Thursday, January 26, 2023

Google Certified Educator Levels 1 & 2 Exam Prep Bootcamps (Asynchronous)

 

Looking to become a Google Certified Educator? Look no further than our exam prep bootcamp! At AdaKat EdTech Consulting, our program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to pass the Google Certified Educator Exams, Level 1 and 2. Our Google Certified Trainers will guide you through scenarios that will prepare you for the ideas and concepts you will encounter on the exam.  

Additionally, we will provide you with practical tips and tricks to apply your Google Workspace skills to create more engaging lessons and expedite your workflow. With our bootcamps, you'll have access to a wealth of resources, including tutorials, best practices, challenges and your own personal Certified Trainer for feedback. Enroll now and take the first step toward becoming a Google Certified Educator!

Each bootcamp provides with you with access to the materials for 3 months or 2 weeks after completion. Included in the price is an exam voucher. Click the links below to see more details on each bootcamp.

Level 1 -  Level 2

If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.


My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Boost Efficiency and Power Up Collaboration with Google Classroom Shells

 

Two things educators all need are more time and collaboration. Google Classroom Shells is a simple idea, hiding in plain sight, to help streamline the lesson design process all the while forming a foundation for effective collaboration in departments and PLC’s.


A Shell is a Google Classroom with no students enrolled. If you are fan of Marvel, it's a little bit like the "mirror dimension" from the first Dr. Strange movie. The "mirror dimension" is a place where sorcerers can practice their spells without affecting the real world. Your Shell allows you to fine tune activities, templates, instructions, accommodations and more without students seeing it. When your assignments, and different versions of them are set in your Shell, simply reuse them in your Classrooms in which students are enrolled. These templates are set so you can add unique details and documents without having to retype instructions, etc. A Google Classroom Shell is your "mirror dimension".


In this session, learn to develop a class shell within Google Classroom to house templates of often-used assignments, activities and Eduprotocols. In addition, learn to use a class shell to facilitate collaboration with departments and PLCs for common assignments and assessments. Each example shared will be rooted in 4 C’s lesson design in order to increase engagement while empowering students to take ownership of their own learning. Attendees will leave the session ready to create different types of Google Classroom Shells: Go-To Activity Templates, Common Activities and Assessments for PLCs, Eduprotocols, Curriculum Aligned, and Fitness for PE Class.


"Go-To Activities" Shell

No matter how long you've been teaching, you likely have an arsenal of go-to activities and assignments that can be reused for multiple topics. During the pandemic and distance learning, if you weren't already using Google Classroom, you were forced to adapt these lessons to Google Classroom.


One thing I found annoying was the process of reusing my go-to activities by reusing posts from different classes. Though not difficult, I was annoyed in how instructions and accommodations varied from class to class. I did not enjoy having to retype or re-edit instructions or re-attach unique versions of documents.


It was this inconvenience that led me to develop my first Google Classroom Shell. This Shell was just for me. One of my go-to assignments was my weekly assessment where I gave students the same 4 options each week to demonstrate learning. The only thing that changed was the weekly essential question. I put the instructions in English and Spanish and used the same rubric regardless of the topic. Each week, all I did was reuse the post from the Shell, type in that week's essential question and click Assign. This was such a huge time saver. Slowly, but surely, I began adding more template activities and assignments to the Shell. My lesson plan time was reduced dramatically



The X before the assignment name was a placeholder for the week number. When I reuse the post, I simply replace the X with the week number. Get started building your "Go-To Activities" Shell by creating posts with your instructions, leaving room for customization. In addition, add template documents that include the format you want to use, but open ended to add custom content for future reuse. When you reuse the post in the future, Classroom will make a copy of the documents for you. No need to attach template documents anymore!


Common Activities and Assessments for PLCs

After establishing with my Go-To Lessons Shell, colleagues thought it was a cool idea and wanted to use some of my templates. What we did instead was create a shared Shell for our PLC where we were all co-teachers. We each created a Topic with our name and added our go-to activities. Doing this, we all had access to each other's activities and template documents. We were able to reuse each other's materials.


In our PLC, we were mandated to periodically proctor common assessments. Using our PLC Shell, we collaborated on assignments for each assessment. We discussed and agreed upon instructions, documents and accommodations. We created a generic version of the assignment in addition to versions for English learners and SPED students. We were able to reuse any version from the Shell. For organizational purposes, we created a Topic titled "Common Assessments".


