Monday, October 5, 2015

Ditch That Textbook Week 5: Ditch That Textbook Part 1

In this section of the book, Matt gets down to more of the specifics and logistics of how to ditch the textbook, specifically where to put the content and what that content is or could be. How far have you gotten down this road? Have you located or created online content? And if so how are you sharing it with your students? If you are not this far yet, what do you think you want to try first? What questions do you have for your fellow readers who might have some experiences from which they have learned?

It is so exciting to see all of your comments come in each day and I love seeing the connections you are making. Keep up the good work! For next week we will be reading and discussing chapters 28-33.

139 comments:

  1. Prior to this school year, all teachers had webpages where we were encouraged to post information and documents. This year, some of our schools have started using Canvas. There has been a bit of a learning curve with this LMS, but I think the kids find it easier to use. They are able to locate all of these class information in one place.

    I have given online assignments, which I have been able to grade online and import scores into PowerSchool. I have also created online quizzes, which I will be giving next week. It changes the way I think about assessment, and I realize that I can check understand with a few questions rather than an entire page of them. I also like the fact that I don't have to worry about making last-minutes copies of something; I can just upload it to Canvas.

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    1. My school is going through the transition to Canvas. Please give more details on how the online assignments and quizzes are used in your class. My students have used Google Docs to submit work to me this year. I found it hard to sort through to find their work and grade it.

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  2. My school is also learning to use Canvas as an LMS. It makes it much easier to distribute work to students. We are just beginning to learn how to create actual modules within the Canvas setting. A module is like a unit in a traditional setting. We can make pages to teach the content and include the notes/power point/pictures/examples for students, as well as links to online resources and practice exercises we want them to work on. A huge process to create and pull all the information together this first year, but what a help it will be in future years when all we will have to do is to tweak the details or make slight changes to the lessons. Students are able to work through at their own pace or on a more regimented schedule, depending on how you set the due dates. There's been a learning curve this fall, trying to figure out all the program has to offer, but it is a great source for the students and teachers to house all of our online content and work.

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  4. I do a lot of things using Google classroom. It not only saves paper, but it makes it so that students can't lose things. I also have created some quizzes using Google forms. I can then use Flubaroo to grade the multiple choice quizzes, which saves me some time. Most, if not all, of my assignments are described online so that it is easily accessible for students and parents. Last year we created fake Facebook pages using a template to describe characters in "The Outsiders". Students liked it because they are use to the set-up. There are somethings that could be tweaked, but overall it was a good activity.

    I would like to get better at creating unique online assignments. I would also like to have more knowledge about publishing student work online. I would like to share it with others, I just don't really know how.

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    1. I have also started using Google Classroom a lot this year. I really like having a place to post assignments, questions and announcements for each individual class. I love being able to create a Google Doc and have each student get their own copy of it to complete.

      Flubaroo is amazing! I love how quick it is and I love how organized the results come back, highlighting questions missed by the majority.

      When you talk about publishing student work do you mean sharing certain assignments globally or putting them on a specific site... I was just curious for more information on that. I'd be interested as well, I know I have started a Google Site, and I have used a couple links from students for parents/guardians to check out.

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  5. I have started adding online content. I use kid blog in my classroom for reading response journals. I also use Canvas to upload my Problem of the Day for each day (Monday-Thursday. I would like to get more of my course content uploaded online for easier access for my students.

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    1. I used kid blog last year as a reading response journal for my students and they really loved it. I have it set up this year, but I want to use it as daily journaling and let my students chat about subjects. I still struggle with control so I want to approve it first.

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    2. I am intrigued by kid blog. I love our reader's notebooks and think that the blogging aspect of transitioning this to online would get the kiddos a lot more interested in it. See that you (and others) are using it successfully has me investigating. :) (It will be a few years before our district's 1:1 initiative trickles down to the elementary. I've got some time to work out the bugs!)

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    3. I use KidBlog for multiple subjects. My kiddos are currently working on becoming experts in their fields of interest and they post ongoing updates about whatever they are studying. For example, two students are really interested in meteorology, so they set up a KidBlog Weather page and they keep students updated on weather forecasts, they research and answer questions (such as "What will the weather be like on Halloween?"), and inform their readership about different types of weather disaster events.

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  6. I work with a wide range of ages and digital tools. One of the more difficult issues is finding a suitable platform for k-12 teachers and students. My Chromebook users (grades 3-12) are mostly using Google Classroom. However, you still have the issue Matt discussed about having a place to house all your materials for anyone to access. Classroom almost requires the teacher to have all items stored in Google Drive folders linked to the class or on a separate website.

    Where things get tricky is for my iPad users (k-2). Google Classroom is pretty buggy on an iPad and not super friendly to non-readers. To solve this issue, I'm having teachers create videos and other resources linked in a qr code. They can take the code, put it in a document with directions (as simple as needed), and print off a few copies of it. This would allow teachers to recycle activities and adjust them to suit class needs. Another option I'm looking into is using Seesaw. It is icon based, simplistic, and can function for a lot of types of communication. What I don't like is the organization/structure of it. Either way, it is a good resource and I'm encouraging teachers to use both qr codes and Seesaw.

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    1. I love the idea of using QR codes to link content for younger students. Can you tell me more about what platforms you are using to post videos that the QR code links to? I will have to look into Seesaw as well! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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    3. http://appsolutelyapril.com/2015/09/29/qr-code-people/

      This thread made me think of an idea I saw on Pinterest- QR code people!

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    4. I'm just starting to experiment with Seesaw in my room. I've heard great things about the app.

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    5. I love the idea of the qr codes to give directions. I am a kindergarten teacher and struggle a lot with how to reach nonreaders. This is a great idea! I'll have to check out Seesaw too!

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    6. For videos, my teachers are using Screencastify on their PC laptop or Chromebook. They are also using a document camera (iPevo Ziggy) to record their lesson. There are a lot of options out there, but we chose Screencastify due to the ease of use.

      I have several kindergarten teachers venturing into Seesaw now. They love it! Students can share their work and record their voice. They are now learning how to comment on their classmate's work. :)

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  7. My students have laptops to work with and most of the exchange of "papers" happens through our classroom management system in the district, Moodle. This is where they receive assignments, turn them in, do workshops, chats, quizzes, and forums. We also work with Google Classroom for those assignments that require collaboration or a place to receive special links. As a geography teacher I do use Google Earth for students in creating projects on getting to know countries around the world. They can place pins to add information, pictures, videos, etc.

    I hope to make more use of Google Classroom. I have not experienced what I learned from a member in last week's discussion, Doctopus and Goobric. I would like to use the audio options through Google hangout on Air or Google Voice. I would like to use Google Drawing to replace "poster" projects in class.

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  8. I have not posted anything online for students. I think it is a great way to communicate and get assignments to students. Our school system has just implemented Canvas, so we are still learning how to use it. I think I could use Canvas for library related things that students could access. I would love to try Google classroom. I heard about it last year, but it wasn't feasible with my 4th grade class. I have some experience with the Socrative Teacher/Student app. I used it with 5th grade students in the library a couple of years ago. Instead of using 1:1 iPads, we used the computer lab and I could ask a question and the students would answer via the computer, then the student responses would show up in a bar graph and we could look at the answers. It was nice because the students could remain anonymous and wouldn't feel singled out if they answered differently. It is a great resource I recommend.

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  9. We have been using TL Campus(Canvas) for the last 3 years. The first year was a learning year, and now I absolutely love it. I post my notes online, worksheets, and have done quizzes. I also started using google docs a lot this year. I am now just learning how to make folders and have students share their folders with me, so that they can send/save things that I ask them to do and then i can grade it. I have done one quiz with google forms.

    I like using both Canvas and Google in my classroom!

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    1. I also like using google docs and folders. I have things that I share with classes, plus I am sure they have the material. I have folders for each class in which I put all informations about my class. This would include classroom rules/procedures, log of daily activities, assignments, and anything else special I want them to see.

