Thursday, September 29, 2016

Share Classroom Happenings with Parents Using the Kaymbu App

Parents LOVE Classroom Updates

How many teachers do you know have said that their parents want pictures, news, and updates about what is happening in class? Probably more so at the elementary level, right? Well, no matter what age group, I think Kaymbu could be an EASY solution (for all involved!) for strengthening the home-school connection for students and parents.

What is Kaymbu?

An awesome Plano teacher sent me this article yesterday: A Top Education VC says these 6 Startups Could Transform How We Teach Kids. Thank you, @mspolzertech! I was particularly interested in the section on Kaymbu - "a communication portal that lets teachers send pictures, video, and notes to a child's parents" (Weller, 2016). It's an iPad app that a teacher can use to capture classroom activities to share with parents.

I gave it a try and was super impressed with how EASY it was to not only create an account, but to add students, photos, create a Storyboard, add a parent email, and send the Storyboard to the parent. Parents love to receive news and updates as it helps them to reinforce learning at home.

Note that Kaymbu is secure and does not share any photos, videos, or personal data with third parties: Kaymbu's Privacy and Security.

Check out Kaymbu's informative video:

Give Kaymbu a Try!

Start by creating a FREE account either on the website or via the Kaymbu App on your iPad.

What Do You Think?

I want to hear from you! What do you think? Was it easy to use? Is it something that can be seamlessly integrated into your work day, rather than adding one more thing to your plate? Do parents love it?! In the comments below or via email or Twitter, please share whether Kaymbu is truly strengthening relationships between home and school.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Should Tech Standards For Teachers Look Like?

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) develops technology standards for students, teachers, administrators, edu coaches, and computer science educators. Last year, ISTE took on the important task of refreshing the student standards. The new ISTE Standards for Students were released in June 2016 and they're brilliant.

This year, ISTE is refreshing the Standards for Teachers and I am so proud to be on the team that will help to refresh them. But our writing team really needs YOUR help.

What do you think tech standards should look like for teachers? You can let your voice be heard by filling out this survey!

After you complete the survey, pass it along to another educator you know. The input from various perspectives is valuable and crucial to the refresh process. We look forward to hearing your voice!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Celebrate Dot Day!

This week, educators all over the country will be celebrating Dot Day! Here is author Peter Reynolds reading his wonderful book about the creative spirit, The Dot:

The book was published in 2003, and in 2009 a group of educators began celebrating September 15 as International Dot Day, a day for classes everywhere to celebrate the book's themes of bravery, creativity, and self-expression.

Here are resources to help you make the most of Dot Day:

Quiver Vision Augmented Reality Coloring Page (you'll need the Quiver app for iOS or Android - very cool!)

How will you celebrate? We'd love to hear what you and your students do for Dot Day!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Google Classroom Updates

New School Year...New Type of Blog.  We are changing the focus of our tech-tastic blog to now feature a "Tech Tip of the Week".  Be sure to check back often to learn about new technologies or how to use established tech tools in a new way.

Now that you have two full weeks under your belt and everyone is starting to get into the "groove" of school, you might be wondering about the updates to your Google Classroom.  In this post I will concentrate on the much anticipated guardian summaries, easier filtering through topics, and student annotations using the mobile app.

                                                                                      Guardian Summaries

This long asked for feature of parents having access to Google Classroom is finally here (in a sense).  Teachers must invite each parent to receive either daily or weekly automated email summaries about their child's assignments and class announcements.  Parents will NOT be able to log into a teacher's Google Classroom using their personal Gmail account.  If you need more details on how to set up guardian summaries, please click here.  This is a great first step Google has developed in cultivating a stronger school/home connection.


Teacher View
Organizing the stream has gotten much easier because of Topics.  Teachers are able to add custom topics to assignments, questions, and announcements.  You have the freedom to organize by unit, groupings, subjects, and even standards.  Students are able to filter what they see in the stream by choosing a topic.
Student View

Annotations (Mobile App)

Students can show their math work, label parts of speech, mind mapping (brainstorming), and more! Teachers also have the capability to leave handwritten notes and feedback on student work.  This feature can only be utilized on the Classroom app on Android or iOS.  Click here for more detailed instructions.

Your Instructional Tech Team is available to train you, your team, or the entire campus on how to use and/or integrate any of these tools into your current routine.  Please contact us anytime and have a wonderful school year!