This process galvanized our PLC and made collaboration very enjoyable. For common assessments, we downloaded our student scores to compare data at future meetings. 


Get started with this process by creating a Classroom and inviting colleagues as co-teachers. From there, create a topic for each member and add your templates and go-to activities.


Eduprotocols

These days, Eduprotocols are all the rage. If you're reading this and you haven't heard of Eduprotocols, open a new browser window and navigate to eduprotocols.com. You will not be disappointed. 


For those of you new to Eduprotocols, in a nutshell, they are a series of lesson frames that can be reused over and over, with the 4C's embedded and applicable to any grade level or subject. As Eduprotocols became a huge part of my teaching, I instinctively built an Eduprotocols Shell. Just like in my "Go-To Activities" Shell, the instructions, accommodations and template documents stay the same each time I reuse. Only the topics or content changes. Below is a screenshot of my Thin Slides template.



When I reuse this Eduprotocol template, I add the topic and week number in the title. If you're new to Eduprotocols, Thin Slides is what I recommend you use to get started before diving into the rest. It's great for checking for understanding and getting students comfortable presenting in front of their peers. I facilitate by reusing the post then adding a specific topic and giving students 3 minutes to build their slide. On their slide, they will include ONLY one word and one picture about a takeaway, opinion or idea about the assigned topic. They click turn in and I present via Google Classroom on the projector each student's slide. 


When student's slide appears, they have roughly 7 seconds to present, elaborating on their one word and one picture. The one picture and word is there to help them remember what they want to say. In less than 10 minutes, I can have every kid present, everyday. Imagine how comfortable they will be presenting by the end of the year! If interested in joining one of my Eduprotocols Shells as a co-teacher, email me at ajuarez@techcoachjuarez.com.

Curriculum Aligned

If you like the idea of creating a Shell for your department or PLC, then you'll be sure to like the idea of building a curriculum aligned Shell. This type of Shell, best created with a department, takes a specific curriculum and develops assignments and activities that align with each section and chapter of the textbook. 


I originally thought of this type of Shell because I was disillusioned with how textbook companies often have an online version of their book with an accompanying system for which students will login to access curriculum aligned activities. This was just one more thing for students to login to. These systems often where heavy duty, taking up processor power on Chromebooks causing them to operate very slowly. 


Since we were already using Google Classroom, I decided to adapt the curriculum's prebuilt assignments, in addition to my own, to the Google Classroom environment. Classroom works fine on Chromebooks and do not slow them down. Working with colleagues, we went section by section and chapter by chapter creating a treasure trove of activities. If new teachers joined the department, they were given access to this Shell and they had a head start. Even though we were reusing these posts, we still maintained creative control to adapt them as needed. 


Below is a screenshot of a curriculum aligned Shell for a 7th grade World History class that contains Eduprotocols for each section in the textbook.



The naming conventions above were for the grade level, chapter and section. For example, 7.1.1 stands for 7th grade, chapter 1, section 1. No matter the section being covered, this department had activities already built beforehand for teachers to pick, choose and reuse. Get started by creating a new Classroom and inviting co-teachers. Crack open your curriculum, look at the chapter/section structure, create topics for each and start building your curriculum aligned activities. This will take some time if doing for an entire textbook, but the collaboration involved will strengthen your team and save time in the future. 


Fitness for PE Class

For years I struggled to find a way to meaningfully integrate technology into a PE class. Initially, I thought about getting students to use something like a Fitbit to track fitness, but that posed too many logistical problems. I thought about having students use a fitness app on their cellphones, but not every kid has a cellphone. After a conversation with a PE teacher, we decided Google Classroom was the answer. All of our students had access to Google Classroom either on their cellphone or a school issued Chromebook. 


A PE teacher friend and I built a PE Fitness Tracker Shell. This Shell included Google Classroom Questions where students would record mile times, sit and reach scores, height, weight and much more. This allowed the teacher and students to see their fitness and health progress over time. 


Topics were created to organize activities by BMI, cardio and flexibility records. The "x's" were there as placeholders for dates of recording. This helped the teachers and students see progress over time. Below is a screenshot of this Shell.





Google Classroom Shells are very versatile, help facilitate collaboration and save time. For what will you create a Google Classroom Shell? If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Simple Google Tools to Give English Learners Access to Curriculum

English learners often feel left out and teachers struggle to find ways to simply give them access to content. Have you ever felt a little uncomfortable trying to help give English learners access to content? If so, Google has a variety of easy to use tools that help teachers accommodate the learners and empower the learners to access the content. In this session, we will explore Google Docs/Slides Add-ons, Google Chrome extensions and systems to not only give access, but help aid with their development with the English language.


