Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tech Tip Tuesday: Creating a Limited-Access quiz in Google Forms


One of the most frequent questions I get from teachers is how they can post a quiz that can only be accessed by students who are present on the day the quiz is given- not by students who are absent. Since Google Classroom does not (yet) have the capability to allow teachers to assign work to some students but not others, anyone can currently access any work that is posted to the stream. Therefore, this solution requires a little creativity!

First, go ahead and create your quiz in Google forms. You can even go ahead and set it to be self-grading if you want. I always include a name field first thing on my quizzes, just in case something goes glitchy with the email address collection. I've never had this happen, but you never know. Plus, it's just good practice to keep the kids putting their name on everything!

This video shows the process from there step-by-step!


Thanks for coming by. I hope this helps you to better manage quiz access with your students!



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#ELLEdTech Twitter Chat: Topic: Tools for Teaching Tolerance, Promoting Cultural Awareness, and Countering Bullying

Our next #ELLEdTech Twitter Chat is this Sunday, November 20 at 7pm EST. Given many of the events of discrimination and bullying that have followed in the wake of the election, we've decided to deviate from our original topic for this month and address something more timely. This month's topic is Tools for Teaching Tolerance, Promoting Cultural Awareness, and Countering Bullying. Join us to share your favorite tech tool and learn about others!


Questions and Timeline
7:00 = Tell us your name, location, level and subject taught #ELLEdTech
7:05 Q1: What resources/tools do you recommend for preventing bullying or dealing with discrimination? #ELLEdTech
7:13 = Q2: How do these resources help ELLs? Schools with diverse populations? #ELLEdTech
7:21 = Q3: What should teachers know before using these resources? #ELLEdTech
7:29 = Q4: Are there any challenges Ts might encounter when using these resources? #ELLEdTech 
7:37 = Q5: What advice do you have for teachers who are trying to support ELLs who've been bullied or faced discrimination? #ELLEdTech

Directions for Joining the Chat:
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern Daylight Time.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.
4. Starting at 7:05, @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.
7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurlbitly,goo.gl or ow.ly to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet . If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.

Is this your first Twitter chat? Here are our rules:
1. Please stay on topic.
2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked. 
3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.
4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!
5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.
6. When responding to someone, please be sure to "mention" them by including their Twitter handle.
7. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, teachers, school staff, administrators--may see what you tweet.) 

You are welcome to let any of your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us know about this Twitter chat. We can't wait to chat with you on Sunday evening!

Can't make it to the chat? Check out the archives to see what you missed! (The archive is not currently showing everything. I'm still working on a better solution for chat archives- if you have one- please let me know!!)



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

GSuite for Education- Understanding the Sharing Settings


This year has been a little strange and incredibly busy for me at school. As a result, I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I would like to. However, I recently encountered a GSuite question about sharing settings that inspired this blog post.

Sharing settings are so important so that we can ensure that we are following copyright laws, keeping student information private, and storing information responsibly.

How do I share a document?
This quick video outlines the procedure for sharing a document on Google Drive.

Sharing Settings
Keep in mind that this part is specific to GSuite for Education- we have a few more options and protections available than normal Google users. Yay!

Sharing via Email
It's best to share via email when you're only sharing with a few specific people, such as a grade level team or an administrator. When sharing via email, you have three options:

  • Can view- the person you are sharing with via email can only view the item. They will be able to make a copy or share with others however, unless you take additional protections (see below)
  •  Can comment- when you select this option, the person you are sharing with via email will be able to make comments and suggestions, but they will not actually be able to edit the document in any way. You can accept or reject their comments and suggestions
  • Can edit- this setting gives the other person full editing rights to make any changes to the document, share with others, etc. 
Link Sharing
Link sharing is best when you are sharing with a large group of people, such as an entire school or district, or when sharing with parents. Please note that in some GSuite domains, administrators have chosen to enable settings that prevent sharing outside the domain. When you use link sharing, you have several options that combine with the options above. You will still need to decide whether those you share it with via link can edit, comment or view, as outlined above.
The first two choices, if your organization's GSuite Administrator has not disabled them, allow you to share outside your school or district domain. Proceed with extreme caution when using these options:

  • Public on the web- when you select this setting, anyone on the internet can find and access these documents. They are searchable and can show up in Google Search Results. 
  • Anyone with the link- these documents are also accessible to anyone on the internet, but only if they have a direct link. These are not searchable and cannot be found in a Google Search. 

The last two choices allow you to share easily within your domain, and are not accessible by anyone who is not signed into an account associated with your school or district domain.

  • Your domain- anyone in your domain can find these documents on Drive and access them
  • Anyone at your domain with link- anyone in your domain can access these documents, but must have a link to do so.
Please remember, you still must choose whether those you share with via link can view, comment, or edit.

Additional Protection
When sharing a document with others, Google allows you to add some additional protections to help protect your work and that of others. From the sharing tab, follow the "advanced" link in the lower right corner as shown in the image below.
Next, you will get a screen that looks like this:
With this screen you can change permissions you've already given, such as reverting an editor to a viewer or revoking access altogether. Down at the bottom, in the area circled red in the above picture, you're also provided a few special options as the document owner.

  • Prevent editors from changing access and adding new people: this setting prevents other editors on the document from changing any sharing settings or sharing with others
  • Disable options to download, print, and copy for commenters and viewers: when you select this setting, only editors will be able to download, print, or copy. Other viewers will only be able to view the document and will not be able to do anything else with it, including copy it to their drive

Publishing to the Web
Another way to share a document is by publishing it to the web (found in the file menu of the open document).

