Friday, October 11, 2019

My Favorites: Formmule to Automate Feedback

Image result for formmule

When it comes to giving feedback, speed is of the essence. As an instructional technology coach, when walking classrooms or doing observations of teachers, the quicker they get my feedback, the quicker they can act on it. Speed of feedback also helps build relationships with teachers. If you walk through a classroom and leave feedback days later, the teacher feels neglected. As a classroom teacher, when someone came in, I couldn't wait to see their thoughts on what they saw. Something as simple as a sticky note on the way out went a long way.

In my role as an instructional technology coach, I use sticky notes for quick, informal feedback. When I am observing a teacher implement a strategy on which I've coached them or during more formal walk-thru's, Formmule is my jam. For this type of feedback, I use a Google Form with three simple questions: What I Saw, What Went Well, Next Steps. I fill in paragraph text for those three questions during the observation. Formmule, upon clicking Submit, will immediately email the contents of the notes I wrote to the teacher.

If you don't want all the notes you wrote sent to the teacher, you can configure that in Formmule. Here are some steps to help you get started.

1. Create form
2. Create drop-down question with teacher email addresses
3. Create your feedback/notes questions
4. Connect form responses to a Google Sheet
5. In Sheets, go to Add-ons and add Formmule if you haven't already
6. Configure Formmule

Configuring Formmule can be tricky. Take a look at the video below to see how I have done it. This video shows you simple way to get started.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

#EDUProtocols: Get Started With Thin Slides

Eduprotocols can be quickly summed up as pedagogical frames that are quickly planned, can be repeated frequently and all you need to do is switch out the content. One of my favorite EduProtocol catch phrases is "Teach better, work less".

In the recently released EduProtocols Field Guide Book 2, the Thin Slides protocol is featured. Having the honor and privilege of being trained this summer in this protocol by co-author Jon Corippo, I have come to see and learn that Thin Slides is a great first step with #EduProtocols.

As an edtech integration coach, I am always looking for simple ways to incorporate technology in classrooms that are pedagogically sound and not scary for teachers. Eduprotocols, Thin Slides in particular, covers both of those bases. At this point in the school year, we are beginning to implement the Iron Chef protocol, but our first step towards getting to Iron Chef has been the implementation of Thin Slides.

Thin Slides have whet teachers' appetites for more tech and Eduprotocols. I sold Thin Slides as a method of quick, formative assessment that gets ALL learners listening, speaking and presenting. One of our major district graduate outcomes is that of being a powerful communicator. Teachers saw Thin Slides as an easy step towards building their communication skills. With a high population of English Learners, Thin Slides is an easy way for teachers to help them with listening and speaking in the English language.

For those looking to get started with Thin Slides, here is MY beginners guide.

- Create slide deck quickly adding slides using CTRL + M
- Title slide: Put your prompt as title. Use subtitle for sentence stem if necessary Set slide deck permissions to anyone with link can edit- Post slide deck as announcement in Google Classroom (Be sure to change permissions so "anyone with a link" can edit.)

- Assign students a slide number

- Instruct students go to their assigned slide number and type name
- When names are on slides, instruct students that they will be adding ONLY one word and one picture to their slide (Remind students to STAY ON THEIR SLIDES and not look at others' slides. This may lead to accidental errors on slides)
- Give students a 3-4 minute hard deadline to build slide
- For procedural purposes, when a kid finishes their slide, have them close their Chromebook to signify they are finished
- When 3-4 minutes is up, have all students close Chromebook and stand up at desks
- Project slide deck and each student presents micro presentation for 5-7 seconds

Other Tips
- Selectively banter with kids during presentation with praise, comments and affirmation
- Record, with tally marks, the ideas kids present to identify themes and trends
- After micro presentations, have students, in Google Classroom type what they said in their micro presentation as a comment on the Thin Slides Announcement
- After comments, have students read classmates' comments, choose one that is a different idea and type it paraphrased as a new comment.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Favorite Ways to Use GIFs with Coaches

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Being a geeky, techy educator, I absolutely love GIFs. They are so entertaining, but at the same time, they can be a valuable learning tool. For teachers and coaches, GIFs can jumpstart learning for those we serve. Check out some of my ideas for using GIFs as a coach.

As a connected educator, I have learned much be simply "YouTubing" how to do something. For people like me, this is great, but others, this may not be the best way. One of my go-to's for coaching is screencasting. I screencast a how-to video, put it on YouTube and send a link to teachers. Some teachers, though, prefer a more concise resource. This is where GIFs come in handy. Instead having to watch an entire video, GIFs can quickly get right to the point and they repeat in a loop.

As mentioned earlier, I screencast how-to videos. To this end, the Screencastify Chrome Extension is my go-to tool. The paid version of Screencastify allows you to download your screencasts as an animated GIF. When I screencast short, concise skills, instead of publishing to YouTube, I download the screencast as a GIF and embed into emails, blogposts and slide decks. Take a look below to see how.

I am a big proponent of working smarter, not harder. We don't always have time to create our own screencasts. YouTube is full of already-made screencasts of many of the skills teachers need help with. If this is the case, the GIFit! Chrome Extension can help you make GIFs from targeted parts of YouTube videos that contain skills you want to share. Simply add this extension to Chrome and a GIFit! button will soon appear on YouTube videos. When I use GIFit!, I make it a point to always include a link to the entire video to give credit to the video creator. Take a look below to see how.