Harlem Integrating TEchnology Google Group
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Week of April 8th

G-SUITE UPDATEs: This week, I learned from the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast that Google has FINALLY created a useful bridge between MS Office and Google Drive, allowing us to edit Office documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoints by opening them in Docs,Sheets, and Slides without losing the file type. Check it out here!

EVERYONE: Looking for education Podcast? Checkout the http://www.edupodcastnetwork.com/ for a wide variety of useful and interesting topics, from admin to tech to literacy...just about anything.

HHS: Kevin McGovern's film analysis students ran into a problem trying to use Google Classroom for blogging. The problem? Students couldn't add images of the scenes they were analyzing. Solution? Let's try making a template in Google Slides where each student has their own slide in the deck. This option provides flexibility in text, formatting, image editing, and responding to other students through the comment feature. Additionally, once the initial assignment was completed, that file was used as a template for similar posts, retaining student names, formatting, and flexibility. All the students needed to change then was their content related to the blog prompt. Added value? Efficiency, flexibility, accessibility, productivity, communication. Interested in a G-Slides template for your class? Talk with me, and I'll guide you through it or provide the resources you need if you want to try it on your own.

Natalie Bader, Horticulture expert educator, ran into a problem of getting measurements for properties of which her student were planning landscaping for. Solution? Using a screen recording software --Screencastomatic-- she recorded how to use the WINGIS site to use the map measurement tools. Added value? Providing that instruction digitally puts it back on the student to reference a digital guide, opening the teacher up to focus on other portions of the instruction, allowing her to be more accessible to students in other areas of the activity.

Week of April 1st

G-SUITE UPDATEs: Two new treats to G-Suite arrive in April! You can now insert audio into Google Slides! (Hooorayyy!) We've been waiting for this! Select insert from the menu, then "audio" and select the file you want. Also, Gmail will now have a "scheduled send" option as a small drop-down off of the send button, helping you ensure that your emails get sent/received at ideal times of day for your receiver.

Machesney: Amanda Nicholls' SMART Notebook software was being all glitchy, and it turns out that updating the software resolved most of those issues. Not only that, but moving from SMART 14 to SMART 18 opened the door to new embedded interactive activities that students are ALL able to engage in on their student Chromebooks. Not on SMART 18? Click here for instructions to update to SMART 18!

GTT: Have you listened to Google Teacher Tribe podcast?! You NEED to. Simple and timely updates. Tons of value-added discussion about positively impacting learning with thoughtful tech integration. And links to all things discussed on the webpage. Check out this week's episode: Apps That Integrate with Google Classroom


Week of March 11th

G-SUITE FOCUS on Google Drive: Ready to clean out some garbage from Drive, but afraid you'll delete others' items? Do an advanced search of things "owned by me" in "My Drive" and take it a step further to search for things titled "untitled". See the image that shows how easy this is!

HHS: Had a rocking good time at HHS on SIP day, especially engaged in what Peter Nogacz and Frau Keller shared from their days at the ICE19 conference in Schaumburg. They highlighted their value-added experiences in using answergarden (an adaptive word-cloud generator), Flippity (an incredibly simple tool that lets you make a variety of engaging learning tools by simply adding your content to a spreadsheet and clicking a couple of times), Google Tour Builder (a little more advanced version of Google MyMaps, which lets users create tours with images, descriptions, hyperlinks, and modified pins), AdobeSpark (a SUPER simple graphics-video-webpage maker), and Screencastify (a Drive-connected extension that allows users to record their screen and/or face). Click HERE to see an expansion of their ideas, as well as examples of what they and their students did with some of these tools.

Afterwards, we went through my "Morning MESSage" to preview how we would be investing our SIP time into engaging in G-Suite learning, leveraging digital tools to gather evidence of our best practices, learning more about Mastery Manager online assessments, and getting organized in Google Drive.

