August 27, 2015

Using Google Forms to Collect Student Back to School Informaton

Back in June I was working with a group of elementary school teachers in a Summer Tech Academy sponsored by the Connelly Foundation. We were talking about different ways teachers can use Google Forms to ease their workflow. 
One of the ideas discussed involved using Google Forms to collect student information. All teachers, young and old, see the process of collecting student information, as a Back to School ritual. Some break out the index cards while others copy, collate, and staple a blank information packet for their students to take home for their parents to complete and hopefully return to school. Google forms can replace the index cards and information packets by providing a digital copy of the information for the teacher. Because the information is stored in Google Drive, it is available 24/7 from any device with Internet access. 

In the following video I demonstrate how to make a copy of a spreadsheet that has a form to collect student information. The form was designed for use with a high school class but can easily be edited to suite your needs.

Click this link to add the spreadsheet and form to your Google Drive. 

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August 17, 2015

Google for Education Certified Trainer Application Submitted

In the last week of June, just about seven weeks ago, I started working on my Google for Education Certified Trainer application. What a learning experience it has been for me. I feel I know myself better now than when I started. 

Back in June I started planning things out. There were many questions: 
  1. Should I do my Training Resume first or should I start with the Case Study?
  2. Do I fully understand the requirements?
  3. How much time do I have to submit?
  4. How do I sell myself to Google?
  5. What should be the topic of my demo video?
  6. Can I say all I need to say in a three minute video?
  7. What if my video is too long, after all I am Italian and can ramble on forever, or worse yet too short?
  8. Who should I ask to be a professional reference?
  9. How do I organize all my presentations to really showcase my Google skill set?
  10. How can I figure out what makes a good video application demonstration?
  11. Is what I should avoid as important as what I include in my video?

Thank you.Now you know why it took me seven weeks.  

I will expand on these questions in future posts. Do you think you know how I answered some of these questions? Let's see. Continue the discussion in the comments below.

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August 8, 2015

Are you flying solo?

Is it better to be alone, part of network, or member of a Community?
Showing folks the benefits of being connected will always be needed. I do lessons with my boys on this topic every year.  We usually start to network for personal gain. We have a problem and need help so we go online. We follow people who can help us. Lord knows, I do this all the time. Through these network connections we are sometimes able to join communities. 

One of the benefits not realized through our connections is the power of the community. Communities have a common goal driving them. As our trust in community members becomes stronger so too does the community. Usually what calls for the need to form communities is the need for change. The change could be a revised mission statement, new technology visions plan, or introduction of learning devices/tools like the iPad or Google Docs. 

Quite often we see schools go it alone. Principals going through Middle States don't talk to other principals who recently went through the process. In some cases people are stubborn but mostly I think people don't know how to go about being connected.  Some see the need to connect as a sign of weakness or not having the answers. Teachers especially spend a lot of time alone with their class. They don't have visitors aside from the required evaluation visit. Lunch rooms and faculty lounges are spaces to vent rather than learn and share. 

I believe many schools could benefit from a workshop on being a "learning tool". Two years ago one of my Secondary sessions was on "Building Your PLN to Become a Connected Educator".  It was designed to help teachers get connected.  We created Twitter accounts, found some educators to follow and laid the groundwork for becoming a connected educator.

What do you think? Should teachers be connected? Do you see the information available online as a distraction? Would you rather develop your own solutions? 

I am curious to hear what my fellow teachers are thinking. Pleases share your comments below.

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August 7, 2015

Mobile Apps Deep Dive | Docs, Sheets | The Apps Show

Originally shared via YouTube on Aug 4, 2015

Google has invested heavily in mobile lately - and we're excited to show you some of the improvements we've made!

We often think we can't use the iPad as a Google Docs creation tool. This video shows us how to use the iPad to edit and create & edit Docs, Sheets and more.

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August 6, 2015

Guide to Going Google

Guide to Going Google
This site contains tools and guidelines to use as a starting point to getting your students, faculty, and alumni ready and excited about what’s coming.

Be sure to check out the Professional Development Plan. The purpose of the plan is to help you get your teachers up to speed in using Google Apps for Education without letting them feel out of the loop and overwhelmed.

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August 4, 2015

Google Drive/Docs Video Tutorials by Skill Level

Recently I got a request for Google Drive learning resources. I came across 2013-14 ELEM Tool Skill Levels : Google Drive Tutorials. Of all the resources I found this one seemed to be the one that could prove most useful to teachers and students from novice to advanced Google Apps for Education users. This is an excellent collection of Google Drive/Docs video tutorials by skill level. The videos range from Basic to Advanced and cover Drive, Docs, Sheets, Presentations (Slides), Forms, and Calendar.

Google Drive/Docs Video Tutorials by Skill Level

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