This session will demonstrate simple ways to use Google to give ELLs access to content in their home language and side-by-side with English. A common practice when attempting to give English learners access to content, teachers create separate versions of content or assignments in the home language. This can make English learners feel alienated, and at the same time, it does not help them grow with the English language. Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for separate versions in the home language, but in this session, we will take a look at simple tools and systems to provide side-by-side translation in the same resource or activity. This can begin to help English learners feel included, accommodated and develop with the English language.


In this session, attendees will:


  • Take a look at tools built into Google Docs to aid with translation

  • Investigate Chrome extensions to help English learners access curriculum and engage

  • Demonstrate Add-ons in Google Docs and Slides for translation and engagement

  • Develop a system for side by side translation, not just versions in different languages

  • Practice using Google Translate conversation mode to enhance your ability to give in-person, real-time feedback


If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

Monday, January 9, 2023

A Full Day of Professional Learning: Organic EdTech Integration with Google Workspace for Education

Are you looking for an action-packed full day of professional learning? If so, look no further. Bring in AdaKat EdTech Consulting to lead a day of affordable professional learning that will build teachers' capacity to organically integrate technology with Google Workspace for Education and more.

What does it mean to organically integrate technology? In our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Supporting Digital Learning, we state "If you plan with the 4C's in mind, the tech will take care of itself". This means we lead with learning, never with tech. Using our 4C's lesson design process, teachers identify a learning goal and brainstorm how students will engage in communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. As the coach in this process, we rely heavily on the teacher, drawing upon their content expertise and years of experience. They know their content and students best and we will recommend technology we know resides in their teacher toolbox and only if it fits naturally. If no tech is required to enhance the learning process, we will not force it.

                         

This day of professional learning begins by building teacher capacity and adding to their teacher toolbox. Using Google Workspace for Education tools primarily, we will show how use simple tools and strategies in innovative ways.

Executive Processing and Simple Tools for English Learners

Teachers will learn executive processing skills to expedite their workflow and how they can impart these same skills to their students. From there, we dive into simple tools that will give English learners access to content and curriculum. Supporting English learners is something all teachers must do, and we will demonstrate ideas, tips and tricks that hide in plain sight, and can be used effectively by anyone.


Engagement with Chromebooks

Too often Chromebooks are used only as tools for word processing or algorithm-based learning programs. Using Chromebooks in this manner does not engage all learners in the 4C's and makes students passive consumers of content. During this portion of the day, we will investigate ways to use Chromebooks to guide your students to be active creators of content. We'll take a look out maximizing the Chromebook's camera, built-in screen recording app and ways to strike a healthy balance of paper/pencil with technology.

Google Classroom Shells

With all of these ideas, skills, tips, tricks and strategies at the forefront, we will next take a deep dive into the development of Google Classroom Shells. Google Classroom Shells are a simple way to power up PLCs and departments increasing ability to collaborate. Attendees will learn to develop Shells for go-to lessons, common activities, common assessments, Eduprotocols, specific curriculum and even PE classes.

Now that attendees' toolboxes have begun to fill, this day of professional learning will culminate by designing lessons using our 4C's lesson design process. Using a simple 4 square, presenters will guide teachers in a brainstorm in how students will work towards a learning goal while engaging in each of the 4C's. The presenter will rely and draw upon the teachers' years of experience, content expertise and tech toolbox empowering them to organically integrate technology into the lesson. They will be given time to work one on one with the presenters, in groups and or with department/PLCs. Attendees will end the day with at least one lesson they can use in class the next day.

Are you interested in an action packed day of professional learning and lesson design like this? If so, please reach out to AdaKat EdTech Consulting. Click here to book an appointment discuss logistics and pricing. Click here to purchase a copy our book The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Supporting Digital Learning.


Friday, January 6, 2023

4C The Future: Lesson Design That Empowers

 

 

Have you ever struggled with student engagement and effective technology usage?  Would you like students using technology to interact meaningfully with content rather than just staring quietly at a screen? With our 4C's lesson design model, we will help you focus on student engagement and organic tech integration while honoring your years of teaching experience and skillset.