Week of March 4th

G-SUITE FOCUS on Google Drive: Google Drive can feel like a mess sometimes, so here are a few tips with pictures to help navigate your mess! >>CLICK HERE<<

Olson Park: Students in Jenny Moss' learning center began engaging in digital literacy discussions through a learning platform called Nearpod, where she utilized existing lessons from CommonSenseMedia to inform, guide, and discuss with students how technology adds value and risk to our lives. This was her first day using Nearpod, and the added value in her eyes was in the ease of content delivery, the accountability with a participation tracker, the auto-collection of student responses, the options for teacher-led or student-paced, and the great reports she can easily acquire after the learning sessions. That's a fraction of what is offered to enhance and even transform learning in the digital age! If you choose to explore, it will be of value to explore it with other teachers, so chat a little bit at lunch or your grade-level meetings to explore further.

G-SUITE FOCUS on Google Forms: Did you know that Google Forms has a locked mode for quizzes? That's right, if a student tries to go to another tab, it closes the form and sends the teacher a notification. #SecureAssessment! Learn more HERE!

HMS: On and off the last couple of weeks, I've been engaging with 8th graders in Dan Hallstrom's Industrial Tech class to guide their learning in 3D Printing, using Quizlet as a regular go-to for multi-modal vocabulary learning, and engaging in both paper and digital design software before student-made items go to the 3D printer. Students are using TinkerCad to design their 3D objects, and then a program called Astroprint to "slice" their digital objects into code that the 3D printers understand. Many of them are really excited to see objects they designed on a computer to end up in their hands. Innovation is GROWING in the H122! Click into the album see a growing list of successes and failures.


Week of ... well, it's been snowy... ;)

G-SUITE FOCUS on Google MyMaps: MyMaps is an editable Google Map accessible both through the web and through your Google Drive (under "more") It is a unique toolset that allows pins to be dropped on a map, descirptions written, images added, links to additional items, and customizable icons. It has applications in literacy, mathematics, geography, history, environmental science, and probably more than what I am thinking up right now. Check it out some great ideas in this handy-dandy guide on MyMaps, from Matt Miller.

Speaking of MyMaps...I got bored on a snow day and asked our educators to drop a pin on a collaborative mymap to indicate a place they'd like to travel to some day, as well as add a brief description and image to go with it. Over 70 of our Harlem family members participated, and it is a very interesting journey around the globe, with most people looking to get back to their family roots, and others just looking for a place with not so much snow! Check it out! Oh yeah....want to know who won the StarBucks Giftcard? See the big reveal RIGHT HERE.

MyMaps winners.mp4


Week of January 28th

G-SUITE FOCUS on YOUTUBE: It's time...time to register for "Extending Learning with YouTube" It's February 12th at the High School at 4PM. We'll take time to set up all of the things that have been discussed here in the past month about YouTube in the classroom, and we'll get you somewhere between functional and semi-pro!

Week of January 21st

G-SUITE FOCUS on YOUTUBE: Looking for an easy way to add lesson videos to your YouTube channel? Use Screencastify, which allows your videos to automatically be saved and shared from Google Drive AND the option to share your video to your YouTube channel in two clicks. HERE IS HOW

Click here to explore 9 great YouTube Channels for the classroom.

HHS: At bothe the 9th grade and the main high school campuses, the focus last week ended up being on foreign language learning. I had the pleasure of working with Senora Weldon in understanding the plans and strategies that lead to solid learning in the language context. I was able to participate as a student and teacher in evaluating students for comprehension and fluency as they both spoke and listened to each other. The tech of focus for this class (as an option) was to build a simple set of wordless slides representing the various people, tools, and emotions associated with a few of their classes. At the main campus, Frau Keller and Senor Nogacz worked with me to setup and process the value that Screencastify can add to language learning, allowing them to create digital lessons as a video resource for students.

