What I've decided to do is to write a "Podcast Reflection" post so I can process what I've heard as well as put a plan in place for how I want to use what I learned (or was reminded). I was also hoping to demonstrate this as a form of professional development for teachers and a strategy for students as well.
Shake Up Learning Episode #34
Anyone that has read this blog before, or follows me on Twitter, knows I am a Shake Up Learning fan! So, what a perfect place to start!
This episode can reach almost all educators in some way. If you are a teacher who doesn't have access to Google Classroom, I am so sorry! I would definitley keep fighting for it! You could still use a lot of the ideas with a Learning Management System (LMS) your district already uses.
If you already use Google Classroom, you'll still get a lot of ideas from this episode. The ideas listed below are from Kasey's podcast, I'm just highlighting how I use (or plan to) the idea.
To Demonstrate Google Classroom as a Tool for Teachers
I have quite a few Google Classrooms, but I have one called "Test Class" that I use to show teachers what different features look like on the teacher's side as well as the student side. It's also a great way to test out new features since I don't have students of my own to try it with.
Of coures, my poor children (6th and 10th grade) are often in my test classes as well. Then I can log in as them to see what it looks like. They have learned to ignore those. LOL!
Hopefully, Google will eventually give us a "student view" so we don't have to have a class just for that, but it works in the meantime! Keep asking for that feature if you want to see it happen too!
To Teach an Online Course
Kasey mentions Classy Graphics by Tony Vincent as a great example of Google Classroom as an online course, and she's right! I took the course and learned so much! Funny thing is, I knew how to use Google Classroom very well, but I never thought about a couple of his strategies before.
1. Instead of attaching documents as an assignment , you would click submit, but you would put a link to your materials in the class comments so others could comment on them. This works well because the "teacher" doesn't need to remember to "return" the assisnment, and "students" get to view and comment on each others' work easily. It makes for great collaboration and valuable discussion. I use this strategy now with our school Google Classroom.
2. Sharing your documents so anyone with a link can comment. Then you get lots of feedback without anyone editing your document. Tony was good about making a copy of the original document, making the changes, then sharing the link in the comments so you could see what he was trying to explain. Using this with students would be the perfect example of authentic feedback!
Ongoing Support and Coaching
I use Google Classroom as a "hub" for the teacher's I work with. I have one class for my Google trainings so the teacher's always have access to resources without searching through their emails. I have other classes for teachers that I work with to support their evaluation process. It's a class for just the two of us! No administrators or other teachers. Again, it keeps us from having to keep track of emails and gives a private space to communicate when we aren't working together in person. You can even do this with students... Maybe you have a student with a lot of accommodations that needs a one-stop-shop for helpful strategies, reminders, and encouragement. Really, you can make your Google Classrooms work for anyone.
To Facilitate Online Book Studies
To Share Resources and Templates
As I mentioned earlier, I have a Classroom for all of my Google Trainings since it's how I keep my Google Trainer certification up to date. Once you are in the Classroom, you have access to all of my sessions, even if you didn't get to come to all of them. I don't require anyone to join unless they attend a session. It's also the easiest way to get resources out to the teacher's without sharing through Drive or email. If you haven't noticed... I obviously am not a fan of email. 😉
*Assign and Discuss Podcast PD
This is a new one for me and I can't wait to try it!
I'm connected with Laura on Twitter, so if it works for her, I want to try it too!
Kasey has a Podcast PD Choiceboard on her site and Laura has a blog post that shows how she used this option for professional development. I can't wait to try it!
*Support and Track Challenges & Badges for Teachers
I've been wanting to use badges for a while, but I don't want it to take a lot of time to create and share. I need to explore the resources Kasey shared in her post on badging so I can find the easiest one to use with teachers. If I use this with teachers, it might also give them ideas on how to use it with their students. Model the model, right?! If you have ideas on how to use Google Classroom to award and track badeges, please share!
Streamline Announcements & Communication with Staff
This one is pretty self explanitory... skip the email! Use Google Classroom as your one-stop-shop!
I want to add this to my current Google training classroom. The teachers I work with have asked for more virtual options, so this would be a perfect place to share them. My goal is to create videos using Screencastify and WeVideo, then add them according to topic (ie. Google Drawings, Google Forms, etc.). I also want to create GIF style tips for the easy shortcuts and quick tips that some of us take for granted.
*To Support Absentees
Having assignments posted in Google Classroom can really help those students that have to miss school, but this could also be a great place to communicate with them directly.
