Archive for category Google

What I Am Proud Of… Developing Online Professional Development

This past week I moderated the 6th PD in your PJs for my district.  On the second Tuesday of the month we host a Google Hangout On Air about a topic chosen by the teachers.   This has been years in the making as I began to search for ways to provide professional development in a alternate ways to fit the busy lives of teachers.   I had began attending sessions at TCEA that addressed online professional development the past few years, but all those folks had used a paid for service to host the sessions.  Something my district was not going to pay for.

In the meantime I enrolled  Lamar University’s online master’s program for Educational Technology Leadership.  I chose this program because I had two small children at home and a husband that worked long hours.  I needed to have flexibility in when and where I attended classes and got my assignments done.   Most of it happened after 8:30 at night and on the weekends.   Getting my mater’s was a life long dream of mine, it just took a while to figure out what I wanted it in.  I appreciated that this program allowed me to further my education and still be a mom to my kids.  I wanted professional development to do the same thing!

Enter Google Apps for Education and Google Hangouts.  Finally tools that were free and that worked for what we wanted to do.     It started with testing out the tools within the department I work for with Lunch and Learn type of  training.  This allowed us to learn in a safe environment.   After a few months of that I wanted to branch out and offer this type of training to teachers so that those with outside commitments could still increase their knowledge and become better technology users.   We offer 1 hour of professional development credit for attending and filling out the reflection form.  Participants get to hear from knowledgeable folks from across the district brought to their living rooms.   The nice part is that the program is recorded and is available for viewing at any time to fit any schedule.  So far we have given over 200 hours of pd credit to teachers.

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make this work, but it is doable for anyone that wants to offer teachers flexibility in how and when they learn.   I am excited to keep this opportunity going this school year and to see what else will come of this.

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What a Week!

I have been finding that the ideas about what to blog about are eluding me lately. I do not know what to contribute to the educational technology world other than what other people are sharing. So after reading several other blogs lately I am going to try something new – making it a bit more personal by recapping what I do on the front lines of the Instructional Technology World. Teachers are doing some amazing things lately and if I don’t take a few minutes to record those, I will forget that I am making a difference at the campus at which I work.

April 22 – 26

Last week was a state testing week and much of my time was spent making sure that the online testing we were trying out was going well. Not exciting and certainly not a memorable ed-tech week. I was able to make into classrooms before and after testing and saw some great uses of technology. Science teachers are teaching biology and anatomy through online exploration of body systems in their annual medical school. In Language Arts students were reviewing for the STAAR test using Socrative and Turning Points to provide last minute clarifications to students on TEKS they were not quite grasping. Now that testing is over technology is in full use for the next month. I will be busy!

The other bright spot this past week was I got notification from Google that I was selected to be a Certified Google Apps for Education Trainer! Last year I participated in training and testing for this certification and finally this winter I finished my application and turned it in for consideration. I am a little overwhelmed at this moment trying to make sense of what exactly this means, but at the same time am excited at the doors that could be opening for me.

Gmail – Undo Send

Have you ever sent and email and then thought “I forgot something!” or “Who did I send that to?”Well – now you can have up to 30 seconds to pull the email back and make those last minutes corrections.


In your inbox, click on the cog/wheel and choose “Settings” from the drop-down.

Click on the “Labs” tab from the top menu.

From the list of labs, scroll to the “Undo Send” lab.

Click the radio button to “Enable” this lab.

Be sure to click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.

Now under the General Settings tab you can set the amount of time available to undo the sending of the email. Choices range from 5 to 30 seconds.

When you send an email a pop-up will show on the top of the gmail page that will allow you to “undo” the sending of the email.


Clicking “Undo” will stop the email from being sent and allow for any changes that need to be made.

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