Wednesday, August 14, 2013

13 Ideas to Start the School Year

Idea #1 – Improve Google Search Skills
Have students hone Google Search Skills using GoogleA Day at

Idea #2  - Get Kids Blogging
Publish student work to a real audience using KidBlog at . 

Idea #3 – Use Google Docs
Use Google Docs to create a running agenda of class work and assignments.  The Doc is easy to update and available to students via Google Drive.

Idea #4 - Pinterest
Join our collaborative district Pinterest boards!   Pin resources you love and inspire others. 

Idea #5 - Twitter
Connecting professionally with other educators is a fantastic way to learn and grow.  Some of the best FREE PD I receive is from Twitter.  Get started by creating an account and follow a few hashtags like #tt4t, #bpsne, #edchat, #flippedlearning, and #nebedchat to name a few.  You can also follow your tech trainers:  @annfeldmann1, @jennykbps, and @catlett1.

Idea #6 – Google Drive Workflow
Go paperless with student writing using Google Drive.  Have students create a folder for your class.  Call it something fancy like writing or period 2 and their last name.   Have them share the folder with you.   From this point on, they create a Google Doc in the folder and it is automatically shared with you.  Grade these documents paperless-ly by accessing the shared Google Drive folder and use the comment feature to provide comments AS students write, not AFTER. 

Idea #7 – Google Forms and Flubaroo
Utilize Google Forms and Flubaroo for formative assessments to automatically grade quizzes. Results are e-mailed to students with feedback. They know within minutes how they performed.  Spend time teaching what they don’t know instead of what they do know.  Check out details here:

Idea #8 – Backchannel
Use  to create a backchannel.  What is this?  It is a way to have a private class discussion in 140 characters.   This gives all students a voice.
Easy to set up and use!

Idea #9 – Screencasting
Create screencasts and team teach with yourself.  Use quicktime player on the mac and upload to your YouTube channel. Too complicated?  Use or and share the link to your videos on a Google Doc!  (your running agenda, see idea #3) !  Here is a link to Four Great Tools for Screencasting .  

Idea #10 – Video Feedback
Use your screencasting skills and give students video feedback on electronically submitted work.

Idea #11 – Field Trips
Take your students outside of the classroom on a virtual field trip.  Create a virtual field trip with a Google Doc and share it with students.  Use links that take advantage of the web has to offer.  For example, link to Google Maps and utilize the powerful street view feature. Provide links to videos so students can see and feel the adventure.

Idea #12 – Connect Globally
Connect your kids to other kids with #comments4kids and #quadblogging.  Bring in experts with Skype and Google Hangouts.  Collaborate with other classrooms via Google Docs.  Host a classroom debate with classes from around the world.  Check out and get connected today! Hear @catlett1 talk about eduhangouts on .

Idea #13 – Create a YouTube Channel for your Classroom  

Create a YouTube Channel for your classroom! Add those screencasts to your YouTube Channel and they are accessible anywhere Internet is!  For details on creating a channel and organizing playlists, click HERE.

Written by Ann Feldmann

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