Be a Multi-Platform Educator
By Scott Rocco, Ed.D.
Many of us on social media have been utilizing one platform for more than a decade to build a professional learning network (PLN), learn from fellow educators, share our experiences, and add to the shared educational knowledge by consistently contributing through our posts.
For many of us, our experiences early on and through most of our time on our current platform has been largely positive and enjoyable.
Like all technology, social media platforms have a finite shelf-life. Just as my beloved Blackberry phone had to be put in the technology junk drawer, so too goes social media platforms. This is painful for us as educators to process after diligently building our PLN’s and making significant contributions to the greater good.
However, I strongly encourage every educator who finds value in using social media for their own learning and for the connections it provides to embrace becoming Multi-Platform Educators (MPE’s). There are numerous social media platforms now available for us to explore, experiment with, cultivate PLN’s and contribute to the learning environment.
Which one should you try? That’s a decision you have to make. I’m currently experimenting with three new platforms right now.
When should you try? Now! Evaluate the features and user base of various platforms to find something you like.
Why should you try something new? Things change and we need to seek out new learning environments as educators that meet our evolving needs, facilitate our continued learning, and expand our connections with fellow educators.
As connected educators it’s our commitment to learning new things and learning from others that make us ideal MPE’s. If you haven’t joined one of the new social media platforms yet, give one a try. If you are on one of the newer platforms, try another one. Let’s create, build a professional learning network (PLN), learn from other educators, share our experiences, and add to the shared educational knowledge by being on and consistently posting across multiple social media platforms.
Good luck, fellow MPE’s!
I eagerly anticipate reconnecting with you on some of the newer platforms.
Post a comment and let us know what social media platform you are trying out and what your user name is so we can connect.
Google Bard is an artificial intelligence language model that was made to hold conversations with an end user when prompted about a topic. This platform can be quite helpful for all educators, including teachers and administrators.
Whether you are looking to write a welcome back to school letter or providing feedback to teachers after an observation, Google Bard can help support your efforts through a simple prompt.
Please watch the Google Bard overview video, below, for more information.
Consider registering your staff for the following online and asynchronous institutes this upcoming school year:
Part III: Finding Common Ground Among Generations*
The differences between generations are all around us, but in this post, we will look at finding common ground among them. This common ground will help us as educators work with and among multiple generations in our schools and communities.
As different as each generation may seem when we compare one to the other, here are a few items that they have similar feelings or interest in:
Integrity and Honesty
As educators, it is important to understand the similarities and differences between generations. By understanding these different perspectives, we can create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students, all employees, and our entire school community.
*This is a series of blog posts on generational differences by Scott Rocco who presents and provides Keynotes on generational differences, hiring different generations, and the funny things about generations interacting with each other. Contact us at evolving@evolvingeducators to schedule Scott for a conference or training.
The way a person or generation of people receive information is very different today than it was 25, 50, or 100 years ago. The increased use and availability of technology, from computers to cell phones has made the access to information easier for most people. However, not every person or people within every generation are as open to receiving their information through a device. How we provide and present information in a way that every generation will understand can be challenging. But if we take the time to learn the differences, we can be a better communicator in our classrooms, schools, districts, and school communities.
Let’s start with the fact that no matter which generation we are working with or which generations we are working with, we should always be respectful of the people in those generations. So in this post let’s discuss the way each of the five current generations like to receive information.
Here is a breakdown of how different generations prefer to receive information:
*This is a series of blog posts on generational differences by Scott Rocco who presents and provides Keynotes on generational differences, hiring different generations, and the funny things about generations interacting with each other. Contact us at email@example.com to schedule Scott for a conference or training.
There are now five generations in the workforce. Each of those generations have their own set of values, beliefs, work ethic, and unique ways about going through a day at work. This poses a unique challenge in all employment fields but specifically within the education field where challenges abound related to the hiring and retention of employees in all positions required to make a school and district efficiently function.
Currently our applicant pool, for all types of positions in the education field, comprises the Silent Generation (just a handful still working), Baby Boomers (retiring in increasing numbers0, Generation X (getting close to retirement age), Millennials, and Generation Z. These generations span almost 90 years of time with different life experiences and work expectations based on the lives they have lived.
