Friday, July 21, 2017

I BELIEVE: to be an educator is to:

Provide Experiences,
Provoke Reflection,
Foster Creativity,

Share WIsdom,
Empower Others

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Google Drive Apps on iPads: "Sign Out" = "Remove" Account

Within the Google Drive apps (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides) on an iPad, there is technically no "Sign Out" option.  Instead, you must "remove" your account from the app.

If you do not want the hassle of re-adding your account to the Drive apps each time, but you are worried about privacy because you share an iPad, try adding a passcode to your Drive apps instead of removing the account!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Organizational Models & Team Project Management

If your role or passion involves organizational development, culture, and leadership, then it's worth your time to learn and consider Frederic Laloux's research and Agil/SCRUM methodologies.

Laloux Cultural Model (Organizational Models) + Agile

Based on the book Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux.

If this video perked your interest, you will enjoy the reflective article:  "Laloux Cultural Model and Agile Adoption" by Agile leader Peter Green.


Agile & SCRUM

SCRUM is an Agile Framework for complex product development.  Originating in the IT world, SCRUM is now being adapted and implemented by teams and organizations in a variety of sectors.  So, when you hear "product development," just think of projects with a large scope.  You can get the gist of SCRUM plus a 30-second video here!

Typical SCRUM methodologies use a few of my favorite things
(hence my enthusiasm for the process)
  1. Sticky Notes
  2. Strategic Planning
  3. Flexible Roles (I recommend incorporating StrengthsFinder here!)
  4. Choice
  5. Clear,Measurable Goals
  6. Reflection

Connect & Learn More

A few worthy Agile/SCRUM folks to follow and connect with on Twitter:

Reflect

Based on Laloux's colors, what color is yoru organization?  What color are you?  What color do you want your organization and/or self to shift toward, and why?  

What impact would implementing the SCRUM process have on your team?  ...on your products and projects?  

After reading this post:
What questions do you have  What resources do you need to explore further?  What are your action steps?

Your thoughts and reflections are welcome in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

PowerPoint is Boring! Present Well

"PowerPoint is boring. Experience is the best teacher."
-Dwight Schrute, The Office


I've been enjoying the 
TEDTalk playlist: Before Public Speaking...

Among many treasured take-aways and growth challenges, I'm borrowing one simple point from this playlist to expand on in this post.  Here it is:

For all the time one spends preparing the content he/she will present,
they rarely give equal weight in time and preparation to how they will present
(voice, body language, pacing, etc.).

With this in mind, here are my challenges to you:

  • Use Google slides only for pacing and/or engagement.
    • Utilize videos, large images, and keywords... never lengthy text.
  • Incorporate compelling but concise stories to help your audience connect.
  • Ask intentional questions.
  • Record yourself doing a run-through before and/or during the live presentation, then reflect, adjust, and grow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Worth Sharing...

A Blog:

  • The Keyword

    Google has a single blog where they pull from all their individual apps' blogs.
A Website:

  • The Learning Scientists
    Use their research-based, free resources to help students study and learn more effectively.
A Phrase:

  • "Constructive Discontent" Is your discontent constructive?  Are you seeking creative solutions to problems (or simply dwelling on their negative impact)?
A Question:

  • How do you light people up?
A Book:


Monday, December 5, 2016

A Simple Leadership Strategy: Scheduled Check-in Questions

Check out my latest video:


If you develop your own check-in questions, add the details to the Comments below to inspire others!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Digital Differentiation: Answer Branching in Google Forms

How can you use answer-branching in Google Forms 
to support and differentiate learning?  

This 3-minute video will get your wheels turning!


Experience some Forms that use answer branching:
Learning Check-In & Support (from the video)

A  more ideas for answer-branching:
  • Create options for an assignment format.  
    Q1:  How would you like to demonstrate your understanding of [xyz]?
            A) write and perform a song, poem, or rap
            B) write a short story or news article
            C) prepare and record a screencast
            D) plan and create a video
    > Branch Sections:  Each answer choice then branches to a section explaining the directions, requirements, and expectations for that assignment format.
  • Create a daily behavior and/or learning reflection form.
    Students reflect and rate themselves on a scale.  Their answer choice could take them to a section containing a motivational quote, encouraging video, call to action, or further reflection question.
  • Empower students:  Have them design, create, or curate the learning support content, or even the entire Form!

Please share other ideas or example Forms in the Comments below!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Harvard EdCasts & "I WIsh My Teacher Knew"

One of the teachers I am privileged to work with shared two things this week, and I can't keep either to myself.

FIrst, if you do not already know about them, the

Harvard Graduate School of Education publishes EdCasts 
(written posts with an audio podcast).


Second, the Harvard EdCast from October 19, 2016 is compelling and is titled:

Equally powerful to the podcast was hearing a teacher I work with describe doing this same activity with his high school students mid-year.  While some student responses were predictable, surface level, or silly, some were profound, including:
  • I wish my teacher knew... I am so afraid I won't pass high school, that sometimes it's easier not to try at all than to try but fail.
  • I wish my teacher knew... I hate my life.
    (This came from a seemingly popular, confidant, and happy student.)

Another teacher at the same school (sheesh, I work with incredible people!) used a Google Form to collect feedback from her students about her teaching and her class.  She told them the goal was to help her grow and improve.  Many responses validated her creative approach to teaching and student-centered learning, but some gave her a clear direction for where to focus her energy.  One student wrote:
  • You say you care about us, but you never ask about our weekend or life outside of school.
She fosters a positive classroom culture and has great rapport with her students, and still, from this feedback, she committed to being intentional about improving in this area

Equal to the impact of asking insight and feedback is how we receive and respond to it.  These teachers viewed it as a growth opportunity, not a personal affront.  They wanted to reach their students, and they used their students' voices to learn how.


So, do you have the courage and growth-mindset to ask for feedback and insight from your students or your employees, then take it to heart?  I hope so!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Get To Know Your Chromebook

Chromebooks are an amazing piece of hardware, especially for education, and here's why:

  • They are inexpensive compared to their cousin, the traditional laptop.  
  • They are great for multiple users, specifically when the device is shared by different classes or students throughout the day/week.  
  • Users log in to the Chromebook by logging into their Google account, so customization and files are saved to that user's Google account, not to the device itself.  
  • Chromebooks do not have a hard-drive; files are saved to the user's Google account in the cloud. Therefore, the device doesn't get bogged down by viruses or storage space.  
  • They boot-up in less than 3 seconds

If you want to get started using a Chromebook and help your students learn the nuances and tricks of the device, I suggest walking through the "Get To Know Your Chromebook" slides on the OKCPS Chromebook Central website.  The slides help you and your students learn how the trackpad works, how to access the camera, how to set your wallpaper, and more!
All credit for these slides goes to Jordan Shaff (@J_Shaff) and the EdTech Team in OKCPS!

You may also want to view Richard Byrne's video: "5 Tips for New Chromebook Users."


Happy Chromebooking Everyone!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Seek & Google Shall Find

Become a more advanced Google searcher!  Use these slides to guide you, your, staff, and your students through some simple, fun activities.


Along the same lines, don't miss the student assignments in this blog post.  They are similar to the activities in these slides, but include accountability questions for students to answer.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Lifehacks for Google Chrome & Google Drive

Use these slides to:

  • Learn about best practices and cool features in Google Chrome.  
  • Customize your Chrome with bookmarks and treasures from the Chrome Web Store. 
  • Learn tips, tricks, and Add-Ons for Google Drive.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tables in Google Sites

Inserting a table into a Google Sites webpage is a great way to create clean sections and spacing.  The catch?!  Modifying and customizing tables in SItes requires editing the HTML code.

If the sound of the word "code" makes you want to run the other way, have no fear!  HTML is simply the behind-the-scenes director for what appears on your page.  You don't need to understand all of it to make some modifications!

HINT: Crtl + f   is your new best friend.
Once in the HTML section, Crtl + f  opens a search box. You can then type what you are looking for within the HTML code (such as "width" or "https").  Easily toggle to the section you need without scanning line after line of code.

Try It!
To get started, add a table to a page in your Google Site.  Then walk through the steps in this awesomely clear and simple blog post:

5 Tips for Great Looking Tables in Google Sites
The sections in this blog post include:

  • A Little Bit about the HTML for Tables
  • Accessing the HTML
  • #1 Remove a Table's Border
  • #2 Add a Background Color
  • #3 Center Your Table on the Page
  • #4 Add Some Room (padding) Between Table Cells
  • #5 Change the Width of Your Table

Borrow It!
After walking through the steps above, I ended up with the code below.  I then copied and pasted it into the HTML for many pages on the Site.

<table border="0" bordercolor="#888" cellspacing="00" cellpadding="15" style="width:90%;margin:0pt auto;font-size:13.3333px;line-height:16.6667px;border-collapse:collapse;border-color:rgb(136,136,136);border-width:0px">


Special thanks to Tech Smart @edu for her excellent blog post!