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My Great EdTechTeam Summit Takeaways

My Great EdTechTeam Summit Takeaways

Image of Google Summit logo

Thank you Roseville High School (via the awesome Marie Criste) for hosting this weekend’s Google Summit. Start to finish, what an awesome way to spend a weekend! Below are a few of my favorite takeaways:

Technology, High Expectations and the Art of Relationships – Having Jeff Heil kick-off the Summit with his opening keynote was an inspiring start. I had the good fortune to first meet Jeff at the 2012 Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View. We were in the same group/team (led by the amazing Jenny Magiera), so I already knew that Jeff is both brilliant and hilarious. But I did not know about his commitment to using technology as a tool for achieving educational equity, a passion ignited from his time spent working with homeless youth. I am still thinking about Jeff’s question/challenge: “How can  the creation of something as simple as a relationship transform student achievement?”

Photo of Jeffrey Heil, keynote speaker for Roseville 2017 Summit

Create Accessibility: Accessible Design for Classroom Creators – If Melissa Oliver’s engaging, hands-on session had been the only one I attended, it would have been well worth the drive to Roseville. As educators in a digital age, we all need an understanding of how to make content we post online – including student-created works – accessible to our readers. Visitors to our online sites, whether they be blind, deaf, colorblind, or elderly, deserve equal access to the content.

Melissa started her session with an easy accessibility first step: adding “alt text” to all images. “Alt text” is an abbreviation for “alternative text.” When you add an “alt text” to an image, screen readers for the blind and visually impaired will read out your text description, thereby making your image accessible. If you are a G Suite district (AKA Google Apps for Education district), I think you’ll appreciate that Google understands the importance of accessibility and has created a very helpful guide. In Google Docs and Slides, for instance, you can find the “alt text” option by selecting the image, clicking on Format, and scrolling all the way down to the last option. In Google Forms and the new Google Sites, select the image, click on the three vertical dots, select “Add alt tag,” and add your description.

Photo of lion            photo of lion with Add alt tag option

Closed captioning (CC) was the second big item on Melissa’s agenda. We’ve been discussing this requirement recently in my district – and feeling a little overwhelmed. Given how many teachers embed or include links to videos on their websites and in digital lessons, I hope their reaction is not to delete all videos.

I am also hoping that students who are creating their own videos will not find the task of adding closed captioning too daunting. Since many teachers require a script before students start the filming process, they may already have text they can copy and paste into a closed captioning program. If not, they can use YouTube’s auto-generated captions and then edit them (and the auto-generated captions will need editing, but at least it’s not like starting from scratch).

In addition to three tips for closed captioning in YouTube, Melissa also shared Caption Creator for Google Drive. You will need to review and give permission to open the program first, and then select a video. What I love about this program is that as soon as you start to type in a caption, the program stops the video and waits for your next pause before continuing where you left off. Easy to use + free = a great combination! Closed captioning student video creations seem like a worthy collaborative project for parent/grandparent/community volunteers or even older students to tackle.

Given that my district was recently served notice by the Office of Civil Rights informing us that we need to make our homepage and all department and school websites (we have 66 schools) and teacher websites (tons!) accessible, my goal in attending this session was to gather useful resources and join a conversation on accessibility issues, solutions, and best practices. Mission accomplished!

Docs Confidential – I learned a few nifty tricks from Jeff Heil’s Google Docs session:

  • How to keep other tabs open when in the presenter view of Google Slides: While in the edit view of your slideshow, click on the URL. Towards the end of the URL, where you see /edit, select and replace with present. You’re good to go!

  • How about adding a hyperlinked table of contents (TOC) in the footer of your Google Doc? Sure, you can add a TOC at the start of a Doc, but it doesn’t travel with you as you move down through pages. It’s all about Bookmarks. Start by selecting the words or phrases in your document you would like to be hyperlinks in your footer; then click on Insert > Bookmark. When you’ve finished setting up your Bookmaks, go back to Insert and add them to your footer. Type whatever corresponding text you’d like in your footer, select it, go to Insert > Bookmark. I’ve just added a hyperlinked footer to my On Coming to America HyperDoc. Love it!

