Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spreadsheet Magic

I often get asked about Google Spreadsheets so I thought I'd make one with a few of the cooler things they can do built into it. The first step to share is how to give others a copy of your spreadsheet if you don't want to put it in the Template gallery.

First publish the link and copy the address.

Then put that link on your website and change the end of the spreadsheets address, replacing everything after the & with newcopy so,


Click here for a copy of Spreadsheet Magic.

There are more from templates here: http://sites.google.com/site/kernkelley/forms

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why I bring kids to conferences...

I bring kids to conferences. It's something I've done for years and when they have an opportunity to have a conversations with educators like Angela Maiers and Vickie Davis at the Maine ACTEM conference I'm reminded of exactly why. The times when we as teachers are engaged in professional development are some of the best times to have the perspective of students around. It's also important for the kids. The most introspective I've ever seen students be about themselves as learners has come when they were away from the school building. I don't think it always has to be that way, but when they watch educators talk passionately about their craft, students start to see their role in this educational dance differently. They're no longer playing the game of school.

Here is a conversation my students had with Angela. The jump cuts you see occur in the interest of length and tact, hopefully none of the value has been lost in the editing.

Two comments that struck me were when the kids talked about "too much tech" I take this to heart. Since most of my interaction with students revolves around technology in some way, I think it's important to make sure technology is never an ends in itself. The other comment was that they thought the best teachers were those who could, "think as a student."

Maine ACTEM Conference 2010

Another great conference from ACTEM this year. With keynote speakers like Vickie Davis and Angela Maiers how can you go wrong. The Maine Google Certified Teachers ran workshops presentations on Google tools at the Pre-Conference. I ran two sessions focused on using Google Apps for Education as an educational platform. The sessions were geared toward administrators, principals, superintendents and tech directors who were ready to implement Google Apps for Ed in their schools.

One thing about the sessions that really encouraged me was how much of the conversation revolved around developing an new educational culture in a school or district rather than just worrying about the technical nuts and bolts of implementation. It's not that those questions didn't come up, but the discussion generally would tie in the difficulties of transitioning from a top down teacher driven education to a student driven one, and how technology can aid and encourage that transformation. If technology is the natural medium for change, we should be able to use it to help guide the educational changes we hope to see for our kids.