Ben Sondgeroth – EdTechTeacher http://edtechteacher.org Leading Change in Changing Times Fri, 26 May 2017 12:27:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3 Ways to use Kami in a Social Studies Classroom http://edtechteacher.org/3-ways-to-use-kami-in-a-social-studies-classroom/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:08:34 +0000 http://edtechteacher.org/?p=11183 In social studies classrooms around the world, teachers use documents and images as a daily part of their curriculum.  History is built on the analysis of first hand accounts.  The interpretation of the meaning behind the words and images is archived for …

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In social studies classrooms around the world, teachers use documents and images as a daily part of their curriculum.  History is built on the analysis of first hand accounts.  The interpretation of the meaning behind the words and images is archived for modern day historians to retell stories.  While teaching high school history, I wanted to continually engage my students in this type of thinking and self-directed learning, allowing the student to become the historians in my classroom.  In order to accomplish this task, I made it a goal to use as many different sources and documents in my classroom as possible.  With this task came an amazing waste of paper!  I found that printing out primary sources, images, and maps was an ineffective way to engage my students, and I needed a better solution.  That solution is Kami, an amazing web-based PDF and document annotation tool.  

With Kami, students can take advantage of a toolbar that is loaded with features, all of them allowing students to control their learning while reading and analyzing a historical document.  With its simple but powerful interface and direct connection to Google Drive, Kami is ideal for use in a classroom using the G Suite for Education apps.  Below, we will explore three ways Social Studies teachers can use Kami in their classrooms!

1 – Annotate on Primary Source Documents

Primary sources give students access to information and content that may be left out when just studying secondary sources.  Most history classes encourage students to explore primary source documents such as journals, news articles, and autobiographies.  When students utilize these sources, they can analyze them forming their own opinions on the topic in class.  In a history classroom using Kami, students can download a PDF file of a primary source, and annotate on the document to further evaluate questions posed by the teacher.  Some examples of this may include:

  • Students can open the source document and use the highlight tool to highlight important passages.
  • Students can add comments next to passages in the document analyzing tone, implication, and author objective.  
  • Students can use the strikethrough option to eliminate any content they consider not pertinent to the essential questions of the assignment.  
  • If the historical document does not have images, students using the full version of Kami, can find and add relevant images to the document for final submission.

2 –  Annotate on Images

In some instances images are essential to student understanding as they can provide a look into the past that is deeper than words.  While many pictures offer us this window into understanding the past, it is important that students analyze each image with a neutral eye, to potentially discover if the photographer had any alternative intentions.  With Kami, students have the ability to import a photo and annotate directly on the image.  Some strategies may include:

  • Students can draw two lines, one vertical and one horizontal to split the image into quadrants.  Then using Kami’s other tools, including drawing shapes to locate particular aspects of each region that stand out.  
  • Students can use the comment or text box feature to describe what they are locating in the image.  
  • Students can use the zoom feature in Kami to get an up close look at parts of the image.  

3 – Annotate on Maps

Maps are an essential part of social studies curriculum, but often times they are left to the teacher pulling down a large map at the front of the room or handing a student a worksheet for them to draw on.  With Kami, teachers are able to put map creation in a digital space where students can add more than just handwritten notes.  By distributing a PDF map and having students open it in Kami, students can now annotate the map like never before.  Here are some strategies for using Kami with PDF Maps in your classroom:

  • Students can add text in text boxes and comments, describing various regions on the map.  This will allow students to elaborate further on topics, more so than writing on paper allows.  
  • Students can draw routes directly on the map using the drawing tool, outlining the ways in which explorers or groups of people traveled.  
  • Students can insert images onto the map that directly relate to the area studied.  These images could include a primary source image the students had previously annotated.  
  • Students can collaborate with other classmates on annotating the map.  When only using paper, it may have been difficult to achieve this, however, with Kami students can annotate the map in real time with each other!

Kami offers teachers and students an amazing set of tools for PDF and Document annotation and can really revolutionize a history classroom.  The abilities of Kami are not limited to this list of ideas and the possibilities are many.

 During Summer 2017, I’ll be diving into Kami and many other ways to use technology this summer in Chicago June 15th and 16th at the EdTechTeacher, Teaching History with Technology Summer Workshop.  I’d love to see you there!

