Google Docs workshop

Today I ran a Google Docs workshop for our teachers. It was voluntary, which I had hoped meant participants were keen and willing to ‘grab their learning’ (quote thanks to Brette Lockyer). The second session will take place on 11 November, where the plan was for teachers will share how they’ve been using Google Docs in their classroom.

For today’s session, I was aiming for teachers to be able to differentiate their own learning, however we were somewhat hamstrung by people without computers, people who’d not already registered for a Google account or those who couldn’t remember their password.

I was too ambitious hoping for lots of sharing and discussions about how we could use Google Docs for Redefinition, when the actual need was to learn how to name a Google Form, how to add questions and how to send a form.

Hopefully some teachers may do some learning on their own before the next session as I had provided a number of how-to resources. I’ll need to reevaluate what to do with the next session or if we need a third session.

All of the resources I used are on a page in my professional learning wiki.

Huge thanks to John Pearce, Britt GowJenny LucaHeather Dowd and many others for sharing their work, ideas and links.

So how’s that ‘to do list’ going?

You may (or may not) remember I wrote a post back in early February about what I wanted to achieve at school this year. I wrote that I wanted to:

  • Ereader survey for school website
  • Diigo for subjects, link to wiki
  • Pininterest for new books and topics?
  • Twitter/fb?
  • Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too
  • Podcasts for wiki
  • EBooks
  • QR codes for fiction
  • Add list of useful apps to wiki
  • Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page
  • Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10
  • Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed
  • Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school
So how did I fare?
  1. Ereader survey for school website. Yes I did get this survey out to students, parents and staff. It was overwhelmingly positive in terms of the availability of eReading devices. Many students and parents wanted to be able to access eBooks. Staff, not so much.
  2. Diigo for subjects, link to wiki. Yes I’ve got the Diigo account up and running for school. It’s been useful so far, but I am putting more items on the school eLibrary wiki than on Diigo at the moment.
  3. Pininterest for new books and topics? I did sign up for a school Pininterest and stating adding some great stuff for art and reading. However, after reading Phil Bradley’s blog post, I deleted the account due to worries about copyright infringement and basically being a poor digital citizenship role model to our students.
  4. Twitter/fb? I set up a Twitter account for school and have some student followers. This has also helped develop relationships with our local public library and other local services. I went to a Facebook PD for schools, but as long as all Facebook comments need post-moderation, I cannot see our school going for Facebook.
  5. Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too. I started a book blog using Posterous. I would love students to email in their book reviews to share to others. This should begin happening soon as our year 9s and 10s are receiving their 1:1 tablets today.
  6. Podcasts for wiki. I’ve been adding some podcasts to the wiki, like the ones the ABC Radio does for VCE texts.
  7. EBooks. We’ve looked into eBooks with several presentations from vendors. We’re not suited to a subscription model, so we’ll wait a little longer to see how we can go about this. We want and need eBooks!
  8. QR codes for fiction. I’ve been adding QR codes to fiction books to link to book trailers and again as per point 5, students will begin creating their own book trailers and linked QR codes to be placed on books for peer recommendations.
  9. Add list of useful apps to wiki. There has been a link to apps for Bloom’s, but I need to add more.
  10. Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page. Yes, these have been added.
  11. Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10. I haven’t been able to get a full scale competition happening at school (it is hard when you’re 0.4), I do have entrants for the State Finals in November.
  12. Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed. Yes, all blog posts now automatically feed to Twitter.
  13. Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school. See point 7.
I’ve also added lots of videos and links to the wiki to support learning and have had a number of teachers comment about its usefulness. The stats are very encouraging too.
I’ve continued writing the school cybersafety blog with 5 posts per week.
I’ve also been running lots of professional learning sessions on using the tablets to support learning, differentiated learning and OneNote sessions.
So all in all, things are on track and I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. Thanks to my wonderful Principal for supporting all of my forays into social media on behalf of the school!