Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One year later

One year ago I completed my Google Educator certification. They have since revamped it and I'm not sure where I want to go next, but I thought I would look back at how much has changed in the past year.

Things that happened the past year;
  • Cart of Chromebooks for my Geometry classes. This is a huge one. When I first received my cart I wasn't sure how I would use them, except for online testing through One year later, I don't know how I could go back to just me lecturing.  Using Google Classroom & Docs, I am able to put interactive material into the lessons.  So during the lecture I can send them to Geogebra to work with planes or circles.  I can start lessons off with them investigating relationships with segments inside triangles.  Students can collaborate on Performance Tasks as well.  Not too mention since it is all on Drive, the students have access to their notes where ever they have access to get online.
  • Tutorial Site: After I completed my Google Educator Certificate I wanted everyone else to see just how much GAFE & technology makes teaching easier for everyone involved.  So I decided to do screencasts & written tutorials of various topics.  I covered the most important topics, GAFE & Socrative. It is always being updated, especially since technology is ever-changing as well.  
  • School detention attendance moved to online to Google Sheets.  Before last year our detention list was on a single sheet at the front of the office.  If the counselors wanted to add a name they had to leave their office & walk up there to add it. If they needed to change it, they would walk up and scratch it out.  By the end of the year the daily list was a mess.  Different hand writing & so many things scratched out.  So I created a Google Sheet that was shared between all of the counselors.  Each Sheet had the 3 days we ran detention.  The counselors could see where there was open spaces.  If they needed to delete someone, they could just delete it there.  Just for fun I ran a script that would sort each day by grade level so the counselors could quickly see if their students were there or not.  I also used conditional formatting to turn spaces red if they weren't at detention.  Plus a running number on the top of each day so the VP could see how many students weren't making it to detention daily.  I also formatted that to turn red once the number got too high.
  • SST/504 moved to Google Forms. Once again this was done to streamline a process.  Before we had to print out a sheet, fill it out and turn it in by hand.  If we typed it into the document, the counselor would have to print it out and put all the information on the student together.  With the Form it is all done automatically.  The counselor has folders for each student on their Drive that keeps everything organized.  And with Summary of Responses, they can quickly access information on the student without having to look at each teacher's response.
  • Peer Counseling list moved to Forms and Sheets. Our school has a peer counseling group. The students go out and counsel other students when they are having problems.  The information needs to stay confidential. The class used to use a clipboard to sign in/out of & write who they were counseling. Even though it was left out of site, it could have been seen because it was a hard copy. So I went ahead with the teacher and created a Form that did what he wanted it to do. The counselors now access the Form and enter in the information and it is shared only to the teacher and school site psychologist. In addition, I linked the data Sheet to a second Sheet to share with the attendance office.  They could now see if a counselor's absence was because they were counseling.  They don't have to call the teacher & they don't see why a student was being counseled. Also quickly created an Android app for the counselors so they didn't have to bookmark the Form, just open the app.
  • In-service on Google Drive, Google Classroom, & I presented at our district's professional developtment day.  I had 45 minutes to try and cover those 3 topics. It was fun to help out other teachers and let them see just how much technology & GAFE could improve their classes.  The number one thing that surprised them was the unlimited storage on Drive.
  • Moved to Chrome OS 100% at work. That's why this blog was formed.  I wanted to see if it was possible to move to Chrome OS.  Our computers are slow & time is important.  Moving to Chrome OS through my Chromebox has been awesome.  Zero regrets and now I have to convince others :-)

Even though I am extremely proud of everything I have been able to do the past year, there is a lot of work needed to be done;
  • More buy-in from staff on benefits of GAFE, especially those with carts of Chromebooks.
  • Have admin start using Google Classroom to send out information
  • Incorporate Google Calendar into my classes, this will be easier with Google Classroom update.
  • Convince someone important to move to Chrome OS as a staff.  Keep Windows/Mac around for those that need them for their classes.