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  10. As a music teacher, I have been creating my own content for years, but this year I have started saving that content on my Google Drive via Google Docs and Google Slides. I am happy to have my materials located "in the cloud" so that I can work on my lesson plans/PowerPoints on any devise.

    As a new teacher, I spent hours pouring through websites that have age-appropriate music games and music literacy lessons. I have found youtube videos that demonstrate musical instruments from other cultures. Lots of orchestras have their own websites with quality content. (For example: New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony have great children's websites that teach about composers and instruments of the orchestras.) I share most of these websites, games, and videos with my students through my computer and project it onto an overhead projector screen. I have yet to create an online "hub" for my students to use.

    I am so glad that the author mentioned Weebly. I LOVE Weebly! While in college, I used Weebly to make an online teaching portfolio, and I would feel comfortable using that site to make a classroom website--I just haven't done it yet. Maybe after reading this book, I will finally do it!

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  11. Our school is using Google Classroom as our LMS this year. In years past we have used My Big Campus, which I never used. I didn't have a need for it, or so I thought. I have been trying to post things on Google Classroom as much as possible these days and I love it! My students like that they can have all of their classes in one place and it's easy to get to everything they need. As far as curriculum, I've created a few WebQuests via Google docs for my kids. They are so easy to create to supplement a story we are reading in class. For example, my IEP reading students read a fictional story about Sue the dinosaur, the most complete dinosaur fossils every to be found. After they were finished with the story, we did a WebQuest on the Field Museum's website where the students went on a scavenger hunt for fun facts about Sue and her journey to the museum in Chicago. The students absolutely loved it and couldn't get enough of the information from the website! This was the most recent one we have done but I can't wait to do another one with them.
    I have also used Google forms for my weekly vocab quizzes. They are easy for my students to have them read aloud (accommodation for my kiddos) via Premier Tools. So easy to create and even easier to grade thanks to Flubaroo! More recently I've used Kahoot to do some informal assessments. The kids think they are playing a game and don't realize they are actually learning and using the things they have been taught. The kids seriously didn't want to stop playing when we did a multiplication review with it the other day! Such fun!
    I would love to have my students be more involved in our Google classroom. Right now they have only turned in assignments and found links through there. After fall break, I am hoping to start some polls and other informal assessments on there as well as some general discussion. I am lucky to have 6 student computer and only 5 students in my reading group, which is who I am starting to implement these techniques with. Sadly though, with only having 5 students, the discussions are easy (or maybe easier) to be held in person rather than a computer. I think in a general education classroom I can see myself using this more often, but I still want to try it out this year before my kiddos have 1:1 Chromebooks.
    I am curious if there are any other Special Education teachers on here who have used any kind of technology for progress monitoring. I have a Google form set up to track my data but I'm struggling to get all my progress monitoring completed this year due to the number of students on my roster. I would love to find something that is easy (and honestly doesn't take too much time) for my students to do either on their own or with very little assistance from an adult. Any suggestions would be very helpful!!

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  12. Every year I become more comfortable with our 1:1 program now in its fourth year. As our district is phasing out textbooks, in favor of curating our own materials, ditching that book is not a choice. I notice two factors that make a big difference in my progress. The first is how much time I have available to invest in creating content. Fortunately I am at a place in my life that I can devote hours to searching for material and putting it in a place for students to access, currently that is Edmodo. I am going to a Matt Miller workshop on Wednesday when I hope to find some inspiration to begin using Weebly. This seems to be a secure location as LMS provisions are not guaranteed--lesson learned with mybigcampus. I had previously organized some content with Symbaloo but didn't find it as easy for students to locate and use specific items curated.

    Second, the general attitude of the students in the classroom affects the environment in which we all learn and adapt; I include myself in that. Some years acceptance of their roles as learners is encouraging of most everything that we try; this is one of those years. There have been some years filled with valley days--last year was one long 'day'. The truth is those years are difficult regardless of how the content is managed, but the effort that I want to put into transforming my classroom feeds on the energy of students that are receptive. When I am planning, I ask myself how my lessons, projects, and plans can allow students more independence and self-direction in their learning. I am in the transitioning stage toward making the students the center of the classroom, and I can see benefits all around for providing that.

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    1. I am currently putting in a proposal to pilot a 1:1 chromebook classroom. I love what you say about planning. I also want to have my students more independent and self directed. I love the chromebooks that we just received at our school. My 6th grade students are currently working on a slides project and realizing the advantage of using slides and being able to share and collaborate with their team members. I also have a weebly website and my plan is to use that to house my content. Currently I use it for informational purposes about my classes. I learned about weebly through Matt Miller at a conference. I am also interested in Google Classroom to see what might be better. Our school has limited computers right now so it is hard to rely on getting them for class- you have to sign up way in advance. I hope by next year we all have a set up chromebooks in our classes. My goal is to become paperless!

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    2. The google slides are very versatile. I have had two trainings recently (one with Apple and one with Matt Miller) that used the slides for everyone in the class to contribute to the same slide presentation. Each student is assigned a number corresponding to a slide to complete within a few minutes. This creates a presentation to which the entire class contributes within a short amount to time. Students really enjoy seeing each others' work, and this approach allows them to view each others' work when their interest is at its peak.

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  13. I have used Google Classroom to give students notes to fill in, to post educational YouTube clips, to assign homework in Google Drawings or Google Slides or making a doc. I have used Kahoot for the first time last week creating review material for different classes. I have tried Google Forms twice now for online quizzing. I have collected song lyrics in Spanish and made blanks for students to fill in while listening to a song in class. I am in the process of trying to figure out collaborating on a Google Slides presentation with two other schools to get the students to communicate to each other in Spanish with students they’ve never met before. I’ve used Vocaroo for students to make recordings of their homework (just a few sentences) to send to me instead of writing it. I’ve had students create picture collections of architecture and cultural sites in Spain. I use online textbooks with an online workbook and audio and recording activities (even though it’s not that great, it’s what I have to work with.)

    I would like to get out of the online textbook as much as possible in the future.
    Something I will be working on is creating new “out of the book” units for my Spanish 3 and 4. I suppose that will count as creating digital content. I have an idea for a unit on Santiago de Compostela that will pull together everything I know how to do so far. I also have a unit that I made that covers the history of Chocolate, and I intend to make it go digital this year.
    I would also like to do something with Google Earth. Now all I need is time.

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    1. What did you think about the mystery location call idea? :)

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    2. You are so creative with your ideas for Spanish!!! Love that you are working on "out of the book" units for advanced students. They will absolutely benefit from your expertise.

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    3. Lauren, I LOVE this!! I've often heard music coming from your room this year! We are really hearing your passion!! Also, I think you may need taste-testing visitors during your Chocolate unit. #justsayin'

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    4. Lots of great ideas! It's fun to hear what other

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  14. Our district was dabbling in My Big Campus. Then we made a change to Canvas this year. I will be using Canvas for our snow days as well as using it to store videos I share with my students. I think my advice for others would be to keep it simple. Fancy and sparkly are great, but you can spend a lot of time prettying it up and then it doesn't work the way you thought it would. OR It might not display the same on the student's device as it does on yours. Once you know it works over the test of time and use, then you can go back and make it sparkle. I am looking forward to learning from the rest of you. I have a lot to learn.

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    1. That is good advice, Teri! I get too caught up in the formatting...think back to those days of curriculum mapper where we stressed about bullets and making text bold...oh boy. It is more important to have the information available to the students than to impress them with how it looks!

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  15. My district just started using classroom google. I have used it to post "quick writes" for students. I'm going to try and use this format for a writing station during Daily 5. I have used it to post links to website we are using in the class so students can access sites quickly. Another goal for later in the year is to try using google docs for book clubs.
    My advice is to try one thing at a time and set goals for yourself. If you try too much it's easy to get overwhelmed.

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  16. Google classroom and symbaloo are the two ways I have tried to curate my own materials so far. I love being able to easily give students directions on how to get to a website by just going to one location such as google classroom. It saves time in class for sure. Our corporation has an active directory and PowerSchool quick exports that enable us to streamline usernames and passwords for all sites students use regularly. This has been so helpful for students logging in to our different resources online. I agree with Jessica that trying one thing at a time is the way to go- especially to help your students ease into it as well.

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  17. I have been fortunate enough to be chosen as one of four teachers at our school to work with an educational trainer from Apple Computers this year. We will work closely together for various days over four different months during this school year.

    As part of the September session of Apple training, I created a basic, bare-bones website using Weebly (gohmannc.weebly.com). This is still what Matt Miller refers to as a static website, but I don’t plan on it remaining that way. I made the decision to create this website for two specific reasons. First, I became tired of having to recreate lost resources or to store resources digitally every time there was a problem with a classroom management system. At our school, Moodle failed and resources created by teachers were lost. My Big Campus is gone and I am trying to learn Edmodo. Teachers at our school district have been informed that when Edmodo is not longer free, it will be gone too. My own website should give me a consistent place to (as Matt Miller put it) deal with the mess.

    Secondly, I applied for the 2016 Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program offered by the Lilly Endowment. In the Follow-up Activities portion of my proposal, I included the creation of a classroom website which would include embedded mini-videos, podcasts , and photo-journalism selections created from footage shot during my trip. I am hoping to also create a few flipped classroom lessons to use with my English classes. I love Matt Miller’s idea of using some of these as part of my sub plans.

    I am working on these goals throughout this school year because I want to incorporate these items into One-to-One classroom regardless of being chosen for the Fellowship program or not. Therefore, I am using my professional development opportunities, such as this Blog and my Apple training, to learn how to create these experiences for my students.


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    1. Kudos to Cathy for inspiring me and other teachers at Southwood! As her post demonstrates, she is constantly looking for new ideas and ways of teaching without the textbook. I am very proud of the teachers in my department and school becuase we're getting pretty good!

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  18. I am using Google Classroom as my CMS, and use it every day to distribute class links, YouTube videos meant for curriculum support (or just content-entertainment), weekly classroom plans, Quizlet sets, homework reminders, etc. I prefer to distribute student work through Doctopus, and often use Flubaroo and Goobric. I would love to incorporate blogging. I recently found the app Readlang, which has opened a lot of authentic source content for my advanced students. It allows them to "highlight" and define words from any internet site directly on the page they're reading. Readlang takes those words and pulls them into an individual word list on the student's account- in context, with original source access- where they can practice and drill the words in a manner similar to Quizlet. German teachers: it even gives automatic links to the word's search results on leo.org with its definition on the word list. This will be a huge tool for ditching upper-level books in favor of authentic sources.

    I'm starting to see the puzzle pieces in very large chunks, but feel like I need the time to play with them and feel more sure about everything before I lead my Ss into the abyss.

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    1. Readlang is awesome!

      Are you curious about trying a mystery location call?

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    2. I love have you have completely embraced our 1:1 this year and are running with it!!

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  19. As a building level administrator I feel my role is to assist the teachers whenever possible to help them find the tools to create the digital curriculum. I do as much modeling as possible to try and help them see how to use the tool as well. I use google classroom occasionally to post articles for the teachers to read before a PLC meeting as well.

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    1. You are also encourage us to take ownership of our own PD with the multitude of
      available. To say you model the use of Twitter and promote its possibilities is an understatement!!

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    2. You are a model at modeling.

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  20. Hello everyone! I took a week away from posting because I had a baby! My newest little one is was born a week early and he is just amazing. We are home and I am enjoying my time being a mom. I can say this because I have a great maternity stand in teacher and ALL my material is being presented to the students digitally.

    I spent over a year preparing my classes for a digital shift. I use Google Drive, and Dropbox to collect materials. While teaching at an iPad school I used dropbox for PDF notes and assignments to be completed in Notability. I am currently at a GAFE school and use mostly Google Docs, Google Slides and links to websites.

    I use Blogger as my platform and even bought a URL to make things more seamless. (www.mrsburman.com) I also made it so when you save the website to your smartphone or iPad home screen it looks like an App.

    I open my website each monday and go over the lesson plan for the week in each of my preps. I have done this for 5 years and my students have started checking before class each day ready to tackle what I have planned.

    This helps with absent students, parents, and administrators.

    I create my own worksheets, if I can find pdfs of my assigned readings I will save them and use them year to year. I have a curriculum guide for each class on Google Drive and link things on that document for reminder.

    Also a few things that help me - TouchCast for quick interactive videos, ThingLink for interactive presentations, and Google Forms with Flubaroo for quick test assessments.

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    1. Congrats on the new addition to your family.

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    2. Congratulations on the new little one!

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  21. I use Google Classroom for students to turn in assignments, send them links to web sites and videos. I also use Google Sites. I have created webpages in google sites for all my chapters and special projects. It is a place I can house all the resources and assignments for each chapter or special unit. It does get confusing at times for the students on where I need them to get the information. It did take time to build each web page and learn google sites, but now I can just add or delete items every year.

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    1. Make sure you let your technology integration coordinator know if you need some help sorting things out. :)

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  22. I have a classroom website through a system created by our school corporation. I make activities and other helpful resources available through my website. Our corporation is in the process of moving to Canvas, which should enable even more utilities from what I understand. I also make Quizlet a part of weekly classroom review. Our corporation also moved into using Google, and that has been a great way to further ditch the textbook and create interactive communication and lesson-sharing with students.

    In addition, I have tried to create a little more online content each school year, utilizing resources on YouTube and other sites to help enrich student learning.

    Twitter handle: @ljraiders

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  23. I ditched my textbook entirely when my school went 1:1. For one thing, they district was very open about not buying textbooks in the future. Currently the old student copies of my text are functioning as a door stop. When I am looking for something new, I often start with a Google search. It is amazing how innovative other teachers are and many of their lessons and ideas are available through a quick search. I also get great ideas off of twitter and through the feed on my Edmodo page. In addition, there has been some useful professional development through the school and I have attended several conferences.

    I like to use Google docs and slides to disperse content to my students. I file everything in Google Drive. It has a lot of storage, the content is searchable and it generates no paper. When I distribute information to my students, I use Edmodo. I can generate quizzes and tests, post my agenda for the day, make assignments, collect work, and generate grades all through one site.

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    1. Would you be willing to share one of your lessons or units? I have SS teachers that rely heavily on the textbook and I would love to show them other options!

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  24. I was so happy when my school started using our online classrooms. It helped the students become much more organized. It also gave students the tools they needed no matter where they are to complete their assignments. How many times do students use the excuses, forgetting to write down an assignment or leaving their book in their locker? Now, they have no excuse. We are a 1:1 school so everyone has a laptop and can look up assignments, view PowerPoints, and review class content even when they forget their materials at school or are absent that day. The online classrooms have also been great for snow days- eLearning days are the best! :-) I have found creating a Facebook page for extra things such as Book Club or extracurricular activities is successful too! The kids will take the time to look at those since they are using their phone.

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    1. Are you the sole administrator for the Book Club Facebook page? I do a book club, and think that a Facebook page would probably be beneficial. I haven't even started looking into it, though, so my questions are, is it set up like a personal account, business account, or is there another designation for school type accounts? Do you have a running discussion about your current book? Do you feel like this allows more people to be involved?

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  25. In my role as an instructional coach, I am using Google Classroom and now, a Google + community to share resources with the teachers in our district. Some of the current projects I am collaborating with teachers on include a Google site for students to add content to, a collaborative Google slide presentation to connect students from three schools, video itinerary projects using a variety of resources for a German IV class, and peer editing activities using Google Docs.

    I have a habit of finding something and overusing it for awhile before moving on to the next tech tool I want to try. Right now I am obsessed with Explain Everything, Screencastify, and Go Animate.

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  26. My district went 1:1 with Chrome books just this year. While I have maintained a classroom set of textbooks, they are serving as only reference tools for us. I utilize Google Classroom to convey weekly schedule, link to videos and other documents, disseminate Google forms (test and survey), and rarely to collect assignments. I utilize Edublogs for myself and each of my senior students have also created a blog, where I have students post weekly reflections of various topics. This has been the most rewarding and frustrating aspect of being 1:1 so far. I have students who are very quiet in the classroom but are speaking volumes on their blogs. Then I have a couple of students who refuse to post anything - looking for alternatives for one young man!

    While I use of variety of online tools, I really want to work at creating better online content! This is very much a work in progress.

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    1. I picked up a few resources yesterday at a workshop. I will share!

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  27. I have created all of my content myself simply because there are no textbooks out there for a Library Media Class. I use edmodo to distribute and collect assignments digitally. It is definitely helpful when everyone uses the same system, but my school does not require that. I did like all of Matt's examples, but I just don't think they are applicable. I do have a Library website, but it is on the main school website, and I am not allowed to design it. It basically just has links to the catalog and databases that we subscribe to. Our previous website gave me total control over the site, and I was able to highlight books, etc.
    I may start kidblog. I have 1-5 students in each class, and these are students that are basically library helpers that receive credit for doing it. I am required to give them a final, so I do teach them stuff along the way. I like to have them read recent subject related articles and discuss them. Currently, we just do "posts" in edmodo, but I have some that will give good replies, and others that stick with the generic "good job." I have actually banned that phrase because it is so insincere. I would like to get a better dialog going.
    I do have my students create book trailers using animoto, and we share them and vote for the best. We have used glogster to create digital posters, and I recently signed up for REMIND to use with my lunchtime book club group.

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  28. I have been without a textbook for several years. As an English teacher, I can find nearly anything online. I do still distribute novels, but you will never see those back-breaking texts sneaking out of MY room. LOL. I use moodle to post video clips, readings, assignments for the week. I use Google for everything else. I honestly don't know how I would teach without it.

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  29. This is the first year that I have really dove into online learning. We have dabbled with online content the last few years, but this year we do a lot online. We use google classroom as our classroom to post almost all of our content, notes, class materials and quizzes. It has been a pretty easy transition for the most part. The one problem that we have faced is definitely computer usage rules and using the most relevant materials. I teach 6th grade and I feel really overwhelmed by how many online learning tools and content there are floating out there. I feel as though I do not have time to sort through all of those tools. I also struggle with with novels and textbooks. We have students still bring these to class, but I am unsure how to change this for the future.

    I am in the beginning of my learning with online learning. I love it so far but I feel like I am moving slowly.

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    1. I know how you feel. I want to jump in but I feel overwhelmed. A few years back I had a problem with students who knew more about technology than me and found there way around our firewall. But yet there are times I get frustrated with the restrictions blocking sites that I want to use. I am just going to start small and hope it blossoms.

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  30. Starting this school year our school jumped on the Google bandwagon (yet we all have Macbooks, iPads, and Apple TV, makes sense right?) Our emails are set up with Google, we are using Google Classroom, Sharing Docs, Sheets, Forms, all sort of things. While some are resisting, because most people resist change, I being young and in my 2nd year after school have some experience with using Google in education.
    Being a counselor again my use is slightly different, while I do have a Google Classroom for each of my 3 grades on my case load. I typically share reviews of what we went over during my lessons. I've also being starting to tweet those same reviews. I'll be honest while I have Twitter, I've never been good at using it. I do have an Instagram account that students follow to keep in touch and stay connected with. I find having too many outlets on social media gets exhausting, trying to remember to post on all of the different sites/apps takes too long, trying to have both a professional page and a personal one becomes a mess and is not something I want to deal with.

    I've also been toying with the idea of doing YouTube lessons with students, this way I can get to more students more often. I would be able to video a lesson and send it out to teachers and have them view the lesson with student instead of me having to come to every classroom to speak with students.

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    1. Our school is also making the move to using all the Google apps. It is a bit overwhelming to take on so much. I think it will all be worth it in the end. I am glad to hear someone else say it is exhausting to stay connected with all the social media. There is so much to dig through, it can be very time consuming to manage it all. I am a twitter newbie, and am still trying to find time to make it worthwhile.

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  31. I teach in an elementary school where one to one technology is not available. Our classrooms have eight or less computers for students to use. I do have a webpage and a facebook page for students. It would be wonderful to be able to use the technology that was in the reading but it is not feasible for my students. We have a lot of families who do not have a computer in their homes.

    I do have a question for the rest of you. What grade would be the lowest where you ditch the textbook and use the computer totally? Has anybody used computers/tablets for kindergarten and not used books? I would be very interested in your experience and opinions.

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    1. I teach in the same school as Gail. Our middle and high school have one to one technology but not elementary. We only have 7 ipads in the KG and 1st grade classrooms and that is it. We have computers in every classroom but not all of them work. We also have Promethean boards that currently four are going out. Our technology is lacking. All teachers are required to have a webpage and I, like Gail, have a facebook page too. It would be great to have more technology available to us and our students but right now it is just not feasible.

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  32. I have had my students use Hemmingway. com to revise their writing papers. I was actually part of a Mystery Skype location game of where are you located. It worked really well. It was set up ahead of time with a teacher friend and we had the students ask question. We used Matt's ideas of setting up jobs and rules ahead of time too. He suggested doing this to keep everyone involved. It was a lot of fun. I have learned that whenever you are using technology keep everyone involved or you will lose them.
    I liked the chapter "Find out what makes them Tick". I have had students that I really needed to dig to find something to interest them. I need to peek their curiosity and help them be the best they could be. My students are into computers, ipads, ipods, and video games. When I can talk about these items that interest them I can pull them into conversations and use this information to help intertwine into my lessons. I have use FreeRice.com also and my students enjoyed it. We also used Google maps and dragged the little yellow man on to landmarks. My students spent their entire free time dragging, sharing, and conversing about landmarks. I want to be able to tie more of my lesson plans into digital media and try to ditch some textbooks.

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  34. I used Edmodo last year, but I have shifted to Google Classroom. I like the feel of Google Classroom better than Edmodo, and it is the platform of choice for my district. My assignments are posted on Classroom, as well as announcements. A Google Form is my go to for any type of quiz. I use Flubaroo to score the assessments. My goal is to become fluent with Doctopus this year. While I have used Blogger in the past for personal blogging (Lilly Grant Travels), I haven’t ventured out into a classroom blog until recently. My classroom blog is a work in progress. I don’t want to push it out until I feel more competent using it. I do like the Blogger app for in class picture taking as it will feed directly to a blog draft.

    I’m curious as to how well people like Doctopus. Is it a time saver? In my opinion, using technology must enhance my scoring and make it more efficient.

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    1. Johanna, I'm sure your blog is awesome! Let it out! :)

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  35. I currently use symbaloo to organize all of the websites I currently use. I like this site because I can create different tabs depending on what I am using. I have a personal tab, professional tab, and a student tab which have different websites listed. I also like that I can do a search and look at what other people have marked on their symbaloo page. When I taught second grade I did a search and looked at websites other second grade teachers were using. This was a great way to get new ideas.
    I am just setting up my first google classroom. I am going to use it with a small group that will be learning coding and game design. I plan to use this as a way to give them coding instructions, websites to look at, and a way to communicate with each other.

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    1. Symbaloo is the best thing I have ever learned to use with students- our 21st century learners relate so well to the tiles (much better than a hyperlink).

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  36. In my former district, I ran the Virtual School. In my current district, we are working on creating a Virtual Academy, which I will be heading up. We have a content provider, which was inherited. :-) I would love for the teachers who are involved in this to be able to curate and create some content and to be able to utilize Canas for the online courses that we will offer. We have some teachers who are doing some great things with Canvas already (it is our first year with it, and the first year for 1:1 ipads at the 6th grade and HS level), and I can't wait to see what else we are able to do as the next phases are rolled out!

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  37. I know that I'm making strides each and everyday to create a digital classroom. My students and I are having an adventure together. They know there will be bumps and glitches and I truly think they see this as an adventure. They've been very patient with things not working and all of us working together to find another way to complete the assignment or activity online when Google Classroom doesn't seem to be cooperating!

