Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Taking your Physical Classroom Online using Google Workspace

 

Since COVID hit worldwide, it has affected so many aspects of our lives, not to mention how we educate our students.  So over the summer, I had the pleasure to collaborate with GAT Labs in writing a complete teachers e-guide to take the physical classroom online using Google Workspace.

In this e-guide, we provide six steps and tips in teaching online using Google Workspace for Education with K-12 students.  It provides you with a comprehensive edtech toolbelt in which you will feel empowered, comfortable, and successful.  

GAT Labs provides information on their product and demonstrated how it can be used to secure online teaching, gain analytics and much more.  Especially during virtual teaching, analytics and data are even more important than ever.  Teachers and administrators want to know how long students are working on an assignment, if they opened it up and much more.  

The e-Guide provides six steps which are outlined below.

  • STEP ONE: The Physical VS. Digital Classroom — Key Components?
  • STEP TWO: Build your Digital Classroom – Ultimate EdTech Toolbelt
  • STEP THREE: Manage your Digital Classroom & Measure Engagement
  • STEP FOUR: View things from your Students’ Perspective
  • STEP FIVE: Keep your Students Safe Online
  • STEP SIX: Constantly Check for the Right Insights

In my opinion, it is important that during virtual teaching, that we keep things as simple as possible.  I am happy to announce that this e-guide presents information in a step by step approach, and it provides examples of best practices, and practical scenarios that you can use with your students immediately.  

Visit the GAT website to learn more about "Taking your physical classroom online in Google Workspace".

Download your free copy of the e-guide.

Read online

To the GAT Labs representatives, thank you for providing me the opportunity in working with you on this piece.  I truly enjoyed it and loved working with you. 


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Remote, Refresh, and Reboot for the 2020-2021 School Year

 

As I start another school year, this one will be like no other start. I am fortunate because I consider myself tech savvy and a tech expert, and I feel comfortable using technology in the classroom. For example, many of us created Bitmoji classrooms for students so that they can have a sense of  routine and "normalcy" of the classroom setting. 

With that being said, many teachers do not feel the same way and have much anxiety over it.  Whether you are teaching all remote or hybrid, having a different mindset and method teaching this year will be challenging.  But we have to remember to keep things simple and to take one day at a time. 

This summer, I attended a lot of professional development and I really tried to by proactive and equip myself with the tools I need to teach and to help others in my school too.  Everything I created was with the intentions of my school in mind. As I always do, I share my resources with my PLN and with The Suite Talk community.  

Since we will be teaching in some type of remote setting, I felt it was important to refresh my mindset and really think about lesson design, classroom management, and virtual expectations during remote teaching.  Here is what I came up with.  I hope you find them helpful.  

If you have any suggestions to add, please let me know.  It is important that we support each other and #PayitForward.  As that is my mission and motto for The Suite Talk

Here is the link to the presentation that has access to the templates, etc.

Lesson Design - Keep it Simple 

Teacher Guidelines and Tips 

























Classroom Management during virtual learning









Friday, August 7, 2020

Digital Wellness in a Remote Learning World

 

I am not a medical professional, just a technology teacher who worked 10-12 hours a day at home at the start of the pandemic using multiple devices at one time to support teachers and help them be successful in remote learning. However, I do feel that especially during the pandemic, digital wellness is more important than ever. 

In my opinion, we need to practice more self-care acts so that we avoid fatigue, burn-out, and the negative effects of screen time. Plus, not interacting with people normally, and not socialization with friends and teachers face to face can take a negative impact on a person too.

Pay attention to your body!

Again, it is extremely important to pay attention to your body while staying connected during the day. During my time working from home, I was experiencing the following:

  • headaches

  • eye strain or bloodshot eyes

  • back and neck pain

  • shoulder pain

  • discomfort in my hands

  • stiffness

  • fatigue

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS, PLEASE TELL AN ADULT, PARENT OR GUARDIAN.

Here are a few tips I found worked for me:

  • Establish a routine

  • Have a dedicated and comfortable workspace

  • Take frequent breaks from the screen (look away from the monitor)

  • Dim the brightness of your screen to reduce eye strain.

  • Put your device in contrast mode so that the colors are inverted.

  • Ergonomics is key! Adjust your physical workspace so that you fit better into it. reference article

  • Get up from your seat and physically move around. Go outside for a quick walk or just walk around the house.

  • Meditate

  • Stretch, yoga, neck rolls, stretches with a band.

  • Set a timer for every 10 minutes to alternate a standing and sitting position.

