Sunday, August 24, 2014

Helpful Hint: Forcing to Make a Copy of a Shared File

With the first week of school (albeit a short one!) completed, it was soo exciting to see the integration of technology already occurring in our classrooms.  Yes, the new passwords were a challenge, but once the students log on, they can change to a password that is more meaningful to them.  I know this may seem silly, because no one needs this advice, but PLEASE record their new passwords.  they will forget!

My goal this year is to find more ways to go paperless.  I am very interested in digital notebooking.  One helpful hint that i learned is how to force a student, or teacher if sharing with colleagues, to make a copy of a shared file.  Casey, what are you talking about???

Those that are familiar with using Google Drive to share files, you are aware that if you share a document, presentation, etc. you run the risk of using your original.  (There is a way to save as an original template, and I'll talk about that in a later post).  If the receiver starts working or editing the shared file, the original you shared is altered.  The recipient must first make a copy.  This is done by opening the shared file, and under the file tab in the tool bar choosing make a copy.  It will require them to rename and now the shared file is theirs, leaving the original in tact.

I know, from past experience, that sometimes people forget.  Even though we know better, we are in a hurry and we "jump right in".  To ensure that doesn't happen, when sharing a file, choose "can view only".  This will force all to make a copy in order to edit.  Hope this helps!  (If you have questions, please let me know!)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

TEAMingUp4Tech is Born!

The new school year is rapidly approaching and I honestly can't wait! Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but there is something so exhilarating about the beginning of a brand new school year. There is a buzz in the building as we gear up to welcome our students. The sparkle of newly waxed floors. The aroma of freshly laminated posters.  You just can't bottle that up. Teachers are putting in countless hours to transform classrooms into team-centered learning environments. And then we unveil the excitement of this new year to our students. It's truly magical.

Something that adds to the excitement this year is that technology is exploding at McIntire Elementary. Our third, fourth and fifth grade classrooms will all be 1-1 with Chromebooks. We will also have two carts of Chromebooks that can be checked out each day. Students are allowed and encouraged to bring their own devices. I could go on and on. We are blessed with access to technology at our school.

However,  putting technology in the classrooms was simply the first step. Educators also need the support, professional development and time to truly evolve into 21st century teachers and learners. Research also says that this time is needed during the school day. do we make this happen? I took this very question to our own building tech guru, Casey Echelmeier. Over lunch, Casey and I decided that technology couldn't be the "what", but rather the "how" to get our students to higher levels of learning. And the only way for this to truly happen was for 21st century skills and tech usage to be modeled and embedded throughout our time learning together as adults. TEAMingUp4Tech was brought to life. Casey and I would team up to provide training to our colleagues throughout the year during our staff meetings and professional development days. We would identify the different tools that are essential for educators and then survey our staff to determine readiness levels. This information would then allow us to differentiate the PD. BAM! No more one-size-fits-all staff meetings! The conversation really began to amp it up at this point. What would take this to even the next level? The idea of collaboration with other schools across the country. Luckily with some amazing PLN members, this idea is very close to a reality.

The wheels are in motion to truly transform technology usage in our school to take student learning to the next level. As an administrator, it is so important that I embrace, model and utilize the same 21st century skills that I am expecting of the staff, while constantly cultivating a risk-taking environment By partnering with Casey, I am being pushed outside of my comfort zone to learn new things. And I love it! The possibilities are endless as we begin this journey. Away we go!

Great resource as we work to lay the foundation: