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Showing posts with label Distance Learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Distance Learning. Show all posts
23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite

23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite


23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite

Here are a few tips or features that you may not know are available for Google Suite (Drive, Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides, etc.). 

Drive

  • You can download a Google Drive sync tool that will add a folder on your computer called Google Drive that will look like any other folder (My Documents for example). This means that when you make a document on your computer, you can save it straight into your Google Drive just like you would in your documents. This is a good tool to utilize if you are struggling to get colleagues swapped to Google Suite.


Docs

  • When collaborating on a doc things can get messy.  Rather than sifting through a myriad of edits of a doc to find the original draft, teach everyone to stay organized by naming specific versions of a doc. Go to version history and click on the three dots on the right of the version you want to name. From here, you can also make a copy of that version, which is helpful for sharing the "before" and "after" of work. You can even create notifications to be alerted when changes are made.

  • You can use the collaborative features of G Suite to edit, comment, and collaborate on Microsoft Office files using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides without converting file types.

  • With Research Pane (Select Tools > Explore from the top menu), you can open up Google Search directly from a Google Doc. You can even drag and drop to add a link or embed an image directly from the pane.  For those still learning about citations, Research Pane lets you simply highlight the appropriate text, and it will automatically link to the results shown in the pane.

Slides

  • Trying to design a worksheet, handout or infographic?  In Slides you can change the page size from a presentation to a regular 8.5x11 page by clicking File > Page Setup and then choosing “Custom.”  You’ll find it a very flexible and competent workspace, not to mention cloud-based and ideal for collaboration!


Forms

  • Flubaroo quickly grades multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments created in Forms.


Sheets

  • Heatmaps are a great way to draw attention to important data in your sheet. You can highlight particular values or outliers using conditional formatting to apply a color scale, quickly pointing out lower and higher values in your student data.

  • If lots of people are working on a sheet, you can lock down some of the data to prevent mistakes. Lock sheets and even individual cells, or if you don’t want to completely lock down cells just use the option to show a warning before they’re edited.

  • You can easily add sparklines to your sheets in order to quickly see trends in your student data.  Check out this guide.

  • Make QR Codes to create quick links to relevant websites, or showcase student work hosted online.  This example will pull in the data from the A1 cell to create a QR code: =IMAGE("https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?chs=200x200&cht=qr&chl="&A1&"")


Classroom

  • Schedule posts (assignments, announcements, questions) to be released at specific times. To schedule ahead, set up your post the way you want it, then click the drop down menu next to the Assign button and choose Schedule. You can select the date and time you want your post to appear in the stream.

  • When creating a post, click the Add Topic button. You can create topics of your choice. Once created, they can be reused. Now you can organize posts by Chapter, Units, Themes, Topics, or Assignment Type.

  • Do you have an aid, or work in a cohort? Add a Co-Teacher to your course. Just go to the About menu, and click Invite Teachers.  The recipient will see an invitation the next time they login to Google Classroom.  Co-Teachers can do anything the teacher can do, except delete a class. If you need to remove a Co-Teacher, just click the menu in their profile box and click Remove.

  • Reuse any post from any class – current or archived – at any time.  Open the class you want to post in.  Click on the + in the bottom right corner of the screen.  Choose "reuse post."  


Calendar

  • For quick, abbreviated lesson planning simply create calendar events that begin at each of your class times, then have Calendar email an event reminder to you.  In the event notes include any links or files you’ll need for the lesson, page numbers students will need in the text or workbook, your lesson objective, a resource for early finishers, etc.  Everything you need to know for each class appears in your inbox right when you want it.

  • G Suite has added improved scheduling to Calendar that automatically suggests meeting times and available rooms based on your preferences to help you save time. Learn more in this Google blog post


Mail

  • With keyboard shortcuts you can search through, view, read and reply to an email without having to touch the mouse.  Although this may not sound like much, you would be surprised how much time it will save when you are having to look through and reply to lots of emails.  To enable the shortcuts, you have to go to the Advanced tab within Settings in google mail, then click on the new Keyboard Shortcuts option within the Addons tab to customize it.

