Friday, January 13, 2017

Chromebooks and G Classroom in Math?

Special Guest Post by Mrs. Mosier

But How Can I Use Chromebooks
in My Math Classroom?

Here are just a few ideas about how math teachers can use Google Chromebooks in their classes.

  1. Download these Google apps and/or extensions onto your chromebook to use with lessons.
  • Geogebra (and the Exam extension)
  • Desmos (graphing calculator)
  • Wolfram alpha (and has a website)

2. Use these websites to learn and perform interactive activities.
  • Woot Math (for pre-algebra readiness, probably grades 3-7)
  • (has interactive games)
  • (good videos and interactive activities)
  • (has interactive games)
  • (good teaching videos)
  • (very interactive way to assess for learning)
  • (very interactive and you can create quizzes and study index cards for vocabulary)
  • (basically teaches any course for you and gives them practice along with help in trouble areas)
  • (parts are free but you get more when you pay for the services)
  • There are also lots of sites where students can take practice ACT assessments such as
3. The following are examples of how I use my Google account.
  • In Google Docs I create notes for the lessons. I use my Mobi pad to write and draw (since I teach Geometry) on the notes when first presenting a lesson, but then I can share the notes with students as well. This is helpful to students who are absent and it is an easier way to give my notes to students that have it written in their IEP accommodations that they get a copy of my notes instead of copying them from the screen.
  • Students can create Google Slides of their math vocabulary and present them to the class.
The most useful though are Google Forms and Google Classroom.
  • Google Forms can be used to create quizzes, tests, and/or surveys. The best part is that the results are placed in a Google Sheet for you which decreases teacher workload.
  • Any website, Google Doc, Google Form, etc that I choose can be linked in Google Classroom so that students have only one place to look for the work I assign them. However, I mainly use it to announce the homework for each day. That way students never have to come to me for their missed work when they are absent. They can look online. It also serves as a reminder for those that were present.

4. If your school uses ebooks then teachers can use the interactive tools there and make assignments within the site.

5. Finally, I would recommend you search and read the article by Alice Keeler called “60 Ways Math Teachers can use Google Classroom”. It has additional ideas on ways to use the Chromebooks in your math classrooms.

Friday, April 1, 2016

2nd Annual Midsouth Google Summit hosted by DigitalEdAlliance and Trumann School District
July 18-20, 2016.

We have worked hard to bring this conference to Northeast Arkansas. We are approved by Google and will have national speakers from across the USA.

Tickets are first come first serve the max capacity is 400.
Pre-Summit Workshops July 18
Google Certification Prep
Google Admin Console (Made for Tech Coordinators) w/Jim Rob
Googleverse for Educators - A Beginner's Journey
Pre Summit Workshops are limited to 40 participants
Small groups with big impact.

Summit July 19 - 20
Featured Speakers:
Ketura Rush -- Arkansas -- Monticello
Jason Borgen -- California -- Santa Cruz -- TICAL
Susan Gilley -- Arkansas -- Harrison
Michael J. Graham -- Arkansas -- Westside High -- TICAL
Lori Bush -- Arkansas -- Lake Hamilton High
Jill Heard -- Lake Hamilton Jr High
Will Kimblee -- California
Anthony Owen -- ADE, Computer Science
Merlina McCullough -- ADE, Learning Services
Jim Rob -- Arkansas - West Memphis
Trent Saracini -- APSRC - Little Rock

Monday, May 25, 2015

Google Voice : Guest Post Ashley Kincannon

Google Voice:
By: Ashley Kincannon, Teacher--Lake Hamilton Junior High School

Are you tired of having to find a phone to call parents? Do you wish that you could just use your cell phone to call parents? Would you like having access to multiple devices when calling parents? I don’t know about you, but I can definitely answer YES!!! to every one of those questions. Last year, if I wanted to call parents, I would have to go find a phone. I found it extremely awkward to call parents from the office or from the conference room because there was always someone nearby. To be completely honest with you, I just decided that unless I absolutely had to, I was not going to call parents because it was just not convenient. I know what you must be thinking-- this would have gotten me a “Basic” or “Unsatisfactory” rating in TESS. Oh no! Thankfully, I found a great solution to my problem: Google Voice.
Google Voice is a free telephone service powered by Google. By using Google Voice, I am able to contact my parents safely without using my personal number. I can even call my parents using my:
Cell Phone iPad Chomebook     Desktop Laptop  Landline (and more!)

The best part about Google Voice is that it is absolutely free! All you need to have is a Gmail account and access to the internet! You also have access to customizable features such as the following: voicemail, call screening, call forwarding, contacts, text messaging and more! I absolutely love using my Google Voice account to call parents. It is so convenient and safe.

Here is what you need to do to get started:

***Please note, you only get one free number, so you cannot change your number after you select it unless you pay to change it. Additionally, it can be very challenging to select a number via the “Area, zip code or city” option due to availability issues. It is usually easier to find a number via the “Word, phrase, number” option, and you can be most successful by sticking to a 4 letter phrase such as your school  or subject abbreviation such as (LHJH/Math).

Dive in and get started!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Midsouth Google Summit

July 29 Pre-Conference - July 30-31 Conference 

Trumann High School


DigitalEdAlliance is proud to announce the first annual Midsouth Google Summit. This event will energize educators, provide excellent professional development and help your students create, collaborate and share their learning. 

Click here to get updates.

Midsouth Google Summit:

Planned Differently.