In our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Supporting Digital Learning, we say "If you plan with the 4C's in mind, the tech will take care of itself". We believe you should "lead with learning, never with tech". Using our 4C's lesson design model, we begin with a conversation about your learning goal and your teaching experience & toolbox. With those things in mind, we brainstorm the student moves in how they will engage with each of the 4C's, communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. In this process, as coaches, we lean on your years of experience, skillset and content knowledge as we delve into each of the 4C's. You are the expert and you know your students best.


There is nothing fancy to it. On a whiteboard or scratch paper, draw an open-ended four square, one square for each C. After deciding on a learning goal, discuss and jot down ideas for how students will engage with each C in pursuit of the learning goal. It is this brainstorm where technology naturally finds its way into a lesson. If no technology is needed for students to engage in one of the C's, no worries. We aren't going to push technology for technology's sake. If the technology is the best fit for your students to engage in a C, it is used. When finished with the 4 C's brainstorm, your lesson ideas, with organically integrated technology, can easily be plugged into any district or school mandated lesson plan template. This can be a great activity for departments and PLCs.


Faces were covered for privacy


Questions and ideas to consider when brainstorming with the the 4 C's


  • Creativity: What will students create to demonstrate understanding?

  • Communication: Who is the target audience for the student work? Just the teacher? Whole class? School community? Local community? The world via the web? What structures do you have in place for real-time teacher to student feedback?

  • Collaboration: Where and how will students give each other peer feedback as they work together? How might they act on the peer feedback?

  • Critical thinking: How will students engage in problem solving? How might they think outside the box? Will they be given voice and choice to choose the best tools and methods for demonstrating understanding?

  • Teachers and Coaches: With what tech tools am I familiar? With what tech tools are my students familiar? What strategies are my go-to teaching strategies? What are the various skillsets of my students? What student accommodations need to be made?

  • Coaches: Recommend technology tools if a teacher is hitting a brainstorm roadblock. Recommend a technology tool if it truly is the best way for student engagement and demonstration of learning. If a teacher isn't familiar with a tech tool, offer to co-teach part of the lesson.


Faces were covered for privacy


If you would like to bring AdaKat EdTech Consulting to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

Our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Tech Rodeo is Back!


2023 Tech Rodeo is around the corner. This edition will be in-person and returns to the beautiful facility at Ridgeview Middle School in Visalia, CA. Come check out an amazing day of professional learning for engagement strategies, UDL, SEL, English learners, PLN building, and much more. This year's keynote panel includes Adobe Education Specialist Lindsey Blass and Adobe Education Evangelist Martin Cisneros. Click the link below to register!

http://tulare.k12oms.org/147-227027

If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.






Friday, October 21, 2022

Fall CUE 2022: Come Learn with Me

It's that time of year again. It's Fall CUE. After two years being virtual, we are back face-to-face, and I am so excited. Fall CUE will always have a special place in my heart as it was at the 2018 edition where my wife Katherine and I were married on stage by the one and only Jon Corippo. Yes, I got married at and edtech conference. It was actually on the conference schedule. 

This year has me extra pumped as it is the first major CUE event since I was elected to the CUE Board last summer. I am looking forward to experiencing this conference from the perspective of a board member, not just as a presenter. On top of my board duties this weekend, I will be presenting 5 times. No rest for the weary. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I get so much satisfaction out of presenting, meeting new people and growing my PLN. 

Check out the sessions I will be presenting. Click on the session titles to access the slide decks.

Saturday 10/22

- Transform Your Classroom Culture Through The Power of Feedback - 1:30-2:20 pm, McKamy #153

- 4 C The Future: Lesson Design That Empowers - 3:30-4:20, Jackson #131 (co-presenting with Katherine Goyette)

Sunday 10/23

- Coaching Trumps PD: Just Keep Walking - 10:00-10:50 am, Naglee #127 (co-presenting with Katherine Goyette)

- Rock the Shells with Google Classroom - 1:30-2:20 pm, Jackson #131

- Ditch That Copier: Curate to Innovate - 2:30-3:20 pm, Jackson #131

If you are attending Fall CUE in-person or online, what sessions are your most looking forward to? Who are you hoping to connect with? If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.



Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Spice of the Learning Process: Feedback and Stop Signs

Coaching soccer for nearly 20 years, nothing was more effective in helping my players grow than targeted, in the moment feedback. During shooting drills, seeing one of the players consistently fire shots far above the goal frame, immediate feedback about the placement of the plant foot and getting the knee over the ball was absolutely vital to helping the player drive the ball with power and accuracy towards the goal. 

