I sat in on Jonathan Wylie's session Green Screen Effects for the iPad Classroom. It was a great session and I have already purchased the app Green Screen by Doink and have several teachers checking their linen piles for a green or blue sheet. I cannot wait for my students to try out this app!
As I check more into this great resource, I also learned that Jonathan Wylie has a wonderful blog with many more resources! Check out his blog by clicking here!
I was very excited to share out the Green Screen app by DoInk with our 1st-12th Art Department! Check out video below! "Art Rocks"
I was SO excited to see that he used and gave a shout out to the amazing Tricia Fuglestad. She is beyond inspirational and is pretty much an icon as far as art teachers go! Check out more of her screen green uses by clicking here. Still wanting more amazingness from Tricia! Check out the buttons below!
The Power of Twitter
To read more of Chelsie's take-aways from ITEC 2014, click here.
However, nothing could prepare me for the tremendous paradigm shift that 1:1 iPads brought to my classroom. I truly felt like I was trying to building an airplane while it was already in the air.
I began that first year with trepidation and frustration. I had no clue how I was going to manage a classroom full of students with immediate access to the internet and to all of the other wonderful advantages the iPad would allow. Recognizing the awesomeness of the iPad was the first step in overcoming my trepidation. Managing it effectively was the second and more difficult hurdle.
It forced me to give up some control of my classroom and to allow students to choose applications that aligned with what we were learning and with needs of each individual student!
iPad Workflow: The Early Days
I had the students utilizing the iPad to research, create, synthesize, analyze, draw, record, and conclude. They were USING the tool. Yet, the MANAGEMENT was literally causing me to want to throw the iPads out the window.
In my mind, there had to be a better way than the system I was using. In the first year, I used email exclusively to send and receive information. I would send an email to a class or a grade with an attachment of what I wanted the students to do. They would complete the task (hopefully), and with any luck, they would send the item back to me via email. Imagine having 120 7th and 8th grade students from 6 different classes! On any given day, I might receive 120 emails with 120 attachments in my email inbox. The emails were received in no particular order at no particular time. Some students would forget to attach the document. Some simply wouldn’t send it. My first intuition was to create email folders with email rules so certain emails from certain students would enter into that class’s folder. For example, Sally is a student in my 3rd period 8th grade class. Any time I received an email from Sally, it would enter into that folder. This helped in de-cluttering my inbox, but the folders were still overwhelming me. If I gave three tasks during the week, I might find time to look at all of them, but how was I going to give the students feedback on their work? How was I going to sort through the multiple assignments to know which email from which student contained the particular assignment or task I was wanting to grade?
The next idea was to encourage students to title their documents. Before this revelation, most students were simply attaching documents that were entitled “blank” or “blank 12” (since it was the 12th untitled document they had created). I figured that if I told them to simply name the document, it would cure all of my ills. It helped, but it wasn’t the answer. Next came titling the emails with an appropriate subject. Instead of sending untitled subject lines, I will tell students to send an email with the title of the assignment (cell venn diagram, for example). Did this improve my 1:1 “work flow” nightmare? Not really.
Year Two Solutions
Year two brought about the revelation of using a website to “post” all of my documents for a particular unit. This helped the kids to have access to my materials whenever they wanted, but it provided no answer for how students were going to submit their work to me. It also provided no effective mechanism for providing feedback to students for the work that they had produced. Year three was just more of the same old, same old. I was posting documents on my lame website and students would try to remember to attach the appropriately named document to an appropriately titled email and send it to me on time. At that point, I would open the email, open the attachment, and evaluate the work. I would then reply to the email with comments about the work that they had completed.
I clearly remember having one class complete a task via this method, and I had another class simply complete the task on paper. Assessing the electronically submitted version took me 3 hours for one class. The paper assessing process took under 30 minutes. It was at this point last year that I was ready to throw in the towel. I would have the students use the iPad for its internet capabilities but would I was no longer to going to use the iPad as my “work flow” management system.
Finally, Google Classroom!
This fall, Google Classroom was introduced. It has solved my nearly all of my “work flow” nightmares. According to Google, “Google Classroom is a learning management system for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments.” Google Classroom was the solution to my problem. No more emails. No more laborious grading procedures via email and other apps. No more “blank 12” documents. No more wondering whether a student submitted their assignment in on time. Google Classroom has a cure for all of those ills.
Each assignment has its own subfolder within each class folder. Google Classroom has been my “work flow” savior. It does everything it says it does. My students love it. I love it. I truly feel I am utilizing and managing my 1:1 devices to their maximum potential. My classroom is being run more efficiently. My time and my students’ time are being used more effectively.
Google Classroom Screenshots
This is a screenshot of a stream. Each classroom has a stream where you can post assignments or announcements. Note that each assignment can have a due date assigned to it. Documents are attached to the assignment. Classroom keeps track of who has and who has not turned it in. It will even show you if they turn it in late.
This is the view you get as a teacher when you click on a specific assignment. Note, I have not graded this one yet. It gives you a choice regarding what point value you want to assign the task. You can post the grade right on this screen. You can also post a private note to the student. Know also that whatever you grade you post can only be seen by the student that receives the grade. The student screen will only show their grade.
The idea of Pony Club is to create character among the equestrian youth, through the care of their horses combined with the mounted activities. Pony Club is in the United States, which is divided up into different regions which consists of individual local clubs. In relation to me, I am a member of the United States Pony Club (America as a whole), in the North Central Prairie Region (geography wise, half of Iowa and the majority of Illinois), and participate in the club of Silver Bits (located in the Waverly/Cedar Falls/Waterloo/Dike/New Hartford, Iowa area).
Twice a year, the club leaders and those who hold positions in the region meet to discuss issues and finalize events and scheduling. Three years ago, an agenda at the spring meeting was whether or not to create a Junior Board- club members meeting certain age and level requirements to give feedback on our events, provide opportunities we lack, and to help progress the region to where we would like to see it go.
Being a member of the WSR Tech Team, I have experienced being organized by Google. I had the thought, “I wonder if I could set up our own system.” And so I have! I have set up a contact group, created and shared a few documents (including our minutes, attendance, and one being used as a forum to brainstorm for an upcoming event). Looking into the future, we could easily expand and use it to send out surveys, make presentations, keep our financials in a spreadsheet for instantaneous updates, upload and share videos, put our meetings and events on the Google Calendar (which includes a feature to ask for RSVPs), and meet via the Hangout video chat (which does allow those without the capability to call in on their cell phones for free). The door has opened to a whole new world of communication- allowing those who have been less involved and out of the loop to now keep up.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” said Arthur C. Clarke. Magic is flying over jumps, hearing whineys signifying dinner time, the tickling of whiskers while feeding treats, and- as it turns out- Google.
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