G-Suite to Support Student Writing, Google Teacher Tribe Podcast

Day 3 Digital Storytelling

When I got the inquiry to record a podcast with my friends Kasey Bell and Matt Miller on their weekly Google Teacher Tribe show I jumped at the chance to talk about the many options to support student writing using GSuite. I met Kasey and Matt at the Austin Google Teacher Academy (now called Google Innovator) and am a huge fan of their work to support teachers and students at a global level.

I have recently seen a reemergence of podcasts as a way to connect and share information and stories and was honored to be part of their “Tribe”. Listen to Podcast 13 where I share information on student writing and how Google can support the process and be sure to subscribe to their podcast for more Googley Information.

Shaelynn’s List of Google Resources, Apps, Add-Ons, and Extensions to Support Writing

Brainstorm Drafting/Writing Revising/Editing Publishing
Draw

Mindmup

Mindmeister

Coggle

Brainstorming Race

Google Scholar

Google Books

Google Save

GSuite

Explore in Docs

Translate

Voice Typing

Google Similar Pages

 

 

 

Keep

Highlighting Tool

Grammarly

Read & Write

Bitmojis

Text Help Study Skills

 

 

Any GSuite

Blogger

YouTube

Google Sites

 

 

 

 

Assessment/Feedback Apps/Exts./Add-Ons Citations Copyright-free Images
Joe Zoo Express

Orange Slice

Kaizena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Tab

Google Similar Pages

Grammarly

Google Save

Screencastify

First Draft News Check

Hypothesis

Hemingway App

Storyboard That

Soundtrap

Book Creator (Coming Soon)

Powtoon

Sketchboard

EasyBib

Cite This for Me

Apogee

Wayback Machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Noun Project

Pixaby

Unsplash 

Realistic Shots

Life of Pix 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me know if you have others to add to my list and be sure to check back soon as I am releasing a book in the fall that will support all your literacy needs through an EdTech Redesign! Sign up on this Google Form to be notified when my book is out!

Contemporary Literacy Practices, Go Where Your Students Are…

-Want to increase student achievement in reading and writing- Capitalize on the skills they use in their digital world.Education is slow to change. Before something is implemented it must be checked, researched, and statistically proven to impact student achievement before implementation occurs. While I  recognize the value of this system, it is the one that leaves professionals stagnant and places kids at a disadvantage. It also discounts the “gut-instinct” that teachers have when they recognize something is not working for their student and they need to change instruction.

The other day I was problem-solving with a building literacy coach at the middle school level. She spoke about a student, Allena (we will call her), an 8th grader who was classified as a struggling reader and writer by her teachers. The teachers wanted support in the form of strategies or programs that would help fix this child. A silver-bullet to implement that would magically make this student love writing.

In fact, the building literacy coach told me, all she cares about is watching YouTube and making videos for her own channel.

I paused, remembering a James Britton quote, “Go to where your students are – don’t make them come to you.” If you want to increase student reading and writing, go to where your students are in their “literary” worlds. Capitalize on the digital reading and writing that they do every day.

My question to the coach was How can we utilize YouTube to support this struggling writer? How can moviemaking and YouTube Stars be the vehicle in which she learns, practices, and demonstrates literacy skills? Could this entry-point then transfer to other areas of reading and writing?
Literacy is social, constantly changing, and impacted by the practices of a particular group. Contemporary literacy is multimodal, dynamic, and global. For students to be active participants in a global society it is essential to support student creation and consumption of 21st Century Literacies, even if it is driven by gut-instinct and has not had enough time to be deemed “research-approved.” Meeting students where they are does not only mean recognizing what skills they get and what they don’t, it also includes their interests, passions, and quite possibly YouTube.

Urban Legends, Headline Hooks, and Ideation: 3 Edtech Writing Activities for Inquiry

Adobe Spark (9)Writing is often short-changed in most classrooms but it is through writing that students demonstrate their understanding of texts, concepts, and topics. Writing about their learning provides insight into what a student understands and where the gaps occurred. For example, I assign a chapter in The Giver for my students to read and the next day in class I kick off the discussion by having students take five minutes to write down everything they know about a Utopian Society, how it has impacted the characters and the setting of the novel. This 5 minute activity provides me with data to inform my instruction. It provides a small glimpse into my students’ understanding of the novel and theme.

Writing as a type of assessment is typically what most teachers think of and utilize in their classrooms but there is a second reason to have students write (and write, and write, and write a lot more). Writing allows us to wrestle with ideas, make a mess with our thinking, and sift the top ideas and thoughts we may have not known were in our heads. It is through writing that exploration and inquiry can be launched in the classroom.

3 Edtech Writing Strategies for Inquiry:

Urban LegendsWomen wearing leggings are denied boarding for their flights, the current slime craze has serious health implications for youth, Disney VHS movies with the Black Diamond cases are worth thousands of dollars. Using myths, Urban Legends, and other misinformation is an engaging way to launch kids into exploration. Not only does this type of activity lead to more reading, writing, and investigation; but it also promotes healthy skepticism in the information age.  During this exploration, students work to uncover the truth and also ask themselves how this phenomenon takes place and what catapults these Urban Legends into popularity. Great places to start:

Why Might This Be? – This strategy is great for brainstorming and ideation. Collect provocative statements from newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. Share each line one at a time while students list possible reasons for each (one minute per headline works well). Students are answering the question “Why Might This Be?” as the list as many possibilities. These lists serve as instigators to launch students into an inquiry or exploration unit where student choice is provided.

Headline Hooks – This activity has students reading and writing their way through current NF sources. To start with, students spend 20 mins. or more reading articles that spark their interest. Here is a collection of digital sources to have kids explore! During their reading, students take note of what they want to explore more. This list becomes a plethora of ideas to support inquiry throughout the year. Use a graphic organizer once the student has chosen a Headline that Hooked them listing the topic on the top, what they know about it, what they think they will find out, and then what they did find out.

Resources – Kelly Gallagher, Write Like This

10 Compelling Issues to Catapult Student Writers

compelling Issues forStudent Inquiry (3)Writing, like any activity, takes practice to get better. But writing, unlike reading or math, is often neglected in schools for various reasons. Educators find the teaching of writing difficult and many times don’t know where to start. This unfortunate occurrence places students at a disadvantage. In fact, three of the 10 Common Core Reading Standards requires reading as writers, the Common Core is also the first time in history that equal representation and importance (10 Standards each) is placed on both reading and writing. Moving beyond the What is the Why. Writing helps students develop an understanding of content, develop empathy, demonstrate mastery, not to mention writing plays a key role in participating in a global community and expressing one’s view thoughtfully.

Students should write every day! When students write every day they develop their voice and see value in written expression. But what should kids be writing is a question often posed to me.

The best writing is REAL – Relevant, Engaging, Authentic, and Lifelong. Laua Robb offers 10 compelling issues in her book Teaching Middle School Writers that I feel align to meaningful or REAL writing for all kids. These issues were often favorite ones to explore and write about in my own classroom with high school students. Plus, these compelling issues are great for not only conceptual thinking but could be used for Book Discussions and to launch Inquiry Units.

