Back in April 2016, Google's Education Blog talked about 4 Ways to Use Polling in Google Classroom. If you use the Question function on Google Classroom (GC), and choose multiple choice instead of short answer, you can create a way to poll your students without creating a Google Form. I had forgotten about this since I don't tend to use the question function and instead use Verso for online discussions. But, I've already set one up for next week to help my 11th graders, who are doing a very big research paper, self-monitor their progress. The blog also mentioned it's a good way to get student feedback, for exit tickets, and to guide student discussions.
At the end of the same mother, Sylvia Duckworth from EdTechTeam, talked about taking her knowledge of (what was then) GAFE for granted and what she did to make sure to pass the Google Level 2 exam. She offered 3 Tips to Rock the Google Level 2 EDU Certification. I'm sure I kept this because it was my plan over the summer to get my Level 2 Certification, but that didn't pan out. Then my district offered Level 1 Certification courses, but I already had mine and so I asked if Level 2 would be offered. They said it would be, and it was, but the class in December got cancelled. It is now in May. I've gone and checked out some of the training modules, but I haven't had the time to really look at them or the resources our Program Specialist put together. Maybe I can get some of that done during Spring Break in April (Ha. Then I would have come full circle). One thing I have done when looking at the modules is I go straight to the Review Quizzes and see what I don't actually know and then study that instead of reading over information that I've already figure out on my own in my usage of the G Suite products.
In May, Jennifer Gonzlez at the Cult of Pedagogy posted (and podcasted) about ways to make better use of Twitter. She talks about finding your tribe, having conversations, sharing, participating in Twitter chats (mine is #caedchat - though I need to get more involved with it), do research, and communicate with students and parents. Now, I have my personal twitter, which I use for the first 5 things Jennifer mentions, but I created a school twitter for my students/parents. I don't get much traction out of the latter, but then again, most of the kids seemed to have moved to SnapChat.
In that same month, Valencia Clay over at Edutopia posted about Intrinsic Motivation vs. Standardized Tests. I think, at the time, I was interested because I had been working on my action research project with my two partners, and a large part of it involved extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. She'd used a lot from the work of Daniel Pink and his book, Drive (which you should read), but one thing in her article really caught my attention. One of the questions she says we should have students explore is "How will achieving well on this exam impact me a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now?" Now, I'm admittedly biased against any high-stakes standardized testing and think there is too much of it. I also think there is too much no-little-stakes standardized testing (my 10th graders take 5-6 a year). But, some of these standardized tests can impact a student. Our 11th-grade students take the SBAC and have the EAP questions attached to it. That can impact them because - depending on how well they do on the mixture of questions (SBAC and EAP) - it determines whether or not they need to take ERWC or any remedial English or Math courses in college (it essentially replaces placement tests).
I think that's a good plethora for now. Next time, we'll cover the month of June and maybe more.