teacher resources

My First Google Summit

It’s been awhile since I’ve written an actual post, but I have to make an update about my first Google Summit! I attended one in Staunton, VA over the week and I must say, I am hooked. I would love to go to another in the future. Heck, I’d love to be a part of EdTechTeam for that matter! I had a fabulous time getting to know the team sent for this Summit, and I enjoyed presenting 2 different sessions. I even got asked to quickly demo a tool during lunch the second day.

The two topics I was able to present on were Ramping Up 1:1 PD with Google Forms and Calendar, as well as Google Calendar Tools for the Busy Professional. My PD one was a teaser of what I plan to do at VSTE on it. The biggest difference was that this time it focused on the tools, and at VSTE it will focus on the history and planning. Google Calendar is a favorite of mine, but it’s an often underutilized tool in my experience. I was able to show ways to make it work better for the user, including color coding, organization, and settings. Both of my sessions were pretty well attended for such a small summit. I had around 30 in my calendar session, and about 15 in my PD one. Overall, my feedback was 4.8 in both, which I think is great for a first Summit!

I found the atmosphere of the Summit to be very energetic. I was the only one from my district to attend, so I felt like I had a lot that I needed to take in and absorb. I was watching the presenters from EdTechTeam themselves, and noting the passion that they infused their presentations with. I feel like it will help me become a better presenter, and (hopefully!) Google Trainer in the future.

The sessions I attended on the second day were full of information, and I was on overload trying to absorb it all. I definitely took some good notes, and have already sent things to my staff. I tried not to send too many things, but just enough to whet their palette. I’m sure quite a few will save it for later to read, which is what they do with a lot of my emails. I just love being helpful. If you want a copy of the emailed resources, grab it here.

Since returning to school today (We had Monday off for Columbus Day), I have been working on organizing everything and planning my next steps in terms of what I do with my staff. After all, attending is one thing. Now it’s time to share my newfound knowledge with the rest of my staff. I have new ideas to add to my Fluco Toolbox posts, new ideas for PD for my staff, and new resources to send them periodically.

Thanks for helping me feel rejuvenated, EdTechTeam!

G Suite Teacher Resource: Graphbook

There’s no easy template available for online graph paper that suited my needs for Minecraft designing and pixel art, so I created my own. Presenting Graphbook, a 15 pg workbook in Google Sheets for those who want to design on the go without paper or pencil.

Name: Graphbook
Creator: Rachel Moravec
Description: Graphbooks are online graphing pages created in Google Sheets. Graphbooks allow students to use for any assignment requiring graphing, without the need for physical paper. It was originally designed for use with Minecraft. Graphbook comes in 2 download options- Portrait and Landscape. Portrait books are set up to print nicely in a portrait layout, and landscape in a landscape layout. Each book has 15 pages. Duplicate and rename workbook tabs to add more pages. Each page has numbers running across the top and side for easier design. Pages are 28 x 36 and 36 x 28.

graphbook image.PNG

Hyperdoc Resource: Don’t Be Fooled! Learn to Be a Healthy Skeptic

“Fake news” is a term that’s become more and more popular. What isn’t new is students falling for such news reports, often failing to research or dig deeper for the truth. Instead, whatever has been posted is taken at face value.

Here is a hyperdoc that I developed with the assistance of the journalism/media teacher. It focuses on helping students to determine how likely something online is fake news. It was designed for a high school mass media class so will work well for 9th-12th grades. In the interest of focusing on fake vs. valid, we did not use anything political in this particular lesson.

Name: Don’t Be Fooled! Learn to be a Healthy Skeptic
Description: A hyperdoc for grades 9-12 on determining the validity of a news article. Includes resources, and a final project in Prezi.
Notes: For this lesson, there is a form for evaluating and a doc with directions for the project. Both are currently set in the hyperdoc to make a copy. Make sure that you modify each as needed, and then repost with your own link before sharing with students.

Link to Hyperdoc

Feedback is appreciated. @tisinaction on Twitter or comment here!

EdtechRVA Recap: Get Interactive with Google Apps

Yesterday I had the privilege to attend EdtechRVA in Richmond, VA. This is hosted by the Greater Richmond Area Education Technology Consortium (GRAETC), and is a one day conference for folks interested in educational technology. It was hosted at Virginia Commonwealth University this year, and quite a variety of passionate educators showed up. It was my first time going, and I was able to pick up quite a bit. I also talked about hyperdocs to some folks, and saw familiar faces from VSTE.

There will be a few blogs that recap the sessions I went to, and these will be denoted with “EdtechRVA Recap” in the title. I can’t say how long it’ll take me to get them done, but when I finish the last post, I’ll make readers aware.

The first session I attended focused on Getting Interactive with Google Apps. Being new to Google this year, and a lover of hyperdocs, I was hoping to find some new tips and tricks for myself. By the end of the session, I’d found both. This particular session was hosted by Wendy Seger from Chesterfield County Public Schools. She works with a K-5 population, but you can certainly take her ideas here and modify to meet the needs of older students as well. She can be found on Twitter as well: @WendySeger.

She focused on taking ideas from interactive white board apps, and integrating them into Google Apps, particularly Slides. The idea itself seems like it should have been pretty obvious, but it was not. Just like with PowerPoint, Google Slides allows you to edit a master slide template. What this means is that you can use the master slide template to create slides that have locked down features that students cannot move. This is helpful when creating an interactive sort. Presentations that utilize the master slide template will only have certain pieces that can be moved, which means students won’t mess up the entire layout.

