Thursday, February 22, 2018

Is this a Leap year?

FEB29

Will we have a 29th of February this year?  How can you tell?

Students work with a flow chart to deduce what years are going to be leap years.  They learn about the exact measurement of a solar year and how our Gregorian calendar needs to be adjusted to accurately align the calendar with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun.

Leap-years.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc and solutions.

Leap-years.doc           Leap-year-solutions.pdf

CCSS: 5.NBT, 6.NS, 7.NS, N-Q.3

from Yummy Math https://www.yummymath.com/2018/is-this-a-leap-year/

Creating a Vision for Your School and Getting Buy In from Stakeholders

Lynn Fuini-Hetten on episode 259 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Strategic planning for your school or district can take a variety of forms. In today’s show, learn how one successful district has tackled this process and how they are getting buy in from teachers on the vision during the second year of implementation.

Check out Jennifer Gonzalez’ 2018 Teacher’s Guide to Technology for more than 200 tools with special tips, videos, and screenshots to get you started.

Listen Now

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Enhanced Transcript

Creating a Vision for Your School and Getting Buy In from Stakeholders

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher/e259
Date: February 22, 2018

Vicki: Today, we’re talking to Lynn Fuini-Hetten @lfuinihetten, Assistant Superintendent from the Salisbury Township in Pennsylvania.

Her district has done a lot of work with one-to-one teaching and learning. It has been a leader for quite some time, in excellence and implementation of using technology to teach.

But Lynn, right now, you’re excited about what you’re calling TL 2020. Tell us what that is.

Lynn: Good morning, Vicki. Glad to be here with you this morning, and having this opportunity to share with your listeners.

What is TL 2020?

TL 2020 is our teaching and learning initiative in Salisbury Township School District. We spent quite a bit of time visioning for TL 2020, and continuing to evolve our vision.

Most recently we have developed a profile of a graduate, which articulates knowledge, skills, and dispositions we want our learners to have when they leave Salisbury Township School District.

If we want our learners to have that — the knowledge, the skills, the dispositions — we know that we need to transform our classrooms. We also have adopted a set of learning beliefs to help us better articulate what we want our classrooms to look like in the future as we approach 2020.

Vicki: So Lynn, I know that we can’t go into it all here on the podcast, and we will certainly link to the resources, but tell us a little bit about the knowledge, the skills, the dispositions.

I am uniquely intrigued by the word “disposition,” because usually we talk about knowledge, often we talk about skills. But “disposition” is kind of a new concept for what we want in our graduates. So explain that a little bit.

Explain how “disposition” fit into this

Lynn: Sure, so “disposition” is really a different idea, and something we think is really important as we consider the whole child.

We spent a lot of time visioning, and we asked which dispositions were important, which ones our community values. We actually talked to all of our staff, parents, school leaders, students, community members. We shadowed students, and we asked them, “What do want this whole child to look like when they leave us?”

So in addition to the knowledge (core curriculum and digital literacy and financial literacy and some other ideas), and in addition to the skills (creativity, creating bravely, collaboration, critical thinking, communication) — we want these dispositions:

  • We want our learners to be curious.
  • We want them to be risk takers.
  • We want them to be compassionate and caring.
  • We want them to take risks and keep trying, so be persistent and be resilient, and to work toward their goals, whatever their individual and personal goals might be.

So we’ve created this pretty comprehensive profile of a graduate.

Vicki: Wow. You have learning beliefs. Tell us about some of those learning beliefs, about what you want your classrooms to look like.

Tell us about your learning beliefs

Lynn: Sure. So we actually learned through Education Reimagined. We read their white paper for transforming teaching and Learning. We’ve adopted some of their core beliefs. We identified five learning beliefs for us:

  1. We want learning to be competency based
  2. We want learning to be personalized and relevant and contextualized, so that might mean designing learning around passion for kids, making it authentic, making sure that they have purpose.
  3. We want our learners to experience agency, both our young learners and our adult learners (those teachers and leaders). And we characterize that through choice and voice in their learning, in their pathways.
  4. We want our learning to be socially embedded. We want our learners and their peers and educators and community members and family members to create relationships so that we can make learning a richer experience.
  5. Through that, with open walled learning, we can engage experts and technology and resources so that the learning goes beyond the classroom walls.

One way that we can exercise that is through our one-to-one initiative. All of our learners have a device. K-1 students have access to an iPad, 2-12 students have access to MacBook Airs.

That device is a vehicle for helping us realize our learning beliefs and making sure that we are transforming classrooms so that the learning is competency based and relevant and we can engage a lot of agency.

Vicki: OK. Lynn. This sounds like a lot!

Lynn: (laughs) It is!

Vicki: How recently did you adopt this, and where did you start? Because, you know, when you’re classroom teacher — and you’ve been a classroom teacher, you know what it’s like — we’re so focused on our day-to-day, and “I’ve got to teach this tomorrow,” that making these kinds of shifts can be challenging!

So first of all, when did you pass this, and then second, where did you start?

This is a lot to take on, so where did you start?

Lynn: Sure, so we spent 2015-2016 really doing the research.

We ran two parallel activities to do that research — the first one was sort of a comprehensive planning and strategic planning where any stakeholder who wanted to give input could.

The second one is what we called, “Innovate Salisbury Professional Learning.” We invited teachers to uncover the uncommon dots in education.

So we brought a team of about 15 teachers together. We created opportunities for teachers to use mentor texts — so anything related to Genius Hour, MakerSpace, gamification — a lot of most recently published texts through practitioners and facilitators in the education world right now.

Teachers looked at those texts, tried some projects, reported out, and some of that also shaped the vision, which was then delivered to our staff, in actually 2016-2017.

So, last school year, we spent a full year building a shared understanding of this vision. We had another professional learning cohort called “Leading Your Salisbury.”

And at the end of that year, we did some assessment, and we realized that we needed some more time to build this vision.

People need to understand, “What does this look like? What can it look like in an elementary classroom? What does agency look like in a high school classroom? How can we implement socially embedded lessons and activities? How can we open up our walls so learners can have personalized and contextualized experiences?”

So we’re actually in the second year of this vision, and we’re really spending significant time right now building a shared understanding of our vision.

Vicki: So, Lynn, tell me a story about something you’ve seen as a result of this, that you go, “OK, this is what it’s about! This is why we created this vision!”

An example

Lynn: Sure, so I can give you lots of examples, although I also want to be really transparent in saying that we are very, very early on in this journey. We have a lot of heavy lifting to do. You’re right, our teachers have a lot on their plates. I think we are dipping our toes to move forward.

One example: We have a learner centered media station, and we have a series of courses that students can take. We produce our own cable television show. This year, we have added two internships, where high school seniors are getting credit for actually running this TV station.

So that’s pretty exciting, that these students will have the opportunity to collaborate with outside cable experts and also produce their work, along with the work of their cable TV team and their Salisbury (Falcon?) Network Team and their advisor. They’ll produce it for an authentic audience of community members.

Vicki: So Lynn, as we finish up, you’re speaking to administrators who are trying to cast a vision and get people on board with it. What is the most important thing you have learned in this process, about being successful with a vision and getting buy in from stakeholders?

What is the most important thing about being successful with a vision?

Lynn: Sure. I think we have to build that shared understanding, and we have to provide a lot of opportunities for conversation — both about the possibilities and also about the challenges and how to mitigate those challenges. Everyone has a voice, and we need to engage everyone’s voice so that we can all move forward together.

Vicki: Do you have one mistake that you hope people won’t make?

Lynn: Hmmmm. (laughs) I’m sure we’ve made a lot of mistakes.

I think we have to make sure that we value each individual and each role in this. We have to make sure that we really listen to our learners, that we really listen to our leaders, that we really listen to our teachers as we move forward so that everyone’s voice is valued.

Vicki: So, administrators and teachers, casting a vision for your school. Knowing “What do we want our graduates to look like. What do we want our classrooms to look like? What kind of environment do we want to have.?”