  • Use voice typing tools when you can.

  • Powered off all my devices, including my cell phone in the evening. I needed time to disconnect from the tech totally.

Performing these steps and especially exercising helped with my pain and discomfort not to mention improved my mental health.

I hope you find this information helpful.












Sunday, July 26, 2020

Templates and Remote Learning Awareness











I am gearing up for the upcoming school year, updating my resources and creating templates for teachers to use during their classes.  

One template I created was a GSuite Bingo Board.  This is a fun way to have your students to CREATE and assess their skills.  You can grab a copy of it here
























Another template I created was an Activity Board Sequence Template, which guides students to complete activities in a sequential order. It leaves room for differentiate instruction.  Grab your copy of the template here.


I also created a  generic Choice Board template which will allow you to add your creativity to it.  Grab a copy of it here


The final template I created was the 1-2-3 Remote Learning Choice Board.  This template allows you to keep things simple! Remember, the student learning is the goal, not the tech tool.  I would also express that you use familiar technology tools so that it is not overwhelming for you or the student. 

Please use and revise this template accordingly.  Grab a copy of it here

Step 1:  Learn! 
Allow students to read/watch about a concept.

Step 2:  Do!  
Allow students to show what they know, via assessment or through sparking creativity.  Allow them to CREATE!

Step 3:  Meet! 
Conference with students in whole group or small group to receive and provide feedback.  This will support SEL, relationships, and community building.






















You can visit my Remote Learning Awareness website for more templates and information.



Please subscribe to my show, The Suite Talk on YouTube and on your favorite podcast platform.



Need assistance with Google Classroom?  Check out my new book, Stepping up to Google Classroom, co-authored with Alice Keeler. It is the most up to date book out on the market and it targets beginners on getting started with Google Classroom.  It is available for purchase on Amazon. Bulk purchases are available at Dave Burgess Consulting website.




Friday, July 17, 2020

#PayitForward with Jamboard


Before the pandemic, I fell in love with Google Jamboard.  With that being said, I was promoting it to staff at my school district and providing training sessions on the many possibilities of using it in the classroom.  

During that time, in order to help bring awareness to Jamboard, I created a resource called Ideaboard for Jamboard.  This resource provides many examples, templates, and learning objectives for both students and teachers to fully implement this app into your learning environment.

Since the pandemic, Jamboard has become extremely popular.  Many teachers are using it for a digital whiteboard and sharing these notes with their students via Google Classroom or with some type of recording tool.  

If you are using Jamboard, please help me to continue to promote it by sharing your lesson with me.  Please fill out the form to submit your idea and it will be shared with everyone!  Help me to #PayitForward.


You can certainly check out my Ideaboard for Jamboard resource on my website, The Suite Talk.  The Jamboard page on The Suite Talk website, provides you with a presentation resource I created called, Get on the Jamboard Train, and an article that I wrote for Equip digital magazine from Learning.com called, How to Use Google Jamboard for Distance Learning Success.

Additionally, Jamboard is a relatively new app, in which is always improving.  If you have a feature request or a suggestion, please leave the team feedback about your request.

I hope you share your ideas with me.  Let's try to #PayitForward and help other try and use Jamboard in the classroom. 




Check out The Suite Talk website and my resources in the Wakelet collection.







 

Friday, May 29, 2020

End of the Year Google Classroom Clean-up





It's that time of the year again, where we have to start thinking about cleaning up Google Classroom for this school year.   I will provide some assistance in completing these tasks.  

Reflect on your experience!
  • Think about how you used it this year and what you can improve on for next year.

Open your to-do list and review, grade and return all work to students.

Delete the Classroom calendar in Google Calendar - Video tutorial
  • Open up Google Calendar and delete the calendar.  Just be sure you want to delete it because it is not recoverable!
  • If you are unsure about this, then just hide it in your list.
Unenroll in unwanted classes - Video tutorial
  • If you are enrolled as a student in another class, be sure you unenroll from it so that you do not continue to receive notifications from it.
Archive and Delete your classes - Video tutorial
  • This is a two step process. You must archive the class first, then you can delete it.  Keep in mind if you delete the class by accident, it can be restored.
Export any assignment rubrics - Video tutorial
  • Before archiving and deleting a class, you may want to export an assignment rubric to a Google Sheet. 
Manage your Drive folders that are associated with Google Classroom - Video tutorial
  • You can delete any classroom folders that were created when you created a new class.  Just be sure you do not delete the CLASSROOM folder in 'My Drive'.  Additionally, you can create a folder for the school year, and just move all of your class folders into the archive folder.
Delete any bookmarks associated with Google Classroom - Video tutorial

Shared with Me label in Drive
  • I don't recommend deleting any files in this label.  There will be to many files to clean-up and it really is not necessary.
Create a new master class
  • Create a new master class for all of your assignments so that you can re-use the posts for next year.



