Thursday, March 13, 2014

If You Don't Think You're Making a Difference, You Are!

EdTechTeam Guest Blogger Lisa deLapo
Director of Instructional Innovation
Holy Names High School, Oakland, CA
Presenter, Napa 1:1 Institute 2014

Luisa, Lisa, Eva, and Amanda from Holy Names High School

We all talk about getting students to be creative, collaborative critical thinkers and good communicators. But when are we going to start walking the walk since we obviously talk the talk? The Digital Divas student-led tech-integration class at Holy Names High School not only talks the talk, they strut with pride when they walk the walk.

Amanda Harris ('16), Luisa del Rosario ('17), and Eva Cole ('15) are from Holy Names High School in Oakland, California, and they represent the Digital Divas. They have presented at two GAFE Summits and the local CUE affiliate events as well. They have also been invited to K-8 schools to present and train teachers and students to use Google Apps for Education. Led by the school's Director of Instructional Innovation, Lisa DeLapo, the girls show their unique ideas about how teachers can use Google Apps in the classroom.

These students are dedicated to representing students who don't learn via traditional lecture and textbook ways. Two of them have significant learning differences, and they have utilized technology to help themselves learn and create. Amanda said at the recent Roseville GAFE Summit, "I want to advocate for students like me, students who don't learn by memorizing or by listening to lectures." Amanda, the first student to do a Google Demo Slam at a GAFE Summit, is the creator of the Digital Divas.  

The Digital Divas is a co-curricular course at Holy Names High School.  They are the student-led technology team.  Instead of only doing hardware and software tech support, they also train teachers in our local communities on using Google Apps for Education in the classroom setting.  The Divas meet every Thursday afternoon, and we train on new and innovative products in the educational technology world.  We invite guest presenters from CUE, GAFE Summits, and other cool instructional technology events to teach our students new tools used by teachers.

Amanda is a pro at using Google Presentations. She has been using them since she was in the 7th grade at St. Joseph Elementary School, where incidentally, Lisa DeLapo was Director of Technology.  Lisa helped the students use Google Apps for Education and was featured in a Google blog about students and teachers using Chrome and GAFE (Google Blog). At Amanda’s GAFE Summit sessions, you’ll learn how to use Google Presentations to help students learn. Luisa’s favorite tool is Google Documents, and she presents different ways students and teachers can use Docs in the classroom.  Eva teaches about using Google Forms for summative and formative assessment and includes some creative uses of Forms for students.

On the drive home from GAFE Summit Napa, Eva reflected out loud, "It surprised me that over 400 teachers showed up during their winter vacations to attend a conference on how to better help students learn. It makes me want to try harder in my classes, knowing that teachers are doing this for me."  

If you don't think you're making a difference, you are.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cross-Posted: @followmolly Shares WeVideo Fun

Creating and Editing Video using WeVideo in Google Drive

Originally posted at Follow Molly by Molly Schroeder, Program Chair at EdTechTeam

WeVideo is one of my new favorite tools to use with students.  It is an online video editing
program that is fully integrated with Google Drive so students don’t need to create a new
First, students should connect WeVideo to Google Drive.  When in Drive, click on the
red CREATE tab and at the bottom click on Connect More Apps.  Search for WeVideo
and add it to your Drive.
When you connect WeVideo to your Drive you can pull images and video from your Drive
into your WeVideo storyboard, and your WeVideo movie is saved all right in Drive.

WeVideo has differentiated storyboards for students to work with based on their familiarity 
with video editing.  Students can start out in the Storyboard and move on up to the Timeline
mode when they are ready for more layers of video, narration and audio.
The FREE version of WeVideo gives each user 15 free minutes of export before you have 
to start paying for the product.
Saving Images for your WeVideo Project

Students can find and save images from a variety of places on the web.  One site that we
like to use for copyright friendly images is  The great thing about using with our Chromebooks, Google Drive and WeVideo is that there is a 
“Save Image to Drive” button on each image. This allows for very easy collecting of images
for your WeVideo movie.

