Monday, April 28, 2014

Shared with Me in Google Drive

I think one of the things I am asked the most is,  "What do I do with the mess that is Shared with me?"

Here is my advice...

When I was teaching there were always bits of info left laying on the table in the teachers lounge. It was tidbits that were available to all of us.  They were left on the table and after a day or so someone would move them to the counter so they didn't get splattered on. They ended up in a stack there.  If any of the info was important to me - I would make a copy of it and take it back to my own classroom. So I had it later.

That stack of stuff on the table is "Shared with Me."  Anything that is shared ends up pell mell in that folder.  There are things that pertain to you and some that don't.  But - the hard part is that you can't organize that folder - don't even try!

Instead - if there is something in the folder that is important to you follow these steps

  1. open the doc or presentation
  2. file - make a copy
  3. name it so it makes sense to you
  4. now it is in your drive so you want to put it somewhere so you can find it again
    1. file - move to folder
The original will still be in Shared with Me - and now you can ignore it!  You have what you need in your own drive!

Good Luck!

1:1 Parent Meeting and My AH HA Moment!

I was part of the parent transition meeting for 5th graders at the Middle School this year.  It was a privilege to share what is happening with the 7th grade Chromebook pilot project we started in the fall.  We added to this project in April by handing out chromebooks for all 6th graders to use at school.

Next year is when things really change. We will have chromebooks for all 6-8th graders to take home.   That is what I was sharing with the parents of the soon to be 6th graders.  I had 1/2 hour with the parents.

I shared a video on chromebooks highlighting what this tool is all about. There was one chromebook on each of the tables in the library where we were meeting.  So, the parents were able to see first hand what this device really was.

I also created a short FAQ on our chromebook project.  I used this as talking points for the rest of my time.  There was a little time for questions at the end.

Link to the Chromebook FAQ

This was the first time many of these parents were able to see chromebooks and what they can do.  It was also the first time for parents to begin thinking about whether they will have this device in their home next fall - or if it will remain at school. That is completely the parents' choice - and we honor their decisions.

All of that was great - but the conversations after the presentation were where my AH HA moment came!

Following the last session I had a very interesting conversation with a concerned parent. We were discussing monitoring digital devices out of the school domain.  The parent made some very valid points and mentioned things we will consider before the rollout for 6th graders in the fall.

But, the conversation also got me thinking about why I am so passionate about 1:1.  My daughter is a 12th grader. She is a good kid, has grown up in a home where her parents feel reasonably involved in her life and what she is doing online.

But...I handed her a smart phone a long time ago and basically walked away.  I assumed that she knew how to act online.  I assumed she understood how to be private and safe. I assumed she was a good kid and would be fine. And I teach this stuff!!!

So far she has been - at least as far as I know.  But, as a parent that is a major FAIL!  It is like giving her the keys to the car and waving goodbye without telling her all all the ways to be safe.  We would never do that - but in fact I did!!

Here is where my passion comes in!

We have another chance with the next group of students. We can spend time helping them to understand why the rules are there. We can provide practice with the rules in a safe environment so if they make mistakes - we are there to help them out of the jam.

I have faith in this process. I have faith in our kids. I have faith in all the adults in their lives who are there to help them.  Together this can be a WIN!

I know it is scary!!!
But - we really are in it together!
That sounds so cliche - but it is what brings me to my job each day!

Stay tuned!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Teacher Toolbox

Looking forward to sharing with an undergrad class at the University of Iowa.  Here is my prezi