01.03.2017

HyperDocs (Instructional Technology)

 

What is a HyperDoc?

HyperDocs are a way to house multimedia sources in one place for your students. Typically, HyperDocs contain links, images, or videos, or a combination. My favorite aspect of HyperDocs is that we can allow our students to have more CHOICE and COLLABORATION in their assignments in a much easier way than we could have before HyperDocs. 

HyperDoc “Must-Haves”

HyperDocs MUST have a few key elements to avoid being a glorified worksheet your students complete on a Chromebook. An easy way to guide your development of a HyperDoc is to consider…

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01.03.2017

Padlet (Instructional Technology)

Padlet is a tool that teachers can use in a hundred million different ways- that’s a lot, I know! Here are three different ways you could use Padlet in your classroom right now! 

  1. As a Resource Hub
  2. Self-Paced To-Do List
  3. Discussion Board

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12.18.2016

Needs Assessment (Coaching Advice)

When beginning your journey as an Instructional Technology Coach (or anytime you are coaching a new group of people), it is imperative to assess your colleague’s needs. One thing we, as educators, can agree on is that not all Professional Development (PD) is relevant to our immediate needs. A couple surveys before your first workshop can greatly influence the receptiveness of your colleagues to your ideas. In my experience, I began coaching my fellow teachers (of three years). Wh ile I knew my fellow teachers very well (we’re a small faculty of about 45) and had developed a relationship with most, I still felt the need to reach out with a survey, not only to get a peek into their minds, but also to let them know that I care about their wants and their needs. 

I (along with some of my colleagues) developed two surveys that I think will help you gain a vast amount of insight.

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12.12.2016

Embedded Table of Contents (Teacher Websites)

An embedded Table of Contents has been a game-changer in my Interactive Notebook World. This may sound dramatic, but GONE are the days of me printing and re-printing (and, then, re-printing again) mounds of copies of random IN pages and sitting with students during my planning to catch up their missing pages. Absolutely gone! Now, my students go to my website and print missing pages off themselves on their own time. #Accountability 

I chose to embed my Table of Contents rather than making it directly into my website portal because of the simplicity of Google Slides. I made my ToC in Google Slides because it’s much easier to edit, and I don’t have to do as much clicking to get to it. Ain’t nobody got time for extra clicking around!

To keep my ToC up-to-date, I type my entries and then hyperlink the assignment name to the document (image, pdf, answer key, etc.). Hyperlinks are key to making this your game-changer. This may sound like more work than you want to do upfront, but it’s a lot less time than re-printing and copying those random pages and guiding students through their INs. I use the Scannable App to quickly upload a picture (which it converts to pdf) to my Google Drive, which gives me the link to add to my Table of Contents. This definitely increases my workflow with adding links! {Another tip to linking is a keyboard shortcut: in Drive, click on the file (until it’s blue) and press the “period” key to open your Share Settings.}

The link above will lead you to a tutorial video I made for my fellow teachers that will take you step-by-step in embedding your Table of Contents. 

Happy Embedding! 

11.30.2016

Sending anything Google through Remind App (Instructional Technology)

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I cannot explain my enthusiasm for this discovery. Seriously, I felt like I found a loophole- and who doesn’t love a loophole?! Here’s how this came about…

I gave a test and it went terribly. Basically, technology failed me, and the test I gave didn’t update (I may or may not have pressed “save”). It was awful- the test was invalid. <insert panic-mode here> We needed a retest right away. Because I have lots of supportive parents, I needed to get this information out to them as soon as possible– like… before the kids had a chance to text them that they failed the test!

As you probably know, Remind notifications have a text limit because it arrives as a text message. For this instance, I needed to send more of a “letter” with hyperlinked resources than a short “text”. I went to my go-to: Google Slides (BTW- I’m addicted to Slides). There, I wrote my letter, added hyperlinks for resources, and made it pretty. Then I used the Google Share Settings to add the link to my Remind text! It worked! Voila! Parents (and students) received my message about the retest before the buses left the middle school! #Success 

The link above is a step-by-step guide displaying how to send your Google product through the Remind App 🙂

Happy Reminding!

11.30.2016

OneTab Chrome Extension (Instructional Technology)

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My new FAVORITE Chrome Extension is…drumroll, please…OneTab!
Here’s what it does: OneTab converts all of your open tabs to a list. You can, then, name the list and share the list. You can have multiple lists going in your OneTab list to keep it separate and organized.

How I use it: I know you can think of a million reasons this is useful for your own personal organization, so I’ll just share how I use it with my students. Basically, I share groups of website links with OneTab through Google Classroom.

For example, if I need my students to do research, but want to limit the websites they’re using, I’ll share the list I’ve created with OneTab. Another example is to give my students a list of YouTube videos to choose from to gain the information. You know our students love to make their own choices! The third way that I’ve used OneTab with my students is when we had a project that had multiple links they needed to visit (padlet, wiki, etc.). It’s just an easy (and organized) way to share a list of links with your students!

The How-to-Guide takes you step-by-step through using OneTab to share links with your students through Google Classroom.

Happy Sharing!

11.29.2016

Gaining Efficiency with Gmail Groups (Instructional Technology)

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Organize your contacts into groups you use often in Gmail. My technology workshops are geared towards all content teachers, but I also had to schedule workshops for our SpEd teachers. My inclusion SpEd teachers and my self-contained SpEd teachers had different planning periods, making scheduling our workshops challenging. I was able to maximize efficiency when I discovered Gmail Contact Groups!
I made separate groups for my teachers. Contacts can be added to multiple groups, so I’m able to have all sorts of groups! I have one for all teachers, separate teams of teachers, SpEd Inclusion, SpEd Self-Contained, etc.

These groups also carry over to Google Calendar…YAY! Major time-saver. I can create events and add guests by groups. Gmail will also allow me to send them notifications if I make changes to the events.

The How-to-Guide is something I made for our SpEd teachers, who have to schedule IEP Meetings, our counselor, who schedules 504 and Attendance Meetings, our secretary, and our para who helps us with ISS, who gathers work for ISS students. The links go to screencasts which can help give you a visual 🙂

 

Happy Grouping!

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