Too often, I find myself supplying many classroom resources for my students. I spend hours before and after class trying to find the right websites, videos and other materials to help students not only grasp a concept, but to try to push their learning based on what they are finding most interesting. It takes so much time out of my day and does not really support students as we try to crowdsource materials for a unit.
Thanks to the Share to Classroom Extension, gathering of materials is something that is constantly happening in class now. Share to Classroom helps to save time and creates a more interactive class. The extension allows you to push web pages to your any of your Classroom classes, so that they open instantly on your students’ computers. Especially when trying to get students to evaluate materials, this extension gets your students on the right page, quickly and reliably every time. This is so valuable when you want to bring the whole class together for a moment, yet want to allow the the freedom to explore the content at their own pace. If you prefer to just gather materials for student to access, you can also post announcements, create assignments, or save webpages to post to Classroom later. As someone that uses many elements of the flipped classroom, being able to attach my own videos to a question has really helped to both hold students accountable and gather information for the next day’s instruction.
As a teacher, what has made this extension so useful is that student no longer need to waste time finding a link, scanning a QR code, or even having students follow along with you as you present. Students get the webpages that I share almost instantaneously, without having to type out the whole URL. Even more powerful is that now students can push those webpages that they find to me! Having students able to quickly push a resource to me has really helped with the overall quality and vetting that students are doing for websites. I will often find that they have found a better website than I originally did, and can quickly push that out to all of my students.
As a fourth and fifth grade teacher, I don’t always get beginning-level English learners. Although I do have several English learners, they often come to me with some basic conversational English skills. I can use pictures, sentence stems, word walls and other strategies to help scaffold my instruction. The real struggle comes when I am trying to meet the needs of those English learners who are new to our school and language. Especially when thinking about the content, it’s important that we provide resources that students can use at their native language reading level as a means of making sure we provide the content, while still helping their conversational and academic language grow.
Thanks to Google Translate Extension, I finally found a tool that not only does that, but
can also allow those students to use the IDENTICAL online resource that the native English speakers are using. After installing this extension in Chrome, you can quickly translate passages, words, and entire websites with a simple click of a button. This has come in handy for so many reasons. With so many of our textbooks now coming online, students can now just highlight a word, sentence, or passage and right click for a simple translation.
What I’ve found even more exciting is the ability to translate entire websites into another language. This has obviously been a great tool when trying to provide content resources for our English learners, but has also been a great way to provide the EXACT content. My students can still participate in conversations and discussions during class on those materials. It’s also been a time saver, as I no longer have to search for equivalent content. And finally, it has provided my students and me an opportunity to talk about the language– even Google can make mistakes. Although the translations are amazingly accurate, the occasional error will occur. Having the ability to contribute a better translation has helped students to not only clarify their reading, but contribute to the translations for further understanding.
by Joe Kemery: @Mr_Kemery
If you’re anything like me, everything goes through your phone– everything– And I’m not just talking social media here. Anything that has to do with work is going through my phone nowadays, from emails, to my gradebook, to our school’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to my classroom Drive. But with all of that information, it makes not only keeping my phone secure a priority, but also having a means of tracking and wiping that phone essential.
One little known Chrome trick is the ‘Find My Phone’ feature.This feature only works if you have your Google account connected to your smartphone and your computer. You simply type ‘Find My Phone’ into a google search on your computer, and you’ll instantly be brought to a map showing the location of the phone. This has been great for my peace of mind whenever I walk out of the house without my phone, quickly letting me know that it’s still sitting on the counter, charging.
If you happen to misplace your phone, you will quickly be able to see not only where the phone is, but also if it’s on the move. On the occasions where my wife had just pulled out of the driveway, and I left my phone in her car, I could just click on the ‘Ring’ feature and she was able to pick it up and turn around. This is also great if you’ve ever lost your phone inside the house, and just want to have it ring so you can track it down. Regardless of whether your phone has been set to silent/vibrate, the phone will ring for up to 5 minutes at full volume.
Unfortunately, we also need to prepare for the event that someone may have your phone who shouldn’t. Whether you leave it in the backseat of your Lyft or Uber ride, or someone swipes it, you want to be able to quickly disable the phone and remove all of your important information. In order to do that, you will still need to sign into your Android Device Manager. You’ll again be prompted to sign into your account, and will see a backdrop of a map with your phone’s location, with the option to ‘Lock and Erase’ your phone. Especially in a world where so much information is digital, it is great to know that you can quickly remove any secure and private information.