Showing posts from 2013

Google Spreadsheets - What you really need to know

I have been working on the next presentation in my  Technology Learning for Leaders Series and this session focuses on Google Forms and Sheets to Power Up Data In my preparation for this session I made five documents that I am quite please with how they turned out. My goal was everything someone would need to know to really work with spreadsheets and data in schools, from basic to advanced, to make sense of data (short of Google Scripts). Here are the initial documents Basic Spreadsheet Terminology Basic Google Spreadsheet Formulas Everyone Will Want Know Text Google Spreadsheet Formulas Everyone Will Want Know Intermediate Google Spreadsheet Formulas Everyone Should Want Know Advanced Google Spreadsheet Formulas Someone Might Want to Know I am sure these will grow over time. Let me know if you think I should add anything in the comments. Hank 

Personalization starts with Person

 For Tech&Learning's Newsletter 10/8/2013 I continue to hear a lot about personalization in education and what that ultimately looks like in our classrooms. It is strange how ideas can mean such different things to different people (just watch how two separate news channels cover the same story to see a demonstration). However, personalization to me is pretty simple: it starts just as the word does, with “person.” So often we are looking for that magic piece of data to describe a student, or some rating to categorize a teacher, that we forget that each person is a unique individual. We have to learn to trust that people know more about themselves than we can ever distill from an assessment. We need to hear each person’s perspective and listen to his stories. Take the time to walk across the hall, chat up a student, start a conversation with someone new. You might find a person there waiting to be discovered. Image From:

Managing Sign Off Documents Using Google Forms and Spreadsheets

One of my tasks each year is to track who has signed off on our acceptable use agreements across the district. To do this for over 1000 people I use a google form and spreadsheet. Employees sign off on a form that automatically collects their username: That data is cross referenced in a spreadsheet using a couple of formulas against a pre-populated list of users to "cross them off the list". A couple of pivot tables keeps everything straight. You can see it in this spreadsheet . For those wanting more features I have combined it with formMule to kick out emails as well to those that have or have not completed their requirement - which can be seen in this spreadsheet . The video below outlines the whole process.

Living Chrome

As the person in our district that is ultimately responsible for technology I often end up making the decision for what devices a student or staff member will be using on a daily basis. One of my common practices is to live with a device before purchasing it or recommending it for someone else.  With the lead up to 1:1 and chromebooks in our district this year I have been "living chrome" for the past year and have been primarily chrome since September 2012. This is what my desk looks like: The chromebox is my primary desktop device. I have it rocking dual 24" monitors with a webcam, speakers, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. It is awesome to just sit down and work each day when the day starts or to come back in from being out and about and jumping right back into whatever I was doing. I use cloud printing (when I must print) that allows me to access multiple copier/printers in the office. On the desk you will notice two chromebooks. One is the Samsung 550 , whi

It is Springtime - Take a Stroll

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend and discuss changes in teaching and learning while at the Chicago Tech Forum and a Google at School Event . Over the course of two days, we discussed changes in how students are learning, including hot topics related to collaboration, shifting time, and open access to resources. I was able to share some of our plans for next year around 1:1 in our schools and reaffirmed that we are headed in the right direction. I then had the chance to put my learning in action yesterday when I taught an earth science class in one of our 1:1 pilot classrooms. It was incredible to build and structure a lesson where the world of resources were at my students’ fingertips. I was able to use online formative assessment tools to monitor student progress and pace activities. Getting into a classroom and teaching with the tools was an exciting way to jump into the changes that are coming to our classrooms next year. We should all take the time to step out of our