3. @ijukes Why Creativity in the Classroom Matters More Than Ever http://www.edudemic.com/creativity-in-the-classroom/
4. @IgniteNation Teach students success is no accident
3. @ijukes Why Creativity in the Classroom Matters More Than Ever http://www.edudemic.com/creativity-in-the-classroom/
4. @IgniteNation Teach students success is no accident
It’s foolish to only use Google for doing online searches. Not only are there several other search engines just as useful, but Google has also created some new ones itself. Watch this podcast to learn about those search engines. One of them could be perfect for you.
0:00:05 Alternative Search Engines to Google
0:00:15 What Do You Love? Page
0:00:30 Inside the Google Suite
Now, in terms of search engines, we’ve also got some other options here. And Google has created a few different ones.
So the first one here is this one here, which stands for “What Do You Love.” So if I click on this, a new page will open up for me and in here I can type in whatever I like here. So let’s just say I was interested in cars and I could click that. And what it does is, it goes and it gets all the major tools that are inside the Google Suite and it comes back and gives me some information about it. So for instance here is Maps. And then I’ve got YouTube and I’ve got Sketch Up. We’ve got Paint and Searches. We’ve got Calendars. We’ve got blogs searches, Google Books, Google Translate. You’ve got all sorts of things—Google Earth, mobiles, moderator, trends, discussions in groups. You can even set up an alert for this particular topic.So this just puts it all into, like, a card file and just organizes it.
Now you’re not going to get a great amount of search results here, and you’re not going to necessarily find the best search results. But it’s just a different, graphical way of organizing your information.
4. @cbeyerle Mythbuster on school testing
With the sheer amount of available information from different sources online, how could you make sure of a source’s credibility? You may use Google Chrome. It has an extension that lets you look into and assess the reliability of a site.
Called EasyBib, the extension is actually an app for creating bibliographies. Check out the video below to learn how to use it to check a site’s credibility.
0:00:06 What is EasyBib?
0:00:35 EasyBib Options
0:01:15 A Link to a Page Showing What EasyBib Looks for to Determine whether a Site’s Credible
0:01:32 Other Websites Showing How to Check a Site’s Credibility
0:01:44 An Example of These Websites
Now there’s another extension here that I use all the time and this one is called EasyBib, and EasyBib is a bibliography creator. One of the great things that EasyBib does for us is, it looks at the website and then gives us an estimation of how reliable that website might be.
So in my Wikipedia website just here, I simply find the EasyBib extension in my Chrome browser, I click it and I get some options. So I could site on EasyBib; I could view the bibliography and it says here our credibility rating, this website may be credible. Okay? So it’s saying, that it might be credible. Now if I went over here to National Geographic and did exactly the same thing, you will see here that, that website now says: That our website is credible.
So there’s different ranking features that enable EasyBib to tell your students if they think a website is credible or not. Now I’ve put in your doc just here, a resource to know if a site is credible. That’s a site that EasyBib has created, where they show you what they look for to determine if a website is credible or not. So, two Chrome Apps and Extensions there that are really handy.
Now underneath here, I’ve also given you some websites to teach site credibility. So here, for instance, here’s a great website. Let me just drop it over into this Chrome account.Discover how EasyBib can easily check site credibility. #edtech #edu #GAFE #aussieED #usetechbetter Click To Tweet
This website is www.allaboutexplorers.com. Now, when your students go to www.allaboutexplorers.com, it looks like a great website. It has some nice images and graphics about it. I can find out about different explorers. So I’m going to go to Explorers A to Z, for instance, and then here I might want to have a look at someone—Christopher Columbus for instance, that would be a name that some students would know. So I’m going to click on Christopher Columbus here. Once again it opens up. It gives me some great information about Christopher Columbus. All looks pretty legitimate; we’ve got sharing icons and so on. But if your students start to read here it says, Christopher Columbus was born in 1951 in Sidney, Australia, and then it goes on. So how do we know if this is a credible site or not? Now here’s something interesting: If I use my EasyBib thing just here it tells me, this website is not credible. So, straight up, your students will get some information about that. Now they’re looking at things about, like, where does it link to, who’s the author, are they reputable and so on. But your students could immediately, without even having to read, and think about, “Is Christopher Columbus born in Sydney in 1951?” EasyBib would be able to give you that.
So you could create a lesson for your students, send them off to one of these websites. And part of the deal is, that they need to find information. And then, at the end of it, and hopefully, they found out that, maybe, this wasn’t right, because they checked other websites and so on (but you never know).
So a couple of things that would alert students: it says here, Christopher Columbus was born in 1951; down here it says, in 1942 he set sail. That doesn’t make sense; he returned in 1939.
So there are just some ways that you could get your students to be able to scan the page and see what’s happening there.
You’ve found just the perfect page with the information that you definitely want and you just need additional sources to complete your research. Why bother going through other pages which might be rubbish when you can find similar pages to the one you found?
Watch this video to find out how the Chrome Extension Google Similar Pages can help you out.
0:00:03 Google Apps and Extensions
0:00:33 Google Similar Pages Extension
0:00:44 Similar Websites
0:01:10 How to Use Google to Find Useful Information and Save Time
There are some Chrome apps and extensions that really help us deal with data and find great information. There [is one] that I want to mention in particular. [That] one is Google Similar Pages.
If I just click different accounts right now, it’s built into this account and not into my other one. If I, for instance, was going to do a search on cats and I went to Wikipedia and I did a search on cats, I have this extension here, which is a Google Similar Pages extension. And if I click this, a little drop-down menu will come up and it will tell me: That these are the websites that are similar to the website that I’m already on.
So this is something that’s been developed by Google, so it’s going to be good and it’s just a great way for your students to be able to find similar information.How to use #Google Similar Pages extension to collect similar great information? #edtech #aussieed… Click To Tweet
Now the way I would ask my students to use this would be, that if they found a website that had good information, was easy to read, it was reliable, then [they] could ask Google to find similar pages to that. So it could save your students randomly searching for information. And this would be a good way to be able to do that. So in terms of finding that, that’s a great influence. So if I could just click here, for instance, www.animals.nationalgeographic, it will take me straight to that page, and all that is used is the Chrome Extension to do that.
Now, I assume that most people know how to add a Chrome Extension to their account: Once you’re logged in, you simply just click on your apps button, you go to the Chrome Web Store and you just do a search for that in the Chrome Web Store. So you’d search for Google similar images and then you’d just add it to your Google account.
@FaithReeI Girl With Half A Face Was Horribly Bullied, Now She Tells Her Story! http://faithreel.com/girl-with-half-a-face-covered-in-a-tumor-was-horribly-bullied-now-she-tells-her-story/ …
We often hear of how Google Analytics is a powerful online tool, so we make sure to have it installed on our website. Among its many uses is tracking. Watch this short video to find out how you’ll benefit from using it as a tracking program.
0:00:29 How to Track Programs
0:00:48 Uses of Google Analytics
0:02:08 A Closer Look into Google Analytics’ Uses
Mike: So let’s just bring this back to the classroom for sec, because I love all the text stuff; I love to take them back to where we’re at in the call phase.
In terms of other things that we need to measure, obviously, we need to measure our students’ learning. We need to see that they are progressing and we need to track their marks and so on.
How do you see—I’m interested from a tech person’s point of view—how do you see that interfacing with that sort of data that you’ve talked about so far? Do you spend a lot of money on tracking programs? Or, how do you do it?
Blake: We’ve been talking about sort of managing the school top-down. You know, looking at other schools as a whole. But I think, if you’re going to be really drilling into the classroom stuff, there’s a number of tools that Google offers with a blogging platform and things like that. But the big one is Google Analytics for us. We pretty widely use it here.
I mean, not every teacher uses it, but a few teachers use it to really track the resources they’re putting up on Google sites, or any other website for that matter. You can put Google Analytics into almost any website and track what pages they’re (the users) going to on that site, how often they’re visiting the site, what time periods they’re visiting the site, when they go to a page, how often they’re there, how often they leave the page—you know what pages are they exiting the site with. You can drill down all the sort of stuff: how they’re getting there as well; are they clicking through from their email, or are they going through Google sites; are they clicking on a social media update, or, you know, a Facebook group; how they’re finding that information.
So all of that stuff is really, really powerful for teachers. I think certainly, you know, even from five years ago, that would have been something no one would have dreamt of.
Mike: Yeah, that’s right. And that data just makes such a difference too, because that’s when you can start to say, “Well, how long are they actually spending on a site? How they are engaging with it?” And you start to get some of those metrics.
So, as a teacher, that’s the sort of stuff I like to see. Maybe a student has gone back to a particular website five times. Well, I want to know that. Is there an issue? Do they not understand the concept? And I love the fact that you can start to pull that sort of information out.
Blake: Exactly. And here’s an example of a PA site that’s been up and running for—I think it’s been going for a few years now. It’s just a Google site that has a whole lot of resources on it that kids use throughout the year. And if we just look at the date range here, this is the total; sort of unique views or page views throughout the year.
You know, we want to make sure that this is actionable stuff. So you see here, the term starts at a little bit of a spike. That’s probably something that in class was mentioned. You’ve got to go grab this resource. Everyone goes and grabs it, so 38 people were on the site that day. So that’s probably, you know, a class. Someone went there a couple of times extra and then we see, you know, bubbles along, bubbles along, then something happens in April. What do you think happened in April, Mike?
Mike: Well, that’s getting towards the end of term, so you’re looking at revision and end-of-topic kind of things. The assessment tasks have been handed out and so on.
Blake: Exactly. And then, you see, it travels through the holidays and in through to May here. So that lets you sort of figure out, “Okay, well, kids are really liking this for revision. But what are they looking at?” So if we scroll down here, we can see exactly what they’re looking at. I mean, most of their page views are hitting the home page and from there, the number one page is this Physical Education three and four page. I can then drill into that and see how many people are looking at that page in particular and when.
So that creates a really good opportunity to say, “Well, these pages or this information seems to be getting hit at revision time.This information, like this page here, gets hit pretty evenly across the year and we’re actually going to have a look at that page if we wanted to, but I don’t think we would have access to this site.”
So, yeah, that’s the basics on the kind of overview of the behavior of where people were clicking through. There’s also an acquisition area here on the left in Google Analytics. We’ll click on the overview of that and we can see where people are coming in from, you know, this direct. It means they actually typed in the URL search. You know, they’re doing organic search. Or there’s referrals, I’ll click on that referral link. I can even see where this comes from. Okay, some have been sharing this with social buttons and things like that, and we can start to go down into that. There’s a forum topic there that references this website. So you can see where people are coming to your website from and how useful the information is to the users. And this is really good. Like, a couple of our staff ended up just redoing their websites for revision only because they realized no one is actually looking at it throughout the term. It’s only being used for revision, anyway. Let’s make it a revision website and really target and hone in on that and throw out the crap that we don’t need and simplify the whole thing for the kids. So it helps you to (kind of) on that journey of continuous improvement, and to make sure that the work that you’re providing them is timely and the right stuff for the right time and the right format.
Mike: Yeah, that makes so much sense. I really like that. I think it’s fantastic.
What’s your vision as a teacher? How did you form it? With the help of your students’ parents? Technology? Certain companies? Your own research? Are you sure you know how to make your vision a reality?
Watch this video to arrive at the best answers.
0:00:13.4 The Best Way to Make Your Vision a Reality
0:01:24.5 How to Progress According to Your Plan
00:02:16 Helpful Questions to Ask Yourself
In terms of who informs this vision: Is it the parent? Is it technology companies? Is it research? Where is this vision coming from?
So the best way to establish vision here is, that we’ve got to be realistic about our present reality.
So the question here is, what’s the best way to establish our vision while being realistic about our present?
So once you’ve got a clear picture about how your students learn and how your teachers teach, you can then start to design a plan that’s going to meet your needs.
Now the plan: Please don’t get stuck into this concept of “Right, I’ve just got to go and provide more staff training. I’ve got to do better training in my staff. Afternoons we’ve got to get the staff together and do techy-breckies and all these strategy things.” Basically, if you chase that too hard, what will happen is, that you will just continue to go round and round in circles, and you won’t actually start to make a real lasting change in what’s happening in your schools.