Week of January 14th

G-SUITE FOCUS on YOUTUBE: EXTEND YouTube with tools like VideoNot.es and EdPuzzle. VideoNot.es is an opensource site that allows a user to take notes synchronously with a video, meaning that the notes are time-stamped within the video. EdPuzzle allows users to modify a video by trimming, voicing-over, adding targeted voice notes, and inserting closed and open-ended questions within the video, allowing for immediate data gathering, which allows educators to discuss with the students the themes and differences in responses, helping the learning to go deeper. I've highlighted both of these tools in this video for you. >VIDEO LINK<

RALSTON: I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Juhl and three of her advanced 5th grade learners as they worked to understand how to use ScreenCastify as a tool to record their self and their screen as though they were experts in their various careers in geology that they were exploring. It's exciting to watch students learn, and to have them learn together with me, as technology often produces challenges to those who are even "specialists" like myself. Growth mindset, and being okay with the struggle is one of our aims in lifelong learning. I can't wait to see what they produce!

HHS: I met with Nick Stange and one of his students (Jordan A.) on discussing storyboard ideas he has in creating a segment on teachers and students using YouTube for learning about anything, in and out of school. The HNN crew always does a fantastic job, and it was a chance for me to see just what kind of prep work goes into storyboarding a set of scenes for a video. I look forward to seeing his work in one of the upcoming Harlem News Network videos. Check out the HNN Channel, and subscribe to get the newest video each week!

Week of January 7th

G-SUITE FOCUS on YOUTUBE: Whether or not you decided to setup a channel last week, YouTube holds value in and of itself. Sometimes, students can be distracted by other things that pop up there. Here are two ways you can keep distraction to a minimum:

1. Use Youtube FulFill to get a link to a full-screen viewing with no suggestions on the side: SAMPLE LINK TO TRY YouTube Full Fill (*note: there are still "suggested videos" at the end, like usual)

2. If you are already presenting content to students through a Google Slides presentation, you can format the video to start/stop at designated times, which eliminates any side-suggestions or after-suggestions of videos. >CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW<

HOMEBOUND HELP: I started homebound tutoring after school this week, and it is REALLY useful for me and the student to have easy access through Google Classroom to content, assignments, and anything else that comes along. The student, in fact, is benefited by having instant access to class activities as soon as they are posted, as well as the ability to comment/question about any item posted there (because, let's be honest, I may not necessarily know everything I'm tutoring on!) This is a perfect example of how technology can add value to the learning culture-- keeping learning going outside the classroom. Learn more about how Google Classroom can add value to your learning culture >CLICK HERE<

G-SUITE FOCUS on YOUTUBE: Setting up a YouTube channel with your Harlem account allows any videos you upload, as well as playlists that you curate, to be automatically approved for students to view. It also allows students (and parents) to subscribe to your YouTube channel, automatically notifying your subscribers when new content is posted. Below is a quick guide on setting up a channel, and a video that features students discussing the value it can add to their learning.

Set up a channel!

After setting up your own channel and messing around a little, share out how how you think YouTube can have a positive impact on learning in your context! >>Click to here to join the discussion!<<

two minutes about youtube

in the classroom

To view full-size infographics from below, right-click any of the images below, then "Open image in a new tab"

By Salvador P.

By Ariana P.

By Hannah K.

By Caitlin Roufa


Week of December 10th

Why so much emphasis on Google stuff?! It is important to focus on how we can utilize the tool set that is already available to each and every student and teacher, and to build off of that when necessary. This week, pick a tool on Google For Education's resource site and explore the different ways that tool could add value to learning.

HHS: Check out what Caitlin Roufa's brainstorming students have been up to in their studies of severe weather!

"I had my students work on digital posters, called "infographics," (PICTURED ABOVE) for our unit on severe weather. Students selected one type of severe weather, and created an infographic meant to inform people about their type of weather including some hazards, safety tips, and fun or interesting facts. Students had a chance to be creative, while also gaining deeper knowledge about a type of severe weather that interested them. I had many students who don't put much effort into other assignments put a great deal of time into these projects.

