If you are new to SAMR  SAMR stands for (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition).   We usually talk about how a big focus is to get beyond substitution. In my opinion when our  students are creating the same thing using technology that they could do without technology then I reflect and ask myself "what's the point?" I strongly believe that technology offers us the chance to create new things, get instant feedback, and better align what we are teaching to our students learning styles. 
I'm also often asked if the point is always to get to Redefinition with my learning tasks. My answer to that is to make sure that our technology enhances and transforms our learning goals.

We are very fortunate to now have WeVideo in our School District. All students who have 1:1 devices an…