Thursday, December 14, 2023

Revolutionize Teacher Workflow with Google's NotebookLM

In the dynamic landscape of education, educators are continually in search of innovative tools to elevate their teaching methodologies and streamline their workflows. Google's NotebookLM stands out as a transformative force, presenting a personalized AI collaborator that not only enhances teaching practices but also enables educators to work more effectively and efficiently, making it easier to work within contracted hours. Here are seven impactful ways teachers can leverage NotebookLM to revolutionize their workflow:

1. Effortless Creation of Notebooks

Initiating the journey is as simple as clicking "New Notebook." This uncomplicated step opens the door to a plethora of possibilities. Teachers can seamlessly organize lesson plans, lecture notes, and educational materials within the intuitive interface, establishing the groundwork for an efficient and structured teaching experience.

2. Tailoring Information to Individual Needs

Gone are the days of laboriously sifting through an overwhelming multitude of online resources. NotebookLM liberates teachers, allowing them to concentrate on targeted information that aligns with their preferences. The AI collaborator interfaces with a personally curated dataset, incorporating your notes, files, and resources. This guarantees that educators and their collaborators maintain control over the content, fostering a personalized approach that streamlines the curation of materials essential for more effective teaching.

3. Seamless Integration of Sources for Deeper Insights

With the ability to incorporate Google Docs, PDFs, or copied text, teachers can effortlessly integrate diverse sources into their NotebookLM. The AI collaborator transforms into a robust ally, capable of answering questions, summarizing content, brainstorming ideas, and more. This feature expedites information processing, empowering teachers to delve into deeper insights more quickly and efficiently than ever.

4. Automatic Generation of Summaries and Key Topics

A single click on sources activates NotebookLM's magic, auto-generating summaries and key topics. This feature not only saves time but also provides a rapid overview, assisting teachers in preparing for lectures, discussions, or assessments. The AI's adeptness at distilling complex information into digestible summaries dramatically expedites teacher workflow.

5. Personalized Practice Problems or Questions Across Subjects

Imagine a teacher reviewing assessment data and planning an intervention lesson. After uploading relevant information, NotebookLM takes personalized learning to the next level by generating practice problems or questions tailored to students' understanding. Using uploaded assessment data (minus student identification markers), the AI crafts problems of varying difficulty levels, aligned with teacher-curated resources, offering a customized learning experience for each student. Teachers can then distribute these tailored assessments to students based on their individual learning needs.

6. Engaging Assessments for ELA and Social Studies

Teachers exploring literary works or primary source documents can upload excerpts and lecture notes to NotebookLM. The AI collaborator transforms this content into quizzes featuring open-ended questions about character motivations and themes. These quizzes seamlessly integrate into popular learning platforms like Quizizz or Quizlet, providing students with engaging and insightful assessments.

7. Facilitating Collaborative Curriculum Development

NotebookLM becomes a collaborative hub as teachers working on curriculum development come together. Similar to files in Google Drive, NotebookLM notebooks can be shared with collaborators. The AI assistant streamlines brainstorming sessions, note-taking, and summarization, enabling educators to efficiently share resources, takeaways, notes and lesson plans. This collaborative effort not only saves time but also reveals trends, commonalities, and differences in collective insights and resources.

As Google's NotebookLM becomes accessible to all Google Workspace users, educators are encouraged to explore its potential. While its release is widespread, it's advisable to check with your domain's Admin Console administrator if access is not yet available. NotebookLM empowers teachers to tap into the potential of AI in education, offering personalized information curation, streamlined workflows, and enhanced collaboration. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Upscale Your Elementary Worksheets with Quizizz: A Fun Twist on Learning


In our technology-driven world, it's crucial to discover innovative methods to captivate students, and one standout solution is Quizizz – a game-based learning tool that breathes life into elementary worksheets, turning them into interactive and enjoyable quizzes.

Consider a classic rhyming exercise where students typically jot down rhyming words on a worksheet. Now, with Quizizz's free version, educators can craft quizzes in which students read a word and select the corresponding rhyming word or identify the odd one out from a list. Whether undertaken individually, in small groups, or as part of a center, this not only introduces an element of friendly competition but also transforms a routine task into an exhilarating challenge.

Transitioning to sight words, a fundamental element of early elementary education, Quizizz proves to be an invaluable tool for upscaling sight word exercises. With the premium version, teachers can incorporate a read-aloud feature, where a sentence is recorded and vocalized, and students must discern the correct sight word from multiple choices. This not only sharpens their recognition skills but also integrates auditory learning into the educational mix. Much like the rhyming example, this adaptable approach can be seamlessly applied to whole-class activities, solo tasks, small group endeavors, or center-based learning.

The integration of Quizizz into these traditional elementary exercises reshapes the learning process into a dynamic game, infusing it with excitement and memorability for students. As they navigate through these adaptive quizzes, not only do they solidify their foundational skills, but they also cultivate a positive attitude towards learning. Why confine learning to traditional worksheets when Quizizz can upscale the learning experience to new heights?

Blending Hands-On Learning and Tech: A "Flip" Look at California's 4th Grade Mission Projects


In the evolving landscape of education, it's crucial for educators to strike a balance between traditional learning methods, like paper and pencil, and the burgeoning world of technology. This balance is not just a nod to the diversity of learning styles, but a preparation for students to navigate a world increasingly reliant on digital literacy. A prime example of this balance can be found in California's 4th-grade curriculum, where students delve into the state's rich history through the study of the California Missions.

Traditionally, this project involves building physical models of the missions, a tactile and creative exercise that allows students to engage with history in a hands-on way. This approach taps into the benefits of traditional learning, fostering skills like fine motor coordination, spatial awareness, and the ability to follow detailed instructions. It's a beautiful way to connect students with the past, letting them build a piece of history with their own hands.

This Mission Santa Cruz model used real materials from this student's backyard.

However, to augment this learning experience with a modern twist, technology can play a pivotal role. One such integration is the use of Flip, formerly known as Flipgrid. Using the Flip Camera, imagine students, using Chromebooks or tablets, giving a guided tour of their meticulously crafted mission models, narrating the history and purpose of each structure and feature. This activity not only enhances their learning but also allows them to develop digital skills and confidence in presenting information in a digital format. By recording these tours, students learn to communicate effectively, a skill that is increasingly vital in both academic and professional settings.

Big thanks to the 4th graders at Buena Vista School in Central CA for sharing their projects.

Moreover, integrating technology like Flip adds a dynamic multimedia layer to the educational experience. This approach encourages students to delve into digital storytelling, a key facet of contemporary communication. As they learn to create, edit, and disseminate digital content, they acquire competencies vital for navigating today's digitally focused world. This process is instrumental in fostering digital citizenship skills. It teaches students to engage constructively and respectfully in online spaces. They become adept at managing their digital footprints and learn the significance of posting positive, supportive comments, especially through Flip's feature that allows for peer-to-peer feedback. This interactive element not only enhances their learning experience but also instills principles of responsible and positive online behavior, ensuring they cultivate healthy digital habits.

This blend of traditional and technological methods in education serves multiple purposes. It respects the proven benefits of hands-on, tangible learning experiences while embracing the inevitable march of technology in education. Importantly, this balance aids teachers in more effectively engaging students in the 4C's: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. These skills are not only essential for academic success but are increasingly valued in the modern job market. By integrating both approaches, educators can ensure that students are not only academically prepared but also equipped with a versatile skill set that aligns with the demands of the current and future workforce. This kind of balanced approach fosters a more inclusive and versatile learning environment, catering to various learning styles and preparing students for a future where digital and traditional methods coexist seamlessly.

As educators, it is paramount to recognize and implement this balance in our teaching methodologies. The example of the California Missions project in 4th grade demonstrates how traditional education methods and modern technology can coalesce to provide a rich, comprehensive learning experience. It's about preparing our students for a future where they can navigate both the tangible and digital worlds with ease and confidence.

Monday, November 6, 2023

CSEdCon 2023: My Takeaways Regarding AI and the Future of Education

Attending CSEdCon was truly an enlightening experience for me. This three-day conference delved into the intricate connections between AI, education, and computer science. As I sat through thought-provoking sessions such as "AI and the Future of Education," "Reaching Rural Regions," and "Early Experiences in Teaching with AI," I found myself deeply engaged in discussions. These dialogues solidified some of my existing beliefs about AI in education while presenting fresh perspectives that broadened my understanding.

A few stand-out observations from the conference include:

  • AI promises to transform the landscape for teachers and software engineers. While it will not replace human expertise, the importance of adapting and capitalizing on AI tools cannot be understated.
  • The growing demand for AI skills is undeniable, emphasizing both technical and interpersonal attributes like communication and ethics. Yet, the gender disparity in AI is concerning and demands immediate attention.
  • AI's potential in refining computational thinking, tailoring learning experiences, and simplifying coding is evident. But challenges, such as inherent biases and inaccuracies, persist.
  • Embracing AI in classrooms has showcased notable benefits, including improved student outcomes. However, there's an underlying risk: if not accessible to all, it might intensify existing inequities.
  • The future of CS education is poised for change. Expect a decline in traditional tasks and languages, like HTML, and a surge in innovative modalities like block-based coding and audio input/output methods.
  • One crucial takeaway is the need to arm students with discerning knowledge about computer capabilities, ensuring they utilize AI with wisdom and responsibility.

As an edtech consultant and advocate, I frequently interact with educators apprehensive about AI's profound impact on education and the world at large. My experience at CSEdCon has equipped me with talking points that can assuage such concerns. For instance:

  • AI's ability to offer personalized, immediate feedback.
  • The automation of routine tasks, granting teachers more quality time for instruction.
  • Engaging AI-powered chatbots that make learning interactive.
  • AI's prowess in assessing student understanding and identifying gaps.
  • Novel brainstorming techniques introduced by AI text generation models.
  • AI-powered 24/7 tutoring systems.
  • The myriad ways students can employ AI for dynamic study materials.

The onset of AI in education marks just the beginning. Our collective task now is to ensure educators recognize its potential. We must guide our students to ethically and effectively wield AI. 

For educators looking ahead, consider these key points:

  • AI is redefining numerous sectors. Acquainting students with AI tools will be instrumental, irrespective of their career paths.
  • Cultivating a robust understanding of AI systems, emphasizing their strengths and flaws, is crucial.
  • Encouraging students to discern potential AI biases ensures ethical engagement.
  • As AI handles routine chores, honing soft skills in students becomes paramount.
  • Recognizing the soaring demand in AI-centric roles can shape future academic curricula.
  • With AI knowledge becoming a staple in most professions, disregarding its importance may jeopardize students' future employability.
  • While predicting AI's trajectory is challenging, imparting foundational principles to students ensures they remain agile and adaptable in a dynamic future.
This blog post was developed with the support of AI tools, including OpenAI's ChatGPT and Anthropic's Claude. After inputting my notes from CSEdCon into Claude, it helped me identify key takeaways and insights. With ChatGPT, I underwent several iterations to organize and refine these insights into a blog post tailored for educators. The collaborative process with these AI tools not only streamlined my thoughts but also emphasized the importance of refining and iterating for clarity, especially for a specific audience.

Friday, November 3, 2023

The Limitations of Generative AI LLMs: A Personal Example


In today's digital realm, generative AI Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT by OpenAI and Google Bard have become focal points of discussion. These models, equipped with the ability to craft human-like text, offer a myriad of applications. Yet, understanding their constraints remains paramount.

It's crucial to grasp that these models don't genuinely "think." They generate text by mimicking human language patterns from vast datasets, not from comprehension or consciousness. Contrary to popular belief, LLMs don't actively "search" the internet for real-time answers. They've been trained on extensive data, but they don’t browse the web live. Faced with unfamiliar topics, they make educated guesses based on previous patterns.

Let's turn to a personal experience. I'm an avid supporter of Fresno State Football, and my YouTube channel boasts four decades of game footage and highlights. Leveraging AI, I've crafted game recaps and summaries for each video description. An observable trend is that the AI's accuracy correlates with a game's media coverage. The more widespread the reporting, the more accurate the AI summary, although my expertise often catches occasional inaccuracies.

A case in point is a recap I requested from Google Bard for the 1986 NCAA Football game between Fresno State and University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV). While the game had national coverage, it didn’t dominate ratings and missed many viewers and journalists, especially outside the Pacific time zone. During this engagement, Bard's recap showed marked inaccuracies. 

For example, in paragraph 1, Bard inaccurately labeled the game's conference as the Big West Conference. In 1986, both schools were part of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA), which later was rebranded as the Big West in 1988. Furthermore, in paragraph 3, Bard mistakenly identified Jeff Tedford as Fresno State's quarterback for that game, even though he had vacated the position in 1982. Another error was with respect to UNLV's Ickey Woods and Charles Williams. While Woods was mischaracterized as the quarterback, he actually played as a running back. Intriguingly, Charles Williams, who began playing in 2017, was incorrectly cited in the 1986 account. A notable tidbit is that both Woods and Williams hail from Fresno.

These oversights illuminate AI’s tendency to piece together plausible, quasi-relevant information when faced with data gaps. The tidbits about the conference, Jeff Tedford, Ickey Woods and Charles Williams are all "semi-in-the-ballpark" information. It’s as if you threw a ball for a dog, and it earnestly brought back a stick; close, but not quite accurate.

The underlying message here is the imperative of scrutinizing AI outputs. LLMs, while powerful, can occasionally deliver out-of-context or misleading information. Critical assessment of AI responses is as essential as vetting any unfamiliar source.

Generative AI LLMs, revolutionary as they are, come with their set of challenges. Approaching their outputs with discernment is vital, especially in education. Teachers should rigorously vet AI-derived content, and students must be taught to assess the reliability of AI-generated information. In doing so, we foster a balanced approach, benefiting from AI while upholding the veracity of the information at hand.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Elevating Classroom Instruction with YouTube Music's Enhanced Lyrics Feature


In today's digital age, educators are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage students and enhance learning experiences. The newly enhanced lyrics feature in YouTube Music presents a golden opportunity to better integrate music into classroom instruction, fostering reading, literacy skills, and aiding English learners on their language journey.

Music has a unique power to captivate and connect with students. YouTube Music's upgraded lyrics feature goes beyond just playing tunes. It displays synchronized lyrics, turning the act of listening to music into a type of interactive reading exercise. As students follow along with the lyrics, they sharpen their reading comprehension and fluency skills in an engaging and enjoyable manner.

For learners of English, the advantages are even deeper. According to Belgian researcher Pauline Degrave*, songs offer genuine listening content. Learners are exposed to native speakers using authentic language, pronunciation, intonation, etc. This aids in the development of listening skills. Lyrics also support the acquisition of vocabulary. New words and phrases are reiterated in the lyrics. Combining them with melody can assist in memorization and recollection. Teachers can select songs with themes matching classroom topics, adding contextual richness to language lessons.

