Gaining Time from Richard at Free Technology for Teachers

Time

‘In Search Of Lost Time’

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28548387@N00/556656621

 

I have read Richard’s work at Free Tech 4 Teachers for a few years and am amazed at how much he creates for us teachers to use. I was thinking of doing a project with my sixth graders using Animoto as I wanted to test how it would work with my 6th grade students. We are going to take some images on campus and I think we could be creative with how we showcase them in our class blog. This will also allow me to talk more about copyright as we will use music from Animoto.

I plan to use some of this handout with my students and perhaps with my teachers in a June workshop I hope to have as I am still waiting to get at least 6 teachers to attend.

Making Videos on the Web.

 

Speaking of Copyright, Richard posted this today about the YouTube Copyright School. It describes what will happen if YouTube Users videos they upload violate copyright.

Thanks Richard for the time and effort you put into your web site and tutorial guides.

 

DA Middle School has Gone Google Video

Gone Google

 

Durham Academy Middle School implemented Google Apps for Education in November of 2010 so that all students, regardless of age, could access the powerful collaborative tools. With little training and few issues, students and teachers have Gone Google in meaningful and substantial ways to advance the learning of our students with this transformative collection of tools.

Google launched a Gone Google campaign for companies, schools and others to tell how Going Google has impacted the organization. I also read a blog post by Dean Shareski about how he started this Google Doc. I thought I would combine the two ideas and created my own Gone Google Doc to see if students and teachers would help create a Gone Google Video. After asking a few teachers to nominate students, I nominated teachers who were actively using Google Apps with their students. I created a Google Doc asking for a short video and shared it with the people.

The directions:

Teachers and students, I would like to hear how using Google Docs has helped you with school. The idea is to get short (30 – 60 second) videos where you answer the following statements. I will take the clips submitted and edit them together to create the Gone Google movie. We will do this all in Google Docs.

The idea is for you to create a short 30 second video clip that you shoot on your own with your computer and then upload it to Google Docs and share it with me, I can get it from there to make the Gone Google Video.

The Script:

1. State your first name and grade (No last names as it is going on the Internet)

2. Complete this sentence: “I have gone Google because I ………….

(Talk about how Google Docs helps you or any other comment that works for you).

3. Complete this sentence: My tip on how to use Google Docs is to ………

(Perhaps it is something you do for yourself that helps you be more productive).

4. Complete this sentence: I wish I could do _____________ with Google Docs?

(Optional  –  leave out if you have no wish).

5. Add any other comments you want.

Technical Directions:

1. Use your computer’s web cam and Photobooth or iMovie or any other software to create the movie. (If desired, I can video you at school).

2. Leave a gap at the start and at the end so I can trim it. 3 seconds is a fine amount to leave.

3. Name it lastname.gonegoogle.

4. Upload it to Google Docs and Share it with me. It should be in a .mov format.

5. Have the movie to me by 3/22/2011

6. If you need help uploading the file, see this link: http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=50092&topic=1153381

I am sharing it via our VoiceThread so if you would like to leave a comment, please do.


 

Learning Without Limitations

FC Limit

I had thought about writing this post yesterday since I had two teachers come ask me why they could not send attachments with our FirstClass system. We impose a 200 MB limit on teachers and a 70MB limit on students. There are of course practical reasons for these limits since we host these services on campus. Our Moodle setup allows for an upload of 150MB per object as we increased it each year to accommodate larger files as more teachers were uploading video files and other learning resources. Our new Google Apps Accounts allow for 2 GB of space for teachers and students with Google formatted documents counting for almost nothing against this quota. Most of our students live in a world outside of school without quotas. We can debate whether this is a good thing or a bad thing as quotas to live are important. I think a balanced approach to life is a good thing.

I wrote about Nathaniel just the other day as he had sent his homework from New Zealand. Seems like he has sent to much.

Hi Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Sheard,

I have been sending pictures of homework that I have done to my teachers since I am in New Zealand.

Today I tried to attach a picture and Firstclass complained that I had used too much disk space and I didn’t have enough space to upload this picture.  It told me to delete some files to make room.  Since I had copied all my email into my Saved Email directory, I deleted everything that I had a copy of, and freed up 21MB.  My picture still would not attach.  I tried to clear my trash can but it said that I couldn’t do that, that the trash can cleared after a certain time set by the administrator.

What should I do to be able to send my teachers my homework?

Thanks,

Nathaniel B

Sheard Advisory

8th grade

DA>DS

 

My response to him relate to teachable moments of sorts with how FirstClass handles the quota and how he might adjust his camera to take lower resolution images or edit the image to a smaller size prior to sending via FirstClass. The last option was for him to use his Google Account and share the images or documents with his teacher which would eliminate the entire quota issue, at least until he gets to 2GB.

Update 2:07 PM on 1/7/2010:

Thank you for all, the advice Mr. Schaefer!

After dinner, when I went back online, my trash had cleared and I sent my teachers the homework.

I have been sending teachers pictures, but I think I know what program to use to shrink them.

Thank you for your google docs idea, it will be helpful if my Firstclass fills again.

Thanks,

Nathaniel B.

Sheard Advisory

8th grade

DA>DS

 

 

Donnelly Think Board Using Google Doc

Donnelly Think Board - Google Docs.jpg

Students never stop amazing me with how quickly they adopt and put into practice new tools. We have been using Google Apps for Education since late October and each day I see students being successful with this new tool for OLD uses but also now using them for NEW uses. Patti Donnelly’s English class is using a Google Doc as a Thinking Board to discuss how they could collaborate throughout the school using technology. I will share with you some of the writing, understanding this is a LIVE  private document that as I write this post, students are adding their ideas and thoughts. I asked permission to share some of their content and was granted it. The image above was created by the students in the Google Doc.

Student additions:

Student Cyrus: I’m in green (they chose colors to easily identify editors)

Like Mrs. Donnelly was saying during LA, what if we could collaborate throughout the school technologically? We start small, then inspire the city, which leads to the country, then the continent, then the world. DA has almost all the tools necessary, iTouchs, laptops, and now with access to Google Docs, we could easily be socially involved with the upper and lower schools. The problem is will we. Mrs. Donnelly, I think you’re right; if we have the tools, why not try it-the worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work, but who cares, at least we tried. If we start, it can and probably will cause a chain reaction, which means the world will be able to connect wherever and whenever via Internet or maybe a worldwide software. This global change may not happen in our lifetime, but if it works, it could cause a whole planet to connect and communicate with technology. Also, the global connection could be used for not just business or school, but also helping end world hunger, or pollution, or stopping war. Imagine how much better this world would be without that stuff. But you can’t know what’s happening in the world if you can’t communicate. Families could have more time together, because they wouldn’t have to hunt down information about the world. Learning would be upgraded and fun, and the world would be happy. If we want a change in the world, we should start now, and I think it could start at DA.

Student Collin: Guys, what Cyrus says make a lot of sense. This would be the ideal situation but, this may not happen because it is too big. We should try and express our opions here because if we do then people who look at this will look deeper and catch on.

Teacher Donnelly: Cyrus, this is so powerful!  What do others think?  Just brainstorm ideas….what comes to mind?

Student Hunter: Black/Yellow

I agree with Cyrus, It makes a lot of sense but this might be hard to get out to everyone.

Student Cyrus:

I think we should add some stuff about how people learn. I believe there should be 3 separate parts of a school-

1. the section for visual learners

2. the section for audible learners

3. the section for learners who need to move to learn

We can have technology in every room, which means there would be quicker access to information. Kids also get more excited with technology in the room, which means they will be more excited about learning, and like the video said, school is kinda boring right now, which is why more and more people are dropping out. You’d think advancement in technology would be good for schools, but hardly any schools have used it to an immense advantage. Technology also gets students more involved because they’re not jut listening to a teacher talk. Mrs. Donnelly is introducing iTouchs and laptops to us, except we use them for school, not surfing the web. DA can definitely take a huge step towards the world of technology if we try.

Student Collin: This makes sense but we need to really stretch this out. If we want to pull this outside of our classroom we need to build it into a large essay type thing. Then we can pull it outside and place it inside the real world for everyone to see and then press it into this.

Student Cyrus: I think we could make something like the video or maybe an essay and post it on youtube. Mr. Schaefer’s blog is going to help with the publicity, too.

Student John H.: is purpleish-

Think, is it the way you learn or is it or the things you use to learn. The answer is not that technology is the answer, it is how we use it. We have the tools we have all we need, we just need to use it to our liking. We have the goods we just need to use them. If you do not enjoy using the technology you can go to another side of campus. Or if you enjoy working with sound you can go to certain classes or go to a different moodle course or something along those lines.

Student Collin: Guys, What if we build advanced moodle course that recognizes advanced students and give them challenges that the teachers will allow them to do in class. For example. The 6th grade course would have different sections that are password protected so that the teachers could give the password to the best of students. Then when there is review or something that is stupidly simple for that student so they do added work for tons of extra credit and other incentives.

