Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, June 5, 2015

Don't Delete Files/Music Making Web-App/Summer Ideas


This year, students created a lot of work they have saved on Google Drive. Students might like to clean-up their files as the year ends. Please remind them that there is no reason for students to delete or Trash their work. As Google Apps for Education (GAFE) users, students and teachers have unlimited storage in the domain. This account (along with the username and password) will follow the student until they leave our Union School District. For most students, this will be when they are promoted to high school. 

Many students may enjoy being able to see how they have grown over the years. My daughter was one of those kids. Even now, she'll nostalgically peruse grade school notebooks. You might like to have students consolidate their work into one folder. Here's how to do it:

Remind your students that, while they have primarily used the same Chromebook for the entire year, their account and files are accessible on any device that has an internet connection. All they need to do is go to and sign in.

Returning students will have access to their GAFE accounts over the summer. This means that all those budding authors and movie makers who continue to create over the summer, and will have a place to save it.

Just Plain Fun Music Making
Looking for one last fun online activity for your students? If you still have the SBAC earbuds or have headphones available, you may want to turn your students loose on Incredibox. Incredibox is a music creation website where students drag and drop an icon onto one of "the guys," and mix and mash until they are happy with the sound. While there are a limited number of choices, students will get a sense of how different musical sounds come together to create a piece of music. There are a few additional features found under the Settings gear. One will mute a sound. Why not challenge students to create a musical theme the wraps up their feelings about this year or ask the to create a theme song for their favorite book or story they read this year?

Summer Fun

As you wrap up the school year with one last communication with parents, you might like to let them know about some online resources to keep their students engaged over the summer.

Wonderopolis is a great website that starts with a Wonder of the Day, and offers highly engaging non-fiction reading, videos, and pictures. Students can also browse the topics or search the site for information on questions they have. 

This summer, Camp Wonderopolis will give participants the opportunity to explore STEM-based units through topics like sports, tech, and health. The free online learning camp, which launches on June 15th,  is geared to students in grades 2 through 8. Students will need to pre-register and a parent or guardian e-mail is required to verify participation.

Many elementary teachers have enjoyed using GoNoodle this year in class. Having students take a brain break to get that blood flowing is fun, and, as research shows, helps to refocus students.

Camp GoNoodle will keep students moving this summer. Beginning June 29th, it will offer different activities each week and students can earn badges for participation.

Parents will need to register their students for this free activity. There is a printable letter on the GoNoodle website that makes it easy to let parents know about this great, free summer program. 

Students who like to tinker and build will enjoy participating in Maker Camp. Another free, mostly online, resource for keeping students engaged and busy over the summer. Last year, some San Jose Public Library branches offered meet-ups for students participating in Maker Camp. This year's Maker Camp begins on July 6th, however, local affiliates and hosts have not yet been announced.

There are different themes over the six week camp. Participants watch by Google Hangout and are treated to a new activity each day. This year's first week's theme is Fantasy. Maker Camp is geared toward students middle school and up, parents will need to sign a release for students under the age of 18 to participate.

EduWinners/the amazing USD Educators

Last post of the school year! I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by. 

As I reflect on the year, I am honored to have been able to get to know and work with the incredible and talented educators in the Union School District. 

We began the year with Chromebook carts being pushed into classrooms and introducing most staff and students to Google Apps for Education and the power of web app tools made possible by student access to devices. Thank you for your flexibility in integrating technology into your curriculum and for your dedication to bringing the best pedagogy to increase student engagement and outcomes for your students.

Enjoy your well-earned summer break. I look forward to seeing many of you at the EdTech Innovation Summit on August 14th. Don't forget to register now.