Both the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers tend to be more traditional in their approach to work, teaching, and educational leadership. This means less technology, more direct instruction, and more personal contact. They have a very strong work ethic focused on the job they have been assigned. The Millennials and Gen Z are more comfortable and accepting of the use of technology and innovative teaching methods and within the leadership realm. Their work ethic is focused on getting the job they have been assigned done as required. Generation X educators fall in the middle because they grew up with more of the traditional concepts but have seen, and used, the innovation that has come from the technology infusion into education. Gen X’ers tend to be dedicated to the position they have been assigned.
These generational differences must be considered in the hiring process, otherwise the differences can become challenges. Below are two multi-generational areas to consider in the beginning of the hiring process:
It is essential for those in the education field to understand the generational differences and use them as a positive in the hiring process so candidates of all generations feel like your school or district understands and respects their generation.
*This is a series of blog posts by Scott Rocco who presents and provides Keynotes on generational differences, hiring different generations, and the funny things about generations interacting with each other. Contact us at evolving@evolvingeducators to schedule Scott for a conference or training.
Google for Education has released several new features that will benefit students. A few of the ones we thought were important to highlight are the New reading mode feature in Chrome browser, Adding interactive questions to YouTube videos, Adding closed captions to Meet recordings, Keeping track of class activities with timer and stopwatch chips, and one of the most anticipated features is the AI feature that will be built into Google Classroom that will help design practice sets for educators.
We believe these updates will help improve Google For Education products for educators and students. We will have training videos on these updates in the next few months. Take a look below for descriptions of the new features. Keep an eye out for the upcoming training videos!
New reading mode feature in Chrome browser
One of our newest features to support this effort is reading mode, a customizable reader view coming to the side panel in Chrome browser. Reading mode reduces distracting elements on the screen, like images and videos, to help you focus on a page’s primary content. You can also customize settings like the typeface, font size and spacing, and text and background color. Reading mode will be available in Chrome browser in ChromeOS in M114.
Add interactive questions to YouTube videos.
Educators will soon be able to add questions to a YouTube video and assign it to students, all within Classroom. As the video plays, students can answer the questions, get real-time feedback on their responses and rewatch the video as needed. Educators can receive insights about their student’s progress, like which questions they struggled with. Express interest in the beta, which will be available in English, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese and Spanish.
Add closed captions to Meet recordings.
You can now add captions in English, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish to Meet recordings, with more languages coming later this year.
Keep track of class activities with timer and stopwatch chips.
Educators can use timer and stopwatch chips for class activities, keeping track of how much time is left or how long a certain exercise took. Timer and stopwatch chips are rolling out today. Try them by typing @timer and @stopwatch in Docs.
Practice sets use AI to help educators transform their existing teaching.
Practice sets use AI to help educators transform their existing teaching content into interactive assignments and provide more personalized support. As teachers add questions to their practice set, they’ll see suggestions for skills to focus on — like solving equations with decimals or writing thesis statements. Based on the skills teachers select, students will receive helpful hints if they get stuck. Educators can also add interactive questions to YouTube videos in Classroom so that students can answer questions with real-time feedback, and educators can get insights into student performance. And with Screencast on ChromeOS, students and teachers can record, trim, transcribe, and share lessons, presentations and demos, all with new demo tools and in a dozen new languages.
Don’t forget to check out our training for School Administrative Assistants, Secretaries and Paraprofessionals. These trainings have ongoing enrollment.
If you're looking for your Paraprofessional training, check out our Digital Paraprofessional Institute.
Digital Paraprofessional Institute Benefits:
Consider signing your team up for the online and asynchronous Digital Secretary Institute. Visit Digital Secretary Institute for more information.
Digital Secretary Institute Benefits:
ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI. It has been trained on a diverse corpus of text data, including books, articles, and web pages, to understand natural language and generate human-like responses to a wide range of questions and prompts. As a language model, its primary function is to process and produce language, and can be used for a variety of applications, including chatbots, text generation, language translation, and more. The implications on the educational world are many. Below is just a sampling of the various ways educational leaders can leverage ChatGPT in their everyday lives.
