Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GAFE Examples

1)  Google Drive:  Here is what my Google Drive looks like. There are several documents in each folder such as Word documents, spreadsheets, Google Forms (surveys), etc.

2)  Google Sites:  Here is what my Google Sites page looks like.  I can work easily in each of my sites from this page while keeping them all straight.

3)  Google Calendars:  Here is an example of Google Calendars.  With several calendars created, I am able to choose which ones to show (color coordinated) on a particular calendar that I choose to share with a specified person or group.  For instance, I can show my tennis team a calendar with our match schedule, the HCPSS schedule, and the Hammond HS schedule.  I would not activate my geometry calendar for my tennis team website.

Google Apps for Education (GAFE)

The fifth web 2.0 tool that I would like to discuss and share is GAFE.  As I learn more about this tool by using it, I continue to be amazed at the efficiency and organizational power of this software.  Granted, the HCPSS version can be a bit confusing at first because most teachers maintain three separate Google accounts.  However, learning the ins and outs of GAFE as I prepared for my group's summer tech sessions has opened my eyes to the value that it offers teachers.

Below is the a piece of the menu of apps that are offered in this program.  There are many more apps than are shown, but the apps shown are the most prevalent to teachers in my experience.

The Drive app allows the user to house and share documents of many sorts.  The user can choose to share each document with specified people or groups of people.

The Calendar app allows a teacher, among other functions, to communicate with students and parents daily by simply posting messages, assignments, etc.

The Sites app allows teachers to create websites as needed.  For example, I maintain a main website, a geometry website, a tennis website, and a volleyball website.

Again, there are many other apps that are useful in this program.  I would argue that a teacher could use GAFE almost exclusively to create an extensive and meaningful online relationship with students, parents, and other teachers alike.

Check out the video below by Google Enterprise.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

For those of you that may not be familiar with Skype, their website features a series of tutorials that explain and demonstrate the features of Skype.  The various videos can be found in a section called Skype essentials.

The link to Skype essentials is here.

Be sure to also explore the features that are available with Skype mobile.  In the high school where I currently teach, virtually every student owns a smart phone.  I imagine that this will be the main access point to Skype by students and teachers as school districts continue to remove bans on personal electronic devices in classrooms.

The fourth web 2.0 tool that I would like to discuss is Skype.  Many people, including myself, have been using Skype for years for personal reasons.  With family members on the other side of the world, my wife and I both rely on Skype to keep in touch with them through audio and visual.  As a teacher, I had not thought about using Skype in the classroom until recently.  Obviously, the possibilities are endless in connecting with other classrooms or guest speakers.  I suppose there is also potential for teacher to student communication outside of the classroom, but I would likely use Skype in this capacity myself.

Check out video below about Skype in the classroom.  

Jenny had some great questions about the report features of Quizlet !  I have taken a few screen shots of the sample Quizlet that I created.  I included a screenshot of the quiz that I created, the quiz after the student hits submit, and the teacher report.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Regarding weebly, I was thinking that I could assign each student to create a weebly website as an icebreaker activity at the beginning of year.  I created a weebly for myself as an example for students to use.  The link can be found here.  I would like to invite each student in my upcoming classes to create a weebly website to let me know about themselves.  There is also a nifty contact information feature that students can include (that I would require) to give me an instant database of contact information!

To create a weeby website, go this site.
The third tool that I would like to share is a website creating tool called weebly.  I have not used this tool before but I was impressed by the ease of use.  The basic account is free and can be customized to the user's taste.  A user can create several pages for each website.  I find weebly to be significantly easier to use than google websites and I therefore would feel more comfortable asking my student to create a site in this forum.  Inserting pictures, texts, and links is done in a template format and can be done quite intuitively.

 Check out the video below and then check weebly out for yourself!