Friday, February 9, 2018

One slide and multiple timers.

So you want kids to be writing and conferencing with each other but time always seems to get away from you.

What if you could have one single Google Slide with multiple timers already built in? This would totally solve your problem!

Start by creating your Google Slides.

Search Youtube for the exact timer you need.
I'm going to start with a ten-minute timer.
Copy the link (URL) to the video.

Open Slides.
Click Insert.
Click Video.

1. Click By URL.
2. Paste the URL.
Click Select.

Repeat the steps above to add multiple timers on the Google Slides page.
This works very well to keeping everyone in the classroom moving forward.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Empowering your students - one padlet page at a time.

What if I told you by creating one simple Padlet page you could totally transform your whole classroom in one week or less, sound interesting?

The other day we were shown a page that some teachers at MOSAIC Elementary in Mehlville were using. At first glance, it was like any other until I leaned in and really studied it. What I saw was beyond what I thought possible.

What you see above is a sample we recreated based on the original image. 

At the beginning of each week, the teacher creates a new Padlet page. The purpose of the page is always stated at the top, for this idea the purpose always remains the same.

The student's only post to this particular board using one of two categories, strength or coach.
     Strength - Use this to indicate something you are pretty good at. This could range from posting to Seesaw, accessing an online resource, a subtraction method and on from there.
     Coach - This heading would be used when you need someone to come over and give you a little help. The idea of an academic coach could be new for the kids, a little explanation and modeling would be necessary.

Throughout the week the kids reference this page when they need a little coaching and to post about things others can come to them about. This Padlet is totally student-run and think of how these two categories could transform your classroom today.

This idea goes right along with an article we have been reading in ELITE this week about moving from engagement to empowerment. Using Padlet is a quick way to start building the capacity of your class today. I love the idea of empowering the kids to take steps in building a tighter community within the classroom. While the two categories are academic I think the impact goes much deeper.

This idea grew from a picture that Craig Hamby showed us after his visit to MOSAIC. I later talked with Rob George who helped me focus this idea. At the end of the day, Tara Sparks helped us craft some of these ideas you see above. This illustrates the development of an idea, we can't do it alone, it always takes a team.

Interested creating a Padlet? Check out this post.
Have you seen the newest updates just released? These new elements allow your kids some pretty impressive ways to make their ideas and thinking visible.

Getting started with Padlet.

Some of you might remember using Wallwisher years ago. It was a simple site that was pretty much like a virtual board you could pin Post-It notes too. Wallwisher changed its name to Padlet and has greatly improved over the years.

Getting Started
Start by creating an account by visiting Padlet.

Next Steps
Log in.
Click + MAKE A PADLET in the upper left corner.

1. Click the Preview button to see what the pages actually look like before selecting one.
2. Click SELECT when you found the type of page you want to use.

This appears on the far right side of the screen.
1. Add a title and description. I like to say make sure your description is really directions. People sometimes do not recall the purpose of the page five seconds after you tell them what to use it for. Simple directions will greatly improve the quality of the posts.
2. Pick a background.
3. Click Next.

1. The page will default to secret, someone needs the direct link to add to the page. This is the setting I generally always recommend. Just make sure you post the link in a doc, site or in Classroom to make it easy to find.
2. I always leave these settings alone.
3. Click Next.

1. Click the + symbol or just double-click on the page.
2. Add your information and then click away to save the note.

Check out the newest feature added to the Padlet app.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Padlet - An update you don't want to miss.

The app was recently updated and you really don't want to miss out on these new additions.

Tons of people are using Padlet for a million reasons from book clubs, sharing progress on projects, creating boards to help classmates find what to read next and genius hour. This update adds a few new tools to that mix.

This post will introduce some of the new options.

Getting Started
Update the app on your mobile.
Create a new Padlet.
Click the big plus in the lower right corner.

Carefully click the three dots.

You are now presented with a large number of options.
This post will cover snap, film, voice and draw.

This looks similar to all the other tools.
Click Done in the upper left when ready to upload.
Select the Film option to record a video.

When you click stop the clip will allow you to add a title and description.
The title and description are as important as the video. Help your students understand this otherwise you might just get a bunch of random clips.

Read the on-screen prompts.
Click the red button to begin recording your voice.

You can tell it is working when the big mountainous lines start to appear.
Click pause when finished.

There are options at the top and bottom. Click the top right when you are ready to upload. Click Save on the next screen to finalize the process. It will take a minute or so to upload so be patient.
One tiny word of advice, this tool has the ability to record 15 minutes. This might be a nightmare scenario. Make sure you give the kids a time limit!

The color options are limited.
Click Done to upload to Padlet page.

Looks Like
What the Padlet looks like with audio, video and a drawing.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It's like talking to yourself in the future.

Frantic. That is how many of us work. There are about a billion things that come up every day and I'm sure we miss super important things.

What if... there was a way to help prevent that? What if you could magically email yourself and have that message pop up at the exact date and time you specify?

The future is here, right now. All you need to access it is a tiny little Chrome extension called Boomerang.

Installing and Using
When it is fully installed you will see this icon appear in your Chrome browser.

Open a new Gmail message.
Compose the message.
Click the red Send Later button.

There are a number of options to choose from.
For this example, I clicked on the little calendar at the bottom. I like this as it gives me very precise delivery options.

You now can select an exact day and time for the message to be delivered.
Click the blue Confirm button when you are ready to send.
This is a great option for emails that need to be sent every Friday, before some big school event, etc.

Not sure if it sent?
Click Categories on the far left.
Scroll down and you can find your Boomerang Outbox. Click to see your pending messages.

Other Uses
Check out how to get an email in your inbox to resurface at a later date.
This might be good for things you really need to do but will totally forget by the time you get home. The Boomeranged email will reappear in your inbox at a date and time you select.

Open the email.
Click the Boomerang button.

Select your time and/or date.
Click Confirm.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Do you use Chrome? This might interest you.

Edcamps are pretty sweet and this one is not to be missed. The whole focus for this is Chrome and the G Suite ecosystem.

Why not join us at ChromeCamp coming up in March.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Super fast Online Conversation - todaysmeet

TodaysMeet is a super fast way to create a backchannel in your classroom. The whole setup process only takes a matter of seconds and a click. That is all.

Getting Started
Navigate to todaysmeet.
1. Name the room.
2. Pick how long you want the room open for. Once this time elapses all that information will disappear.
3. Click Open your room.

What it looks like
1. This room is called facs1sthour so my address is and this is what the students would need to type in to find the page.
2. Students will add their name.
3. Click Join.

1. Type the answer in the box.
2. Click Say.

This is what the messages will look like as they come in.

Next Steps
20 useful ways to use Todaysmeet in school - from the DITCH blog.

One slide and multiple timers.

So you want kids to be writing and conferencing with each other but time always seems to get away from you. What if you could have one ...