Having time these Melbourne Winter holiday vacation time to actually spend time completing some very time consuming tasks that I otherwise do not get to do in the busy working week.
Tick 1: Exploring Google Sites:
As our whole education sector are moving to GAFE and the change to our school Intranet landing pages has prompted myself and other eLearning Leaders to consider the options for new Staff and Student landing pages after using the same LMS since late 1990’s. For the students, they will embrace the change as they do with any new device or tool. It is supporting staff that is what may take greater time and thought.
Many schools like mine are also moving to another email platform as well as new landing pages. Significant learning curve that is going to be occurring in the next few months.
I have begun creating a landing page and next term hope to work with staff to evaluate what they like out of our current Intranet & landing pages and what they would like to see on our new landing pages.
In the spirit of ‘Student Voice’ Having students part of this process, I hope to gain their feedback of what they feel is important to include on their ‘Student’ landing page.
I have explored a number of landing pages designed by other eLearning Leaders. So far all I have seen have created theirs in ‘Google Sites’. I have chosen to explore this tool further.
As I have been using our current Intranet and have been administrator at a number of schools using our almost defunct Intranet, it is interesting to see the GUI of Google Sites compared to our current Intranet. I am spending significant amounts of time navigating my way around Sites as it is not as intuitive as I have been used to or as intuitive like other Google Apps.
Tick: 2 Symbaloo
I have decided to embed hyperlinks to different pages using ‘Symbaloo’ as I really like the ease of integration into Google Sites and visually appealing interface.
I have integrated the most commonly used websites in my teaching as ICT Specialist Teacher using Symbaloo and my students have loved the ‘sneak peak’ I shared with some classes before our Winter Break.
I can see great potential here and I love how I can create pages for my students to share, share with other educators and locate other ‘Symbaloo’ pages to share with my students – collaboration on a world scale! Love it!!
Here is a link to the blog I share with my students (junior, middle, senior links) and how I have embedded ‘Symbaloo’ into some pages ! ( Am still working out the best way to ‘view’ the links using a standard blog template- always learning!!)
These ‘Symbaloo’ pages are also embedded into the Google Sites Intranet Landing Pages that I have created so students are able to access these most frequently used weblinks. I look forward to exploring this amazing tool further myself and with my students!!
Tick 3: Hapara Teacher Dashboard2
A wonderful feeling today as I successfully completed the final stages of setting up (finally) our Year 3-6 students Google Drive folders using the LMS of Hapara Teacher Dashboard2. This is a wonderful tool for educators and at my current school, are grateful to have this funded.
Using GAFE is wonderful, however having GAFE + Teacher Dashboard = brilliant. Being able to view student work without it having to be ‘shared’ each time ( especially for me as I teach all 6 classes in the middle and senior levels) It encourages students to be responsible, organised and aware their learning tasks are accessible to staff who assign the learning tasks.
It is quite tricky completing all the requirements for setting up student and classes, especially as this was completed 12 months ago. I forgot many steps. The most time consuming was typing up all the student email addresses Yr 3-6. I need to find an easier way (LDAP) for 2016.
Overall I am pleased that my own learning and determination to keep going even while on ‘winter holidays’ to assist the students and staff at my school for the next 6 months of the school year with these wonderful tools.
Now time for some home made cake by my wonderfully creative chef daughter!!
Cheers for now
Raffaela 🙂 🙂