Using Data to Inform Planning

Our last blog post looked at how online forms can have a huge impact when streamlining processes in your school. They are also great for teachers to use as quizzes. Both Google and Office 365 forms can be configured as self marking quizzes. Not only does this save teachers time in marking, but it’s also instantly provides the student with feedback as to how they did and offers the teacher(s) instant analysis as to how the class(es) performed!

Office 365 example

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G Suite example

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This is really useful for in class starters or exit tickets to help gauge student understanding, or for revision quizzes as it allows students to get instant feedback to support independent learning.

Flipped learning

When I (Oli) was teaching, one of the biggest impacts of using Google Forms was how they supported a ‘flipped’ learning approach to inform lesson planning. Here’s how it looked in practice in a Maths environment (applicable to most subjects):

Step 1: Create or curate videos

Before we even started teaching a topic, we’d create video tutorials of key concepts (or find good ones already made on YouTube). If we were teaching fractions in 4 weeks time, this weeks homework would be to watch some of those videos (this could also be done in lesson time).

Step 2: Students complete a quiz online

After watching the videos, students complete a quick online quiz made in Google or Office 365 Forms. The great thing about this, is that only one teacher needs to create the Form, and each class can all complete the same one! TOP TIP: Add a question that asks for the teacher/class name and you can then filter the results later.

Step 3: Analyse the results before you start planning

The great thing about Forms is that you have charts automatically made for you for each question. This is really useful as you start planning as it lets you know if there are any fundamental topics that the class have struggled with, or likewise anything that the class really understand and that can save you wasting too much lesson time covering it.

Forms also automatically link to spreadsheets which allows you to really drill down and identify if there are any individual students who might need a bit of support. You can also filter a quiz by teacher or class. Having all of this data before you start planning a topic completely transforms your approach and will hopefully have a big impact on student learning outcomes!

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We’d love to hear how you are using Forms and quizzes in your school! Please feel free to add your story to our Supercloud Stories of Impact at lgfl.link/cloudimpact

Using online forms to streamline data collection

Many schools send out paper forms to parents to collect information or permission. This can be really inefficient as it can rely on the student to be organised enough to be the delivery person and then a member of staff to collate the data and chase any missing responses.

A great feature of cloud platforms such as G Suite and Office 365 is that anyone can easily create an online form to capture any information they want. These forms can be filled out by anyone (even on a smart phone), which makes it really easy to send directly out to parents and you don’t have to rely on students to take a piece of paper home and bring it back in!

The responses are automatically collated for easy analysis, which massively reduces staff administration time, and missing respondents can be easily chased at the click of a button!

Here is an example travel survey made in Google Forms.

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You can create Forms really easily in both platforms right away!

G Suite: Click ‘New’ in your Google Drive or head to forms.google.com

Office 365: Head to forms.office.com

If you need any help getting setup with a cloud platform, please email oli.trussell@lgfl.net (G Suite) or jose.kingsley@lgfl.net (Office 365) today!

Supercloud Stories of Impact

We have launched a new resource to help schools share and discover new ideas as to how cloud is having an impact across LGfL. Our new ‘Supercloud Stories of Impact’ portal brings together ideas from schools in small bite size chunks which you can filter to meet your needs.

Each story is one slide outlining the:

  • problem
  • solution
  • impact

…followed by simple guidance or instructions on how to implement yourself.

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Visit lgfl.link/cloudimpact to access the portal

We would love for staff across London to share the impact that cloud is having in their schools. Please do get involved and help inspire others!

Supercloud newsletter

In addition to our blog posts, you may be interested in subscribing to our Supercloud newsletter. We will be providing regular cloud support, guidance, updates & resources direct to your inbox.

You (and colleagues) can sign up here: lgfl.link/supercloudnewsletter

Digital Transformation Audit Tool

There is so much more to successful digital transformation than simply getting in a load of devices. We know that it can be overwhelming even knowing where to start, and what is most important to your school situation when trying to drive change.

We’ve created a simple self reflective audit tool that is designed to help with this process by:

  • Identifying current position of the school regarding digital transformation
  • Identifying important next steps to ensure success
  • Creating a plan with manageable and actionable goals

You can access the tool for free today at lgfl.link/DTFAudit

After you’ve completed the tool you’ll get a report (example below) emailed to you which you can use to plan next steps with specific time frames which is really useful when sharing a vision and for accountability purposes. You’ll also receive a unique link so that you can come back and update your results at any time – a really rewarding way of tracking and showing progress.