  • Set up filters to organize your incoming mail before you’ve even viewed it. For example, if you have worksheet subscription emails coming in, you can set it up so that rather than going into your inbox along with emails that need immediate attention from parents and admin, they go straight into their own label called “subscriptions”. It still shows the red “1” like when a new email comes in beside the label so you can see when you have something, but it makes your Gmail much tidier without having to manually organize it. 

  • The G Suite offers several ways to email groups of people other than typing email addresses individually.  You can enter a saved list of recipients with Contact Groups, or send an email to a Google Group email address that forwards the email to all group members.


Hangouts

  • Hangouts offers an instant messenger service when you just need to send a quick message where you are looking for a quick reply. You can also integrate this within google mail, so that it pops up at the bottom of your mailbox.


Add-Ons & Features

  • Google Add-Ons can be installed from the G Suite Marketplace to expand the functionality of Google Suite and access apps like Pear Deck, Flubaroo, Doctopus, ClassReporter, Edulastic, and CoRubrics directly from Gmail, Docs, Slides, Forms or Sheets.

  • The Explore feature found in the Tools menu of Docs, Sheets and Slides not only helps you research, it can also assist as you analyze data and design graphics.

  • Google Tasks integrates with Gmail and Calendar.  You can have a to-do list that allows functionality such as Tasks created from an email displaying a "related email" link below the task.

23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite


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Brittany Washburn
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Virtual Valentines for Distance Learning

Virtual Valentines for Distance Learning


In this time of social distancing and virtual learning, Valentine's Day is a way of still making a connection in our classroom communities. There are several options for Virtual Valentines and ways to distribute them.

In this time of social distancing and virtual learning, Valentine's Day is a way of still making a connection in our classroom communities. There are several options for Virtual Valentines and ways to distribute them. 

Virtual Valentine Options

1. Valentine's Day Scene Digital Glyph. This is a pretty traditional activity turned digital. Students design a virtual valentine in Google Slides. It is great copy and paste practice plus the end results are great for sharing. You could have students make multiple versions to share.

2. Special Person's Day Digital Card. This one is a similar process but the finished result includes both clip art and text. Consider having students make one for each member of their class. 

3. Consider joining the official Virtual Valentine's 2021, which connects students around the world. 

Sharing Finished Virtual Valentines

Once students have created their Valentines, it is time to publish or share them. 
1. Padlet. Use a class Padlet to have students share their finished Valentines. Feel free to use mine or make your own using this example. Decide if you want students to be able to comment on the posts.


2. Have students upload into your learning management system (Seesaw, Google Classroom, etc).


3. Create a Jamboard and have students upload their finished Valentines.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for how to do Virtual Valentines this year. 

In this time of social distancing and virtual learning, Valentine's Day is a way of still making a connection in our classroom communities. There are several options for Virtual Valentines and ways to distribute them.


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Brittany Washburn
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How Google Classroom Can Make This Your Best School Year Ever

How Google Classroom Can Make This Your Best School Year Ever


Google Classroom is a learning management tool that teachers can use to connect with students both in the classroom and out. Let’s talk about the various aspects of Google Classroom that make it a solid choice for teachers looking for a classroom management tool.

Google Classroom is a learning management tool that teachers can use to connect with students both in the classroom and out. Let’s talk about the various aspects of Google Classroom that make it a solid choice for teachers looking for a classroom management tool. 


Hundreds of Apps Integrate With It

Your favorite websites integrate, like Khan Academy, BrainPop, Flipgrid, Newsela, Pear Deck and much more.  Check out the full list!


Resources Abound

Google Classroom is easy to use. Setting up a new classroom doesn’t take a ton of time or expertise. You can train for about an hour, and have a classroom set up and running by the end of the session.  However, since it is such a well established and prevalent platform, there are tons of guides and helpful tips out there to help make it work for you even better.   Upgrades and improvements are also constant.


Teacher Planning Made Easy

Google Classroom allows teachers to schedule assignments in the future.  Designated assignments could be scheduled to go live on a Monday and then close that Friday. If you have to be absent, you can schedule out the assignments and thereby avoid having to rely on a sub to manage it all. Classrooms can also be used from semester to semester or year to year, allowing you to save some time by having certain things already in place (class syllabus, grading expectations, etc.).


