I came across Flipgrid as I was preparing to facilitate professional development last summer. It is one of the hottest technology tools being used right now, and I am anxious for some of our teachers to grab hold of this tool and run with it.
What if you had an easy way for students (or anyone) to share their thoughts, ideas, stories...their voices? What if they could pick up their phones or use their Chromebooks to quickly record a video of themselves responding to a question or sharing their thoughts, and what if all of the responses were organized in a grid for you to view? What if students could respond to each other and ignite conversations with other students in our school or anywhere in the world?
All of our students need practice speaking and knowing how to express themselves clearly and concisely. We often attack this by having students get in front of the room and give speeches or presentations. Flipgrid offers another alternative and breaks down classroom walls allowing students to express themselves anytime, anywhere.
Want to try it yourself? Go to my PLN Grid and share your favorite technology tool.
If you decide to give it a try, I would love to hear how you use it. Invite me to your grid!
The Flipgrid website has tons of integration ideas and resources!
Follow @flipgrid on Twitter for even more inspiration.
Keep in mind...
Chromebooks were built for the web. They are efficient machines that take full advantage of GSuite apps. Sometimes as Chromebook users we find ourselves without internet access - this is when the device’s offline capabilities become handy. Google Drive is just one of the GSuite apps available offline, and with a few steps we can enable students to work when WiFi is unavailable.
Chromebooks: Make Google Drive Available Offline
The Chromebook syncs your most recently opened documents, so they can be made available without an internet connection. To work on a document, open Drive and click on the document. You will notice a small lightning bolt icon near the title of the document - this lets you know you are working offline. Changes to the file will be synced the next time your Chromebook connects to the Internet.
It is important to know that Google Classroom is NOT available offline. Most students and teachers use this app to manage assignments, so be aware of what you can and can’t do without access.
A student works diligently preparing a presentation to share with the class. Presentation time comes, and the student logs in to the teacher’s computer to share it on the classroom screen. This transition can use a chunk of precious class time. The ability to share student screens on the classroom’s big screen is an important part of any one to one program. Google has made it quick and easy to share student screens with the Google Cast for Education app. Here's how it works:
The classroom screen is no longer about what the teacher shares. It’s about allowing each student to show off their work, reveal knowledge, or even share a discovery.
Apps are mostly enhanced shortcuts that optimize the website within the browser. Some apps function primarily when the device is online, but others allow users to complete offline tasks also.
Here are some benefits of using apps:
Google Chromebooks come with several apps already in place. Many of the tasks you complete on a desktop or laptop can be completed on a Chromebook with those built-in apps.
Want to create a self grading quiz? Try Forms.
Need to backup the documents on your computer? Try Drive.
Want to edit video? Try YouTube Video Editor.
Take a few minutes to learn more about built-in apps and the resources available in the chart below.
One of the things I love about preparing for technology professional development is finding new resources and ideas. Kristy and I accumulated a large number of web applications, Google resources, and integration ideas over the summer that we will share throughout the year. This post features a technology content and curation site - Common Sense Education.
Common Sense Education (formerly Graphite)
Common Sense is probably best known for its digital citizenship resources, but don't visit this site without checking out the ratings and reviews of apps, games, and websites. https://www.commonsense.org/education/reviews/all
One of the best things about being a teacher in a digital world is having so many resources readily available. This is also one of the most frustrating things. There's so much out there! How can you tell which resources are valuable and which are a waste of time? This site uses reviews based on a rubric to evaluate the learning potential of each digital learning tool. In addition to the in-depth analysis of the tools, the site provides insights from teachers on how to use them in the classroom. Reading a review is like listening to advice from a mentor with experience leveraging technology in the classroom.
Common Sense Education also has excellent lesson plans and practical ideas to incorporate a variety of teaching strategies - all with transformative technology integration in mind.
Another school year is coming to a close. As you work through your end of the year to do list, you begin tossing unnecessary papers, cleaning up the top of your desk that you haven’t seen in weeks, and filing away documents you may need again next year. It feels nice to have an organized space once again, but wait, are you hiding the same type of clutter on your devices? Here are a few tips to help you clean up your devices and keep the clutter away.
Dana Lane is a Technology Coordinator, and Kristy Graham is an Instructional Technology Specialist - both at Rivercrest School District. They are passionate about technology and learning and enjoy sharing this passion with teachers and students.