I think also this conversation about disposition is a fascinating one. I know that we’ve had it in many forms. When I was a child, they called it character education.

Lynn: (laughs)

Vicki: I don’t know if it was, “We want you to be this,” as much as it was, “This is what good character looks like.”

Lynn: (agrees)

Vicki: But we do need to have visions. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you’ll always hit it. (laughs)

You want to be very careful, and aim for the excellence. Aim for the place you want your school to go, because complacency is really a sign of decay. We’re either getting better, or we’re getting worse. There’s really no in between there. We can’t be complacent. We have to strive for excellence. We have to cast a vision.

I think Lynn has given us a lot of ideas for doing that, so thanks, Lynn!

Lynn: Thank you very much. My pleasure.

Contact us about the show: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Lynn Fuini-Hetten is the Assistant Superintendent in the Salisbury Township School District. Prior to her work in this position, Lynn served as Supervisor of Instructional Practice, middle school teacher, instructional coach, instructional support teacher and assistant principal in the district. In her current role, Lynn is responsible for professional learning for all staff, supporting curriculum development, supervising the district’s virtual learning academy (VAST), and managing federal programs. Lynn has been an integral part in the success of Salisbury’s 1:1 teaching and learning initiative – Teaching and Learning 2020 (TL2020). As a result of her work in the area of professional development, Salisbury Township School District was recently recognized nationally as a Project RED Signature District and an Apple Distinguished Program. Lynn was recognized in 2013-14 with a mini-grant from Learning Forward PA to provide professional development focused on leading the implementation of PA Core Standards for the administrative team. Lynn received a BS and an MS in elementary education from Kutztown University, principal certification from Penn State University, instructional technology certification from Kutztown University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from Wilkes University. Lynn has taught undergraduate course at DeSales University. In May 2014 Lynn received the Wanda McDaniel Award from the Women’s Caucus of PASA (Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.)

Blog: sharetolearn.org

Twitter: @lfuinihetten

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Creating a Vision for Your School and Getting Buy In from Stakeholders appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e259/

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Iditarod Teacher: How to Connect and Learn from the Iditarod Race

Heidi Sloan on episode 258 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Heidi Sloan is the Iditarod teacher for this year. It starts on March 3 – 18. Get free lesson plans, connect with a musher and get your kids excited.

Check out Jennifer Gonzalez’ 2018 Teacher’s Guide to Technology for more than 200 tools with special tips, videos, and screenshots to get you started.

Listen Now

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***

Enhanced Transcript

Iditarod Teacher: How to Connect and Learn from the Iditarod Race

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e258
Date: February 21, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Heidi Sloan, a Virginia 5th grade teacher who has the privilege of reporting on the Iditarod this year, February 19-22, 2018.

So Heidi, tell us about this opportunity and what you’re going to be doing.

Heidi: The Iditarod is a dog sled race across Alaska commemorating the Iditarod trail and the sled dog tradition of Alaska. Every year I have incorporated the race into my classroom for a long time, and it just builds engagement and motivation with the kids.

They have a whole education department but they choose one teacher a year to go on the race. It’s been a dream of mine for years.

This has been a dream of mine for years

I applied, and I was chosen last April to be the 2018 teacher on the trail. I will be going out and speaking to schools and actually flying by bush plane to all that the mushers have to … and I’ll write that lesson plan, and what’s going on each day from Alaska.

Vicki: So how will people be able to follow these lesson plans and let their students follow along?

How can we follow along?

Heidi: If you go to Iditarod.com, and then click on the Education tab, there’s just a boatload of wonderful lesson plans for every subject. Then my tab once your on the trail. I’ve been posting week for months. I have a lot of ideas and lesson plans for teachers, too. I just put one on. If you’re new to the Iditarod, just getting started, it’s a really good checklist of ways to just jump in with all that you need, just to start. So I would recommend that, too, if you’re new to it.

Vicki: What do your students think about this opportunity?

How are your students feeling about you going?

Heidi: They’re very excited. They’re a little apprehensive that I’ll be gone for five weeks, because it’s actually March 22nd that I get back.

Vicki: Ohhhhh! So it’s February 19 through MARCH 22nd? Sorry, so they’re going to be following this for a while!

Heidi: The race actually begins on March 3rd. That will be the weekend to be watching, but they’re excited. They love learning about the Iditarod. It’s so new to kids, especially in the south. They just have no concept of the cold and snow and all the neat things that go into mushing dogs. They do get excited, and it really helps them want to read the articles and do the math problems and make the — that have to do with it. It just wraps rather easily into our curriculum.

Vicki: Heidi, what are some of the best things to teach, using the Iditarod as kind of a backdrop?

How does the Iditarod fit in with a regular curriculum?

Heidi: There’s a lot of character education that you can pull out of it — determination, loyalty, leadership, all that kind of stuff definitely can be pulled in. I do a lot with that.

Even in geometry, you can work with the dogs’ harnesses and measure the angles. There are a lot of fun things to do with math.

I do a STEM project where the kids have to come up with a little dog house that has a certain amount of volume in it, using crackers and frosting. There are just all kinds of neat things you can do with that.

There are a lot of articles that the mushers write at the EDU of Iditarod does. You can have your kids read the articles.

There are just so many fun things.

How can people reach you while you are there?

Vicki: So Heidi, will people be able to tweet you? Will classrooms be able to tweet you questions?

Heidi: My internet is sort of spotty, because I’ll be in the interior of Alaska…

Vicki: Ohhhh…

Heidi: Probably the best way to reach me would be emailtheteacher@Iditarod.com and I will be able to email back sometimes and possibly even send a little Skype video or something to teachers. So if they want to see the dogs, or see what’s going on, I’ll do my best.

When and how can teachers apply to be able to do what you are doing?

Vicki: So when do applications open to apply for 2019? That’s going to be the first question that some folks ask after they take a look at all your lesson plans.

Heidi: They have actually selected some finalists for 2019, so the next up would be 2020. So they are due December 1st.

If you click on the “Teacher on the Trail” tab, it tells about how you can apply as well and what the requirements are. It’s the thrill of a lifetime, so if anybody is interested, I would just say, “Go for it!”

Vicki: And Alaska is just such a beautiful state. I’ve been there and spoken at their conference. So many beautiful, wonderful educators there. And it’s just… just… the beauty is tremendous.

Heidi: Yes, yes it is. It’s just pristine. I’ve been getting a lesson ready for the Alaskan schools, comparing Virginia kids to Alaskan kids. Things that Virginia kids never see, like snow machines or moose.

Vicki: Well, until this winter, right? (laughs)

Heidi: (laughs) That’s right!

Vicki: This winter’s been wild.

Where would teachers begin if they have no experience teaching this?

OK, so how does a teacher get started? You said you have posted a lesson plan on getting started with teaching about the Iditarod. But tell us again where to go and how you think that we should start.

Heidi: Go to Iditarod.com and click on the “Teacher on the Trail” tab along the side. On there is “New to the Iditarod” is what I think I titled the post.

Basically, it gives some book ideas for read-alouds to get started and getting your kids familiar with the race.

It’s got some math activities. It’s got activities on researching the rules, which is good reading research practice, and that helps them understand.

I’ve got a packet in there that helps them find a musher that they can follow and cheer for, and what they can look for on the website once the race starts.

I’ve got ideas on graphing the temperature and things like that all along the race, and doing activities with the checkpoints. Those are some of the things that you can just get started, and then you can build from it as time goes on.

I always say, “Start small, and you can always add to it later.”

Vicki: So what is the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about the Iditarod?

What has surprised you the most?

Heidi: Hmmmm. I love the Alaskan people. A lot of the mushers are from Alaska or foreign countries like Norway and Sweden. I like their adventurous spirit.

I love how difficult the Iditarod is. People don’t realize. You’re going down mountain cliffs. You’re going over frozen rivers that sometimes have water on them.

Just the bitter cold and the “Do it yourself” type of attitude. I just love that, and how the mushers help each other along the trail.

All that has been a wonderful learning experience for me.

Vicki: So, the Iditarod is coming up, March 3 through March 22.

