Sunday, November 23, 2014

Google Drive-Know the Power!

I Love Google Drive!
     I have just recently embraced Google drive, I mean within the last month. Therefore, I was excited to see Google drive as a topic this week, in addition to tinyurl.
First and Foremost Google Drive:
     I had been introduced to Google docs years ago, but had not embedded it in any of my classes.  This year, my children had a couple of unfortunate 'crashes' of projects on their flash drives, and that is what motivated me to embrace the Google drive.  My children are lucky, the district they attend creates a district gmail account for them, and of course a Google drive. I have been playing around with how to handle the creation, parent permission, and district policy in my class.
     Because of the experiences my children had with their flash drives, I started teaching my students how to use their Google drive as well. Before this class, our use for the Google drive was purely storage. But I am excited to embed many of the things I have learned. 
     Here is a great video for inspiration, 10 ways to use Google docs/drive in the classroom.

     If that is a little overwhelming and intimidating, here are some great YouTube channels, websites, and articles to help:

      Here is a great link to a YouTube play list of Google tutorials by Anson Alexander
   Here is a great link to a YouTube play list of Google tutorials by Karen Canfield.
    Here is a great link to an article titled "10 Things Every Teacher Should Know How to do with Google Docs."
    Here is link to a great Google Education site titled "Docs & Drive Level 2: Classroom Application.

     If you are still not convinced to use Google docs/drive, this video is very persuasive, and you may even switch from your dropbox account.

    I was very glad to be exposed to tinyurl this week.  However, at this time I don't think it will be advantageous to use in my classroom.  I am lucky to be in a lab, and connecting to preferred sites is not a challenge.

Join the drive, you will love it!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Social Bookmarking, Google Calendar, & other Organizational Tools

Wow, another week packed full of learning.
Social Bookmarking-Diigo
   I loved the organization of this tool on a personal and professional level.  I am often doing research or stumbling around the internet and find tons of ideas and resources.  Bookmarking them is a pain and unrealistic.  I have even been known to create a word document with all the links.  I have even tried 'onenote' unsuccessfully. Diigo is great. However, there is one draw back.  I am a very visual person, and the presentation is somewhat bothersome.  I hate that there is no thumbnail image, or snapshot.  I think it would help me find things, if there was an image too.
   You can use this tool with your students too.  One site, mentioned having a separate account as your student sharing account.  It definitely makes sense to have a separate account, but I am not sure I would like the management of a separate account.
Google Calendar
    How did I not know about this.  Not only do I plan on exploring the option of using this as a checkout calendar with my staff, but there are so many more applications.  It would be a great way to have a 'family' calendar.  My husband, I , and my three kids all have smart phones.  What a great way to manage a crazy family schedule. Finally, I think I will encourage my husband to use this for his club lacrosse scheduling (share with parents and players).
Other Organizational Tools
    What a great PLN our class is.  I have some great ideas, I am excited to try.
    SignUpGenius for conferences, why not?


tough choice. Click here or here for some reviews and comparisons
    Remind-easy to use! Could this be a tool for emergency contact during a crisis event?
    Alarm Clock software for your computer. I love this tool it is free, and helps us remember to save and log off for the bell.

Here is a list of sites my class shared:

Happy Organizing,

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Edmodo for Professional Development

Wow, who knew Edmodo for Professional Development! 

     Let me share my history with Edmodo.  In the past, I had heard of it, but thought I don't need it. But last spring, my district notified us that they would be adjusting, and eventually ending, their relationship with School Fusion. School Fusion was our website host, loved it! I had a website for all my hours, my students could blog, take quizzes, turn in work, .... Right away I started looking for something to replace our School Fusion functions. A colleague mentioned Edmodo.  

What is Edmodo? 
  1. Edmodo is an educational website that takes the ideas of a social network and refines them and makes it appropriate for a classroom. Using Edmodo, students and teachers can reach out to one another and connect by sharing ideas, problems, and helpful tips.
     I started this school year with Edmodo, and I have to say at first I hated it. I wanted the freedom to make my site prettier, I hated the posting format (I am not a facebooker), on and on and on...Change is difficult.

     Now I love Edmodo.  My students have their own backpack to store their items and access at home, more reliable then a flash drive. Parents have a code and can access it.  This just names a few of the pluses. 

     The best thing about Edmodo now, is the networking abilities.  I have joined some very large communities (Computer Technology & Career and Tech Education) and some smaller groups (TV Video and Movie Production). Follow this link for instructions How to Join Communities. I hope to create some phenomenal groups as well; Allison Tech help for my building, and Explorations in Technology for my content colleagues across the district.

    Don't believe me, then here is what kids say about Edmodo!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Personal Learning Networks and Twitter For Educators

what a lot of learning I encountered this week!

     Networking is not a new concept, but it is new to me with concerns to my professional self.  I never considered my collaborating with my building, district, and colleagues as networking.  Now, I not only see that as networking, I see the possibilities of networking with the world.
     I have fought social networking on a personal level for years. To this day I still do NOT have a Facebook. But a couple years ago, as my children were getting older, and I felt out of touch with my students; I created an Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter account. Pinterest of course was addicting for my crafty nature, and as my children created Instagram account owners it became my 'lurking' place. Twitter however, has just recently bloomed. We attended an inservice with Kevin Honeycutt and Wes Fryer (2 very dynamic speakers who utilize technology extensively), and my twitter knowledge and comfort was expanded.
     I have to be honest, the twitterchat process was frustrating and confusing for me. I was excited however, to make some new connections after my posts. I now see why my student's currency is in likes and follows.  It feeds the narcissism in me. The twitterchat experience became more successful when I used my computer to follow the conversation; Twubs.
    I have added a couple gadgets to my right side bar.  Here is a video on how to add a blog list (love mine) and labels. Enjoy!

    Now all I need is a couple extra planning periods everyday; to check my networks, learn from my networks, plan from my networks, grade from my networks, ......etc. I better stop, I am overwhelming myself.
    How do you juggle it all, any advice?