Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer Take-Aways

Summer has officially ended. It's back to work for me, but not before I share a few summer take-aways. What I love about summer is the time to explore technologies and how they can benefit classroom teachers. This summer I took some time to explore a few technology tools at a deeper level and how they can better be used in education. 

My 1st take-away...
"Why a Digital Portfolio is Needed"
  1. Reasons for a Portfolio
    • One place for communication
    • Showcase evidence
    • Instant access for anyone at no cost
    • Share what you do and learn from others
  2. How to Get Started
  3. What to Include
    • Title Page - keep it simple and visible on the site
    • Navigation - the easier the better
    • About Me Page - short bio and recent picture
    • Resume - link to a PDF
    • Social Media - links to media used for professional reasons
    • Students - consider uploaded complete work
    • Teachers - consider adding teaching philosophy, continuing education, honors/awards, etc.
  4. REMINDER: Portfolios should be consider as a work in progress!!
My 2nd take-away...
"If You are NOT using Google Drive and Doctopus in the Classroom, You SHOULD" 
  1. Doctopus runs through Google Sheets (Excel for those who are Microsoft users)
  2. Step ONE should be to collect students first/last name and email address. I'd suggest creating a Google form with three questions: Last name. First name. Email address.
  3. Once you get the responses from the form add the Doctopus add-on. (Add-ons)
  4. In a nut shell, using Doctopus allows a teacher to share/receive assignments from students, edit student rights, attach a rubric to an assignment and all in the cloud.
  5. My favorite features of Doctopus:
    • It will create a standardized folder structure for your classes and believe me this is amazing. I learned Doctopus by creating all the folders manually. What a headache. Thank you Google for the updated feature!
    • Re-use and update your Doctopus class rosters in a single click, from any Google Sheet. Each time you add a roster it automatically saves in Doctopus.
    • Four sharing configurations for files sent to your roster:
      1. Individual - all the same: Creates the same separate, individual Doc for each student in your class.
      2. Individual - differentiated: Creates one copy of a Doc for each student based on their level, as designated in a "Group" column on your roster.
      3. Project Groups: Creates one shared copy of a Doc for each project group as designated in the "Group" column on your roster.
      4. Whole Class: Creates a SINGLE shared copy of a Doc for your whole class.
    • Automatically grant view-only or comment-only privileges
    • Easily remove and restore student editing rights during grading and revision cycles.
    • Install the Goobric Chrome extension and attach a rubrics to the Doctopus assignment spreadsheet to enable a rubric-based grading widget right in the browser. 
      • Goobric extension automatically passes rubric scores back to Doctopus and (optionally) emails completed rubric to the student.
  6. Here is a great site for video tutorials. Click here
My 3rd take-away...
"Use EDpuzzle to Create Video Lessons"
  1. EDpuzzle is a site that allows teachers to create video lessons for students. Here are a list of the features that one can expect:
    • First - EDpuzzle doesn't play well with Google Chrome Browser. I have found it works well in Firefox and Internet Explorer. 
    • With EDpuzzle, teachers can search for educational videos within the site from sources like YouTube, Khan Academy, Vimeo, Teacher Tube, and many other platforms. 
    • Once a video is chosen the teacher can then...
      • Crop the video
      • Create voice over for the entire video
      • Insert voice comments
      • Insert multiple choice or open response questions
    • When the video editing is complete the teacher can share the link with students or embed in a website. 
    • Classes can be created and students can join the teacher class. Within the class, the teacher can assign videos created, track the video to see when watched, and track quizzes added to videos.
  2. What I love about EDpuzzle is that the videos created are housed on their site, which means a teacher doesn't have to go find a cloud storage for videos. 
  3. EDpuzzle tutorials and FAQs

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