Student Cyrus: People should take a test to see which part of the school they belong in. The moving learners can be interactive and play games or something that helps them learn well. The visual learners can look at diagrams or charts to help them learn, and the auditory learners can listen to the teacher explain about the material.

If this doesn’t work, we could just have different types of schools. I still think technology should be used more in schools, though.

With this sort of discussion taking place in a 6th grade class, I wonder what could happen by 8th or 9th, … In fact check out this link that came across my Twitter feed today where what the students above are discussing is taking place. http://www.prototypedesigncamp.com/

What a great time to be a teacher with the tools we have today.

 

 

 

 

 

Google Apps for Education K-12 is Now Available to Middle School Students

Google Apps for Education.png

I am  pleased to announce the new Google Apps for Education at DA Middle School. I have begun to show students and teachers how to use these powerful tools. Students in 5th and 6th grade are already writing collaborative documents or sharing their private writing with their teacher. Efficient and eliminates all the issues of not having the proper software or the wrong version of the paper.

Basic Rules:

Use of the tools will be for school related projects. The use of Google Apps for Education K-12 is governed by Durham Academy’s Middle School Handbook and Durham Academy’s Acceptable Technology Use policies. The account will be managed and administered by Durham Academy.

Google Collaborative Apps @ Durham Academy will provide access to digital storage, Google Docs (Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and Presentations) and Sites. Other collaborative web-based tools may be introduced in the future.

Google Apps at DA Middle School will not include Gmail, Calendar, or Google Talk. FirstClass will remain the only application for this type of communication.

Students will be able to use Google Docs to:

* Work on documents from any computer with an Internet connection

* Collaborate and share their work with other students and teachers

* Get instant feedback on their work from multiple collaborators and teachers

There is no ability to share documents outside of the students.da.org Google Apps Domain.

I have shared this story with classes after it happened to me. I was working on my nice 27 inch iMac in my office when we had a power surge on campus. Last week I had to switch my power supply from the UPS backup slot to the surge protection slot due to a chirping battery that needed to be replaced. Since I was no longer plugged into the backup slots, the chirpying was not an issue, but I also had no reserve power for when we lost power. The minute the power surge hit, my iMac shutdown. I lost some things I had open but had not saved prior to the power surge. I did not loose the Google Doc I was typing on because it saves every few seconds or when changes happen. This reminded me of the first question posed to me in my interview in 1999. “When should a student know how to save”? My answer was when they needed to save. How far we have come in 11 years. I am not sure the question was only on when but more then likely it was about name of file, where to save, and how often, most of which are still skills our students need to know. Saving anything as untitled is not a solution even if the software saves automatically in the background like Google Docs does. More software is beginning to save automatically to save us from ourselves.

Issues I have had to solve relate to involve redirect messages because of students  using our new Google Apps domain, (http://docs.students.da.org) AND also use a different Google account on the same computer/browser.

Sometimes users get an error message in Safari or other browsers like this:

“The page isn’t redirecting properly. This problem can sometimes be caused by disabling or refusing to accept cookies.” I then tried again and got this message from Safari”: Safari can’t open the page.

Too many redirects occurred trying to open ìhttps://www.google.com/a/students.da.org/ServiceLogin?service=wise&passive=1209600&continue=https://docs.google.com/a/students.da.org/document/d/1H7gPzpj_gKWaOaNnzZs-Lnc0_sj1UYpsu6z_yvjYCQw/edit?hl%3Den&followup=https://docs.google.com/a/students.da.org/document/d/1H7gPzpj_gKWaOaNnzZs-Lnc0_sj1UYpsu6z_yvjYCQw/edit?hl%3Den&hl=enî. This might occur if you open a page that is redirected to open another page which then is redirected to open the original page.”

It seems that using the same browser to log in to multiple Google accounts causes the issue. The solution for now is to adjust your browser’s Cookies and Cache.

Basically, you need to Remove Existing Cookies, Accept Cookies from all sites, and Clear the Browser’s cache file. The cache file stores information from previous visits which is what causes the problem when you have more then one Google Account.

The best strategy for using one computer with more then one Google Account is to use one browser for one account and a different browser for another account. This prevents the cookies and cache issues.

In the near future, I am looking forward to  Google Apps being fully supported in Safari mobile on the iPad as that and Moodle 2.0 will be an awesome combination for learning and collaborating for our students. Until that comes, Office2 HD works beautifully.