New Year’s Resolution

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One of my resolutions for this new year is to write and share. It has been a year since my last post, so as you can surmise this whole resolution thing doesn’t always pan out for me, but if given the choice of “give up cupcakes” or “write” I will definitely be writing more, I’ll probably be eating a cupcake while doing it.

When working with educators I get asked frequently about how I keep current on all the changes in the world of educational technology. My answer is always, “It’s my job and I have time”.

Most teachers can barely eat lunch during the day, let alone search the web for resources. As a teacher I could never find time to learn about..well anything! When I wasn’t in my classroom I was preparing for being in my classroom.

I loved teaching, but decided I really wanted to work and learn from other educators. As a blended learning coach, I have an opportunity to see how teachers are using technology to change learning. It’s amazing what students are creating and how teachers are changing the traditional classroom landscape.

One set of tools I can’t live without is Google G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Education).  Below you will find a presentation with a correlating handbook on different ways to use Google products in the classroom.  In each of these items I have added screenshots and ways you can use Google products in your classroom. You will also find resources from other bloggers and educators who I think do a great job of sharing.  I hope you will find this useful and as always let me know what you think. Happy New Year!

Click here for copy of the handbook that supports this presentation.

Auto Creating Letters using Google Forms and Autocrat

A numbeunnamedr of schools are sending home “caught you” notes. These notes let parents know when a student was caught doing something good, some examples might be helping others or showing leadership.  Most of the time these slips are filled out and sent home in the student’s backpack where they live in a dark, sometimes a wet (eww) place until they get thrown away. The obvious problem with sending home a paper copy  is that it doesn’t always get seen by the intended recipient.

So, that got me thinking about a Google add-on that I had used years ago and forgotten, Autocrat.  This add-on allows you to create a form where submissions can populate a Google Doc. For example, in the case of the “caught you note” a teacher could fill out a form by selecting a list of behaviors and a letter to parents is automatically generated through autocrat. Not only could you use this with for student behavior, but you could create missing library book lists or create lesson plans.  Click this link for more examples from Jessica Johnston at Synergyse.

Below is a video showing how to set up Autocrat, as always I would love to hear your feedback and how you are using this tool.