May 16

Tuesday Tip! – Sheets, Charts, and Docs Working Together

We have become such a visual society that images and graphics really are an important part of our communication skill set.  Why not include charts as a way to reinforce a concept in a persuasive written piece?  Recently, a local high school English teacher did just that.  

When introducing a unit on The Holocaust, she asked students to rank their Top Ten for Who is Responsible for The Holocaust?  The teacher posted a link to a Google Sheet in her Google Classroom.  There were nine categories in protected cells and students could add their own tenth category.  Then, they entered numbers to rank each category.  Next, students converted the spreadsheet data to a pie chart.  Then, they inserted the chart into a Google Document and wrote a justification for their choice of ranking.

Basically, the  teacher saw three different types of effective responses for this assignment.  One student simply did a numbered list.  The pie chart helped to illustrate the ranking for the students to choose the level of responsibility and the student chose the ranking to be ten for most responsible and one for least responsible.  The justification was written with the highest ranking as the first numbered point.  Other students who wrote a numbered list ranked ten as leas responsible and one as most responsible.  So, the written justification certainly became an important part of the assignment.

 

Other students chose to write their justification in essay format, writing a paragraph as a way to explain the choices.  A student took the essay format one step further by changing font colors to match the categories on the pie chart as the explanation was detailed.  Sometimes the best differentiation comes from giving only basic instructions and allowing students to interpret!

 

 

 

 

 

Creating visuals solidifies ideas and concepts for readers and for students creating the visuals as well.  More importantly, an assignment like this gives the teacher a starting place for knowing what information is banked in students’ prior knowledge and what needs to be learned.  Amazing formative assessments don’t have to be locked into a ten question bubble sheet.  Why not smash a few apps together and really learn more about what students do and do not know?

October 20

Formative Assessments with Nearpod

Nolensville Elementary teachers have been exploring and using Nearpod.  This onearpodnline resource allows for creation of informational slides, formative assessments, and sharing student work as exemplars.  Click on the image at right to access a video overview.

When a teacher creates an activity within the lesson, the options include multiple choice quiz, draw it, open ended questions, poll it, and fill in the blank.  Reports with formative feedback are provided.  Free accounts are available with limited features. Live lessons feature whole group and small group lessons.  Student-paced lessons feature purposeful practice rotations so that students can learn about a topic and answer assessment questions. Students join a lesson by entering the PIN provided by the teacher that Nearpod assigns.    Continue reading

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August 1

WCS Textbook and Electronic Resource Login Information

Each year Instructional Technology supports staff and students by creating accounts for district managed textbooks and electronic resources. These accounts will be accessible from the WCS Single Sign On Dashboard. Staff members received an email August 1 with an update on the availability of accounts including a link to an account cheat sheet.

The login information for applications on the student dashboard can be found at the links below. This information will be updated again the second week of August in the event of a change.

K-5 District Resources Student Login Information
6-8 District Resources Student Login Information
9-12 District Resources Student Login Information
  • If you use a textbook that requires a student code to create their account, a tech coach will contact you directly via email.
  • Student and teacher accounts for instructional products will be ready the first full day of school. You will notice some are even ready now. If the administrator who schedules classes in your building has made changes to your schedule in Skyward since July 15, the accounts may not be ready or may be associated with the incorrect class. Students who have recently enrolled in WCS for the first time may not have accounts when school opens. If your teacher name shows as TBD on your Skyward schedule then you may not be able to access your accounts until your scheduling administrator updates the information in Skyward. All accounts that fall into these categories will be corrected as soon as possible.
  • Your Tech Coach will be able to help you if you have questions. Find the name of your tech coach here or by checking the tabs in the top right corner of this blog.
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August 1

WCS Single Sign On Dashboard

The WCS Single Sign on Dashboard powered by ClassLink went live August 1!

The purpose of the dashboard is to save valuable instructional time and prevent management of multiple usernames and passwords. The dashboard is available from school and home. We recommend use of Chrome as your browser when using the dashboard. Later, we will let you know a process to request additional apps to be added.  Your Tech Coach will be able to help you if you have questions. Find the name of your tech coach here or by visiting the tabs in the upper right corner of this blog.

dashboardTo start your successful use please view the training video using the link below. The video is divided into segments with practice activities between each segment. You will enjoy working with others in small and large groups as you complete this training.  Please allow one hour to complete the training.

WCS Single Sign On Dashboard Training Video

Thank you and enjoy this new resource!

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November 20

Padlet

tech_tip_tuesdayIn today’s Tech Tip Tuesday, we are highlighting a great tool that engages students and is great for collaboration and creativity.  Padlet is a virtual wall that allows contributors to post images, videos or documents.  What’s wonderful about Padlet is it is accessible from any device, as long as you have access to the internet.  Students do not need an account to use Padlet.

What are ways you could use a Padlet in your classroom?

  • Brainstorming Documentpadlet_blog_300
  • Guide for a lesson/WebQuest
  • As a place for students to showcase their work
  • Gather Feedback
  • Mindmap or Storyboard

**A couple of exciting new developments – Padlet recently released an app for iPhone and updated their iPad app.