Monday, February 29, 2016

One New Thing

We are finally to that place in the school year where we can see the other side. Spring break is rapidly approaching and the year seems to finish in a flurry after that. It's a great feeling to crest that hill and head down toward the finish line. As good as that feels, it's also a time where you remember all the new things you wanted to try this year but haven't gotten around to. Don't worry - there's still time! Start now.

Things are busy, but they are always busy. There is always a reason to wait. After progress reports, after this unit, after the test, after the break, after I grade these papers, after, after, after. My challenge to you is to not wait until after. Start now. Pick one new thing that you want to try this year and then do it. It doesn't have to be big and time consuming. It can be a small thing, just something different. Find one new thing - one way to stretch yourself as an educator, one way to show your students that you are a learner too. Pick one new thing and try it - do it now - not after. Don't wait, because "after this chapter" turns into "after the summer" before you know it. Don't miss this chance to grow.

Want to do one new thing, but you aren't sure what to do? Here are some ideas that don't take a ton of time to try out:
  • Do a Kahoot activity with your students - guaranteed excitement! 
  • Create a Socrative activity for your class. 
  • Build a Google Form for your students to complete in class or as homework. 
  • Get a Twitter account just for professional growth and check it once a day, or once a week, whatever you have time for. Tweet out that joining Twitter is your #OneNewThing and use the hashtag. 
  • Use Google Slides instead of PowerPoint to create your next slideshow. 
  • Create a Padlet for your students during your next unit. Link useful websites, articles, documents, and YouTube videos OR create a blank Padlet and require students (they don't need accounts to post!) to post their thoughts about a class topic to start a discussion. They can post anonymously or include their names - up to you.  
Don't wait until after. Do it now. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Send Personalized Emails to Your Whole Class

Have you ever needed to email all of your students (parents or colleagues) and include personalized information in each email?  I'm not sure about you, but I don't have time to sit down and send that many individual emails.  Thankfully, using Google Sheets, we don't have to!  Using an Add-on for Google Sheets called formMule, you can easily personalize information in a batch of emails and send them all at once.  Watch this short video to see how.

Helping teachers incorporate technology, one tech tip at a time.