Sunday, August 20, 2017

3 Easy Steps to Go to Section Upon Answer in Google Forms

There are many great features in Google Forms. Going to a page based on an answer is one of my favorites. This is the perfect way to differentiate assignments, review correct and incorrect answers, and more! How do you use this valuable feature? Let me show you how!

Step 1: Create Your Form

Visit Google Forms and create your first question. In order to go to a page based on an answer, I recommend creating a multiple choice question.



Step 2: Create a New Section 

In order to go to a "page based on answer," you will need to create a "section" to redirect your audience. In this example, I will create one section, which will be used to help my correct my audience and help them understand the correct answer to my question.

How do you do this? Simply use the toolbar on the right-side of your screen and choose "Add Section" (icon with two rectangles).



When you create this new section, you will probably want to name it something that you will remember. It may be helpful to add text, videos, pictures, and / or links to help get your point across.


Step 3: Set-up "Go to Section Upon Answer"

Select your original multiple choice question. In the bottom right-hand corner, you will notice three dots. Click on the three dots and choose "Go to Section Upon Answer."

You will notice that a drop-down box appears next to each multiple choice question. You can select a section where your students will go based upon their answer.


Conclusion:

This is the perfect tool for helping students learn from their mistakes, differentiating assignments, etc. You can get very creative with how you use this awesome feature! Need a video tutorial to learn how to do this? Check out my video below:






My Leadership Journey: A Simple Thought in a Complicated World

I am not a politician, nor do I enjoy politics; however, several recent events occurring in our country have saddened me. The actions in Charlottesville, Virginia last week are contrary to the vision of the many great leaders in our country. Unfortunately, the actions in Virginia revealed an undercurrent of tension that has existed in not only our country - but our world - for quite some time.

It saddens me that we value or devalue human worth, based upon the superficial characteristics of gender, race, religion, culture, and sexual orientation - to say a few. We are all humans. We all have value. Perhaps, our nation, our world, and our leaders need to look at life through the eyes of our children.

Although I have been a secondary teacher most of my career, I have recently been given the privilege of working at an elementary school. The children have taught me so much about leadership and what it means to be an effective leader.

When I look through the eyes of our students, I see what life is all about:

  • I see students who are willing to sacrifice and share with another person because the other person does not have food, drink, or even a crayons.
  • I see diverse groups of children befriending and playing with each other on a playground.
  • I see best-friends who look, act, and come from entirely different backgrounds. 
  • I see smiles and wonder.
  • I hear encouraging words between students of different genders and races.
  • I hear the words "I am sorry" when someone is wrong.
  • I feel the embrace of a child, who wants to show that they care.
  • I feel the definition of true love. 
When I look into the eyes of our students and my own children, I am encouraged that love still exists. I am still encouraged that children see value in others beyond the superficial definitions of human value or devalue - mostly created by adults. 

Regardless of your stance, perhaps you may agree that we all need to take a step back for a moment and see the world through our children's eyes.  Perhaps we would see that we may need to change our actions, words, and thoughts. Perhaps, we may even need to change how we value others. 

It's just a thought - a very simple thought - in such a noisy and complicated world. 



Friday, August 11, 2017

3 New Google Classroom Features to Start the School Year

With the new school year starting, many teachers are eager to use Google Classroom. Here are 3 new features to start the school year.

1 - Single View of Student Work

Students now have a page called "Your Work," which lists all assigned, missing, returned and graded work. This is a great tool to help students stay organized. How do students view this feature? 
  • Open up a class in Google Classroom
  • Click or tap on the "About" tab
  • Click or tap on "Your Work"

2 - Display Your Class Code in Full Screen
One of the first challenges with Google Classroom is getting students enrolled in your class. If you remember, they will need a class code to join (this is a one time thing!). Google Classroom now lets you display the code in fullscreen, which makes it much easier for students to see. This feature is only available for teachers! 

How do you do this? 
  • You will need to make sure that you are in the web-version of Google Classroom. 
  • Visit the Students Tab
  • On the left-side of your screen, you will see the class code. Choose the dropdown arrow next to your class code and select "Display Code." 


3 - New Organization Features!

Google realizes that organization is essential for teachers. Google Classroom now has features to help you organize your classes and gradebook.

A. Whether you are a teacher or student, you can customize the order of your class cards and reorder your home page.

B. Teachers now have the ability to add decimals to grades! 

C. Teachers can transfer ownership of classes to other teachers! 

D. If you need to access other Apps while you are in Google Classroom, you have the ability to choose the Apps Launcher (Google Bar) or sometimes called "waffle" to access other apps. 




Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Leadership Journey: 3 Ways to Reject Rejection

As of August 2017, I have interviewed 40 different leaders. Most of the leaders that I have interviewed have experienced rejection. Many have experienced rejection so painful that it has brought back tears many years later. Unfortunately, leaders must experience rejection to grow and expand their abilities.