10 Compelling Issues that Catapult Kids to Write:

  1. Change & Loss
    • Death
    • Moving
    • Illness
    • Job Loss
    • Physical Change
  2. Challenges, Choices, & Decisions
    • Goals
    • Obstacles
    • Negative challenges that become positive
    • Life Choices
  3. Relationships: Insight to Self
    • Freinds
    • Fitting In
    • Parents, Siblings, Teachers
    • Relationship with self
    • Pets
    • Trust
  4. Coping with Fears
    • What
    • Why
    • Actions
    • Future
    • Fear affecting Thoughts, Decisions, & Actions
  5. Pressures: Inner & Outside Influences
    • Why
    • Peers
    • Gossip
    • Moving
    • Motives
    • Self
    • Athletics
    • Competition
    • Pop Culture
  6. Identity Shaping: Hopes & Dreams
    • Privacy
    • What do I want to be?
    • Future self
    • Daydreaming
    • Fitting In
    • Who am I?
  7. Obstacles
    • Language
    • Weather
    • Location
    • Religion
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Divorce
    • Expectations
  8. War & Conflict
    • War
    • Conflict Good or Bad?
    • Without Conflict
    • Peace
    • Power & Control
  9. Restrictions, Rules, & Rebellion
    • Rules
    • Rulebreaking
    • Rebellions
    • Protesting
    • Family, School, Friends
    • Activism
    • Emotions
    • Actions
  10. Conformity & Nonconformity
    • Fitting In
    • Feelings
    • Conforming
    • Not Conforming
    • Exclusions
    • Easier to conform or be different

Under each issue, I have offered general categories in which ideas may be sparked and questions created that can catapult our writers into personal narratives. Through personal narratives, students are able to anchor their thinking and blend genres as they notice these compelling issues arise in what they read, view, and listen to. Connecting their lives to outside texts (whatever mode that may be in) helps students understand the importance of writing and how their lives and experiences are related. It makes the writing REAL!

 

 

15 EdTech Women Making an Impact!

WOW! (2)

March is known as Women’s History Month and this year the theme honors Trailblazers whose passion has influenced their respective field of work. This month I plan to highlight groups of Edtech Women each Friday that are leading the way in our field, celebrating their passion, innovations, and work. These women are helping to lead the way in creating a change in the field of education that is best for kids around the world. You can read last Friday’s post here.

marisa

Marisa Dahl, Instructional Tech Consultant

kayeKaye Henrickson, Instructional Services Director at CESA #4 in Western Wisconsin

  • “If I can help move the needle, even a little bit, to support others in existing as safe, positive, and self-directed learners, I can land on that as a success.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Google Keep, Edpuzzle, Fitbit
  • Advice: Even small steps forward in your learning are steps forward. Honor that and keep moving.
  • Connect with Kaye: Twitter @kayehenrickson LinkedIn, FB, Pinterest, Instagram: Kaye Henrickson

ShanaShana White, Local School Technology Coordinator

  • “I purposefully disrupt the status quo and work daily to provide and support innovative and engaging opportunities for my students and teachers.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Twitter, GSuite, DiscoveryEd
  • Advice: Mediocrity is easy and comfortable. Great is uncomfortable, hard, but beautiful. Dare and challenge yourself to be great for kids.
  • Connect with Shana: Twitter @ShanaVWhite Blog www.shanavwhite.com Email shanavidalwhite@gmail.com

christineChristine Boyer, 5th Grade Teacher & Makerspace Curator

  • “Connectedness: bringing teachers, students and community together because learning can not just happen within the walls of the classroom.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Make Writing by Angela Stockman (e-book), Evernote for record keeping, Explain Everything for documenting
  • Advice: Teach from the heart – get to know your students well and teach to their hearts.
  • Connect with Christine: Twitter @5Boyer  Email cboyer@scarsdaleschools.org

kaylaKayla Delzer, 3rd Grade Teacher and International Keynote Speaker

  • If it’s right for kids, it’s right.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Seesaw, Epic! Books for Kids App, Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Advice: One thing I’ve really embraced over the last few years is to dive into unfamiliar or new things head on. Don’t wait for the perfect time or a new school year to get started. My comfort level is less important than doing what’s best for kids. Best practice starts now.
  • Connect with Kayla: Twitter @TopDogTeaching @topdogteaching on SM, topdogteaching.com

JodieJodie Deinhammer, Teacher

  • “Challenging kids to think differently.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Numbers, iMovie, Flipgrid
  • Advice: Set the bar high because kids are capable of more than is typically expected of them.
  • Connect with Jodie: Twitter @jdeinhammer and  jdeinhammer@coppellisd.com

cariCari Teske, Tech Integrationist

  • “To share my passion of learning with others so that it ripples for eternity.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Google Expeditions, Breakout EDU, Seesaw
  • Advice: Students always remember how you made them feel.
  • Connect with Cari: Twitter @cariteske, Email cteske@aea267.k12.ia.us

MindyMindy Cairney, Digital Learning Consultant at Grant Wood AEA

  • “My driving force is to help education evolve into an empowering experience for students and teachers.“
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Seesaw, CoSpaces, and all things Virtual Reality
  • Advice: Find something that brings fire into your soul. Walk away from things that don’t.
  • Connect with Mindy: Twitter @TeamCairney Email mcairney@gwaea.org

hadleyHadley Ferguson, Executive Director, Edcamp Foundation

  • “It’s always about creating the learning spaces for that spark of understanding, the light in the eyes moments, whether for students or adults.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Slack, Google Calendar, Wunderlist
  • Advice: Never stop learning; keep personal growth as one of your goals! It will make you a better educator!
  • Connect with Hadley: Twitter @hadleyjf Email hadley@edcamp.org

mickieMickie Mueller, Educational Technology Facilitator

  • “Always keep learning, always keep stretching, always keep growing.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Google Classroom, Canva, Seesaw
  • Advice: You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone to truly grow. As educators, we must always be willing to learn and try new things. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Build a PLN of trusted friends and confidants, those people who will support you and more importantly challenge you.
  • Connect with Mickie: Twitter @Mickie_Mueller

MichelleMichelle Baldwin, Lead Teacher, Anastasis Academy

  • “My passion is inspiring kids to follow their curiosity, and that mostly requires me to simply get out of their way.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Google Keep, One Tab, Seesaw
  • Advice: Getting to truly know your students – their interests, how they think they learn, what they’re curious about, etc. – should always be your top priority. Everything else is secondary to that. WHO we teach is far more important that WHAT we teach.
  • Connect with Michelle: Twitter @michellek107  

AmberAmber Teamann, proud principal of Whitt Elementary in Wylie, Tx

  • “My passion as an educator is to inspire a love of learning in all I come in contact with, empowering each and every person to be the very best version of themself they can be.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Adobe Spark, Voxer, Facebook Groups for learning
  • Advice: Share, share, share. Connections are one of the easiest, free ways to grow and learn. Your PLN can become some of your best friends and truly make you a better educator. Everyone needs a spark every now and then…YOU could be just what someone needs as a catalyst for change! You also need to market your work for more opportunities. Visit The 970 Marketing company to give you the best marketing tips.
  • Connect with Amber: Twitter@8Amber8  Website www.amberteamann.com

KaseyBell1WebSQKasey Bell, Digital Learning Consultant

  • “I am passionate about doing what’s best for kids and leveraging digital tools (and everything else at our disposal) to improve student learning.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: NYT VR, Google Keep, Story Wars
  • Advice: Question everything that is done in schools! Education is slow to change, and it’s in need a big change. We have to question the reasons we do everything so we can rethink education.
  • Connect with Kasey: Twitter @ShakeUpLearning Website/Blog www.ShakeUpLearning.com

MeenooMeenoo Rami, Manager Minecraft Education at Microsoft

  • “The throughline to all that I’ve done is to help connect to educators to one and another so they can leverage students’ inquiries and interest to power learning.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: Minecraft Education Edition
  • Advice: You don’t  have to go at it alone, there are many, including me, who would love to support you on your journey as an educator.
  • Connect with Meenoo: Twitter @meenoorami or at meenoorami.org

rusulRusul Alrubail, Executive Director of the Writing Project

  • “I’ve made it my life’s mission to help students see that their voice matters.”
  • Current Edtech Favorites: The Writing Project, Teaching Tolerance, Educolor
  • Advice: Be yourself! It is your true and authentic self that allows people to see you as a person and connect with you as an individual.
  • Connect with Rusul: Twitter @RusulAlrubail