Monday, October 20, 2014

Small victories with Google Sites

I spent the spring and summer creating a website that would be home base for a technology professional development program at CJ. I created it using Google Sites, partially because I was modeling it after a program that had been done on Google Sites and partially because I just wanted to explore yet another of Google's products.

I'm a little obsessed now.

I know that my work isn't the most complex when it comes to  web design. I still haven't learned HTML code (when I asked a friend who works in web publishing for a big newspaper about recommended font and font size for a text heavy website, his response that his paper's "tags are 1.4em on a line height of 1.6em" left me dumbfounded). And I still don't understand a lot of what goes on in the background of websites regarding analytics and search engines. But for designing a site that is really only meant for internal use at work, it was an excellent tool for this amateur.

The Tech Charge Challenge website is staying private right now, so I made a copy of the website (small victory when I discovered how!) to make public and removed any personal data from teachers. That's what I've linked here. It isn't perfect (still needs a few tweaks and tutorials), but I'm pretty proud.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make another, much simpler, website as a home for any and all technology-related professional development resources and opportunities at CJ. Small victories all over the place as I set up this page. I created links using images to represent my main websites. I embedded a Google calendar on an "announcement" page. I even figured out how to give only teachers at CJ permission to edit a "list" page (and only that page) so they can add web tools to the list. Now I'm ready to put tools into the list and find a reason to use other templates.

Sometimes on a Monday, we just need to celebrate those small victories.

For more info about Google Sites, check out...

Curious how you can use Google Sites in the classroom? Check out...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sharing some SAMR examples






I recently introduced this acronym to the CJ faculty and asked everyone to reflect on where their teaching generally falls in this... spectrum? Is that the word? Like Bloom's good old Taxonomy, I find that our use of technology can and should fall in each of the "levels" at different times, but we do need to reach for redefinition when possible and applicable.

I shared the following videos and resources on an internal website:
However, some colleagues expressed interest in more examples; hence, this blog post.

Many of the explanations online are either general descriptions of the framework or use what seems to be the easiest concrete example to demonstrate - a writing assignment. Math and science teachers in particular wanted examples of how it can apply more specifically to their disciplines. The list below gives more examples - some specific to math and science, some general.

Have any other good examples you'd want to share? Comment below!