Resource Introduction: Remind

Few digital tools are as loved by students and parents as Remind. Find out why when you easily set up a class for one-way text updates!


What is it?

Remind is a communication tool designed specifically for teachers to communicate safely and easily with students.  Through this service, a teacher can create a class that students and parents join online.  Then, the teachers posts a tweet-esque announcement.  Each member of the class receives the message via text message.  The service also provides options like attachments and chat, but the basic functions already provide a wealth of solutions to the challenge of modern communication.

How can I use it?

You can use Remind to notify students and parents of assignments, remind them of special events, or notify them of changes to your schedule.  Using this service is much better than traditional methods because the message finds the student or parent instantly.  You can use it as a regular method of updating parents and students on everything going on in your classroom, feeling confident that they have gotten the message.

Who’s using it?

Check out these teachers that know and use Remind in your school. Ask them for help!

At Timberstone, Lauren Clark, Keith Duhaime, Katie Gladieux, Kim Hanson, Kelly Heil, Jennifer Kasee, and Chris Harrington

At Arbor Hills, Sarah Godwin, Anna Drake, Alyssa Gottschalk, Jamie Holley, Dawn Koehl, Carolyn Woodward, Heather Musgrove, Angie Robinson, Tony Cutway, and Karma Vince

At McCord, Brian Mitchell, Brit Bensman, Kate Finlayson, Leslie Gill, Mark Hollyday, Kay Holt, Janelle Low, Holly Nartker, Susan Oleshansky, Marla Pawlowicz, Connie Root, Kelley Schaaf, Terry Shadle, and Josh Stedcke

At Southview, Katy Creecy, Jay Euler, Brian Fritz, Dan Greenberg, Ali Knowles, Michelle Krueger, Chris Lucius, April McGough, Brad Oatman, Rachel Schoch,Brandi Shepard, Lisa Sobb, Holly Yenrick, Shelley Bielak, and Melissa Tusing

At Northview, Tami Blue, Ryan Creech, Claudia Fischer, Mallory Gebers, Perry Lefevre, Deanna McAlees, Darla Omey, Sarah Rhine, Bethann Seifert, Don Wachowiak, Paula Werner, George France, Karolynn Nowak, and John Word

At Central Trail, Christina Renz

At Highland, Kyle Newnham, Megan Mitchell, and Kayla Wiemers

At Stranahan, Amanda Sanderson

Are you or someone you know using this? Notify us, and we’ll post your or their name here as a building expert! Email to aclarkson@sylvaniaschools.org.


Check out this short video by Remind’s designers on how to add a class.  Then, check out their YouTube channel for a wealth of simple and short instructional videos on different applications.


Resource Links

Remind’s Home Page

Ditch That Textbook: “20 Great Ways to Text Students with Remind 101”

Education World: “Tech in the Classroom: Remind 101”

PD Session: Differentiated Digital Assessments

Join us to create an that has built-in remediation. Create a digital test/quiz using Google Forms directing students to more difficult questions or directs them to questions with support to help remediate.

Part of Sylvania’s 2015 Summer PD Series

Presented by Dave Budas and Michelle Morgan

Last presented on June 17, 2015


Join us to create a differentiated digital assessment that has built in remediation. You will create a digital test/quiz using Google Forms that directs students to more difficult questions or directs them to questions with support to help remediate. Teachers will also be given formulas that will grade these tests/quizzes automatically. Both elementary and secondary teachers are encouraged to attend!


Couldn’t make the session?  Check out this video from Amy Mayer, educational technologist, on using Flubaroo, a central resource from Dave’s session!


Session Materials

Dave Budas’s Google Slides Presentation

“Google Forms-Creating Quizzes and Analyzing Data” (video: 8:54)

Flubaroo Download

Flubaroo’s Text-Based Instructions

PD Session: Google-Charging Your Classroom

Join us for a session on the development of a digital classroom for the 21st Century. Walk away with a ready-to-use digital classroom in order to effectively communicate with students.