We will have all the resources for you. We can follow Heidi.

Heidi, thank you for coming on, so that we can have a voice and of course your picture that we

can include this exciting opportunity for teachers to be able to take some fun lesson plans and kind of get to know exactly what’s going on. This is just a great teaching opportunity.

And I love how this event has actually having a teacher to really engage teachers and students. I think it’s a fantastic model I hope a lot of events will follow this model.

Heidi: Thank you so much, Vicki, for the opportunity to share.

Contact us about the show: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


I am a 5th grade teacher who loves to motivate and engage my students in February and March by using the Alaskan Iditarod sled dog race as a tool to help teach math, reading, science, writing, and geography. I want to make learning relevant and make sure my students learn something new each day. This year I was selected to be Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™, the one teacher who gets to actually go on the race to be a reporter of sorts for teachers and students around the world. I love sharing motivating ideas with teachers!

Blog: https://iditarod.com/edu/category/teacher-on-the-trail/

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Iditarod Teacher: How to Connect and Learn from the Iditarod Race appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e258/

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Keep Your Head Up When You Stumble

Day 44 of 80 Days of Excellence

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Westwood Schools Alumnus, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hilliard, (soon to be a Colonel in the Army) spoke to our students today. As he talked about success and failure, he said something incredible,

“If your head is up when you stumble and you’re looking forward, then you will see an open door.” Lt. Colonel Robert Hilliard, US Army

This is a man who knows struggle. From leading troops who disarmed IED’s in Northern Baghdad to helping construct hospitals to help with the Ebola Crisis in Africa, Lt. Col. Hilliard is one of those who handles stress and difficult things for a living. I admire him very much.

But I think this point is an important one.

Keep your head up.

Why we shouldn’t hang our heads

Life is tough. You will fail. You will get knocked down. You will have problems. I will too. Problems, failures, and struggle are part of the human condition. No one is exempt. Struggles come to us all.

But when we hang our heads, we look down. We only see our feet. We only see our failure. We look at the ground. Or even worse, we look at the pit that we have fallen into.

We look at the debt. We look at the anger of others. We look at the mistakes that landed us here. We look at where the problem has landed us. And we feel sorry for ourselves.

When Your Head is Down, You Can’t Look in the Mirror

Hanging our heads is a helpless position. We can’t even look in the mirror when our head is down.

Part of progress is often being sorry for our mistakes and to learn how not to make them and turn from doing it again. If our problem is of our own making, we have to do that if we want to prevent the problems in the future.

There are those people who lose every single job because of a “bad boss.” Well, either they are horrific at picking jobs or the problem is closer to home and stands in their sneakers and puts on their pants every morning. And when families enable this behavior without helping the person understand that their absenteeism or defensiveness or anger or irresponsibility is part of the problem – it will repeat itself. And this part is hard.

But the person you’re trying to “help” isn’t going to get better hanging their head. They have to look up and look into the eyes of those who love them and learn how to improve their behavior so their situation can change. We can all learn from problems.

Holding Your Head Up

However, in many cases, after you’ve examined yourself to learn what you need to do to improve your part of the situation it is time to find the next step when:

  • You didn’t get the promotion you wanted at work.
  • The person you loved didn’t love you back.
  • You had a financial disaster and your savings is gone and you’re in a mess.

Keep your head up and look for what’s next.

Keep your head up and look for what you can learn.

Keep your head up and find people who can help you improve.

Keep your head up and look for the next opportunity.

Some of the greatest things that have happened to me were failures. The things I didn’t win. The awards I didn’t get. The opportunities that fell through. The mistakes I made where I actually learned from them and turned away from doing them again.

The times when I hung my head, I missed out. I missed out on improving myself in my self-pity. I missed out on opportunities. And sometimes I missed out on talking to people who love me and wanted to be with me in the trouble.

But, Robert is right. If we can learn to keep our head up when we stumble, we might just look forward and see an open door.

And that, my friends, is failing with excellence.