    Sometimes things do take three times longer than expected (like Matt digging the hole for the wire in his yard). That's difficult for me because I like efficiency and I highly value time on task in a classroom. However, I see how the students are learning from our technology bumps. They are truly intuitive with this stuff. ALL the time I am saying to them, "Oh! Don't tell me. Let me struggle and figure it out." I believe in "not stealing the struggle" from my students and it's important that I show them how I'm trying to think something through when I'm not understanding a particular detail.

    I love how Matt talked about Vicki Davis (page 171) and how she doesn't try adding bunches and bunches of new elements each year regarding technology, but rather focuses on one or two tools each year. So smart!! Learning well and deeply (including technology tools) is very important!

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    1. I am also worried about the time factor. Giving up a few days here and there to work out the kinks in technology or to work with different ideas is a bit stressful. Moving to third grade and all the testing lingering in the background is scary. I just hope that the work in technology makes a positive impact. I hope it is not in vain to really feel we are making great strides with using the technolgy, and preparing for the test. I want to trust what I am doing is preparing students for the digital world they will live and work in and also test well. Unfortunately a lot still rides on that final test score.

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  38. Currently I use Google Classroom to post assignments and to make announcements. This really helps keep track of who has finished their work. In addition, while they are working on stuff I can get into their document and see exactly what they are doing during class time. In addition, we just started to use screencastify. This week students are building hot air balloons so my partner and I have put the directions on the video and will be submitting it to the students to watch in little "chunks" on their time when they are ready. This saves on me having to repeat instructions numerous times so that I'm free to move about and assist with the building process.

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  39. First off, Kouts school is rocking the comments section! I'm glad the high school went 1:1 before the middle school so we can see what works for them and eventually we can help out in the middle school by getting the students comfortable with what they'll be using in high school.

    In my classes I used to have the students make posters for certain projects with paper and pencil, and make PowerPoint presentations. The past year now I've started using different websites to create poster and projects: smore, piktochart, prezi, powtoon, storybird. Just this week while introducing piktochart and smore I overheard kids talking about going home and playing around with the sites. Yes!

    I also have a newspaper class that is new this year. I'll be tweaking things throughout the year but I send the template out via docs to my kids each week and they work on it simultaneously. At first the kids were weirded out but now it's second nature. It has been fun getting the kids to write more. It hasn't been perfect but it's a start.

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  40. First off, Kouts school is rocking the comments section! I'm glad the high school went 1:1 before the middle school so we can see what works for them and eventually we can help out in the middle school by getting the students comfortable with what they'll be using in high school.

    In my classes I used to have the students make posters for certain projects with paper and pencil, and make PowerPoint presentations. The past year now I've started using different websites to create poster and projects: smore, piktochart, prezi, powtoon, storybird. Just this week while introducing piktochart and smore I overheard kids talking about going home and playing around with the sites. Yes!

    I also have a newspaper class that is new this year. I'll be tweaking things throughout the year but I send the template out via docs to my kids each week and they work on it simultaneously. At first the kids were weirded out but now it's second nature. It has been fun getting the kids to write more. It hasn't been perfect but it's a start.

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  41. I have been doing more and more with online content as I get more and more used to Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom. These are both such great tools for students and teachers to stay organized and work smarter, not harder! The only real limitation that I see with going online is that I still have many students with limited digital resources outside of class. So I find that many times if I do something digitally, I have to recreate it on paper if I want students to work on it outside of class. I have found google classroom to be very valuable for students who are absent, or students who don't finish work in class. My students HATE lugging home giant textbooks, so I have been finding and posting PDFs of the stories we read in class and posting them on my classroom page for easy access for students in homeroom and at home!

    I have seen many ways to use digital tools in class and change the way my students work in class. I LOVE using youtube videos and a website called Flocabulary for English/LA terms- these tools are much more fun ways to deliver "notes" than just a powerpoint or a guided notes worksheet, and they tend to stick. We are currently working on tone and mood and I love using youtube videos to introduce those concepts. I truly believe kids are so much more engaged when I go away from paper and pencil and do more with technology and digital tools!

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  42. My elementary moderate/severe disabilities classroom has 1-to-1 with iPads and some of my higher students do use some online tools. It is difficult for some of my lower students to access anything online, but I do use symbaloo on a regular basis. The pictures on the tiles help students to find what they need and they can easily access the sites I have provided. Our corporation is using Google Classroom this year and I plan to use it some in my own classroom-it just won't be in the same capacity as gen. ed. teachers. I have a teacher website, but I have found that sharing information through social media (facebook and twitter) is much more accessible for my parents and students.

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  43. This is our 5th year of 1:1 laptops at my middle school. We started out with E-chalk, but this year we are beginning to phase that out. I've used Quia to curate info from a student page for over 10 years, even back when we were using computer labs. The last 2 years, I used My Big Campus also, but now that's being phased out also. Our school is going 100% to Classroom Google over the next year, so that's where I have students access information. This year I have started a classroom Facebook page, which parents love- I also use Remind, but it is more limited to those 140 characters and one attachment.

    I get frustrated often when online content I have used successfully for years changes format and no longer works the same way. Two history websites come to mind- www.historyonthenet.com and http://www.gosocialstudiesgo.com/ Both sites have evolved over the years, and in my opinion, they were better before. It is frustrating to have a great digital lesson that is interactive for students that suddenly becomes less interactive; but in the defense of both of these great websites, they have to get advertisers and support to keep their websites free (it's a rock-and-a-hard-place situation).

    I usually do a Google search for new content- like "medieval knights" plus "interactive lesson". Or "online lesson" or "student driven" or something like that. I enjoy searching through the results for what is the best content for my students, especially for E-learning days or substitute plans- I love those that involve some sort of self-grading quiz at the end of the lesson.

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    1. Oh- and Symbaloo, I love Symbaloo for student resources. I do information on the LEFT, learning games on the RIGHT, and students BEG me to let them work on that at home for fun!

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  44. I am beginning to use google classroom. I do store information in google drive. I have found some of my Microsoft word documents do not convert correctly. I still prefer Microsoft word when I am creating new math worksheets, tests, quizzes. For me it is the better tool for creating my documents. I have a folder on my desktop and keep my files organized so I can find what I need fairly quickly. I also keep a back up for all my files.
    I have not used a textbook for a few years. I used it as a guide but have been able to add a lot of content. Most of my students have been fine with the transition but I do have a few parents/students who fuss about not having a book.
    I would love to find some information on how other high school math teachers are using chromebooks, google,etc in their classrooms. Most of the trainings I have been able to attend have not had good examples or advice for high school math. So I continue to search on my own trying to find ways to incorporate more technology into my daily lessons.

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  45. My school has required an online website since I have been here (5 years). I started with an OnCourse website but a few years later was introduced to weebly. I used my weebly website to create a "hip" website that had all our assignments, projects, extra resources, websites we needed for class, youtube tutorials I had created for cooking, and polls over what their favorite cooking labs were. I loved the look and feel of my weebly website. This year our school has started to use Schoology and we have a 3 year contract with them. I decided to fully embrace it and I have all of those items switched over to my Schoology page plus the addition of discussions and also students can access grades; But, I do miss the look of my weebly page.
    Because we are all using the same platform through the entire school I think this is going to be a very beneficial program but I do wish you could spice it up more then with just different color folders!

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    1. My post below was really meant to be a 'reply' to you, Rachel.

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  46. I feel your disappointment from switching LMS. Some of my colleagues have used four different systems. I have returned to Edmodo this year after mybigcampus discontinued service as an LMS. I could have chosen Google Classroom, but my fellow junior high colleagues were sticking with Edmodo. All that to say there are some great advantages with everyone being on the same system: the students have a more centralized location for organization, parents find the business of assignments online less daunting, and in general it gives the appearance of our school having some cohesiveness. I hope your compromise can offer some of the same benefits.

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  47. I have located content using a lot of the digital history book online. We are on canvas but I rarely see a need with most things very easy to get to so don't use it much. Last year we were on Edmodo and it seemed ok. I find using google apps works best along with many other internet websites. I do have a website and use it often. My students seem to do well with most things we are using we do keynote presentations and share them using google drive.