Desktop View

The mobile app view has karaoke style lyrics

Furthermore, YouTube Music's variety of options enable educators to cater to various learning preferences and age groups. Whether it's historical ballads for a history class, or lyrical poetry for an English literature session, the tool offers a wide array of possibilities.

Integrating songs with lyrics in the classroom enhances not only literacy and language skills but also fosters creativity, cultural comprehension, and emotional self-expression. As educators, embracing technological advancements such as YouTube Music's improved lyrics feature can transform our teaching methods, creating an engaging and melodious learning encounter for everyone involved.

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.

*Degrave, Pauline. "Music in the foreign language classroom: How and why." Journal of Language Teaching and Research 10.3 (2019): 412-420.

Monday, August 21, 2023

MagicSchool Tools: A dozen ways it can help educators


In an ever-evolving educational landscape, the search for effective teaching tools never ceases. Teachers today face the challenge of not only adjusting pedagogy for diverse learners, but also keeping up with the rapid technological shifts. Enter MagicSchool Tools, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) tool developed specifically for educators. This platform is the one-stop shop educators never knew they needed.

MagicSchool Tools helps educators expedite their laborious tasks, allowing more time for the human aspects of teaching and learning. Remember, AI tools are only as effective as the human input they receive. Vet all AI output before utilizing it.

Here are a dozen ways in which MagicSchool Tools can help.

  • Student Work Feedback Tools: Manually checking student work taking tool long? MagicSchool Tools' Student Work Feedback tool helps educators to more quickly analyze student work and provides instant, tailored feedback, ensuring personalized learning. 
  • Lesson Plans & Academic Content: With a few clicks, educators can generate lesson plans tailored to their standards, classroom's needs, complete with academic content that's up-to-date and engaging.
  • Unit Plans & Syllabus Generator: Planning for the entire year? These tools can generate unit plans, and even a full syllabus, streamlining the process.
  • Diagnostic Assessments: It aids in identifying student strengths and areas for improvement, paving the way for targeted instruction.
  • Interactive Learning: From ice breakers and team-building activities to the 5E model science lesson plans, learning becomes a fun and interactive experience.
  • Assessment & Feedback: Rubrics, spiral reviews in math, and even 3D science assessment generators make both teaching and grading more efficient.
  • Communication Tools: The 'Email Parents Tool' and class newsletter generator allow for seamless communication with parents.
  • IEP Accommodation Suggestions: With the IEP suggestion generator and accommodation tool, educators can ensure that every student gets the attention they deserve.
  • Diverse Learning Tools: From vocabulary lists and reading quizzes to SAT practice test generators, the tool covers a wide spectrum of academic needs.
  • Behavioral Intervention: Both behavioral intervention generators and restorative reflection tools provide solutions to manage classroom behavior effectively.
  • Advanced Analytical Tools: Data table analysis and text analysis assignment tools assist educators in delving deep into content and drawing meaningful conclusions.
  • Recommendations & Responses: Writing letters of recommendation or responding to emails is made effortless with MagicSchool's dedicated tools.

MagicSchool Tools is captivating not only due to its vastness but also its depth. Each tool is crafted with the unique obstacles educators encounter in mind, augmenting the efficiency, personalization, and interactivity of the entire teaching and learning process. Moreover, these tools align with FERPA regulations and reject non-educational prompts. Remember that these tools do possess restrictions. They might generate biased or unreliable data. Their dataset is current until 2021 and does not yet support web searches or image production. This highlights the significance of scrutinizing the resources and information they provide. Despite these constraints, MagicSchool AI Tools can greatly expedite any educator's workflow.

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, August 14, 2023

New Google Classroom Feature Allows Teachers to Close Submissions After Due Dates


Google Classroom recently launched a new option for teachers to close submissions once the due dates have passed. As per the Google Workspace Updates Blog, this feature was made available on July 27 and is now being gradually rolled out to users. If you haven't noticed the update yet, it will reach you shortly. This feature has been widely requested by teachers, enabling them to better oversee their workflow and ensure timely submission of all student assignments.

With this new feature, teachers can choose to disable submissions for an assignment after a certain date, regardless of whether or not the assignment has a strict due date. This means that teachers can now prevent students from submitting late work.

Of course, this feature is not without its drawbacks. Some teachers may worry that it will prevent students from having enough time to iterate on their work and achieve mastery. However, teachers can, and should, still provide students with opportunities to revise and resubmit their work, even after the due date. Even if the submission is closed for a specific assignment, students may still access their assignment-related documents to continue to edit. 

Take a look below to see how to get started closing submissions after a due date.

Overall, the new Google Classroom feature that allows teachers to close submissions after due dates is a valuable tool that can help teachers manage their workflow and ensure that all students are submitting their work on time.

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.

