Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Google Form File Upload Feature

Google introduced a new feature in Google Forms in the latest update: File Upload. Now you can set File Upload as a question in a survey and get different file types submitted to you in your Google Form.

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to use. This feature in only available within GSuite domains.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Authentic Experiences

My children have competed in Marching Band. By the time they all graduate, I will have watched over a decade of Marching Band. Every Friday night and many Saturdays in the Fall I have sat in stadiums around Texas to watch amazing groups of talented students.

I was not in Marching Band in school so I have no idea what it is like. I did have a taste of it during a couple of Parent nights when the students had to  teach their parents some simple drills. I will admit, it was hard! And I was just trying to step in a line not also playing an instrument. I have been so proud of my children and their commitment to this sport.

 My two daughters are marching in the same band this year which is a first. I have watched some awesome shows this year, and watched videos of each performance. But I had never watched a video like the one just posted by a band member.

Tristan Rogers, a Junior Baritone player wore a GoPro on his hat for the final performance of this year's show, Rogue. I seriously loved! It gives a new lens to view the experience through. It reminds me of a Google Connected Classroom event I watched several years ago where a dog sledder wore a camera to show students what it was like to drive a dog sled. Technology gives us perspective we could not have seen before.

Rogue from the Baritone section:

And if you want to see what the show looks like from an audience member, here it is:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Leadership and Innovation - Fanboying over George

I am a connected educator. Daily, I scour Twitter for fresh ideas and perspective. Through this PLN, I chat with people in other districts, states, and countries to help me be a better teacher, librarian, and technologist. I am a lifelong learner.

Case in point, I have the opportunity to present a session at the Tulare County Tech Rodeo in Tulare, California in January. I am very much looking forward to this event for three reasons: 1) I get to reconnect with some of my #TOR16 Google Innovator Cohort, 2) this will be my first out of state conference, and 3) I get to hear George Couros, the keynote speaker. I am currently reading The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros and taking graduate school courses to become a principal. I tweeted about my excitement to attend this conference and hear George speak. Moments later, he followed me on Twitter. A conversation with some of my #TOR16 friends, who will also be there, ensued and we discussed me fanboying over George following me on Twitter, us collectively hugging him at the conference, and getting great tacos is California. I woke up the next morning to a message from George Couros saying he thought we were hilarious and he would meet us soon!

So tattoo major geek across my forehead! Here I am reading a book by a leading educator and principal who is doing what I want to see done in schools. I talk about him on social media, and through that get to connect with him personally! I am a grown woman, and I think that is so cool!!!

What must our students think when we give them the world as their platform and let them connect with people they admire? Connecting them with authors, experts, inventors, adventurers, and more? Giving them an authentic audience and a voice and a way to join conversations with others?

Or, do we not connect them to the world. Several years ago, Gail Dickinson offered a great analogy at a conference session I attended. She said, "Imagine teaching students to drive. You let them drive around the parking lot in circles, but every so often you stop and point to the highway and tell them how they should drive on it, but never give them the opportunity to try it. You just drive in circles in the parking lot. That is how we teach students to use the power of the internet." I totally agree with her.

We need to give our students real connections to help them be future ready. That means less filtering and embracing social media for the learning tool that it is. That means letting student blog about their reading instead of just writing a book project that only their teacher sees. That means encouraging them to vlog about their curiosity and learning.

Open up the world to them and see what they can do, make, create, produce, invent. Lead the change towards innovation.