Have you ever experienced that feeling as you approach the end of a journey? That feeling of anticipation mixed with a tinge of sadness because as exciting as the destination is, arriving there means the journey is over?
That is how I feel this week.
I am excited to have accomplished my goal of completing the training and am able to reflect on how much I have learned. I also feel a sense of loss, a void of sorts, as a result of having no new challenge to take its place as of yet.
This last leg of my journey focused on YouTube. I had always considered YouTube a somewhat frivolous phenomenon that fed on humanity’s narcissism. I had not considered its potential as an educational resource.
I was wrong.
I can now see its value as a resource in accessing and evaluating information and sharing learning. I learned how to search YouTube, upload videos, create and share playlists and much more.
I will not make the mistake of allowing preconceived notions to prevent me from exploring the potential of a popular resource again.
Check out my brief tutorial on creating a YouTube playlist as well as the screencasts of my final unit tests to glean some insight into what you could learn by taking advantage of Google's free training and using some of Google's many apps in your practice.
Reflecting on my learning journey I realise just how much I have learned. I have discovered apps that I didn't know existed and seen the potential they have for enriching my students' learning and increasing my own efficiency.
The first week of my learning focused on digital citizenship and keeping yourself safe and secure online. It also covered Google Calendar Google Hangouts, Google Forms and Google Keep, I was excited to embark on this journey and was amazed by the array of apps contained in the suite and the potential they had for transforming education.
My second week explored Google classroom as part of a Professional Learning Group. While I did gain as much experience with the apps as I wold have liked, building a network will prove extremely beneficial next year when I start using these tools myself and sharing them with the staff at my school At this time.I also took the opportunity to explore Google Calendar more. This week's blog post contains a Flipagram of adding a goal to Google Calendar. Students will love demonstrating their learning with Flipagram!
Week Three of my learning journey was filled with frustration. I was learning about all these wonderful apps but didn't have access to them to apply what I was learning. I was also unsure of how to make my learning more visible. This frustration is expressed in the second episode of Visible Learning.embedded in my blog post at http://onlinelearningjourneyofchantelle.weebly.com/my-learning-journey/staring-across-the-abyss.
Week four of my learning was centered around Google Slides and Google Play for Education I relished actually being able to play with these apps and gain real experience. This is when I discovered just how helpful YouTube could be in my learning, and how it could benefit my students as well.
As detailed in the beginning of this blog post, week five was all about YouTube. I experienced a real shift in thinking regarding this app that I had previously seen as a time suck and platform for those cursed with excessive vanity. I can now see its full potential and value. Providing students with an audience gives them purpose and motivation and knowing how to access and evaluate videos on YouTube provides them with access to more materials on a broader range of topics and helps them become critical thinkers
While the official Google training comprised the largest component of my learning, YouTube videos also proved very valuable, particularly in learning Google Keep (Flipped Classroom Tutorials) and playlists for YouTube (David Walsh Online).. Screencasts of people performing certain tasks using given applications proved very helpful to a visual and linear learner like myself.
In conclusion I feel confident that I can use Google Drive to share documents with colleagues and students, use Google Calendar to stay organized, use Google Slides to create presentations with animations, transitions, embedded YouTube videos, hyperlinked text and presenter notes, use Google Sheets to record student grades and create graphs, and use Google Classroom to post and collect assignments and share announcements and I am happy to share these skills with my colleagues. In fact, I am excited to share!
I am a goal driven purpose who thrives on challenges. My next challenge is taking my level one Google Certified Educator test in preparation for assuming the role as my school’s EdTech mentor. Maybe I’ll continue on and take the level two training. One thing’s for sure. It won’t be long before I find a new challenge to replace the one I have just finished.
If my learning project for OLTD is to be compared to a game of baseball I would say that in the last two weeks I have been getting walks. I was progressing but it wasn’t particularly satisfying. I lacked the tools to apply my knowledge and gain practical experience.
This week I feel more like I hit a home run.
This week’s training focused on Google Slides and Google Play for Education. Thanks to a YouTube video produced by Teach 101 I discovered how to access Google Slides and Google Sheets which I had previously been unable to locate. Bam! The hands-on experience I had been anxious for. I was even able to download the apps onto my iPhone! You would have thought I had won the lottery I was so excited.
I took the opportunity to record my first attempt at creating a slide show using Google Slides. It turned out to very simple to use and had most of the features that I was familiar with from PowerPoint, such as transitions, animations, themes, embedded images and videos. I am excited to play around with it more and explore some of the more advanced features such as audio. hyperlinks and Word Art. I know how impactful PowerPoint presentations can be and with students having the ability to create presentations in Google Slides and upload them to Google Drive to share with their teacher or classmates it is another way for students to demonstrate their understanding. That is always a good thing. More choices. More students engaged in learning.