Exploring Google Expeditions with Cardboard – If you have any extra smartphones you no longer need, I would love to have them … to insert inside Google Cardboard … and expand on the world of virtual field trip possibilities. Jim Sill’s packed session was a wonderful introduction to Google Expeditions! As we stepped into a very breathtaking 3D climb up Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan, I thought about a teacher in my district who recently took his 5th graders on a virtual visit to Yosemite through a videoconference with our National Parks. The videoconference was an extension to a story the students had read about John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt. I think a teacher-led Google Expedition of Yosemite would be one more powerful way technology can open the walls of the classroom (especially in our Title 1 schools).

Revenge of the Sheets: Learn to Google Sheets the Jedi Way – This was my first time to attend one of Jesse Lubinsky’s workshops. He shared a number of great tips for ramping up your Google Sheets skills. A new one for me was the Mapping Sheets add-on, a visual way to let data tell a story:

I also really appreciate Jesse’s comprehension digital handout, which includes links to his various presentations. Each presentation includes links to take you into, through, and beyond a specific Google tool. Thank you!

HyperDoc Design School – This was not my first time to attend one of Lisa Highfill’s incredible sessions … so I already knew to get there early because she always shares inspiring videos (she is known as the “video whisperer”) before she even delves into her session. Examples: What is your hope and Seeing things differently/Perspectives.

Back to HyperDocs…As I watched Lisa create a HyperDoc* from scratch on how she might teach students the correct use of there, their, and they’re,  I found my session takeaway: Google Story Builder. I’ve known about Story Builder for a long time, but it hadn’t occurred to me what a powerful tool this could be for letting students build their writing skills.

*  “HyperDoc is a term used to describe a Google Doc that contains an innovative lesson for students- a 21st Century worksheet, but much better.” From What Is a HyperDoc?

Student Agency EDU – Coming full circle, I ended my Roseville Summit weekend with Jeff Heil, this time joined by presenter/author Trevor McKenzie. They quickly had me immersed in an interesting topic: mastery vs. grades. What if we required students to reach for an A, rather then allowing them to slide by with a B, C, or D? The best way to make this shift happen is to allow students to explore topics and develop projects that they care about. But students will need some scaffolding to take them to this level/goal/expectation. I will definitely be sharing Trevor’s graphics, including the one below, to make visible what the process of moving from teacher-led to student-initiated inquiry looks like:

infographic of stages of student inquiry - from teacher-led to student-intiated

What a well-spent Saturday and Sunday! With much appreciation for all the planning, vision, and energy the stellar EdTechTeam puts into a Google Summit, I am already looking forward to the 2018 event.

Getting Googley at Gunn High School – 2014 EdTechTeam Summit

Getting Googley at Gunn High School – 2014 EdTechTeam Summit

The drive to Palo Alto’s Gunn High School to attend the July 19-20 GAFE Summit was definitely worth it! With so many great sessions to choose from, narrowing down my choices was a challenge. I enjoyed and learned from each one. Below are a few of my takeaways:

Toward Better Technology Integration – Scott McLeod – I’ve been following Scott McLeod, both through his blog and on Twitter, since first watching his Did You Know videos. A visit to his 2014 EdTech Summit Palo Alto page will provide you with a ton of cool resources as well as a window into his amazing session Toward Better Technology Integration (scroll down a ways). Because I was also presenting during session 1, I missed Part 1 of Scott’s presentation, but am very glad I made it to Part 2 – in which Scott walked us through trudacot (technology-rich unit design and classroom observation template).

Two weeks later, I am still thinking about the potential of trudacot to leverage the power of technology to power up a lesson or unit of study. The template moves beyond technology integration frameworks, such as TPACK and SAMR, by helping teachers figure how to redesign lessons so it’s not about the tool or tools; it’s about the learning. It’s also about providing the context to allow learning to become authentic. Students move beyond studying about “homelessness,” for instance, to figuring out solutions to homelessness (like PBL).

The starting point in redesigning lessons is to begin with someone else’s lessons. In grade-level teams, for example, once everyone is comfortable to with the trudacot model via practicing lesson upgrades (in both the lesson design and meaningful integration of technology tools) using “model lessons” such as the ones listed on Scott’s Summit page, they can move on to analyzing and improving their own lessons.  In watching the sample lesson videos and then reading through the accompanying lessons, it was easy/energizing to go through the trudacot sections and discuss how the lesson met or did not meet the criteria, and then move on to ideas for bumping up the lesson – and learning.

What a great coaching  model and mega takeaway!

Performing the Google SlideMark Hammons – Loved Mark’s design tips, including switching out bullet points for an image + powerful quote = telling a story. Very excited to start playing with Pear Deck and weaving it into my G Slides.

Doctopus and autoCratDiane Main – Great session, with lots of WOW factors in seeing what the new Doctopus add-on can do for you. Wish I had updated to the new Drive prior to Diane’s session, as the Doctopus add-on doesn’t really work in the old Drive.

Better Student Feedback with Kaizena Karl Lindgren-Streicher  – Love Karl’s presentation style: humor + insights from the trenches. His session link includes screenshots and tips to get started with this powerful Google add-on for providing students with audio feedback. In Karl’s words, “Kaizena allows you to give more, better, faster feedback on student work than any other tool.” Prior to Karl’s session, I’d thought of Kaizena more as a one-way flow of feedback – from teacher to student. I left the session thinking about the possibilities of two-way feedback/conversations. Awesome tool. Awesome presenter.

Critical Thinking and the Web: Searching in a Google-Infused WorldHolly Clark – I ended my Summit experience with Holly’s session on searching skills. Having Google Search Anthropologist Dan Russell join the session as a participant transformed the session from a presentation to a highly interactive discussion. WOW! Great way to wrap up an amazing two days of connecting, comparing/sharing, and learning!

A huge thank you to the EdTechTeam for all time, energy, and vision you put into planning this event! It was a privilege to attend, both as a presenter and a participant. I’m already checking the upcoming GAFE Summits and looking forward to attending several in the new school year.

Roseville GAFE Summit – Some Takeaways

Roseville GAFE Summit – Some Takeaways

resources   2014 07 19 EdTechTeam California Summit featuring Google for Education

 

A week later, I’m still thinking about the Roseville GAFE Summit. What an amazing gathering of innovative educators! Here are some of my takeaways:

 

  • Dan Russell’s Opening Keynote – I’m a huge Dan Russell fan. Many of the tips I include in my Just Google It! workshop come from Dan. From his session, I’ve added a new word to my 21st century teaching and learning glossary: informacy – to use and interact with the  information. I’m also adding to my workshop Dan’s reminder of the power of Photo search, which allows you to search by image  and then drag that image into search image box. Or even more awesome, take photo of something (e.g., a caterpillar) and drag image into search image box.
  • Ken Shelton’s Google Sites Session – Ken demonstrated how to make a Google site not look like a Google site by encouraging students to take advantage of screen real estate and switching  navigation from vertical to horizontal. His great tips for selecting or creating a color palette are posted to his Site Design[ed] site. Loved learning about ColourLovers.com and You’re a Comic Sans Criminal.
  • Trevor Mattea’s Digital Photography for Elementary Students – I recommend going through Trevor’s slideshow, including his external links, to find great tips such as Mike Browne’s YouTube Channel and to be inspired by the work Trevor is doing with his 3rd graders.
  • Michael Wacker’s Even More Googiciousness – Wow, so many Google tips, I need to go back through his slideshow a couple more times. Glad to learn about Remote Desktop, which allows you to take over another person’s computer during a hangout, and Auto Awesome – if you take 5 or more images, it creates the animate “chip” for you.
  • Rachel Wente-Chaney’s Trees & Branches – Wish you had an easy-to-follow video tutorial to walk staff and students through the process of of creating “choose your own adventure” style Google forms? Checkout the link to Rachel’s Trees & Branches “screencast walk through.”
  • Megan Ellis’s Doctopus & Goobric – Beautiful job of bringing a packed room of eager educators on board with the power of Doctopus and Goobric! (Very proud to have been in the same MERIT cohort with Megan;-)

Based on the Roseville Summit, I’m pretty sure I’m on my way to becoming a Google Summit groupie.

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