I remember the day that I walked into an elementary art classroom and saw that the students were hard a work learning how to sculpt and manipulate clay. But the teacher was not at the front of the classroom leading the students in the lesson, rather it was a video from YouTube. While the “virtual” teacher continued with the lesson, the “real” was free to make the rounds in her classroom and provide students with 1-on-1 individualized support and direction.
YouTube continues to grow at an amazing pace with videos on a wide variety of topics. Common Sense Education has put together a list of their Top YouTube Channels to Boost Classroom Lessons that teachers could use both in and outside of the classroom.
In addition to their list, here are a couple of channels that I’ve used to support my Digital Citizenship lessons:
Brooke Gibbs – Author/speaker and authority on bullying in the schoolyard and workplace.
Bystander Revolution – Simple acts of kindness, courage, and inclusion anyone can use to take the power out of bullying.
What could be better than having someone read a story to you? How about having that someone be an astronaut who reads a story to you FROM SPACE?! Enter Story Time From Space.
Story Time From Space is a project of the Global Space Education Foundation, and contains over a dozen different videos of astronauts aboard the International Space Station reading space-themed children’s books. Each video starts out with a quick introduction to a part of the International Space Station, such as the all important airlock door and the cupola “window observatory” module. Then, as the story begins the videos cut back and forth between the astronaut reader and the book illustrations with a little animation thrown in for fun.
Each video comes with the following information:
Scrolling down the page will provide you with a written synopsis of the story. There is also room for multiple Activity Guides that are “coming soon!” Finally, almost all of the Story Time videos include links to purchase the books from a variety of vendors.
In addition, the foundation is in the process of putting together a playlist of “Science Time Videos.” These will introduce basic scientific concepts that are connected to some of the science experiments that the astronauts have conducted about the International Space Station, so stay tuned!
Social media is an ever-present part of our lives, and even more so for our students and children. As a result, teachers and parents need to take the time to investigate strategies on how to balance the consumption of social media with the other aspects of our lives. Common Sense Media as put together 5 Simple Steps to help you, your students, and your children achieve this balance.
Follow this link to access the full article from the Common Sense Media website.
If you’d like to learn more, then use this link to access additional videos relating to this topic including Common Sense Media’s #DeviceFreeDinner series.
YouTube is a powerful and ever-growing source for videos about teaching, learning, and growing up in our ever-changing world. But, because there is so much out there it can be difficult to find videos of good quality and that are appropriate for the classroom. Luckily, there are fellow educators out there who have been hard at work curating such lists to share with the rest of us.
In a recent post on the Know Your Why! blog, Steve Wick shares his top six YouTube Channels designed with teaching and learning in mind including Edutopia, Google for Education, and others. And for you history enthusiasts out there, take a moment to watch the first video ever uploaded to YouTube (it’s 19 seconds long, so I think you can fit it in).
However, Steve Wick is only one person and to truly create a worthwhile list of resources requires the help of others. That’s why he has created a community Padlet board for other educators to contribute YouTube channels that they have found beneficial to teaching and learning. The Padlet board is organized into 15 categories ranging from science and math to empathy and physical education. There’s even a category called “Anything Goes” for those channels that don’t quite fit one particular mold. If you have discovered a YouTube channel that is share-worthy then please consider adding it to the list.
Feedback is an important part of the assessment process. When using Google Forms in the quiz configuration, every question comes with the option to add feedback to students for both correct and incorrect answers. In addition to text, teachers could also include a link with their feedback to anything from a website that they had used in class or perhaps a Google Doc that contains notes from a previous class discussion. Now teachers can also embed a YouTube video into the feedback section of a question.
How it works
In Google Forms, create a question and add the possible answer choices.
When done, go to the bottom of the question and click on ANSWER KEY to switch panels.
In the ANSWER KEY panel, if you have not added feedback yet then you will see the option to ADD ANSWER FEEDBACK at the bottom.
If feedback has already been provided, then click on the pencil icon to edit.
On the feedback window, you have the option to add text, insert a link, and now embed a YouTube video. Clicking on the YouTube icon will open the same window seen when using the “Add video” option in Google Forms where you can search YouTube be keywords or paste a direct link into the search box.
NOTE: Depending on what type of question you have chosen, there are feedback options for both INCORRECT ANSWERS and CORRECT ANSWERS.
When you have finished configuring your feedback, click the SAVE button. You will return to the ANSWER KEY panel and a preview of the YouTube video you selected will be embedded below the answer choices.
For more information on this and other recent additions to Google Forms, please check out Google’s post on The Keyword blog.
