What Fish are in your School? 🐟 🏫

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I learn an incredible amount on any given day about educational technology. The world of ed-tech is growing at such a rapid pace, one could easily learn something new every hour of every day! Students have taught me many new things, staff members, and famous ed-tech leaders out on that there interweb 😉 !  This week, I learned quite a bit from two of my favorite tech bloggers Richard Byrne of Practical Ed Tech and Eric Curts of Control Alt Achieve. I also learned of a new (to me) extension from teacher/Google Leader/blogger Alice Keeler and Matt Miller (Ditch That Textbook) while working with our own Lauren Dalton! Lastly, Chris Alles sent me a WICKED COOL FREE website that would be great for Elementary and Middle school teachers.  Check out some awesome click bait below:

The Fish in MY School 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠

Chris Alles sent me a great site this week called “Whoos Reading.”  I created an account and fiddled around. At first, I thought, THIS IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE. However, so far….it’s the catch of the day!  This site boasts that it is a FREE, and improved according to them, version of Accelerated Reader. Basically, teachers set up or import classes via Google Classroom (ALWAYS CLASSROOM – YEAH!). Students then can search for any book and take a quiz. However, the quizzes are open response style, and STILL, get scored! WHAT?! I know, right?! It’s a super cute owl who gives feedback for the questions too.  Students can also answer questions in an online journal WHILE reading and receive coins to upgrade their owl avatar. The site also reads aloud as well and has a speech to text option so students can dictate their answers rather than type.  It is a very cute site…I’m still waiting to find the catch, so if you find it, comment below!

Lauren Dalton is an amazing preschool teacher and early childhood coordinator at Central School. Speaking as a parent of a former student in her class, I can say she is AWESOME at sending home weekly emails and pictures to show what is happening in her classroom. This year, she wanted to find an easier way to do this. In our hunt, together, to figure out the best way we tried the extension DriveSlides (created by none other than Alice Keeler and Matt Miller).  This extension is SO COOL – it will take a whole folder of images….any images….and plop the whole thing into a slideshow. You have to see it to believe it.  Watch here!

Other Fishes in the Sea 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟 🐠 🐟

Practical Ed Tech Handbook 🐠

This Google Doc handbook is an incredibly useful resource written by one of my favorite techies, Richard Byrne. The best part is since it is a Google Doc, he constantly updates it! If you save it to your own Drive (File: Save to my Drive.…not make a copy) you will always have the most up to date version!It features some great tech including:

  1. Communication with students and parents.
    Text/ SMS/ push notification tools.  (A GREAT TEXT APP FOR PARENTS, besides REMIND)
    Email management tips.
    Blogging tools.
  2. Web search strategies.
    Getting beyond the first pages of Google.com results.
  3. Digital citizenship.
    K-6
    7-12
  4. Video creation.
    Video projects and tools for creating them.
    Tools for building & distributing flipped lessons.
  5. Audio recording and publishing.
    Web-based & mobile recording tools.
  6. Backchannels & informal assessment.
  7.  Digital portfolios.

6 Bad Ways to Write Email 🐟

The title above says it all! I love Eric Curts, he has so many great posts. Check this one out here – ESPECIALLY, if you are new…so many good tips!

There is still so much to learn that it’s hard for me to not get overwhelmed! I often take a breath and say to myself…”just keep swimming.”

What FISH in your school teach you new things? What fish in the sea do you like to follow? #togetherwearebetter

Comment below 🙂

GREAT to be a VIking

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND EB!

Wow! GREAT JOB THIS WEEK! There are so many days where I just feel so happy to be a Viking, but this week was exceptional.  EVERYONE has been so positive and upbeat – you can tell we all REALLY love our jobs! KUDOS TO YOU!  We have had our challenges, but we are owning them. We reflect, pull together, and discuss how we can improve such challenges going forward.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for so many kind words this week! Everyone has a crazy first week, and the kindness and patience everyone has shown for technology has been very much appreciated! Erica, Josh, and Mary Ann are working so hard behind the scenes (LONG hours), while I’m working with teachers to put the tech in place! YOU make it happen with these kiddos, and we are here for YOU! 

NO MORE NEWSLETTER

Just a reminder, I will (in a few weeks) stop sending a weekly Techletter. In order to get a weekly Tech update, which includes tutorials, teacher highlights, and new tech we purchase, you will need to subscribe to my new blog or check out the new blog on your own.  By subscribing, you will get a weekly email showing all of my weekly posts. To subscribe, enter your email in the box to the right (like the one shown below).

GOOGLE SITES

This week, in only the first few days, I have seen amazing things with Google Sites. Nice work to those of you who are working on a new site, sent me a new site, or booked me to start a new site!  The NEW version of Google Sites is SO MUCH EASIER than the former version.  However, although easier, I’m running into a similar issue among many who have made a site: Publishing. Please view this video here to see how to “Publish” the site. Please view this tutorial here for an overview of creating a NEW Google Site.  Lastly, please see this tip here for MAXIMIZING a site with posting homework. 

MASSCUE

If you did not see the email from PD Academy, please check your inbox or let me know.  We are now accepting interest applications for the MASSCUE (Massachusetts Computer Using Educators) conference. This is an AWESOME technology-in-education event!  Please fill out the form here if you are interested in attending. Please also fill it out if you are presenting at MASSCUE as well. We will use the data from the form to determine who attends and also to provide a list to administration for sub needs.

NEW TECH

Lastly, as a quick reminder…we purchased a district-wide license for KAMI, PEAR DECK and NEWSELA*.  If you find that you are NOT RECEIVING the premium services from any of these resources (which are amazing), PLEASE LET ME KNOW! You SHOULD NOT have to pay for anything on these sites. Your EBPS.NET email address should automatically receive the premium account. Also, these resources link with Google Classroom. Setting up Google Classroom may be the easiest way to access these resources. (*NEWSELA is grades 2-12). Stay tuned for another blog post strictly about KAMI! It’s a really great tool in the middle to upper grades, and a perfect first tool for the “techno-toxic” (thank you Kathy Raulinaitis for that term). *Note: I don’t think anyone is techno-toxic.

REACH OUT

If you would like to try new tech with students, have help setting up new tech, have me set up new tech FOR YOU, try something new or just ask a question please, REACH OUT! I love hearing from you and/or seeing you. There are no silly questions and there is NEVER any judgment. I could have a tool to make your job easier that you may not even know exists! Let’s chat 🙂

NEW STAFF

On a final note, WELCOME new staff and GREAT JOB! I had the pleasure of working with many of you last week and you are so great! You made it, you did it! You got through the first week with flying colors, and guess what….it only gets better!

 

Have a great weekend!

oFISHally yours,

Erin

“Get Hooked” on NEW Technology for EB

Hello EB!

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer! I had a great time with my three guys over the summer, swimming in the new pool and enjoying our family time.  This time is always bittersweet, as I am excited to come back but sad to leave my little ones. Luckily, they are in great hands….including one of my guys at the wonderful Central School with the sweetest staff <3

 

For your viewing pleasure, and so I stop sending you so many emails every time I find or see something great, I created a blog.  Winner Winner Chris Traynor and Laura McPhee for naming the blog and the domain, respectively.  If you WANT to receive a weekly email from me (like last year) focusing on technology integration and tech tips, you can subscribe to the blog. Once subscribed you will get a weekly email on Fridays. I can post as many times as I want, but you will only see an email on Friday! Win-win for everyone!

NEW (purchased) TECHNOLOGY for EB 2017-2018

**THE PROGRAMS LISTED BELOW ALL IMPORT VIA GOOGLE CLASSROOM.  IF YOU ARE GRADES 3-12, SETTING UP GOOGLE CLASSROOM FIRST WOULD BE THE EASIEST WAY TO INTEGRATE THESE PROGRAMS.  (See previous blog post on Google Classroom here)

KAMI

 If you are new to a 1:1 classroom, this is a GREAT way to start.  Basically, KAMI will take any document (PDF, WORD, DOC, ETC) you have and allow the kids to write on it digitally. They can annotate, highlight, write text etc.  You simply push it out via Classroom by choosing the K (for KAMI) button.  First, you will need to sign up for KAMI via your Google account and students will also need to add the extension. You can find the extension to add here.  You can read more about this AWESOME program here.  I also included its highlights below:

