Thursday, May 26

Lights Out on Google Classroom

Google Classroom
In one of my previous posts, Hey You, No Peeking At My Google Files I mentioned that during routine maintenance of the iPads (those located in the high school iPad cart), I noticed that many of these devices were left signed on to student Google Drive accounts. I was able to easily switch between the numerous student accounts that had been left signed on; I had complete access to all of their files. Everyone else using those devices would have had access as well. Now with the Google Classroom app available on these shared devices please keep in mind that students (and teachers) when done using a school iPad should sign out of Google Classroom as well. 

Teachers, please remind your students  that they need to sign out of all Google Apps before returning the iPads to the cart. 

The following video outlines the steps involved in signing out of the Google Classroom App on an iPad. 


Wednesday, May 18

Using the SAMR Model for Student Success

The push to integrate technology into curriculum has been a goal in our district for many years and educators have been creatively integrating the use of iPads, social media apps, laptops, Apple TVs, Clickers as well as numerous other devices and tools as they guide students through a variety of lessons using some sort of new technology. Even the "much-feared smartphones" are working their way into our lesson plans! Google Drive and Google Classroom are rapidly gaining popularity with educators and students alike. The growing acceptance of the use of social media in education provides even more opportunity for students to use technology to engage in real-world, authentic learning. This is all great news! In an effort to continue to make strides with technology integration, our district's latest technology plan (for 2016 - 2021, still in draft status) emphasizes that in order to maximize student success, technology integration should not be about the technology, but rather, how that technology is used.  This is precisely where the SAMR Model fits in. 

SAMR modelThe popular SAMR Model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura in 2012, was designed as a guide to enable teachers to design and implement learning activities that incorporate technology in such a way that it transforms our students' learning experiences to higher levels of  engagement and success. 


The 4 Levels of the SAMR Model:


The first two levels, Substitution and Augmentation, simply enhance a task (possibly making it more efficient) but most likely do not have a significant impact on student engagement and success. 

Levels 3 and 4, Modification and Redefinition, can transform a task, maximize student engagement and have a significant impact on student success.   Typically these tasks are seen in student-centered learning environments that foster critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication.

  1. Substitution: At this level, technology acts as a direct substitute to the traditional task with no functional change in learning or teaching. For example, using a word processor instead of pen and paper to write an essay.
  2. Augmentation: At this level, technology acts as a direct substitute to the traditional task, but there is some functional change in learning or teaching. For example, using Google Docs (adding comments, sharing documents, using add-ons) instead of pen and paper to write an essay.
  3. Modification: At this level, technology allows for some significant redesign of the task. The outcome is the same, but has somehow been enhanced. For example, students can publish their essays on blogs and may include videos (from sources such as YouTube) and links to supplement their writing. They are writing for a global audience and may interact (via comments) with that audience.
  4. Redefinition: At this level, technology makes new tasks possible that were previously inconceivable without the use of the technology. The technology is a means to support learning of 21st century skills while addressing content objectives. For example, students can publish their essay on a blog and include videos and other digital media (that they have created themselves) as a means to supplement their writing. They are writing for a global audience and may interact (via comments) with that audience. 

The following video, created by students, provides an overview of the SAMR model. This is a great example of a learning activity that supports the acquisition of 21st century skills!

   


Do you have examples of lessons where you have integrated technology? Where do these lessons fall within the SAMR Model?


I referenced the following resources in preparation for writing this blog post. I highly recommend that you take a look at a few of them if you'd like additional information on the SAMR model.

Levels of Implementation: SAMR 
Example of SAMR Model Applied to Curation

Example of SAMR Model Applied to Online discussion
Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything
Special Education iPad Guide
A Guide to Bringing the SAMR Model to iPads (using coffee no less!)
Using SAMR to Teach Above the Line

Friday, April 8

Smore: Spread the Word

If you’re looking for an easy, creative and fun way for your students to present their research, you may want to consider having them create a webpage/flyer using Smore. According to the Smore website, “Smore makes it easy to design beautiful and effective online flyers and newsletters.”


I tried this product out with my students and I was very pleased with the results. My students remained very engaged while using Smore to present their research. One of my students had this to say, “It's a great website to use- lots of options, easy to figure out and the final product is very aesthetically pleasing!”


Below are the instructions that I gave to my students for their assignment (created using Smore) and a few samples of their work:   
The following are a few additional examples of flyers that were created using Smore:
For instructions on how to create a Smore webpage/flyer,

Smore can also be used for classroom newsletters, book reports, advertising fundraisers and other school events. How will you use Smore in your classroom?



Monday, April 4

Starring Google Star

Did you know that tagging a Google Doc (or folder) with a star can help you find your often-used documents very quickly? If you’re interested in saving time (and reducing frustration), please view the following video:



Monday, March 28

Google templates: Another reason to love Google!





Did you know that Google offers numerous, ready-to-use templates that you can use in Google Docs at docs.google.com, Google Sheets at sheets.google.com, Google Slides at slides.google.com and, Google Forms ready-to-use templates at forms.google.com?