Hour of Code / Computer Science Week is Here!

Hour of Code and Computer Science Week begins today!    The goal of this week is not only to introduce our students to coding, but to help our students explore the many ways computers can help us create, collaborate, and innovate! 
I've collected a few awesome resources below that will get students creating and solving problems with their developing computer skills and knowledge.  Give one or two a try this week!
Hour of Code  is the first site most of us think of during this week.  It is indeed a great site to get kids excited about coding.  It offers activities for students broken down by all grade levels including Pre-Readers through High School.  Just click on the grade level tab you are interested in for some great ideas.
A Google a Day  This activity is better suited for older students.  It starts with question.  Students are challenged to find the correct answer using Google Search.  It is often played as a game of who can find the correct answer first.  The questions are tri…

“You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult

Providing students with effective and engaging feedback is critical in helping students improve their writing. Studies have shown that 'feedback is more strongly and consistently related to achievement than any other teaching behavior....Feedback can improve a student's confidence, self-awareness and enthusiasm for learning'. 1
Often, the difficulty is providing this feedback in a timely manner.  Giving effective feedback can be an incredibly time consuming task for the writing instructor.
Enter - CheckMark Extension by EdTechTeam

This extension may quickly become the writing teacher's best friend.  It allows teachers to quickly provide feedback in Google Docs using the most common editing marks such as "Check Spelling", "Details Needed", "Evidence Needed", "Capitalization" etc.

Simply highlight a word or sentence and the following template appears on the page.

Each key represents an editing comment that can be seen when hovering. Wh…

A Couple of Very Cool Googly Things!

Password Protect a Google FormUpload a Google Form Quiz into Google Classroom and prevent student access until class time.
Perhaps you do not want students who are absent taking the quiz from home and using unauthorized resources.
Here is a great way to password protect your Google Form.  
Watch this short little video below and remember, you can also make a copy of the form for each class period and have a unique password for each period as well.

Auto Upload Grades from your Google Form into Google Classroom!Now that many of you are creating Google Form Quizzes and distributing them through Google Classroom let's make importing those grades easier.  
Google has now added an "Import Grades" feature.  You are going to love this one!  Check out this short two minute video to learn this time saving feature.

CUE Tips

The annual CUE Conference (Computer Using Educators) was filled with interesting Tips, Tricks, Strategies and Inspiration.  

As always, it is a little overwhelming to attend as the number of class choices is a mile long!  

Aaron Stephens and I would each like to share with you a favorite Tip we learned while there.
Graphic Novels in the Classroom: A Multimodal Approach to Literature and TechnologyAre you looking for a way to spark your students to be more creative, while practicing their communication skills and writing? Try having them create an online comic strip that communicates what they have learned or are thinking.

This year at the Computer Using Educators Conference (CUE) the workshop I enjoyed the most turned out to be quite different than I was expecting. When I sauntered into the Graphic Novels in the Classroom: A Multimodal Approach to Literature and Technology, what I was expecting was a survey of the various comic book styled educational texts that are coming out. Instead w…

I See What You Did There!

Check in on Your Students' Document History

The ability for students to collaborate on a Google Doc or Slide is one of the hallmark features of G-Suite. However, as with most tech features, there are good uses and not so good uses.  G-Suite provides teachers with the ability to obtain a detailed view of the document activity so you can check in on your little darlings.

Have you had students collaborate on a Google Doc or Slide? Would you like to see if they contributed equally to the final product?

Have you ever suspected that a student received help from a fellow student on a document when they were not supposed to?

Would you like to see a history of the comments that were made during the production of a Google Doc or Slide?

You can check the Revision History of a Doc, Slide or Sheet when the student turns it in and view the document activity.   This is important information that most of you are aware of, however, it's always worth a reminder.

Please click on the link below to acc…

The New and Improved Google Sites!

Looking Good Google! If you have ever used Google Sites you probably know that it did the job, but had a clunky interface and editing was often a challenge. The New Google Sites is a very welcome change!  It has a sleek new look with very simple editing tools.  See this video tutorial for a quick look!

Uses in the ClassroomClassrooms around the country are using Google Sites to create digital Student Portfolios or as a platform to present project research. 

Teachers can create a Google Site and make a page for each student to share their work with their classmates.
High Schools students create Google Sites to store College and Career Readiness Information, work samples, resumes, career research, college requirements, 4 year plans etc.
Younger students can create a beautiful Site and add weekly writing or work samples to share with parents at Conferences.
With the new Google Sites, students can collect all their artifacts in Google Drive and embed slide presentations, videos, Google Docs …

New Features and Updates

Hello Everyone!
In this edition, Anna Kieschnick (Larsen) from Vacaville High School is sharing her experience with a new addition to Quizlet, which is a web-based Quiz software.  Please see her experience below.

If you’ve ever used Quizlet, you already know how amazing the program is. It, surprisingly, just got better! Quizlet live is similar to Kahoot, but is directly through the Quizlet Website. Students do not need to actually create an account to play this game; they sign into the game using a game code (just like what they do for Kahoot). Now, what is super awesome is that the Quizlet Live program automatically groups students (which you can change as many times as you want throughout the duration of gameplay). Within these groups, students collaborate with one another to answer 12 questions (which are directly from the Quizlet cards you’ve created initially). If they answer any question incorrectly, they start over from the beginning of the game. The first team to answer all the …