Google Slides

Google Slides may be great for presentations, but it is also a great teaching tool when parent-teacher conference time comes around. I took it upon myself to conduct student-led conferences with the help of….. Drum roll, please… Google Slides.

I created this template with possible measures in the speaker notes for students to follow along. I also provided a student led conference sample for students to refer to, in case they need some ideas.

I provide my students 10-15 minutes to fill in each slide according to the criteria on the  template. By doing so, students are taking the responsibility to input their scores, strengths, weakness, and setting goals. Aren’t we all working on reflecting and goal setting?  Students were able to be creative by adding a personal photo and style when designing their Google Slide. Students took responsibility for their conference, and I saw a large turnout of parents who showed up. Don’t get me wrong, there were those few parents that didn’t come, but no problem. The slide presentation format made it easy for those students to conduct phone conferences or the presentation can be easily printed out to be sent home, it is up to your discretion.

Image of a student and parent at a conference

Using Google Slides, students are able to lead parent-teacher conferences.

As with anything, when you invest your time during the beginning stages it goes smoothly when it’s ready to be executed. Here were some of my observation from the first parent-teacher conference:

  1. Parents were attentive
  2. Students were excited to share
  3. Students encouraged parents to come to see their Slides presentation
  4. I was a facilitator of learning rather than being the guardian of knowledge
  5. Parent, teachers, and students walked away feeling positive

Note: I did not go over any behavior during the conference, all conferences were data-driven.  

We are moving toward 1-to-1 devices district-wide. Let’s move forward with making the technology and home connection.

If you feel you need some more clarification and help with Google Slides, no problem. Come to my December 19th PD at Adams, and I can support you.  Email me at mtsou@stocktonusd.net, and I would be happy to provide a screencast video instructions based on your needs.






Social Media in the Classroom

Social Media logosFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are four of the most highly used social media apps that are used by students.  Schools have filtered these apps from their web servers.

 

Facebook Screen shot

Facebook can be an effective tool for communicating with the community about events on campus.

Social media has changed the world in a lot of positive aspects. It can be used as an educational tool by being used in a classroom or a school setting. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and others can provide a platform where users can exchange ideas and find answers to questions with one another and boost student interaction. You can also use social media for announcements, news, and/ or events that are going on at schools such as the Chavez High School Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also build communication skills with social media, which is a great need for this generation. We find that students who are antisocial, shy, or who will not speak up for themselves or raise their hand in class might be more comfortable using these platforms and interacting with others online. Social media can also enable teachers to reach out to students and their parents.  

Twitter screen shot

Twitter is another tool that can help schools get the word out about things happening at school

Other social media sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed allow students to communicate on a professional level when they are trying to find a job or connect with community leaders. Resumes can be posted allowing interested companies to view and connect with potential employees. I believe social media is a great tool to be used in classroom settings as long as it is closely monitored.

 

Duolingo

What does parent involvement look like for our non-English speaking parents in the 21st century? With technology increasingly incorporated into the educational system, how do we make sure we don’t leave parents behind? Our school site found a way.

Here’s our story…

In 2015, my school site started opening up our computer lab for parents 2 days a week to use technology. We gave guided support to create email accounts, access Google translate, Cyber Safety, review student grades, and lessons on parent controls on electronic devices and popular student apps and platforms. Parents were super excited to learn how to use technology. We celebrated our success.

As our program expanded, we found our parents really wanted English classes. We did not have the staff to offer a program. This is when we started telling parents about Duolingo.

Duolingo is a free language-learning website and app along with a crowd-sourced text translation platform and a language proficiency assessment. Duolingo is ad-free and offers all its language courses for free. We decided to share this free option with all of our families who wanted to learn English, or several languages, for that matter.

Parents would come to our open lab and log on to their personalized English course. They could even use their phones and access the site at home. Combining technology classes regarding technologies used to support their students at school with a web based English language learning option, has been key to engaging parents at our school site.

Check out Duolingo and let us know what you think…