Organize your Drive without Folders!

If your Google Drive looks like mine did a week ago, you probably see hundreds of random files below your hundreds of folders. This mass amount of digital clutter makes it difficult to find the files you are looking for and can cause you to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Thankfully, Google introduced the Priority feature to Google Drive this year.

Simply stated, the Priority feature lets you organize your files into workspaces (based on topics) without using folders! These workspaces are easy to access making the process of finding a file quick and painless.  To set up your workspaces, follow these few steps:

1. Click on the “Priority” tab   

2. Click “Create Workspace”

3. Give your Workspace a name

4. Click “Add Files”

5. Choose the files from your Drive you want to add!

You can create multiple workspaces for multiple topics! If you no longer need a workspace, you can remove or hide it!

Student Selector via Google Classroom!

Did you know that Google will help you randomly call on your students? If you have the Google Classroom app for IOS, you can use the Student Selector feature to ensure that you are engaging students equally.

To get there, open the Classroom app on your IOS device and choose the class you are working with.  On the bottom of the screen, launch the “people” tab. You will see a set of three squares and a diamond in the top-right corner… click that!

From there, you will click “start” to launch the student selector.  Students will appear in a randomized order to help you with calling on them or putting them in groups.  If a student is generated that you don’t want to call on, you have the option to “call later” or mark “absent.”

There is no need to write names on popsicle sticks anymore, just open your Classroom app!

Schedule Send in GMail

We’ve been waiting for a long time for this new GMail feature. It’s been teased for what seems like months, and finally, it’s here!

It’s schedule send in GMail!

With just one click, you can write an email now and schedule it to be sent at a later time. While many have used extensions like Boomerang to accomplish this goal, now you no longer need additional extensions downloaded. Just click the arrow next to send and your email will be sent at a time of your choosing.

Check out this video to see how it’s done!

WeVideo Helps Showcase Student Learning

clapper

Teachers often want to encourage students to showcase their learning by creating videos, but we often run into barriers like paywalls and length limits. We’re excited to announce that this year, we were able to obtain several licenses for WeVideo which will eliminate the paywalls, length limits, and creativity controls. With this “pro” version, students will be able to create videos, collaborate with classmates, and publish to an authentic audience freely.

Through WeVideo’s education program, the district has 50 seats which can be distributed among students to create and publish to either the world or to a “walled garden,” or a limited audience. Teachers can manage the videos and play through them. When the class is finished with their project, the “pro” license is revoked and able to be given to a different student.

WeVideo is a great program for making outstanding audio and video productions. If you need help implementing in your classroom, please reach out to coaches Dan Stitzel or Molly Klodor!

Standardize Your Writing Grades with WriQ

Your AIR prep multiple choice questions are written in Edulastic, EdCite, or Google Forms and you are providing quick feedback to students. The auto-grading is helping inform your next areas of study in class, but the writing scores are still dragging you down.

While no auto-grader for writing is perfect, the extension WriQ from Texthelp (the same people who brought us Read&Write!) definitely makes grading those AIR responses faster.

To use, you’ll open the student’s Google Doc. Heads up! You’ll have to open the doc on it’s own – it won’t open through Google Classroom. Once you’ve opened the doc, you’ll select the WriQ extension and it will prompt you to answer a few questions (student’s grade level and type of writing). The extension will automatically identify spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, as well as provide the student’s time on task (HUGE for me!)

There are several rubrics to choose from, which are similar to the rubrics for the AIR test. You can add custom feedback and add the rubric to the top of the student’s Google Doc.

While I don’t use WriQ for every assessment, I do think it’s incredibly helpful for those AIR responses. It helps both me and the students get acclimated to the online essay grader that grades their EOC responses.

This is a new program, so look forward to a lot of improvements for Fall 2019!

Travel The World From Inside the Classroom

Middle School students using VR

Want to take a field trip to Uruguay? What about a tour through the cells of plants and animals during your science class? Or we could go to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and take a rocket to space?

Seem unlikely? It’s not.