Yes, my AdministrayGoogle Slides Screencast
With the free online training offered by Google and the other open resources available to me, I am gradually becoming more confident that I will be successful in my leadership role as Ed Tech mentor at my school next year (yes, my principal is putting my name forward for the position) when Google Apps for Education is rolled out in my district. After all, I aced my unit 10 exam :-)
Unit 10 Screencast
Homerun photo credit: CC BY-SA 2.0File:20060825 Barry Bonds follow through.jpg
Created: 25 August 2006
One of the best resources for learning something new is people. This week I joined some fellow educators in the district wanting to get a headstart with Google Apps for Education. I had my first experience using a Chrome book and got some hands-on experience with Google Classroom. We practiced viewing posts and commenting on posts and sharing Google docs in Google Drive. Many of these features were already familiar to me but the experience still had value. I also learned about a very cool extension called Google Read and Write. It is a voice to text and text to voice app. So cool! It is available at no cost to all teachers. I recommend checking it out if you haven't already.
I also learned that the district has engaged in in depth discussions with other districts and Google representatives to help work out issues associated with he Freedom of Information and Personal Privacy Act. These concerns are the reason for the delay in implementation and why some districts have not yet bought in. So far it is looking good.
Each school will have an EdTech Mentor to help with the transition next year. I am hoping to fill that role at my school. I am hoping that my enthusiasm and vision of the possibilities the technology presents will be contagious. I have not been inclined to take on a leadership role in the past but the timing and topic seems right.
I also took the opportunity to play around with the Google apps that I have been introduced to so far. Google Keep is new to me so I was excited to give it a try.
I also played around with Google Calendar. . I loved it so much that I created a Flipagram, something else that was completely new to me. You can enjoy it at: https://flipagram.com/f/qHzkHu3FWE
This week I explored other open sources of information about some popular Google apps. I turned to my new favourite source for professional development…..edWeb. EdWeb (www.edweb.net) is a site that curates professional learning communities on several teaching related topics, including technology. I am a member of the Tech Tools for Teachers community (among many others.) Members of this community have access to an archive of free webinars. Each lasts about one hour. I discovered 2 webinars hosted by one of my favourite presenters, Shannon Holden (https://www.edleadersnetwork.org/presenters/g-i/holden-shannon) The first was on Google Tools for Educators. It was produced and aired in 2013. It covered Creating an account; creating, adding events, sharing,and embedding a Google Calendar; the basics of Google Plus such as creating circles; using Google Hangouts to facilitate communication between teachers and students, peers and teachers and parents; and using Google Drive to disseminate information to students and colleagues and encourage collaboration., A second webinar focused exclusively on OneDrive by Microsoft and Google Drive more in depth.
While the content contained in these webinars was covered more thoroughly in the first modules of the online training offered by Google but it was beneficial to have a different perspective
My biggest frustration at this point is seeing the possibilities and not having the opportunity to fully utilize these tools. I am eager for my colleagues to get on board so we can streamline communication and work more efficiently.
Next week my learniing will be hands on with some colleagues from a different school. I am excited to see how they are using these and other tools in their professional practice.
Choosing what to focus on for my individual learning project was not easy. Once I opened my mind to the possibilities I was flooded with ideas. I could study French, my ancestral language that for political and personal reasons my father never spoke to me. I could study novel writing. Seeing my work in print has always been a dream of mine. I could learn the nuances of dog training from experts (although I think my nearly eleven year-old retriever is beyond redemption.) Or I could get a headstart with Google Apps for Education which the school district I work in will be subscribing to next year.
In the end I decided to pursue Google Apps for Education. I am familiar with some of the applications that comprise the suite. I have a Gmail account. I Have used Google docs and have saved documents to my Google Drive. Earlier this year I found online training from Google and only had time to complete the first few introductory units.
I went back and continued with the training. This time I had two goals in mind. First, I wanted to expand my skill set. Second, I wanted to be able to share what I learned with staff and take a leadership role in assisting with the transition to this new medium for communicating with staff, students and parents.
So far the training, which includes links to documents in the help center, video and audio clips and frequent quizzes to check understanding, has covered policy, locating experts, Google Docs, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Keep, Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, Google Groups and more.
Part of the training involved exploring Google Education Groups. These are groups of educators who are using Google Apps for Education. It is a place to share ideas and seek help. I was surprised to discover that there were no groups on the Island. There wasn’t even a single group listed in British Columbia!
I saw this as an opportunity to begin my role as a leader. Google recommended that those wishing to begin a group contact an active group close by. I joined the Google+ Community for the Alberta GEG (Google Educators Group) and asked for advice and a nomination to begin a group on the Island. They kindly directed me to someone whom I am hoping can get the ball rolling. I am also going to get together with some local teachers from pilot schools who are already trying the suite of applications out.
My plan is to complete the free training from Google, collaborate with peers and seek out further open resources that can further my competency with the Google products that will be available to me in the fall. #ThisIsGoingToBeFun
Check out episode 1 of Visible Learning at: