3/24/2017

Minnesota Broadband Day on the Hill

On March 15, I had the opportunity to join in on Broadband Day at the Hill, an event organized by the Minnesota Broadband Coalition. The day focused on discussing broadband issues and projects around greater Minnesota, as well as time to talk with a number of MN representatives about their work and perspective on the future of broadband expansion to reach those without access to high-speed Internet. It is not a new topic, but was definitely great to talk with representatives and others working on broadband around the state. 

Check out this map of 2016 broadband coverage around Minnesota, defined as 25M Upload/3M download. 

Coffee with Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith. 

Hearing from students and community experts around MN about regional broadband concerns. 

As an added bonus, I was able to sit in on a House Education Finance Committee meeting and heard testimony from a number of current proposals that would have a large impact on MN schools. 

1/11/2017

Assessing Google Classroom use in your School

You can now get Google Classroom reports in the Admin Console. Google Classroom use across the school district is something that I have had a hard time quantifying. The new reports in the G Suite Admin Console add a step in that direction for Google Classroom. There are three measures you can get; Active users, number of posts created and last logged in date.

To start, we have had ~29% of our staff and 44% of our students using Google Classroom in the past week. The number of our students using Classroom on a weekly basis is much higher than the four grade levels who have implemented 1:1 digital learning devices for the first time this fall.
Many other full-fledge LMSs have the ability to pull amazing statistics on assignments and interaction across the school system. I know that I am only pulling reports from a small sample of our staff, but I hypothesize digital assignment trends follow paper assignment trends for the number and day-of-the-week assignments. 

Mondays have been our biggest online posting day since November. Does anyone else see similar stats in their school? 



I did see @mebenson charting some homemade Google Classroom reports in the back of a session at #TIES16 that looked quite a bit more in-depth as far as user statistics and day-to-day interaction with Classroom and G Suite tools. Hopefully more reporting will come.

See Google's original post here, and their video below:

1/10/2017

What are Team Drives? A quick Google Drive update.

Princeton has access to a new feature in Google Drive called Team Drives. You may have seen the icon on the left side of your Drive. 

Team Drives are like a shared folder, but with more features to better share documents with departments, PLCs or grade-levels.

Anyone in the group can add to the Team Drive to share. As people come and go within the groups, all the documents stay put and are usable by everyone.

Visit Google's Help Center for more information to get started today.

12/13/2016

#TIES16 IT Stands for Innovation Teams

How do you take pockets of innovation and spread those classroom successes around your school and district?

Session Slides (link) 
twitter.com/froehlichm Mandy Froehlich is now the Director of Innovation and Technology for Ripon, WI schools.

The school had two separate teams; Tech Teams and Innovation Teams.
Tech Teams focused more on software/hardware implementation and support. They were more traditional roles who shared technology resources, tips and other ideas with staff.

Innovation Teams were started to be agents of change and lead change in classroom instruction. Innovation team members were invited or recruited, and not all of the technology-leaders were invited. Technology use was actually not a part of why innovative teachers were asked to be a part of the team.

Mandy's session focused on how her district set up innovation teams to lead change within their system, and the professional development of the team itself. Each Innovative Team member was assigned to a school to support staff members.

The work of the Innovative Teams focused on some of the following topics:

  • Growth mindsets, false-growth mindsets, fixed mindsets and how that impacts change in your school. 
  • Flexible learning spaces
    • GoFundMe.com was used as a funding source for flexible seating. Teachers also talked with businesses and neighbors in the community about the possible impacts of flexible learning furniture in their schools. 
  • Personalized learning (definition developed by a district-level team previous to the work of innovation teams. 
    • Personalized learning conversation started by looking at rubrics of existing projects to talk about how students are being taught and how that learning can be shown. 
  • Innovative instructional strategies 
  • True technology integration (Standard > Pedagogy > Technology Supports)  





12/12/2016

#TIES16 with Andew Stillman: Building Custom Data Dashboards

#TIES16 Building Custom Data Dashboards with Andrew Stillman.