This post is day 44 of 80 days of excellence. I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

The post Keep Your Head Up When You Stumble appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/keep-head-stumble/

Google Jamboard

Tom Mullaney on episode 257 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Google Jamboard is a fun interactive app. There’s hardware too, but don’t be worried. The free app has lots to play with. You just download it on Google Play or iTunes and use it with your touch Chromebook or iPad after listening to Tom Mullaney share how it works. Enjoy this fun, free tool.

Check out Jennifer Gonzalez’ 2018 Teacher’s Guide to Technology for more than 200 tools with special tips, videos, and screenshots to get you started.

Listen Now

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***

Enhanced Transcript

Google Jamboard

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e257
Date: February 20, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Tom Mullaney @tommullaney. He is in the San Francisco Unified School District as a Learning Integration Designer, and he does it with digital technology.

Now Tom, you and I have talked about two technologies that you’re particularly excited about with Chromebooks — Google Jamboard and Google Expeditions.

Now first of all, I have never heard of Google Jamboard. What is it?

Tom: So Google Jamboard is actually a $5,000 piece of equipment. Don’t stop right there. Don’t get worried. It comes with a free app that students can access.

Google Jamboard is a free app

They could access it on a their phones. It’s a little bit small. But also on iPads and on Chromebooks that have the Play Store enabled, which is where education Chromebooks are going.

In Google Jamboard, you have this collaborative space which doesn’t sound all that exciting, but when you think about all the things you can do, you can bring in web content, you can draw perfect shapes, you can draw perfect angles, you can do all these crazy things, including having Hangouts occurring in this Jam. This is a great way to get your kids collaborating, and it’s very, very new.

Vicki: OK. So Jamboard is a piece of hardware, and this is going on inside the hardware that’s connecting them? Is it like something physical that you’re interacting with?

Google Jamboard is also a piece of hardware, but you don’t need it to use the free app

Tom: I mention that there’s hardware, because if you Google “Google Jamboard,” you’re going to see this hardware. Ignore the hardware. We don’t care about that. We care about the free app that lives in the iTunes store and the Google Play Store. It’s called Google Jamboard.

Your kids could do this on an iPads tomorrow. If they can get Google Jamboard on their iPad, they can be in there collaborating with their peers, just like you would in any other Google app, but you have all this fun drawing and collaboration abilities, essentially. So it’s the app that we’re focused on.

Vicki: So your school doesn’t have to own a hardware piece to use Google Jamboard… for this to work. All you have to do is download a free app.

Tom: That’s correct. The hardware that you have to own — iPads or touchscreen Play Store enabled Chromebooks — which if you own them now, it’s very likely your district may own in the next year or two.

Vicki: That’s kind of confusing, isn’t it? (laughs)

But we’re just talking the free app, here — Google Jamboard.

Tom: Right. It’s the kind of thing where — they want to make money, right? They’re a business — but you just have to dig a little deeper and get the app. You can do all the stuff for free.

Vicki: Cool. OK. So you said that kids can interact. They can have a collaborative space. So this is past what they can do with Google Docs, sharing in Google Classroom?

How is this different from collaborating using Google Docs?

Tom: Yes. So in this space, you can draw. They have shape recognition, handwriting recognition, or autodraw. So you can try to draw a house, and then it will predict what you drew and give you options. “Did you draw a house? Did you draw a sun? Did you draw a boat?” of all this cool stuff. It will highlight, or cut things up. You can add more frames, so the space can be somewhat infinite because you can always add frames.

You can also save individual frames as images or entire jams. Each file, let’s say — in Google Docs, a file is called a “doc,” but in Jamboard, a file is called a “jam.” You can save each jam as a PDF.

There are emojis. You can insert emojis right away. Think about how teachers could use that. They could be a collaborator on a jam, and start putting check marks and smiley faces into the elements of the jam they like, and so on and so forth.

Vicki: OK, so this is like the next level of the next step of Google Drawing?

It’s like the next level of a next step of Google Drawing, but much more

Tom: It is, but let’s think of it a few different ways. So Google Drawing is not sketch or touch-friendly, and there’s no mobile app for it. It’s only a web app.