Part of Sylvania’s 2015 Summer PD Series

Presented by Lauren Clark and Alexander Clarkson

Scheduled for Presentation on September 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM at the Southview media center


From the ad: “Join us for a session on the development of a digital classroom for the 21st Century. Walk away with a ready-to-use digital classroom in order to effectively communicate with students. Learn how to post and grade assignments, send announcements, and build interactive discussions! This session is designed for any teacher.”

In this session, teachers will first learn what Google Classroom is. Then,the presenter will help them create their own class and perform the basic functions of making announcements, posting assignments, grading assignments, posting a variety of content, communicating, and customizing the design. Teachers will leave with a classroom they can use immediately and ideas for extending its use.


Couldn’t make the session?  Check out this video from full instructional video on the setting up Google Classroom!


Session Materials

Session Agenda

Lauren Clark’s Google Slides Presentation

SDL Resource Introduction to Google Classroom

Previewing a New Classroom” by Google (Video 1:42)

Classroom 101″ by Google (Video 2:18)

PD Session: Classroom Communication in the 21st Century

Join us to learn how to communicate assignments, announcements, grades, and more through tools that will bring your class into every inbox and cell phone.

Part of Sylvania’s 2015 Summer PD Series

Presented by Alexander Clarkson

Last presented on June 24, 2015


Join us to learn how to communicate assignments, announcements, grades, and more through tools that will bring your class into every inbox and cell phone.  This session is designed for any teacher.


Couldn’t make the session?  Check out this video introduction of Remind, one of the most popular tools discussed in this session.  Whet your appetite with this and then check out the other resources below!


Session Materials

Alex Clarkson’s Google Slides Presentation

Remind YouTube Channel

Website for Yet Another Mail Merge

“Create a Mail Merge with Gmail and Google Drive 2014” (Video 5:42)

Previewing a New Classroom” by Google (Video 1:42)

Classroom 101″ by Google (Video 2:18)

Resource Introduction: TED Ed

The inspiration of TED Talks comes to the classroom. TED Ed offers short, interactive lessons filled with insight, wonder, and collaboration.


What is it?

Nothing short of awesome.  You may have heard of TED Talks, those discussions from intellectual, political, business, artistic leaders about innovation and change.  TED Ed is TED’s education service, which presents digital lessons on a variety of topics as well as providing teachers with the opportunity to create their own.  Each lesson centers on an educational video and asks questions, pushes deeper thinking, and manages discussions. The time investment for students is short (10-30 minutes per lesson), but the payoff can be huge. TED Ed provides a large library of previously created and publically shared lessons to start your work if you wish.  And yes, these lessons can apply to any secondary content area. Try taking a lesson and seeing how it works!

How can I use it?

You can use the service in a basic way by adapting a previously published lesson and assigning it to your students. So, for instance, if you found a sweet lesson on life as a teen in ancient Rome (Yes, they have that), you could assign it as is or take it and modify its questions, extensions, or discussions to suit your purposes. It is your own lesson, but it comes with the super cool TED lesson video and online framework.

If you wanted to create a totally original lesson, you could use the lesson generator to develop your own. Simply link a video and then write questions, post extension links, and/or establish discussion boards. Then, watch the student interaction develop.  The service provides you with the opportunity to manage students, monitor progress, and regulate discussion.

Who’s using it?

Check out these teachers that know and use TED Ed in your school. Ask them for help!

At Arbor Hills, Tony Cutway

At Southview, Melissa Tusing

At Northview, Karolynn Nowak

 

At Stranahan, Amanda Sanderson

Are you or someone you know using this? Notify us, and we’ll post your or their name here as a building expert! Email to aclarkson@sylvaniaschools.org.


The video below comes from Mia Nacamulli and serves as the foundation for her lesson entitled, “How Speaking Multiple Language Benefits the Brain.”  Check out the video and then open the lesson in the resource links below!


