Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 6.40.14 AM

Earlier this summer I started creating a workshop entitled “Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter”.  While preparing for this workshop I realized the New Google Sites was more than the average website builder. When first starting to build with the New Google Sites I missed the flexibility of selecting my own fonts and embedding gadgets and etc… via html. Now I’m thankful for the new site builder! Once I started constructing the workshop prezo as a Google Site the potentials for using the new site builder dawned on me! I discovered the New Google Sites is more than the average website builder!

One of the first things I noticed was the share settings and the ability to add collaborators. Immediately I started exploring different projects based on collaboration. Using the new sites started to become a challenge for me to discover more exciting features and a variety of uses for the educational community. Yes! I did exactly this and discovered the New Google Sites was not only intuitive to use but a tool which offers a vast amount of usages. When one considers the integration of all the core Google for Education APPs along with the New Google Sites it delivers one powerful punch as an educational tool!

 Some Google Sites Ideas

  1. Share a Digital Break Out Edu Adventure with Students
    • Use critical thinking skills to solve the mystery
  2. Use to deliver daily objectives
    • Supports students with doing independent work
  3. Share a Community Ice Breaker
    • Strengthens communication
  4. Go Paperless Create an Anchor Chart Site
    • Provides students with 24/7 resources
  5. Student Created Collaborative Weekly or Monthly Newsletter
    • Supports collaboration, and communication
  6. Classroom Created Collaborative Notes
    • Created & Curated via Sites
    • Immediate scaffolding for students
      • Students understand other students explainations
    • Let students have fun with this!
      • Insert videos
      • Insert audio links
      • Share interactive websites
  7. Student Portfolios
    • Building Digital Resumes Practice
    • Reinforces Digital Citizenship Skills
  8. Share Infographic Projects
    • One page per student
      • Student builds info graphic by using sites
  9. Use as a Student built Wiki
    • Students share tech support
    • Share Math Problem Solving ideas
  10. Curate Student Artwork, Poetry and etc…
  11. and ?
    • Share your idea in the comment area
      • It just may be added to this list 😃

Teachers Helping Teachers

Advertisements

Navigating Chrome Made Easy…

Please Click here to Make a Copy of the Slide Deck

The above slide presentation was created for a workshop I’m facilitating about “Tips & Tricks for Supporting SPED Students” by using Google Tools. My day job is as a K-12 Special Education Teaching Assistant who has spent approximately two decades working with both elementary and middle school students. One of the biggest issues I’ve noticed across the board and throughout time is the limitation of organizational skills. In this digital age there are many tools which could be used to assist with organization. These tools when implemented as supports may help students quickly access the teacher’s lesson materials.

You might ask what does this mean to a student with physical, emotional or cognitive exceptionalities? Organization and quick access to information may be a game changer for some students. Over the decades I’ve noticed the “Stress” build on some student’s faces as they stumble locating lesson materials. This only sets them behind as they focus on finding the materials and unintentionally miss hearing or seeing the directions provided by teachers. It is my belief with the support of digital devices some of this stress may be eliminated for both the student and their teachers.

Using Chrome Navigation is only one of many Google Tools which may be used for supporting the student of exceptionalities. In an earlier post this year I shared about adding images to Google Calendar.  Visuals images assist some students with understanding information. Adding images such as Favicon’s without text to the Chrome Bookmark manager are less overwhelming then images with text. Of course it supports the student who has low reading skills. It also provides a cleaner look with less distraction supporting the students with focusing issues. Simple tips & trick which tend to be overlooked may eliminate stress for some students as well as the adults who support them. I hope you find the content in the slide deck to be helpful.

Making Home-School Connection w/Google Calendar

Thanks once more to a teacher in the help forums who asked the following question: “How do I create a Google Calendar to share with parents via email?” Creating a Google calendar shared with parents is a very easy way to keep them updated about classroom events and homework. Using a Google Calendar in this way may eliminate some of the email flow into a teacher’s school inbox. One of the beauties of a Google Calendar is updates are shared with everyone immediately. All the parent or guardian has to do is check their Google Calendar on a regular basis to stay updated with classroom assignments and activities.

How to Create a Google Calendar

  • Type Calendar Name
  • Type Calendar Description
  • Add Parent’s Email Addresses

  • Click Create Calendar Button

NOTE: The new calendar is found under my calendars

new calenar

 

 

Add Images to Calendar Event Titles

I’m a visual learner and like when images are used to compliment words. This lead me to discovering a way for adding images to Google Calendar event titles as well as within the events description. You will be amazed by this simple and easy to use method for adding images to the web browser version of Google Calendar.  Using images in a calendar can be valuable to students who may struggle with reading. Teachers may use a visual calendar to support students with learning a daily schedule.

How to Insert an Image Into a

Google Calendar Event

  1. Open an emoticon website such as Twitter Symbols
  2. Copy an emoticon Image
  3. Paste the Image into a Google Calendar Event Title or Description

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.00.13 AM 1Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.19.01 PM

Some Ideas how for using images in a Google Calendar

  • Visuals such as this can aide students on the spectrum with following their daily tasks.
  • Google Calendar can be used to create a behavior support calendar.
    • Have students add smiles or frowns throughout the day to log their reaction to daily activities.
  • An elementary classroom may use a Google Calendar to Keep track of the weather.
  • Share a project or Homework Calendar with images.

 

Set an Expiration Date & Poof Files Disappears

There may be times a teacher may want to limit the sharing of a Google Docs, Slides, Drawings, or Sheets.  This is when the expiration setting comes in handy. Set a date and “poof” the file magically disappears from the student’s drive.

How to Set Google File Expiration Time

  1. Open Google Drive
  2. Click the Doc
  3. Select Share
  4. Click Advanced
  5. Click Dropdown Arrow next to file settings
  6. Select Set Expiration
  7. Choose 7 days, 30 Days or Custom Range
  8. Click Save Changes
  9. Click  Done  button

Google Slides set Expiration and Poof.gif

When Might this Tool be Used?

  1. To close out a Google Document or Slides Assessment
  2. Projects used for Finals
  3. Special Assessment