We used these websites to create our infographics: canva.com piktochart.com and venngage.com . I recommend Canva the most as it was free and easy to use, and looked very nice, though could be taxing on the slow computer lab desktops at times. Piktochart was also free and easy to use and I would also recommend. Venngage looked nice, but students are unable to download the image... they can only share the link. I probably won't suggest venngage for students in the future. Paid features for most of these sites include branding for businesses and additional clipart and fonts which students do not need." (student samples: ONE, TWO, THREE)


Week of December 3rd

No time to stay up to date on Google EdTech? Subscribe to EDU90 to get weekly updates that are 90 seconds long!

Harlem Middle School: The 8th grade ELA team is looking ahead to the near future, and even into what next year could potentially look like, considering which tools may best match learning objectives and add value to learning. We discussed the use of backchannelchat.com for a tool to use in Socratic seminars for the "outer circle" to continue conversation digitally about the live conversation going on in the middle. Additionally, they considered the use of Kialo.com as an object of study in argumentative dialogue, evaluating the strength of contributor's claims and evidence. Finally, Heidi Butz shared an interesting add-on to Google Sheets, called Flippity, which allows your inputs into a spreadsheet to turn into a variety of classroom learning and management tools.

PD: Regardless of how little or much that you and your students use technology in your classroom, this opportunity has value for all teachers. Why? Because the focus isn't on the technology, but on the learning. Learning First, Technology Second, by Dr. Liz Kolb, helps educators to reflect on best practices in integrating technology for improved, value-added learning. Try out the introduction for .75 PDC without having to get the book. If you decide to continue, Instructional Services will have copies of the book available to borrow, or you can purchase a copy for yourself if you like to write all over when you read. Check out (and bookmark) Harlem's online PD site for more details! >> SITE LINK

It happened...I was there...I saw it all go down...and...well, you better just watch the video.

Inquiry in Action.mp4

Video created by Heather Rapp, PD Specialist at Rock Cut and Marquette. Students in Cathy Schoenrock's 3rd grade class at Rock Cut.


Week of November 19th

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology allow students to grow as learners in a lifelong way, so they do not need the school setting to continue to use those tools?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

Speaking of Triple E and Dr. Kolb, an online, self-paced book study has begun on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

Regardless of how little or much that you and your students use technology in your classroom, this opportunity has value for all teachers. Why? Because the focus isn't on the technology, but on the learning.

Learning First, Technology Second, by Dr. Liz Kolb, helps educators to reflect on best practices in integrating technology for improved, value-added learning. Try out the introduction for .75 PDC without having to get the book. If you decide to continue, Instructional Services will have copies of the book available to borrow, or you can purchase a copy for yourself if you like to write all over when you read.

Check out (and bookmark) Harlem's online PD site for more details! >> https://sites.google.com/harlem122.org/hitpd/integrating-technology/learning-first-tech-second-study

GIVING THANKS: In case you missed your opportunity to be grateful, check out what Harlem staff members are grateful for, and when you're done, feel free to leave a note about what YOU are thankful for. This gratitude had 798 views and 6 hours of engagement! Click HERE to give thanks!

Week of November 12th

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology help create a bridge between students' school learning and their everyday life experiences?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

Lunch and Learn? The last few weeks, I've been working to be part of your lunchtimes to continue to get to know you more and to identify any themes that seem to be standing out. What do I notice (besides the air of light-hearted humor, of course)? If I could divide the themes, it would be into TOOLS and PEDAGOGY. Tools of frequent mention: Google Forms, Google Classroom, Google Slides, Peardeck, document cameras. In the area of PEDAGOGY, the questions/discussion tend to center around the areas of "Academic Value" and "Emotional Readiness." Does the tech impact learning? Does the tech impact student emotions? The answer to both of these is "YES." But whether that "yes" is positive or negative depends on a number of factors. I've set up an online, self-paced, chapter-by-chapter book study that is valuable in providing guidance in putting "Learning First, Technology Second." Try the first session out (text provided), get a PDC hour in, and decide when and how you want to continue growing in this area. >>CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO<< If you decide to continue in the study, email ME to see if there is a book available to borrow, or buy your own if you like.

(above) HMS Middle School MAKERS final stages of 3D Printer Assembly!

