Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Edcamp Tuesdays with Jenny

Want a relaxing way to take care of some technology tasks you have been putting off?  Or how about getting a classroom website up and running?  Join me on Tuesday mornings this summer for some serious support and success with all things ed-tech related.  Today I had two awesome teachers in.  

One was working on Google Docs, Blogger, and organizing folders in her Finder.  The other was working on her Weebly site and clearing out her downloads stacks.  Both raved about how nice it was to receive individual help on these tasks.  They also stated how great it was not to be distracted by classroom demands.  This is the first year we’ve offered a training model in this way.  It is free, it is relaxing, and it really does work.  You just have to show up.  So if you are reading this and want to come hang with me Tuesday morning from 8- 11 am. What are you waiting for?

Check the dates listed below and RSVP me for details if you are interested.  jennifer.krzystowczyk@bpsne.net

And bring a Bellevue teacher friend!
June 18
July 2
July 9
July 23
August 6

Monday, May 13, 2013

Add images into Google Forms

There is GREAT news!!  You can now insert an image into a GOOGLE FORM!!!

Create your new form and go to "INSERT" on the toolbar and pull down to IMAGE!

Now the sky is the limit!  Add images!  Once you have choose an image from your computer you will be able to put an Image Title on it and you will also have the ability to change the image once it is brought in if you want to change it.  You can also left, center, or right align the image if you wish.

You can even add QR codes as images if you want like this one:

Another way of adding an image is by clicking the arrow next to the ADD ITEM button as pictured below:

Imagine the possibilities with Quizzes that you create for students.  So how will you be using images in Google Forms?

Google Forms + QR Codes for Student Surveys!

The end of the school year brings it's own challenges for teachers; daydreaming students, disengagement by seniors, and checklists to finish up.  Every year, at Bellevue West High School, teachers in the business department have one last assignment for their students.  It involves surveys, results, graphs, a paper and presentation. Traditionally, the kids work in groups to make surveys using a Microsoft Word document.  Paper copies of their surveys get handed out during study hall time to about 1,600 students.  Surveys are then collected and students sit and enter data points into an excel spreadsheet.  From there they must figure out how to graph each data point separately.  

What’s wrong with this you might ask?  Well, nothing really, except that time is of the essence in May.  Have you ever heard a teacher say, “Wow! We have so much time to kill because we are ahead of schedule!”?   I didn't think so. So for this assignment I suggested the use of Google Forms and QR codes. Forms are efficient, easy to share, and simple to interpret and graph.  

Mrs. Supenski, one of the business teachers, was game and has taken the plunge into Google with me. I’ve been teaching with her and showing her students the ease and magic of Google forms. Their biggest challenge will be marketing the surveys across the school building. And trust me, this will be a challenge. These kids aren’t used to sharing docs and scanning codes.  They are used to pencil and paper.  That means these kids have to get the word out in order to get enough data to write up the results.  Marketing!
Here are some of our ideas on marketing the surveys:

  • Set up a table in the cafeteria with a bucket of dum-dums.  Have the codes taped to the tables, help students get the free app they needs, and then give them candy.  Food almost always works!

  • Divide the building up geographically and hang QR codes to their surveys around the buildings and on teacher doors.  They will then touch base with teachers to allow students to scan the codes as they are coming and going and take the survey.

  • Place a Doc on the common directory so that students who might be in a lab can access the link to the survey.

I believe if these kids do a good job of marketing their surveys, more people will take them.  I love that just by using Forms, the assignment becomes more engaging and yes, challenging. Even better, is that Mrs. Supenski is going to have them write up their papers in Google Drive and use Google Presentation to share their results. It's a perfect environment for collaborating, sharing, and efficiency in this end-of-year time crunch. Way to go Mrs. Supenski!

Bellevue West Business Dept QR Codes to their Surveys

Written by Jenny Krzystowczyk

Thursday, May 2, 2013

When 2 Great Apps Come Together

When creating lessons, one of the things I love to do is take two great apps and merge them together to create an engaging experience for students.  Recently, while working with Ms. Rowse and her English class we used Maps and Doceri on the iPad.  Google Drive and the camera app was also used.  Her students are reading J.D. Salinger’s, Catcher in the Rye, a staple assignment in a high school english class.  Ms. Rowse wanted the students to have a clear understanding of the main character’s time in New York City.  Since we couldn’t take the students to Central Park, we took Central Park to them through iPads and the Maps app.  Students identified places in New York through the Maps app where Holden, the main character, might have gone and used screenshots to capture those images.  Next, kids opened up Doceri and imported their screenshots and added arrows, text, shapes as well as audio clips to explain the Holden’s journey.  

Back in January we weren’t sure we should use iPads with this class.  This particular group of kids started out using the iPads as their personal mirrors, writing inappropriate notes on the devices, and sending out random iMessages to each other.    During this lesson, however, the entire class was engaged, chatty, and productive.  The noise was fine, because they were talking about Holden, Central Park, 5th Ave, and the Chelsea Hotel.  They were busy the whole time.  Students then opened their Doceri files in Google Drive App and shared it with Ms. Rowse.  Here’s one example of what the students created. With patience, practice, and high expectations they have come a long way!

Written By Jennifer Krzystowczyk
With help from Julie Rowse