PDF and Document Viewer

Highlight

Add Notes

Strikethrough

Underline

Voice Annotation

Text-to-Speech

Add Text

Draw Shapes

Freehand Drawing

Insert Images

OCR Text Detection for Scanned Files and Images

Split and Merge Pages

Google:

Auto-save to Google Drive

Google Classroom Integration

NEWSELA

Our district has purchased a district license for NEWSELA.   This is an amazing program that has nonfiction articles in all subject areas grades 2-12.  It also contains quizzes for the articles that auto grade. You can annotate the article as well if you’d like specific items to stand out for your students to see.  You can also have writing prompts within the articles for students to respond to.  It integrates with Google Classroom for easy use!  The program also provides great student data as well.

Click here to sign up (choose the JRSRHS as your school. Although we have a district license it only shows the JRSRHS as the PRO account)

Teacher shout out: Conor Pedro, our new 6th grade hire, told me that this program pairs really well with Common Lit, another great (free) program. You can assign an article in NEWSELA and find common content in Common Lit to really maximize the information in the NEWSELA article!

PEAR DECK

Login with your Google Account to activate your premium Pear Deck account. We have many teachers in the district who have used this program and love it! Reach out if you would like a personal training, or check out the program (and orchard with pre-made decks) here! Pear Deck is a LIVE teaching tool, or student paced. It’s extremely versatile and can do so much!

Go Guardian

We have purchased Go Guardian this year for many of our 1:1 classrooms. If you are not familiar with Go Guardian, this program is incredible. Once running, it “records” the online activity taking place during your instruction, whether you’re there or not!  It will send you a report each day, for each session so you don’t even need to monitor the program.  You can shut down a student’s device from your own, or shut down a window you do not want them on. You can even “set a scene” and have preloaded sites you want students to visit and it will block out all other sites.  

As of right now, we can guarantee all students in 7-12 classrooms will have the Go Guardian. Due to the large influx of children over the summer (Everyone knows it’s GREAT to be a viking), seats will need to be evaluated and the program needs to be set up. The tech department will roll this out soon and appreciate your patience.

REMINDER Go Guardian syncs with Google Classroom, so setting up Google Classroom is the easiest way to integrate Go Guardian in your 1:1 room.  

BIG UPDATES TO OLD FAVORITES THIS SUMMER:

*Click the links below to see how each program has updated

Google Classroom

Google Forms

PEAR DECK VOCABULARY (If you sign up again, they send you activation right away)

Quizizz Updates (Big)

FLIPGRID Updates (SO COOL!)

Google Earth for CHROMEBOOKS

 

If you have any updates to share of NEW TECH or any FISH PUNS for me, please comment below! As always, if you would like to work together this year on your techy needs and wishes click here to book me.

It’s GREAT to be back and it’s GREAT to be a Viking

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher

 

🦈 🔢 FINtastic Math Resources 🦈 🔢

I. LOVE. MATH.

Of course, I love technology integration (so much!), but my first love was teaching math.  For many years, here in EB, I taught 6th-grade math and science.  I’m lucky because a few of my best pals still let me come in when I get a hankering for teaching math again.  They get some new techy math ideas, and I get to scratch an itch; win win for all.

This summer I took a course through Framingham titled “Technology in Math.” It was taught by a digital learning specialist from Medfield Public Schools who, like me, started in 6th-grade math.  Throughout the course, I was delighted to learn new resources each week that I had not worked with prior.  For your viewing, and MATH pleasure, I have included these resources below.  I also stuck in a few classic favorites of mine!

Industrial Mathematics Project for High School Students – Projects created by WPI, this has some interesting project-based math activities. Some include tech, and some do not. I thought the Super Soaker project was pretty interesting.  Although titled for High School, there are a few projects that could be modified for 6th grade and up.

DeltaMathDeltaMath allows teachers to create free online accounts and assign their students automatically-graded, interactive problems from a long list of modules sorted by level – from middle school Common-Core-aligned math to AP Calculus.” This is a pretty cool site.  Nothing flashy, no games, nothing to be won – just FREE, online math questions that cover a range of topics.  There is a re-teaching component and in the settings, you can set it to have it ask the student again until the problem is correct. It has some great data tracking options. It includes a graphing and statistics calculator in the program.

