Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gamification in Google Drive ISTE2014 on the Fly

Disclaimer:  These posts from ISTE2014 are done on the fly and therefore are subject to mechanical errors etc in an effort to get the information out in a timely manner!  

Philip Vinogradov hosts a session at the Google Booth about Gamification in Google Drive.

He starts students off with a GOAL to become the masters of their destiny.  Learners have to reach 80% to move on.  They progress through levels and they can COLLABORATE! Yes they can WORK TOGETHER.  In other words, ~ collaborating and sharing ideas is NOT cheating!  Hallelujah!

Philip calls his program 'QUEST'

Begin with an open ended Question you cannot 'Google.'  Provide the Mastery Targets (competencies).  They need to determine what they Understand and what they need to know.  They spend the most of their time Exploring and Experimenting and even have a 'Cheaters Guide' they can use as a resource (or they can do it their own way). They need to Synthesize by creating, designing, or interpreting.   Almost there, they face the challenge to Take the Test  (aka submit the project or take the test).  Don't forget to provide a reflection activity.

Students can also earn points for progressing through the test and badges for things like 'First Responder'.  Trade in badges and skill points to unlock a power to redirect their learning activities based on mastery of basic skills.

For more information See Philip's presentation but if you can, attend his Gamification Workshop (Tuesday B407 at 11:45am).  He has the knowledge, skills and ability to teach you how to use his brilliance in your pedagogy.

Student Learning Networks ISTE 2014 ~ How can we remove the barriers & help them build.

This topic intrigues me.  how are students able to create connections and build their own learning networks?  My first thought is that a very small percentage of young learners build learning networks.  Our schools traditionally block social networking and any such platforms that create and open/flat classroom.

By becoming networked and participating in the 'networking' process,' people can further develop their ideas and become energized by sharing (give and take) with others without boundaries.  The world of ideas is so much broader and richer than a town, school, state or even country of ideas.

Kristin Ziemke just showed a video of working with her very young students using Edmodo as a back-channel for discussion and it this is a perfect example of how technology can be seamlessly used for learning to empower and engage learners by making it personal and giving them their own space for inquiry, asking, answering and observing.

She posts an image on a page and asks for comments ~ What do you wonder, what do you notice?  She shows them how to engage and interact in a forum (digital citizenship) and as a result she sees students are 'talking' to each other more deeply about the content and are asking eachother the critical questions!  They write more, they think more.  Well played, Kristing Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris!

Google Classroom As Presented by Google ISTE2014 ~ A Post on the Fly

Disclaimer:  These posts from ISTE2014 are done on the fly and therefore are subject to mechanical errors etc in an effort to get the information out in a timely manner!  

Jennifer Holland Presents Google Classroom
Jennifer Holland, product manager for Google Classroom showcases Google Classroom at ISTE2014.  The most exciting news of all is that they are promising it will be delivered to Google Apps Edu domains in August!

Creating a classroom takes less than 30 seconds and adding students about the same.

Key concepts/ideas about Classroom:
  • Embed YouTube videos for flipping or as a topic starter.  
  • When creating an assignment you can push out a document, presentation, etc or simply require the end product that they can submit.  
  • You can give students view only or edit by all OR make a copy for each student which names the document with the assignment name and their name!
  • You can assign one assignment to multiple sections.
  • The submitted product could be any file they can upload from their computer, a link to the web (Glog, YouTube Video, etc), or a Drive file.  
  • Teachers can see how many have turned in by logging into the assignment details page.
  • When a student turns in the assignment officially, they become 'viewers' of the document.
  • Teacher can add comments, apply a score and return to the student so the student can resubmit the document.  
  • When students 'turn in' they can add a private note to their teacher.  
What classroom means to me.

Anyone who knows me professionally and personally knows that I am passionate about how Google Edu has given the finest opportunity to improve the quality of education in multiphenomenal ways.    I have been using Bjorn Behrendt's gClass folders and Andrew Stillman's Doctopus to make the process of managing workflow in drive easier!

With Classroom, there will be a plug and play tool, added to your Google Apps Domain that will also make it easier to use the sharing tools in drive and communicate with your students.  You will be able to provide more effective and timely feedback ~ aka formative assessment.  

When I use Google tools (especially Docs, Sheets, and Slides), my students get more timely and higher quality feedback sometimes in real time.  With this in place my goal is that student work will be over 90% accurate by the time they submit for grading.  This makes the learning more engaging and fulfilling.  The process moves more quickly so there are fewer time gaps to draw you students away from the topic!  

Jennifer just described a teacher who differentiated by creating 26+ classrooms for her same grade level class (by proficiency) so she could push out different activities based on where students were at in math, language arts, etc.  #brilliant

Allison Mollica,

ISTE 2014 Hangouts 101

I started this day at ISTE with Kyle Pace and Erin Klein to learn how they use Google Hangouts to engage students.  They started with the important things you need to know about 'Hangouts:'

  • You need to enable your Google Plus profile in order to use them
  • In Apps for Education the admin needs to turn on G+.
  • Hangouts are integrated with Mail & Calendar as well.
  • Saves time and improves the quality of communication.
  • Android Phones/Devices come with the Hangout Apps.  
  • Download the app for IOS devices.

Did you know that hangouts have ~ 

  • Screensharing & Screencasting!
  • Drive Sharing ~ Brings collaborating in a document to a new dimension.
  • Chat feature inside the hangout (great for posting links to participants).
  • Integrate YouTube Videos
  • Whiteboarding (app in the hangout Toolbox)

Using Hangouts on Air

  • Flip your classroom, record your screencasts and lessons!
  • Record podcasts (leave your video off and you have podcasting tool!)

Practical uses for the classroom:

  • Start viewing (even joining) virtual field trips via ''
  • Open a hangout for 'after school office hours' and invite your students to join
  • Virtual teachers use hangouts for help sessions and discussion based assessments.
Erin gives an example of how excited her students were to meet Maria Dismondy by inviting her to an impromptu hangout.  She was able to talk with them about becoming an author and give them a glimpse into 'realizing a dream!'

If you need to provide support for math students, the Scoot & Doodle add on is great because you can write and solve equations on the whiteboard.  

Another suggestion ~ Join the G+ Mystery Hangout Community and get you students involved through your own G+ account (classroom to classroom so younger students can get in on the fun).  
I suggest using Hangouts and other Google Tools to be proactive about 'peer bullying.'  Bullying escalates when students reach middle school age and many districts have K5 students in different schools and then funnel them into one middle school.  Start using hangouts beginning in kindergarten to bring your districts grade levels together and build a 'one classroom community' and get the connected via hangouts, Google Drive and other real collaboration tools to work on curriculum, create and celebrate together.  
You can find Erin and Kyle's presentation here: