You all have heard of Wordle, and some of you maybe even Tagxedo. Both pale in comparison to the word wall cloud maker Tagul! When used in conjunction with a simple Google Form, kids can independently enter target academic vocabulary, and the link they want to attach to it (a website, a YouTube video, a video they've created and uploaded to Drive...anything with a URL), and with a simple copy/paste on your end, you'll have an embeddable, beautiful word cloud for your website, complete with fancy mouse over animations, custom colors and, unlike Wordle or Tagxedo, the ability for each word in your word cloud to be a link an online resource. Serious wow factor with infinite applications!
Note: For Step 2 above, you might notice instead of "view responses," it says "choose response destination." That's fine! Simply click on that, then select "create a new spreadsheet" and leave the always create new spreadsheet selected, as noted below.
This is a follow up post from April 8th, 2013, in which I introduced the concept of using Google Apps for managing student work digitally...in essence, using Google Apps as a stripped down (free!) Learning Management System. On January 22, 2014, I presented a more comprehensive step by step work flow to Region 12's Curriculum Council. Below I've shared the meat of the presentation in the form of a printable cheat sheet and an updated video showing the process from start to finish. The steps below assume users ARE NOT on a mobile device. In the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a follow up post on the same process as it applies to mobile devices, specifically iOS. Let me know if you have questions!
Here's a video showing the whole process from start to finish...
Creating Your Own Teacher YouTube Channel
One of the biggest challenges today's educators face is not just providing students with access to digital resources, but making that access straightforward and direct. Most students will not spend a great deal of time hunting down a resource the teacher says is somewhere on Discovery Education, Gooru, or "on the website." Ideally, they need direct links to those resources, preferably straight from the lesson plan so they know the day on which it was accessed. We've discussed strategies for this at length here, but what about when teachers want to provide access to content that isn't so time sensitive, or access to content that's big and bulky like videos...maybe you want students to peruse content and have some flexibility? If these resources are your own, a good option for making them available to your students online might be an embedded file directory using Box (see previous post here). Students can navigate through any of the folders/resources/files you decide to put in there, and preview almost all of them right within the browser, or download them.
For MS Office files, PDFs, and even pictures, this works great. But notice I said almost all can be viewed in the browser? With the free version of Box, there is no in-browser viewing of videos...they have to be downloaded to be viewed. Furthermore, your storage space in your Box account is limited (just recently upgraded to 10 GB), so uploading those classroom videos will quickly fill up your account. What is the alternative then, when dealing with videos? Who knows videos? Who knows offers unlimited storage space, unlimited video length, streaming options for users to optimize their experience based on their internet speed...all at no cost to you or them?
"Right now, I'm using the channel simply to show my novice debaters what debate is all about. I'm looking every day for more examples, but truth be told, helpful debate video for UIL competition is hard to find because UIL wants you to BUY copies of their winning debates. But I've found several good examples to use for now.
My plan is to film/video my own students, my advanced students, debating one another, and use those videos as teaching tools in the future. We aren't ready for that yet, but hopefully, we will be in about a month. That's my goal."
Ready to get started?
YouTube Channel Setup Part I
(includes Google Account Creation Instructions for @lampasas.k12.tx.us)
YouTube Channel Setup Part II
(Channel Art, Uploading Videos, Dashboard, Video Manager, Defaults)
Using a published Google Doc, you can have a link to your interactive lesson plan published on your School World Teacher Site and have it automatically refresh/republish every time you make changes. See how!
So you've got a published Google Doc you're using for your lesson plans...what if you want users to be able to see it right within your School World Teacher Site, and not have to click on a link to a separate page to view it? I'll show you how to embed your published Google Doc (which involves a little bit of copying/pasting HTML code), and highlight some of the limitations of this option.
If you're like most secondary teachers at Lampasas ISD, you know secondary students recently received Gmail accounts, but you have no idea how many tools come paired with those school Gmail accounts (most students do not either!). You'll see below that there are many, many services that come with a Google Apps for Education account (not all of which we've turned on at this point, but most), one of these services is Gmail. Sure, students can email teachers and each other now in a safe and secure environment at home or school, but what else can they do, really? The answer is quite a bit!
Google Apps for Education at Lampasas ISD
A couple of months ago, we began a district-wide, teacher pilot program for Google Apps for Education. Select teachers from each campus were given GApps accounts, which include school Gmail accounts. These Gmail accounts work side by side with their existing Outlook Web Access (OWA) email accounts. But as with students, the teacher GApps accounts include many of Google's other powerful collaboration tools and services.
Goals for Teacher GApps Pilot Program
Why Google Docs and Drive?
Mrs. Hoham at LHS
Mrs. Hoham actually requested a school Google Apps account so she could more efficiently use Google Docs and Drive with her students' research papers. "More efficiently" means that while without a GApps account students could email her copies of the drafts, they had to send them to her as attachements. This approach meant she had to open up each one, save it, enable editing, put in her comments, resave it, reattach it and send it back to them. This process she found to be a lot more tedious than taking advantage of the fact that the document exists in the cloud. "In the cloud" meant students could simply send her a link to it and give her commenting rights and she could drop in at any point and simply insert comments as necessary. Take a look at her comments on the right-hand side of this draft: Gladiators.
The only catch? She needed a GApps account so they could share commenting rights with her. Once that happened, she was off, and there has been no turning back! Other teachers in the LHS English department, including Mrs. Leavell, have also begun using Google Docs/Drive with their students, and Mrs. Hoham has even submitted a Google Drive proposal for August PD!
Are you a secondary teacher interested in being a part of the pilot program for GApps? Contact me!
Google Apps for Education Recorded Webinar (~30 min)
Folks' Google Apps Links (Delicious)
LISD GApps Student Resources Page
Google Apps Education Training Center
Lesson Plan Search – Google in Education
GApps Student Intro (~2 Min)
Gmail - The Basics (~5 Min)
Gmail - Beyond the Basics (~15 Min)
Google Docs & Drive - The Basics (~24 Min)
Google Docs & Drive - Beyond the Basics (~17 Min)
Folks' Google Apps Resources on Weebly (in construction!)
K12 Mobile Learning Specialist, IT Zealot and Advocate, M.Ed.Tech, MTT