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 Quizes

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!

 

How to Get Started with Nested IF Statements in Google Sheets

We got this email from Dan Stitzel today:

Good morning!

Dan Frost asked me a great question, but I didn’t have a quick answer, but I know there has to be a way. The question is below:

Is there a way in conditional formatting or data validation that a color or text will automatically enter text into a separate cell? For example, 3-5 is low, 6-8 is average, ad 9-10 is above. Is there a way to type “3” in cell b8 and the word “low” appears in cell c9?

If this does not make sense, let me know!

Thanks!
Dan

Solution

Doing this kind of work is pretty easy with a nested IF statement in Google Sheets, but you have to mind your ps and qs so the statement doesn’t get super crazy…

Essentially, IF this is TRUE, then do THAT…

Works like this:

=IF(A1=3,"THREE",IF(A1=5,"FIVE",IF(A1=8,"EIGHT","TRY ANOTHER NUMBER")))

Using < for ranges, would look something like this, structuring the formula from low to high:

=IF(A6<5,"LOW",IF(A6<8,"MEDIUM","HIGH"))

You can of course make use of > or < symbols as well… The last argument “TRY ANOTHER…” is the error, or ELSE, as in if none of the nested IF statements are true, then what? Remember, all text needs to be in double quotes…

Then, you could always conditionally format on the words, if needed…

Here’s the sheet above: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13jokc_BOaehnhQgiCWAaNz0ARBQrnEH8dTQ2AvC79Mo/copy

Want more? Head here: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/3093364?hl=en

Getting to Know Google!

Do you find yourself confused from time-to-time when someone uses a Google-related term in a conversation?  Do you know what some applications do, but wouldn’t know where to start with others?  You are not alone.

Click here for an introduction to the basic functions of just a few of the applications you have access to in your G-Suite! Moreover, please reach out to one of our district tech coaches (Dan Stitzel and Molly Kloder) if you want to dive deeper into launching these amazing tools!

Empowering Our Students with the New Ohio Strategic Plan

via Ohio Department of Education, written by Jonathan Juravich.

Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, Each Child, Our Future, specifically speaks to what teachers already know — that each and every student in our classrooms is important and valuable. Their individual success is our priority. It is our role as educators to be sure they are continually challenged, prepared and empowered. This is what encourages me about the new strategic plan — a plan that supports and highlights the excellent work already happening in countless classrooms throughout our state. Continue reading “Empowering Our Students with the New Ohio Strategic Plan”