National Presenters in Education Tech
Google Certified Trainers
Google Certified Teachers
Student Presentations
Imagination Stations
Demo Slams
Follow up learning through Crowley's Ridge Education Service Cooperative

Memphis. Little Rock. Southhaven. Jonesboro. Kennet. Poplar Bluff. Fayetteville. Mt. Home. Jackson. Paragould. All Schools. All Teachers.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Google Extensions: Tab Scissors and PARCC

Educators everywhere know that technology readiness skills need to be practiced for students to be successful on the PARCC or SmarterBalanced tests. Students are being asked to perform task such as drag and drop, highlighting text and scrolling through passages to read and answer questions.

Teachers will need to create practice performance task so students can get familiar with the various tools. One particularly difficult task for students is to read a passage with a scroll bar on the left and take notes or answer questions on the right. The picture below is an excerpt from the PARCC practice test for 11th grade English.

In Google Chrome the teacher can use the extension Tab Scissors to split the screen and allow students to be able to read a passage and do something with the information on the right. For example, a teacher could assign a primary source text such as Dr. King Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail and have the students take notes or answer questions. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Forms Just Got Better with Add-ons

Forms just got better. Add-ons are features that have recently arrived in other Google Apps to help with certain functions. For example, in documents there are add-ons for mail merge, chart creator and a bibliography tool. In forms, the add-ons are geared toward making forms more user friendly and adding features.

For example gMath Forms will allow you to place equations into the Google Form question for math assessments. It will even allow you to answer questions about graphs.

FormLimiter: Will allow you to limit the responses to a form.

Check out the entire list buy opening a new Google Form

  • Click Add-ons
  • Get Add-ons

For more information check out my book Google Apps Meets Common Core

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fullan: Leading in a Culture of Change

This post is a recent assignment for a class I am taking from Arkansas Tech University. The class is Seminar in Systems Issues leading to superintendent's license.

Chapter Seven: The Hare and the Tortoise (Fullan)

1. Leaders that listen, see the big picture and not so decisive are qualities of an effective leader. They don’t panic in the early stages of making a big change. Would your colleagues say those are your qualities?

Listening. No. 
Not panicking. Yes. 
Not so decisive. Yes.

I am learning to listen. In the chapter Fullan described a situation when a person stopped listening as soon as he got the point. I tend to do that in the moment because I am looking for solutions analyzing each probable pathway discarding the really bad ideas and holding on to a few that might stick. I find myself coming back to listen later and bouncing my ideas off of the team again.

I see the big picture and I am not detrimentally decisive. I definitely do not panic, my wife would tell you that I procrastinate on decision making, I would argue that I am waiting on more information to make the best informed decision. I make small decisions and I always start with the ideal outcome and work backwards to exactly what I/we envision. In my leadership team, deliberate movements of decisiveness works best.

2. Conger and Benjamin suggest a “ten year rule of thumb” as the threshold for individuals to become experts. Do we rush to something else and not give the new initiative time or the support necessary?

The ten-year expert rule seems right in my experience. This is my 9th year in education, 9th week as principal. I have a long way to go. Before I read this chapter I discovered the concept of slow learning. In most of my career I devoured everything I could read and experience in the world of education. It was the family business M\mother superintendent, aunt principal/department of ed, uncle principal, uncle teacher/coach, wife teacher and my grandmother was the head of the cafeteria at my high school for 30 years. Thanksgiving dinner is a master’s class on school and leadership. I feel like these experiences have accelerated my knowledge base and my on the job learning has solidified them a little faster than some. This is not a display of hubris, but an acknowledgement of I finally know what I don’t know. Last week I wrote myself a note and placed it on my whiteboard in my office. It simply read “10 years.” I wrote it to remind me that the changes that I want to make and the learning it is going to take to get there will take a considerable amount of time. I have a name for it now since reading this chapter… slow learning. I can wait. But it will be difficult.

3. Learning in Context means what to you? Describe a situation you have dealt with that best describes what this means.

Learning in context is the most meaningful learning for me. This year we have ton of learning in context. We have three buildings. Elementary and High School principals are first year and relatively young, the middle school principal is a 10 year veteran. We have regular meetings and conversations that help the elementary principal and me do our work better. It is setup to be experienced teacher to inexperienced learner by our superintendent, but the elder says she is learning more from us (I doubt it).

I am constantly learning in context. It is like the teacher that learns more about their content when they teach for a while. Same for me as leader of instruction I am immersed with reading and practicing quality instruction and I am getting better at it. Sometimes the best way is to just jump in and learn on the fly. I recently wrote and published a book, Google Apps Meets Common Core (Corwin 2013) on instructional strategies and integrating them with technology. I had the content knowledge of Google (I am a Google Education Trainer) and pedagogy skills and immersion of CCSS, but I had no idea how to write a book. That 10 month process of writing, researching and revising was one of the greatest learning in context experiences. I can use that knowledge to do my job as instructional leader better.

4. The author described “Learning to Lead” practices and developing leaders at all levels who focus on instruction and learning. When you become superintendent what system will you have for your leaders to have a high quality experience?

It all starts with the culture of the school. Build it and offer the structure for it to blossom with the right incentives and the leaders will fill the spaces.
When I become superintendent I will work on a culture of positive empowerment. The teachers need more confidence in themselves. For example, teachers freak out in a culture of change because they think that they will fail, do not have the skills or don’t see the point of the changes and extra work (extra in their mind). The superintendent needs to remove the barriers and create a least restrictive environment for adult learning and student learning. Structurally it starts with creating teacher leaders that buy into the vision and mission. One idea I have is to create a teacher leader position. Most teachers don’t want to be principals and the only way for them to get a promotion is to become a principal (at least in rural districts with cash strapped budgets), there needs to be a hybrid position. Not administrative but teacher leader. This position could teach the most needy kids half the day, stay connected to the classroom have credibility with peers and coach teachers, lead directed PD in the other half of the day. Hybrid instructional facilitator. In addition I will create faculty leaning communities, leadership team trainings and support out of district PD.