Tag Archives: Google Docs

Notes from “Collaborating with New Media” at Teach21




Teach21 is a professional development institute for 21st Century educators organized by faculty and administrators at The School at Columbia University. Every day there is a keynote speaker (Sree Sreenivasan, Howard Gardner, A.J. Jacobs, Karen Cator) and many half-day and full-day concurrent offerings.

Today, I led a half-day (2.5 hours) with attendees showing ways we use a variety of New Media tools here at The School to collaborate and innovate. There is just too much to share, and now I belatedly wish I’d shown less stuff. Better to explain in depth a few key projects to examine their innovation, interest, usefullness, assessment, and/or literacy. Even better to have a conversation with participants. Now I know. It’s less effective to see products without the process, duh. Plus, there was little interaction and I talked to much and jumped around too much between websites to the point that it made sense only to me. The last time I received negative feedback was at ISTE 2010. I need to now get over it, move on, and make my next presentation better.

Here is my Google Site where I tried to gather info: https://sites.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/teach21-resources/workshop-…

(Other resources from the day are shared here: https://sites.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/teach21-resources/)

And here are my unfortunately incomplete notes from the session:

What I say to kids all day every day: Use our available tools academically/respectfully/responsibly and Everything you do online is public/permanent/traceable.

The School’s new media server: http://newmedia.theschool.columbia.edu

I collect and archive finished student projects here: http://theschool.columbia.edu/middle-division/student_work

“security by obscurity”

New Media server:

Wiki – powered by MediaWiki – sort of a dormant technology to us right now

The Tube – our YouTube – tagging, tag cloud, embed code, default versus user login, download 

The Gallery – our Flickr – tagging, shared albums, others can upload, default versus user login, download original 

The Social Network – our Facebook – other social networking tools: Elgg, Edmodo, Schoology, Ning, Facebook

A social network answers these 3 questions: Who you are, who you know, what you do?

Show: Independent Reading Site, 6th Digital Art Portfolios, 8th To Kill a Mockingbird project, 8th science current events, 7th great mathematicians profiles, 7th American revolutionaries, 4th grade colonial characters 

Google Apps
(An old presentation I put together on Collaborating with Google Apps: https://docs.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/present/edit?id=dcpjh599_198…)

Show: Independent Reading Site, 7th online science journals, 5th Grade Science Quiz

Live Form: http://spreadsheets.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/viewform?hl=en&fo…

Spreadsheet: http://spreadsheets.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/ccc?key=0AvbfIbg3rb3-…

Also show archived class projects, class websites, The Source (administrative Google Site), shared calendars, “collection” of Google Docs, labels for sorting Gmail

Cite your work and your images (Obama Hope poster discussion and the Mona Lisa)

Use advanced image searching to look for images that are licensed for sharing.

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Putting the Camp in EdCamp

EdCamp Philly was a great day of learning, networking, and sharing with other educators/technologists/administrators/proponents for change. I was happy to represent The School at Columbia University along with @nykat4 (Katy Gartside, 5th Grade teacher) and @scampnyc (Nancy Wong, Math Liaison). As Edcamp Philly was an unconference, a little light peer pressure had Nancy and Katy signing up to co-present, Collaborating with Google Apps with me. I also provided the title for Katy’s successful presentation, WWKD? What would Katy do in her 5th grade classroom. @DoremiGirl (Yoon Lim) was nearby as I was encouraging” Nancy and Katy, and when I reinforced that leading a session was really like facilitating a conversation, Yoon posted her session, Music, Kids, Tech, which received much acclaim over Twitter throughout the day.

Further, thanks to the encouragement of Edcamp Philly organizers @mbteach and @kristenswanson, I joined up with people I met at the registration area to co-present two additional sessions: One was iPads in Education with @aleaness and @dancinjul and the other was Google Apps and Gadgets with @fronk2000 and @rchuhran.