Students cannot complete activities like this in presentation mode, however. They must be in the regular editing view. The best part is that sort activities can be combined with other lesson activities, and I’m sure it would marry well with hyperdocs, especially the ones created in Slides from the beginning.

Teachers who create activities in Slides can send out the work via Google Classroom, and have set the assignment to make a copy for each student. Students can then complete the work and turn in to the teacher for grading or comprehension.

The best part was that Wendy shared many already created resources for K-5 classrooms. There are instructions to explain how to create an interactive Slides, templates, and sample activities ready to go. I mean, it’s pretty crazy the amount of stuff that is in this folder for teachers to use.

Check it out for yourself. Remember if you do use though, please give credit where credit is due. After all, she did make this whole folder free and I highly support the free sharing of resources.

Keep an eye out for the next update on EdtechRVA!

Hyperdoc Resource: Minecraft Makershop Unit


Holy llama riding in a minecart! It’s finally done!

If you’ve followed me for some time, you’ll recall that last summer I ran a workshop for middle school students called Minecraft Makershop. This is a workshop that I designed and developed after applying for a grant to help fund the process. I had a small crew of students join me for a 5 day workshop, but we learned a lot. Now that I know about hyperdocs, I’ve taken the workshop and redesigned it. All of the original workshop projects are included, with the addition of more discussion, more critical thinking, and more problem solving. Hyperdocs made this all possible. Plus, using the hyperdoc format allowed me to really organize the entire workshop so much better. I’m happy to finally be able to release my workshop nearly a year later. I will be using my new hyperdoc unit version this summer when I teach during Kids College.

Name: Minecraft Makershop (6 hyperdocs unit!)
Description: Would you like to give a workshop on Minecraft? How about add some activities to an afterschool club? Or integrate Minecraft in other ways? Minecraft Makershop is a hyperdoc unit that focuses on building and design theory in MInecraft. Students learn about the basics of building, giving feedback, and using redstone. The final project of the unit is a collaborative group build that implements each learned objective.

This Minecraft Makershop unit includes 6 hyperdocs, enough work for a 5 day workshop (if hosting a 4-5 hour session). Teachers are free to redesign the time restraints to feed the needs of their students. In addition to the 6 hyperdocs, there is also a Resources folder, and a guide to help you set up the unit. Because this is a unit, and not just a hyperdoc, the link to the file below is a .ZIP file. Download and unzip to access all of the folders and files, then upload to your Drive.

If you would like to see a preview of one of the hyperdocs of this unit before downloading the entire thing, please click this link to view the 2nd hyperdoc in this unit: Minecraft Makershop Activity 2 Hyperdoc

Download the entire .ZIP file here.

Feedback is appreciated. @tisinaction on Twitter or comment here!

Hyperdoc Resource: Minecraft Redstone Challenge #1 Base/House

Here is the most recent hyperdoc resource that I have created. I worked on this at the end of last week, and it gave me a chance to try another of the templates. While learning how to do hyperdocs, I’ve tended to take lessons I’ve already taught and redid them to fall into the hyperdoc format. The nice thing is that they turn out better than what I had originally planned.

Name: Minecraft Redstone Challenge #1 Base/House
Description: This hyperdoc is set up as a MMTS Game Board. The board gives options for students to explore using the redstone element through videos and text guides. Students apply their work twice on the board, and they also will share the final product with classmates as well.

Here’s what you need to know:

– The “Wonder” section is set up as a Google Form to collect student information. I have set the form up so you can make a copy, make your own changes, and then change the link.
– The “Create” section link will automatically ask students to make a copy of the document when clicked. It gives the guidelines for the challenge. Edit as needed.
– The “Share” section currently has no link. On my original, I set it up so students would be directed to a Padlet. Please insert your own link.

Other Notes:

My students in middle school and are part of an after school club. We use the regular Minecraft for PC edition of the game. My students play on a server that I have set up via a hosting service. This hyperdoc can be adapted for other versions of Minecraft, including Education Edition. Just remember to change the directions to reflect this on the instructions document.

Download Here

Feedback is appreciated. @tisinaction on Twitter or comment here!

HyperDoc Resource: Google Classroom PD

This is the hyperdoc I mentioned in my previous post on failing. It’s okay though because I fixed it and am now ready to share it with others who offer professional development to staff.

Name: Creating the Right Google Classroom for Your Class
Description: This hyperdoc is done with the Hero’s Journey template. It encourages teachers to explore first, and the mentor section is a demonstration that teachers can follow along with. Teachers have the chance to set up their classroom and have access to resources on ways to use it right away.

I have added two sections to this template. The first is a Reflection piece, where I have space for a survey to be inserted. The second is Hero’s Backpack, which was a space where I added more video resources for participants to refer back to after the session has ended. This was a request from my staff. If you feel that one or both of these sections do not suit your needs, feel free to remove them.

The only link that you will need to insert is a link to your own Padlet. This section is clearly marked in the document. You will also want to change the wording of parts of the document that refer to ITRTs. These are our tech resource folks. Please fill in with whatever role assists teachers with technology.

This hyperdoc session can be done in 2 separate class sessions of 1 hour each, or as one 2 hour long session. It cannot be completed in 1 hour.

Download Here

Feedback is appreciated. @tisinaction on Twitter or comment here!