Over 17 years as a teacher and instructional coach, I tried to apply a similar approach in the classroom. The classroom is different the the soccer pitch for obvious reasons. Soccer players are out there because they want to be and love the game. With that in mind, they are much more receptive to feedback and are more intrinsically motivated to elicit it from the coach. In the classroom, the converse is true. Students have to be there. It's the law. If you're reading this, I am sure you'll have no trouble envisioning students over the years you know did not want to be in your classroom or school for that matter. With that in mind, traditional classroom feedback is usually red marks on the paper after it has been submitted. Very few students actually see this as an opportunity to correct mistakes if given the opportunity. In this manner, feedback is merely an autopsy. Students in the classroom, in many cases, don't seek out feedback from the teacher. It's usually a one way street from teacher to student when the teacher has the time.

This is the paradigm I'd like to see shifted. I'd love to see a classroom environment and culture where learning experiences (not lesson plans) are designed where teachers and students engage in a robust feedback loop. I'd like to see the students eliciting feedback from the teacher as well as the other way around. The feedback loop would be a two-way street.

This will not happen over night. Like anything, it will take time to develop. It is a process. One way I have developed a similar culture in my classrooms began with the simple idea of a stop sign. As mentioned above, students traditionally do not ask for feedback while they work or are engaged in an activity. To begin "training" students to be self-reflective and ask the teacher for feedback, in the activities I design, I try to embed stop signs at strategic points. The stop signs are reminders for students to stop, reflect, raise hand and ask the teacher to come check their progress. This allows students to work at their own pace, and when I arrive, I can give them targeted, personalized feedback. This feedback is one on one. For many reasons, students fear raising their hands and asking questions in front of the whole class. One on one, or in small groups, there is less of a fear factor. This helps build relationships and rapport with students. They feel heard. The feedback I give one student, is likely to be different than that to another student. 

I try to incentivize student elicited feedback by setting a "participation points" goal for each activity. Each "feedback encounter" is a point. The more they elicit feedback from me, the more points they earn. In this type of classroom, the step counter on my smartwatch is working overtime. Student elicited feedback is actually improving my health. 

Let's take a look at some of the activities in which I have embedded stop signs to help create a culture of student elicited feedback.

Slides Presentation

When having students navigate an activity in Google Slides or PowerPoint, look for natural stopping points where you can insert slides with a stop sign. If there are multiple points, simply duplicate the stop sign slide and move as needed.


EdPuzzle

During distance learning, EdPuzzle became a popular way to deliver asynchronous instruction. EdPuzzle allows you to embed questions are targeted spots in a video. When you embed questions in EdPuzzle, there is also a button to add an image. That same stop sign slide you use in Google Slides or PowerPoint can be downloaded individually as a JPEG file on your computer. Click the add image button in your EdPuzzle question to add the stop sign JPED from your computer to the question.


Nearpod

Just like with a Google Slides or PowerPoint presentation, in Nearpod, find those natural stopping points and add a stop sign slide. What I do, like with EdPuzzle, I use my downloaded stop sign slide JPEG and add it to a slide in Nearpod.


Quizizz Lessons

Quizizz is more than just fun, gamified quizzes. The Quizizz Lessons function is very similar to Nearpod. In same manner, add your stop sign slide JPEG to a Quizizz Lessons slide at strategic points.


Eduprotocols are absolutely blowing up in the world of education, and they have hardly scratched the surface. If you haven't heard of Eduprotocols, check out eduprotocols.com to learn more. Eduprotocols, originally developed by my friends Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern, are built on the concept of a culture of targeted, in the moment feedback. Eduprotocols will go a long way in developing that culture in your classroom. As I have become more familiar and comfortable using Eduprotocols, I have found targeted points of these simple activities to embed stop sign reminders for students. 

Mini Report 

The Mini Report Eduprotocol is a simple way to get students to do some research, take notes and write. The way I deploy this activity is to have students read the two sources first, no note taking. From there, they go back over the sources and look for information about certain topics, one at a time. This gives them the opportunity to engage in multiple reps of reading the sources and practice skimming. Below, you can see how I embed the stop signs after each topic for students to elicit feedback from me. 


Frayer

Frayer is such a simple, versatile activity. I can be adapted for almost anything. As a social studies teacher, I liked to use Frayer as a skimming the text activity. Below you can see how I embed stop signs at specific points.


8pARTS DBQ

In a social studies class, analyzing primary sources is very important. 8 pARTS DBQ is a great way to get kids to engage in this. Like Frayer, I strategically embed stop signs where I want to be able to check student work.