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4 Hidden Features of Google Classroom http://edtechteacher.org/4-hidden-features-google-classroom/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:22:14 +0000 http://edtechteacher.org/?p=11062 Over the past two years, Google Classroom has become a popular learning platform for many teachers using G Suite for Education.  With its ability to seamlessly integrate G Suite tools such as Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Gmail, and Google Calendar, …

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Over the past two years, Google Classroom has become a popular learning platform for many teachers using G Suite for Education.  With its ability to seamlessly integrate G Suite tools such as Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Gmail, and Google Calendar, Google Classroom creates an efficient workflow for teachers and students by organizing assignments and class content in an easy-to-navigate online environment. While Google Classroom provides many great affordances, three in particular can save teachers and students much time and also increase workflow efficiency. So, let’s take advantage of these exciting features!

1 – The Assignment Calendar

Google Classroom automatically creates an Assignment Calendar to help keep students and teachers organized.  Each time a teacher creates an assignment or question inside of Google Classroom, and attaches a due date to it, the assignment instantly displays on the class calendar inside of Google Classroom.

To find this calendar, select the three lines in the top left corner of the screen and then select Calendar.  With this screen displayed, teachers and students can see work that has been assigned to the class.

Teachers will also notice that a new Calendar now appears in their G Suite Calendar.  Not only can teachers add assignments to this calendar via Classroom, but they can also directly access it via G Suite Calendar to add events for the class that may not be tied to a due date.  Some examples of teachers using this calendar function include: scheduling class field trips, setting up additional tutoring time, and organize an after-school meeting.  To make the calendar more accessible, consider making it public in the Calendar settings and then sharing the URL link with parents.

2 – The Work Area

Teachers and students can also take advantage of the Work area inside of Google Classroom to gather all outstanding assignments into one location.  If a teacher has not graded a particular assignment, it will display in this area.  Similarly, if a student has not turned in an assignment it will also display in their Work area.  So, the Work area can serve as a defacto task list and can help teachers and students identify and manage their workflow effectively.

3 – Organize the class stream with Topics

Topics, a new feature inside of Google Classroom, allows teachers to organize the posts that they add to the Classroom “Stream.”  When creating an announcement, assignment, or question, teachers can now assign a topic and these topics act as a category for each post, which allows them to be organized efficiently.

When a new topic is created, it will display on the left side of the Classroom Stream and, when a topic is selected, all posts that have been assigned that topic will appear.  The Topics feature now allows teachers to organize all of the content within their course. For example, a history teacher might create a topic for each unit of study, such as “Ancient Rome.” A math teacher may choose to create a topic for each unit or chapter that they study.

4 – Share to Classroom Extension

For teachers using Chromebooks or laptops in their classrooms, the Share to Classroom Chrome Extension allows teachers to display and share student work and screens easily with the class.  Using the Share to Classroom extension, students can share a website to their teacher’s computer.  First, students click the extension, then they select Push to Teacher.  When done, the teacher receives a pop-up notification on her screen that she will have to accept before the student’s page will display — as demonstrated in the GIF below.

By following the same steps, a teacher can push out a website to their students’ devices in real time!

The extension also allows teachers to create Google Classroom content right from the extension.  If a teacher finds a website he would like to post in Google Classroom as part of an assignment, question, or announcement, he can create any of those options by utilizing the extension.

By using the Share to Classroom extension, teachers and students are now able to share new discoveries and stories easily and effectively.

Wrapping it up

While Google Classroom is well known for organizing student work in Google Drive, making individual copies of Google Docs, and organizing digital content, these three underused features of Google Classroom can help you and your students become even more efficient when using technology in the classroom!

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How to Create Interactive Google Drawings http://edtechteacher.org/create-interactive-google-drawings/ Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:42:19 +0000 http://edtechteacher.org/?p=11001 Google Drawings, available in G Suite for Education, offers a wide range of possibilities for student creation.  Though often overlooked in favor of the core G Suite apps like Docs, Slides and Sheets, Google Drawings offers a wide range of opportunities for …

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Google Drawings, available in G Suite for Education, offers a wide range of possibilities for student creation.  Though often overlooked in favor of the core G Suite apps like Docs, Slides and Sheets, Google Drawings offers a wide range of opportunities for all curricula.  From Kindergarten through high school, endless possibilities exist, limited only by the imagination of teachers and students.  It is with that in mind that we will explore one of those potentials — creating interactive Google Drawings.  

Interactive images allow students to incorporate many different media into one static image.  The secret to creating these interactive images involves the ability to attach links to outside content and embed those links within the image itself making the drawing “clickable”.

For example, students can lay a static image of a Venn Diagram onto a Google Drawing canvas.  Now, instead of simply writing a few sentences about each topic, students can expand on those thoughts by inserting links to other documents, videos, articles, etc. directly on top of the Venn Diagram.  Imagine your students hyperlinking a video or audio argument they make in favor of entering into WWI and then creating the alternate viewpoint in another video and linking it on the other side. Follow this link for an example: WWI Entry Venn Diagram Example.

