Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cleaning up your Digital Classroom

It's the end of the year and you're busy wrapping up the school year and preparing your classroom for the summer.  Keep in mind that there will be some digital classroom clean-up that you will also want to do at the end of the school year.  Starting with Google Classroom.

Cleaning up Google Classroom.
You will want to archive your classes at the end of the year.  This will make them disappear from student dashboards while also preserving them so you can re-use assignments next year. Here's how.

  1. Login to Classroom.
  2. Choose the meatballs on the classroom tile and select archive. 
  3. Your class is now archived.

If you need to locate your archived classroom in the future it can be located by visiting the Google Classroom menu in the top left corner.  Scroll down to the bottom and you'll find a folder with all your archived classes. 

Cleaning Up Google Drive.
Your Hapara folders will automatically be archived for you during the summer. No action required from you. However, summer might be a time to create or refine your organizational structure. For many of my projects, I use folders that start off with 15-16 in their title. Over the summer, I will move these various project folders into a 2015-2016 School Year Folder and begin a 16-17 Folder naming convention. This is just one way to organize your Google Drive.

Color Code your Folders.
You can make your Google Drive resemble Spring and Summer by color-coding your Google Drive Folders. Within, right click on your desired color-coded folder and choose a color.

Star your Files or Folders.
If you have Google Drive Folders that are always in use, you might consider adding a star. The star acts as a filter and you'll be able to find your starred files and folders quickly by choosing the star.
To star a folder, right click the folder and choose Add star.  To star a file, you can do the same or if your file is open, you will notice next to the title a star that acts as a toggle.  

You can locate all your starred files, by clicking on the star filter in your Google Drive.

When the file is no longer important, just unstar it.

Place Files in Multiple Places.
Sometimes you may want the same file in several locations based on your organizational structure. You can do this in the Google environment and when you update the file in one location, it will automatically update it in all the locations.  Highlight the file and use the keyboard shortcut, SHIFT + Z, and choose the desired additional location for your file.

Upload Files into your Google Drive.
If you have files saved to your desktop on your teacher laptop, you will want to save those to your h:// drive or upload them to your Google Drive before your turn in your device at the end of the year for reimaging. The Google Drive Upload solution is simple. From your Google Drive, Choose New >  File or Folder Upload > navigate and select those desktop files or folders you wish to upload your drive > Open. Depending on the size and quantity of files you may have on your teacher desktop, this process may take several minutes. 

What are some of your favorite digital organization tips?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Google Certified Educator Cohort Forming

Are you interesting in becoming a Google Certified Educator this Summer?

Join our Blended Study Group so we can support one another.

In-person Launch.
We will be holding an in-person cohort launch on Friday, June 10 from 12:30-1:30 in Room 48 at the District Office. During this launch, we will provide:
  • an overview of Google Certifications and process
  • ensure everyone can access the GoogleEDU Training Center
  • helpful tips and skill checklists
  • enrollment in our online community to ask questions and support one another throughout the summer as we work towards becoming Level 1 and/or Level 2 Google Certified Educators.

Ongoing Office Hours for Drop-in Support.
Throughout the summer, we will also be hosting regular office hours for drop-in support. We encourage teachers to stop by to ask questions, work with others face-to-face, and/or just to say "Hi!" 
  • Friday, June 24, 9:00-11:00
  • Friday, July 8, 9:00-11:00
  • Friday, July 22, 9:00-11:00
  • Friday, August 12, 9:00-11:00

Please note that attendance at the launch is not required to participate. If you're interesting in participating but are unable to join us on the 10th, send Robb Perrine or Melissa Oliver an email and they'll be sure to add you to our online study cohort.  All meetings are voluntary and will take place in Room 48 at the District Office.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Technology Update: Student-Powered Playground & Summer Coding School (05/03/16)

As the end of the year is drawing near, we are providing two great opportunities for our students to celebrate their year and jump start learning for next year.

Student-Powered Playground - May 26, 2016, 4:30-6:00 PM @ Yolo Education Center

Have a tech related project your students created this past school year? The inaugural Student-Powered Playground will celebrate our students’ skills and knowledge gained through the increase in technology to the classroom. This event is open to all TK-12 teachers and students and is completely voluntary. During this 90 minute event, students will have an opportunity to “show what they know” to their families and friends in an informal “playground” of student-led hands-on learning. We are looking for projects or activities that integrate with STEAM and the California State Standards (CCSS). Support our students by signing up for a classroom table - see more information at

Summer Coding School

A couple of weeks ago, flyers for the upcoming Summer Coding School should have been placed in the boxes of 4th - 7th grade teachers to be passed out to go home. This is a program that we are contracting with Code for Hood to provide to existing 4th-7th grade students as part of the regular summer school program. Summer school begins on June 13 and ends on July 14 and students would be expected to attend all 5 weeks (Monday-Thursday). The form is to gauge interest from our families and those who complete and submit the form will receive first priority when registration opens on May 12 (pending board approval on May 11). If you need a copy of the form, please see the attached PDF. Basic information for parents can be found at

If you have interest forms that you’ve collected from your students, please send those to Christy Jourdan, Technology Department, via district mail.

There will be 60 spaces available and we hope to accommodate all that are interested while still maintaining equity of school site participation across the district. The content will most likely include the following (details are still being finalized):
  • Digital Art Media – Intro to graphic design 
  • Fun with Electronics – Introduction to electronics 
  • Fun with Sketch Up – 3D Modeling introduction 
  • Fun with Scratch – Coding class 
  • Build a website – using open source software 
Thank you for your continued work with our West Sacramento students and please let me know if you have any questions. As always, we are here to help!