Monday, October 31, 2016

Chromebook Workshop

I'll be posting screencast recaps from last week's Chromebook workshops.  This first topic is using Googlecast to project your Chromebook's screen through your classroom projector.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Comparing and Contrasting Doctopus and Google Classroom


Have you ever been in the situation where you want all students to create a document (perhaps based on your template), shared with you so you can then give feedback (I'm guessing "yes")?  How can you manage this so that your GMail inbox is not overrun with Share notifications and you can easily find all those files?

Doctopus and Google Classroom are both tools that manage the sharing and "collecting" of student work in Google Apps.  How are they the same? How are they different?

  • Set up student rosters
  • Distribute an individual copy of a Google Doc to each student, properly named and shared with you.
  • Access those docs all in the same folder.

  • Rosters
    • Doc: Teacher creates the roster
    • GC: Students can self-enroll with a code or teacher can create the roster.
  • Folders
    • Doc: Also creates a folder for each student so you can see all of their work in one place
    • GC: Only creates folders for each assignment, not each student.
  • Rubric Grading
    • Doc: Uses the Goobric Chrome extension for rubric grading.
    • GC: Does not support rubric grading internally*
  • Other features
    • Doc: Shows details of when students last worked on the document and other information.
    • GC: Classroom is more than a document management tool.  It also has a discussion forum that connects to GMail.   

*Doctopus and Google Classroom can actually be used in conjunction.  An assignment can be imported into Doctopus from Google Classroom, 

Some screenshots:


So, what should you choose?  I would say that Google Classroom is overall easier to use. However, Classroom doesn't provide individual folders by students of rubric grading, so if you need those, consider Doctopus.

I'm happy to help you with either of these.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's Digital Citizenship Week!

Digital Citizenship Week is an opportunity to take stock of how safely, responsibly, and respectfully we are using technology.

Check out these resources from Common Sense Media, including a pledge that teachers and students can take.
Image from Common Sense Media

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Desmos Graphing Calculator to be used in SBAC testing

I just learned that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests will be switching to the Desmos Graphing Calculator this year (replacing the built-in calculator from years past).  That's great news, because Desmos is a well-designed, easy to use tool with a nice interface.

Many students are already using Desmos.  If you haven't tried Desmos yet, take a look here.

Desmos also has many pre-designed activities that students can try individually or as a class, such as this one.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vermont Fest 2016

Vermont Fest 2016 is taking place November 3rd and 4th this year in Killington.  This is an ed tech conference, but it's about much more than technology integration-- it's really about learning.  It's a great way to get some new ideas and interact with colleagues from around the state.  Check it out at