902 CUE Workshop- Classroom, Sites

Google Classroom

At our site, we are a 1 to 1 Chromebook school for grades 2-6. We have been using the G Suite tools for a couple years. I am fairly familiar with Classroom, because it has been invaluable for saving time with my 2nd graders, who have not had as much exposure to sites other than Starfall or Kids A- Z, that are bookmarked on the Computer Lab computers. I don't say that to belittle, just to point out that my kiddos don't have much exposure.

One thing I have learned: the more I learn, the more I realize how much more I have to learn. I am always picking up new tips and tricks to use in the classroom. Tonight was no exception. The presenter was Efrain "F" Tovar.

One of the ideas I picked up was using Classroom to post the Daily Agenda and having students "mark as done" that they understand what to do. For my non readers, I have even used a quick screencast describing the tasks. this has been especially helpful when I have a sub.

The other thing I will be using is the underutilized About Tab. One of the things he had us do was create a Contact Me section, where parents (or students) can send a message or question. A cool feature the instructor showed us was the capability to add code to the Form's Response on Sheets. The code we learned allowed us to add Google Translate to the cell. We added =googletranslate(F2, “auto”) [NOTE: F2 should be changes to match whatever cell the response is in.]

Google Sites

The instructor then taught us about Google Sites. I know this can be a good tool to use. And for many, this is a simple introduction to creating a website. I am not saying I am, in any way, even a novice at this. However, I have not been super impressed with some of the formatting issues. But I am learning some workarounds.

There were many little tips that he shared. Like these:

  • Adding Drive folders as a resource. Could be helpful in limiting some of the resources students access.
  • Using Ipsun copy to help visualize what your content would look like.
  • YouTube- I liked the way I could embed a YouTube video on the site and limit the use of Fullscreen, which will help my Students not access YouTube, but just the one video I want them to.
  • Adding an animated header.

I can see it's value, but I am not certain how I can effectively use this for some purposes with my 2nd graders. Maybe the upper grades. I may try and see if I can have students create a classroom website, for those that may want to work to figure it out- Then they can teach me (or the class).

The guitar in the Contact Me section moves.

  • What did you think was valuable? Why
    • I am always up for learning a few tips no matter what the content. I was not disappointed with that. Plus anything I learned was not something that adds a lot to my "time" workload. Reread above for details. Plus I like that he sahred his resources so I can go back and refresh when I forget.
  • What did you NOT think was valuable? Why
    • Nothing that I can think of.
  • Will the discussion change any of your teaching practices? How?
    • As I stated in the above part of the post, there is always something to glean. I am going to try to streamline and increase some of my parent communication by offering a Contact Me section and I am going to be using the About Me section more purposefully.
  • What do you think is worth sharing with colleagues?
    • I am going to be sharing the YouTube trick that allows me to restrict the student's access, for the activity, to the video I want them watching. As well as the Google translate things to use with Forms/ Sheets.
  • What are you inspired to do, think, etc..
    • I am inspired to really utilize some of the function of Google Classroom to be more effective and purposeful. I can't wait till next year.