If you have any questions, or want to find out more about how we can support your digital transformation, please email Oli (Google expert) or Jose (Microsoft expert) at oli.trussell@lgfl.net and jose.kingsley@lgfl.net

Link to report example (and embedded below)

Let’s get Digital in 2019

New Year hosts a plethora of personal and professional goals. Some easier than others to commit to. When we look at statistics, 63% of resolutions are broken within the first month. There are varied factors that contribute towards this majority percentage but all is not lost when keeping in mind the end goal.

Here are the top 5 Teacher New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Stay Positive
  2. Revive Classroom routines
  3. Work-life balance
  4. Give more personalised time to Students
  5. Keep on top of marking

Whilst these may strike as everyday practice of most Teachers, how do we ensure we are productive and proficient at keeping on top of them all?

A Cloud-based learning environment has the potential to help tackle the teacher workload, invigorate the curriculum and help with the work-life balance without being to much of a monumental change for a school to adopt new ways of thinking, working and learning.

Be Specific – A vague goal will automatically program failure because you won’t know when you have achieved it.

Specific target – Move all files and folders to an online platform.

In practice and outcome – As a Whole Staff, use your Cloud-based service (Office 365/G-Suite), to collectively move all your important files, folders and stuff into the cloud. It is simple to do, it’s just saving it to a new space that is accessible anywhere, anytime on any device. Once this is complete, all documents and presentations become live. This means that teachers can collaborate on the same planning document at the same time, without being locked out or having multiple versions saved.

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Set Tangible deadlines – When you’re setting a goal, be sure to set a deadline too! It ensures a collective mindset on what it is you are trying to achieve.

Specific target – Record presentations to promote anywhere, anytime learning.

In practice and outcome – Within PowerPoint and Slides, you are now able to record your entire presentation, including any annotations/notes you made during the learning process. Having these saved in a virtual library (back to your online shared folder space) means that students can access the resources they need, if they were to miss a lesson. This virtual library will grow over time and give a transparency to parents about what is being taught in the lesson so it can be used at home before test/exam period for revision. Imagine, an entire years worth of learning, all stored online and at your and the students fingertips.

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Don’t forget the plan! – If you are considering moving to the cloud, it is always best to think first about the goals you want to achieve. A cloud solution needs careful consideration and planning before implementing. Our Cloud Solutions Consultants at LGfL are committed to providing as much help and support to schools who are looking to migrate their school to a cloud-based solution. Email training@lgfl.net for more information on getting started.

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Office 365: Establishing a Vision

As teachers, we all want a world where children grow up to flourish and live healthy, productive and fundamentally happy lives. Making change happen takes a growth mindset and leaders at every level – those who are committed and adept learners.

The Microsoft Education Transformation Framework helps leaders set a direction with four key building blocks to guide leadership and policy development:

  • Vision for change
  • Strategic Planning & Quality Assurance
  • Partnerships & Capacity Building
  • Inclusion & Accessibility

How can we work towards a Cloud-based solution?

Deep and sustainable transformation can only happen with the support of people at every level – Leaders, Teachers, Parents Local Authorities and most importantly, Students! Transformation is not about replacing what works, but to enhance it in a productive and logical process.

What’s transformative leadership and policy all about?

Vision for change

Consider the development of a clear, succinct vision to drive change. By creating a powerful rationale that’s shared by all stakeholders, you can spark the momentum required for long-term impact and adoption. Regular bite-size training and use of the Microsoft Educator Community drives engagement and support for all.

Strategic planning & quality assurance

Think about what it is that your school want to achieve through a cloud-based platform. Start with an effective plan to achieve tangible steps towards that long-term goal. Using Microsoft Teams is a great way to launch engagement with simple collaboration and communication. Giving teachers opportunities to practice and play with the products will provide insight into how they can be embedded purposefully and effectively.

Partnerships & local capacity

Connecting with other teachers, schools and local authorities provides a support network – providing rich insight to how Office 365 can be used effectively on multiple levels. These relationships can help build capacity, whether through digitising administration, tackling the teacher workload and upgrading staff skills.