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  48. I currently distribute information to my students via Edmodo. I have created a library of digital resources for students. I looked at Google Classroom this year and may switch next year. Right now, Edmodo works well for my students. In our building, we are all not on the same LMS. Sometimes I wish we were so that there would be some cohesiveness for students and their parents.
    In class, I use an on-line textbook that has Spanish listening, writing, reading, culture, and speaking activities. I also use a regular textbook. We have used Voki.com for speaking and writing activities. We use YouTube videos for a variety of items, Spanish grammar websites (Señor Jordan is a good one.), games and flashcards on Quizlet, and vocab and grammar review with Conjuguemos.
    I recently attended a Matt Miller workshop on Ditch that Textbook. He presented a lot of ideas that are useful and relatively easy to use. There are so many` digital tools for our students to use…it just takes time to figure out what best suits your needs.

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    1. I agree! The workshop with Matt Miller opened my eyes to some new resources, but I have to remember to take a deep breath and add one new thing at a time. It isn't a problem for most students, the pacing is for me!

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  49. As a Title I teacher, I am just beginning to explore ways to use technology in my small groups. I like Telegami to motivate kids when practicing fluency. I still need to coordinate with sending final video to their teachers on a regular basis.

    One aspect that is simple is taking pictures of the kids working hard to celebrate. They are excited. In kinder, we make letters using their bodies. The classroom teacher took a picture to post on the classroom blog. The kids remembered that letter.

    A goal I have is to use video letter, word demonstrations prior to writing during our interactive writing. Then, I would also like to do a flipped lesson when I have a sub. I am learning a lot through this book and reading other posts. The important thing is that next year I will be more equipped, even in a few months.

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  50. I have used my Google website in the past to communicate upcoming assignments, provide a link to the daily warm up questions (which is on one of my Google Docs), and attach relevant Powerpoints and worksheets used in class.

    My school is going to Canvas and teachers are expected to be using this by next quarter. I have done the very basics, which is similar to how I was using my class webpage. I would like to use it more but many of the students and my school do not know how to manipulate Canvas. We also have limited computer access in school. Most of the computer labs are signed out quickly for online assessments for core subjects.

    I would like to use Canvas for online submissions on classwork and homework. I also am interested to see how assessments may work with Canvas. A few ideas from the reading also caught my eye, especially using online survey tools like Google Forms to collect information from students. I have never done any of these before and would appreciate any guidance or thoughts you might have on these.

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  51. My school district uses Blackboard. I put homework into a calendar on Blackboard and students get on daily to check their assignments. I also put class content into folders for the students to use as resources for what we are working on. All my students have iPads so it is easy for them to access Blackboard multiple times throughout the school day. I also give quizzes and tests on Blackboard. This makes grading VERY easy and the students get immediate results and feedback on the quiz or test.

    This year my district switched over to Office 365. I am still learning but my students can type a paper on their OneDrive and share it with me. I can comment and they can see my feedback right away. It is exciting to have this instant feedback. Even with all these resources I still like to use the paper and pencil method sometimes!

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    1. I am in the same boat as Emily, using Blackboard for digital content and now 365 being available. While I haven't been trained on 365, I hear it can be a great way to organize information and student work. I am challenging myself to use Blackboard more when it comes to assessments. I need a time saver when it comes to grading.

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  52. I used to use mybigcampus to put my basics for class, chapter syllabi, study guides, and Jeopardy review games. Since my school is moving away from mybigcampus and towards canvas, I am slowly transitioning to canvas. My hope is that next year, I have everything I had on mybigcampus on canvas, and more. I want to be able to upload my worksheets and activities for all chapter on there. I also want to be able to put vidoes I use in class on there as well. Since we're going 1:1 next year, I want to be able to utilize the laptops when we can. II also want to turn more assignments in online to try to save time on grading and passing back papers, and I think canvas will help me with that. With moving online, I still plan to utilize our online textbook for some topics in our units, since history textbook do a god job of condensing ideas and bringing out the main ideas of topics. Though with moving to 1:1, I hope to dive more into the internet research by the student so that they can obtain some of their own content.

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  53. Nearly everything I do is through edmodo. I am currently in the process of making more content available using google drives and slides. I just discovered that I can link my drives with edmodo so I am pretty excited about that!

    My school is currently 1-1 and have not adopted new textbooks in an effort to move towards a more digital route. In my world history I use the textbook a few times a unit, the textbook condenses some topics and provides a baseline for most of the information which is helpful. However, I try to find activities or lessons online to replace my use of the textbook. In my social studies course I have completely ditched the textbook. Those books are collecting dust in a corner!

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  54. This year our school is a pilot school for the online program/classroom Canvas. We are also one of two middle schools in our corporation that has given all middle school students chrome books. They use the Canvas program to access all homework, assignments, etc. I also put all of my homework using the Canvas calendar, but I have not done any tests or quizzes via Canvas yet. I made all of tests online using a technology called SMART within our school corporation website, and I am now trying to figure out if these will convert to Canvas somehow.
    Students are really enjoying using their chrome books this year, the only down fall being that I think we need more access points in our building because sometimes it takes forever for them to submit something through Google. I have made Power points for all material covered in Health, but I need to convert these to Google slides now because our Corporation is doing away with Microsoft and using Google for everything. I am curious if other teachers are using Canvas, and if they like or dislike it? I think it is similar to Blackboard, but I am just slowly figuring out everything you can do on Canvas. I still have all of my Power points on my webpage, but I assume I will need to transfer to Canvas at some point because I think we are going to use this program for a while. I am very glad we have chrome books now for our students, and I would like to incorporate some new technology this year. Some things from the reading grabbed my attention, like Quizlet flash cards....I would like to try this website. Any feedback on Canvas, Quizlet would be very helpful. :)

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  55. If anyone gets the opportunity to attend one of Matt's workshops, it's a MUST. I have enjoyed the book, but the workshop is much better.

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  56. I have been using Google Classroom, YouTube, and Socrative whenever possible. This is the second year that I have had Google Classroom and feel much more comfortable with it this year. I also use Google docs, sheets and slides for students to access and collaborate. I also have a website that I used more last year than I have this school year so far, but all of my contact info is listed there. I love to try new things when I have time - that scarce resource. I've checked out Quizlet and will be working on utilizing that.

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  57. First of all, I can not believe all of the resources being shared this week! You all are amazing!! Our school is not 1:1 but will be over the next 2 years. I am making a list of the things I want to investigate as I prepare myself and my classroom.

    I do have a class website that is encouraged by the district. It has student resources and parent information. I've dabbled in web quests and other online activities but do not currently use any sort of LMS or any of the Google "products" in my classroom. I sure do want to though. I have so much to learn in this area. That's exactly why I decided to participate in the book club this time around!

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  59. Outside of student teaching, I've never taught with a textbook. I didn't make this decision on my own, at first; I simply didn't have the availability of textbooks in the urban charter school I worked in... So I began the journey that Matt talks about in Chapter 24. In my first teaching position, I was forced to create my own content based on the state standards, but I didn't have much technology to work with in the classroom. So I photocopied, begged to use one of the projectors at school, and created learning "experiences" for students. We Skyped, we went outside, we did simulations...A LOT! For the past 4 years, I've taught in 1:1 districts. Curating primary and secondary sources, developing leveled texts, and individualizing instruction has gotten significantly easier, but I'm still glad I went through the struggle the first couple of years in ditching the textbook. I'm more creative and a bit tougher now. When I go to wdl.org, SHEG, and the Library of Congress, etc. I don't get as overwhelmed as I once did.

    I am fully immersed in Google (GAFE) as a curation tool now, but I also love Evernote and it's Add-on tools for curation and reading material. The Web Clipper and Clearly add-ons are incredibly useful when I'm searching for informative texts for students (Web Clipper clips it to your folders and Clearly eliminates adds/distractions). I'm a Quizlet fan. I use Symbaloo as a home for students to access my favorite Social Studies sites/apps, approved games (i.e. Geoguessr)... I like TouchCast and Powtoon to create short videos for the class, and I usually post them or videos from YouTube being used within Ted-Ed.