Session Resource Link

Andrew's session started with key points behind how he approaches making data more portable and accessible in schools:
  1. Schools have a lot of data
  2. They are often limited in how we can look at or move data around 
  3. Many schools spend resources compiling data or building models that are not necessarily sustainable or scalable. 
Tools to help schools manage how they move data around: 

Local Hero (Chrome App link): A tool to connect local CSV files to Google Sheets so that data can be better visualized or shared. Local Here becomes a bridge from your local data to Google and can be mapped in a few different ways, depending on how you need to use it. 





11/30/2016

Podcasts are still alive in education?

Podcasts are a great format to catch some learning on-the-go. Think satellite radio show focused on very specific topics that you can download and listen to on your own time for free. 

Some people think of podcasts as a dead format. While listening to a podcast can be considered a one-way street for consuming information or ideas, not necessarily engaging in conversation, they are a good opportunity for those looking to reflect on their professional practice at times when joining in a Twitter chat or Voxer discussion are not realistic. Commuting, working out, mowing, shoveling, generally being active with headphones in are all times that you could be doing some professional learning and adding some time to your day. Remember when you said you did not have enough time? 

Here are a few podcasts focused on inspiring leaders and teachers: 

District and School Leadership Podcasts 

Teaching and Instruction Podcasts 

Separately, I do have to mention the podcast for Google Apps for Education Administrators as well. It is focused on the blended instructional and technical role that many technology directors struggle to balance. Link is here.

4/27/2016

Transfer and download your Google Apps data before you leave

We are nearing the end of the school year and must say goodbye to graduating seniors, as well as teachers moving on to other opportunities or retiring. Your Google Apps accounts will be disabled on your last day or school or employment.

Let's assume you are over the emotions involved in all this and now need to know, "How can I bring all my documents, messages and other data in Google Apps with me before this happens?"

To transfer your documents...

Google Takeout is a tool that let's you download a copy of almost all your Google Apps data on the web. You can also choose to just download the data you need, such as Drive and YouTube.

It downloads all of your online stuff as one LARGE file, depending on how many things you have uploaded to the cloud. You can use that downloaded folder to transfer (upload) your data and information to another school or personal Google Account in the future.



Google's Data Liberation site dataliberation.org provides additional information to help save/move your Google Apps data upon leaving a school district.

The most simple way to transfer your Google Drive documents to a new account is to put all of your documents in one folder, share that folder with your personal Google account, and then Make a copy of that folder in your personal account. You cannot transfer ownership from a document out of a Google Apps district, only SHARE and then Make a copy. 
Google Takeout does not download your Gmail messages. If you want to download your messages, use Gmail's Mail Fetcher to migrate and old and new messages from your Google Apps account into a personal Gmail account.

Other options... 

First, take a look at this post from Miguel Guhlin's blog on transferring email from Google Apps to personal Gmail.

Second option, the Google Apps Migrator from Backupify (3rd Party Website). It is a free tool that should let you transfer your entire Google Apps account to another Google Apps account all at once - Backupify is currently working on making this available to transfer all your data OUT of a Google Apps account to and Personal Google account, so if it does not work for you just yet, try it the next time you need a tool.

OR

Check out this LifeHacker article for another set of directions for downloading all of your Google Apps data to transfer to another account.


Screenshot of downloading just Drive data using Google Takeout 

4/15/2016

Educational Leadership for Innovation

We talk a lot about the changing culture of teaching in the "digital-age" by talking about the skills necessary for our students to be successful in the 21st Century. A focus on student-centered learning, providing student voice and choice, or organizing lessons for students to solve real-life problems are topics of conversation I often find myself a part of in and outside of our school district.

What about the changing role of school leaders in this shift?

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)  developed standards to help principals and administrators focus on new and innovative instruction within the school system as a whole. The conversation isn't always about technology, yet more about supporting, modeling and visioning the possibilities for the future of instruction. While we can't ignore the words TECHNOLOGY and EDUCATION in the organization's name without acknowledging a little bit of bias, take a look at the framework. Do the leadership skills align with the instruction and learning you want to see in your school? What can you do as a leader (input) to model and support the learning environment you want your students (output) to have?

Check out the ISTE Standards for Administrators here.


2/25/2016

Google Image Search Tools

Find the right image at the right time with this quick search tip for Google Images.