Changing Our Views on Rejection

In his book Rejection Proof, Jia Jiang discusses the idea that rejection is merely a human opinion. Rejection is painful and something that everyone experiences and can take many different shapes. Whether it is being passed up for an opportunity, not holding value in another's eyes, it can have lasting effects on our lives.

Many people are unable to let go of their rejections, which severely limits their potential. What if we were to change our thoughts on rejection? What if we were to see rejection as an opportunity? It could change the way we live our lives. How we handle rejection makes all of the difference because it has a lasting effect on our lives, leadership abilities, and legacy. Here are some tips to reject rejection and reach your full potential.

1 - Change How You Look at Rejection

Imagine yourself as a piece of driftwood tossing along waves of rejection that push and pull you to your destination. You have no control over the waves and where they may take you; however, your journey will season and prepare you for your eventual destination. Your rejections are preparing you for your destination! Be patient because you will have an opportunity someday.

2 - Embrace the Detour

Many of us view rejection as a barrier; however, there are times when rejection serves as a detour. Several years ago, I was told that I did not have leadership potential and I would never make it as a principal. I am thankful for that experience because it helped me see that I was not passionate about handling discipline problems. I was passionate about educational technology. The rejection propelled me into creating this blog, sharing ideas with colleagues, and focusing my attentions on becoming a top-notch educator.

3 - Be Thankful for Your Rejections

It may sound weird, but I am learning to be thankful for my rejections. Unfortunately, our talents and abilities are not always appreciated and recognized by others. Instead of stewing in what people "should" think of you, why not give thanks for other opportunities?

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I have been overlooked for leadership positions within my organization; however, I am thankful for the rejection. Why? Instead of having to leave my job to gain valuable leadership experiences, I have the opportunity to serve as a consultant schools, colleges, and universities across the country and serve as a faculty member at Harvard University for two summers. The opportunities have provided me with valuable experiences that will someday hold value in another's eyes.

Conclusion

Just like a piece of driftwood eventually reaches the shore, you too will reach your destination. You will reach a destination where you are valued, respected, and appreciated. You have an incredible opportunity to change the way that you look at rejection. You are blessed with the gift of time, which will season your abilities and add to your experiences. The rejections that you face from others will help refine your passions and possibly detour your God-given destination. Be thankful for your rejections, because how you view rejection has the power to make or break you.




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My Leadership Journey: The Secret of Cutting Through Rock with Water

My recent journey to interview 50 leaders in a year has taught me the power of persistence. One of my mentors has been extremely helpful in getting me in contact with some great leaders. Many of these individuals have busy schedules and other priories, which makes scheduling interviews very difficult.

Most of the leaders whom I have interviewed have graciously invested their time in my journey. One leader in particular was very difficult to reach. Every time that I contacted this leader, they would tell me to call back later because they were too busy. I contacted this individual three different times. Finally my persistence paid off with an interview.

Although this individual was very difficult to work with, they taught me a valuable lesson. Leaders who are persistent are very effective. Why? They practice follow through, efficiency, practice accountability, and are very goal-oriented.

Persistence requires strength and courage because it often means facing fear and resistance. Persistence develops character, strength, and confidence in people who do not quit when others do. Some of the greatest feats known to man have occurred through the blood, sweat, and tears of persistent individuals.

An excellent visual for the power of persistence is found in the following quote:


Can you imagine if water did not contain the element of persistence? The Grand Canyon would never exist.

What about you? What rocks do you need to cut through? Whether calling customer service for support or trying to improve your abilities, I encourage you to be persistent.  Your persistence will cut through the rocks of negativity, stagnation, and limitation.




Saturday, July 22, 2017

BibMe Makes Bibliographies Easy



If you or your students write papers, then you know that creating citations and references are extremely important. I have always loved Citation Machine, but I just found a new tool that I really like. It is called Bib Me.

Although it has been around for some time, I recently found it. I like it for several reasons. First, it has a very simplistic interface, which makes creating a bibliography extremely useful.

For example, you can just copy and paste the URL, title, or ISBN of your resource and EasyBib can generate a bibliography. If you have more sources to add, you can keep adding to it and then download!



Secondly, the source has a variety of tools to help with the writing process. For example, Bib Me has citation guides to help with citing a specific type of resource. Bib Me also has a plagiarism checker and tutorials.

Finally, it is free! You don't have to jump through hoops to use it, such as watching videos or only being able to generate a limited number of citations.

If you are currently enrolled in school or have students who are constantly writing!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Take a Dive with Google Underwater Street View

Exploring the deep underwater confines of the world's oceans used to be a place reserved for the elite few; however, Google Underwater Street View opens up a new world of possibilities for students and teachers alike.


Simply visit www.google.com/maps/streetview/#oceans to go on a virtual dive of some of the most famous underwater places and life forms on earth. Google Underwater Street View provides you with the opportunity to explore reefs, life forms, wreckage sites, and see the impact of climate change.