Tag Archives: educational administration

Must Read Educational Sites for Summer

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers

There are a lot of resources on the web for educators, and it can be challenging to sort through all of that information to find those hidden gems. Here are a few of the websites and blogs that I recommend to educators looking to get started. Some are on the general topic of education while others focus on specific themes or topics. Check out this list and add your own in the comments below!

General Education Topics

Edutopia – Edutopia was founded by the George Lucas Education Foundation to provide a place to share evidence-based practices and programs that help students learn. They cover topics from professional development to digital citizenship initiatives.

EdWeek – Education Week covers topics in education around the country, including public, charter, and independent schools. They report on current events, publish articles, and touch on pedagogical practice. Some parts of EdWeek are free but note that others are paid.

Huffington Post Education – The Huffington Post Education section includes a curated list of stories and blog posts on education. They may cover school policies, digital equity, or teacher pay disparities. This is a great resource for educators who want to keep the pulse of topics in education.

NPR Education – National Public Radio reports on education topics at the national, state, and local level. Always a great resource, NPR reports on topics such as chronic absenteeism or violence in schools.

MindShift KQED – MindShift focuses on innovative practices in teaching and learning. They cover both theory and practice in a way that is both academically sophisticated and accessible in short bites.

Educational Technology

To read the complete list, visit FreeTech4Teachers

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5 tips to help school administrators make the most of Google Calendar

The is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius

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One of my favorite Google Apps resources is Google Calendar. If your school has enrolled in Google Apps for Education, it is part of your GAFE suite of tools. With a Google Calendar, you can more effectively organize and plan your administrative tasks. Here are some quick tips to help you to effectively wield your Google Calendar tools.

Use a Shared Calendar

With Shared Calendars, multiple people can view and even edit the same calendar. It’s easy to manage a shared calendar with your Administrative Team, Clubs, Faculty, or even parents using Google Calendar.

create shared google calendarYou can give members the ability to subscribe to the calendar to view updates or even grant them the ability to edit it. To do this, simply open up your Google Calendar and scroll down to “My Calendars,” press the down arrow and select “Create new calendar.” Give the Calendar a Title and include a brief description. Next, check the box “share this calendar with others” and select your sharing settings. Do you want it to be a public calendar that others can only view, share it out publicly only with people in your organization, or do you want to invite specific people who can then add items to the calendar?

Google Calendar Sharing Settings

Google Calendar allows you to be flexible here with multiple levels of access and sharing; for example, you can allow some people to view and others to edit. As the creator of the calendar, you can always change or revoke another person’s access to it. This is a great way to keep a group organized. By keeping a shared calendar with faculty, you can schedule tests and major assignments to make sure students don’t get overwhelmed. If you have resources, like computer labs or iPad carts, you can allow faculty to “reserve resources” on a campus calendar.

Set up Appointment Slots

Google Calendar also allows you to set up appointment slots without sharing your whole calendar with others. This is a great way to hold open office hours or allow people to book time with you; it will also let your faculty, students, other administrators, and parents know your availability without publishing your entire calendar. Note that you can only use this feature with a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) or a Business account; it will not work on a personal account.

When you open your calendar, switch to Week or Day view. Click on your Calendar anywhere and select “Appointment Slots” from the pop up bubble. From the drop down menu, select the Calendar you want to use. I recommend using the calendar you use for professional appointments – rather than a shared calendar – so that you don’t inadvertently schedule a conflicting event. Remember, sharing appointment slots will not reveal your whole Calendar only the time slots you designate available for appointments. Give your Appointment Slots a name, such as “Ms. Carey’s Office Hours,” and set the times for your appointments. When you have finished, copy the appointment page URL and click save. When you share the URL with others, they will be able to schedule appointments with you. If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, check out this great video by The Gooru

Sync your Calendar Across Devices

If you’re like me, you’re always on the run; going to a meeting, a class, or just trying to grab a bite of lunch. My Smartphone is my organizer on the go because it’s readily accessible and I can see my schedule at the touch of a finger. One of the great things about Google Calendar is that it resides in the cloud, so you can sync it wirelessly across devices without thinking about it! If someone emails you a calendar invite and you accept it on your desktop, it will populate your calendar on your laptop, smartphone, and/or tablet. Likewise, if you are stopped in the hallway and someone asks for a meeting, you can schedule it on your Smartphone and it will then appear on your calendar across all of your devices. Here are the instructions for setting up Google Calendar syncing with your with Android & iOS devices. If you need a little extra push to keep you going, you can even have Google Calendar send you a reminder with a text message directly to your cell phone (price subject to your texting plan).

