Thursday, February 27, 2020

6-12 EdTech Coach Weekly Update (Week of 2/28/20)


Eduprotocols Unveiled at Lovell
This past Monday, during extended PD, I had a great experience introducing eduprotocols to the staff at Lovell. We previewed Thin Slides as a method of activating prior knowledge and checking for understanding. From there, we took a look at Fast and Curious as a method of building vocabulary in a fun, engaging, gamified manner. A third eduprotocol we sampled was Iron Chef, and how it can be used to help students identify key concepts and main ideas while getting crucial practice presenting, listening and speaking as they develop into powerful communicators.

For the past couple of months, I have gone on Walkabout in ELA and Science classes. For the next few weeks, Walkabout will take me into Social Science and Electives classes. Walkabout visits are purely observational and non-judgemental. I am there, like a fly on the wall, to learn ways to better support teachers and students. Each visit, I will be leaving feedback on my customized sticky notes. I look forward to seeing these classes over the next few weeks.

ETC! 2020
This coming Saturday, February 29, I will be presenting at and attending the ETC Conference at Stanislaus County Office of Education. One of the sessions I will be presenting is on sketchnoting and I look forward to showing off the amazing sketchnoting work done by our students here in Cutler-Orosi. Your students' work continues to inspire learning across the Valley and the world. This event will boast some of the biggest names in the edtech industry and I am excited to learn with and from these people. Stay tuned for the cool stuff I bring back.

Teacher Tips

Screencastify When You Need a Sub
Making sub plans is not the most joyful thing to do as a teacher. As passionate educators, it's difficult to be away from the classroom and get students to learn they way we'd like. Teachers being away throws a wrench in the learning process for students too. To lessen the effect of being away from the class when you have a sub, use Screencastify to record yourself and a lesson. The students will be learning from you even while you are gone. Think of it as creating your own "Khan Academy" videos.

For those not familiar with Screencastify, it is an extension on your Chrome browser that allows you to record your voice and your screen to create a video. For example, if you want to teach a lesson on parts of a cell, simply create a few slides with diagrams, images and text and record yourself "teaching" the lesson. Upload the video to Google Classroom and have student take notes while the sub is in your class. This just one, simple example of ways you can use Screencastify as a teacher. Take a look at the video below to learn how to get started using Screencastify.

Hashtags to Follow On Twitter

Last week, I shared with you some useful Facebook Groups to join and Pages to follow. This week, take a look at some great education hashtags to monitor on Twitter. For those who don't understand the concept of hashtags, a hashtag is like a name tag or label for tweets that help curate, filter and organize tweets by topic. Hashtags make Twitter much easier to digest and consume.

Years ago, one of the best pieces of advice I was given was to get on Twitter because experts are there giving away their knowledge for free. Think of this as free PD on your schedule. Even if you don't have a Twitter account, you can search hashtags on Google and see the results. Click here to see a list of hashtags for a variety of grade levels and subjects that will help you learn from and connect with experts for free.

Support English Learners with EdTech

Google Translate Camera Function

In the instances where we do not have physical text in a student's native language, the Google Translate camera function is very useful. This function allows the student to take a picture of the text in English, and in seconds, it translates that text into the language of their choice. I have seen kids use this for novels, textbooks and more.

If you are comfortable having students use their cellphone to access this tool, have them use it. In my experience, many students are already familiar with this function. If you're not comfortable with kids using their cellphone, contact IT to access an iPad or other device to use this tool.

Quickdraw with Google

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of introducing Google Quickdraw with Mrs. Parris' newcomer students. She was looking for a fun way to get students practicing English while getting second by second feedback. This app is free and is a great way to get newcomer students engaged while practicing their English.

What Google Quickdraw does is give students a simple prompt such as keys or pliers and has them sketch it on the screen. If they have touchscreen Chromebooks or iPad/tablet, it works best. If not, the trackpad on any Chromebook or mouse on any computer will do. They get immediate, on the spot feedback as they sketch. It helps them know quickly if they are drawing what they think the item, in English, is. This can be a simple tool to use for enrichment for your newcomer students. Click here to access a video showing you how to get started with Google Quickdraw.

For more information on anything in this blog post, please contact me via email or Google Hangouts  at Text or call me at 559-355-4593. Learn more tips from me and my extensive Professional Learning Network (PLN) by following #cvtechtalk on Twitter and or joining the CVTechTalk Facebook group.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

6-12 EdTech Coach Weekly Update (Week of 2/21/20)


This week on walkabout, I continued to observe the ELA departments at El Monte and Orosi High School. The written feedback I left led to some great conversations. One of those conversations was with Mr. Baza and Mr. Smyth at OHS. We met for about an hour after school to discuss the ideas I suggested about using Booksnaps to identify and rationalize textual evidence. These two gentlemen planned out a lesson for next week incorporating this strategy for proper use of semicolons. The beauty of this lies in how they adapted the strategy to meet their learning goal. For edtech to be properly implemented, the learning goal must be considered first before thinking of edtech. Stay tuned to see the fruits of their labor. 

As I've observed ELA classes, something I've noticed is the RACE strategy. The RACE strategy asks students to Restate the question, Answer the question, Cite textual evidence to support answer or inference, and Explain or rationalize how the evidence supports their answer or inference. As I learn more about RACE, I've concluded how simple strategies such as Thin Slides, Booksnaps and Iron Chef are great ways to increase student engagement and empower them using the RACE strategy. If interested in seeing how these strategies can support RACE, contact me to schedule some planning time.

On the sketchnoting front, the school in Singapore, inspired by sketchnotes done by COJUSD students, posted their first sketchnotes. Take a look below at the work done on the other side of the world inspired by our students. These sketchnotes come Chatsworth International School in Singapore. 


Teacher Workflow Tips

One of the best ways to implement a new app and strategy is through what I like to call a "student-leader" lesson. It works like this, based on the strategy, put your class into teams of 3-4. On each team, nominate a "captain" or team leader. The team leaders go with me to the Cardinal Innovation Center where I will "train the trainers". I will teach them to teach their teams who to use an app and or participate in a lesson. When the "captains" return, same day or next day, they will train their teams in using the app or participating in a lesson. 

While the captains are out with me, the class size is reduced, and those who stay in the class, can participate in extra practice, intervention and or enrichment. The wisdom behind this is to empower students to be leaders and teach their peers. Students often times learn better from their peers. If you're interested in trying this type of lesson, please contact me.

Being a connected educator and developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) can transform your practice. Staying up to date on the latest strategies and finding fellow educators to connect with is easier said than done. Twitter has worked best for me in this pursuit, but Facebook Groups are another great resource. The beauty of this is that you don't need to go learn Twitter if you're not already on or familiar with it. Many reading this are already on Facebook and familiar with it. When you're at your kids' sports practice or looking to kill some time, get some quick, free PD.

Take a look at the list of some of my favorite teacher Facebook Groups. Each group is a clickable link to join.

- Teachers Using Google Classroom: Learn tips and tricks for using Google Classroom or, if you have questions, post it and someone will respond. 
- Site Leaders Connect: This is a network for coaches and administrators. If you have questions about leadership and coaching, post here and all are quick to help. Keep a look out for the Insight Interviews which are 15 minute videos where administrators and coaches share stories from their experience. If you'd like to do an Insight Interview, contact me and I will connect you with the moderator (It's my wife).
- The Suite Talk: This group is moderated by New Jersey educator Kim Mattina. It is an offshoot of The Suite Talk podcast and it is a great resource for ideas, tips and tricks for using all of Google in the classroom.
- Materials for English Teachers: This groups posts tons of ideas and resources for ELA teachers.
- Math Teacher Coach - Resources for Math Teachers: This is a great group for finding tips, tricks, ideas and resources for teaching math. 
- Science Teacher Lesson Sharing: If you're looking to learn from science teachers from around the world, this group is the place.
- Jo Boaler's How to Learn Math: Jo Boaler is one of the leading minds in teaching math in the world today. Stay up to date with her latest research and connect with like-minded educators. 
- Khan Academy for Teachers: Looking for ideas for implementing Khan Academy? If so, this is the group for you. 
- World History Teachers: A great group for ideas to engage students in a World History class.
- US History Teachers: A great group for ideas to engage students in a US History class
- The DBQ Project: For nearly 10 years, we have been using DBQs in our classes. This group is moderated by the company from which we get our DBQs.
- Music Teachers: This group discusses topics relevant to music education.
- The Helpful Art Teacher: This group posts a variety of ideas applicable to an art class.
- Global Innovative Language Teachers: This group is a valuable resource for anyone teaching a foreign language or ELD.

Support English Learners with EdTech

YouTube is the world's second most used search engine. You can learn to do virtually anything on YouTube. YouTube is a valuable resource for supporting learning with modern students. For English learners, YouTube has translated subtitles that can help students better access content in English. Take a look at the video below to see how to access the subtitles on YouTube videos. 

For more information on anything in this blog post, please contact me via email or Google Hangouts  at Text me at 559-355-4593. Learn more tips from me and my extensive Professional Learning Network (PLN) by following #cvtechtalk on Twitter and or joining the CVTechTalk Facebook group.

Friday, February 14, 2020

6-12 EdTech Coach Weekly Update (Week of 2/14/20)

Check in with the Tech Coach. Click here to access a Flipgrid Topic leave feedback, ask questions and more. 


Walkabout Update

During the past week, I have not been on walkabout. I have spent this week co-teaching some classes. The opportunities to co-teach are the product of walkabouts from the past month. I am currently co-teaching a lesson in 6th grade History on Oligarchy in Sparta utilizing Google Sites and sketchnoting to get students fully engaged with the 4 C's. Every day this week, I have been co-teaching with Mr. Wells and Mr. Ermie lessons to 9th graders on Google Docs and Screencasting as part of our COJUSD Google Certified Student program. In this program, over the last three years, nearly 200 students have been certified, showing competency in seven GSuite apps. The plan next week is to continue my ELA/History class walkabout while following up on the feedback I have given teachers.
COJUSD Google Certified Student

Google Sites and Sketchnoting lesson to help kids access content and learn to skim
Sketchnoting Update

In last week's update, I shared how the sketchnotes done by students at Orosi High and El Monte are being used to teach sketchnoting around the world. On Wednesday, I received a notification on Twitter from an educator in Singapore who is using the sketchnotes from Mrs. Banuelos' AP US History classes to instruct students over there. Our students' work is making a difference on the other side of the world. Please share this news with your students and continue sending me your students' exemplars to be curated on the Cardinal Innovation Center website.

Google Certified Student

Congratulations to 10th grader Ezequiel Hinojos. "Zeke" became the first student to complete the COJUSD Google Certified Student Level 2 program. As a freshman last year, in Digital Literacy class, he completed the Level 1 program. This fall, I started the Level 2 program, open to all who've completed Level 2. This program is voluntary and students come after school to work on more advanced tasks.

Teacher Work Flow Tips

Google Tasks

Google Tasks is a simple tool within GSuite that is very useful in keeping you organized and automating your workflow. On the sidebar within Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Slides and Sheets, there is a button for Google Tasks. Residing in the sidebar within those apps allows you to have to-do lists and set reminders without leaving the app you're currently using. 

With tasks, you can set reminders for items on your to do lists. You can set them to repeat. For example, I have an item in Tasks that reminds me every week to write this blog. Each week I cross it out, but since it repeats, it shows up in the list again. One easy way to get started with Tasks is to create items to remind you to contact parents via School Messenger. Set it to repeat weekly. If you need help, ask me how.

Google Classroom Rubrics

In the past week, Google Classroom added a new feature that allows you to evaluate and grade work using a rubric. See this video, from fellow Google Certified Trainer Shawn Beard, to learn to use this new feature. If you'd like an in-person demo, please reach out and I will gladly walk you through the process.

Support English Learners with EdTech

Iron Chef

This school year, I have pushed for the implementation of the Thin Slides Eduprotocol. Thin Slides are designed to be a quick, simple way to get all students presenting, listening and speaking in less than 10 minutes. The Iron Chef Eduprotocol is the next step up.

Students will present for roughly 30 seconds rather than 5-7 seconds. Instead of one word and one picture, students will read jigsawed text and identify evidence or 4-5 main ideas in a bulleted format. When students present, topics will be repeated multiple times by multiple students. The idea is that students take notes from the "first round" and then actively listen to the repeated presentations for new information. This allows English Learners to practice active listening in English.

Quick Start Tips
- Iron Chef can be used as a jigsaw.
- Divide text into sections.
- Each student gets one section.
- Create a slidedeck with a slide for each student. Give students edit permission.
- Give students 10-15 minutes to analyze text and build slide
- Project slides and each kid gets 30 seconds to present their slide while rest of class takes notes and actively listens

Friday, February 7, 2020

6-12 EdTech Coach Weekly Update (Week of 2/7/20)


This week, I continued my walkabout in the ELA departments at El Monte and Orosi High School. I observed quite a few lessons on novels where kids were tasked with identifying textual evidence of theme, claims, etc. Some of my feedback included using Booksnaps to identify evidence and rationalize. Other feedback included using the Iron Chef Eduprotocol to foster opportunities to achieve this learning goal while sprinkling in opportunities for students to collaborate and communicate. 

