Showing posts from 2019

Free PearDeck for Teachers

Happy Friday!

I have a free premium Tech Tool for you to try over the next 3 months if you are interested. If you click  ON THIS LINK you can have access to a great tool called Pear Deck.  This is a feature that I have had a few requests about  our district purchasing.  I was at a conference a couple of weeks ago and was able to get a free trial for all the teachers in our district. Pear Deck is a great way to create easy interactive formative assessments using Google slides. You as the teacher can control the Google slides presentation for everyone in your class. You can build in interactive elements for both new slide presentations and presentations that you have already created! For a student to access your Pear Deck they click on a link and enter in a code.
HERE are some instructions to get you started.
HEREare some already created pear deck  templates
HEREare some  video tutorals to get you going

Please let me know if you have any questions

Take Care,

Top 5 Features in Google Docs

Happy Friday!
I hope that you all have had a great week.  For this week's post I wanted to highlight 5 innovative ways to use the Google Suite of Education with your students.

#5 - All changes saved in Drive -  When you create a document in Google Drive it will save all of the edits made in that document! What is even more amazing is that you can restore any edit made in the document. This is a great way for students to view the history of a written piece and be able to go back and edit and revise!

#4 -  Comments -  Inserting comments into a document is a great way to have real time conversations with a student or others on a document. To leave a comment on a document simply highlight the text that you want to leave the comment on and click on "insert" on the top and add a comment. When you leave a comment the person who owns the document will get an email saying that you left a comment


The Friday Tech Tip: Expanding the Elbert County School District 1:1 Program

Happy Friday afternoon everyone!

I hope that you are looking forward to a well deserved three day weekend.  Thanks to everyone for all of their hard work as we expand the 1:1 program.  It's pretty exciting to think about all the opportunities that our students now have with their devices.  Now, students in grades 2-12 all have their own Chromebook. More and more of our students are now taking their  devices home.  This practice is now more common in many school districts across the state.  Below is a visualization from GoGuardian that was taken today that  shows how our students are using their school issued Chromebooks.   Our students are searching, writing, completing assignments, taking part in formative assessments, and creating things that they may not be able to create without technology.   A big shoutout to all of our teachers, our tech department, media specialists, and administrators who are making this happen.
I also wanted to make you aware of the new and improved Instru…

The Last Friday Tech Tip of the Year

Happy Thursday!

This will be the last Friday Blog post for the 2019 school year. I am very proud of all the accomplishments that have happen this school year in the field of Instructional Technology. I would like to give a few shout outs to ALL of the teachers in are District who have

Gone out on a limb and tried something new this year in the classroom. Had their students CREATE using technology (Almost 200 students logged in and created Wevideos in MAY)Embraced 1:1 Technology in the classroomCreated Digital Formative assessments for their studentsUsed Google Classroom for the first timeUtilized Clever to login your studentsLearned to navigate the new website

Some Exciting things for next year

Illuminate Education -  We will have a new streamlined way to view student data. Illuminate works directly with Infinite Campus. Students can take Illuminate assessments in Google Classroom.  This decision was made based on teacher and Admin feedback about our current system. 

We're Full! - …

Tidy up you Digital Life

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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…

Where in the World??

Happy Friday!

I get asked a good bit, "Hey Clint, what got you into educational technology?"

I'm glad you asked. In 1986 I was in 4th Grade at Hollydale Elementary School in Marietta. Once a Month on Thursdays our teacher, Mrs. Duke,  checked out the Mac Cart from the library. By Mac cart I mean the one Apple computer for the entire school.  We would roll it down to her room and we would sit in alphabetical order in the floor (You guessed it, since I'm a Winter I was in the back which is a good thing because that's how I found out I needed glasses) she would then pass out the  class set of almanacs to all of us and then we would put in the giant floppy disk and play. . . . .. CARMEN SANDIEGO.... It was so much fun. . I never used an almanac in my life! I could beat Lee Broadwell in finding out that Yen was the official currency of Japan (Take that LEE).  I was engaged, I got to compete, I got to collaborate with my classmates, I got to use technology to complete …

Google MyMaps in the Classroom

Happy Friday!

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to spend some time with ECMS Social Studies Teachers in 5th - 7th grades. I thought we had some great conversations about using technology to enhance the great things that they are already doing. One of the trends that kept coming up was using Google MyMaps.  MyMaps. Mymaps is a collaborative way for students to create maps and create a story. Students can make custom maps and drop and add pins and use those pins to insert facts, pictures, videos, and land marks. Just like a Google Doc Google Mymaps is collaborative and students can work on one map at the same time.  MyMaps can be used for the following

1) Tell a story
2) Have a way for students show what they know using many different
3) Jasper Huff shared how this could be used as a way for a Formative assessment
4) A way for the teacher to pin all of the different authors, places, landforms, etc. . . throughout the year for the students to be able to view.

I have created a Wakelet with…

Extension Addons and Q

Happy Friday and Happy Read across America Day!

