Application Status: Submitted!
On Wednesday morning, I submitted my application to the Google Innovator Academy that will take place in July in Venice, California. This isn't my first time applying to Innovator (I've applied twice previously) but I feel like I was the best prepared for this application period.
This time around, instead of trying to come up with a solution to a problem, applicants were asked to explain a problem we see in education and why you're the best person to solve this problem. My focus is on English Learners (ELs) and Long Term English Learners (LTELs). An LTEL is an EL student who's been in the U.S. for 6 years or longer but still is not proficient in the English Language. This is a group I've become quite passionate about because I've seen how the power of language can completely change a student's life path. And sadly, I've seen how the lack of language acquisition can lead students down a very negative path. I am extremely passionate about this topic and would love the opportunity to explore solutions at #googleei
With the problem on the forefront of my mind as well as many educators, I'm excited to have submitted for #LAX18 #googleei
If you'd like to check out my submission video, click here or see below! I'd love your comments and feedback!
Flipgrid is one of the hottest new apps around! It's easily one of my favorites as it is such an intuitive tool to use for both teachers and students. It's one of the easiest and fastest ways to empower student voice in the classroom. I am so proud that I got to share #flipgridfever with hundreds (this may not be an exact number) of educators at #CUE18 in Palm Springs. It was so much fun to share the limelight with Ann Kozma (@annkozma723) and Lucretia Anton (@lantonha). Also I was honored to meet Adam Parker Goldberg (@adamshortshorts) and Joey Taralson (@taralson) at #CUE18 this year too. And to then to become a Flipgrid Ambassador, I think that made March the best month yet!
And with all that, I've definitely got the fever. #FlipgridFever #morecowbell
I can't WAIT to attend #flipgridlive in late July to hang with all the other amazing ambassadors.
I first heard about Seesaw a few years ago when I was at CUE 2016. My husband (an elementary PE teacher) was there with me and while he'd heard of other teachers using Seesaw, he was really impressed after talking to the rep. I unfortunately was slow to listen! I explored it a little over a year later when I was helping at the #K2CanToo2 at Cal State Fullerton. Seeing it from a student perspective and how easy it was to use, I knew I had to roll this out to my teachers this school year. Below are some resources that I curated to help support my teachers begin using it. I've worked closely with two 2nd grade classes and four middle school classes to push Seesaw out this year. My plan is to encourage more teachers to begin using Seesaw this school year and next school year as it's such a powerful tool to showcase student learning and increase parental involvement.
Hyperdocs are a great way to increase engagement using technology and completely changing lesson design. Check out the resources below to learn more!
As you may or may not know, next week is Hour of Code. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community effort.
Starting Monday, the student homepage (tech.ltusd.org) will include a page for Hour of Code. While you may not be interested in officially completing an hour of coding during the week, I'd highly recommend allowing your students to explore the coding activities. Coding helps to nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. The activities are organized by grade level (from pre-readers to 8th) to make it easy for them to select their level.
If you're planning on hosting an Hour of Code in your classroom, please let me know as I'd love to pop in and take pictures of the students coding.
If you'd like to see some of the coding activities or try them out yourself, check out this link:
Check out the interactive slide deck for some Innovative Tools to try out with your students this year. Your students are sure to be engaged in the 4 C's with all of these tools!
In order to support my teachers getting started with technology, I created this interactive slidedeck with all the online programs the district purchases and supports. I also wanted to showcase an advanced way to use Google Slides.
Awhile back on #TOSAChat I had to pair up all the people who wanted to have a blogging buddy to assist with their blog challenge. I wanted a tool that would partner people up randomly so my search began. I found an amazing tool when I found flippity! To partner people, I used Flippity's random name generator for this project but there is so much more you can do with it and it's so simple to use!
To use the random name generator, I clicked template, then it forced me to make a copy in my Google Drive. This is what opened:
You can see that you need to enter in the names of students in Column A, being sure to NOT change the blue cells. To view the link, you click the tab at the bottom of the page, titled "Get the Link Here."
Before you can view the link, you need to publish the sheet! Click file, then publish to the web. Once you publish the sheet, click the link and check out all the options!
