Posts Tagged 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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I was inspired at TCEA to start exploring a model of Flipped Professional Development.   After a week of toying with the idea I decided it was time to actually work design and complete a flipped training to get my feet wet.  I’ve learned a lot so far and I am only in the beginning stages.

Here are my take-aways so far:

  1. It is a lot of upfront work!   
  2. Have a good outline of what you want to cover and then create your presentation.  I started with the presentation and had to scrap it as I needed to get a better focus on the outcomes of the session.
  3. Determine the best format to present the information.   What needs to be video, what needs to be written and what should be done face to face.
  4. Choose a presentation tool to fit your audience.   I chose Prezi for this training because it allowed me to zoom in on the images so I could point out the details.   I thought using powerpoint would be too flat for a video and would lose their interest for this.  Also – I haven’t played with it in a long time and wanted some practice.
  5. Make sure you are having a good hair day if you are going to include a webcam shot of you during the presentation.  Vain I know, but this video will be around for a long time.
  6. It takes a lot of work!   I know I am repeating myself, but I have spent hours on a simple presentation becuase my hope is to create something that I can use again and again with different groups.  That makes the time investment worth it.

I am going to set up the video in our district’s moodle and will incorporate an embedded google form to ask questions after the video.  I am choosing google forms to demonstrate how the teachers can use them on their own websites when they are intimidated by moodle.

Here is my Prezi that I will be narrating and recording with Camtasia Studio.   The topic of the training will focus on creating Infographics in the social studies classroom using tools they are familiar with, more specifically Powerpoint.

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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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Web Wandering Wednesday – Jan 5

This week’s web Wandering Wednesday is focusing in on a few maps that track diseases:

Google Flu Trends:  Google tracks who is searching for information about the flu and then maps that information to estimate where the flu is hitting around the world.   Click on the United States and you can see more information about each state.

Health Map – health map brings together information from various resources to try to pinpoint outbreaks of infectious diseases around the world.  You can hover your mouse over a pin on the map and see what disease is currently affecting the area and any relevant information on it including links to the sources of the information.

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Google Forms: Self-Graded Quizzes

Google forms can be used to create a quiz that can be graded automatically in the spreadsheet using formulas.  To save you time, these instructions are for a 20 question (or less) quiz using the template with the formulas already entered. 

Self Graded Quizzes in Google

  1. Open up the following spreadsheet:
  2. Save a copy of the spreadsheet into your own Google account.
  3. Make a copy of the spreadsheet for a new quiz. Important so any changes on this quiz will not affect future quizzes! Open the spreadsheet and go to File – “Make a Copy.” Give the spreadsheet a new name
  4. In the new spreadsheet go to Form – Edit Form
  5. Do not remove the name or class period fields, as that will affect the formulas to grade the quizzes. You may edit the class periods field to represent just the classes you teach.
  6. Add your question items to the form. Remember spelling will count against the results, so choose wisely when making your question types.
  7. Make any changed to the theme
  8. Save your form.
  9. Open up your quiz and answer the questions correctly to create the answer key. Suggestion is to use Answer and Key as the first and last name fields.
  10. Submit your answers.
  11. Open the spreadsheet.
  12. On the “Answers” worksheet, select and copy row 2.
  13. Go to the “Test Answers” worksheet and paste the copied row into that worksheet’s Row 2.
  14. Fill in the number of questions the quiz contains into cell B8.
  15. Go to worksheet “Results.” If your quiz contains less than 20 questions, delete the extra question columns.
  16. Make sure everything is saved.
  17. Share the quiz link by directly linking to the quiz, or by embedding it into another webpage.
    • TeacherWeb – Enhanced Text page in the html view
    • Wiki – an html widget box
    • Blog – into a post with the html view

To get grades:

  1. After students have taken the quiz, open your spreadsheet.
  2. Go to the “Results” worksheet. If needed, fill the formulas from Row 2 all the way down the worksheet.
  3. The averages should be displayed in column D. Check a few responses to make sure the formulas copied correctly.

To create a new quiz be sure to start from the original spreadsheet and not from a used quiz.

Download the directions here with screenshots:  Google Forms – Self Graded Quizzes

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