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PD has ended for the 20016-17 academic year but summer training sessions are now being booked now. Check out some of these offerings!

Tuesday, July 11
Beginning Google Classroom

Wednesday, July 12
Google Classroom Part 2

Tuesday, August 8
Beginning Google Classroom

Wednesday, August 9
Google Classroom Part 2

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TThis past year New Hartford teachers fine-tuned many teaching methods to integrate classroom technologies in their practice. While they introduced brand new opportunities to their students, they have learned quite a bit in the process. They also set the stage for what is come next school year for their colleagues and other students who have yet to cross their path. Therefore, as fun summer days approach us, it is a good time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year with tech and ponder the exciting opportunities to seize next year. First and foremost, a number of teachers harnessed fast-evolving Google Apps for Education, now re-branded G-Suite Edu in new, interesting ways. For example, the Social Studies department enjoyed classroom sets of Chromebooks—perfect for web-based learning—and many department members began using Google Classroom as a management tool. Mr. Jeff Walters appeared in our October edition to explain how he was using Google Classroom and apps within G Suite Edu and how they helped him create virtual book reviews for the first time ever. The science and math departments have also started to adopt Google Classroom in their classrooms. In all, nearly one-third of the New Hartford faculty have begun their exploration of this tool for classroom instruction. Mr. Andre Paradis and Mr. Matt Romanow will be hosting a comprehensive Google Classroom training this summer for interested faculty. Several teachers also took the opportunity to seize Google Expeditions in their classrooms such as French students who were able to enjoy an immersive tour of Paris as seen in one of Mrs. Mary Campbell's classes in the photo to the right. Likewise, Spanish students visited Macchu Pichu with Mrs. Meredith Doyle and American history students attended the National September 11 Memorial with Mr. Jim Parker. As Ms. Ms. Doyle told us in our December issue, Google Expeditions offered students an experience that “was more immersive than simply seeing a photo…being able to go to a location and have a sense of depth is incredible.” Within the next year, Google will offer different means to conduct expeditions, including a new “Augmented Reality” mode (you need to see it to believe it!) and a Maps/Search mode that will allows these kinds of experiences to provide more contextual awareness and truly immersive learning. Outside of using new tools like Expeditions, some teachers found success with the tried and true collaborative nature of Spartan Apps itself to break down the walls between disciplines. As Mrs. Christine Raynard and Ms. Holly Parker told readers this past April, computer and art lessons blend together nicely in Spartan Apps. Such collaborations are the very crux that prepare students for future coursework that are rich with technology. “Fine motor skills such as learning how to use a mouse as well as learning to manipulating shapes and lines are the kinds of skills that my students are already learning in art class,” said Mrs. Raynard, “and in addition, they are a direct precursor to the type of skills students will need when advancing to our Project Lead the Way classes at the junior high and senior high school.” Next but certainly not without noting, the 2016-2017 school year saw the the district’s STEAM initiative usher in some exciting programs. Librarians at the elementary schools and Perry Junior High spent time this spring researching elementary school makerspaces. They not only traveled to other schools but studied relevant literature regarding the maker movement. As Mrs. Jennifer King told us this past May, she and her colleagues “strive to make our libraries a place where students can explore their passions and, in addition, create actual products from their learning. We look forward to learning more about makerspaces and incorporating new and fresh ideas in the upcoming year.” Librarians will be meeting this summer to discuss the design of their makerspaces, and make decisions for how those new spaces will look in the fall. Also, the Grade 4 team at Bradley Elementary successfully piloted Tufts University’s Novel Engineering program. This program is certain to expand district wide, with more than 30 elementary teachers signed up for Novel Engineering training through the New Hartford Teacher Center this summer! That means more teachers will witness the excitement that Mrs. Lisa Meyers in helping to conduct the pilot. “What is so inspiring,” Meyers said, “ is the familiarity our students are gaining with the engineering design process, and how to think like engineers!” Finally, many of our readers will be sure to hear about VEX Robotics when they return to school this fall. A VEX Robotics team will be launched at the high school under Mr. Shawn Nagel’s guidance. VEX challenges students to compete in a robotics design and performance competition with neighboring schools and statewide contests. Whether you want to dive deeper into Google Classroom, infuse a Expeditions experience into a classroom lesson, or be one of the first to use the district’s new makerspaces with your students, now is the time to explore what has been happening and start planning for how and when you want to work your students into the fold next school year. Certainly, signing up for one of the many PD opportunities over the summer on MLP is a great way to start that process or if you are looking have new ideas to bring to the table, touch base with the Tech Department. They always has an open ear about what you would like to see in the classroom to support your learning goals with technology just as many teachers did this year and will mostly do when we return to our classrooms in September.

 

While the academic school year is wrapping up, it is hard to believe that soon many teachers will work on some summer curriculum projects before unplugging and powering down for some much deserved vacation. Often times, this curriculum work is done by small teams of a grade level and at various times and locations over the next few weeks. With this is mind, it is a great time to review and put into action some tried and true document editing techniques in Docs that will make this kind of work easier and more efficient, especially for larger groups of teachers who will examine the finished work as well as using the lengthy, in-depth documents or numerous materials that are created in the process.

Tag People & Assign Actions in Comments
If you want to gain attention of another editor (or editors) in your document or designate an individual to act on at a particular portion of the document, Google Docs makes it easy for you to tag them and send an email to them as a notification about this. To use this feature, start by commenting in the document using Insert > Comment. While commenting, start by typing “+“ or “@“ and a list of all your contacts will appear, (see screenshot below.) Finally, choose the person you want to notify. Repeat for others you want to tag as needed. Finally, once all individual have been tagged, there, you can either “Assign” this comment in the document to be resolved by the tagged individual or select “Comment” to enter a general comment and send a notification those you tagged about it. The notification will be sent if the document is already shared with them, otherwise you will see a window, where you can share and specify editing rights for those tagged. Tagged individual can then resolve the comment to remove it from the document.


Use Revision History to Track Doc Changes & Updates
Remember that every document in Drive includes Revision History, which lets you see every change ever made to a document, when the change was made, and who made the change. This powerful tool can be great to see when a document was last updated, exactly what changes were made by one of your fellow collaborators, or even allow you to restore a previous version of the document that was overwritten! To access Revision History, simply use File > See revision history in any open document, spreadsheet, or presentation. Revision History is also covered more closely here.

Use Bookmarks for Faster Navigating
Instead of Scrolling Huge documents can involve endless amounts of scrolling to navigate. Luckily, Docs contains an easy bookmarking feature that lets you skip back and forth between relevant passages. To use it, place the cursor where you want to add the bookmark, then choose Insert >Bookmark. For more information about working with bookmarks take a look here.

Create a Table of Contents for Better Organization
To go a step further with longer documents than bookmarks, Google Docs also lets you generate a table of contents. This can be a useful guide for readers, because it not only shows them a list of topics when review the document but also include jump links to help them navigate online. If you create a TOC in Google Docs, it remains in the document, even if you export it as a PDF or Microsoft Word document. Although it involves a few steps, it is easy to make your own table of contents, as well as update it if you add or subtract sections. Creating a table of contents can be done in one of several ways. One of the easiest can be found in this article.

Hopefully one or all of these techniques will come in handy over the summer as you embark on curriculum revision and development with your colleagues. Of course, beyond that, keep them in mind in your classroom in the fall and they will likely your students in making group revision and editing of documents much easier and faster in the new school year and beyond!

 
   
Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers
 
iTunes Content for Your Classroom

Are you looking for some compelling videos to integrate into your lessons? If so, Check 123 is a great resource you will definitely want to check out..
 
Check 123 bills itself as the Web's first SOCIAL Video Encyclopedia and features more than 20,000 curated videos from all over the world. Access is free and offers a safe, filtered environment; constructed specifically for education and curated by professional experts in different fields. The content of the site features all sorts of educational topics ranging from history to science and tech. All the videos are sorted and organized by categories and tags, making it easy to explore your favorite fields of interest. For an awesome new source of videos to take your lessons and classroom activities to the next level, take a look at what Check 123 offers today or sometime over the summer. You will be glad you did!
Visit Check 123
   
 
The Cult of Pedagogy
Jennifer Gonzalez

Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology—if it has something to do with teaching, we're talking about it. Educator Jennifer Gonzalez hosts this series where she interviews educators, students, administrators and parents about the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets, and other juicy things you'll never learn in a textbook. Tune in today for some great commentary to help you succeed in the classroom and for more fantastic resources, visit her website of the same name as this podcast series today!
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The New Hartford Tech Spotlight is a monthly informational e-mail newsletter published for all faculty and staff of the New Hartford Central School District by Mike Amante & James Davis. If you wish to contribute to or inquire about the newsletter, please visit here.
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