Google Classroom Grading Periods: A New Way to Track Student Progress


Google Classroom is a useful tool for teachers to manage assignments, communicate with students, and track their progress. However, tracking student progress over time hasn't been easy. That's where the new Grading Periods feature comes in.

Grading Periods is now available for domains with the Teaching & Learning Upgrade or Education Plus subscription. To begin, teachers can go to the Class Settings page and access the "Grading Periods" section. From there, they can create and configure grading periods.

With Grading Periods, teachers can define and apply grading periods to their Classroom assignments. This enables them to observe student performance trends over time, both as an aggregate by grading period or within a specific grading period.

For instance, a teacher could use grading periods to monitor student progress throughout a semester, quarter, trimester, or even based on benchmark assessments. This provides valuable insights about each student's performance over time and helps identify areas where they may require additional support.

Grading Periods is a powerful new feature that enhances teachers' ability to track student progress effectively. If you're a teacher, I encourage you to give it a try. Check out the accompanying screenshots below to see how to get started.

Begin by clicking the settings gear in the top right corner.

Scroll down to the section titled Grading and click Add grading period.

Name the grading period and specify the date range. You can easily duplicate these periods for other classes and assign them to existing assignments.

After creation, go to the Grades tab. Apply the filter to view student work corresponding to the Grading periods you've included.

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.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Expediting Your Workflow with Claude.AI: Spreadsheets, CSV Files & Analysis of Student Data


If you're constantly sifting through mounds of data, Claude.AI can help you revolutionize your workflow. This AI tool allows you to upload your data from spreadsheets in the form of CSV files, which can exponentially speed up your student data analysis process.

Traditional data analysis methods can be time-consuming, requiring hours or even days of manual processing. However, Claude.AI's CSV file upload feature helps to eliminate some of the pain points in this task. With just a few clicks, you can input all your data and have it ready for immediate analysis.

Utilizing artificial intelligence, Claude.AI dives into the numbers to identify trends and patterns that might not be immediately apparent to the human eye. This can help you identify recurring problem areas that could benefit from more focused attention. Claude.AI’s in-depth analysis provides crucial insights into these questions, taking some of the guesswork out of your strategy.

Importantly, this doesn't mean that Claude.AI is replacing the human touch. On the contrary, it is augmenting our ability to sift through data more efficiently and effectively. It provides a foundation, an insightful starting point upon which we can then build our strategies. However, it is essential to vet the information that AI provides.

If the initial data analysis and trends provided by Claude.AI are not as focused or in-depth as you like, you can continue the conversation with the chatbot by providing a more detailed follow-up prompt. Remember, Claude.AI will automatically refer back to the spreadsheet you uploaded when providing future analysis and answers within the same conversation thread.

Despite the complex algorithms and machine learning behind Claude.AI, the software is not infallible. As such, it is paramount to remember that anything produced by AI tools should be reviewed by a human. This is a collaboration of sorts, with AI doing the heavy lifting of sorting through mountains of data at lightning speed, and humans applying their expertise and intuition to verify and interpret the insights.

Ultimately, Claude.AI serves as a powerful ally in data analysis, expediting your workflow while enhancing your ability to analyze student data. It is a fine example of how technology can work hand in hand with humans to increase productivity, provide deeper insights, and drive more informed decision-making in the world of education.

For further inquiries or any questions you may have, feel free to reach out to me via Gmail or Chat at If you're interested in bringing my expertise to your school for professional development (PD), workshops, keynote speeches, training, or follow-ups on this or prior blog posts, please schedule an appointment here.

I'm delighted to share that my book, 'The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning', co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette, is now available for purchase on Amazon. You can secure a copy by clicking here. Stay tuned for further updates and insights by following the hashtags #OrganicEdTech #WeAreCUE and #CVTechTalk on social media. 

This blog post was written with the help of ChatGPT, Claude.AI, Adobe Firefly and Google Bard.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Enhancing Classroom Engagement: The Synergy of Sketchnoting and Flip

In today's modern educational landscape, it is essential to adopt innovative techniques that not only engage students but also cater to diverse learning styles. Sketchnoting, the practice of visually capturing ideas, and Flip, a platform for making fun, creative videos, complement each other and can significantly enhance student engagement in the classroom. This blog post explores how the integration of sketchnoting and Flip can promote active learning and supports English learners in accessing the curriculum.

Sketchnoting with paper and pencil enables students to actively process and visually represent key concepts. By sketching their understanding, students reinforce their learning, improve memory retention, and develop critical thinking skills. Sketchnoting encourages students to synthesize information, identify main ideas, and make connections between concepts. This hands-on approach fosters creativity and allows students to personalize their learning experience. Additionally, the sketchnoting process provides teachers with multiple opportunities to provide real-time, individualized feedback. These encounters lead to authentic, one-one-one teachable moments with a teacher and a student. These moments create a classroom culture where the teacher is not a sage on the stage, but a guide on the side.

The sketchnoting process done by a student in Mrs. Cruz' class in Central CA.

Once students have sketched their ideas, Flip becomes a powerful tool for transforming their static visual notes into dynamic video explanations. Using Flip's fun, creative tools, students can create engaging videos that explain complex concepts. This process encourages students to delve deeper into the subject matter, develop effective communication skills, and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the material. The combination of sketchnoting and Flip enables students to become active creators and presenters of their knowledge.

In addition, if the Flip topic is set for the class to see all the videos, a valuable digital citizenship opportunity is created. Students should be encouraged to leave positive feedback and ask clarifying questions on their classmates' videos. Building this positive habit with Flip can build similar habits when students engage in social media. 

Mrs. Cruz's students created trailers for their state reports.

For English learners, accessing the curriculum can be challenging due to language barriers. However, sketchnoting and Flip provide valuable support by offering a visual and interactive approach. Sketchnoting allows English learners to visually organize information, making it more accessible and easier to comprehend. The combination of images, icons, and keywords helps students develop vocabulary and language skills. Furthermore, Flip empowers English learners to create videos that convey their understanding, allowing them to practice language use in a meaningful context.

The integration of sketchnoting and Flip creates a powerful synergy in the classroom. By combining the benefits of paper and pencil sketching with the interactive and creative capabilities of Flip, students' engagement and understanding of key concepts are enhanced. This approach is particularly advantageous for English learners as it provides visual support and encourages language development. Educators can harness the potential of sketchnoting and Flip to create a dynamic and inclusive learning environment, where students actively participate, showcase their creativity, and take ownership of their learning.

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, May 2, 2023

The New Menu Search Bar in Google Docs


Google Docs has been a go-to platform for document creation, editing, and collaboration for millions of users across the globe. And now, with the new update that has added a Menu search bar in the toolbar across the top, it has become even easier to find features and functions without having to remember where everything is located.

This new update has been designed to save time and enhance productivity. With so many features and functions available in Google Docs, it can sometimes be overwhelming to find a particular tool, especially for new users. This is where the Menu search bar comes in handy. Now, instead of scrolling through various menus and sub-menus, users can simply type in what they're looking for in the search bar, and the platform will automatically display the relevant option.

For instance, let's say you want to add a hyperlink to your document, but you don't remember where the Header" option is located. With the Menu search bar, you can just type in "Header," and the option will appear in the search results. This feature makes it faster and easier to access the various tools and features within the platform, ultimately boosting productivity.

Another benefit of this update is that it can help users discover new features they may not have known existed. For example, if you're not aware of the new location of the "Explore" feature in Google Docs, you can simply search for it in the Menu search bar and learn more about how it can help you create better documents.

In conclusion, the addition of the Menu search bar in the Google Docs toolbar is a welcome update for users of all levels. It simplifies the process of finding tools and features, saves time, and enhances productivity. Whether you're a new or experienced user, this update is definitely worth exploring!

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, April 24, 2023

First Timers Adapt the Sketch & Tell EduProtocol


The Sketch & Tell EduProtocol, originally designed to enhance comprehension and engagement through visual storytelling, has quickly become a favorite among teachers. In this blog post, we'll explore the creative ways two teachers have adapted this powerful protocol to fit their unique classroom needs. 6th Grade teacher Jeff Uruchurtu tailored the protocol to help students grasp prepositional phrases, while 8th Grade teacher Eduardo Lemus transformed it into an exciting scavenger hunt for vocabulary terms.

  (Disclaimer: Both teachers gave me permission to use their names and show student work samples.)

Adapting Sketch & Tell for Prepositional Phrases (6th Grade ELA)

For Jeff, the challenge was finding a way to make the concept of prepositional phrases accessible and engaging to their students. After discovering the Sketch & Tell EduProtocol, they realized that this innovative approach could be the key to unlocking their students' understanding.

He began by introducing prepositional phrases and providing a few examples. Then, he asked the students to create a visual representation of these phrases using the Sketch & Tell method. Students were tasked with drawing simple scenes that incorporated various prepositional phrases, such as "on the table" or "under the bridge."

Once students had completed their sketches, they presented their visual narratives to the class, describing the action using the prepositional phrases they had incorporated. This exercise not only allowed students to practice their speaking skills but also provided them with a deeper understanding of the role that prepositional phrases play in sentences.

Following the presentations, students were asked to write sentences using the prepositional phrases they had explored during the activity. This step solidified their comprehension of the topic and demonstrated the effectiveness of the adapted Sketch & Tell protocol.

The Sketch & Tell Eduprotocol allowed Mr. Uruchurtu to build on their students' background knowledge of prep phrases, making the micro presentation an easy and comfortable structure for students to talk about content and present in front of peers. Furthermore, the repetition of the process proved to be essential in accommodating English learners and developing their sentence writing skills in a more natural way.

The Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt (8th Grade ELA)

8th Grade teacher Eduardo Lemus, on the other hand, saw the potential for the Sketch & Tell Eduprotocol to enhance vocabulary learning in his classroom. Instead of merely introducing key vocabulary terms from a novel, he decided to turn the experience into an interactive scavenger hunt.