You can see you have 12 options just from the original link! And what's even cooler is that if you need to adjust teams or partners, you can! Simply click one you want to switch, then click the other name you want to change it with.
This is a great way to mix up groups and create partners that may or not pick each other. What other uses could you find for this?
Lastly, after seeing all the new Flippity options, I think I'm going to try out the badge tracker next. Or wait, maybe the certificate quiz, or maybe the progress indicator. Shoot! I want to try them all!
Several weeks ago eight of us created a twitter handle to help teachers using GAFE (Google Apps for Education) products. It all began because we'd noticed that educators would ask GAFE questions, use hashtags, tag people, only to have their questions left unanswered. While all of us are GAFE users, some of us are Google Educators, Google Trainers and even Google Innovators. What's so amazing is that between the 8 of us, we have a wide variety of experience and knowledge to answer most questions. But what's even better is that we don't answer all the questions because other #gafehelp followers chime in if they know. What a great community we're seeing build before our eyes.
This handle (@GAFEhelp) and hashtag (#gafehelp) has exploded which tells me that we're filling a need. All eight of us are advocates of servant leadership. And I think this project (someone called it a passion project after we were asked if it was a Google EI project) is one of the most fun projects I've ever been a part of. For the last few weeks, we've received awesome feedback. And getting feedback from other users like below, is another reason to keep it up.
So if you have any GAFE questions, please don't hesitate to tweet us! We're here to help.
How May We GAFEhelp You?
Do you use Google Apps for Education (GAFE)? Are you a connected educator on Twitter? (And if you are not, then why not? But that is another conversation to have later.) Have you ever had a question about GAFE and so you Tweet it out only for it to get lost in the abyss of Twitter and never get a response? Or if you do get a response, it is completely random and really doesn’t help?
Well, we hope this will be a solution to that dilemma. We would like to introduce to you a new Twitter account, @GAFEhelp.
Eight GAFE using educators connected on Twitter and have teamed up to manage this new handle. Our goal is to be a resource to other GAFE using teachers and help provide a quick answer to any type of GAFE related question you may need help with.
In addition to this new Twitter account, we will be using the hashtag #GAFEhelp to also facilitate communication of any questions that may be out there.
We don’t see ourselves as experts, but just a group knowledgeable teachers wanting to help provide answers to your questions. If we don’t know an answer, we will try to help you research a solution and provide resources to help you get going in the right direction.
So if you need help with Google Apps, just tweet us @GAFEhelp and/or use the hashtag #GAFEhelp. So, How may we GAFEhelp you?
Meet the GAFEhelp Team:
Justin Birckbichler (@Mr_B_Teacher) - 4th grade teacher in Virginia. Teaches with 1:1 Chromebooks. Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer.
Ben Cogswell (@cogswell_ben) - TK-6th Educational Technology TOSA in Salinas, CA. Google Educator Level 1 and 2. 1:1 iPads & Dell Venues implementing GAFE in 12 schools with 380+ teachers.
Sean Fahey (@SEANJFAHEY) - 4th grade teacher in Indiana at a Google Apps for Education School. Teaches with 1:1 ChromeBooks.
Ari Flewelling (@EdTechAri) - Staff Development Specialist (Technology Integration and 1:1 Support), Google Certified Trainer & Innovator, CUE Affiliate President
Kelly Martin (@kmartintahoe) - K-8 Educational Technology and Curriculum Coordinator in South Lake Tahoe, California. Google Educator Level 1 and 2. Supports 60+ teachers and 1600 students in 1:1 chromebook environments in grades 3-12.
Karly Moura (@KarlyMoura) - Instructional Coach & Educational Technology Support Teacher in California. Supports educators in a Google Apps for Education school teaching with chromebooks and ipads.
Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino) - Middle school science and AVID teacher in California. Teaches with 1:1 iPads. Google for Education Certified Trainer & Innovator.
Joe Young (@jyoung1219) - Math & STEAM Instructional Coach in Palo Alto, California. Taught 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades in a GAFE district, 1:1 iPads, 1:1 Chromebooks, and served as a tech lead teacher.