This past week in our Google Level 2 Certification Course we talked about Google Add On and Extensions.  This caused me to go back and start thinking about my favorite Extensions and Add-ons. To review from previous posts Extensions are programs that are added to your chrome browser and work in Google Chrome. For example, Push to Classroom is an Extension that is pushed out to all chromebooks in the District. This is an easy way for teachers to push out websites to students. Here are 2 other  Extensions that you might want to consider.

Screencastify - This is a real easy way to record your screen and your voice. You can push these screencasts to Youtube or Google Drive. A great way for students to explain something or a way for you to provide instruction and students and parents can view it On demand

Save to Google Drive - This is a great way to save things that you have found on the internet. Found a picture you like? Just click on the …

The Friday Tech Tip (Secondary Edition):

Happy Friday!

 Since we are now 1:1 in grades 6-12 Sherri, Q, Matt, Hector, Bruce and and I have gone through some recent Professional Development for Chromebook Management. Most of this is behind the scenes stuff that hopefully will mean a better experience for you and your students when using the Google Platform.  A few things that have been pushed out.

Offline Access -  We have pushed out a Google Extension so that all students at ECMS and ECCHS can access files offline easier.  Students will still need to go to Google Drive click on settings and check to sync files. This only needs to be done once. Once clicked students can access all Google Suite files offline. When the connect back to the internet it will automatically sync with their Google Drive.

Chrome Webstore -  We have created a custom webstore for our students. This means that they can only download chrome apps and extensions that have been approved by the District. Last week I sent out THIS spreadsheet and will also post …

Meaningful Learning

Happy Friday!

I was going to write today about this new feature in Google Forms called Locked Mode for Google Forms. It locks students out of all other tabs except for the Form when they take a test. It works in Google Classroom . Here is a video about it. It's great students can't cheat stay focused etc. . . Great tool and glad it is available but how does this impact student learning?

      I was going to go into detail about it UNTIL Pam Harris invited me to the  ECMS Media Center today to witness a Breakout EDU lesson with Ms. Tilley's class that she, Ms Faust, and Ms. Tilley collaborated on to make. 
 As I am writing this I see a class of about 25 students in the back of the Media Center actively engaged in  their learning for a full 45 minutes. It is very evident that Ms. Tilley, Ms. Faust, and Ms. Harris have created a top notch inquiry based game for these students. These students are inquiring, students are working collaboratively, students are using research met…

Providing Feedback

Happy Friday!

One of the things that I love most about technology in the classroom is the opportunity to give and receive real time feedback. When we think about the SAMR scale (which make us think HOW we are using the technology in our classroom are we using it for Substiutiton, Augmentation, Modification,  or Redefinition) we should be thinking about how we can use our Technology to create new tasks due to the technology.  Giving and receiving Feedback could be excellent way to move us past substitution. Here are a 4 examples of some of my favorite ways to give instant feedback

1.  Google Classroom - There are many ways to leave Feedback with Google Clasroom.  If you have comments turned on students can leave feedback on posted assignments. There are also new ways to quickly give students feed back. Here is a short 90 second video from Google EDU that talks about how to use the new features in Classroom to quickly leave feedback.

2.  Google quiz features -   Google quiz is a GREAT t…

Telling your Digital Story

Happy Friday!

One of my favorite blogs that I like to check out is Richard Byrne's blog  Freetechforteachers. In the last week or so he blogged about a new tool called Photo Center Online.  This is a way to super impose pictures on top of different back grounds.You can make it look like you are in a different place or time period!  I tried it out for myself and found it to be very useful and user friendly!  I think that this is a tool that can be used across all grade levels and it works really well with the chrome book.  I have created this screen-cast to show you how I used it.  Please let me know if you have any questions! 

Take Care, Clint

New Google Updates for 2019

Happy Friday,

I wanted to let you know about several new updates for Gsuite for Education that has taken place or soon will take place.

Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Sites -   These services will soon have a new look. Nothing will change functionally but it will probably look a little different. These have started to roll out on January 15th and will continue to roll out to all users across the world by February. Some of the things that you and your students may notice is the change in typography, controls (buttons, dialog and  sidebars). Also the icons will change a little and look "cleaner and fresher". Again, these are cosmetic changes and nothing that will affect the day to day use of these products. If you want to read more about these changes you can check out the GSuite Update Blog 

Google Classroom - Lots of great things happening in Google Classroom. It really is amazing how much it has grown and changed in the last few years! This fall Google created the "C…

New Years Resolution

Happy Friday everyone!

Seems like every time I have turned on our Television this week there are ads for New Year's Resolution. LA Fitness really wants our business. If you look at statistics New Year's resolutions rarely stick because we may bite off more than we can chew or give up as soon as we have one setback.  Often, this is also the case when trying new things with instruction. Maybe you had a bad  experience with a digital formative assessment or maybe you were frustrated when you were about to do an assignment with the chromebooks and students were not able to access it because their computers were not charged.
Here is an interesting article from Forbe's Magazine that says instead of writing a New Year's resolution take time to reflect on the last year and ask questions like when was I inspired? When did life change last year? Where do I want to be this time next year?  I think we can also take this and apply it to the classroom. When were my students the most i…