Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration



Last week was a great week of chatting…

No, we didn’t have our feet up eating bon-bons in my office space, talking about the beautiful fall weather…

Instead, I really got to listen to teachers tell me where they want to be heading with their students. These conversations led to me asking lots of questions and showing teachers different possibilities in Google and with apps to help them get started with achieving their student as well as professional goals.

Did I always have an answer?


At least, many times last week I really had to stop and think… about the desired outcome and what was the most developmentally appropriate and manageable way to make it happen. And I think we came up with some great ideas and next steps if I do say so myself.

For example, a teacher wanted an easy way for students pass in work to her when working on an iPad. In the past, we had been using Dropbox, but she wanted them getting into Google Drive and sharing with her. After many different ideas, we came up with a quick solution that also marked the students work so she knew from whom it was coming (an issue with Dropbox): make a Google Classroom Assignment. Students then can log into GC on the iPads and add an attachment to the Assignment and submit to the teacher. Anything that is in the camera roll can be attached, and Classroom names and organizes the attached work for her. Easy, peasy. Let the flood gates of creation, submission and then sharing on her projector begin and keep going! To many this may seem like a no brainer, but for us the workflow of sharing on a community iPad to the teacher has been a challenge in the past. We’re excited about this new procedure.

I like to think last week’s conversations really got my brain fired up.

Let’s keep it rolling… let’s chat soon!

Editing Roles in Google Docs


OK… your students are using Google Docs, but are they harnessing the power of peer editing/collaboration?

Even with pencil and paper, asking students to give constructive feedback and edits to a peer’s work is challenging and even overwhelming for students. Some focus only on spelling while others only want to say “Good job!”

I watched a SimpleK12 presentation, “Facilitate a Writing Workshop Using Google Docs” by Susan Oxnevad, today and a real take away that I wanted to share is the jobs that she assigns for editing. I’m sure they are not something that you haven’t seen before in other subject areas or with paper/pencil tasks; however, sometimes when we go digital we forget about or do away with the great approaches that we used when we were non-digital.

Essentially, Oxnevad suggests putting students into groups. The students share (via Google) his/her Doc with each other within that group, and then the teacher assigns each student an editing role for that particular group. Next the training happens. The teacher does a mini-lesson with students of the same role so they understand how to do their respective jobs. Finally, students complete the assigned role for his/her shared group, using the tools of Google (commenting, suggesting, Research Tool). Of course over time with different assignments, roles change and new students are trained again and again. Perhaps, even new groups could be formed at this point.

This system just seemed so logical and practical to me about how to get students editing and collaborating with one another in Google.

Go here to see Oxnevad’s suggested list of jobs and responsibilities. I’m hoping this may help a teacher take the next step in having students share Docs with peers in the role of editors/collaborators!

Recommended Read: 7 Lesser-known Google Ideas for the Classroom


Yesterday, I read a jam packed post from SimpleK12 about using Google with students. I am passing along the link to that post in my blog today as I think it’s a goody that should not be missed!

Go here to see the 7 Lesser-known Google Ideas for the Classroom by Kimber Thompson. There are some great, short videos for the various ideas to check out, too, if you don’t want to get bogged down with reading! Busy, busy, time of year for all of us!

Let me know if you see anything that you’d like to try.

Make a Self-Graded Quiz in Google Forms – Fast!


Did you know that you can quickly turn that Google Form into a quiz that gives students immediate feedback with a grade and lets you view the results individually or collectively and even graphically?

I needed to update a Responsible Use Policy quiz for this school year that I had made years ago with another program. I no longer have that software, so I decided to remake my quiz in Google Forms. At first, I was thinking: I’m going to have to look at the results as they come into the spreadsheet and figure out how to set up a grading system. I’ve always liked how my old quiz program gave students immediate feedback that I could look at right on their screens. Wasn’t I elated to see under Settings today in Google Forms the option to make my Form into a graded quiz that did a lot of the work for me!? I also was thrilled that the assessment data is collected and archived for me… something my old program did not do. Therefore, if a student clicked out of the quiz without showing me at the end, s/he had to take it over to prove their score to me. (And that did happen on occasion!)

If you work in the Westford Public Schools, try out my demo quiz here. I have it set to collect usernames, so people have to sign in. That’s an option that I like to use with students so they are not giving out too much personal information on an online questionnaire, and I can identify them easily. It also gives them good practice with logging into their accounts. Furthermore, I have it set to not let them skip questions… another option, so just do your best educated guesses if something’s not applicable or you’re not sure of an answer. (I won’t share your score with anyone, promise!)

Learn how to make one of these quizzes here at Google’s glorious Docs Editors Help. It has step by step directions!

Furthermore, I just did a search to see if anyone had made a video about this feature…voilĂ ! SimpleK12 has one in their 3-Minute Classroom Problem Solvers! Check it out:

Or contact me, and I’d be happy to coach you through it and chat about the possibilities of using Google Form Quizzes with your students.

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Summer PD


Looking for some free summer PD to help you make progress with student and professional practice goals?

Here are a few places that may help:

SimpleK12 Educational Webinars

(Don’t forget that Westford has accounts if something is not FREE, and you can make an individual professional development plan to earn PDPs from the District!)

Verizon Mobile Learning Academy Course Webinars

Education Week Webinars


Inspire: Virtual Community of Practice Course

(For Westford educators through the “University of Westford”)

EdTechTeacher Webinars

(Subscribe to find out when they will become available!)

Happy Summer!

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