While copying and pasting a link into a text box in a Google Drawing works, there is a cleaner and more efficient way of accomplishing the task: using inserted objects.  These objects can include lines, shapes, or images inserted into the Drawing. When a student adds one of these objects onto a Drawing canvas, that object can then be hyperlinked to other existing web content. When a user clicks, they launch that new content to learn more.  

Here is the process for creating interactive Google Drawings:

  1. Insert an object (shape, image, line, or arrow) by selecting “Insert” from the toolbar, and making a selection from the dropdown menu.
  2. While the object is highlighted, select the Link icon from the toolbar (the keyboard shortcut is cmd-k or ctrl-k). You can also right-click on the object, and select Link from the menu.
  3. A small window will appear with a space to paste a link. After you paste the link, click Apply.
  4. That’s it. Now the student, or any viewer, can click on the shape and be taken to the linked website.

Ideas for Using Interactive Google Drawings

Create an archive of student learning on a topic:

Science students in an anatomy class learning about the human body could insert an image of the body into a Google Drawing.  As students explore each body part or system, have them create a new hotspot linking to an external source on the topic or perhaps the student’s notes taken in a Google Doc for more information.  Likewise, Social Studies teachers could insert a map as the background and have information about parts of the map linked out to new content.  English teachers could insert the cover of a novel as a background and students could create hotspots linking out to the content they created over the course of reading the book in class.  The possibilities are endless!

Revamp your study guides:

Instead of handing students a study guide with 25 different questions on it and asking them to respond in the text area below each question, place the topics covered on the study guide into a Google Drawing and have the students create an interactive document linking to information on the various topics.  Students may welcome the ability to link to a YouTube video to watch for review in place of re-reading a text book.  

Parts of a Cell Example

Create interactive Graphic Organizers:

Students can utilize images of graphic organizers and create various hotspots to content based on the topic of the graphic organizer.  As mentioned above, this works very well in creating interactive Venn Diagrams.  Additional ideas for these types of interactive Google Drawings include timelines, flowcharts, and mind maps of essays before they are composed.

WWI Entry Venn Diagram Example

Use Interactive Google Drawings with a Visible Thinking Routine from Project Zero:

Visible Thinking Routines are great for pushing students to ask questions and make their thinking visible.  Have students create an interactive Google Drawing with the aspects of a visible thinking routine outlined and then insert text and links into the drawing to support the view points they uncover.  For example, if students are completing a See-Think-Wonder Routine, they could take a picture of the object they are observing, then use a text box to type their responses to what they think and wonder.  When that is complete, they could investigate their “wonders” by inserting hotspot links to articles or sources that have information on their questions.  

See – Think – Wonder Example

Circle of Viewpoints Example

Wrap Up

Google Drawings has boundless possibilities, and creating these interactive Google Drawings is one way you can push your students to go further with information while being creative at the same time.  

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The Top 4 Reasons Why Teachers Should be Using Google Classroom http://edtechteacher.org/the-top-4-reasons-why-teachers-should-be-using-google-classroom/ Mon, 31 Oct 2016 11:54:56 +0000 http://edtechteacher.org/?p=10609 This fall, as part of our #ETTchat series, Communications Editor James Daley will be chatting with our EdTechTeacher instructors about some of their favorite tools, apps, and strategies for the classroom. In this post, he chats with Ben Sondgeroth about why teachers should be using Google …

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This fall, as part of our #ETTchat series, Communications Editor James Daley will be chatting with our EdTechTeacher instructors about some of their favorite tools, apps, and strategies for the classroom. In this post, he chats with Ben Sondgeroth about why teachers should be using Google Classroom.

At the beginning of the 2014 school year, Google released Google Classroom–an innovative online platform that allows teachers to manage the creation, distribution, and grading of assignments from one centralized, web-based location. Since its launch, Google Classroom has seen widespread adoption in schools across the country, with thousands of teachers and students signing on to use it every day. Even with this explosive growth, however, only a fraction of teachers who could be using classroom are taking advantage of this valuable tool.

I recently had the opportunity to discuss the many benefits of Google Classroom with Ben Sondgeroth. Ben is a Google for Education Certified Trainer, and one of EdTechTeacher’s newest instructors. Ben is also a fierce advocate for Google Classroom and explained some of his thoughts on why it’s so helpful for teachers.

Here are Ben’s top 4 reasons why teachers should be using Google Classroom.  