Differentiation Distribution

Through Classroom, teachers are able to target instruction for their different learners. Designating lessons for the whole class, individual students, or groups of students takes just a few simple steps when creating an assignment on the Classwork page.


Facilitate Collaboration

Students can share assignments and work from home together to complete them. Teachers can flip the classroom by sharing a video to go live in the evening, requiring students to view it that night to prepare for a quiz on it the next day.  You can allow students to comment and post on the main page, so students with questions about assignments can get help from other classmates.  You can facilitate online discussions between students and create group projects within Classroom. Teachers retain full control over student comments and posts. 


Communicate More Efficiently

Enter the email addresses of the students when you set up the class, and classroom communication is done. You have an email group, a discussion group, and a Google Calendar automatically created. It’s then easy to add and remove students from the class as necessary.  Teachers and students can both send emails, post to the stream, send private comments on assignments, and provide feedback on work.  You can also communicate with parents either through individual emails or through Classroom email summaries including things like class announcements and due dates.


Data Analysis

Data from assessments can be exported into Sheets for easy sorting and analysis.


One Wonderful Word: Paperless

Online learning management systems are designed to help teachers create and collect classwork paperlessly.  When you set up Google Classroom, it will create Google Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized.  Once students turn in an assignment in Google Classroom, they do not also have to share a Google Doc with you. Because it is all Cloud-based, there are no more “lost” assignments, rubrics or worksheets.  Students who are absent can access classroom materials from wherever they are, as well as can locate any other resources they may need to complete missed work. You can easily see who has turned in the assignment and who hasn’t.  As soon as they do turn in an assignment, you can grade it and send it straight back to them to review.


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Google Classroom is a learning management tool that teachers can use to connect with students both in the classroom and out. Let’s talk about the various aspects of Google Classroom that make it a solid choice for teachers looking for a classroom management tool.




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Brittany Washburn
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25 Virtual Teaching Tips from Teachers

25 Virtual Teaching Tips from Teachers


When I asked my Facebook Group "If you're already teaching virtually, what is your best advice for those just getting started?" the post received 98 replies right away. There were a lot of common themes and I've compiled them into this concise list of advice.

When I asked my Facebook Group "If you're already teaching virtually, what is your best advice for those just getting started?" the post received 98 replies right away. There were a lot of common themes and I've compiled them into this concise list of advice. 

  1. Test your activities ahead of class. And test them again on every device type you have access to.
  2. Give yourself a break as things will not always go as planned.
  3. Always have an alternative option for students to complete independently if they cannot see or hear your live lesson. 
  4. Have a backup plan and a second back up plan because you'll need both.
  5. Blue light glasses, a good chair, and 2 monitors.
  6. Self care! Make time for yourself every day.
  7. Quality microphone or headset.
  8. Be patient and slow down. You're learning a lot of new things!
  9. Good teaching is good teaching. Trust your teacher gut.
  10. Commercial breaks during video lessons - ask random silly questions to break it up.
  11. Relationships over rigor.
  12. Music while waiting for kids to join.
  13. Make friends with your tech contact via candy, flowers, etc. 
  14. Take attendance as students enter the video meeting.
  15. Keep it simple with a few apps and websites you use all the time. 
  16. Get comfortable with making screencasts.
  17. Lower your own expectations.
  18. Record your lessons ahead of time and play the video during your lessons. 
  19. Take a deep breath!
  20. Use unplugged activities just like you would in the classroom. Whiteboards and notebook paper activities are just as effective as digital and can save a lot of effort. 
  21. Cut your activities in HALF. 
  22. Turn off your computer when the school day is over.
  23. Spend at least 2 weeks on procedures before trying to teach anything new. 
  24. Get stronger WiFi if you can.
  25. Accept that it is different than teaching in person.
Would you add anything to this list? Leave it in the comments! 

Pin this blog post to get back to later:
When I asked my Facebook Group "If you're already teaching virtually, what is your best advice for those just getting started?" the post received 98 replies right away. There were a lot of common themes and I've compiled them into this concise list of advice.


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Brittany Washburn
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