Remember Google Earth and all of its Googly awesomeness? Remember how much of a pain it was that you had to have a desktop and download software to use it? Well.....wait no more! Google recently released the web version of Google Earth meaning you can use it without having to download software and thus access it on Chromebooks. Google Earth, if you aren't familiar with it, allows you to explore the earth (and oceans) in 3D!
This updated web version of Google Earth gives you the ability to explore Google Lit Trips on Chromebooks by uploading the KMZ or KML files! What are Lit Trips? Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students. What a great way to enhance novels you may be reading/exploring in your classroom. Another aspect of the new Google Earth is Voyager. Voyager allows you to explore some of the amazing wonders of the world in 3D with embedded 360 degree videos.
Looking for some great ideas for your school Makerspace? Curious about what the maker movement is all about? Check out this FREE event at Red Deer College on Saturday, April 22.
The Maker Faire will showcase makers of all ages from across central Alberta. You'll have a chance to see many different machines in action as well as get hands-on to do some making of your own.
New this year is an Education Focus through-out the Faire. Students will be demonstrating some of the projects they've been working on at school. You'll be able to talk to other teachers who use making both in a makerspace setting as well as integrated into their classroom. And, just for teachers, get away from the crowd in the Teacher's Lounge where you can share your thoughts and ideas on curriculum related topics.
Please take a minute to register - it's totally free, but by completing the registration you'll be able to indicate that you're an educator and gain access to the Teacher's Lounge.
REGISTER at reddeer.makerfaire.com/tickets
We're heading into the homestretch now and so we thought we'd change things up a bit. Many of you are probably setting up Easter Egg hunts for your students in your classrooms or schools. Why not take a few minutes to participate in one yourself?
There are a few abnormalities ("eggs") hidden throughout the website, if you can find them all we'll send you a small prize. The "Easter Egg" hunt will begin immediately and remain open until noon on Friday, April 21st. The form below will act as your treasure hunt guide. Please note - anyone can participate in the Easter Egg hunt but prizes are only available to Wolf Creek staff.
Did you notice something new when you logged into your Google Drive? Team Drives by Google was released to EDU domains yesterday. This is exciting news! Team Drives create an opportunity for members of a school to work in a collaborative drive, automatically update access to files when a new staff member arrives at a school and files won't be removed when a member leaves a school or the division.
What is a Team Drive?
Google Team Drives are shared spaces where teams can store their files and guarantee that every member has the most up-to-date information, no matter the time or place. Any changes made to a file in the Team Drive are automatically updated for everyone in the Team Drive. This is similar to a shared Folder in a personal Google Drive, except that all the files are owned by the collective not the individual who creates them, meaning if the person who created the document in the Team Drive leaves the Team Drive or the school division, the file is still available to everyone who is still a member of the Team Drive. You can add individuals or a Group mailing list to a Team Drive. If a mailing list is used (for example PEstafffirstname.lastname@example.org), then as the members of that mailing list are updated, so is the access to the Team Drive. This means, there's no Team Drive access maintenance required.
Why Use Team Drive?
As you may know, with the recent server refresh, the U: Drive was removed from school servers. A lot of schools backed those files up to an external hard drive, however, now if someone wants access to something the external hard drive has to be given to that person. If they make any changes to the file, then they would have to upload that file to the same place on the hard drive and replace the original file. With Team Drive everyone in the Team Drive would have access to the files from any device as long as there is an internet connection and they would be updated as soon as anyone makes any edits to it.
Important to Know
Team Drive is still quite new for Google and the current back up process that occurs for each individual's Drive does not occur at this time, so your Team Drive files are not currently backed up.
If you are the owner of a file and you move it into a Team Drive, you are giving up "ownership" of that file and if you leave the school division, you no longer have access to the files you moved into the Team Drive, even though you were the original owner of the document. If this is a concern for you, make a copy of the file before moving it into a Team Drive.
When creating a new Team Drive it's important to use your school naming code (IE, PC, LJ, etc) in the name of the drive. This will make it easier for Tech Services to support any issues that may arise with your Team Drive.
To find out more about Team Drives in Wolf Creek go to the Team Drive page.
Last night's special Thursday edition of #TechTuesday featured Kayley Bowie, a Junior High teacher in Crestomere who shared her journey using ClassCraft and gamifying her classroom. If you haven't heard of ClassCraft, it is a web based tool to gamify classroom management and/or your classroom content. Kayley also talked about how she gamified her classroom in general outside of ClassCraft and shared some great resources. Below is the video of her presentation for you to check out at your leisure. You can also check out Kayley's gamified classroom website, including all of her resources, here: arenaissancejourney.weebly.com
Gamification is starting to make its way into classrooms and we're interested in your thoughts on gamification. Please answer the survey below or add a comment to the comments section below.
Have you had an opportunity to check out the FreshGrade website lately? If you did, you will have noticed that it's look has changed. There have also been some recent updates to the mobile Teacher apps on both Android and iPhone.
