Welcome to the next installment of our Guest Blogging Series! This post comes from Christina Tsuei a teacher at Murdock-Portal Elementary.
Now, more than ever, technology allows us to stay connected to the world around us. Twitter is an online social networking tool in which users can post 140 character updates of what is going on in their lives.
In my multiage elementary classroom, my twitter account is primarily available for my classroom parents to get a live update of what is going on in their child’s classroom throughout the day. Too often, students go home and tell their parents they had a “good” day and they learned “nothing” that day. My twitter account gives parents a way to get the inside scoop of their daily educational experience.
Throughout the week, I give students the opportunity to come up with questions that relate to something they have learning in class so that parents can feel connected to their child’s learning experiences and they can ask their child meaningful questions. This provides opportunity to have an open dialogue between home and school. Parents also have the ability to tweet our class back.
Our twitter instructions are as follows:
- Take a Post It note
- Write your tweet
- Stick it on the display under the correct heading
Heading choices are:
- “What did you learn today?”
- “What did you enjoy doing today?”
- “What did you find challenging today?”
- “What did you do to be of service to others today?”
Our class twitter account also follows other teachers locally and around the world. My students were able to skype with a class in Palo Alto and dialogue about what they were learning and experiencing. The class has really enjoyed being connected to the world around them through Twitter!
You do not need a twitter account to read the tweets. Instead just click on this link: https://twitter.com/MsTsuei and you’ll be able to see recent tweets. If you are a twitter user, feel free to follow @MsTsuei!
We are here live in Palm Springs at the Annual Spring CUE Conference! If you aren’t here with us, no worries follow along via Twitter with the #CUE14.
Greg is about to present Formative Assessments on Mobile Device where he will cover
Tomorrow I will be presenting on Create a Positive Digital Footprint with ePortfolios where I will cover
Stay tuned for our collaborative blog post with our main takeaways from this three day conference. We will also provide you a link to our collaborative Google Doc notes.
I spent my second day of GAFE learning from Jason Markey @JasonMMarkey, Will Kimbley @willkimbley, and Trevor Mattea @tsmattea – follow all of them right now on Twitter!
Jason Markey, AKA National Digital Principal Award Winner – huge congratulations! Shared how his school – East Leyden High in Farklin Park, IL – has implemented a student run tech support. These students fix all tech related issues, if they cannot they send it off to IT. They have a digital tracking system and have seen about 9,500 tickets come through the door in the past 18 months. Students have been able to solve 91% of them and the other 9% were sent to IT. Of those 91% issues the students were able to solve 97% of them. AMAZING! Kids did a 2 day boot camp to learn about how to fix the problems that kids and staff might have. We did a Google Hangout with their students – nice touch buddy, nice touch – and they talked about how majority of the issues they see are students who have forgotten their password, need a new charging port, or have a cracked screen. Kids know how to input new charging chips into the chromebooks motherboard and just charge the student the fee for the new part which is $2.50.
Who doesn’t want Tech Support from Harry Styles?
Trevor did a great presentation on digital portfolios with Google Sites and his 3rd grade students. It is so great to see the amazing things his kids are doing with their own personal portfolio! Wish I had made one when I was in third grade that I could look back on.
Will shared some of his tricks for Google Forms and I am very excited to try them out! Check out this PDF on how to make an instant feedback quiz: Google Forms – Instant Feedback Quizzes
I was lucky enough to attend the GAFE Summit in Napa last week and walked away with some amazing tips, tricks, tools and some new Twitter friends.
First session I went to shared how it can be overwhelming to attend these conferences, and I couldn’t agree more! You take frantic notes and step by step guides of what to do when you get home. Then you get home and realize that you have stuff to grade, staff meetings to attend and the normal events of everyday life ahead. When you finally have time to look at some of the things you have learned, everything has changed!
If you aren’t using YouTube as a learning device you need to start, and you need to start today. If you search “google sites tutorial” the videos with the most hits will come up first. Since Google changes all the time, that tutorial is probably out of date and the buttons won’t be in the same location as what you are seeing now. After you search, filter out your results to the most recent.
During the Google Slam I was introduced to the following
- Demoslam.com – watch Google Demo Slams whenever you want and vote for your favorites
- Lucid Chart – Note taking and mind mapping website that links to your GAFE – Google Apps for Education or your @cusdschools.org account.
- Livebinders – Middle School Science teacher has a livebinder for each class and every tab corresponds to that day’s activity. One location where you students need to go, and no excuse for being absent and not knowing what to do.
- Power Searching with Google – Check out this online class you can take to learn how to become a Power Searcher!
- Google Maps Engine Lite – You can import data from a Google Spreadsheet and organize locations. Learn more about how you can play with Google Maps here
- WeVideo – Very powerful video editing tool
Then my favorite was the Stink Eye! If you have students working on a Google Doc and have all those docs in one folder, you select the Docs you would like to look at and you will see the “eye” button appear. If you select that it will let you preview all the Docs you have selected. So you can quickly check in and see how much students have completed without fully opening the Doc.
Twitter is a powerful tools for educators and it is easy to search for tweets based on hashtags. I have listed some of my favorite tweets to search for, and ones that I also make sure I include in my tweets.
General Educational Hashtag
#edchat – General conversations about education. I would suggest attaching this to every tweet that has to do with education.
#edtechchat or #edtech – Conversations about technology in education.
#iPadEd or #iPadChat – Conversations about iPads in the classroom.
#FlippedClass or #FlippedTeaching – Conversations about Flipped Classrooms.
#CCSS – Conversations about Common Core.
#NTChat – Conversations targeted for new teachers .
Hashtags By Subject:
#MathChat (Math) – #SciChat (Science) – #EngChat (English) – #ArtsEd (Art) – #MusEdChat (Music) – #SSChat (Social Studies) – #HistoryTeacher (History)