Inclusion & Accessibility

Making technology more accessible is core to ensuring nobody is left behind. Office 365 is built for all users with its enhance learning tools and immersive reader applications. All of which are built in at no additional cost. Microsoft’s Accessibility site includes guides and examples of how technology can support diverse needs and enhanced outcomes. The immersive Reader and Learning Tools are free with research that reflects improved reading and writing for people of any age or ability.

Take the next step: (Click on the links)

  1. Get Trained on the Microsoft Educator Community
  2. Sign up to a free Office 365 Workshop
  3. Fill in this Form to start building your Education Transformation Framework

Office 365: Content to Creation

Teachers everywhere are working tirelessly to design lessons and activities that reflect 21st century learning skills that promote greater conceptual understanding and outcomes. Whilst understanding how to teach effectively with technology can be challenging, there are many simple to use tools out there, that help develop learning outcomes and enhance the teaching and learning process. Energising the Curriculum is vital, if students are to acquire new knowledge and retain it, so providing them with the right tools, imperative.

Historically, PowerPoint has proved a useful tool for students to produce presentations, showcasing their knowledge and understanding of a concept taught. However, we may well have witnessed their heavy focus around making fonts technicolour, motion paths whizz across the slide and transitions captivating for the audience. Of course, the creative aspect is important for capturing audience attention, it is the content that we want greater focus on.

Introducing Microsoft Sway, the digital storytelling app, designed to put together presentations quickly with built in presentational features, where content is the focus. Start a Sway presentation from scratch or type in a theme/keyword, focussing primarily on the content, allowing the app to make it captivating for it’s audience. It is just like having a corkboard, where you add your content onto and the application puts it together for you. Just like having a virtual assistant, allowing you to focus more on content and less on those presentation features. Not only is it simple to use, but great for collaboration too! Up to 10 students can work on a single Sway at any time, promoting teamwork and providing every student with a voice during the learning process.

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.21st century educators are behind the driving force of using Sway in the classroom to spark creativity in students. The days of writing lengthy essays are long over with this powerful content presentation application. Sway delivers attractive features and brings ideas to life in minutes. A teacher can use Sway interactively to add text, links, picture, video and audio to share content.

Engaging students with technology is core to narrowing the achievement gap in children’s education. Sway is incredible for building fast presentations to any kind of audience and sharing it as an online tool for educators to use as part of their lesson, CPD session or even school newsletters. Here are the top 5 tips to engage students to #SwayEveryday

Here’s a quick tutorial video to help get you started:

Top 3 Tips for using Sway in the Classroom:

  1. Inside and Out Collaboration: Empower the students to share responsibilities of creating their Sway and encourage them to work both in and out of the classroom. This is crucial for anytime, anywhere learning.
  2. Create stories: Digital literacy plays an important role in language development for students, especially Key Stage One. Students have a thirst for reading stories. Educators have the ability to create an interactive story book by embedding text pictures and audio. Sway benefits from text book navigation, giving the reader a fun experience of reading their favourite stories.
  3. New ways to News: Creating a school newsletter using Sway has never been easier and once you have decided on a template, you’ll only need to amend the content each week. Embed picture, videos and text and  transform communication in your school instantly. Parents can easily access the Sway through their devices at home, requiring only a link sent directly to them.

 

GSuite: Reimagine the Writing Process

There are so many great ways to really enhance the writing process when using G Suite for Education. Whether you are brand new to using G Suite, or a Google Classroom ninja, this short blog post will give you some ideas as to how you might help learners with their writing (and even save you time in the process!).

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a fantastic tool that helps streamline your digital workflow! Instead of making photocopies of worksheets, or getting students to scribble in their books, you can use Google Classroom to generate digital copies of your worksheets (or simply blank documents) for every student in your class. You can then see all the student work (live and in real-time!) in one place and give live formative feedback.

Google Docs

Google Docs is the word processor in Google Drive. It’s the G Suite equivalent of Microsoft Word and because it lives in the cloud, there are some great additional functionalities. Here’s 5 features that should enhance the way you work with your students:

1) Live comments

Select any text and add your comment! Students see these in real time and in context of their work. They can reply to your comment, edit without having to redraft the whole section, and easily track changes and comments over time.