I have yet to comb the #edcamp Twitter archive, but here are some of the bits and pieces I gathered (and the EdCamper who shared it):

  • iPad apps shouted out during the discussion (which was graced by surprise guest, @chrislehmann!):

Text Free, Discovery, Alice in Wonderland, Baby Scratch, Access my Library, Penultimate, Smart Note, Elements, NPRBrushes, Harmonious, Evernote, Instapaper, Read it Later, Proloquo2Go, Quick Connect, DragonDictation, Good Reader, Cloud Browse, iThought HD, Plants vs. Zombies

  • Edmodo Follow @zemote on Twitter as he is one of the founders and can answer and questions!
  •  Yolink and SweetSearch are free and awesome and allow for more appropriate and efficient online research.

After such an awesome day, Nancy and Katy and I are psyched to plan an EdCamp NYC sometime this fall!

Follow us at Twitter: www.twitter.com/edcampnyc

Fan us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/EdCamp-NYC/

Sign up on our Google Form created by @BrklynSurfer

Add to the Google Doc created by @nykat4


from my Flickr stream


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Getting to know Eno

We installed an ēno Classic Interactive Whiteboard in one of our science labs (manufactured by Polyvision, a Steelcase company). We had to remove an existing SmartBoard, install some brackets, and attach our new Eno to the wall. They sell an ēno Click Interactive Whiteboard that sticks like a magnet to any existing white board, but we couldn’t take advantage of that model.

The Eno Classic is a wireless board that is a layer of porcelain over a layer of steel. The porcelain is silkcreened with some crazy intricate dot-pattern. (There are 3 patterns to choose from, so you can install them next to each other and have a ginormous interactive drawing board.) Using the Eno Classic, one has to be totally dependent on a Bluetooth Stylus pen with a camera at the tip – I think I remember that the camera is sensitive to one megapixel. The whole board/pen experience totally reminds me of Picture Pages with Bill Cosby.

It would have only taken two people to install the Eno, though as the third person, I marked the holes for the drill, hammered the wall anchors, leveled the board (with my iPhone), and took pictures…


This particular room is shared by two science teachers. Greg Benedis-Grab, (@gbenedisgrab on Twitter), gave me some feedback after using the Eno board for a full week with his 5th graders. In his words:

  • It has a similar enough feel to a SmartBoard, so it was no big leap to use an Eno Board
  • The Eno board is wireless, so worrying about power or syncing is a non-issue.
  • The pen is super precise and fast.
  • The ink size/color is easy to customize.
  • We’re going to need to invest in more pens, as it’s a matter of time until someone takes one with them.
  • The board is magnetized (it’s a layer of porcelain over steel), so even when not in use, it’s a functional part of the room.
  • Greg stores his notes/lessons on Google Apps (specifically Docs, Presentations, and Spreadsheets), so he never had to face the issue of trying to write in a SmartNotebook file (side note: Lots of teachers here have extensive Smart Notebook libraries of their lessons. I don’t think this is possible to use the pen to edit these files. The best you can do is take a screen snapshot of anythink written on the Eno with the stylus and upload it to a Notebook file. Maybe.)
  • He places the moveable magnetic toolbar lower down for his shorter 5th graders and raises it for his own use and for the larger 7th graders.

I installed RM Easiteach on the desktop in the Science Room and on Greg’s MacBook so he can explore the software on his own time. So far, he really likes the “glass” feature which is like having an ink layer that you can choose to merge or not. Based on the brief demo I saw last year, RM Easiteach has loads of features, subject-specific menus, and customizable toolbars for Math, Science, Grammar, Art, etc. I’m still tip-toeing through the software, and I’m grateful that we have some tech savvy and curious people on staff willing to be beta testers. We are offering teachers the option of having an Eno installed in their classrooms for next year. One week in, and we already have another two takers.

Here’s a shot of my after school robotics kids using the Eno minutes after it was installed:


Finally, here’s a link for the Eno Classic FAQs page.

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