    As for LMS's...I loved Edmodo, used MyBigCampus because I had to, and now use a combination of Google Classroom and a class blog/website.

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  60. As an eLearning Coach, it is my job to keep the staff updated on any new potential learning tools available. But it is more important to stay focused on the true driving force behind educational technology, the learning goals and how technology can help achieve those goals. We are in the process of going 1:1 with Chromebooks in 3-12th grade this year (long, frustrating story) and will be using Canvas, GAFE, and Powerschool to interact with students and parents. Having spent the last month fully immersed in learning Canvas, I must say that I am impressed and give it 2 thumbs up. Ease of use combined with robust options make it a great classroom tool. A relatively new tool I just ran across is www.edpuzzle.com. This website allows you to take an online video and add questions and other interactive features to the video. This tool allows students to actually interact with a video as op[posed to just zoning out.

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  61. Our school has been working on getting Google Classroom set up for all grade levels, as this is one way we plan to reach our students for elearning days! I have set up pages at both the primary and intermediate building, but have spent more time working with classroom teachers to get their pages set up than I have working on my own. I would love to be able to use it informally to discuss books with the students in my Title I groups, just to get them talking about books!

    Also, we are in the process of realigning our curriculum to include specific technology resources at each stage, whether it be scanned documents going digital, or websites and apps to use within each of our units/quarters. It is helpful to know that we are not alone in learning day by day!!

    Earlier, Jessica posted that it is best to do one thing at a time, and I totally agree! It takes a bit of playing around in order to get the programs to do what you want and to know what options you have. I know in today's fast paced technology driven world it doesn't seem like there is time, but it is definitely helpful to focus on one thing and do it well.

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  62. Our school has been working on getting Google Classroom set up for all grade levels, as this is one way we plan to reach our students for elearning days! I have set up pages at both the primary and intermediate building, but have spent more time working with classroom teachers to get their pages set up than I have working on my own. I would love to be able to use it informally to discuss books with the students in my Title I groups, just to get them talking about books!

    Also, we are in the process of realigning our curriculum to include specific technology resources at each stage, whether it be scanned documents going digital, or websites and apps to use within each of our units/quarters. It is helpful to know that we are not alone in learning day by day!!

    Earlier, Jessica posted that it is best to do one thing at a time, and I totally agree! It takes a bit of playing around in order to get the programs to do what you want and to know what options you have. I know in today's fast paced technology driven world it doesn't seem like there is time, but it is definitely helpful to focus on one thing and do it well.

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    1. I would love to discuss books with my students. I wonder if there is a way that we could video our chats back and forth (kindergarteners) and post them on classroom and when they had time they could go in and look at other peoples comments about books and know if it was a book they wanted to read or not.

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  64. We are working to implement Google Classroom. I am hoping to see it used as a tool to organize guided reading groups. It may be a way to check in with groups when you can't meet with them. I can see it working lots of different ways. It is just a matter of jumping in and working with it. I'm not there yet, but enjoy reading about ideas.
    I also want to work toward organizing valuable websites. I need to take time to play with symbaloo a little more. I started to set up a page during staff development we had last year. I feel like I have been doing a lot of jumping around from idea to idea. I have 4 or 5 accounts set up and have dabbled a bit with things like nearpod, and quizlet. I like the idea of picking one and making personal goals with that one thing. Our corporation is doing a nice job of helping us prioritize the technology in our classroom. We opened our new school with lots of technology. It can be overwhelming, but with anything small steps are much better.

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    1. I too need to work on coordinating websites. I also need to have some visual reminder of he website and what skills it would be useful with. Using technology requires me to link the site to my teaching or replace the method of practice. I am definitely not there yet. Sometimes getting great at a couple of things doesn't seem to be enough, so thanks for the reminder that small steps are best.

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    2. The kids really understand Symbaloo also! It's a great resource to help organize all of these different websites/apps we are being given!

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    3. The kids really understand Symbaloo also! It's a great resource to help organize all of these different websites/apps we are being given!

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    4. Yes, agree our corporation has done a nice job in prioritizing things/tools for us to learn. I like your idea Kathy of using it for groups! That is an out of the box idea! I agree with the higher kids that's a great way to meet with them but not have to be face-to-face. I would love to try that with a couple of my students! Thanks!

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    5. We have this new building and all this technology and I am trying to take small steps but am having trouble. It feels like every time I get something set up to start getting to know how to use it well they say we need to move on to something else. I do like that we are taking it a month at a time to learn different things but I guess since I'm not a "digital native" it's taking me longer than it should.
      This month with google classroom I see that there are a lot of applications for it but I have yet to even try one just based on time constraints.

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  65. One of the reasons I am participating in this blog session is so I can get out of my comfort zone and utilize digital resources in ways I haven't as yet. Being an older teacher, I have a pretty good arsenal of things that work in my bag of tricks, and since being on the web is not second nature to me (I still have a flip phone!) I'm often reluctant to take the time to retrain myself. But I want to be open to change and serve my students in the best way possible and steer them into becoming 21st century learners. I see lots of people up thread talking about 'Google Classroom' and will make it a point to explore what that has to offer!

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    1. Ann, I totally relate to being out of my comfort zone. Colleagues that find technology to be so easy sometimes makes me feel weak. Like you, I have different strategies to use with kids from my years of experience. Now I am trying to find the technology to link or support that knowledge. Thanks for being honest with your post. It is nice to have others learning too.

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  66. I appreciate all of the possible sites to use for my classroom. I am looking specifically to use a third grade friendly blog site. If there is anyone that has really found something that is great...please let me know.

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  68. Our school does not have a lot of available technology. We have a computer lab and, as of this year, students have their own Google account. To utilize the Google account, I am going to have them send their typed drafts of their papers to me. I will then make corrections and suggestions for revision and send them back to the students. So far, this method works and saves paper!

    To look up vocabulary definitions or basic facts when we have questions in class, I let students use their phones. In my mind, this is a great way for students to make sure their sources are credible and to give them practice searching for answers to their questions.

    I like the blog ideas presented in the book, but I have a few students who do not have access to the internet. Should I just have them write the blog on paper?

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  69. I had previously used Edmodo for my classes. Last year we were asked to all go with Showbie, for reasons of cohesiveness mentioned above. I simply felt like I couldn't do as much with Showbie. It was mostly useful for disseminating and collecting documents. I have returned to Edmodo. With it, I can send out messages, post and collect assignments, share links to other sites like Quizlet, and give vocab quizzes that are graded automatically. I'm not familiar with Google classroom, but I am curious about it since so many have mentioned it on here.

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    1. I have used Showbie in the past with my first graders, but they have iPad minis, so I feel we are limited in what I can expect from their work. Usually, I would take a picture of a worksheet or poem and then ask them to fill things in or circle/underline certain words in the text. I felt that it was a great way to avoid making copies and to get feedback to students very quickly. Are there other things that you used it for? I would love some new ideas!

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  70. I use KidBlog with my students for many different aspects of the curriculum. The students love it and other teachers, the principal, and parents are reading and commenting on their posts. It is authentic writing with real audiences. I also use Google Docs this year for writing workshop. That has truly improved the conferencing aspect of the workshop. The students think it is the coolest thing ever and I am amazed at how efficient and effective it is. I am learning how to use Classroom and hope to increase my use of it this year.

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  71. I have been using edmodo this year. The students set up their own user id's and passwords, that was a disaster! Fourth graders came up with ridiculously long and complicated passwords, then they forgot them, even though they wrote them down! I had to go in and change everyone's to something very simple and easy to remember. We've used it mainly to discuss our reading. There's definately a lot more uses that I'm interested in utilizing with my students. It's really a matter of me sitting down and going through all the various features.

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  72. I have not gotten into the technology near what I need to do and want to do. Being a new teacher, I feel the pressure of so many new things to learn and things I deeply want to learn, share and develop.
    I have several foreign exchange students and would love to skype with math teachers in their home school and their fellow classmates. I think this would be exciting for them and my other student, plus they may see how students in other countries view math education. I am very interested and committed to doing this during this school year.

