Another fabulous Techie Brekkie this morning. A round table discussion about what people had been doing with their ipads revealed some of the most fascinating things. There were teachers recording video of their students reading their running records, using Doodle Buddy for sorting out counting and addition in maths, using Evernote for collecting spelling data and other assessments, video reflections during inquiry, using the ipad as a second screen whilst completing admin work. As you can see there is a diverse range of uses for the ipad and its great to see the device being used in a deep and personal manner that supports teaching and learning.
After the round table discussion people were able to pair off to find out more about how they were using the ipads to support teaching and learning. Megan worked with a small group of teachers looking at Evernote and Skitch for note and assessment keeping. Mel and Robyn worked through some Google docs tips and tricks, like how to add a comment to a doc. Chelsea and Anna looked at the Edublogs/Global2 blogging and how to get a slide show of images into a post. Andrew and Karen went through the ‘ins and outs’ of Book Creator. How a student can create a book, add images and text then export it out as an ePub. We were both amazed at how easy it is to share a document using Flick.
Techie Brekkies will be running weekly this term so see you all next week.
Some useful links for further professional learning:
It’s fabulous to see staff taking advantage of the amazing collaborative nature of Google Docs to plan and communicate online curriculum discussions. Being able to access and share documents anytime, anywhere as well as have multiple simultaneous editors all through a web browser makes Google docs a compelling tool for team collaboration. The Staff Shared Google drive has become a great hub for the sharing of understandings and knowledge across the school.
However, there are important documents that must be kept on the school cases Udrive for DEECD official record keeping/archiving. These documents need to be saved on the Udrive as a file type that can be read by official DEECD machines, which is at this stage Microsoft Word.
Below are three videos explaining how to download or email Google docs as Microsoft word documents so that they can be sent to the relevant people to archive on the Udrive.
How To Download A Google Doc As A Microsoft Word Document
How To Email A Google Doc As A Microsoft Word Document
How To Download Google Docs As Microsoft Word Documents In Bulk
Now that term 1 is done and dusted and you have settled into life at Bell, its time to start the amazing Techie Brekkies. For those new to Bell, Techie Brekkies occur fortnightly (we may have some weekly when the iPads arrive due to demand). Attendance is optional not mandatory, however it is a great way to clock up professional learning time for your PD logs. Each session will be centred around a mini theme however, please feel free to bring along any queries that you might have to support your use of ICT at Bell. If you have anything that you would like to present or demonstrate at a Techie Brekkie that would be great.
Remember, no one person is more knowledgeable than a network of people. So the more people who come the more we can support our professional learning at Bell PS.
This weeks mini theme will be Google Drive and Docs; Tips, Tricks & How To. This is an amazing tool that supports the 21st Century Learning Skills of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. It’s great to see so many staff and teams using it for planning etc however, are you and your students using it to support teaching and learning at Bell? Please see flyer below for details.
A lot was covered in Techie Brekkie No.6. See below.
How to embed a youtube video into your class blog.
How to embed a video from your Google Drive folder into your Global2 blog.
We also looked at using Pickmonkey and Pixlr web apps to manipulate images. You can now add apps from a select list to your Google drive apps. Having these apps connected to your Google drive means that once you have logged in to your Google Drive you can use them straight away and most of the artefacts are automatically saved into your Drive folder.
Step 1: Click Create Then Connect More Apps
Click Create Then Connect More Apps
Step 2 Choose Pixlr and or Pickmonkey
Find and choose your app
Find and choose your app
Have fun! All images will be saved into your drive or you can export them out to other places to share. Be sure to check out the Halloween features in Pickmonkey.
Techie Brekke No.5 was all about Google Forms. After looking at them in detail I had forgotten how powerful Google Forms are. The tool itself is very easy to set up.
As you can see its a fairly easy process. Which lead to some interesting conversation about its uses for teachers and students. Some examples ideas discussed: Student surveys for students to collect data for a project, mini tests for student assessment, embedding a form into your class blog to collect data from the school community or other global collaborator. “Where ever there is a form there’s a spreadsheet” and we touched lightly on Google spreadsheets and how they interact with the accompanying Google Form. One thing missing from the ‘how to’ video above is that you can now add/embedd images to your Google form. This is great for ‘tune in’ or ‘activating prior knowledge’ activities at the beginning of a project or lesson.
Our next Techie Brekkie will be on the 12 of September. There will be a focus on the Global2 blogging tool that we use for our level blogs and will cover creating effective blog rolls, embedding video, audio, calendars and much much more!
Techie Breakie No.4 was all about Google Documents. Now that we have had a chance to play around with the tool and experience the collaborative power of docs, it was now time to ‘level up’. But first there was the pressing question around using tables in Google docs. Ok, I am the first to admit… Tables don’t work as well in Docs as they do in Word. That’s one of the trade off’s when working with a web based tool. The solution? Well there isn’t one really. Its about rethinking how tables are used. So rather than nesting tables with in a table or 1 cell row on top of several columns. Table need to be rethought as separate entites. Separate Cell sitting above a three columns for example.
Being teachers we love to colour code stuff. Doing this to a table is easy just go to. The “Table” tab and then click table properties and then click cell background
Google have made sure that Doc’s aren’t syphoned off from the rest of the web. Using the research tool you can now highlight text, go to tools, click research and inside the document it will search the web for that text. This is great for citing and finding, verifying and contrasting information.
Other things that were discussed were:
Wow all this in just 45 minutes. The next Techie Breakie we will be digging deeper into some of the other Google Apps that could be used. Such as Google Forms, Drawings and Pixlar.