Schedule a GHO Video Call

GHO Link in CalendarsVideo conference calls are becoming more popular as they allow you to engage beyond a disembodied voice. Google Calendar allows you to not only schedule a video conference call, but to include a link within the calendar appointment that users simply click to join. This is much faster than logging into Google Hangouts or Skype and inviting people manually. With aGoogle Hangout, you can have up to 10 people in the same call; so you can easily navigate remote meetings, interviews with multiple participants, and more.

Add Attachments to Calendar Events

Often, our calendar events include meetings to review different documentation, such as policies and procedures, or to discuss a specific agenda. To keep everything organized, you can attach a document to your event. This is a feature that requires you to enable “Labs” in Google Calendar.

goole labsNOTE: Labs are features that have not yet been broadly rolled out and are still in beta. It is important to know that sometimes Labs features are buggy. If you experience problems, simply disable Labs. To enable the “Event Attachments” Lab click on the the gear in the top right corner, then select Labs, scroll down and enable “Event Attachments.”

Now when you create a new event you will have the option “add attachment” available. When participants log on to the calendar, they will see the attachment and have the ability to download it.

There are a lot of great ways that Calendar can make your administrative duties more organized and streamlined. Explore other tips and tricks as well as more Lab options.

Learn more about Google Apps this Summer!

Google-Workshops

  • Google & Chromebooks
  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • The Chromebook Classroom
  • Google Apps & iPads
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

5 Ways School Administrators Can Use Google Apps

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

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One of the most powerful ways that administrators can encourage their faculty to adopt new technologies in their classroom and curriculum is by modeling effective application of new digital tools. With Google Apps for Education, there are many tools that are helpful for administrative tasks, providing a number of ways to effectively model technology usage on a daily basis.

CREATE A SHARED GOOGLE DOC FOR FACULTY MEETINGS

Use Google Docs to create and share meeting agendas. Not only will it prep your faculty for meetings, but they can use the document to keep shared, electronic notes; this is especially useful if you have a designated individual to keep minutes. You can include live links for content, embed materials, create & share calendar events, etc. These are not possible in a static, paper document and not only demonstrate your commitment to adopting new technologies, but also help spark the imaginations of your teachers in applying these new tools in their own classrooms.

USE A GOOGLE FORM FOR CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS

If you visit and observe classes, then turn your classroom observation forms into Google Forms. Having an electronic form will save you time and space. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can complete the form easily on a portable device. Also, by using a Google Form, you can quickly email the contents to faculty, department chairs, and HR. Here is an example form for observation.

USE GOOGLE FORMS FOR SIGN-UPS

If you need chaperones for a school dance or field trip, lunch duty, or detention, Google Forms is a simple way to have faculty and staff respond. You can easily share a form via email or post it on your school’s website. With the new Google Forms Add-Ons, you can limit responses by automatically turning off the form when you reach maximum participation, set up notifications when faculty respond, and export it to a shareable Google Doc when you need to share information (such as chaperone contact information or time slot sign-ups for an event).

USE GOOGLE CALENDAR’S “APPOINTMENTS SLOTS” FOR MEETINGS

One of my favorite features in Google Calendar is setting up “Appointment Slots.” Keeping an “open door” can be tricky; it’s difficult to get your work done when you are regularly interrupted. Posting your calendar can also be problematic as even if you have nothing scheduled, you may want that time reserved for administrative work, phone calls, or lunch! With appointment slots, you can designate certain times you are available for meetings. This is a great way to have your faculty sign up for face-to-face time with you as well as keep you organized.

If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, check out this great video by The Gooru.

 

COLLECT IMAGES & VIDEOS VIA A SHARED FOLDER

Schools often struggle collecting images of field trips, school plays, and other activities. If you would like to facilitate this process, then share a folder with the community that they can use to upload videos and photos. When you designate a shared folder, be sure to explore the various options available to you and apply them appropriately. You may want to share the folder only with the certain teachers and students, the whole school, or the broader community like parents and alumni. The flexible sharing options make it easy to individualize. What makes Google Folders such a great way to collect materials is the fact that most people use their phone as their camera. With the free Google Drive App for Android or iOS, they can upload directly from their device.

Google Apps is a flexible and robust tool that can facilitate not only teaching, but also administrative duties. Additionally, by modeling effective use of technology with your own administrative tasks for your faculty, you familiarize them with available tools and encourage them to apply them in their own classrooms.

For an opportunity to learn more about using Google Apps for Education, join EdTechTeacher and Google for the firstEdTechTeacher Google Jamboree. Registration is FREE! The deadline to apply is January 7th.

Google Apps Admin Console – Best Practices for Schools

The next event I attended was “Google Apps Admin Console – Best Practices for Schools,” led by Peter Henrie.  Peter is an educational technology consultant for AmplifiedIT – a consultancy that works solely with educational institutions.

Part of your role as administration is to ensure that you are enabling necessary features for faculty, staff, and students as well as tweak them to meet your needs.

This is a largely hands on workshop for the administrator console, so I may not be writing as much. Right now, the Google Admin panel has two versions: an older version and a new one (you see it if your account is less than five months old or you have been migrated).

There is also the Google Marketplace, a way to add on services (both free and paid). It’s important to understand that third party services are not bound by the Terms of Services for Google Apps for Education. Therefore, be sure that before you add them, you check out the terms of service. One great tool (that is paid) to check out is CloudLock. Also check to ensure that services you do not want are turned off. Be sure to check not only the default GAFE apps, but the additional google services.

Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 11.48.01 AMAnother tool I want to play with is aliases – that will allow a single user to get email from multiple names (e.g. if it’s misspelled, someone manages sports, etc).

In the Administrator console, you can also assign people different roles. For example, you may not want someone to have full access to administrative privileges, but they should be able to reset passwords. A great tool to enable user abilities without endangering the security or setup of your system.

Another great feature (that I have used as we piloted Google Drive) is the ability to pull reports. You can examine stats such as: email usage, doc creation, collaboration, etc. over a period of time. It’s a great tool for advertising its success and adoption.

Another key suggestion is to write down the support numbers and your pin. Because when you really need Google is when your console goes down – and you can’t get in to get the number. Be sure to note that the PIN changes regularly!

He also highlights that calendars can be used to schedule resources (e.g. computer carts, rooms, etc). One of the best tutorials on this is by Anson Alexander:

Another element that he highlighted is that you get more accesibility and services the more you enable (e.g. using gmail or Google Plus) as well as devices (e.g. Chromebooks). Every time you add a service or device, be sure to explore all of the settings. Understand the settings and what you have setup. For example, in GMail you can include spam filters, content filters, and routing.

The key concepts I have taken from this session is explore your settings fully and regularly.

iPads for Administrators by Chris Casal

Jen Carey is LIVE blogging for us from the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit USA. You can also find these posts on her site – indianajen.com.

Concurrent Session #1: iPads for Administrators – Chris Casal

While the title of this talk is iPad for Administrators, the focus is less about administration and more on working as a leader (in every capacity) in the school. Chris works for a public school in NYC of about 1,000 students.

Administrators view iPads primarily for three things: communication, collaboration, and observation. They often have a fourth goal as well: going paperless. iPad is an amazing tool for communication and for being able to do so silently. Using a traditional PA system is loud and disruptive. In a school environment, we seem to either be inundated with information via interruption, or we are entirely out of the loop. In terms of communication within a school, we have the old standby of technology: the email distribution list. This way, we can limit information to a select group and send it out electronically. If teachers have iPads, they are not tied to a computer, they can get it on the go.

In addition to traditional list serves, there are also new media being used by schools: blogs and Twitter that can readily be followed by students and faculty. While using hashtags is new, administrators seem to be embracing it. The school has various hashtags that they use to disseminate information, and since so many students, as well as parents, are on Twitter that it can be a faster medium by which to distribute information.

casal-dropboxCollaboration at PS10 in Brooklyn is primarily in the cloud (they are a Google Apps School), and they also use DropBox to share information. The school has various shared folders that they use for administrative details, staff, and/or students. This is another quick and easy way to distribute information as it limits paper distribution and inbox clutter. In addition to DropBox, the school uses Google Drive.

By using Google Drive, not only can staff and students share information but they can also edit them live. Google Drive is still fairly new, and it is not as iPad friendly – yet. Chris said that they currently prefer DropBox as it is more adaptable for various programs and more cross-platform friendly. The great benefits of the cloud is that content can always be accessed regardless of device or platform. Chris also likes to use the program DROPitTOme for student submission of work. It helps to keep all content for a class in one place. Using DROPTitTOme means that you no longer have to manage folders or sharing permissions. It is purely a submission element. However, Chris does say that ultimately they will move entirely to Google Drive in the next few years.

Another great element of iPad is that it allows for real-time observation and feedback. If you look at his presentation, available here, you can see a variety of his favorite applications to use for collaboration and observation on iPad. Chris demonstrates the ability of annotating a PDF observation form using the app Good Reader. He quickly accesses and annotates the form via DropBox and then posts it within seconds. This demonstrates how easy it is to use iPad for portable and paperless record keeping – making the bane of education a little more palpable 😉

Chris’s ultimate message is that you have to try things out. Fortunately, iPad apps are cheap or even have free “lite” versions. Two dollars is a worthy investment for exploration. If you want to try something new, try it out. It’s about being flexible and finding options. Ultimately, iPad can help administrators and educators achieve that fourth goal: to become paperless (or at least less paper-y). Take the printer out of the thought process. Send it to iPad!

You can view all of Chris’ presentation materials – as well as those from other presenters – on the iPad Summit web site.