UPDATE to my Google Innovator project ‘plnnr.net’ 

http://plnnr.net

When I first submitted my project back in April, I had only taken previous projects and created a system where others could add suggestions for new tools.

It wasn’t until being at the Academy in Boulder that I had the idea to connect the ideas that teachers suggest with developers on Github. You can browse mine at www.github.com/rheajt.

If you aren’t familiar with Github, let me give you a quick description. GitHub is a way for developers to house their open source projects. Many developers keep lots of small projects that they use as part of their resumes. Why not provide a way to connect these developers directly to those ideas?

There is no limit to the ideas that teachers have for custom functions, add-ons, extensions, and other various web apps. I am hoping to help that process by making it easier to collaborate!

Still to come:

1. Allow developers to create a gist or repository directly on Github using their API with description of the project already created.

2. Tweet out project ideas when teachers create a new project. Should I create a new hash tag for these projects or harness the power of existing ones?

3. Tweet out when a developer accepts a teacher’s project idea. 

4. I need some better ways to promote the idea. I think there are tons of people looking to help out and improve their own portfolios at the same time. Examples of this are FreeCodeCamp and Stack Overflow. How can I get people on those sites interested in plnnr.net?

Closing

There is tons of work to do in the next few weeks. I hope sharing this prototype helps me better see ways to improve the idea. If even a few ideas that can help teachers become reality then it will be worth it!

Reflections from the Google Innovator Academy

In 6 years as a teacher I have never had a professional development experience as rewarding as this. Especially since the last 3 years have been spent in Turkey with very little in the way of a PD community. The focus of the program is on helping teachers advance their project ideas, however, my big take-away from the time was the networking with other teachers who all have a technological focus in their districts/schools/classrooms.

Beyond that facet of the program, there were things that really stood out to me from each day of the program.

Day 1:

breakoutBreakoutEDU. That is all I really need to say. I was basically the only teacher who had no familiarity with the program prior to this conference.

It is an escape room for your classroom. I have posted about escape rooms before, and I am not shy about telling people that “it is more about the puzzles than the escape” despite how pretentious that statement sounds.

Day 2:

Wesley Chun (@wescpy) gave a talk about Google Apps Script! This is my favorite part of using Google Apps and to hear from someone who creates the kind of add-ons/apps that I am interested in creating myself was incredible. Google Apps Script has been a big part of me learning javascript and other web technologies in the first place. It has been an invaluable resource in my learning, and I am hoping to build my innovator project around it.

Beyond that, he gave a demo of his new add-on for Google Forms that allows you to build a form from a document called GFormIt. It streamlines the entire process of creating a form. This was really cool for me, because I had created a similar add-on months ago just to play around with the Form API and see what was possible.

Day 3:

Have you heard of Google Cardboard??? Virtual reality is coming into the education space in a big way with very cheap VR devices.

I think this is going to completely change the way we take field trips in schools.

Simply put, this was a great experience for me as a classroom teacher, especially as a classroom teacher in Turkey. I work at a school that is certainly not for lack of resources, however, it can feel like teaching on an island.

I would encourage any teacher with an idea for integrating technology and education to start putting together a proposal!

Easy Grader for Google Sheets

Making using google sheets as a gradebook a little bit easier.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOImg-iwT6c”]

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I enjoy using spreadsheets to hold a lot of grades. There are many services that will send you reports in spreadsheet files, so it just makes sense to keep you other grades in that format.

The thing that started to frustrate me was entering grades from classwork. I created this add-on to try and alleviate those struggles.

After you install the add-on, open it inside of the spreadsheet where you want to enter grades.

tutorial-open

The sidebar is fairly straightforward. The select box at the top allows you change which column your grades will go into. Use the settings at the bottom to change which columns the Easy Grader will consider as grade columns.

tutorial-overview

Once you are setup, just select the box for student name. It will use the first three columns as its search field. Just type a few letters of the name and it should appear. Hit enter, then tab, type the grade, hit enter again. The grade will automatically appear in the spreadsheet and the focus will return to the student name box ready for you to enter the next grade.

tutorial-tab-power

As always, I appreciate feedback! Let me know how I can make this better.

 

CopyPastaForm for Google Forms

Google Forms is a great tool, unfortunately it takes a bit of time to create one. I have had the thought that it would be much easier to have one single text box that I can type in (or copy and paste into) that will generate the entire form. This led me to create…

CopyPastaForm for Google Forms