122 Slides Challenge

Check the second to last slide for the winner!

Kelly Basque's fun and delightful 7th graders!

Chris Lindberg's AMAZING 4th grade kids at Maple!


Week of October 29th

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology create opportunity for students to learn outside of their typical school day?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

Google Cast for Education: If you're interested in students being able to request casting their screen to the classroom screen, checkout Google Cast for Education! Once setup, this option can save time when students are up for presentations, and it allows them to continue using their device for presenting their content, ensuring that the teacher's computer can maintain its security and safety.

Collecting Evidence of teaching for Evaluwise? Check out some tips on setting yourself up for easy collection and organization of evidence with >THIS GUIDE<

Week of October 22nd

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology create paths for students to demonstrate their understanding of the learning goals in a way that they could not do with traditional tools?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

Save-Clicks, Save Life: Do you ever find yourself frequently starting a new google document, slide-deck, or other Googley things? Learn how to make that tool ONE-click a way by bookmarking any webpage, then changing the web address to [tool].new. (for example, a new Google Doc would be "docs.new") You can also use the extension "Google Docs Quick Create" for the same purpose.

Week of October 15th

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology create scaffolds to make it easier to understand concepts or ideas?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

HMS: Students in Kelly Basque's 7th grade class engaged with me in critical discussions about when and how to ask for help when navigating the digital world. ALSO, Students in Brittany Carr's 8th grade social studies classroom participated in a similar, but heavier discussion on seeking help in situations where we encounter digital uncertainty about the safety and wellbeing of others, using as a centerpiece for discussion one of the latest HNN episodes honoring four Harlem students lost to suicide(See HERE). We emphasized that incredible value of real, human, face-to-face relationship.

The HMS MAKER club is expanding with the near completion of a table-top 3D printer and a soon-to-arrive enclosed 3D printer for experimenting with different filament materials. Want us to make something? Have a community issue you want us to look into problem solving with technology? Let us know! Email Chris Noble, and he'll bring your thoughts before the group (or you could come in, too!)

Olson Park: I had the pleasure of visiting a combined 6th grade class of Andrea Sweet and Deb Fountain as the students were presented with three potential video editing tools to create book trailers. (WeVideo, Adobe Spark, and ScreenCastify) If you'd like information on any of these tools, please email me or catch me in the hallway sometime!

Week of October 8th

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology allow students to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the learning goals in a way that they could not do with traditional tools?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

122 Slides Challenge!: On October 11th, I posted a challenge to our certified staff to work inside Google Slides to personalize their own slide from a template, to brag about someone who has been a positive force in their life at Harlem, and to briefly discuss how they may use Google Slides as a teaching and learning tool in the classroom. The honor given to so many brightens the day. The shared hopes unite us. The various ideas of how to use the tool itself just makes us that much stronger. Everybody who completed the challenge had their name entered into a gift card drawing, some of them twice if they encouraged another to participate. Check out the slide-deck, and see the second-to-last slide to find out the winner! >>122 Slides Challenge!<<

*Want to learn more about Google Slides, check out this PodCast from Google Teacher Tribe! >>PODCAST<<

Maple: Chris Lindberg's 4th grade class and I had a blast learning about some content vocabulary (and ice cream) in order to introduce Peardeck Flashcard Factory. It was SO great to watch the kids thinking about the words so deeply, and learning them through discussion, creation, and honest evaluation...all for free, and all for fun learning! We didn't even get to exporting their creations to Quizlet, but we really didn't need to!

Ralston: Nichole Gallaher's 5th grade student learned some mad skills in Google slides (inserting images, speech and thought bubbles, snipping images from their screen, and more!) Their response? A Google Slides "Thank You" from each student, demonstrating the skills we covered! Perfect. I look forward to returning for the next skill set!

HH9: Melissa Johnson's biology class is engaged in hybrid socratic circles, where some students are talking and taking notes, and other students surround them writing digital responses and reactions to what they are listening in on. They initially used the free version of backchannechat, but I believe the students had suggested another site which they believed to be more robust in offerings, and which was going to be tested.

