Oct 272016

Google ChromecastGoogle announced recently that they have fully integrated Google Cast (formerly known as Chromecast) into the Chrome web browser. Is this good news for teachers? If you have access to, or have a classroom set of Chromebooks, then the resounding answer is YES!

In the past, you needed a $40’ish piece of hardware that you could plug directly into a newer TV or projector which you could then send or “cast” any Chrome browser page to that device to show the video and audio. It was a great solution for the home, but it never really caught on with any teachers that I knew of – probably because the majority of teachers have, shall we say, “Vintage” projectors in their classrooms which didn’t have the proper HDMI connections.

On the iOS side, many schools have tried really hard to get Apple TV’s working. They work amazingly well in the home environment, but for some technical reasons that I’ll spare you today, they didn’t work very well in large scale school wireless networks. And, each Apple TV set you back $99.

Now, back to why this announcement is great news for teachers, especially those teachers integrating Chromebooks into their classrooms.  Google has also released a new Chrome app called Google Cast for Education. Once you install this app for your Chrome browser, your computer will act as the Chromecast device. Since Google Cast is now integrated into Chrome, any of your students with a Chromebook can now request to share their screen with you, to show you the great work they are doing, or the amazing video or page that they found while researching online.

Since your classroom computer is probably already hooked up to your classroom projector &/or interactive whiteboard, students that ‘Cast’ their screens to you will also be sharing to the entire class! No extra things to buy, no extra configurations, it just works. If you are worried about students hijacking your screen, fear not! Google has built in some pretty clever settings for this reason. No one can see your screen to share unless you have shared this privilege with them. Also, when they attempt to share their screen, depending on the user you can set it so that you must approve it before it shows on your screen, or it will just show up. They have also integrated Google Classroom so that you can invite a whole class at a time to share to your screen. It’s pretty cool!

Learn more about Google Cast for Education here:

Oct 052016

SAGE Assessment System LogoThe Utah State Board of Education (USBE) has released some new options for Utah Core-subject teachers for formative assessment to give them better data and to help prepare students for the SAGE Summative Assessments.

SAGE Benchmark exams are shorter than the Full- or Class-Period Interim assessments, consisting of approximately 20 questions. They are available for 3-11th grade Language Arts, Math and Science courses, focused on the individual standards/strands of the core. They are not adaptive, as the Summative and Interim assessments are, but 2-4 different versions or forms are available to enable the benchmarks to be used for pre- and post-assessments. Another great approach is to use your early Interim results as a baseline, and then assess students with the benchmark assessments as teachers complete instruction on each standard/strand.

Below are some additional documents with more information about the new SAGE Benchmark Assessments:

  • Accessing Benchmark Modules (PDF) – A quick guide to access the benchmark modules
  • Summary of Science Benchmark Module Assessments (PDF) – Tables that provide information about the content of each modular assessment for Science
  • Summary of ELA Benchmark Module Assessments (PDF) – Tables that provide information about the content of each modular assessment for ELA
  • Summary of Math Benchmark Module Assessments (PDF) – Tables that provide information about the content of each modular assessment for Math
  • AIR Ways Benchmarks District Guide  (PDF) – Provides help on using the new AIR Ways reporting system for accessing Benchmark results
  • AIR Ways Benchmarks School Guide  (PDF) – Provides help on using the new AIR Ways reporting system for accessing Benchmark results
  • AIR Ways Benchmarks Teacher Guide  (PDF) – Provides help on using the new AIR Ways reporting system for accessing Benchmark results
  • Template for Uploading Test Windows (PDF) – This is a sample excel file that can be used to upload Test Windows for an LEA or School. There is a tab with a full list of test names for each instrument showing the correct format for the upload process. Best practice, if you are electing to use test windows, is to upload a window for each instrument with the dates they will be delivered. To control the dates tests will be available in the TA interface, they must be in a window or their access will default to the full state window.
Aug 162016

Permalink: http://goo.gl/kwDhKp

View the session recording (Google Drive), or view it on YouTube.

Read&Write for Google Chrome™- Quick Reference Guide

If you or other teachers would like to sign up for their “Free for Teachers” account have them follow the steps below:

Here are some additional resources:

Jul 192016

At the ISTE Conference this year, the Technology Integration Matrix came up during a session discussion. The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells as illustrated below.

How do you think you are doing??

Technology Integration Matrix

Jul 142016

Permalink: http://goo.gl/F7ayZK

Google Classroom icon

Does your district use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) for email, Docs and Drive? Do you have access to Chromebooks in your classroom? Do you use Google Docs with your students on a weekly basis? Then this is the session for you!

We will dive deep into Google Classroom. Classroom is Google’s version of an LMS (Learning Management System) that is designed to work incredibly well with teachers and schools who are using the Google Apps for Education platform. It has many features similar to Canvas, but it is entirely free to use. If you are in a district who is using Google Tools and you are using Google Docs to collect student work, Classroom is what you need. We will also take time to dig deep into some of the great features and tools available to you and your students in Google Docs for research, revision, dictation and more.

Here are the links and resources you’ll need for our session today:

Jul 132016
Thank you so much for joining me for one (or more) of my sessions at the 2016 URSA Conference. All of the presentation information, links and resources for my sessions are linked from this page (and from the URSA tab above). If you have any questions or comments during or after the conference, you can connect with me @sedcclint on Twitter or on my Facebook Page. Use the #ursa16 hashtag on Twitter to join the Conference conversation.

Wednesday, July 13
Thursday, July 14
  • 10:10 am-12:20 pm (2-hour session): Google Classroom and Docs – In Depth, Education Building, Room 104
  • 3:00 pm: Literally Explain Everything (apps & tutorials here), 20-minute Over The Shoulder Demo, Education Building, Room 202
Friday, July 15


Jul 112016

Permalink: http://goo.gl/IdZR0l (capitol i after the slash)

In this two-day course, we’ll get you up to speed on the incredible array of services and applications that Google provides to teachers and students for free. If you have Chromebooks in your classroom, this workshop will open your eyes to the possibilities and realities of a paperless classroom, as well as having a place to showcase student work, collaborate with experts in the outside world, and managing your limited time in a more effective way.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Create a Google Site to provide information to students and parents, highlight classroom activities, and showcase exceptional student work.
  • Create a collaborative Google Slides presentation, and publish it to their Google Site.
  • Be able to effectively use Google Classroom for assigning and collecting student work digitally.
  • Create a lesson plan utilizing additional Chromebook apps where students will create a project, demonstrating strategic and/or extended thinking.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Jul 012016

At the ISTE 2016 Conference in Denver this week, Google announced a few new tools for teachers using Google Classroom and Chromebooks that will make life much easier and better.

First, Google has added a new Chrome app for teachers called Google Cast for Education, which allows students to broadcast their Chromebook screens to the teacher’s computer, WITHOUT the need for any extra hardware or stuff to buy. No more trying in vein to get a Chromecast or Apple TV to work in your classroom! If your computer is hooked up to your projector/interactive white board, then any student’s screen can be shared with you and the rest of the class! Alternatively, you can “cast” your screen to an individual student for some one-on-one help (if the student is running the Google Cast for Education app).

  • To get started, teachers need the Google Cast for Education Chrome app. GAFE Admins can pre-install this for all of the teachers in their domain.
  • Your students need the Google Cast extension. GAFE Admins can do the same for this student extension.
  • If you are trying this out before school starts in August/September, make sure to get the Google Cast (Beta) extension.

Second, a feature that I have been telling teachers was coming for a while (my bets have paid off!). Google has added the ability to create quizzes with grading and feedback features in Google Forms. No more messing with add-ons to do quick quizzes! It’s completely supported in Classroom, so you can now build your quizzes in Forms and assign them in Classroom. When students submit the form, it’s automatically graded and turned in. Learn how to make quizzes now (YouTube).

If you’d like to keep up with what Google is doing for Education, make sure to follow the Google for Education blog.

Let me know @sedcclint on Twitter, or leave a comment below, if you have tried either of these new tools and how they are (or will be) helping you in your Google-ified classroom. I’ve been using both of these tools today, and they are terrific!