Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Google Classroom Has Arrived!

I spent yesterday training my school's 7th and 8th graders about Google Classroom and some of the Google Apps. After explaining the importance of using all internet-based products appropriately, especially Gmail, we dove into joining all of our classes with class codes. The students enjoyed seeing the different themes that their teachers had chosen and how easy it was to access each class.

In order to practice submitting work, I had them do a very simple Doc assignment that required using a "Free to use, share, or modify" picture from the "Research" tool. Students were impressed by the citation magically appearing with the selection of a photo. "Research" was definitely a big hit with them. Equally impressive, was the automatic naming of their assignment file with their own name.

The teachers and I will continue training the students about the other features in Classroom and other Apps. I am excited to assist them in collaborative projects with Classroom. The magic of Google never stops!

Here's the agenda that I used:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Getting Googley in Middle School

Today, I accomplished my first task from my original post! I did a Google Classroom PD for my middle school teachers. I decided to have my teachers experience Classroom as a student. As we went through assignments, we went through the different functions of each app: Docs, Slides, and Forms. Then, the teachers created their classrooms, one for each period. They put all of their class codes on a Google. Which leads me to my next task: Creating  a Google Classroom PD for my middle school students. My job is always busy and never boring! Love it!

Here's the link to my agenda with resources for the training:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why blog? My plate is already full!

As I begin this blog, I'm asking myself, "Why?" Between my work and family, I already feel overcommitted. Sometimes, I'm feel like Gumby, stretched, contorted, and very green. I've been reading and viewing a lot about a growth-mindset. So now,with this mindset, I've chosen to identify with Elastigirl from The Incredibles, still stretched and contorted, but also purposeful and powerful. (Now, you have a glimpse into my quirky personality.)
Okay, I'm an "Incredible", but, still, why blog? My job, as a ToSA, has given me wonderful opportunities to learn, share, and, hopefully, inspire. As educators embark on a voyage through new technology tools, strategies, and teaching structures, being a ToSA also gives me great sense of responsibility. I want to prepare my teachers and students to be ready for our ever-changing world. That being said, I need to be mindful of on what and how I focus my energies with my school. That requires me to be reflective, organized, and curious, the very same traits that I desire for my teachers and students. How do I get this with my students? I tell them to take their thoughts to writing. In the writing process, we discover ourselves, our beliefs, and who we want to be.

So, finally, an answer! This blog is my way to take my thoughts to writing, in order to keep me reflective, organized and curious as I tackle new projects.

Project #1 for 2015: Taking my middle school staff and students into the amazing world of GAFE. I will be developing PD for them to learn and use Google Apps, including Google Classroom. I believe, that taking this leap into a "Googlely" world, has the potential to change how how we teach and learn, for the better.

The intended audience for this blog is me, myself and I, but if you have stumbled upon it and have a similar interest, follow me on my journey to "ignite passion for learning."

Needless to say, this blog reflects my own personal beliefs.