Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Friendly Friday Advice Comes Early This Week!

If you are already using Twitter, or if you are new to micro-blogging, here's a sneak-peak at how and why you could craft your very own course hashtag with students:

The reason your Friendly Friday Advice is coming to you on a Wednesday is because we'd like to invite you to lurk or participate in Georgina's #gpersuwcsea debate happening Thursday and Friday.  Contact a DLC to support you, or follow the hashtag and connect with @georginapecas on Twitter.

Read about Michelle Lampinen's approach to using Twitter as a 'real-time' discussion tool here.

The debate amongst students will be live Block 4 Thursday and Block 2 Friday.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Digital Bytes - 26th September, 2016

Video Notes
Video Notes is a fantastic tool for students to take notes on videos that are online.
This step by step guide takes you through how to get started with video notes. You can sign in with your Google account and your notes are automatically stored in your Google Drive.
QR Codes
You have probably heard of QR Codes and maybe even used them before.
Two of the best free QR code generators are QR Stuff with allow you to link to 25 different things and QR Code Monkey which allows you to put a customized image in your QR Code. There are many ways to use QR Codes in the classroom like linking to audio books or even connecting to a Google folder of student work so you can update the content.
Screentime - Quality vs. Quantity

It attempts to answer the question, “Is it really about the time students spend in front of a screen, or the quality of things they do in front of the screen.”

Thursday, 22 September 2016

More Friendly Friday Advice

If you haven't explored Google Photos, this brief overview might entice you to check it out.  As always, should you have more questions, please book a DLC to help you out. Have a great weekend!


Monday, 19 September 2016

Digital Bytes 19th September 2016

Google Photos Features You Need to Know About
If you aren’t using Google Photos now, you should be.
Here are great features of Google Photos that you may not know about. My favourite is the ability to search by keyword. Try it out. Type a keyword like ‘writing’ into the search bar and you will see all the photos with people writing. It. Is. Amazing.
The 28 Best Hidden iOS10 Features Everyone Should Know

REMINDER: with our school devices, we are not yet updating to iOS10, but here is a sneak-preview of some of the coolest new features available.
20 Practical Ways to use Google Forms in Class/School

Do you have any to add to the list? We would love to collect more great examples!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Slide-ing on into the weekend

Welcome back to Friday's Friendly Guidance.  This week we are focusing on a few tips and tricks for Google Slides.  As always, please feel free to follow up with a DLC for slower (or faster) help.


To read more about the Q&A feature, click here.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Google Apps for Education

At a recent parent forum, we had requests for a workshop on Google Apps, so parents can understand what their child is doing at school and support them at home.

We focused on Google Docs, Google Drive and GMail. You can see a summary of what we spoke about in the presentation below.

We used the context of Favourite Restaurants in Singapore to show some of the features of docs. Check it out!

For more self-directed learning with Google Apps, try the Google Apps Learning Centre.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Digital Bytes 5th September, 2016

The Zen Art of Managing Smartphone Photos
We get a lot of questions about the best way to manage the photos on your phone.

Calling Screen Time Digital Heroin is Digital Garbage

You may have seen an article calling screen time digital heroin.

This article take a critical look at that article and its claims and provides a rational viewpoint.
How to Extract an Image From Google Docs

There are a number of ways to do this including publishing the doc to the web, saving it as an HTML file and a google docs add on.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Ten Steps to get you to your next Twitter Chat

Made with AdobeSpark

As far as spaces go, Twitter is a great place for educators.

Over the past decade, Twitter has become a 24/7 space for professional development.  Twitter is a place to share, curate, and develop resources. It has allowed teachers everywhere to have access to experts anywhere. One of my favorite applications is the Twitter Chat.  Connecting in real time, or sometimes via a #slowchat (see an example of that here) has shifted the way we 'do' professional development. If you think a conversation needs to happen, you can curate that discussion.

Here are ten steps to getting involved with a Twitter Chat, and then...initiating your very own:

1. Lurk and Learn

There is no shortage of professional chats happening.  Take a look.  Read through archived chats, and observe. The #cpchat (connected principals chat) is an interesting hashtag to follow for school leadership teams.  The chats are not as regular as other chats, but the hashtag curates wonderful resources by the hour.  Here is an example of a question from a #cpchat Twitter chat: Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.10.54 AM
There are two important things to notice: a) in any Twitter chat, you need to use the '#' to tag your Tweet within the conversation b) @TonySinanis starts his Tweet here with 'Q1,' which stands for 'Question 1.' Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 10.14.23 AM
In the response, you'll see that @Joesanfelippofc has responded with both the #cpchat AND he starts his Tweet with 'A1' standing for 'Answer 1.'

2. PARTICIPATE (.COM) allows you to have a more tailored search for resources shared during chats.  It is a great tool for exploring the weekly #satchat (Saturday Chat), and digging into the archived discussions. By selecting 'chats,' then 'see all chats' you will have access to a calendar of chats happening each day.

3. Go with the flow

By using Tweetdeck, Tweetchat, or Hootsuite--you'll be able to sip from the specified feed, rather than drink from the firehose of your entire feed. If you aren't ready to try a public chat, or you want to practice hosting your own chat privately, Today's Meet is a great way to have a 'training wheels' approach to open chats.

4. Bring a friend

No, really.  Invite a peer to 'go with.'  If you are new to chats, it will be helpful to have someone you know in the space.  Networking is networking wherever you are, IRL or online.  Having one familiar face will help you feel more comfortable--and it will be great to have a colleague to debrief with later on.

5. Google Keep

Just like any other meeting/workshop/discussion, it is a great idea to bring notes to have at the ready AND to have another space to collect thoughts on.  Google Keep is perfect for collaborative notes and/or to do lists.  It will be too trying to look for links during a chat.  I recommend having a few resources, quotes, links ready to go on a Google Keep note before the chat begins.

6. Extend invitations

Build a Twitter List (here's how) of people who would be interested in a chat you'd like to host. Take the time to personally invite at least 20 people.  Here's a sample chat invite:
Notice that the invitation has tagged other #'s where there might be an overlap in interest.  This is good, but nothing substitutes for a personalized invite.  Take the extra step and let people know exactly when the chat is happening in their time zone (this tool helps with that).

7. Promote and remind

As the day and time for the chat nears, remind people.  Two of my favorite tools to build Twitter-friendly signage are Canva and Adobe Spark (the image at the top of this post is something I put together with Adobe Spark in two quick minutes).

8. Get the questions out there early

Providing access to the chat's questions in advance will allow participants to put more thought into their answers.  It will also allow people to track down resources in advance.  Lastly, it will encourage them to invite other people in. Click here to have a look at a list of recently explored questions during this #edtechchat meetup. Some moderators will even provide an exact time for questions to be prompted, here's an example of that style.

9. Curate the conversation

Once the chat is over, it isn't really over.  Blog about it, archive or use Storify to frame the chat.

10. Always say thank you

Be sure that participants feel appreciated.  Every educator is stretched for time. When people carve out an hour to chat, make sure they know their time was valued.  If you are participating in someone else's chat, thank the moderator(s).

Friday, 2 September 2016

Friendly Friday Tips: Post One for the Year

Every Friday, you can find a 'Friendly Friday Tips,' posts offering guidance in a flash.  For more help, please do see any of the DLC's.

As we get closer to the Google Apps Summit happening at SAS (mark your calendar and get that PD proposal in soon!), the Friendly Friday Tips will focus on all things Google-esque. 

Today's two tips focus on collaboration via Google Docs: