FTPL – How to set up GDrive on an iPad

“There can be infinite uses of the computer and of new age technology, but if teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom and make it work, then it fails.”
– Attributed to Nancy Kassebaum

The next few videos in the FTPL series will cover some skills that we have already looked at on the computer from the point of view of using them on the iPad. We begin with setting up Google Drive on your iPad.

FTPL – Creating a Kahoot

“All of the biggest technological inventions created by man – the airplane, the automobile, the computer – says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.”
Attributed to Mark Kennedy

In last week’s FTPL, we learned about Kahoot, an website that every student I have used Kahoot with, has loved. In today’s FTPL, I show you how to create a Kahoot.

I would like to point out that no matter how much fun students think Kahoot is, no matter how much you enjoy seeing students engaged with the Kahoot’s you use, it is still just a testing system. It’s aesthetically pleasing, it gives cues to create anxiousness and competitiveness in the participants (the music and countdown timers combined with the scoring and leader boards), you do not need to mark as it is done automatically; the list goes on. Despite all of these great features, however, it is still just a testing system, with all of the potential issues that can be found therein.

Heading to #FlipConAus

“Investing time to learn something in your professional make you RICH in your KNOWLEDGE, if you are not then it will make you POOR in your PERFORMANCE.”
– Attributed to Sivaprakash Sidhu

This afternoon I am heading off to the Gold Coast for a few days to attend FlipConAus, the first time that Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams have brought the long-running US conference dedicated to flipped learning to Australian educators. My flight leaves this afternoon (I will be mid-point when this article posts) as I am attending a Masterclass on Thursday, followed by the conference itself on Friday and Saturday, returning home Sunday morning.

I look forward to meeting up with some of my readers and members of my online professional learning network face-to-face for the first time I still have article from #TMSpaces to write, and so my review of FlipCon likely won’t begin until the end of next week, if not the week after. Have a great weekend, and I hope to see you at FlipCon

FTPL Seven – Setting up G Classroom

“You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.”
– Attributed to Conrad Hall

Today’s FTPL video is in response to a recent question from a colleague. She had finished watching the two videos on using GDocs in the classrooms (FTPL Five and Six) and wanted to know “how do I get the learning activities to my students from Google Docs?”

I have also included below links to each of the previous videos in this series for the convenience of anyone who has missed any of them:

As always, please leave any questions or comments below in the comments section.

Flipped Teacher Professional Learning Six – Using GDocs in the Classroom Part Two

“It is important to remember that educational software, like textbooks, is only one tool in the learning process. Neither can be a substitute for well-trained teachers, leadership, and parental involvement.”
– Attributed to Keith Krueger

Good morning everyone, it is an early post today, getting in before I head off to school in order to get the latest FTPL video up for everyone, as I did not get it the video recorded until last night, well after I would normally post it. Next week will see a return to your regular programming, with the FTPL video returning to Monday afternoons, and the new series of articles reviewing of Invent to Learn, continuing in its (soon to be) regular timeslot of Tuesday afternoons.

In this video in the FTPL series, we continue looking at how we can utilise GDocs in the classroom, specifically, how to use the live-feedback feature. Please ensure you have watched Video Five in the series before watching this video.

As always, I would appreciate any feedback or questions in the comments.

Flipped Teacher Professional Learning Five – Using GDocs in the Classroom

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”
– Attributed to Thomas Huxley

This video introduces some of the features and ways in which Google Docs can be utilised in the classroom. As always, feel free to ask questions.

Flipped Teacher Professional Learning Three and Four – Introduction to Google Drive

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
– Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Today I will be posting the next two videos in the FTPL series to make up for not having posted anything for the last few weeks due to various reasons. The videos provide you with a walk through of the main functions of Google Drive.

As always, remember that you can pause and rewind as often as you need to whilst watching.

Video Three

Video Four

If you have missed the previous articles in the FTPL series, you can find the first article here and the second article here.

