Google Classroom Updates & Best Practices Fall 2016

Best Practices for Setting Up Sections of Google Classroom Courses: DON’T delete students from prior year/semester courses and invite your new students. They’ll have access to everything you did BEFORE you probably want them to! DO archive your old courses to clean up your “home” screen clutter. This will also help clean up student screens, as they won’t see your archived section from last year. DO plan on a common naming convention for assignments in Google Classroom within your PLC. (You’ll see why...) DO plan on having your students join your class via the Class Code. Much easier than inviting each one.

Setting Up a “Storehouse” in Google Classroom For Your PLC One of the nice (new-ish) features in Google Classroom is the ability to reuse old posts from any of your other sections. A useful tip for anyone working with others in a PLC is to create a section in Google Classroom that has ZERO students. Name it after your PLC or something that denotes its function as a digital file cabinet of…

Google Summer Updates from ISTE 2016

Hi everyone! Here are some of the really great updates that were released by Google this week (June 27-30). I hope you spend some time challenging yourself and exploring these great new features this summer!

50% OFF Google Level 1 Certified Educator Code (expires July 6) Google said we could share out a code to to take the Level 1 Certification Exam. I challenge anyone and everyone to take some time and try this out. You can do it! Costs a mere $5 with the coupon code (GOOGLE_ISTE_LVL1_50) Check out the training site here, and then click on "Learn More" in the Educator Level 1 box. Plus, you get a cool digital badge that you can display with pride! **Check out sidebar of this blog on the right :-)
Quizzes in Google Forms
Many of you have probably used Flubaroo to auto grade quizzes you made using Google Forms. This add on is AWESOME, and still has some additional features not in built in Quizzes, so it shouldn't exactly be discarded. The new feature in Forms DOES make i…

MACUL 16 - Guest Post by Katie Steenstra

MACUL 2016 Originally posted at Katie's blog After attending the two-day MACUL conference with several of my WO folks, I am re-energized about next year's 1:1 adventures.

Keynote speaker Jaime Casapemphasized the importance of preparing our students for the real world that awaits them rather than the one that many of us experienced in our youth (Research then = a trip to the public library. Research now = the world at one's fingertips). He talked about what education has made possible for not only him, but also his three kids and the generations to follow. It was a great big-picture reminder of why I do what I do.
Blended Writing Workshops with Joanna Van Raden Van Raden, a veteran elementary special-ed teacher whose tech-savvy methods helped her find success in her 1:1 classroom, demonstrated how she uses the flipped-classroom format to teach K-5 blended writing workshop. She finds value in allowing students to work at their own pace by providing linked minilessons and mentor…

Force Recipient to "Make a Copy" of a Doc

Sorry for lack of posts here, have been sharing many tips & tricks on the WOPS YouTube Channel! Very excited for the first day of Secondary WO Tech Academy today also! See you there 6-12 teachers...

Detailed instructions are below, but here's a short video that details how to do this also:

This is a very useful tip for those of us that share Doc or Sheet templates with others on a regular basis. It's always a bummer when someone inadvertently changes the template you shared with them, even with the instructions "DO NOT EDIT THIS TEMPLATE!" somewhere in the share email, or in the Doc itself! Fortunately, there's an easy fix. Check out the actual Doc of the info below if it suits you to see it in that format.

I want them to have to make a copy of this document on their own so they can edit & store it wherever they want, while not messing up the original.

Enter: the copy function - sneaky fix (Thanks to Alice Keeler, which is where I first heard about this trick.…

1st Week Back: WO Rocks Twitter

It's been a great first week back! Staff returned earlier this week after another "Pure Michigan" summer. The heat & humidity will make it feel like summer is going on for another few weeks at least, but we're just about to have students back in our classrooms!

It seems like the last few years, there's been an increase in social media presence on behalf of our staff. Specifically, if you're following and checking (even infrequently) you can see the excitement out there from your colleagues for the beginning of another school year.  As a parent new to the school experience (my son is about to start kindergarten) I know that when I see engaged and excited teachers it makes me feel better about sending my own child off to learn in their hands. It was summed up best by an awesome WO parent, and when I saw this on Twitter, I immediately hit retweet!
You feel that WO? There's some serious positive energy flowing through our community, fueled by our awesome…

WO to Leyden July 2015

Spending the last three days in July at East Leyden High School with 17 other WO educators (plus about 350 like-minded professionals from around the region) was fantastic!  We had a great three days of learning from the presenters, and sharing with one another using #lhs1to1 and #woplc on Twitter. If you've never used TweetDeck to follow a conversation and add to it on Twitter, it's a pretty great app/interface! We also created a Community in Google+ to share longer posts and resources from sessions.  Whole lotta sharin' goin' on.  The great folks at Leyden kicked off the Summer Symposium with enthusiasm (and some humor), letting us know that the theme of the conference was The Princess Bride, which is one of my favorite comedies of all time, so that was a good start! Presenters did a nice job of working in movie quotes too that gave us all a frequent chuckle.

Keynotes The keynotes that started each of the three days were all awesome. Catlin Tucker shared about her ex…