mccoyderek

Google Form as a Walk Thru Tool for Data & Feedback

Our school uses GoogleForms for an informal walk thru observation tool. Since we began using iPads at the beginning of the year, the GoogleForm is great, convenient tool to gather data we use for planning professional development and other needed training.  We’ve recently discussed the need for a good way to get feedback back to the teachers. From prior experience, I know there is no simple solution for this. I discussed with my team some alternative strategies but promised them a solution.

I turned to my PLN for the solution to this new century problem. I need to thank Jayme Linton, @jaymelinton, and Lyn Hilt, @l_hilt, for responding immediately to my request for help. I’ve spoken to Lyn before this and we made little headway. This time, she referred me to a tweeted post from Jayme on this topic. From these sources, I created this instructive presentation with text and screen shots. It starts with some basic instructions on creating a simple form then goes into the directions for creating the email feedback.

The data we collect from this form is a great step. Adding the feedback to it allows us to give teachers time and opportunity to reflect and modify instructional practices.

Hope this helps. I know it will go a long way in our curricular, instructional, and training talks.

Integrating Google into Our Admin Function

personal   One of the major shifts we’re making this year is our use of Google. Cumberland County Schools is a Google district was already a Google district before I joined July 2012. We have most of our functions tied into the Google Cloud or at least available in the cloud. I’ve only been with Cumberland, @cumberlandcosch, since July 2012 but I’ve been a fan of Google since I’ve started shifting my thinking and practice. You can see obvious efforts from county administrators make to utilize Google tools whenever possible to save on meetings and phone calls by using some tools like the chat, surveys and forms.

   Specific for our school, we’ve had to make efforts to replace previous practices with Google tools. I haven’t approached this with a specific plan [which of course in hindsight would have helped the school more] but in my meeting groups, we have transitioned to some of these tools for production and archiving purposing. Our weekly Leadership meeting is great example. Every Monday, the school’s leadership team meets to discuss the upcoming week, set some expectations and plan for upcoming conversations and events. We created a meeting template in a shared folder on Drive and post our meeting notes including details discussed and persons responsible for activities. It is taking some time but the norm is slowly and steadily being built that Google is a part of this process.

   Some of the benefits of integrating Google into our practices that I envision realizing include:

  • Making the planning efforts of some of our groups more transparent
  • Archiving talks and plans
  • Flattening the administrative approach
  • Creating a paperless environment
  • Allowing the staff to participate in a collaborative process we need to create for students 

images

 Talks on Google+

 I‘m proud to share that my admin team has began to use Google+ as a tools for pre-planning and communication. I don’t have to share with you all that there isn’t enough time of the day to get it all done. Getting the team together for a quick 15 minute meeting over the weekend to discuss an important item we missed or a last minute detail makes a huge difference in being prepared for the upcoming week. We stay in touch regularly with email and text messages but the planning platform of video and embedded Drive form when needed make a huge difference. 10 minutes of a Google+ chat eliminates 30+ minutes of text messages/emails.

20/20

   I‘m fortunate that there are already experts in the building who can help with the training and understanding. We will begin developing and rolling out a plan specific to what types of information we will put on school wide and department drives and discuss the management of our plan. Getting organized from the beginning of the year will help with our school’s functions, efficiency and support to teachers.

What’s Best for Kids..,

     We’ve recently had our first principal’s meeting with our new superintendent, Dr. Dale Ellis. We heard a lot of great things about outlining our future efforts in reaching and teaching kids. As he talked about making a difference and the importance of good decision making, he spent a great deal of time speaking on ‘what’s best for kids is often not the easiest thing for teachers.’ This really captured some of great conversations I’ve recently had with veteran and new teachers.


     Bell to Bell Convenience [not so much] – Our efforts to design quality lessons for student learning won’t always be done between the opening and closing bells. Planning a quality unit, lesson or assessment won’t look the same every time and it can’t be a systematic or formulaic process. It will and should be different each and every time we sit down because we should be expecting different outcomes. Inspired planning isn’t on a schedule.

    Working out of your zone! – If we are truly designing learning for our students, we should see a significant shift of work from our end to the students’ end. ‘Parking lot planning’ is desperate and last minute – when we aren’t prepared we resort to it. It looks like generic work sheets and reflects the lowest of expectations, for our students and ourselves. We won’t prepare students for their world if we aren’t moving away from the safe and easy plans. It takes inspiration to start the race and determination to stay in it.


     We owe it to students to do more for their learning. Here are two things that will make a big difference.


     Big Picture Planning – We are a Learning Focused school district. There are several planning options from  designed to accelerate and/or support learning on all levels. Student Learning Maps are used outline the key learning concepts, organize them and provide a clear picture of what we want students to know at the end of the unit. Essential questions and Vocabulary are critical to this process. Identifying them won’t happen in the parking lot.

    PLN / PLC – Another killer to student learning and achievement has been solo planning. Don’t get me wrong, individually we can come up with some good, creative activities for students. But imagine how much more impactful our learning efforts can be if increase value added support from our colleagues.  Seeking out input from others could make the difference from having a teacher-centered lesson to a student centered one; a fact-finding reading assignment to an activity that requires analysis and evaluation.


     We signed up to become teachers to make a difference and be a difference for students.  We owe it to them to be the best educators we can, that will mean moving out of our comfort zone and gathering as much support as we can from each other.