From an observation during my ELA walkabout last week, to co-taught a 3-day lesson with Ms. Orosco at El Monte. Ms. Orosco's 7th graders just finished a lesson on the 5 Pillars of Islam. Ms. Orosco, when I followed up on my observation feedback, planned with me a culminating project where students were given voice and choice to demonstrate learning by either creating a website on Google Sites, building and recording a lesson with Google Slides and Screencastify, or use their cellphones to record playtime videos with toys and Legos. Collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity were on full display.

After doing a demonstration/observation cycle of the Fast and Curious Eduprotocol with Ms. Fernandez last week, Ms. Fernandez' 8th graders showed great improvement with vocabulary terms. She reports higher student engagement and understanding of science vocabulary as students went through many reps with the vocabulary terms. I will be following up soon to plan a few more Eduprotocols.

Since so many teachers are implementing sketchnotes, I've begun sending an email each Tuesday calling for teachers to send me sketchnotes exemplars to be scanned then curated on the Cardinal Innovation Center Sketchnotes Gallery. Over the years, when I update the Sketchnotes Gallery, I not only send the link to teachers, but also Tweet the link. As time has gone on, sketchnoting celebrity Sylvia Duckworth has taken notice of our students' sketchnotes. Sylvia has authored two books on sketchnoting and travels the world teaching educators how to sketchnote. She frequently uses exemplars from our students on the Cardinal Innovation Center Sketchnotes Gallery in her workshops. Our students' work is making a difference worldwide.

I got to meet Sylvia Duckworth in Chicago at ISTE in 2018
Teacher Workflow Tips

If you're looking for a quick way to get started with the Fast & Curious. Thin Slides, Sketchnotes and or Booksnaps, take a look at the "cheat sheets" below. Please contact me with any questions concerning facilitation of these strategies.

Fast and Curious (50 min class period)
Create set of 7-12 vocab terms in Quizlet and copy terms over to Quizizz too.
- Quizlet Solo: Give kids 7-10 minutes to individually explore the various practice games in Quizlet
- Quizlet Live: Play 3-4 rounds of Quizlet Live for kids to collaboratively practice the vocab terms
- Speed Sketchnotes: Using whiteboards, in groups of 2-3, have students sketch the definitions one term at a time. One student sketches and partners tell what/how to sketch. Each group must get teacher feedback/approval before moving on to a new term. Do this for 10 min
- Quizizz: Facilitate Quizizz game to gauge initial understanding. This can serve as an exit ticket. Repeat this Quizizz game throughout week to show growth and give students extra reps

Thin Slides (5-7 min)
Create a slidedeck in Google Slides and assign one slide per students. Distribute via Google Classroom giving students edit permission. Remind kids to stay on their assigned slide.
- Give kids a prompt or big idea
- Give kids 3 minutes to build slide that has ONLY 1 word and 1 image
- Project slidedeck
- Have all kids stand and when their slide comes up each kid does a 5-7 micro presentation explaining their understanding and ideas. Kids sit when finished presenting.
- Possible Extension: Students post in Google Classroom stream what they said in presentation. Students look at each others' posts, choose one different from theirs and repost by paraphrasing.

Provide blank paper, pencil, pens for tracing, colors for color coding
- Kids look at text, article or video and determine components
- Kids divide paper into sections based on number of components
- Pencil sketches: visual representations with labels/short descriptions (no long sentences or paragraphs)
- Trace sketches
- Color coding: Color code components by shading background of each section

Create slidedeck with images of text, prompt/theme/claim, textbox on each slide (5-7 middle school; 7-12 high school)
Distribute via Google Classroom by making a copy for each student
- Kids use "scribble tool" to circle evidence
- Kids type rationale in textbox
- Kids insert an image or emoji (1-3) to support what they circled and typed

Support English Learners with EdTech

In the past, Google Translate was not very accurate. These days, it is much improved and very accurate. It's a common practice to use Google Slides to project instructions for activities, learning goals, learning targets and more during class. Use Google Translate to put instructions, etc. in English and Spanish side by side to aid English learners.

The Google Translate mobile app recently upgraded its conversation function. If you don't have a student translator nearby, use the conversation function. Select conversation mode and set target language to Spanish. Click the microphone and it will immediately in text and out loud say your words in Spanish. When the student responds, you'll hear and read their response in English. Click here to a video for how this works. This video shows the function on a Google Nest Home Display, but it works the same on your phone app.