I’m hosting @EduTweetOz

For the next week I will be running the Australian @EduTweetOz account, a RoCur (rotating curation) account featuring a different educator each week. Each week the EduTweetOz blog posts an introductory interview to allow users to get to know the new host. Rather then simply re-post it, I thought I would add in some links to various resources.

Introducing this week’s @EduTweetOz host, Brendan Mitchell

Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?
I am a new graduate teacher in my first year out from university. I completed a B. Teach (Primary) / B. Arts with Hons Class I in Teaching through the University of Newcastle’s Ourimbah (Central Coast) campus in 2014. I did the rounds of visiting schools to drop off my resume and meet the casual teacher coordinator at the start of the year and was picking up four to five days a week work spread across three predominant schools, with the occasional day at other schools. Whilst I was at Future Schools in March I received a call from the Deputy Principal at one of my schools, offering me a temporary position for one term, which I naturally jumped on, with the remit to teach computer and research skills. The contract was eventually extended through to the end of 2015, and I am absolutely loving it.

The position is technically that of Teacher-Librarian, however due to a large-scale building project at the school (all eleven demountable buildings will be gone by the end of it! Yay!) The library, though still there, is not operational for borrowing purposes. My position is an RFF position, and is Monday to Thursday, and I see all classes from K-6 in the school, barring those classes with their library sessions scheduled on Friday (those sessions are handled by the other RFF teachers). I am at various points in my program, and a long way behind where I wanted to be (being fresh and naive I had planned about a years worth of learning for three terms), but am happy with my students progress. With Stage Three, I am just beginning research skills, starting with note-taking; with Stage Two I am beginning to teach them about the internet and how to use it and what different things are called in an effort to clear up a lot of misconceptions they seem to hold; while with Early Stage One and Stage One, I am working on improving their ability to type and understand how to use features like spell check, how to save/open/close files and programs.

As to why I became involved in education, I have written a blog article on that topic, and to quote from that article:

“I teach for two reasons. I had two amazing male teachers in my own primary education. Both were strong men whom I looked up to, as both had a strong presence, as they were encouraging of my strengths and chiding of my weaknesses, pushing me to work on them. They were men who were able to work with all of my peers, challenging each of us at our own academic level.

My three younger siblings on the other hand, across their combined eighteen years of primary education, had a total of one year with a male teacher, and the difference that that year of a strong male influence every day at school made on my sister and her self-confidence in dealing with her brothers and in talking to other male, non-immediate family members, was tremendous.

My youngest brother needed a strong male role-model as a steadying influence and to provide guidance on interpersonal skills in the day-to-day situations at school that a father does not have access to. I teach because I want to be the positive male role model for those students who otherwise may not have one.

The second reason that I teach is due to a love of learning and discovery, a love that was instilled by my family, but nurtured by my primary school teachers. It is that love of learning, the desire to know more about areas of interest, and the excitement of the moment when the dots are joined between prior knowledge and new understanding that provides the second reason why I teach.”