Since you can assign and share resources to the students you want without sharing with the whole class, it's easy to share something with one student at a time with a personal message so they know they were missed. This can also help with "repeat offenders" to hopefully reduce the number of absences. If they know they are missed, they may be less likely to just stay home and get their work done there. If you are working with teachers, it can show that they are appreciated and their opinions and conversation is missed when they can't be there in person.
To Organize and Blend Teacher Workshop Assignment
As an Instructional coach, teachers are my students, so the idea works the same. You also have to think about the adult learner when you provide training for teachers. Hooks are a great way to make learning engaging and model strategies for teachers to use immediately in their classrooms. It's a win-win!
PIRATE Hooks to Use for Professional Development
Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!
This is funny in some situations, like this one...
But in all seriousness, saying "I don't have time for that!" can be a rude thing to say to someone.
In the book Teach Like A Pirate, Dave Burgess talks about the phrase "You are lucky, you are creative!" He goes on to explain why that makes me so angry. It's actually a very funny part of the book, because I can totally relate!
🇮 🇩🇴🇳'🇹 🇭🇦🇻🇪 🇹🇮🇲🇪 🇫🇴🇷 🇹🇭🇦🇹! is the phrase that sets me off! The other day I was super excited about an idea I found on Twitter and couldn't wait to share with another educator (less "connected" than I am). I thought the response would be, "That's awesome!" or "Thanks for sharing!" or even, "I might need to try that." Something besides, "I don't have time for Twitter!"
It crushes me, makes me mad, and makes me sad all at the same time.
All I could think of is... 🇮 🇲🇦🇰🇪 🇹🇮🇲🇪 🇫🇴🇷 🇮🇹!
It's Easier Than You Think!
So... I'm taking Tony Vincent's Classy Graphics class. It is actually the course that was held this Winter, but I'm just now getting to it. 😏
That's the beauty of his Google Classroom courses... they stay open! The assignments are way passed the due date, but I can still turn them in, get feedback, and see what others have turned in. Of course, it would be much more engaging if I did it when everyone else did, but I'm still learning from everyone in the class (even if they don't know it). I could try to explain the tips and tricks to creating these templates, but it's best to take the course and learn from the man himself! You can find out more about his courses here.
Here's what I've created so far...
Google Classroom Header
Although Google Classroom header images don't show up as well as you would like them too (hopefully Google will change that soon), I suggest using bright colors with a light background so it will still show up once auto color happens. Some of the templates are colored already if you want to use them. If you want to change the colors, you may want to "ungroup" the shapes first by click the image, then "arrange", then "ungroup". Just be careful not to move them while they are ungrouped if you want to keep them aligned. When you are done, you can "select all", click "arrange", then "group" to move them around at one time. Once it looks the way you want, download the image as a PNG and save it. When you go to Google Classroom, you click "upload photo" and adjust it as necessary. The images below are what it would look like as a PNG and added to a Google Classroom.
As you can see, the image darkens quite a bit. My background is transparent here, so you could try making it white if you want it brighter. I like to use a "test class" for trying out new headers and the different features of Google Classroom. I also add my own children into the classes so I can log in as them to see what it looks like from the student side.
Twitter Cover Photo Template
I LOVE Twitter for connecting & sharing with other educators! Using a personalized header gives you a chance to show who you are quickly and the options are endless here! The best part about using Google Slides & Google Drawings to create headers is that you can add as much information as you want without worrying about formatting and spacing. I would suggest using this template to create as many as you want, then save each of them as a PNG. You may want to create a folder to keep the PNG files in one place so it's easy to access! Mine is simply called "Twitter Covers".
Wakelet Header, Background & Cover Templates
I use Wakelet A LOT, so I figured this would be a valuable use of time for me. The profile header and the cover images are probably the ones I personalize the most. The background is covered in the middle, so you only see the right and left side of the image, so the library images are usually fine to use. You don't even really need to use them, but I like having an added visual element to the back of my Wakelet Collections. Another thing to keep in mind is the different options for the cover image. You can choose between full cover, half cover, or hide cover. I usually choose half cover so it doesn't take up too much room at the top of my collections, but this example is a full cover. When you design your own, you may want the keep the top and bottom simple so it isn't cut off if you use the half cover option. If you don't use Wakelet (yet) and want to know more, check this collection out for resources to get you started.
This was my favorite section of the course! I won't give too many secrets away from Tony's course, but here are some of my favorite sites I used to find the perfect color choices.
Careful... you can spend a lot of time on this. 😍
In case you aren't local to Charleston, SC or just can't attend the Charleston Innovation Summit, here is my presentation from today. You will also find a Wakelet that includes my presentation as well as ideas from educators in the session. Feel free to add your ideas using this link as well!
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.