Tuesday Tech Tips

A little tech goes a long way!

It's Here! The Google Classroom App!

The extremely popular Google Classroom now has an app! It is available in iOS and Android.

Students and teachers can now go to Google Classroom on their mobile device without having to open a browser window.

Google Classroom saves time by organizing and assigning classroom assignments. Assignments are automatically created in Google Drive. Students can access their assignments right from their mobile devices and begin their work. Teachers can see who has turned in an assignment and give feedback at school or on the go.

Google Ninja Academy

Wow! Where are our Ninjas? Not a lot of people have taken the Ninja Challenge lately. Come on and join our group!

This person earned all four of his Google Ninja Belts:

Daniel Stansberry, Spalding High School (picture forthcoming)

The Google Ninja Academy is still available! Go to our GSCS Ninja Academy right now! Join in to earn the Google Ninja pins for your GSCS lanyard. Prepare yourself to lead our students in the effective use of Google Apps and instructional technology.

Have no fear.

Be a Google Ninja!

Check out the entire list.

Complete Google Ninja Standings

Google Ninjas since last publication:

White Belt: Marlena Bell, Daniel Stansberry

Yellow Belt: Daniel Stansberry

Green Belt: Daniel Stansberry

Black Belt: Daniel Stansberry

Awesome Google Drive Tip!

Many times, you share a document and the people you share it with starts typing on it like it's theirs. There is a simple way that you can force users to make a copy of the Google Doc, Sheet, or Drawing.

Here's how to do it:

Grab the link in the address bar (the one you see when you are editing the document). At the end of the link will be the work edit. Simply replace the word edit with the word COPY! It's really that easy!

Share this new link with the people that you want to have it. When they click on the link, they will be prompted to make a copy of the file. Once they click on the "Make a Copy" button, it will make a copy in their Google Drive.

Grant Opportunities!

Have an idea and don't have the funds or the resources to implement it? Here are some resources to help you get started.

Get Creative with a Software Grant from Adobe

Deadline: Rolling

Educators at Title 1 schools are encouraged to apply for software and teacher development grants from Adobe. The program is designed to increase access to Adobe creative tools through the White House's ConnectED initiative. In addition to software, educators also receive access to on-demand professional development, including webinars, workshops and collaborative courses to learn more about utilizing Adobe creative programs in the classroom.
Prize: Schools receive access to a variety of Adobe tools, including Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements. Educators also receive access to online PD courses.

Teacher Development Grants

Deadline: January 15th - April 15th

Teacher Development Grants from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation support the development of new K-12 learning programs. Small teams of teachers are encouraged to apply for funding to help "integrate fresh strategies that encourage critical inquiry and to observe their effects on students." Grantees then have an opportunity to share their results with fellow educators. Projects should be designed to enrich and improve classroom learning.

Prize: Grants are available up to $10,000 for a maximum of three years.

Selma Speech and Essay Contest

Deadline: January 30, 2015

Inspired by the release of the film Selma, which documents the civil rights movement, the National Liberty Museum and John Templeton Foundation are sponsoring an essay contest for high school students. Students aged 14-18 are asked to submit essays of 500-700 words that address civil rights issues today. In addition, students must record themselves reading their essays and share their speeches via social media. More information is available online.
Prize:One student will receive a grand prize of $5,000. Addition prizes include $2,500, $1,000 and seven $500 awards for the other Top 10 winners. Teachers who sponsor a Top 10 winner receive a $300 cash prize

Formative Assessment Tools

Looking for quick formative assessments to help guide your instruction? Here are a couple to help you in your classroom.

  1. Socrative - Socrative is a student response system that allows teachers to create formative assessments. It runs on tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Teachers can view data associated with the activities online as a Google spreadsheet or emailed as an Excel file.
  2. Kahoot - Kahoot allows teachers to build quizzes and can be used on tablets, smartphones, or laptops. Teachers can embed videos and use Kahoot as part of the lesson or have students create games for review. Teachers can also create flashcards to be used as review for assessments.
  3. Backchannel Tools - There are different backchannels that allow teachers to give their students a voice during class discussions. Today's Meet, Ning, or Chatzy gives students the opportunity to ask or answer questions during class.