Resource Links

TED Ed Home Page

TED Ed YouTube Channel

TED Ed FAQ Page

Mia Nacamulli’s Lesson on “How Speaking Multiple Languages Benefits the Brain”

Len Bloch’s Lesson on “How to Make a Mummy”

Alex Clarkson’s Lesson from Neil Harbisson’s TED Talk (developed in ten minutes!)

TED Home Page

PD Session: Differentiating with Digital Resources

Join us to create a multi-tiered digital lesson for students at all levels. Leave with a ready-to-use lesson, an assignment where all students complete the same task but enjoy different ways to learn.

Part of Sylvania’s 2015 Summer PD Series

Presented by Dave Budas

Last presented on June 10, 2015


Join us to create a multi-tiered lesson for students at all levels using digital resources. You will leave this session with a lesson to use with your students. You will create an assignment where all students complete the same task but have a different way to learn.  This session is designed for all teachers.


Couldn’t make the session?  Check out this video from Dave Budas on the differentiated timeline activity he created!


Session Materials

Dave Budas’s Google Slides Presentation

Dave Budas’s Differentiated Timeline Activity

“How to Collect Student Information for Doctopus” (video: 5:00)

“Creating a Class in Doctopus” (video: 3:20)

“How to Use Doctopus to Share Individual-Differentiated” (video: 7:00)

Resource Introduction: Google Classroom

Unlike previous online classrooms, Google Classroom offers simple, streamlined interaction that is easy to master and convenient for students and parents.


What is it?

Classroom is Google’s answer to online classroom systems like Moodle, Blackboard, TeacherWeb, or My Big Campus.  Unlike those resources, Classroom offers simple, streamlined interaction that is easy to master and convenient for students and parents. The best part?  It’s a Google product, so it merges seamlessly with Google Drive and the rest of their products.

How can I use it?

You can use Classroom to post announcements with or without attachments or links.  Students are notified of these updates through email. You can use Classroom to post assignments, and it will automatically create copies for each student, even filing those documents in the appropriate folder in Drive.  You can use Classroom to communicate through email quickly.  Those are the three main uses, but more are available, and Google keeps updating the service with teacher-requested changes!

Who’s using it?

Check out these teachers that know and use Google Classroom in your school. Ask them for help!

At McCord, Connie Root, Marilyn Waite, Dave Budas, Rob Redd, and Brian Mitchell

At Arbor Hills, Karma Vince, Heather Musgrove, Alyssa Gottschalk, and Tony Cutway

At Timberstone, Lauren Clark, Marilyn Waite, Mike Burke, and Chris Harrington

At Southview, Paul Moffitt, Shelley Bielak, and Melissa Tusing

At Northview, Darla Omey, John Word, John Eckhart, Kathryn Nelson, Karolynn Nowak, Pat Johnson, Lauren Stewart, and Don Wachowiak

At Maplewood, Jenny Grafitti

At Central Trail, Michelle Morgan, Christina Renz, and Julie Bennett

At Highland, Kyle Newnham, Megan Mitchell, and Kayla Wiemers

At Stranahan, Amanda Sanderson

At Hill View, Kayla Nowacki 

Are you or someone you know using this? Notify us, and we’ll post your or their name here as a building expert! Email to aclarkson@sylvaniaschools.org.


Check out this short video by Amy Mayer to help you get started.  Then, check out Sylvania’s PD session page in this site for more information.


Resource Links

Google Classroom

Google Classroom app for Android or IOS

Amy Reilly’s extended “Google Classroom Tutorial” 

The Gooru’s “Everything You Need to Know in Google Classroom, Part 1”

The Gooru’s “Everything You Need to Know in Google Classroom, Part 2”

The Gooru’s “Everything You Need to Know in Google Classroom, Part 3”

How-To Videos

“Doctopus+ Classroom + Goobric = :)” Yay! (Video 10:43)

Snap a Photo in Google Classroom (Video 0:20)

Share from Other Apps in Google Classroom (Video 0:20)

Google for Education YouTube Channel

Updates

Google’s blog post on recent updates (6/29/15), including the new share button.

August 2015 Update Discussion

Share to Classroom Extension for Google Chrome

Yes! Your Students Should Use Wikipedia! (Sorta)

Why has Wikipedia become one of the most popular and often used research resources in the world? Moreover, why is it more popular with highly educated people? Read to find out why!

We’ve been telling students for years not to use Wikipedia.  Some of us have gone so far as to equate the use of Wikipedia with cheating, implying to students that using the resource was a sign of intellectual weakness.  If that’s the case, why has Wikipedia become one of the most popular and often used research resources in the world?  Moreover, why is it more popular with highly educated people?

Sure, Wikipedia is a wiki, which means that anyone with a computer can alter or add to an entry.  Heck, any old shmoe living in his parents’ basement can create an entry designating himself one of the great civil rights leaders of the sixties.  We can check out accounts of Wikipedia taking action against abuse, but we can find an equal number of accounts of that abuse escaping attention.  Isn’t it dangerous to encourage or even allow our students to use a resource open to this sort of fraud and error?

Not at all.  In fact, you should encourage your students to use Wikipedia when doing research.  In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Duke University professor Cathy Davidson argues that Wikipedia is no less prone to error than regular encyclopedias, a fact borne out by comparative studies.  Further, she echoes others when she recommends that instead of following a non-reflective, knee-jerk ban of the resource, teachers should “make the practice of research in the digital age the object of study.”  Davidson wants us not only to allow students to use the source, but also to teach them how to use it responsibly.

Here’s how: Students should not shy away from Wikipedia pages when they show up on searches.  Rather, they should read through them to gather a basic understanding of an issue.  This will help a student develop a firm grounding in a topic before proceeding, a strategy so useful and safe that Harvard recommends it.  This step will help a student generate research questions and answer simple ones.  After doing this, the student can then search elsewhere for more reliable information or, better yet, use the Wikipedia page.  A good Wikipedia page offers links through the text and at the bottom that can provide reliable research for a student.  They read the entry, scroll to the bottom, visit a link, and hit paydirt on research.  This is sound research in the 21st century.

Let’s say I’m researching black holes.  I open the Wikipedia page and find four paragraphs of definition.  The first paragraph alone boasts five footnotes citing the information in the paragraph.  It also provides links to Wikipedia pages on several related concepts, such as spacetime and general relativity.  These first few paragraphs alone take me time to pour through, and they offer a quality of information that is actually higher than a comparable encyclopedia.

Once I’ve finished reading about black holes, I scroll down to look at the references.  The page offers 131 scholarly references on the subject, from papers published by Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking to more recent works in peer-reviewed journals.  Below that, I find a list of popular book-length references, such as Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and Kip Thorne’s Black Holes and Time Warps.  This list of references is massive and offers a better opportunity to find specific research than a simple Google search.  In fact, if anything, the Wikipedia page has overloaded me with quality information.  From this page alone, I have accessed a basic understanding of the science concept as well as a list of scholarly references for further study.  It’s the very definition of research.

But students still can’t cite that page as research, can they?  Of course not!  Let’s remind ourselves of the second part of Wikipedia’s name, the -pedia part.  Wikipedia is a type of encyclopedia, and a general one at that, just like the good old Britannica.  That means it provides general understanding on a wide variety of topics.  Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales himself said that people should not cite any encyclopedia as research.  That’s not the function of an encyclopedia.  You should still refuse to allow direct citation of evidence from Wikipedia, reminding students that they can only cite the more specific sources found through the reference links.

We teachers can continue this damaging battle against Wikipedia, but we will lose, and our loss will show our refusal to understand or adapt to the way the world organizes, shares, and processes information today.  If we do not accept Wikipedia, understand it, and help our students use it as the effective research tool it is, we will be a hindrance to their development as participants in modern communities of discussion.  Let’s refuse to stick with the dogma of a decade past.  Let’s embrace Wikipedia.