HMS Makers: Last week, our club received a grant check for $485 from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation! This money will be used to purchase a new 3D printer and supplies to help these student grow in their hands-on knowledge and skill in industrial arts and science.

Week of October 1st

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology cause a shift in the behavior of the students, where they go from being passive to active social learners?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

Rock Cut: Cathy Schoenrock's 3rd grade students and I are about to embark together in a multi-disciplinary unit that integrates research, informational writing, cultural studies, geography, meteorology, and digital citizenship. We will be delivering content to students through Google Classroom because it will allow us to decide which students get assigned to certain regions of the U.S. . We will be creating a Google Slides template that the students will manipulate to make their very own, and we will be exploring the use of Google MyMaps (a collaborative, interactive map that the students make). If all goes well, we may even have a private Google Site which the students can add their various works to! I am REALLY looking forward to working with these students for four afternoons in a row!

SIP Day Highlights:

HMS: Through a variety of breakout sessions led by the teachers, teachers had opportunity to explore Smart Notebook 18, Digital Escape Rooms, Custom Search Engines, Google Expeditions, Digital Feedback Tools, Google Sites, and other updates to G-Suite.

HHS Math: The math department here is thinking forward already to next school year, acknowledging that there will be more access to student devices, and so it is important to look at what is already being done to help decide what could and should be done in tech integration. We looked specifically at EdPuzzle, where the desire was to have a flipped instructional/learning opportunity by embedding questions and content in existing instructional videos on YouTube (and elsewhere). For math friends, the question creation tool includes an equation editor, AND one could insert images of existing content very easily.

OP 6th grade combined class discussion (Sweet and Fountain)

Eli setting up parts for the 3D Printer at HMS!


Week of September 17th

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology engage students by motivating them to start the learning process?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

DRAFTBACK is a Chrome extension that creates a video and data chart about a user's work on a Google document. If you'd like to create a snapshot of a student's use of classwork time, this tool provides some great insights! Draftback is also useful in class as a discussion piece for modeling the writing process and class time use, allowing accountability with students who make claims about how they have used their class time. >>Here's a video demo! << Big thanks to Heidi Butz at HMS for sharing this!

HMS: Students in Nikole Behling's 7th grade math class are using FlipGrid to employ critical thinking through the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning structure. FlipGrid is a free tool whereby a teacher poses a question or topic, adds relevant resources, and then prompts students to respond with short videos. In this scenario, each student responds to at least two other students through Glow and Grow response method (Glow: notice something positive / Grow: provide constructive, targeted feedback towards improvement. A prime example of solid learning strategies being employed through a selected tool!

Windsor: Students in Joy Bogdonas's 4th grade class utilized their "document" camera as a means of projecting their science lab on the absorption and movement of fluids and nutrients through plant structures (image above). Don't let labels limit your tech usage...just because it says "Document" doesn't mean you're restricted to that purpose. Keep up the innovation!

Institute Day: Had a rocking good time with a couple of groups of our fantastic elementary teachers wanting to learn more about technology to support vocabulary instruction. Here is our agenda with active links to the tools we discussed! >>AGENDA<<

Week of September 10th

"Triple-E" Critical Question: "Does the technology engage students by allowing them to focus on the assignment or activity with less distraction?" (~Dr. Liz Kolb)

Google Classroom Users: Have your students go to the play store and install the Google Classroom App on their Chromebook. Brian Nordstrom at the middle school shared THIS VIDEO with me about what the APP can do that the web-version cannot. In summary, students can open assigned PDFs and images, annotate over them with multi-color, multi-brush, and text options; and with one click, add their annotated document to the assignment for submission. Although touch devices are ideal, they are not required to gain this functionality. From the TEACHER perspective, this allows some of us who use iPads and Android tablets to be able to use the same tools in annotating over student work. Check it out!