When a document is shared to the web it is viewable by anyone and can be picked up in Google Searches unless you click the option that requires users to sign into their school account on your domain (shown in the image below). This is the case regardless of whatever other settings you have on the document. Once it is published to the web, it is no longer private until you click the "stop publishing" button.

I hope this better help you to understand how Google's myriad sharing settings work and helps you to choose wisely to protect sensitive student information and follow copyright laws!






Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What's in a name?


As an instructional coach, I get to work with both ESOL and mainstream teachers alike to help them improve many aspects of their professional practice, from instruction to collaboration with colleagues to cultural awareness. Recently, I met with an ESOL specialist who expressed frustration that one of the teachers she was working with refused to spell two of her students' names correctly, even after the correct spelling was shown to her in the students' registration documents. It broke my heart to hear this.

Identity & Respect
To me, name is an important part of a person's identity. My name is not all that difficult- Laurah- but it still frequently is misspelled when people drop the "h". Other times, people move the "h" to the end of my last name instead. This seems like a small thing, but getting a person's name correct- whether you're spelling it or saying it- shows that you've taken the time to address them properly, and is a small sign of respect. If this is something that bothers me even as an adult, it surely bothers the children. I know it bothered me when I was in school, too. When someone persists with the mispronunciation or misspelling even after being corrected, I tend to lose respect for that person, because I perceive a lack of respect on their part for me.

Culture, Family and Heritage
When parents find out that they're expecting, they usually spend a great deal of time selecting a name that they feel is just right for their little bundle of joy- including the spelling they use. When you disregard the importance of pronouncing or spelling the child's name correctly, you are sending a message- whether you mean to or not- that the student and their culture or family are not important; that it is not worth your time or effort to pronounce or spell their name correctly. Is that really a message you want to send to your students or their parents? You don't have to get it right the first time- asking the student to teach you to say or spell their name properly is enough to show that you respect the student as a person, you respect their culture, and that you feel they are "important enough" to say or spell their name properly.

Bigotry and Microaggression
Former educator Jennifer Gonzalez from the Cult of Pedagogy describes mispronouncing a student's name is a "tiny act of bigotry" and reminds us that such an act communicates to a student that because their name is different or foreign, it's not worth your time to get it right. Making a mistake is fine- but refusing to try (such as saying "or whatever" when you bungle the name instead of trying again) or insisting that your pronunciation is "good enough" is a type of microaggression that can undermine learning in your classroom. Looking at this from another viewpoint, a common way in our culture of making fun of someone is to bungle up their name and make a joke of it. This happens because names are such an important part of who we are that changing it to something unflattering can cause a great deal of hurt!

Make a Change
Think back over your time as an educator- have you made a genuine effort to correctly spell and pronounce your students' names correctly? If not- it's time for a change! This is yet another chance for you to grow as an educator. Take the student or family aside and ask them to teach you to say or spell the difficult name correctly. I can almost guarantee that they will be happy to take the time to do it, and their estimation of you will rise in the process. For some students and families, you may be the first person who has even tried. If you need to, create a pronunciation guide for yourself and keep it somewhere you'll see it when taking attendance or grading papers- like your gradebook or as a sticky note on your computer screen.

School should be a safe place for our students to come and learn. There are so many other things in their lives that can cause anxiety and interfere with learning- how their teacher pronounces or spells their name shouldn't be on the list.





References

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tech Tip Tuesday: Troubleshooting in Google Classroom


As a Certified Google Education Trainer, I get a lot of questions about Google Classroom. Here are some of the most common questions I get and their solutions! To make an image larger, just click on it!

How do I post one assignment to multiple classrooms?

I need to rename a classroom. How do I do that?

How can I schedule an assignment to appear at a future time?

How can I reuse a post from last year's classroom?

When creating an assignment, how can I make a copy of a document for every student?
Please keep in mind that this option is only available the first time you create the assignment before clicking the blue "assign" button. It is not available when editing a previously posted or scheduled assignment.

How can I keep students from commenting on posts and assignments?

I hope you find this reference useful as you work to implement Google Classroom!




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#ELLEdTech Twitter Chat: Tools for Helping Teachers Learn More About Working with ELLs

Our next #ELLEdTech Twitter Chat is this Sunday, August 21 at 7pm EDT. This month's topic is Tools for Helping Teachers Learn More About Working with ELLs. Join us to share your favorite tech tool and learn about others!


Questions and Timeline
7:00 = Tell us your name, location, level and subject taught #ELLEdTech
7:05 Q1: What tech tools do you recommend to teachers of ELLs? #ELLEdTech
7:13 = Q2: Who are these tools aimed at: ESOL/mainstream/SPED teachers, coaches,  admins? #ELLEdTech
7:21 = Q3: How do they help educators who work with ELLs? #ELLEdTech
7:29 = Q4: What’s your biggest challenge in getting educators to use these tools?? #ELLEdTech
7:37 = Q5: How do you persuade teachers to use these tools? #ELLEdTech

Directions for Joining the Chat:
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern Daylight Time.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.
4. Starting at 7:05, @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.
7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurlbitly,goo.gl or ow.ly to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet . If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.

Is this your first Twitter chat? Here are our rules:
1. Please stay on topic.
2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked. 
3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.
4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!
5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.
6. When responding to someone, please be sure to "mention" them by including their Twitter handle.
7. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, teachers, school staff, administrators--may see what you tweet.) 

You are welcome to let any of your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us know about this Twitter chat. We can't wait to chat with you on Sunday evening!

Can't make it to the chat? Check out the archives to see what you missed! (The archive is not currently showing everything. I'm still working on a better solution for chat archives- if you have one- please let me know!!)