Tag Archives: Google Docs

Illinois Computing Educators Conference-Top Fives

Illinois Computing Educators Conference (www.iceberg.org) was held in St. Charles Illinois last week. Here are my top five learning opportunities.

5. Google Docs Rocks

It was sitting room only at the Google Docs sessions. Many teachers are finding easy and practical use of the Google Docs suite.

4. iPad Integration

Everywhere you ended up (and I was at the bar, of course),  the talk of the conference, were IPad Apps. “What is your favorite? What are you using and how?” “What new on ITunes U?” (My recent favorite? Aurasma, augmented reality as seen on TED.)

3. Moving from USING content from the internet to MAKING content for the internet. Nothing new actually, but Wesley Fryer, our excellent keynote speaker, showed us  Kid Blog (kidblog.org) and how adult comments are motivating kids as they produce content for the internet. His address hit my heart strings.

2. Flipping the Classroom

There were workshops and break outs with suggestions about how to “flip” a classroom. I found the application to STEM a perfect fit. I have begun the flipping process!

1. Mash Plant (www.mashplant.com)

“Your Stage. Your Screen. Your Studio.” New on the scene, these are artists by trade looking to give educators a safe place to post work by students. They piloted in the Chicago Public Schools and look FANTASTIC!. I always look for a safe place to put the kids STEM work and I think I found it. All curricular areas are welcomed to sign up and I like how I can see what others are doing. I signed up on the spot and was given the opportunity to SKYPE with Bill Murray or other famous personalities. (They are all buddies in the acting circuits.) Yes, I get pulled in when I can Skype anyone, but I really like to have an authentic audience for the kids projects and I hope this turns out to be my place.

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Just For the Fun Of It: Teacher Training Challenge

I was part of the Illinois Science Teacher Association teacher in-service recently. I have presented at ISTA conferences before but this time it was different. There were five of us, from all over the state of Illinois and we had never met! We were presenting Next Generation Science Standards in a three-hour teacher workshop. Sound daunting?

It was possible with Google Docs.

I use Google Docs with my students in STEM class. The beauty is real time collaboration. Each student can make changes to a document and everyone in the group can see the changes immediately. Every child is on their own computer, participating.

I created a presentation in Google Docs called ISTA Presentation. Google Docs saved the presentation with a designated URL. I shared the document with my four co-presenters. We then used Google Hangout (like Skype) to discuss our ideas together. I was at home on the couch. Talk about a happy hour!  Each of us volunteered to add slides to the document. It was collaborative and friendly.

We finally met one another the day of the conference. We briefly discussed the presentation, making small changes. I admitted I was nervous but confident. The beauty was I had one small part of one large presentation. I wasn’t freaking out, redoing the slides 5 minutes before the presentation. We all adopted a blind faith attitude.

The presentation went beautifully. Our participant surveys were positive and I met some really great teachers.  The experience opened up a whole new way of presenting.

 

 

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