First, he provided the students with a list of essential vocabulary words from the upcoming novel. Next, he challenged the students to locate these words in the text and sketch a visual representation of the term based on its context. By doing so, students were able to explore the novel's setting and themes while developing a better understanding of the vocabulary terms.

After students completed their sketches, they shared their findings with their peers, explaining the context of the vocabulary term and its meaning in the story. This interactive approach encouraged students to actively engage with the material and make personal connections to the novel.

After implementing the Sketch & Tell Eduprotocol, the Mr. Lemus noticed a significant increase in student engagement and participation. Additionally, the use of visuals and sentence frames not only helped English learners feel more included, but also deepened their connection to new vocabulary, while easing their fear of public speaking. 

Both Mr. Uruchurtu and Mr. Lemus successfully adapted the Sketch & Tell EduProtocol to fit their specific classroom objectives. By doing so, they not only enhanced their students' understanding of prepositional phrases and vocabulary terms but also fostered creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. The flexibility of the Sketch & Tell protocol demonstrates its potential as a versatile tool in education, capable of meeting the diverse needs of today's 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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

ChatGPT: Personal Research Assistant for Students


Do you want to improve your students' research skills and help them produce high-quality work? In many cases, students tend to rely on the first results they find in a traditional Google search, which can be unreliable or inaccurate. That's where ChatGPT, an AI tool, can come in handy. ChatGPT can assist students in finding more reputable articles that provide textual evidence to support their claims, saving them time and ensuring they use high-quality sources.

With so much information available online, students often struggle to identify reliable sources for their research. ChatGPT can help by providing students with a list of reputable sources such as academic journals, peer-reviewed articles, and books written by experts in the field. By using ChatGPT, students can save time and ensure they are using high-quality sources in their research.

Once students have identified potential sources, they need to read and analyze the articles to determine if they are relevant and provide the evidence they need to support their claims. This is another area where ChatGPT can assist students. ChatGPT can analyze the text of the article, identify key themes and arguments, and highlight the evidence used to support those arguments. This can help students focus on the most relevant information and save them time.

Furthermore, ChatGPT can assist with the writing process. For students who struggle with articulating their argument or finding the right words to express their ideas, ChatGPT can provide suggestions and feedback to help them improve their writing. This can be particularly helpful for students who are not native speakers of English or who struggle with writing in general.

Moreover, ChatGPT can provide context and background information. If students are researching a historical event or a complex scientific concept, ChatGPT can provide background information to help students understand the topic more deeply. This is especially useful for students who are new to a field of study or who are trying to learn about a topic outside of their area of expertise.

Finally, ChatGPT can help students stay organized throughout the research process. By keeping track of sources and notes, ChatGPT can help students stay on top of their research and ensure that they are meeting all of their requirements. The search results students choose to use can be easily copied and pasted into digital note taking tools such as Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, Evernote and more. As students write and report findings with word processors such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, the search results and sources found with ChatGPT can easily be cited in a myriad of citation styles.

It's understandable that some educators might feel apprehensive about using AI tools such as ChatGPT. However, it's important to keep in mind that ChatGPT is not meant to replace traditional research methods, but rather to supplement and enhance them. ChatGPT's ability to enhance the research and writing process is similar to how GPS has improved our ability to navigate and travel. Teachers should see ChatGPT as a valuable resource for students who are looking to improve their research skills and writing abilities. By using ChatGPT to help students find, analyze, and organize their sources, teachers can save time and focus on providing personalized feedback to their students. It's also essential to work with students individually or in small groups to review and vet the suggestions provided by ChatGPT. This way, teachers can ensure that the information students use is reputable and relevant to their research question or topic.

In conclusion, ChatGPT can be a valuable resource for students who are researching reputable articles to provide textual evidence to support their claims. By helping students find, analyze, and organize their sources, as well as providing context and feedback on their writing, ChatGPT can save students time and help them produce higher-quality work. As educators, we should embrace technology and AI tools such as ChatGPT to enhance our teaching and help our students succeed.

If you're interested in bringing me to your school for professional development, workshops, keynotes, training, or a follow-up on this or any of my previous blog posts, please 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 and published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Click here to purchase. Don't forget to follow the hashtags #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

ChatGPT and Google Classroom: Power Up Your Ability To Provide Feedback

As an AI language model, ChatGPT can help teachers provide feedback on student writing more easily. In a previous blog post, I discussed ways to use AI tools such as ChatGPT to expedite the feedback process for student writing. Building on this, as an avid user of Google Classroom, I realized that feedback generated by ChatGPT can be stored in the Google Classroom comment bank. This can significantly reduce the amount of time spent grading student assignments.

One of the biggest challenges faced by teachers when grading student writing is providing informative and constructive feedback that is tailored to each student's needs. This process can be tedious and time-consuming, especially for writing assignments that require nuance and subjectivity. ChatGPT can simplify this process by generating criteria-based suggestions that are customized for each student.