Logging in to your account on the website is much easier than it used to be. Simply click on "LOG IN" at the top right hand corner of the page. You can then choose the app you need to access from the popup window:
Previously you would then need to choose District Log in and search through the list to find Wolf Creek. This is no longer - just sign in with your email address (you may still need to take the additional step of signing in with Google).
The Teacher app for iPhones and Androids have been updated recently as well. Unfortunately, these have not been created equal. The iPhone app has more functionality than the Android app at this time, but neither compare to the versatility of the iPad app.
The biggest change on both of these platforms is the simplification of logging in. You no longer need to select Division log in but can simply type in your email address.
Using an iPhone, you can add evidence directly to a specific activity by selecting the student you wish to add evidence for, and choosing the activity from their portfolio list. You can then add notes, pictures, videos or voice recordings.
On an Android device, you're able to add digital evidence to student portfolios but not in specific activities. The most recent upgrade on this platform is the ability to rotate a photo prior to posting it.
With the iPad app, you have almost the same functionality as the webapp. You can access and edit your gradebook as well as add evidence to student portfolios (including directly into activities).
On Friday, February 10th, 2017 over 275 students and 50 teachers arrived at Ponoka Secondary Campus for the 3rd iteration of Youth Tech Nation (YTN), a student led technology integration conference. This means that students were presenting to students and this year, even the keynote speaker was a student!
As part of the organizing committee, it was exciting to see students so engaged and excited throughout the day. Witnessing students take ownership and lead one or more sessions all day was the most gratifying part because that is the purpose of YTN.
Although the focus of Youth Tech Nation is on technology integration in schools the purpose of the conference is to give students the opportunity to share and lead on topics or ideas that they are passionate about. In some cases there were students at YTN who may not always get an opportunity to be a leader and here they were presenting to their peers and teachers. The power of student leadership is evident in schools across Wolf Creek, from student leadership clubs/classes, to student tech teams, to students creating/presenting morning announcements, to participating in the upcoming Alberta Student Leadership Conference at Ecole Lacombe Composite High School.
Providing opportunities for students to take on leadership roles, whether it be big or small, empowers students to build and develop effective communication skills, work collaboratively with peers and work on problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Students who presented at Youth Tech Nation definitely experienced the opportunity to work on their leadership skills. Presenters at Youth Tech Nation worked in teams, on their own time, to build and practice their presentations, they took pride in their work to make sure they were giving the best presentation they possibly could and they had FUN! The majority of student feedback we received was students wanting to present again next year or students who were attending only excited and wanting to present next year. Students want to lead, but they need teachers, parents, and peers to support them and guide them so they can be successful. It is important for us, as teachers, to encourage and support our students to lead whether it be at YTN or any other opportunity that arises! That being said, Youth Tech Nation is a great opportunity for that to happen so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for next year’s dates!
Hapara Workspaces Update
Recently you may have noticed that Hapara Workspaces looks slightly different lately. An update has been released that focuses around the functionality of the Workspace sidebar. Below you will find the official Hapara release:
IXL has been added to the Always Learning site!
If you happen to get the WeVideo updates and newsletter you would have seen some awesome updates to WeVideo. The first and most notable update is WeVideo JumpStart™, Jumpstart allows you to edit media (videos, images, etc) that you upload instantly. Previously, you would have to wait until your media uploaded to start editing it. If nothing else, this is a time saver for students and teachers alike building in WeVideo.
The other big update is to the resources that WeVideo provides. The latest addition to their resources are specifically for educators. There is an entire page giving examples of how WeVideo can/has been used for learning in the classroom, everything from research projects, to short plays, to interviews and newscasts. There are examples of WeVideo used from Kindergarten to Grade 12, here are a couple from the site below. Click here to check out the educator resources from WeVideo.
Collaborate With WeVideo
One of the nice things about our district license is the access to WeVideo pro accounts. One of the biggest benefits of this pro account aside from longer videos is the ability to collaborate on a project. Students can work together uploading and editing videos for a single collaborative project, alleviating the issue of one student doing all the work and/or one or more students watching while one student works.
If you are just getting started or a WeVideo pro looking for some other functions of WeVideo, check out the WeVideo resource page on this site by clicking here.
Examples of WeVideo in WolfCreek
Over the last month or so, I have had the opportunity to work with or watch a couple of different teachers using WeVideo in their classroom. Mrs. Eadie at Rimbey Elementary School was using green screens and WeVideo to create commercials (unfortunately I don't have any examples of this one), they were awesome! I also got the chance to work with Mrs. Tomyn at Iron Ridge Junior Campus, she had her students creating Book Trailers of their favourite book. Here's what they created. If you have examples of using WeVideo we would love to see them and share them! Feel free to pass on your examples and a small explanation of what the project was about so we share.
We look forward to hearing from you!
We hope everyone had a restful break with friends and family, here are a few notes to consider as we get back in the swing of things…..
This site is a resource to support the teachers of Wolf Creek Public Schools as we continue to learn and grow.
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