Is MSWord useful anymore?

As I logged into my Google Drive and opened my Google Docs, I noticed that Google users now have access to templates like resume, letter, report, and project proposal. This is amazing. Why would anyone ever want to use MSWord again? 

The best part of using my Google Docs or any Google Apps is that I can access it anytime and anywhere. I am never dependent on my computer's hard drive. All I ever need is an internet connection and any computer. 

Are you thinking of using Google Drive for work but not sure how to get started? Contact me and I'll help you become a Google Ninja. 

Creative Image Editing in Slide

Use the following trick to find images for your presentation that are free to use. In addition, learn to make your images look "different". This is a great way to add some "spice" to your presentations. 

Neat tip for Google Sheets

Here is a step-by-step video that demonstrates how you can use the "Text Wrap" option in Google Sheets to better be able to read or analyse your data. 

Assessment with Google Forms

Here is a step by step video instruction I created that will demonstrate how you can set up a rubric that can be used for observational assessment with any grade of students in any subject you may be teaching. 

The best part of this Google Forms assessment is that you can access it on any device and anytime. 

Let me know what you think and share how you are harnessing the power of Google Apps for Education in your district. 

Capturing Learning

Documenting student learning is a major aspect of the Full Day Kindergarten (FDK) program. Even though the focus of this instruction is FDK, the same method can be applied to create portfolio for students in any grade level and subject. 

There are many tools available to support teachers in capturing student learning. However, due to privacy issues, teachers need to be careful of the tool they have decided to use. As always, open communication with parents and school administrator is key.

Many of the school board in Ontario have started to use Google Apps for Education which makes it a great FREE tool to use.

To harness the power of Google Apps any device can be used (e.g. phone, any tablet, iPads, etc). However, you must download the following free apps for your device.

Apps Needed:

Once downloaded, click on Google Drive to sign into your Google Apps for Education account.

Here are the steps to follow to capture learning in your classroom: 

Click on "+" sign to create folders for each student in your class.

               On tablet                                       

This can also be done on your computer by clicking on the following: 
On your computer you will click on "drive" and select "folder". Once you click on "folder" a   window will open where you can input student's name. 

On your tablet, click on the student "folder" you have created. 

This is also a great way for you to organize your student's work in any grade level or use to create an ePortfolio for each student.

What is your collaboration style?

As professionals, we often hear of the collaborative working environment. This got me thinking ... how often do we really engage in a collaborative work with our colleges. I think in many cases collaboration among educators and other professionals is still a work-in-progress. However, thanks to social media this is starting to shift. In my own experience, I have to say Twitter has taught me to be better at sharing and collaborating with others. 

So, what is your collaboration style?

Source: Creative Commons 

Health Lesson for all Ages

It's one thing to teach and discuss healthy eating with kids, but it's more powerful when kids can see a visual representation of what is being discussed / taught. And it's even more powerful when they have to create their own visual representation.

Here is an example:

Source: By: Carolyn McDowell

  • Create the following or share the image with the students
  • Engage class in a discussion of "What do you see?" and "what does it mean"
  • Record student thinking
  • Discuss "Why is this important?"
  • In groups, have students create a similar model based on an unhealthy eating practice (depending on age group, you may have to brainstorm some examples).  
  • After, have each group engage class in discussion based on their particular visual model. 
It is very powerful to see what the students come up with :)

Also, read the following blog post by @dougpete about our health lesson.

The Modern Classroom

I can't get over how busy the Apple store seems to be all the time, everyday. The store seems like an adult wonderland and no matter what your tech-level may be, you can always find something "cool" and feel like you are part of something big. 

This got me thinking ... why can't we set up our classrooms like an Apple Store?  Huge tables, stools, tons of collaboration going on.  To me it seems like the perfect learning environment.  Isn't the Genius bar really the "guided instruction"? Can you imagine the student engagement? Can you imagine the rich-learning that would go on?