Another great way to get images into Google Drive to
use with WeVideo is the “Save to Drive” extension from
the Chrome Web Store.  First, install the “Save to Drive”
extension and then once you have found a copyright friendly
image you can right click on the image (two finger click on 
the Chromebook trackpad) and one of the options is to 
“Save Image to Drive.”  This way students will have their 
imagesin Google Drive and can easily import them into their 
WeVideo project.
Classroom Example

Let’s say you went on a field trip to the Science Museum and you wanted students to create a
WeVideo movie sharing what they learned on the field trip.   Make sure that someone on the
field trip takes lots of pictures of the students and all the activities that they were doing.
 When you get back to the classroom, download all the pictures from your phone or camera onto
your desktop computer.
Getting the Image to the Students

One of the easiest ways to get all the images to the students so they can use them in their 
WeVideo movie is to create a shared folder in Google Drive.
1.  Go to Drive and Click on Create>Folder
2.  Once you have clicked on that folder, click on the upload button (to the right of Create) 
and select all the images of your field trip from your desktop so they are upload into Drive.
3.  Share the Folder – hover over the folder until you see the little drop down arrow to the right
of the name of the folder.  Click on Share and then Share again.  Share the folder with each 
of your students in your class.
4.  HINT – if you have all of their email addresses in a spreadsheet you can just copy and
paste from the spreadsheet.
5.  Now that the folder of images is shared with the students, each of them should be able
to access all the images to upload them into their WeVideo project.
WeVideo can also Record from WebCam

Interested in some self reflection from students via video.  Have students go to WeVideo, 
and in the media/video option they can record from WebCam right into their WeVideo project.  
Authentic self assessment or reflection, all captured on video!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Google Art Project and Google Cultural Institute Are Promising Tools for Common Core

EdTechTeam Guest Blogger 
Nicole Naditz
Google Certified Teacher
EdTechTeam Roseville Festival 
ft Google for Education Presenter

Did you know the Google Art Project can provide a way for your students to gain proficiency in Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA) in listening, speaking and writing? While at the EdTechTeam Roseville Festival featuring Google for Education this February, I attended fellow Google Certified Teacher Sean William's session on the Google Art Project and the new Google Cultural Institute and found myself updating my own presentation for later that day (below) with new features I noticed in Google Art Project during our "exploration time" in Sean's session. As a language teacher, I already loved the Google Art Project and had been sharing it with world language teachers since 2011. The project includes incredibly high-quality images from art all over the world.

For language teachers, this provides a quick, always-available source for art from the countries that speak the target language. Those artistic pieces can then be used for a variety of language activities, and more advanced students can engage in analysis or even create written or spoken works in the target language inspired by the art. To make this easier, users can create their own "galleries" by choosing artworks by theme, artist, time period, or any other means of organization the teachers prefer. What I noticed was that there has been an unannounced addition to the features in the galleries: the user who created the gallery can now add video or text annotations to the art. Teachers can use the text feature to provide written commentary for the students to read or to attach a YouTube video related to the art work for students to view.

Depending on the task assigned to students, those written or video annotations can be designed to provide students practice in the skills outlined for reading (informational or literary texts, depending on the nature of the "annotations") and also for listening. Better yet, students can create their own galleries and then add their own annotations to each work. They could even record their own videos and upload them YouTube so that they could be attached to the art works.

There are also some very compelling features that could be extremely beneficial as tools contributing to success in CCSS (in ELA and also the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards expected of all subjects). The most important of these features, in my opinion, is the use of all authentic, primary source documents in the exploration of a topic. To get a taste that will send you on a journey of exploration, try going to the Cultural Institute and in the search bar, type "Hitler" to get a taste of the types of documents available. Most are photos, but there are propaganda posters and other documents as well. Once the search returns results, a new series of options appears on the left, including a way to narrow by year or media type.

