I just love how Google Apps now has Add-Ons. It makes so much possible. Our Middle School Counselor came to me yesterday and she wanted a way to be notified that teachers filled out a Google form. She also wanted to generate a document each time someone completed the form with the information from the fields of the form. After a bit of trial and error with Form Add-Ons, I discovered a beautiful solution.
I decided to use the Add-On Form Notifications to let her know when someone had filled out the form. Adding an Add-On is Super Easy.
For the Add-On Form Notifications, you just need to type in the email address you want the notifications to go to.
To create a new document from the information typed in to the form, I chose Form Publisher. To get this to work I had to look up a tutorial on Youtube. Once you know you need to put __## ##__ in your template document, it works perfectly.
Here is the YouTube tutorial I watched that was super helpful.
Some other really great Form Add-Ons are Form Ranger and Form Limiter.
Sometimes you don’t need technology to provide the best learning experience. I realized this last month as I was giving a presentation at Schram Academy, a local school here in Chennai.
Since we were addressing teachers from all over South India, teachers that didn’t necessarily have access to technology, Carlina Fiordilino, Priya Venugopal and I had to think out of the box. We decided to hop on the design thinking band wagon and introduce design thinking to India. I was hoping we would start a movement, because India could really benefit from design thinking.
Our presentation went well and the participants were extremely excited about the hands-on prototyping step. It was great to see teachers really get pumped up about problem solving. After a successful run at Schram, we were asked to share out what we did for AISC’s mini-nesa presentations. Sharing an idea like design thinking to passionate educators and having them really explore the idea hands on was so much fun. Some teachers said that it was the most fun PD they had ever attended. That was empowering.
So, I feel now that I should share this presentation with the world. Maybe others can take these resources and make design thinking happen in their classroom or in their school.
Here is the site that I created for the presentation. Please add your own resources by filling out the form on the Links page. I really hope this can become a great resource for other teachers trying out design thinking in their classroom.
Ok this is one very short post about an app that I have been using to get home. Recently, we lost our driver. It was a perk that came with my husbands job; but his contract ended and so did our driver’s contract. ;(
As most of you know, I have a little 8 month old now and catching an auto doesn’t really have the same appeal as it did, especially now that it is getting super hot. Anyways, I was browsing facebook a couple days ago and I saw this add for an app called Uber – everyone’s personal driver.
I downloaded it, put my credit card info in and in minutes I had a driver waiting for me to take me home. Getting a taxi in Chennai usually is a huge pain but this app has made getting around easy. Apparently it’s in other cities too. I can’t wait to try it out in other places this summer.
It’s really cool too because you can track where your driver is, how long it’ll take them to get to you. Plus you rate them at the end of your trip. Drivers that get poor ratings get kicked out, at least that’s what I’ve heard. If you need a ride ASAP, try it out!
I have two ideas for the course 5 final project and I want to do both of them. Maybe some of you can help me decide what idea to focus one.
My first idea was to create a Digital Citizenship curriculum for middle school. This would be a collection of lessons that could be integrated into various subjects and would focus on our newly developed AISC technology standards. I want to put this unit into Altas Rubicon so that teachers could use it as a resource. As AISC continues it’s adventure into the BYOT program, I think something like this is needed and would help guide teachers on how to successfully integrate technology into the curriculum. I would also want to create a website for this curriculum so that teachers from other school’s could use it as a resource.
This year I was the co-leader of the Technology Enhanced Differentiation Task Force (what a mouthful). My previous post was about some of the recommendations we made to the leadership team around integration of technology. Our main recommendations focused on the personalization and differentiation of instruction using technology, e-portfolios and PBL/ inquiry projects. The Digital Citizenship Curriculum that I want to create would highlight these areas and give teachers ideas on how to really personalize learning, promote student ownership with e-portfolios and how to create meaningful inquiry lessons using technology.
Another report I worked on recently was the 2013-2014 Middle School Technology Report. I surveyed teachers on how students were performing on the new standards. Though the data collected is subjective, I got some great feedback on what students need to work on. Creating “QUALITY” multimedia projects with good sound and video, citing sources properly and using royalty free or copyright-free resources and monitoring and maintaining a positive digital footprint were all areas that teachers felt needed to be focused on. In the Digital Citizenship unit I could create lessons that would help address these needs.
My second idea for the final project would be to create a BYOT bootcamp unit/ site. I’m already planning on doing this for this August. I would like to create a resource that is on the web for other technology integrators who plan to give a tech orientation to students as school is beginning. I have a couple of planning documents right now and a BYOT bootcamp website that I am working on. The BYOT Brainstorm is an open document so please feel free to contribute your ideas. Please give me feedback on the website too.
Click here to access the BYOT Bootcamp Brainstorm and click here for the BYOT Bootcamp site.
I’m planning on doing this pretty cool Responsible Use Policy scavenger hunt that uses Google maps, https://qrvoice.net/ and qr codes to help students become familiar with the Responsible Use Policy – it’s a work in progress. I am also looking into creating activities that will promote the use of some of our tech tool subscriptions like for example Go Animate, Pixton and Voicethread. Please let me know if you have any ideas for this. As I said before I have to plan for this even if I don’t choose it as my final project.
I’m putting a few final touches on my presentation and my iTunes U course for the workshop today on using iPads in Language Art and Social Studies at the Vidya Sanskar International School. I’ll be focussing on Digital Storytelling, Blogging and the iTunes U Course Manager.
It was a long haul here after work yesterday but I made it. The driver that picked me up at the airport didn’t speak any English and first took me to the wrong school. Finally around 12:30 at night we pulled into Vidya Sanskar International School and I stayed the night in their lovely guesthouse. Though I haven’t seen much of the campus yet, it looks like an amazing place to learn.
Wish me luck!
This past week I attended the ASB Unplugged Conference in Mumbai. It was great to get some new ideas on how to integrate technology into the classroom, project based learning and inquiry. My biggest realization is that AISC has come a long way in three years. Our teachers are doing amazing things just like the teachers at ASB. Maybe one day we can have a conference like this on our campus.
The showcases by the students on Thrusday were wonderful. I saw a lot of greenscreening, movie making and real world applications of technology. I was really impressed with the bridge contest. Students were asked to develop bridge designs that might be used for a brigde that would be constructed on campus to connect two areas. The student I inteviewed built her model in Sketchup and had the prototype made with the school’s 3D printer. It will be interested to see who’s model gets picked for the project. I would love to start a project like this at AISC. Maybe we could give the students the open ended question of “How would you improve the campus?” and see what they come up with.
Another really cool project I saw was a choose your own adventure You Tube project using YouTube annotations. I have been wanting to try this out with some students. Teachers please let me know if you would want to try something like this out.
Creativity Comes Alive
I also attended Suzie Boss’s session on Project Based Learning. She had some great strategies about how to come up with PBL questions. Here is the site for her presentation. It has some great resources. One example PBL question that she gave us that I just thought was ingenious was this one about Rags to Riches.
How can we use money wisely?
A local man from a modest background wins a large amount of money in a state lottery. He asks students for advice on how to invest his winnings to do the most good for his family. Students consult with tax advisors, investment advisors, university experts, and financial institutions to understand the risks and rewards of different investment approaches. They also investigate the decisions and stories of past lottery winners before developing a plan personalized for their client and his family.
I wish I got to explore this question while I was in school because it would have really helped me out now. This one was also really good…
How should we decide what to read?
Students are invited to suggest updates to the reading list for literature classes. They start by evaluating books currently on the list for qualities such as literary merit, historical importance, and contemporary interest. They interview a variety of experts (librarians, literature professors, writers) to define for themselves what it means to be well-read. They also survey peers about the books they choose to read for pleasure. They develop a new recommended reading list and present it, along with their arguments in support of changes, to a panel of literature professors.
One session that I didn’t attend (wish I had) but heard all about was Bernajean Porter’s i-Imagine project. Students write to themselves in the present tense of their future selves. Sounds pretty neat.