Olson Park (pic above): I had the distinct pleasure of joining the 6th grade combined classes (Andrea Sweet and Deb Fountain) for a massively meaningful annotation and discussion activity about different ideas surrounding technology's impact on teaching and learning. SO grateful that our students are thinking critically about their world AND enjoying themselves while doing it!

Week of September 3rd

Google Tip: Create "Canned Responses" in Gmail to save yourself from retyping the same things as common questions or repeated tasks arise. >>Watch this video! <<

HHS: I had the pleasure of working with the U.S. History Department last week, focusing in on what Lucidcharts has to offer their goal of digital diagramming and mapping as they connect modern day issues with the ages past. One useful item that seemed to spark their research vetting minds... custom search engines! Did you know you can easily create a custom search engine to help keep your students looking for research in all the best places? Take three minutes to learn about it, right here in >>THIS VIDEO<<

Rock Cut: Mrs. Vanek's class invited me in to do a short lesson with Google Drawings, a highly flexible and simple tool available to all of us, and useful at any grade level (sample of venn diagram). Not only that, but we also briefly explored the Cast for Education extension, which allows students to cast their screens to the teacher screen (by permission of course).

HMS: The MAKER club has ALMOST finished assembling its 3-D printer kit acquired through donations last year. Stay tuned for their great ideas!


Week of August 27th

Three weeks down! You know most of your kids' names now, and you have a pretty good idea where they are through all the testing. You're getting into a groove, and you're ready to bounce some ideas off of me about how your students can leverage technology to meet and exceed the objectives...so, let's meet! Email me with an idea, and we'll make it happen.

Google Tip: (CTRL+K) the shortcut to hyperlink text or objects to other places on the web. Teach students to use hyperlinking so that their projects can become interactive. Link to relevant videos, sources, sites, or other student-created works! The process is the same across all G-Suite tools: select text or object, "ctrl+k" to insert a link, paste in link, "apply". Try it out this week!

Week of August 20th

This last week blew by FAST. There is SO much going on! Most of us are just trying to get organized before thinking about which tools can help us teach and our students learn. While I usually highlight tools and strategies, there's been a lot of Q&A regarding hardware and G-Suite, and subscriptions...so let's stick with that this week.

Google Tip: Use the "Snooze" button in Gmail to have a message return to you at a time when you are better prepared to address the issue. See how in THIS VIDEO.

Elementary Schools:

"Where is a doc cam and a remote?" If you don't have a document camera or a remote for your Epson projector, I have found both of these tucked inside a number of the grey media carts that tend to be right by the SmartBoard/Promethean boards.

"My grey cart is locked!" Ask a neighbor for their key; they all work. :)

"I have this grey tablet looking thing with a pen hanging off of it." That's a wireless SMART slate, and I'd love to help you see if it can be of benefit to you and your students.

"I have an Epson remote, but have no need for it anymore." Tell your building through an email...chances are that someone else could use it.

HMS: Don't forget you have a premium subscription to EdPuzzle! A sweet tool that let's you embed questions, links, and content right into any YouTube video (just don't forget to approve the video for your kids to see!) Looking forward to being part of your weekly PLC time!

HHS: I'm really looking forward to seeing what the U.S. History team is going to do with their access to technology this year! Lucidcharts, G-Suite, Research, Creativity... a lot of what they use will help other departments gauge their plans for the next school year when a lot more student devices will be accessible. As the year progresses, ask them to show you what's going on.

Week of August 13th

Instead of covering what's going on the first three days of school this week, I wanted to leave you with some suggestions!

First....some tips from CommonSense Media

Vocabulary: Use Quizlet. Have a textbook? Search for the title and chapter and you might be surprised how much is ALREADY made and ready for you and your students to use for FREE. In Quizlet, students learn through spelling, gaming, hearing, speaking, visuals, diagramming, and competition. As a teacher, you can import your Google Classroom roster and assign sets or assign students to make their own sets. All can be done through a web browser, but the APP is available on iOs and Android, so it makes your work accessible to just about everybody. Try this set out on our Harlem Schools

Organizing the Digital Classroom

Use Google Classroom or SeeSaw to assign and organize student assignments and activities throughout the school year. There are MANY classroom organization tools and sites out there, but I recommend these two partly because of a greater amount of our students are already familiar with their function and they both integrate really well with staff and student Google accounts. Talk about it at lunch today and see who's using these and how it works!


