Detailing Google Classroom

posted Nov 22, 2014, 8:55 AM by Michael Berago   [ updated Apr 20, 2015, 8:43 PM ]

Stop Google Form response collection automatically

posted Nov 4, 2014, 12:46 PM by Michael Berago   [ updated Nov 5, 2014, 11:52 AM ]

Automating your processes of collecting responses from a Google Form is a huge time saver.  The Form Limiter Add-on is a great tool for automatically stopping a form from collecting responses based on preset conditions.  The conditions can be based on a specific date, number of responses or a specific cell value.  Check out the video below to learn more.

Create Google Forms faster with Form Values

posted Oct 31, 2014, 9:04 AM by Michael Berago   [ updated Nov 5, 2014, 11:52 AM ]

One of the most arduous things about Google Forms is having to retype selection choices over and over again.  If you are creating multiple choice, list or checkbox questions--this can be quite frustrating.  The introduction of add-ons for Google Forms just made things a lot easier.  Form Values was created by Oli Trussell to save users a lot of time.  It allows you to create a repository of choices that you can utilize at the moment and in the future.  Here's a video on how to use it:

"K.I.S.S. It"

posted Sep 17, 2014, 10:08 AM by Michael Berago   [ updated Sep 17, 2014, 12:37 PM ]

“ K.I.S.S. it “, defines the most sound football game plan, “Keep It Simple Stupid.”  Keeping  constant movement on the playing field is paramount to the game’s success..  Looking at the importance of the defensive role in the game, we find defensive backs, linebackers and defensive lineman whose responsibility is to play synchronously against an offense on every play.  The challenge remains for those 11 players, ranging in age from 15 to 18  to keep the game plan firm in their minds.  “Kissing It”  allows me and every other defensive or offensive coordinator to implement the game plan with success.

O.K. how does football come to play in this game plan?   What does K.I.S.S have to do with EdTech?

With the abundance of technology available for educators to use, it is most important to keep the plan simplified.  It is all too easy to get “caught up in the moment” with all the emerging tech tools.  Regardless of the learning ecosystem your district decides to implement, it is imperative that a baseline of skills is established before any type of technology advancement is taken.

In our district, we have decided to implement Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks as our learning ecosystem.  Google has a plethora of tools that can enhance teaching practices and student learning, however, we must not follow the suggestion of many technology integration specialists to focus on the tools.  “Selection” of the appropriate tools is imperative to allow for the discussion of best practices for the classroom.  What is meant by best practies?  It definitely is more than how “Flubaroo” can automatically grade quizzes and provide feedback to students, more than the ability to share documents and collaborate in real time but the meticulous process of understanding how this technology affects every aspect of a teacher’s routine.  Classroom management, data collection, post-data collection and reflection are among some of the practices to be considered in this evaluation of technology and its introduction.

From my professional opinion, a game plan like football and “KISSing It” will help teachers achieve sound pedagogical approaches to integrating technology  in their teaching practices.   Using professional development programming, the transition for teachers into these new technologies will be simplified.

 At our district our goal is simply mastering content management in Google Drive and the organization and communication practices with Google Calendar and GMail.  For the tech ninjas that find Drive, Calendar, and GMail easy to comprehend, differentiated levels of professional development must be established to accommodate individual needs.  

As previously mentioned, it is imperative for teachers to develop a baseline of skills. Their level of experience in using technology, the amount of professional development opportunities and the support that educators have are just a few examples that play a factor in the establishment of the determined baseline skills.  Using these skills will allow for a much faster and smoother advancement in the future especially when the tech specialist feels the teachers are ready for the “new cool tech tools”.

Edited by Melanie Haug

Oh boy, blogging!

posted Jul 23, 2014, 2:18 PM by Michael Berago   [ updated Jul 28, 2014, 6:48 PM ]

I have been contemplating about starting a blog for a very long time now.  The last year has been quite an experience for me in my new position as an instructional technology coordinator.  There are a lot of new things that I have learned and I want to share it with the world.  Moving forward, I want to be able to share my experiences as my school district begins a 1:1 initiative with Chromebooks.  I have accounts on Twitter (@fenton_itc) and Google Plus (+michaelberago) where I regularly post things, but I want a centralized place for all things I find useful and applicable surrounding the topic of educational technology.  My hope is that this blog will serve a purpose in assisting others, but more importantly, I hope to learn from others.  At the very least, I am looking forward to blogging to relieve my mind from all the ideas bouncing around and be able to put it out there in writing and maybe one day I can go back and read about it and think wow that was a _______________ idea! :)

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