And though it wasn’t intentionally written that way, upon watching a recording of my delivery of the Graduate Address at my Graduation in July, I realised that it articulates, slightly differently, why I teach.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
Given where I am in my career trajectory, I am still fresh-faced, keen, naive, and excited to be earning a living for doing something that I enjoy. I have also been told in no uncertain terms that after four years of not having an income that I will be enjoying the education system for a few years to come! That aside, it’s seeing the look on a students face when the dots connect, of seeing those students who struggle with the little things have success, of being able to get kids excited about learning. I am blessed to have some highly experienced, and still engaged and passionate teachers in my school whom I look to as mentors and their passion and willingness to try new things is something that I find motivating and inspirational. There are also a handful of younger teachers who went into teaching straight out of high school, and I find their experience and energy infectious and motivating. I also enjoy watching Kid President’s Pep Talk on those days when I feel tired and lethargic as there is something quietly motivating about him.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest reward is seeing a student move from saying “I have no idea” through to being able to show others how to do something, or confidently explain it to you. The feeling of pride at seeing the growth is almost intoxicating when it happens. The biggest challenge I think is time. There is so little time and so much to do. More and more social and moral responsibility seems to be pushed onto teachers as being our job when much of it should be the responsibility of parents. The other challenge I see is inequity and that is a societal issue that needs greater focus.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I think I would ensure that those making the decisions had current teachers giving the advice. A panel of teachers, nominated by teachers as being experts in the various education sectors, providing advice for a (two/three/four) year period before returning to the classroom and making way for the next rotation. I can’t take seriously the comments of Mr Pyne or Mr Donnelly when they either ignore or cherry-pick research to suit their agenda.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
A very interesting question given some of the conversations that happened during the #satchatoc chat on Saturday (5th Sept) morning. @EduTweetOz provides an opportunity for someone like me, fresh out of university, keen and bright-eyed and naive to the politics of funding and professional development hierachies an opportunity connect with other teachers, both like-minded and not, and learn from their experiences, their ideas, their mistakes. The phrase learning any time, anywhere very much comes to mind, and I see EduTweetOz as a focal point for new Tweachers to join the online PLN.

This week, I would like to explore the topic of Flipped Learning, hear what peoples conceptions, fears, thoughts, ideas and experiences are about the topic. It is a pedagogical practice I only learned about last year and have been keen to follow up on. I attended a Flipped Learning master class with pioneer Jon Bergmann (@jonbergmann) at the FutureSchools Conference, and am attending #OzFlipCon15 on the Gold Coast in October and am excited to hear and learn from those who are putting it into practice.

I would also appreciate hearing from anyone who has or is teaching digital literacy and digital citizenship concepts and skills to students and the pedagogical practices and tools used to do that, particularly the incredibly complex concept of copyright/piracy.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
​If you want to connect with my in the classroom, I utilise @MrEmsClass to tweet with my various classes and connect with other classrooms, whilst I use my @21stCTeaching account for personal/professional Tweeting. I’m looking forward to an exciting week and lots of learning.

Flipped Teacher Professional Learning Three – Introduction to Google Drive

I had planned to post video three in the Flipped Teacher Professional Learning today. Unfortunately I attempted to upgrade my PC to Windows Ten over the weekend, and not only did the upgrade fail, but so did the rollback, and my attempts to reinstall Windows Seven using my boot disc have not been successful thus far. So at this point in time I am not entirely sure when I will be able to get another FTPL uploaded and I had only pre-recorded two videos prior to the upgrade attempt.

My apologies for this, but I will work to get it back up and running as quickly as I am able to.


“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”
– Attributed to William Arthur Ward

A new, exciting and potentially highly beneficial opportunity came to my attention recently. There is a research project that was trialed in some Central Coast high schools last year, that is about to trialed in some Central Coast primary schools. A presentation detailing the project was given today by the research coordinator, and it sounds like an excellent opportunity.

The project is called Central Coast Cloud School, and is aimed towards disengaged Stage Three students, in an attempt to reengage those students in mathematics and/or science and/or HSIE through flipped learning and game inspired learning. I am highly interested in submitting an Expression of Interest for one of the three teacher positions for this project, which is anticipated to consist of two days of intense professional development, five weeks of online classes and presumably some debrief and reflection time afterwards.

My only concern is that my proverbial plate is full enough, and I am not sure that I can put anything on my plate. That said, when I described the opportunity and what it involved to my wife, she was encouraging of me putting an application in. The project takes what I am doing in my current position a step further than what I had planned to attempt for this year, it ties in directly with my professional development plan, and it potentially will assist in my eventual academic career by providing me with experience in a funded educational research project.

I am very much leaning towards submitting an application, and am currently attempting to determine what competing time sinks I could divest myself of, to afford me with the time needed to participate in this project.

As always, thank you for reading. I would be interested to hear what process you go through to determine which activities you can disengage with to free up time to engage with alternative activities.