Eduprotocols, and many other strategies, are designed to have students engage in a robust feedback loop. But to get to that point, students need little reminders to actually pause, reflect and ask for feedback. It doesn't take long to implement this system. If you can search the web for a picture of a stop sign, copy and paste, you have the skills to do this. 

One of my greatest teacher successes took place last year. I was teaching a 10th grade World History class. In this class, I had a student who was a 12th grader and had failed the class twice before. This was the student's third attempt at World History. Never have I seen a student embrace the idea of individualized, targeted feedback so well. This student took to my feedback system like a duck to water. This student never felt so supported. In the past, they didn't feel engaged. In my class, they actually began to work ahead. What made my teacher heart leap for joy was the weekend emails this student would send. Whether they were making up work when absent or working ahead, I would receive emails and direct Google comments asking for feedback. Unsurprisingly, this student got one their few "A's" in high school, and easily passed World History. This student graduate and is now working on earning a welding certificate. 

Believe it or not, something as simple as copying and pasting stop signs for reminders to ask feedback can make all the difference in the lives of the students we serve. What ideas, tips, tricks or strategies do you employ for building a culture of feedback in your classrooms?

If you would like to bring me to your school for PD, workshops, a keynote, training or a follow-up on this or previous blogposts, click here to schedule an appointment to chat.

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.






Monday, September 12, 2022

Back to School with Nearpod (#4): Better Classroom Management with Google Classroom Integration


Welcome back to school. I hope everyone is having an enjoyable start to the new school year. A pain point with using Nearpod or any app that gives you the option to have students join a session with a code is getting students to join promptly. Many factors can get in the way of students joining. In my experience, students struggle to see the TV or screen where the code is projected. Not being able to get into the session, students have been known to shut down and or get distracted and off-task. What I have noticed is that having less to click or type, expedites this process. 

Nearpod's integration with Google Classroom removes some typing and extra clicks. Simply eliminating a few clicks and or typing, goes a long way in keeping kids on task as well as helping with classroom management. Let's take a look at two ways you can expedite the process of students joining your Nearpod session via Google Classroom.

When I am in the classroom, I made it a clear expectation that their daily opening routine includes logging into their Chromebook and opening Google Classroom. I usually have a 4-5 minute timer running for kids to complete this process at the beginning of class. During this time, I greet students, take roll, and I am able to push a Nearpod session to Google Classroom.

To push a Nearpod session from Nearpod to Google Classroom, takes only a minute. Start by hovering your cursor over the Nearpod lesson/activity in which you want students to participate.


You will be presented with two options, Live Participation or Student-Paced. Regardless of your choice, the setup will look almost identical. For the purposes of this blogpost, the screenshots will feature the Live Participation option. In this case, students will not have to enter a code. They will simply click on the link provided them via Google Classroom.


After selecting Live Participation or Student-Paced, click the Google Classroom option. If you are in a Microsoft District, Microsoft Teams is also an option. On another note, if you were to create a Nearpod presentation for parents, you could use the Remind option to push the session to them. 


After selecting Google Classroom, you'll be prompted to choose the Google Classroom in which to post the session.



Once you've selected your Google Classroom, you must choose your action or what type of Google Classroom post you want the Nearpod session to be. Usually, I use Material or Announcement as I am not grading it via Google Classroom. Use Material if you want this post to be organized neatly with topics in the Classwork tab. If you want the quickest, easiest access, use Announcement. This will make it the first thing kids see in the Stream tab.




The next step is to title the post and add any instructions. On the student end, when this appears in Classwork, the link will be prominently featured and easy for them to click and join.


An alternate method will have you create the session from Google Classroom. This option is available if you have a paid subscription to Nearpod and it's been integrated with your Google domain. Below is what it looks like when you have this set up. When you click Create in the Classwork tab, Nearpod Assignment appears as an option. Talk to your IT department about setting this up.


After clicking Nearpod Assignment, a pop up will appear showing My Lessons. Click on the lesson or open the folder (and click a lesson) you want to push to Google Classroom. 


Just like in the previous option, the link will be prominently featured and you are able to title the post and put any instructions.


Either option works equally well. What these options allow is to have kids join a Nearpod session at the click of a mouse. It doesn't seem like much, but removing the steps of kids searching for the join Nearpod site and entering a code makes your classroom management a little easier. We all have a diverse group of learners in the room, all with unique characteristics. In some cases, those two extra steps can seem daunting and difficult, and this difficulty can make classroom management a struggle. 

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