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  73. I would love to use technology more but I am waiting for computers. My district is moving to chrome books so right now I do not have a computer for every student consistently. I used to use Moodle a lot and loved it. My district just took Goolge Classroom and I hope that I can find something compatible to give tests and quizzes like Moodle.
    Once I have the chrome books, I plan to go 90% digital but I will probably still utilize a consumable.

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  74. I teach first grade in a building where we are completely one-to-one regarding technology and our students. My students have iPad minis that they use daily within my classroom. For the most part, I use them as an extension to our curriculum; I can't say that I have "ditched the textbook" just yet. My students are taking quizzes over books they have read, practicing math skills, playing games to learn spelling words, and creating books about various topics that interest them.
    I am slowly using the iPads to replace other forms of learning and practice, such as using Educreations in place of dry erase boards. The farthest leap we have taken so far is to provide students with the opportunities to learn from home during snowstorms...eLearning Days. These were a big success last year. My students were thrilled to get to take their iPads home, and I was thrilled that they were still learning and I was checking on them from my home in my pajamas with my hot cocoa in hand. Our corporation just adopted a new LMS, Canvas, as our means of getting information about these "snow day lessons" to our students and their families. I have moved my eLearning activities to this new site, and am anxious to see how else I might be able to use it in my classroom. If my students can visit my page to learn about what to do on a cold snowy day, why can't they go there to follow my directions when I'm in the same room, ready to guide them through the process?

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    1. This is our first year as a one-to-one building and as a kindergarten teacher I've been dragging my feet in using my ipads to much (which is funny because when we were 1-3 I was all in). I'm curious to know, do you feel that the first graders truly get anything from elearning days or is it just busy work. So far I am not even able to imagine what I could assign for my kinders to do on an elearng day.

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  75. I think ditching the textbook is both nerve wracking and exciting. At my school, we are currently getting ready to be a 1:1 school next year. We are getting tons of training on Google this year. It is a little overwhelming especially as an old school History teacher that loves the textbook. But, I am really excited to use some of Miller's ideas to bring technology to life for my students. I love an interactive classroom and this will allow me to try many different activities online for my students. The good news is that I am not afraid to try new things, and if it fails, I will try something else until we get it right. Miller has given all of us numerous examples and ideas to consider for our classrooms. It will trial and error for me next year i'm sure.

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  76. I agree with many others who have said that the move to technology in the classroom is very overwhelming and sometimes scary. Our school is piloting the use of Chrome Books in four classrooms this year, with school-wide 1:1 in the near future. We are also transitioning to the use of Google and Canvas this year. We have some training coming up, but the amount of training that I think many of us will need seems daunting. I am excited (and nervous) to try integrating technology into my classroom as we move toward a 1:1 initiative. I am not afraid of having something fail in front of my students--it can often be a learning experience for all of us. I have found that in the past, if I cannot figure something out, a student or two can usually help which then makes them take more ownership and feel like a more important part of the classroom. I look forward to trying new methods. I also hope that I can find some guidance that will help make the transition more smooth that I am expecting it to be.

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  77. I would like to use more technology in my classroom. Specifically, I would love to flip my classroom. Not necessarily all of the time, but with key basic topics. This way students could listen to whatever parts they need to. Then, I could access each student’s mastery of the topics electronically. Currently, I deliver most of the math content through lecture. I show enough examples for kids to understand the material and then I post a PDF on my notes online for absent students. I have a few graphing websites such as Desmos that I use in class and other hat that haven’t made mush use of online sources in my room. I want to try out geogebra in my room this year. I think it will help improve my student’s graphing skills and the students will enjoy working on their computers to graph. Other math teacher sin my department want to use this package also so I will enjoy having support of other teachers while I try to use this package. This will help me be more successful!

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  78. My school has been using mybigcampus for an LMS but that will change next year. I have using google to make slides for bell ringers to save to use again. But next year I am sure I will make changes. My Algebra I and Algebra II teachers share a folder and keep all our content there. I have used a little bit of geogebra. I have also used screenchomp to make lessons to post on my big campus. It is okay but looking for something a little more friendly. I have a twitter account and need to use it more.

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  79. Our school system is in the midst of implementing Canvas corporation-wide. Our high schools are currently using it, and it's being piloted in two of our middle schools. Our school will, theoretically, be using it next year. In preparation for that, our administration has been strongly encouraging us to familiarize ourselves with Google Drive/Docs/Apps. I have converted many of my files already from our old system and from my flash drive, which has been liberating. It's nice to access my files from everywhere. I have not done a whole lot of sharing through it yet, but I have had students do so due to lack of access to working printers. I need to get more adept/comfortable at sharing my documents to my website. I feel like I'm further along in the process than some of my colleagues, and it doesn't intimidate me as it does some of them. These chapters have directed me to some things I could use with Google Apps to make my life even easier now that I've converted many things.

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  80. It has been two years since I have been in the classroom. I was using iTunes U and Google Drive for curriculum curation and content storage/dissemination. We rarely opened the textbooks - I used Google slide presentations, videos, and other online resources to share content with my students. We are 1:1 with iPads, so iTunes U and Google Drive work great for our students.

    As Curriculum Director, I try to help teachers find ways to ditch their textbooks. Many teachers in our district have begun to curate their own curriculum or have, at least, started to look for effective ways to integrate technology into their lessons.

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  81. In the past, I've had an interactive white board and a document camera to use. which was nice but the students didn't have anything. Now they all have Chromebooks. I use Google Classroom to issue assignments, post announcements, and share links to other websites. The students seem to love having everything in one place. They can check instructions and rubrics about the assignments anywhere.
    I have been wanting to try screencastify. I still need to figure out a lesson and a good time to implement it. My goal is to have used it several times this year as well as have the students use it for a project. Anybody can feel free to share what successes you've experienced with it.

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  82. In the past, I've had an interactive white board and a document camera to use. which was nice but the students didn't have anything. Now they all have Chromebooks. I use Google Classroom to issue assignments, post announcements, and share links to other websites. The students seem to love having everything in one place. They can check instructions and rubrics about the assignments anywhere.
    I have been wanting to try screencastify. I still need to figure out a lesson and a good time to implement it. My goal is to have used it several times this year as well as have the students use it for a project. Anybody can feel free to share what successes you've experienced with it.

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  83. Four years ago, the high school English teachers in my corporation voted whether to adopt a textbook or not. We knew the superintendent and principals wanted us to go digital. While we were a little disgruntled that it would save them money and cost us time, I believe they also wanted us to take the plunge because that is the direction education was heading. I voted to not adopt a textbook, and it has been a learning adventure! One of the things I most enjoy about teaching now is looking for resources and developing curriculum! I use Edmodo to share resources with students.

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  84. In terms of my personal use of technology in the classroom, I am a user of Google Drive and have found that to be incredibly beneficial as it helps consolidate the mess and clutter and allows for collaboration between students as well as between teacher and student. Using Google Drive to create assignments has been excellent, but the best thing I have done so far with the Google platform would be creating forms that I can add to the classroom online and collect every students response in a spreadsheet to track their understanding and more quickly identify the struggle points. Instead of individually looking through each student's work, forms allows me to look at it all at once and get a better picture of the knowledge of the students.
    One thing I am wanting to get better at using this year is padlet. I have used this a few times intermittently and found it to be incredibly useful, however I would like to get better at using it more frequently and in better ways.

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  85. In terms of my personal use of technology in the classroom, I am a user of Google Drive and have found that to be incredibly beneficial as it helps consolidate the mess and clutter and allows for collaboration between students as well as between teacher and student. Using Google Drive to create assignments has been excellent, but the best thing I have done so far with the Google platform would be creating forms that I can add to the classroom online and collect every students response in a spreadsheet to track their understanding and more quickly identify the struggle points. Instead of individually looking through each student's work, forms allows me to look at it all at once and get a better picture of the knowledge of the students.
    One thing I am wanting to get better at using this year is padlet. I have used this a few times intermittently and found it to be incredibly useful, however I would like to get better at using it more frequently and in better ways.

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    1. Way to go, Cindy! You are off to a great start!

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