Teaching & Productivity Tricks from AppsEvent’s Google Apps for Education Conference

I went to a Google Apps in Education conference the other weekend.  It was awesome meeting with such like minded people and being surrounded by positive teaching vibes!  We all nerded out a bit in key note speeches and smaller sessions geared towards using technology to enhance our teaching, classrooms, & general productivity.  I learned about auto-grading, auto-data entry and aut0-emails.  There were tricks to help your computer run faster and stay organized.  It was also an opportunity to meet teachers from around the globe and network with big names in the ed world.  I was ballsy enough to get up on stage for a demo slam (2 minute presentation) on Boomerang that won me a nifty laptop backpack.  In 2 weeks I’ll be presenting to my coworkers about a few google tricks and I’ll share the presentation here too.  For now check out my favorites including Flubaroo, Formmule and of course Boomerang.

disclaimer: Google updates things regularly and the exact steps may change.  Also I’m still learning how to use them too.  Comment below if you notice a change, mistake or are having any difficulty!


Boomerang

What does it do: Boomerang is an email tool that allows you to schedule emails and send a reminder at a later date.  Its especially useful for teachers with forgetful students.  Sending a reminder out on Monday about Friday’s assignment?  Boomerang it for Thursday night to remind anyone who forgot about it.
Difficulty: Beginner
How to get it: Boomerang is a Google Chrome extension.  Once in Chrome click on the top right button.  Scroll down to more tools and click on “extensions”  Scroll down again and you’ll find “get more extensions.  In there you’ll find a search bar.   Type in Boomerang.  Click “free” then click “add” and start using it!


Flubaroo

What does it do: Flubaroo is an amazing add-on that autogrades your assignments!  The only catch is they must have data input into Google Sheets.  Lucky for you Google Forms automatically creates a spreadsheet on Google Sheets with answers!  You can set it up to automatically email grades too!
Difficulty: Intermediate
How to get it:  Flubaroo is an add-on for Google Sheets.  You need to open a specific sheet before you can add it by  clicking add-ons on he toolbar.   Click “Get Add-ons” and search “Flubaroo.”Click “free” then click “add” and start using it!

How to use it: The trick with Flubaroo is to make your test first then take it inputting all of the correct answers.   Make sure you have a question for “Name” & “Email.”  Before you use it with students make a practice test to make sure you set everything up the way you want to.  After you’ve given the correct answers go back to the Add-on’s bar, click Flubaroo and autograde assignment.  If everything is working correctly you should get an email with your score almost instantly.  Flubaroo will also make a new page in the sheets with the breakdown for each user.


The Great Suspender
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Making an online test – Learning Management Systems

I’m at a Google Apps for Education Summit right now!  I’ve learned all about technology and right now we are using Google Forms to create an online test which can go into your teacher website.  I decided to post it here instead!  Leave a comment below if you want to learn how to do it.

At this summit I’ve learned a ton about edtech and right now we are checking out automatic grading.  I’ll definitely be setting up a separate teacher website but until then you all get to see my progress.  Feel free to take this silly quiz.  I might even have an automated email response by the time you’re done.

 

My students picked this picture because…

My Korean co-teacher came up to me and asked if it was okay for the students to show me pictures.  I heard him using my name in class and then speaking Korean for the last 15 minutes but thought nothing of it.  But then they explained in English why they choose each picture specifically for me.  It was adorable and its moments like these that makes me love teaching!

yh students

Some of my favorites were:
I picked this picture because…

“You are able to teach us all day everyday” (open 24 hours)
“You love us!” (hugging polar bears)
“You teach us good things but also take away our bad things” (light & dark artistic sphere)
“You always have new ideas to help teach us” (fireworks)
“You like climbing mountains” (2 hikers)
“You have many students and like teaching” (Chinese classroom)
“You teach us and don’t care about money” (foreign currency)
“You are clean and pure.” (glass of water)
“You are perfect!” (bullseye)

The Best Teachers Don’t Do What They’re Told

The Best Teachers Don’t Do What They’re Told

This is a great read for any teacher, parent, administrator or anyone who just wants some insight into the teaching world.  Each and every day teachers perform hundreds of tasks; being a teacher can often feel like you are trying to balance a juggling act while giving a motivational speech to college freshman and simultaneously a lion tamer with a dilapidated chair.  The phrase “choose your battles” comes into my head regularly and if you haven’t learned how to yet ask someone to help, its a wonderful life skill.

Less is more and while you should always maintain a professional level of responsibility The Best Teachers Don’t Do What They’re Told dives wonderfully into how thinking outside the box is often more effective than conforming.  Don’t forget to balance the two!  

ESL, Special Ed, Regular Ed, Honors/Advanced classes or higher ed.  I don’t care what you’re teaching, its worth the read!

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Sometimes its okay NOT to make a happy face

http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/the-best-teachers-dont-do-what-theyre-told/

 

 

A welcome surprise

At our Monday morning meeting we finally got some answers. My principal went through the routine weekly minutes; bus duty, a few due dates and upcoming events. There was a confusing schedule about parent teacher conferences with a field trip at the end of the month but at the end my principal Jane had a surprise announcement.  At the end of November, 2 administrators will be leaving; Soo Jen, who tried to leave the past two months but her replacement kept quitting beforehand and Mrs. Yi.

Mrs. Yi?  The principal?  That was a surprise that got the gossip going.  Her arrival a little over a year ago seems to have been the root of all the anxiety that the foreign teachers here have been experiencing.  I’m hopeful about meeting the replacement this week and there were certainly a lot more smiles than usually accompany an announcement of this sort  . A couple of the foreigners joked about having a “party” while we all secretly did a little happy dance.

Questions immediately started going around: Was she fired? Did she quit? Will her replacement be better? What does this mean for us? Over the next few weeks we hope to have some more honesty and answers coming from our administration; this news coupled with the handful of new students we’ve had over the last 2 weeks bode well for the longevity of this hagwon.