1. Google Classroom is a Workflow Management System.

The first reason that Ben gives for why teachers should be using Google Classroom is that it manages to occupy a sweet spot between Learning Management Systems and Content Management Systems. Most Learning Management Systems have lots of great features, including most of the features that Google Classroom offers, but the scope of their feature-sets can make them difficult to use, and too complex for teachers who are less comfortable with technology. Content Management Systems, on the other hand, are  primarily made to dispense information to students, and so they lack many of the features that teachers need, such as online assignments and gradebooks.

The great thing about Google Classroom, Ben argues, is that it combines the best of both of these systems, making it more of a “Workflow Management System,” as he calls it. By providing a simple, user-friendly platform for sharing content, creating assignments, and grading, Google Classroom can be a great first step for teachers who are looking to get started in a digital teaching environment.

2. With Google Classroom, Google Docs becomes a digital Xerox machine.

A really tangible way that Google Classroom makes teachers’ jobs easier is in the way that it handles documents. Normally, if a teacher wants to create a worksheet for her students, she has to create it in a word processor, print it out, make photocopies, hand it out to her students, hope that no one loses it (which, of course, someone always does), and then collect it when they’re finished.

With Google Classroom, this process is immeasurably easier. The teacher simply creates the worksheet in Google Docs, shares it with her class, and then each student gets their own unique, editable copy with a big blue turn-in button at the top. There’s no printing, no photocopying, no lost work, and the teacher can even receive notifications on her own device as students submit their work.

3. Google Classroom allows teachers to give feedback in real time.

Since even before Google Classroom came along, Google Docs has been an amazing tool for collaboration, in large part due to the way it lets multiple users work on a single document at the same time. As Ben points out, when combined with Google Classroom, this ability to watch a collaborator typing in real-time can be an incredibly useful tool for teachers. An example of this that Ben offers is that of a Spanish teacher who assigns her students a worksheet on Google Docs, and then sits at her computer and “jumps” into each of their assignments as they’re working on them. This allows her to watch the students as they work out their translations in real-time, and offer live comments and suggestions on their work–a process that is much more cumbersome and disruptive when it requires walking around a classroom and peering over students’ shoulders.

 

4. Google Classroom shines on the iPad.

Google launched its mobile app for iPads at the beginning of 2015, and since then it has become one of the most popular ways for teachers to access and utilize the platform. While the app offers a solid mobile version of Google Classroom’s standard features, it really shines in the way that it brings together the creative capacities of the iPad with Google Classroom’s excellent organizational tools. A great example of this is when a teacher assigns a project in which students are tasked with creating a video about a subject they are studying. The teacher can create the assignment right in the Google Classroom app, then the student can make the video with apps like Animoto and iMovie, and submit the finished file directly to their teacher with a few simple clicks. Whereas a project like this would normally require multiple computers, video cameras, and file storage devices, by combining Google Classroom with the iPad, teachers can take it from assignment to creation to assessment without using anything but the iPad.

 

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How to Live Stream from YouTube’s Creator Studio – from Ben Sondgeroth http://edtechteacher.org/live-stream-youtubes-creator-studio-ben-sondgeroth/ Mon, 10 Oct 2016 23:25:48 +0000 http://edtechteacher.org/?p=10403 This post first appeared on Free Technology for Teachers. You may have noticed that Google+ no longer supports Google Hangouts On Air (GHOA) – a great tool that allowed users to record a Google Hangout and stream it live for outside viewing …

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This post first appeared on Free Technology for Teachers.

You may have noticed that Google+ no longer supports Google Hangouts On Air (GHOA) – a great tool that allowed users to record a Google Hangout and stream it live for outside viewing on YouTube. While the service is no longer housed on Google+, it has been moved over to YouTube. To access the new streaming system, users will need to first navigate to the YouTube Creator Studio. Inside the Creator Studio, you will notice a new tab on the left menu that says “Live Streaming.” Once you do that, you will enter an environment in which you will have two types of streaming available: Stream Now and Events.

Stream Now requires a user to download an encoder in order to utilize its features. This service would be ideal for streaming sports games, theater events, or classroom performances automatically to YouTube. It could even be configured as a live webcam of your classroom.

The Events method of streaming is very similar to the old process of creating a GHOA and does not require an encoder. By selecting Event from your dashboard, you are taken to a setup window that is very similar to what a GHOA event used to look like. Whether you immediately start an event or schedule one for later times; each of these options creates a direct link to a YouTube page from which your audience can open and view the stream. For more detailed instructions and a step-by-step tutorial video, check out the video below.

GAFE-ettsummit Topic Spotlight

Get More Google Tips from Ben and other Google Certified Educators at the Innovation Summit in Boston!

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