Jamboard is very touch based, but you could use your mouse for most of its functions. So it’s more artistic as far as sketching or scribbling words. And you can scribble words or use the handwriting recognition. It’s a lot more tactile and artistic. Think of drawings as kind of a posterboard, and Jamboard as tactile drawing plus integrating content such as images from the web or or images from your webcam or something like that.

Vicki: Cool. So this is 2D, not 3D.

Tom: This is 2D, yes.

Vicki: Cool. And is it easy to share, like Google Docs and other things are? Or is it easy to share with other — what do you call them — jammers? (laughs)

Tom: Yes, now of course, this is so new. There’s no Google Classroom integration yet.

There’s no Google Classroom integration yet, but there are ways to share

At the same time, when you start a jam, you click the three dots — you see them in a lot of Google apps — and you see “Add people.” That’s where you would add people. You just type in their email address.

That’s where you can also connect to a meeting and make it a Google Hangout, which takes place inside the jam, which is cool. Think of the collaboration possibilities for that — for homebound students, for guest experts that want to collaborate with your class, or vice-versa.

There are so many different ways to collaborate in this space. It’s really fun and new and different and exciting, for sure.

A practical example of a way to use Jamboard

Vicki: OK, You’ve talked a lot about Jamboard. Tom, if you had a teacher who said, “I teach history. How can I use it?” What would you say?

Tom: I would say a few things. So let’s say we’re studying Andrew Jackson, just to throw an example out there. So what I’d probably do is I would divide the subtopics of that for the unit, amongst the class. “So you guys, you’re 1824 election. But you guys are his Native American policy. And you guys are Bank War,” and so on.

And what I would do is say, “As we go through the unit, I want each group to continue creating and putting things into their jam for that topic. So in a few ways, that can be beneficial. If you get a new student, the new student becomes a collaborator in each of the jams, and they’re caught up in a nice visual way.

Also, at the end of the unit, you could have a gallery walk. Another way you could do that is you could say, “Alright, this group has this project, that group has that project. Then use Jamboard as the kind of storyboarding and idea generation space that the teacher is also a collaborator in, so they can collaborate in that space in real time and give feedback.

Vicki: OK, lightbulb! So it’s like SketchNoting. Right?

So it’s like Sketchnoting?

Tom: You could. So if you have the Jamboard app, it’s not designed for this, but I will say this: I like jotting notes on Squid or on Google Keep. But I actually prefer jotting notes in Jamboard because I have a little embedded web browser, where you get your web content. I can put emojis in there. I have handwriting recognition, or draw shapes in there. As a jotting/sketchnoting tool, it actually is really robust and fun.

Vicki: Neat. OK, and so when you’re done, you export it as a PDF and you can put it into Google Keep? Can you also export it as a JPG or PNG, or just a PDF?

How do you share the content if there’s no Google Classroom integration?

Tom: So, the entire jam you can do as a PDF. So you can do it that way, and then once you have that you can submit that as an assignment.

I would say that jams are kind of “messy,” so if I was assessing a jam, I wouldn’t assess on neatness. You get messy. You just do. It’s fun. It’s part of the process.

As far as images… So it will save an individual frame of a jam — think of that being like one slide of a Google Slides — it will save that one frame as an image. And that can be brought into Google Keep, where more things can happen with it.

Vicki: Cool. Well, we’ve learned all about Google Jamboard today. I’m going to be playing and taking a look at this. Remember, it doesn’t integrate with Google Classroom quite yet, but if you can pull it out, you can pull that content in in other ways.

Tom: That’s correct.

Vicki: Thanks, Tom! This has been fantastic!

Tom: You’re welcome!

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Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Tom Mullaney is a Digital Learning Integration Designer for the San Francisco Unified School District. Tom’s education experience includes Special Education, Social Studies, and educational technology coaching in New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. He is a Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer. Tom hosts the Sustainable Teaching Podcast where he interviews teachers about their careers and passions. Connect with him on Twitter, @TomEMullaney.

Blog: https://tommullaney.com/

Twitter: @tommullaney

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

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