Ever since I started using the quiz feature in Google Forms to conduct assessments I have been on the lookout for high-quality videos like these. I will insert them into the “Add feedback” panel of a Form question so that students can use them to help “brush up” on the material and as a study tool if a re-assessment is needed.
Google recently announced some updates to their Google Classroom app with a focus on improving communication with students as well as with parents/guardians. If you’d like to watch this review online then click here.
Comment Settings move to STREAM
The configuration box for controlling the commenting ability of students has been moved from the STUDENTS tab to the STREAM tab. The actual functions haven’t changed; you can still set the public or “class” commenting privileges for students, just that the tool is now located on the tab where the commenting actually takes place:
Students can post and comment
Students can only comment
Only teachers can post and comment
Manually send Guardian Summaries
Guardian Summaries are a way for parents to get regular updates on how their child is doing in their classes through Google Classroom. Go to the STUDENT tab and click on the name of a student in the list to take you to their “Your work” tool. By clicking on the envelope icon in the top-right corner, now teachers can manually send a Guardian Summary to a student, the guardian(s) of the student, or both the student and the guardian(s). After selecting your receiver, there is a space below to enter a quick message. Don’t forget to check off the box to Include student work summary if you want that information included in the transmission. NOTE: A guardian must have accepted the invite prior to this point in order to include them in this communique.
Teachers & Co-Teachers
Nothing much to say here except that the footprint of this module has been made smaller. You still use this tool to add co-teachers to your class, remove them, email them, or transfer ownership of the class to another. Students still see the list of co-teachers for the class and an envelope icon to send an email to them.
As always, if you like these changes or have suggestions for some new ones then please do not hesitate to send Google feedback via the question mark “?” icon located in the bottom-left corner of the window.
From Google for Education, EDU in 90 is a YouTube video series designed to help keep you informed and up-to-date with news and information relevant to educators, administrators, and others in the teaching and learning community. And, they crunch these updates into 90-second bite-size pieces. For more information you can subscribe to the Google for Education YouTube channel, and to make sure you don’t miss you regular dose of “Google for Education goodness” you can save EDU in 90 to your YouTube playlist library.
Those who have used Google Sites in the past know that the app was in dire need up an update and thankfully, Google recently did just that and delivered a whole new interface for the NEW Google Sites. Since going live, Google has been working to improve the app with tools that were supported in the old version as well as tools to support emerging website technologies. The next chapter in these upgrades has arrived via the Embed URL tool.
The Embed URL tool now supports the insertion of whole webpages as an iframe, as long as the website you are trying to include supports it.
In the new Google Sites, under the INSERT tab click on the Embed URL tool to get started.
Paste the link to the website you’d like to embed into your website into the box provided. If you see a preview of the website appear, then the site supports embedding.
Click the ADD button to complete the process.
One way that I see myself taking advantage of this feature is to embed YouTube Playlists into a webpage, which the Insert > YouTube option does not currently support. If you have successfully embedded other types of content into a new Google Sites webpage then please share your story in the comments below.
For more information about embedding objects into the new Google Sites, please check out their GSuite Updates blog here.
After clicking on the Embed URL tool a pop-up window with be displayed.
The first tab is for embedding content by URL as stated above. Click on the second tab option to embed code.
Sites will test the code and if successful will show a preview of your embedded widget. If you need to edit the code, click the pencil icon located in the center of the preview image.
When finished, click the INSERT button to add it to your webpage.
For more information about embedding objects into the new Google Sites, please check out their GSuite Updates blog here.
As the summer break comes to an end and educators begin preparations for the return of students (and with some already in session), now seems like a good time to chat about the benefits that Google Classroom can have on your class. Google has been hard at work during the summer hiatus listening to the feedback they’ve received from educators like you and have introduced significant improvements to the app. We will spend the next weeks going over these changes, some of which are very, very cool!
To begin, Google has announced a new resource for educators called #FirstDayofClassroom, which has a little something for everyone.
If you’re new to Classroom, then check out “The Basics” with YouTube videos that cover setting up your class, adding students, assigning work, and grading assignments inside of Classroom.
If you’ve tried Classroom before and are looking for the next steps, then check out the “Teacher’s Lounge” with videos on tips, tricks, and best practices from fellow educators.
Do you prefer documents over videos that you can print out and have in-hand at a moment’s notice? Then scroll down to the “Handy Guides” section.
Does your learning style thrive when you can join live training sessions? Then join one of Google’s #FirstDayofClassroom events on August 15th, 22nd, 29th, and September 5th or 12th. Navigate to the Google for Education events calendar to join the event that works best for you and your schedule.
If you or someone you know is new to Google Classroom then this site is definitely bookmark-worthy. If you are familiar with Classroom or perhaps even a veteran, then check back often for news and updates as additional resources and support materials are in the works.