Not when you have Virtual Reality.

District Librarian Lori Thomson earned a grant to purchase 10 VR headsets and the hardware to run the VR earlier this school year and they’re being checked out by teachers regularly. Teachers can use already-created resources from Google Expeditions to take students on a virtual field trip to over 900 places. Teachers and students can also create their own expeditions with Google Tour Creator. VR is a great way to introduce  a new idea or wrap up a unit of study because it fosters interest and exploration. It can be used to help promote empathy and understanding. In addition to the field trip aspect, it offers students a glimpse into a world beyond their own.

If you’re interested in checking out VR for your classroom, check the list of expeditions and reach out to Lori Thomson, Molly Klodor, or Dan Stitzel. There are 10 headsets, so we recommend having another activity for the other portion(s) of your class. If you need help or want some ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Defer students and VRHigh School Students using VR

Google Classroom Locks Down Quizzes

If you are hesitant to administer Google Forms as an assessment piece because you are afraid students will navigate elsewhere to find answers, you are in luck.  Google Classroom has just released a beta update that resolves this apprehension.

After you have created a quiz using Google Forms, you can attach it to an assignment for your students to complete.   You now have the option to click “Locked Mode on Chromebooks.”  This feature does just that.  Once students open that form, they are not able to navigate anywhere else.

Moreover, if a student does exit the form and log back in, it will send an email notification to the teacher and add a clock icon to their score in your classroom grades.

Please note, if you want your students to be able to navigate elsewhere to find answers, they still have that option.  Simply do not click this new feature and your students will be able to Google as they wish!

Fall Level 1 Google Cohort | 2018

Streetsboro City Schools just wrapped up it’s first Level 1 Google Certification cohort to great success!
20 teachers met weekly either before or after school to learn a new topic in preparation for the Level 1 Google Certification test. The course covered 15 topics and worked to help all teachers become more comfortable with the programs and tools.
Members of the cohort felt that the program worked for them and their practice. One teacher commented “I loved the training and look forward to more. I had been planning on doing it on my own but never seem to find the time. The training forced me to carve out time for it.”
Another teacher used the tools she learned in the cohort in her classroom right away and had great success. She said “I added a [Google] classroom last week and got all the students in the class added in and had them do some google forms. It was awesome!! I kept reminding myself that they are 6 years old so it would take some time and patience but by day 2 they were picking it up so quickly!! I hope everyone takes the level 1 test-it really boosted my confidence with google!”
The next Level 1 cohort is already full for the spring semester, but keep your eye out for the Fall 2019 cohort! And, as always, you can reach out to Dan or Molly for assistance in your classes!

KEEPing up with Students!

 

If you find your desk, planner, and/or computer covered in sticky notes, you may want to check out Google Keep. Google Keep is a note-taking, list-making, memory-saving application that is part of our G Suite.  Recently, Mrs. Betley developed a way to use Google Keep to help the teachers she works with work efficiently with students.

Like most teachers, Mrs. Betley has the privilege of working with co-teachers, educational coaches, and specialists every day in her classes.  However, these people see many students each day and remembering names, faces, classes, and educational information about each student can be challenging.

To make it easier for all, Mrs. Betley first made a note in Google Keep for each student. She then added a picture of each student on their note.  Finally, she colored coded her notes by class period.  From there, she shared each note with her co-teachers. By simply adding these three elements, her co-teachers can now quickly sort students by the class and put a face to a name.

But, that’s not where this ends. Now that each teacher who works with these students has access, they can add information that is good for the other teachers to see directly on the note.  Not only does this help keep track of what interventions are currently in place, but it also is a nice resource that can be shared with that student’s future teachers.

Wait, there is more!  When a student still needs help with a certain concept, Mrs. Betley and her co-teachers hashtag the term (example: #theme).  Why do this?  Now, the teachers who have access to these notes in Keep can type that hashtag directly into the search bar, and only the students who have this information added to their notes will appear.

Help yourself and your coworkers stay updated and check out Keep!