Safari Montage

Safari Montage is a digital resource that provides access to a video streaming library as well as access to your school news and a limited number of cable channels. GCISD has had access to Safari Montage for a number of years, but there are a couple of "new to us" features to note:

1. Google Classroom Integration - Teachers can share Safari Montage videos directly to Google Classroom.
2. View & Chat - While the teacher is showing a video, by giving the students a session code, the students can chat about the video.
3. Students have Safari Montage accounts and can upload videos.

If you haven't used Safari Montage lately, check it out!

The Power of Google Calendar

The Power of Google Calendar

Setting AppointmentsFinding time to meet one-on-one with parents, students, or even colleagues can be difficult when everyone has such busy schedules. Read more about using Google Calendar to open up appointment slots here.
Getting Students Organized
Some of my friends use their handy-dandy paper planner to stay organized. I on the other hand have switched entirely to using my Google Calendar. I like that I can receive alerts on my phone to remind me about scheduled events. It really simplifies my life by eliminating one extra thing I have to carry around.
Since Google Calendar has been so life changing for me, I figure students should have the opportunity to digitally organize their lives as well. To help them do that, I created the following HyperDoc. It was intended for a high school classroom, but feel free to modify it to fit your needs!

Apple Classroom in GCISD

Apple says that Classroom is a teaching assistant, meaning it's a great tool to use in your elementary classroom to guide learning and monitor student iPad use. It is not a workflow solution or learning management system, like Google Classroom. In Apple Classroom, you can: lock screens to pause work or refocus your classhelp open an app on student's iPads and lock them in that apphelp navigate their iPads to a specific website you've bookmarked in Safarimute audio on student devicessee an overview of all screens at onceget a closer view of one student's screenuse your teacher iPad to push a student's screen to Mirroring360 through AirPlay

To learn how to use Apple Classroom, the best advice I can give is open it and see what you can do!

When you choose a class from the home screen, you'll see a grid of your students. Check out the photo to the left. Students that are 'active' or in range of the teacher iPad show up in a circle with color. The offline st…

Flipgrid & Student Voice

This is a cross-posted entry from Suzanne Barker's blog: Ponderings of a Lifelong Learner.
Student Voice is a passion of mine and Flipgrid is a tool that helps amplify those voices!  For those new to Flipgrid, it is a web-based video reflection tool that allows teachers to provide a prompt and students then create a video response.
Before I share with you the ins and outs of using Flipgrid, I want to share some reasons why you would want to use Flipgrid! Voices that are often silent in class have an avenue to share their thoughtsReflection is powerful. Flipgrid allows you to set the maximum amount of time for a response ranging from 15 seconds to 5 minutes. For shorter reflections, students must reflect and synthesize the information to provide a succinct video reflection.Video reflections can be shared with the family through a private link allowing parents to see first-hand their students thinking through their learning.Flip the family connection and ask family me…

Scanning QR codes in Chrome app!

Google Chrome app for iPad
Back in June, Suzanne Barker blogged about a new use for the Chrome app. I wanted to point it out in case you missed it. If the Google Chrome app is installed on your (or your students) iPad, you can use it to scan QR codes. This is a fast way to scan a code, that also doesn't have ANY ads, and then opens directly into Google Chrome. 
While on the homepage of your iPad, pull down to open Spotlight. Type the letters QR. (It also works lowercase, and it came up for me after I'd only typed the letter q.) If it doesn't work, make sure the Google Chrome app is installed!
Click Scan QR code and voila! Scan directly into Google Chrome. 

This is a great option for our students because a lot of the QR scanners are made for the 13+ age group and contain many ads that may not be appropriate for our learners. Try it out and let us know how it goes!

What I Learned at #ISTE17 Day 2

My brain is starting to stay in a state of fog! There is so much learning here at ISTE. I've heard there are around 15,000 people in attendance. The sessions are full of information, but the conversations are also rich with learning. I mentioned yesterday that relationships were important to my learning and they are making a repeat appearance in today's top 5.

Here are the top 5 things I learned:

Relationships Part 2

1.  Today's relationships that grew my practice came in the form of the "Playground" that focused on Ed Tech Coaching. I have enjoyed the playground feature of the conference. Each day has a different theme with tables for small group learning and conversations. Most of today's playground sessions focused on Instructional coaching. Here is a link to the schedule with many presentations linked. There were some books that were suggested to read that I am going to explore further:
The Global Education Guidebook: Humanizing K-12 Classrooms Worldwide T…

What I Learned at #ISTE17 Day 1

When you go to a conference, the amount of learning can often be overwhelming. I also have a tendency to push myself to gain new knowledge at every opportunity that I fail to allow time to process that learning and to master it. Thanks to a colleague, I decided that I wanted to learn 5 things each day and anything beyond that was a bonus. I also wanted to make sure that I learned at least one thing from a Playground or Poster session or a vendor in the Expo.

Here are 5 things I learned today:

1. Padlet's shelf feature

I like Padlet as a tool for collaboration and sharing of ideas in the classroom. However, it can become quite disorganized as students add thoughts. In the past, I have created background images in Google Slides to provide columns for students to sort their notes on the canvas. Now, with the addition of the shelf feature, there is no need. You can create the topics/questions for each column and participants respond in the correct column. You can read more about it at…