For example, if a student is struggling with grammar and punctuation, ChatGPT can generate comments that focus on those specific areas. Similarly, if a student is struggling with the structure of their writing, ChatGPT can provide guidance. When you notice trends and similarities in the feedback that students need for issues such as grammar and punctuation, you can save them in the Google Classroom comment bank. To do this, simply copy and paste into the comment bank. This allows teachers to access and reuse comments across multiple assignments, saving time and ensuring consistency in grading.

Moreover, by storing comments in the comment bank, teachers can easily collaborate with their colleagues. If your department or PLC is using a shared Google Classroom for common or standardized assessments, all co-teachers have access to the comment bank. They can share and reuse effective comments, or create a set of standard comments that can be used across their department or school.

However, using AI-generated feedback has some potential drawbacks. Some teachers may feel that this approach is impersonal and lacks the nuance and context that human feedback can provide. Others may be concerned about the reliability and accuracy of the suggestions generated by ChatGPT.

It's important to view ChatGPT as a tool that can supplement, but not replace, the feedback provided by teachers. By using ChatGPT to generate criteria-based suggestions, teachers can save time and focus on providing more personalized and nuanced feedback to their students.

ChatGPT can be an incredibly useful tool for teachers looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their feedback. By generating criteria-based suggestions that can be stored in the Google Classroom comment bank, ChatGPT can streamline the grading process while providing targeted and personalized feedback to each student. Although using AI-generated feedback has potential drawbacks, it can be an invaluable tool for teachers looking to improve the quality of their feedback while also reducing their workload. Think of ChatGPT as a personal assistant and adapt its suggestions based on your expertise and knowledge of your students.

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, February 24, 2023

ChatGPT Can Be A Superpower For Teachers Teaching Writing

The use of AI tools, such as ChatGPT, in education has been met with initial reactions of hesitance and fear that students may cheat and teachers may be replaced by machines. Although these concerns are understandable, employing a growth mindset and innovative, student-centered pedagogy can transform AI tools into a teacher's superpower.

Providing feedback on student writing is an essential part of the teaching and learning process that fosters a growth mindset and a lifelong learning ethic. However, grading a large number of student papers can be time-consuming and overwhelming for teachers. This is where technology can be of great help. With the assistance of ChatGPT, teachers can expedite the process of providing feedback to students on their writing.

ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI that can generate text, answer questions, and assist with a variety of tasks. It is capable of producing high-quality responses to a wide range of prompts and can serve as a virtual assistant.

One way that ChatGPT can expedite the process of providing feedback to students is by automating the grading process. This can be done by training ChatGPT on a set of criteria that the teacher uses to evaluate student papers. For example, teachers can ask ChatGPT to identify specific types of errors, such as grammar or spelling mistakes, or to pinpoint areas where students need to improve. The more specific the prompts are, the better ChatGPT works.

The process involves entering the criteria into ChatGPT and pasting the student's writing into the system for analysis. ChatGPT will then provide feedback based on the entered criteria, which can take the form of a summary of the key points, suggestions for improvement, or a score.

Teachers can also use ChatGPT to provide more detailed feedback to students. For instance, they can ask ChatGPT to generate sample sentences that illustrate specific grammatical concepts or provide examples of how to structure a paragraph. ChatGPT can also explain complex concepts that may be difficult for students to understand, thereby helping them learn more quickly and improve their writing skills.

Using products like Google Docs for student writing and platforms like Google Classroom, teachers can use ChatGPT to expedite the feedback process. As students write, teachers can access their work, copy and paste it into ChatGPT, and receive real-time feedback that can be copied and pasted into the commenting functions of Docs and Classroom. Developing a system within Google Classroom that chunks the writing into multiple Assignments can help students better organize and process the feedback before submitting a final draft.

The use of ChatGPT in providing feedback can also be an effective way to build relationships with students. Teachers can review the feedback with students one-on-one or in small groups by pasting some student writing into ChatGPT and asking it to provide bullet point feedback for the students to take back and revise their writing.

Finally, ChatGPT can automate the process of providing feedback to a large number of students by creating a standardized set of comments or feedback that can be used for multiple students. This saves time and ensures that all students receive the same level of feedback. The teacher can then review the feedback provided by ChatGPT and make any necessary adjustments before sharing it with students. ChatGPT-generated comments can be saved in a comments bank for future reference if Google Classroom is used.

It is important to note that using ChatGPT or any AI tool for feedback has limitations. While ChatGPT can expedite the process of providing feedback to students, it is not a substitute for a human teacher. It may not identify all of the nuances of a student’s writing and may not provide personalized feedback tailored to individual student needs. Additionally, ChatGPT's effectiveness is only as good as the data, prompts, and criteria provided by humans.

As I wrap up this blog post, let it be known that I used ChatGPT to give me targeted feedback on each paragraph. I used the feedback to improve the writing, grammar and syntax. ChatGPT is my own personal assistant and proofreader. 

Take a look at the video below showing ChatGPT at work. The example shows a prompt where I asked it to give paragraph by paragraph 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.