Kindergarten Teacher


Websites for Tech Integration in Elementary

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The video below is from a webinar with Region 10 where I discuss websites for tech integration. This is one topic in a series of hangouts I will be doing with Region 10. You can see the full schedule here and register for FREE (required for CPE credit.) I hope you enjoy the presentation and will check out the topics on the schedule.

Watch the video HERE

Handouts and links mentioned in the presentation are below.


Global Collaboration in Elementary: Presentation (with audio)

The video below is from a webinar with Region 10 where I discuss the basics of global collaboration in elementary. This is one topic in a series of hangouts I will be doing with Region 10. You can see the full schedule here and register for FREE (required for CPE credit.) I hope you enjoy the presentation and will check out the topics on the schedule.

Global Collaboration in elementary: The How and Why– “Learn about tech tools and example projects that will give your class a global audience while discussing how these connections lead to collaboration and authentic learning in the classroom. Tools shared include blogs, Twitter, Google Docs, and Skype. Real-life project examples will be shared and importance of digital citizenship will be an underlying topic.”



Google Hangout Resources for Teachers

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EduHangout Website (ideas for class and teachers) by @catlett1

Tutorial for Google Hangout on Air by @iPadSammy

Cybrary Man’s Google Hangout Page by @cybraryman1

Google Hangout Tip Sheet by @MsMagiera and @gglibrarian

 Google Hangout Guide for Teachers by Lee Summit R-7 District

How Educators and School Can Make the Most Out of Google Hangouts via Edutopia by @mbteach

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts by @MartinSherv

Google+ for Schools by @ericcurts

Connecting Beyond the Classroom Examples by @wkrakower

6 Ways Teachers Can Use Google Hangouts


We Should Be Doing More Than Teaching Digital Citizenship

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The quote above is one of my favorites about digital citizenship. My classroom is a global classroom but I don’t “teach” digital citizenship. My students are actually digital citizens and we learn about the digital world by being a part of it. I feel most of the issues kids have online with bullying, racism and inappropriate posting come from a lack of experience in the digital world. My goal as a Kindergarten teacher is to begin to build the understanding that interactions online are interactions with real people and that posting something usually means it is online forever. My hope is that by being part of the digital world in a controlled environment while they are young, they will have the knowledge and skills to be good digital citizens when are on their own.

If you think about it the digital world is a very abstract concept, especially for young kids. I try very hard to bridge that abstract world by providing concrete connections with other classes around the world. We tweet, Skype and use google docs to build relationships with digital tools. This year I plan to have someone in our school be our first Skype contact and then have that person visit the room after the call. I want them to have a clear understanding we are chatting with real people.

How do you plan to give your class experiences being digital citizens this year? The options are endless and you can always start your first connection with a class in your own school or district.

Here is the map of connections my class made last year



Using Google Docs For Setting Up Conferences With Parents

I used to hate setting up conferences! Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting with parents, but I despised the back and forth trying to find the perfect time slot for each parent. With three boys and both parents working in our house I understand the difficulty in scheduling. My frustration was not with parents but with the process. Enter google docs. My main reasoning is it would allow parents to see all the available time slots and pick on their own. I also know that sending emails is the best way to contact my parents so I was able to send the link in an email. Using google docs might be harder if your parents don’t have internet access or tech in the homes but for most I think it will be a worthwhile option. I did have two parents that were unable to use this system for various reasons so I just sent them notes or called them to finalize their time slots. Only needing to do that with a select few instead of the entire class made my life much easier. I used google docs for all three conference days last year and plan to again this year. A benefit of using google docs that I did not consider is it allows parents to change their time to other open slots. Several parents took advantage to this and it helped the number no-shows I had.

Concerns One of the main concerns is what happens if parents mess up the document or remove other parents from a time slot. Google docs has a great feature called revision history that addresses this concern. If you read more below I explain that feature.

Here is how I set up the doc…

First you will need a Gmail account. If you don’t have one you should and this would be a good reason to take that step :) Once you are logged into your Gmail you will see something like the image below. Click on drive (blue arrow) and then create (red arrow.) Once you click create a drop down menu will appear and click document.

Now you see a document similar to Microsoft Word (below) Changing the title is easy by clicking in the box (red arrow). Then you just add a title and the time slots in the main document. Once you have the doc finalized be sure and complete the steps below before sharing. Here is a sample google doc I set up if you would like to try it out. Sample Conference Schedule

Now it is time to change the sharing and editing settings so the parents can view and edit. On the top right of the page there is a blue button called share. Click on that and a box will pop-up. First click “anyone with link” (blue arrow). Then change it from “can view” to “can edit” (green and orange arrow. Dont forget to save! (yellow arrow)

After you click save you will see a another pop-up box (below) Make sure the settings say “anyone who has the link can edit” (blue arrow). If so you are ready to share with parents using the link (red arrow).  I have not had any issues with parents messing up the document or deleting others names but if you do go to the next step. I also make sure and tell parents that all revisions are saved in a google doc so maybe that helps prevent issues.

Revision history. This feature is what makes all of this possible. It takes away any issues that could happen (pictured below) To view the revision history click “file – see revision history”. The revision history will be displayed on the right side of the document (red arrow) If you click any of the revision dates/times the actual revisions will show in the document (blue arrow) So in the example below I removed the 7:00-7:20 time slot. Another option is “restore to this revision” (red arrow) Let’s say a parent accidentally deletes everything, all you would need to do is go to the revision that happened before theirs and restore to that revision. Problem solved.

Here is a sample google doc I set up if you would like to try it out. Sample Conference Schedule

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