Seeing Math – This site is great for upper grades and High School math if you are looking for FREE graphing manipulatives. It contains a linear transformer tool, quadratic transformer, system solver and more!

3-Act-Lessons – I encourage you to look at this site if you’re a K-7 math teacher.  It’s pretty interesting. It’s a variety of lessons that contain a big idea, and three parts.  Each lesson is different. The author of the site is a math specialist and former math teacher.

Math Forum Library – Be careful with this one! It’s an ENDLESS OCEAN of resources. It is very easy to get lost on this site because there is just so much. It’s is a place to look when you just feel the need to find something new, that “great catch.”  It’s a site created by teachers and contains many puzzle-type problems.

You can check out a few of my other math favorites by clicking on my math doc found here!  Have fun!

What’s your favorite math tech tool? Comment below!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher

“Get Caught” in Google Classroom 🎣📝

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*NOTE: One great reason to use Google Classroom….most programs import through Classroom such as Pear Deck, NEWSELA, Quizizz, KAMI, Go Formative, Go Guardian and many, many more!

If I were stuck on an island, with a classroom of students, and I was told I could pick one app for our magically working devices on said island, it would be Google Classroom, hands-down.  If you are new to Classroom, you are in for a treat! It will help to transform your teaching practices.  Even if you use it strictly for an agenda or your objective board, it will be a place students can refer back to all year.  It can serve as a classroom website, housing all of your important documents (and much easier to post them). It can act as a teacher, when you are out, hosting assignments, videos, notes, and activities. You can check in from home, and view any student’s work at any time if it is distributed through Classroom. I’ve actually had students approach me in the hallway and have asked me to help get one of their teachers up on Google Classroom. Students love it, and it makes learning easier for all. It puts all of one’s courses in one single place, teacher or student, where you can access all material. Simply put, it is the best tool, period.

Since it is Google, of course, it is always improving.  There have been improvements even over the summer! One of my favorite new features is the option to largely display the classroom code for students to join – this is great! No longer will you need to write it largely on the board or zoom in on your computer so students can see it. You can simply click the drop down on your code, click Display, and BOOM! Large Display for your students to see! Another quick tip – if you do not like your code, you can click reset until you get a code you like. I recommend codes without zeroes and o’s. An all letter code, like the one below, usually goes off without a hitch.

Another initiative Google for Education worked on over the summer was better training resources for Educators. The education team, with help from Google Certified Trainers, created The new Google Classroom Learning Hub. This hub features tips and tricks from Google Staff and certified trainers. I even made the cut and have a tutorial included (The About Tab).  This is a great resource to check out!

 

Useful Google Classroom Links:

Google Classroom Updates August 2017 – learn the newest improvements for Google Classroom that happened while you were away

Google Classroom Learning – the new hub for training created by Google for EDU

Quick resources I’ve created for your use:

Getting Started with Google Classroom

What you can do with Google Classroom

If you would like assistance creating or maintaining your Google Classroom courses, please reach out! You can book me for an appointment by clicking here (EB staff only).

What’s your favorite feature of Google Classroom? Comment below and share the love!

oFISHally and digitally yours,

Erin Fisher

 

Welcome! 🐠

Welcome everyone to my brand new blog at Edublogs! Thank you to Chris Traynor who came up with FISH online and the mnemonic device (Finding Inspiration, Support, and Happiness) that is used in the title, and Laura McPhee for “fishin on a mission” that is used in the URL of the blog.  I would expect plenty of “click bait” on this blog focusing on technology integration (hahaha, bait, thanks Chris for that one).

I’m hoping you enjoy my weekly(+) posts of tech integration in the classroom! This blog will take the place of my weekly newsletter.  The advantage of blogging, rather than sending out a newsletter, is when you want to search for a particular item, you simply come to this blog and search for it in the search box.  Gone are the days of having to open Techletter after Techletter trying to find that one tip you wanted to remember.  Additionally, posts will be categorized and date stamped, for even easier searching.  I will still feature amazing tech integration by teachers I see both in-person and online, and weekly tips and tricks! I welcome other ideas as well so feel free to comment below!

If you still would still like to access previous Techletters, with amazing tech tips, from 2016-2017, you can do so by clicking here.

I’m looking forward to this blogging adventure ahead!

oFISHally and Digitally yours,

Erin Fisher