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2) Voice typing

Voice typing is built in to any Google Doc; find it in the ‘Tools’ menu. It’s a great way for students (and teachers) to get what’s in their head into writing. It’s an incredible accessibility tool for SEND learners – take a look at some examples of the formatting that’s possible:

3) Draftback

Every Google Doc has an inbuilt Version History where you can track how a document looked at different points in time – great for evidencing student progress and developing student metacognition. Even better, there is a great free Chrome Extension called Draftback which allows you to play back a document as it was written! This is really useful when supporting students – and even looking for plagiarism!

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4) CheckMark (marking codes)

CheckMark is a great free Chrome Extension that allows you to use marking codes that you may use in your school (‘C’ for capitalisation, ‘sp’ for spelling etc…) in a Google Doc. Once you’ve enabled it, simply double click on a word and a magic box appears above it. Then choose which comment you want, and it will automatically add it as a written comment without you having to type a thing – a real time saver! It even counts how many times you’ve made the same type of feedback!

5) Video feedback

After you’ve given your students’ their feedback, they will need to act on it and (hopefully) improve their work. Sometimes students are able to act on your feedback when you sit down and discuss it with them. Unfortunately this isn’t always possible with a class of 32 students in the contact time you spend with them. A great way around this is to leave your students some video feedback using the extension Screencastify.

We hope that you found some of these suggestions useful! Please leave us a comment if you try one of them out!

Unlocking Creativity with Paint 3D

Whether you’re an artist or just want to try out some doodles, Paint 3D makes it easy to unleash your creativity and bring your ideas to life!

With Windows 10, you have a new, free, built-in app called Paint 3D that allows you to create models beyond basic 2D design, giving an experience to, create, edit and share in a new dimension. Make 3D masterpieces and scenes, all with a stroke of your digital pen or touch.  You can also access an online 3D community, Remix 3D, to find, use and remix models from within the Paint 3D app itself! Even more, you can drop your creation into the real world with the mixed reality viewer, bring immersive experiences to students and their learning environment. Imagine creating a 3D model of a World War Two fighter plane and placing it in the classroom for students to explore. The impossible made possible!

Find your inspiration with Remix3D.com Community

Manipulate shape and colour in a whole new dimension with the easy and simplicity of the Paint we know and love! You can even change a 2D image into a 3D object. Start by creating objects, which you can rotate and see from every side, then add a splash of colour with the new and improved brushes, such as transparent watercolour or oil brushes so real that you can see the paint smudging.

Check out the introduction video to help get you started: 

Paint 3D allows you to easily pull from 3D art in Remix3D.com’s growing catalog for you to customize, edit, and share. Remix3D.com is your online home for 3D content and community. Connect with other creators, showcase your own creations and get inspired.

Pull 3D art from Remix3D.com, like this patch of patch

Realistic Textures

Add fantastic new textures or materials such as sparkling gold, stained hardwood, or soft grass to your creations and benefit from the realistic look and feel of your design. Make any model come to life, across all curriculum areas for students to gain a deeper understanding of what they are learning.

Add realistic textures to any object to make them come to life

Unique MEME Creator

Personalize shapes with 3D stickers or even wrap your own photos around objects. Stickers automatically wrap around 3D objects and contour to fit making it simple to use without having to be an artist or graphic designer. Have fun applying pictures of friends to 3D figurines and emojis.

Add stickers that automatically contour to fit 3D objects

Bring your ideas to life with 3D Doodle

Doodle like never before. In the new Paint, your doodles will jump into 3D. You can even take your drawings for a spin and view them from every side. Manipulating the object is easy with the familiar experience of cropping, resizing and editing images within Word and PowerPoint. Let your imagination break free.

Use 3D Doodle to draw puffy clouds

Jump In

Paint can do a lot more than it used to. These are just five of our favourite features, but with a little digging you’ll discover tons more. Jump in and explore.

The Microsoft Educator community hosts courses, resources and quick tutuorial videos to help get you started along with a STEAM series, designed to inspire cross-curricular learning. CLICK HERE to access the portal

To get started, sign up on Remix3D.com and download Paint 3D