"It takes a village..." and we need to be so well connected to each other to build together a culture of unity and familiarity. As more and more educators participate in integrating technology, many of them post in our HIT group (Harlem Integrating Technology). Join the group to observe or participate in what is going on in our efforts to meet both the demands of education and the demands the world places on us.


Week of May 14th

Google Tip: Want to clean out your inbox, but not permanently delete emails? In Gmail, try archiving your messages instead of deleting them.

HHS: One of Carleen Maki's students created this great analysis of gender and sex inequity in the video game industry. Another great example of how a student can apply their content knowledge with technology to serve the greater good. Here's the video: >>VIDEO<<

Olson Park and Windsor: After collaborating in a PLC, Sherry Drew and Joy Bogdonas got FlashCard Factory going, and it is AWESOME. Think Marzano to the max when it comes to vocabulary learning. The teacher creates a typical word/definition set, students sign into the FCF with a short code, FCF randomly pairs the students up to create drawings and sentence examples, the teacher presses the Quality Control button and makes an on-the-spot learning opportunity as he/she accepts or rejects the cards, and when this step is complete, you can export this card set straight to Quizlet where the students have access to study these words in EIGHT different modes. To try FlashCard Factory, go to Peardeck.com, sign-in as an educator with your Harlem Google account, and give it a try!

Week of May 7th

Google Tip: GOOGLE CLASSROOM SPRING CLEANING: Take a little time to get organized for next year. When the time is right, go into Google Classroom and archive your classes. If you don't want your students' work that was given to you through Google Classroom, then go into you Google Drive folder for Google Classroom and delete those class folders. Go into Google Calendar, and unsubscribe from those Calendars as well.

3D Platforms: I had the pleasure of leading a dozen or so HMS MAKERS on a field trip through 3D Platforms, a local company who designs, builds, and uses 3D Printers. It was amazing to see what can be done, and it is amazing to see the fire light up in the students' eyes when they start thinking about what THEY would do. Some of our students have been using TinkerCad to design their own objects for 3D printing! Would you consider helping HMS Makers get a 3D printing Kit? View the DonorsChoose Project HERE >>LINK<<

Week of May 1st

Google Tip: When making a whole-class, collaborative Google Slide deck where each student has their own slide to work on, create ONE slide that has everything they'll need, then duplicate the slide for as many students as you have and add the student names. We're doing that this week within our Google Classroom PD session! (Still seats open!)

Machesney: I had the extreme pleasure of working with Mrs. Royster's 6th grade class (pictured above) on setting up and using WeVideo for the students to essentially create video advertisements for parents/students interested the Academy. Additionally, they quickly became masters of Google Cast for Education, a tool that allows students to request to cast their screen to the teacher's projector, making the display of work samples and projects a breeze. I was impressed with how well the students were able to provide useful peer feedback to improve each other's work. All tech aside...I may or may not have picked up a Ukulele to play "You're Welcome" from the film Moana.

Loves Park/Machesney: Sally Priola, Math PD Specialist for LP and MC, has been using WeVideo (Free-version) to create helpful, strategy-oriented videos called "Tell-us-something Tuesday!". Check out her latest >>VIDEO<<

HHS: German teacher, Jen Keller, applied her understanding about what she knows works to help students learn vocabulary, and she modified an imperfect template from teh familiar game "Guess Who," created it in Google Slides, got feedback from the first class, improved it for the next, and ended up with something that did exactly what would be anticipated with students interacting with vocabulary with a variety of people and their unique descriptions to try and describe them. Here's a sample of her template!

Kindergartners at Parker Center learning to log in on a Chromebook.

My HMS MAKERS touring 3D Platforms, standing in front of a 3D-printed Triceratops head in May!