Check out episode 73 of The Suite Talk to Tidy up your Google Classroom.
        
Subscribe to my YouTube channel, and to The Suite Talk YouTube channel to stay up to date.




Pick up your copy of the new Stepping up to Google Classroom. Totally updated and lots of great information to help you get started!  Available on Amazon




Friday, May 8, 2020

How to use Google Jamboard for Distance Learning Success




I recently wrote an article for Equip from Learning.com, called "How to use Google Jambord for Distance Learning Success".  For those of you who do not know what Jamboard is, it's time you know.

Jamboard is an app that is free and included in the G Suite Core of apps.  Jamboard can be access from Google Drive and it can be downloaded at the Apple or Google Play store to your mobile device.  It is free!

A Jam is a file that can be shared with participants just like any other Google file.  It has become very popular especially now during remote learning, because many teachers are using it as a whiteboard.

In my article, I introduce Jamboard, and how you can use other apps with it (app smashing), and how it supports student choice and the 5c's of education. (creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and curation).  

I am a firm believer that Jamboard can help students who are visual learners, help students stay organized, allow students to express their creativity and artistic side, and much more.   

The picture below demonstrates how a student found an image on the Internet and decided to sketch it on the canvas.  


To read my article, "How to use Google Jamboard for Distance Learning Success", click on the link. I hope you enjoy it.


                                                                             
 Click the book cover to see inside!


If you are looking for Google Classroom help, check out our new book me and Alice Keeler wrote, Stepping up to Google Classroom, 50 steps for beginners to get started. It is available on Amazon.  Alice and I thank you for your support.  We hope you find the book helpful.  







Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Brighten up your space!





Let's face it, with remote learning, most educators are video conferencing with their peers, administrators, and with their students on a daily basis.  Many are attending meetings, teaching live, and/or providing edtech support and assistance to staff.

I found myself comparing my lighting  to others and came to the conclusion that the light I had cast shadows on my face and that I was very dark, as shown in the picture below. 



With some research and recommendation from my friend Bruce Reicher, I decided to purchase a Lume Cube light for my desk to brighten up my face while I am video conferencing. I figured with the many video conferencing sessions I am doing on a daily basis, and with live recording on my show The Suite Talk, I thought it would be worth the investment.  

Well, I was totally shocked!  I purchased the Lume Cube Air LED light for $49.95 and now I can't live without it!  This small light packs a big punch and I would highly recommend it. 

It comes with two diffusion bulbs for softer and warmer light, a lanyard to use on the go, a micro usb charging cable, and a suction cup.  It will pair with your mobile device, (bluetooth), it has four levels of brightness and a strobe light effect, it is waterproof, magnetic, rechargeable, and a tripod mount.  I absolutely love it!  Look at the picture below, I have it set on my mini tripod on the corner of my desk, set to the first level of brightness, and I am using a diffuser.



Although I am still experimenting with placement and adjustments, this light has made a big difference for  my video sessions.  I would highly recommend it.  

If you do purchase the Lume Cube, please use my referral code, and you will receive 15% discount on your purchase.  http://lumecube.refr.cc/kimmattina




Monday, April 13, 2020

Google Meet Integration with Google Classroom












With remote learning taken over many schools and classrooms, most teachers are using tools to virtually connect with their students.  With many concerns about security, I always recommend going over digital etiquette and proper use of these virtual sessions with students prior to connecting.  Students need to be aware of hacking and what to do if someone hacks your session.

I am happy to announce that the Google for Education and Google Meet teams integrated a new workflow that will allow teachers to create Google Meets within their Google Classrooms. Read more about the update on Google's blog

First, in order to use Google Meet, it must be enabled for the students and teachers at your organization. Contact your Google administrator for assistance.  

Next, educators can generate a unique Google Meet link for each of their classrooms.  Go into the setting gear of the classroom and scroll down to the general section, and click on 'Generate a Meet Link'.  At this point you can turn on or off to allow students to see the link. 











If students are allowed to see the link, it will be visible in the Google Classroom header and there will be a Meet option on the top of the Classwork page. 














They can click on either of these two links to join a Google Meet.