How can you access and use ChatGPT? Follow these steps:
NOTE TO READERS: We asked ChatGPT to tell us why educators should use ChatGPT in 125 to 150 words. The results are interesting. Read below!
In recent years, technology has become an increasingly important aspect of the educational landscape. As such, many educators are looking for ways to incorporate innovative and interactive tools into their teaching practices. One such tool is ChatGPT, a powerful language model that can be used in a variety of educational contexts.
There are several reasons why educators should consider using ChatGPT in their classrooms. First, it allows for personalized and adaptive learning experiences. ChatGPT can be programmed to respond to students' specific needs and learning styles, providing tailored feedback and guidance. This can help students to better understand complex concepts and improve their academic performance.
Second, ChatGPT can be used to promote creativity and critical thinking. By engaging in conversations with the AI, students can explore new ideas and perspectives, test hypotheses, and develop their problem-solving skills.
Finally, ChatGPT can be used as a tool for language learning. Its advanced language capabilities can help students to improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills in a foreign language.
Overall, educators should consider using ChatGPT in their classrooms as a way to enhance the learning experience and promote student success.
Google Translate can be a useful tool in a school setting for educators who need to communicate with people who speak a different language. Here are some ways people can use Google Translate in the school setting:
Portions of this blog post were written with artificial intelligence through the ChatGPT platform.
Are you looking to engage your office staff and/or paraprofessionals in a deep dive of Google Workspace applications this summer? Consider registering them for the Digital Secretary Institute or the Digital Paraprofessional Institute. Visit www.evolvingeducators.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Chromebooks are an integral part of the learning experience for students. Residing within the Chromebook are a wide array of features that can benefit students of all ages and abilities. Three in particular, Chromevox, Screen Capture, and Chrome Canvas provide students with unique opportunities to capture their learning and show what they know about the topic at hand. Consider demonstrating one, two, or all three of these features with your students in the near future.
Did you know that the Evolving Educators Team provides online and in-person Chromebook training for educators? Contact us via email at email@example.com or via phone 888.304.9211 for more information and pricing.
Evolve. Impact. Repeat.
Google Sheets has many features that provide students with an opportunity to show what they know about the topic at hand. The first feature is the ability to create a graph that highlights important information in a visually appealing way. Have students follow the steps below to create their very own graph in Google Sheets.
Step 1: Log into your school Google account.
Step 2: Open a new tab in your Chrome browser.
Step 3: Click on the waffle on the upper right hand side of the screen.
Step 4: Locate and click on the green Google Sheets icon.
Step 5: Provide data points to students from the topic currently being covered in class.
Step 6: Input data onto the Google Sheet using the columns and rows.
Step 7: Highlight the data that needs to be included on the chart.
Step 8: Click on the Insert tab at the top of the screen and click on Chart.
Step 9: Edit the chart that appears in the spreadsheet to meet assignment requirements.
Step 10: Submit assignment on Google Classroom or click the Share button.
The second feature on Google Sheets that students can use to show what they know about the topic at hand is the Template Gallery. One template in particular, Assignment Tracker, can provide students with a way to display the assignments they have completed in class. This organizational method helps the student actually see what they have accomplished and learned throughout the marking period. Have students follow these steps to create their own Assignment Tracker in Google Sheets.
Step 1: Log into your school Google account.
Step 2: Open a new tab in your Chrome Browser.
Step 3: Click on the waffle on the upper right hand side of the screen.
Step 4: Locate and click on the Google Drive icon.
Step 5: Click on the New button on the upper left hand side of the screen.
Step 6: Hover over the Google Sheets icon and click on From a Template.
Step 7: Select the Assignment Tracker template and name the file.
Step 8. Edit the Assignment Tracker document to fit requirements of class.
Step 9: Share the document with your teacher and parents throughout the marking period.
Step 10: Submit the document via Google classroom at the end of the marking period.
Google Sheets provides students with a plethora of options to show what they know about the topic at hand. Additionally, Google Sheets can help support students stay organized and focused on learning goals. No matter the subject area, Google Sheets can be consistently used in order to make the classroom environment efficient and effective.
The Evolving Educators Team