For language teachers, this will require a lot of additional exploring to see which topics include primary source documents in the target language, but the collection is quite extensive and could be easily used in social science, visual arts, ELA, and world language classes. Students can speak or write about the documents and photos, analyze multiple documents and explain connections between them, and more, helping students grow in their ability to analyze and to communicate their findings, both of which are key aspects of the ELA grade-level CCSS and the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards in CCSS.

The Many Faces of PD in Napa include the GAFESUMMIT!

Bio:  Sergio Villegas works as the Educational Technology Coordinator in a joint partnership between the Napa County Office of Education and NapaLearns.  Connect with him on twitter at @coach_sv or join him for a Google Hangout at +sergio villegas. The next California event is the 3rd Annual EdTechTeam Flagship California Summit! July 19th and 20th in Palo Alto, California.

Working in the Napa Valley (the town that I grew up in), I have noticed a curious formula emerge around Professional Development in my region:

Progressive School Districts + Organizations Dedicated to Promoting Progressive Ideas + A Beautiful Place to Visit = LOTS of Educational Conferences.

Educators in Napa can roll out of bed and join the following opportunities to learn and grow:  Buck Institute’s PBL World (summer), The NewTech Network West Coast PBL conference (summer), FallCUE conference (Oct), North Bay CUE miniCUE events (Fall/Spring), Napa Valley Education Exchange (May), CUE Rock Star Napa (Feb), and this does not even include a host of Free EdTech Dinner events (twice monthly) that my own County Office of Education puts on!

So when I meet some folks from EdTechTeam at ISTE this summer, (after begging and pleading with them and maybe a few glasses of wine) I was able to convince them that 50,000 EdTech Fans can’t be wrong and #gafesummit Napa would be a great place to hold a mid-year Bay Area event...and it was! 

The EdTechTeam model for Summits really shined at NewTech High School.  I love the way they schedule in 30 minute break between sessions to allow people to decompress, chat with presenters (which everyone should do more of btw...we all LOVE sharing!), and share with each other the best of the ideas they all just learned.  New Tech High School has one of the most enviable common areas you will ever see at a high school and there was a spot of magic in the room as everyone convened around coffee, snacks, and ideas. You can relive the fun they did at the resources site for the event!

Although friends from around the Bay Area were sharing with me various compliments about the quality of the event, it was the reaction of my local Napa educators that has moved me to beg EdTechTeam (yet again) to be featured on their #gafesummit Blog. I'm joining the likes of Cate Tolnai who featured another California event, the Roseville Festival, just a week later in her own blog.
Educators in Napa are hard to impress since they indeed have seen it all (see opening paragraph) and to see 30+ of them say yes to sacrificing two days of their winter vacation (uncompensated) in order to feel like this for 7 hours a day, learning from/with presenters from the Bay Area and beyond, was a fantastic feeling.  Teachers actually thanking ME for making this happen, as if I had anything significant to do with making the event happen (see wine comment paragraph 2).  
My personal favorite was the promise from two principals (both of which have been realized) that they would be doing #slamsessions (a fun end to Day 1 where presenters come up to show 3-minute slams of cool uses of tools) as a regular part of their faculty meetings.  

#GAFEsummit Napa:  By the Numbers

1504 - miles traveled by a group from Oklahoma traveled that was the greatest distance traveled of the people that I spoke with over the week

478 - attendees at two day general event.

43 - presenters from the Bay Area and beyond

12 - Number of retweets and my favorite, my tweet mentioning this must-read (all of it)  reflection of the event written by Lisa DeLapo, who brought her students to present to teachers (seriously, why doesn’t this happen more?).

6 - Teachers that I personally reached out to and encouraged them to present (for the first time) and share the quality work they are doing with a bigger audience. #sharingmatters

5 - Teacher, Trainers, Leaders that Google generously allowed to come work with all of us for a few days.

3 - Number of Students that shared the “Demo Slam” stage (first ever student slam!)

1 - Thankful EdTech Guy in Napa trying to do his part to help all teachers become their own personal version of great.

Immeasurable:  Number of students/teachers that will be empowered by the simple addition of GAFE concepts like sharing to already existing great teaching.

TY EdTechTeam!