So here is where, when—you know, where you are. And you can realistically look at your vision. This is where you get to design a professional development plan; where you get to talk about infrastructure, device strategies, bridging the gap between where you are and where you need to be.
So, as you progress with your plan, your strategy can change to address the issues that arise. But as you do, what you need to do is just continue to establish that vision.What do you think is the best way to establish our vision? #edtech #edchat #GAFE #usetechbetter Click To Tweet
Now for those of you who are AOGs for the eLearning guides in the room, maybe you are in charge of establishing that vision. That task has been given to you to establish the vision and so on. So what you need to do is, you need to understand where this fits inside your school plan and then be able to work with the teachers and the exec teachers to enhance that plan.
For those of you who are in exec roles (and you are looking at this here), then please don’t feel like you need to solve the world’s problems. This is not going to change overnight. We’ve spent 20 years with one-to-one in schools and we already know that this is falling short.
So, I want to give you some questions that will help really narrow this focus down for you, and I’m going to give you five minutes just to work on this right now while it’s fresh in your mind. So, we’ve gone through “How do our students learn and how do our teachers teach? How will our students learn and how will our teachers teach?” And then, what we need to do now is, we need to establish the best way to establish our vision: By being realistic about our future.
1. @WeAreTeachers One of our favorites! #reading #edchat
2. @edutopia Happy birthday to our fearless leader, George Lucas!
4. @HistoricalPics I’m blown away by this photo
1. You cannot be a master teacher until you are a master learner.
2. A good #teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism.
In the podcast below, Blake talks about his digital school newsletter company and how such a newsletter can strengthen your school’s communications.
0:00:13 Blake’s school newsletter
0:00:25 Stats on newsletter signup
Blake: Absolutely. Before I do as well, I also wanted to talk with everyone about our newsletters as well—which is a company I’m involved with, which is the school newsletter—and how that can affect, you know, I guess, educate us about what we are doing with our school communication even, and all sorts of things.
We see here, we offer stats. When you sign up an account with us, you get stats on every newsletter. So, here is the stat on the latest newsletter that shows the breakdown of devices, right? How people are reading the newsletter? You can see here, you know, over 40 percent of people are reading it on a tablet or a mobile—and that’s really important information if you’re a school, and we see that across all schools. We have this data across all the whole range of schools. You know, we can see it’s almost 45 to 50 percent as an average across all schools reading on a tablet or mobile, right? And that’s really important, because, if you are sending a PDF, have you ever tried to read a PDF on your little mobile? It’s not great.Find out how your school newsletter affects your schools communication? #edtech #gafe #ACTLearn… Click To Tweet
So, that’s one of the things that kind of helps. You figure out how should you be providing communication: what are parents using, what’s going on outside your school, or inside the school community in terms of parents and students, and how things are getting consumed.
You can see how many pages are in this, how many unique readers have already hit this since this came out today—there have been 109 people who’ve already read through it—and then how long they’re actually on it. You could see the average read time is, like, 20 seconds. So, how much stuff you’re putting in your newsletter, you know? If people are in there for 20 seconds, you know, this is a 16-page newsletter, so looking at stats like that and saying “Okay, how can we make this more relevant for people? How can we improve the quality of what we’re doing?” And that’s something we’re going to continue to improve under the point, and we will be able to have analytics on how many people are reading each specific article. So, you can start tailoring and looking at certain pages and saying “Well, maybe the sport reports got to go.” or maybe the—you know, whatever it is. Or, “We got to put more effort into the principal’s report.”
So, that’s just another way that we’re looking at trying to strengthen school communities.
Mike: Yeah, that’s really helpful.
Have you ever wondered how education takes place among students and teachers? Watch this podcast to find out.
0:00:15.8 How do students learn and teachers teach?
00:00:43 Questions to consider
So, the first question that you want to be able to answer is—it’s about your present context right now—so, the question is: How do your students learn and how do your teachers teach?
So, how do your students learn and how do your teachers teach?
Now, there’s a whole range of questions that would come up underneath this, I guess in terms of this question here, and I’m going to give these to you in a minute and you’ll have time to go back through and have a look at them. But the first thing is, here are some questions that can get you thinking on this—and I’ll pause for 20 seconds between each of them—and you can just have a quick reflection time.
So, do students learn better when they have access to a pen? Have you considered that? So, when talking about that old technology not created equal, so when it comes to what technology you are going to use and what training are you going to provide, do students learn better when they have access to a pen?
Another question that you might want to consider is: Do our teachers display resilience and persistence when they face technology difficulties?
So, we all know that technology doesn’t work immediately. Sometimes there’s issues with that. So, we want to make sure that our teachers have a level of resilience and persistence. How is that there in your school? Just have a quick think.
What about your students? You know, sometimes we think that students will just persevere and persist with technology. But we know that, that’s not the case, right? So, students, when they are faced with a problem, sometimes they just give up straight away.
Another question that you might want to ask yourself is: As a school, do we tolerate or do we celebrate or do we resist change?How do your Students Learn and Teachers Teach? Things to consider.. #edtech #GAFE #aussieED Click To Tweet
So, as a culture in your school, do you resist change, do you tolerate change, or do you celebrate change? Where would you be on that change continuum?
Another question for you is (this one around engagement): So, is student engagement and learning enhanced with the use of technology?
And before you just give a general yes or no answer to that, how will you measure this? So, what measurement systems do you have in place to actually track the fact that engagement has gone up and learning has been enhanced because you are using technology? How are you going to measure that at your school? This is your present system. What is in place right now?
And the next one we’ve got here is: How will we use technology to enhance the outcomes we are already experiencing?
So, in your schools, you’ve already got some great things happening. Regardless if you’re a high school or primary school, you’ve already got some good things happening in your school, students are achieving at a great level in some areas. So, how is technology going to enhance those outcomes? How can you actually take that great stuff and make it even better?
Alright. And here is the last question for you: Are we going to try and fix out weaknesses or are we trying to build our strength?
So, why are you using technology? Are you using technology because there is a number of things in your school that you are not happy about and there’s a number of frustrations you are trying to solve or are you using technology to actually enhance what’s working well for you? What’s the strategy? So, what’s in place right now?
“Teacher Dashboard is essential for using Google Apps in the classroom. Everything is right there in one centralized location. I don’t know how we managed without it. ”
James SandersInnovation Manager KIPP Bay Area Schools
My teachers adore Teacher Dashboard. In a year with tons of huge changes, most teachers have seen this as low hanging fruit. It was worth their time to learn how to use it because it is so easy to use and so useful. Thanks for a great product.
Susan SedroNTERMEDIATE SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY COACH
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Thank you Mike! I really found the 4 week course on ‘How to Motivate, Manage & Engage Your Students’ really interesting and great food for thought on how to improve my class routines and student engagement. I look forward to the next sessions with the technology course.
Kiki TsoliBankstown Senior College
Just replayed last week’s session and enjoyed it just as much second time around. This is a great facility!
Where was this kind of training when I did my Bachelor of teaching???
Ken SullivanSunning Hill School
(Juvenile Correctional Centre)
I just wanted to say an extra big thank you for providing such a great service. Online, at night and in the comfort of home – with my two young children asleep in the other room – pretty awesome actually. It was very engaging and entertaining.
OMG!!! What a change! This class has a lot of students in it, and I find the room very small for all the different personalities. But after I set the picture, the students were working with me instead of against me.
Vicki NationChair Mathematics Faculty
I have been teaching for four years, and this was the best Professional Development course I have completed…even the students said to me “you should do these things more often.
Ailie GrangerGriffith High School
Mike, awesome course, fantastic resources and a real wake-up for someone who considers himself technically astute but not necessarily updated!
Shaun HardyTechnological and Applied Studies Teacher
Coffs harbour High School
Today was amazing. By far the best PD I have done in my 5 years of Teaching.
Josh HardingHead of IT - Cobham Intermediate School
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