Anyways, this post is getting a little long, there was just so many wonderful things to share. If you are interested in trying out any of these ideas in your class, please let me know. I would love to help out!
I met with one of my middle school teachers who wanted her students to post book reviews on a blog. After we set up the student authored blog on blogger, I showed her QR codes. I thought it would be cool for her students to create QR codes to their review posts and post these QR codes in the books they are reviewing.
Then I started thinking of all the different ways teachers could use QR codes in their class. Almost everyone on campus has a smartphone and QR codes everywhere could be an awesome way to show student digital work. QR codes can be used to show a website, share a contact, display text, or even access a sound recording.
QR Code Activities
- Teachers could set up inteactive bulletin boards with QR codes.
- They could design scavenger hunt
- Interactive World Wall will sound recordings using https://www.recordmp3.org/ or https://vocaroo.com/
- Share student movies by creating QR codes of YouTube URLs
- Create a talking bulletin board using QR codes and https://www.recordmp3.org/ . Have student describe or explain their projects
- Create a QR Code Quiz with this site https://www.classtools.net/QR/create.php
- Study the periodic table with this site
- Create an Interactive Resume
- Showcase digital storytelling with QR codes
- World Map QR bulletin board that showcases different places with QR codes
Some Cool QR Code Links
Presentation on QR Code Idea
Scanfer.com – created QR codes that can send file or request paypal donations (might be neat for fundraising)
QR Codes Pinterest Board
Create a Language Detecting QR Code to Wikipedia link on this site
Make your QR codes pretty https://www.qrhacker.com/
Do you know your IT people by name? Do you know what they do exactly? Who do you contact if you have a problem? I’m afraid that most teachers at my school would be unable to answer these questions and that is why I made this cool infographic. By designing this I also learned how to use Piktochart.com which by the way is super easy. We have a supscription to this service and it has great templates to get you started.
I am hoping to get this printed out and distributed to teachers soon. This will help our staff connect with the right people in the IT department so their tech troubles can be solved more quickly. I think more institutions should use infographics in this way. I know people feel bad about not knowing all the support staff. I kind of want to make one of these for all the custodians and security guys because I know I don’t know all of their names. Maybe that’ll be my next project on Piktochart.
Just recently I was selected to be an APD trainer (Apple Professional Development). An APD Trainer is basically an independant contractor for Apple that give trainings to educators about how to use Apple products in the classroom. To be selected for this I was invited to a training weekend in Bangelore, where I was asked to present on a variety of Apple software and how to use it sucsessfully in the classroom.
Photo credit: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2456/3914858504_831952e460.jpg – labled for reuse
I remember being very nervous for this and I tried to plan out everything that I was supposed to know and how I was going to present it. I’m pretty confident in my Apple skills; but it was still nerve racking not knowing exactly what I would be ask to present on. When I got to the training I was very happy that I prepared a bit and knew the software. Some of the other attendees were not so prepared but definitely not as bad as Micheal Bay during the Samsung press conference. I’m glad I didn’t go first because I was able to learn from some of their mistakes. I myself made a huge mistake and didn’t download the new iMovie app update, so my presentation was on the app iMovie app while everyone in my audience was looking at the new version. I’m glad the trainers didn’t dock me points for this.
Some valuable lessons I learned from this experience were:
- Always be overprepared
- Never say that this is your first time using the software, if you are presenting on how to use the software to others
- Make sure everything works in your presentation before presenting (things such as movies or apps)
- Make sure to preview your presentation on a projector
- Try to troubleshoot tech/Internet problems before your presentation if possible
- Make sure your software is up-to-date
I found this cute video on YouTube about speaking with confidence. I think this would be great to show students. I think public speaking is something that all students should learn in school. It’s a skill that most people will need in their proffesional careers and in my opinion it is not focused on enough in most schools.
So now that I have been selected, I’m experiencing some anxiety again. In the near future I will be expected to give Apple presentations to schools around India. This is going to require a lot of preparation again. I am glad I got to read about presentation zen this week because what I learned will really help me in this APD endevor.