However, I would recommend to generate a Google Meet link for the class, but not to make the link visible to the students. Click on the Meet link, then select copy.  This will copy the Meet link to the clipboard.  










Afterwards, create a new assignment or an announcement, and paste the link into the post.  The students are forced to open the post and click on the Google Meet link to attend the virtual session. This way, they don't know the Meet link, and it will prevent them from being distracted.

With this new update, the Meet link is an ad-hoc link meaning it will be refreshed or reset about 1 minute after the meeting is over. However, it is still recommended that teachers be the last one to leave the session and to wait about a minute after every leaves to end it.  
















Here is a Google Meet YouTube playlist about the Google Meet and Google Classroom integration. 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date on video tutorials I upload.  






Friday, April 10, 2020

Stepping Up to Google Classroom is HERE!



Stepping up to Google Classroom is available now for purchase on Amazon.  If you are looking for methods to help you get started with Google Classroom, this is a great book for you!  

We wanted to make this book available now considering the issues with school closures and remote learning. 


Here is the link on Amazon.  You can also go to Dave Burgess Consulting website to see our book and many others they published. 



We hope this book will be helpful in this time of need.  Thank you for your support and good luck.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Jamboard and The Suite Talk Together



I have been asked by many educators about what app to use to show work.  Of course, I suggest Jamboard!  

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Jamboard!!! There's no better time to learn and use it than now! So why not jump on the Jamboard train right NOW!!!

Jamboard is a core app that is included in the G Suite bundle.  It has to be enabled in your school domain, but once it is, it is wonderful!

On Monday, March 30th at 6pm EST, I will be teaching about Jamboard on my show, The Suite Talk.   Tune in Live on YouTube to watch me go over this awesome app!  After I process the live show, it will be available on my website. So don't worry if you missed it.  You can watch the recording at your convenience.  

Here is the episode I recorded about Getting started using Jamboard. 




You can visit my website, The Suite Talk, and click on the episode page to watch past episodes about Jamboard.  

In the meantime, you can visit my Jamboard YouTube playlist to get some background knowledge about Jamboard. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Pre-Order Setting Up to Google Classroom Book



Stepping up to Google Classroom pre-order is available now! If you pre-order, you will receive a link to a digital copy of the rough draft of the book, and when the physical book comes out, you will receive your copy too.  

In this pre-order purchase, you will have access to a classroom and experience it as a student while interacting with other educators, me and Alice.

We wanted to make this book available now instead of later considering the issues with school closures and remote learning. 

Here is the pre-order link:  bit.ly/steppingupgoogle

We hope this book will be helpful in this time of need.  Thank you for your support and good luck.








Google Classroom Recommendation List




As educators are facing new challenges in teaching their students remotely or virtually, I came up with a few basic recommendations for teachers on using and setting up Google Classroom.  These are just my recommendations, and you may or may not find them applicable for your grade level or subject.  I am just trying to help educators in this time of need.  Thank  you!

Here ya go! 

  • Change your Google Classroom header banner with this one.  Alice Keeler created this header with a finger pointing up to the 'Classwork' page.  Customize the header and upload it to the theme in Google Classroom.  It will open up in Google Drawings.  Click here to access the template.

  • USE TOPICS!!!  Organize your assignments by creating a daily topic using the date.  Create assignments and tag them using the date topic.  For example: 3/19/2020.  Using Topics will organize your Classwork page nicely.  You can drag the daily topic to the top of the page.

  • Number your Assignments, include # - Number your assignments - continuously. For example: "#001 Science reading" 

  • Create a material post, attach a Google document to it, with reminders to click on the Classwork page, digital etiquette, and student/class expectations using this platform and marking done or turning in assignments. 

  • Optional You may want to consider allowing students to comment on posts in Google Classroom.  

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Digital Etiquette and Remote Learning


Don’t forget about Digital Etiquette!!

  • Now more than ever it is important for students to practice good digital citizenship through remote learning.








Monday, March 16, 2020

Remote Learning Awareness Website





I created a resource and I will be updating it accordingly, on remote learning awareness.  Please share it and use it as a resource for information on remote learning.  I hope you find it helpful.

Here is the website:  https://sites.google.com/view/remote-learning-awareness/home

Here is the bit.ly link:  http://bit.ly/KM-RLA  It is case sensitive. 

You can visit The Suite Talk website for recorded shows and podcasts on implementing technology into the classroom. Many of my shows are how to videos and conversations to get you started to use edtech.  Also, you can visit The Suite Talk YouTube channel for a list of videos.