Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, April 17, 2015

Self-Paced Google Skills Training/C-SPAN Classroom/YouTube Privacy Settings/More PD Opportunities

After the Future Ready Learning Summit, you may be ready to venture further into Google Tools. One way to hone your skills is by using the Synergyse Training modules available for the following tools:

  • Calendar
  • Classroom
  • Drive
    • Docs
    • Sheets
    • Slides
    • Forms
  • Gmail
  • Google Plus
  • Sites
The Synergize Training for Google Apps is available to students too! From any of the tools listed above, all you and your students need to do it click on the Training icon, and accept their Permission to view your email address since this is a paid app available through USD.  While the training icon should be found on each of the apps, however, if it is missing, more information on launching the app can be found here.

Once Synergyse Training is launched, it can be used as a complete tutorial, following each lesson in order, which takes you deeper into the app as you go through the lessons, or you can scan the topics and get information on a feature you are interested in.  As we all know, Google pushes out updates without warning. Synergyse is committed to keeping their content current, updating their tutorials within 14 days of any Google revisions.

The lessons are short and focused. They include audio, so provide your students with headphones/earbuds if they are going to do a lesson, and guide you to click around the screen. One down side if you are using it with students, there are no review questions at the end, but if you get to the end of a module and need review, you can always go back and repeat a session.

Building confidence and expertise in your classroom has only up sides, so we encourage you to use Synergyse in your classroom. Have a "power user" student who is looking for the next thing to do? Make him/her the tool expert. Have them go through the module, and then share a tip or trick to their classmates. 

C-SPAN Classroom

Created as a primary source resource for Middle and High School Social Studies teachers, C-SPAN Classroom provides a wealth of resources on historical as well as current issues. Each topic includes a brief summary, an introduction to key vocabulary, and a video. There are questions that can be used to begin class discussions on a topic. The Bell Ringers are designed to be used at the start of the day, or as as fill-ins.

Classroom Deliberations has video clips and newspaper articles that will help engage your students in debates about current issues.

While some information, including "On This Day in History," is available to members only, the website is free. Endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies, the site is actively maintained by teachers in the field, making this a great website for both Social Studies and Language Arts teachers (think opinion writing) to check out.

Privacy Settings on YouTube

With the end of the school year and Open House on the horizon, you may be thinking of creating and sharing video with parents. An easy way to share video is through YouTube. Video you upload to YouTube has a default share setting of Public, and making a video Unlisted or Private is easy. An Unlisted video can be viewed by anyone with the URL, while you will need to invite (using an e-mail address) specific viewers to a Private video. Viewers are then required to sign in to view. Here is a video that show you how to do it:


I think we can all agree that this week's EduWin should go to Andrew, Ingrid, the IT Crew, and UDEA for planning the wonderful staff development day on Friday, April 3rd. The speakers were amazing, the internet worked, and the food and end-of-day give-aways were an added treat. Let's keep the #learnusd Twitter hashtag going. Please use it when tweeting some awesome thing you and your students are doing.

There are  two PD events planned for UMS. The first one is the EdCamp on April 25th. There are nearly 250 participants signed up for this free event. You can still register here. The second event is planned for August 14th. This event is being offered in conjunction with SCCOE and educators from around the county will be in attendance. Keep your eye open for registration, since there will be a limited number of spots open to USD teachers.

If you or one of your colleagues is doing something in your class that uses edtech tools, please let me know. I'd love to share it with other teachers.