Introducing Northern Buckeye Professional Learning Group!

NWOCA Instructional Services is excited to announce that we have changed our name to Northern Buckeye Professional Learning Group (PLG). The name is a reflection of our primary mission which is to provide professional learning opportunities to our member districts.

For many teachers, the term professional development unfortunately has negative connotations, we are on a mission to change that! Our range of professional learning opportunities reflect a new approach with the idea of lifelong learning that is personalized and relevant to your individual needs. read more

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Kami Assignments in Google Classroom

In the past few months I have been doing a lot of training sessions in schools on the Kami tool. Some schools have adopted Kami as their distance learning tool of choice.

Kami is a digital classroom app that allows you to transform any existing document into an interactive learning experience.  Students can use the built in tools to write over the top of (annotate) documents that you share with them in google classroom.

The Kami website is located at kamihq.com

To get your students started with using Kami will depend on if you have the free or the paid version. I will describe the process for the free version and make mention of what the paid version brings to the table at the end.

At the heart of the Kami experience is the Kami Chrome Extension which can be added by going to the Chrome Web Store. School managed chromebooks may restrict this feature so your tech department may have to add the Kami app to the whitelist or push it out to student chromebooks.

Once installed the Kami extension will detect when you have a PDF open for preview in Google Classroom or Google Drive. A blue Kami icon will appear in the top right corner.

Alternatively you can use the open in menu and choose Annotate with Kami.

The first time you connect your account to Kami it will ask a bunch of questions as it gains access to your Google Drive so it can make changes to your PDF (the annotations) and save them to your Drive. Younger students will need help from the teacher to complete this first login.

Kami loads into a screen with a blue menu bar at the top and a black toolbar down the left side. The tools are clearly marked and the ones you will use the most include:

Select (arrow) 

Use this to select text boxes and other objects you add to the annotation.

Text Box (T icon)

Use this to create a text box to type over your document.

Drawing (paintbrush)

Use this for freehand drawings.

Eraser (eraser icon)

Remove annotations and drawings from the document.

Students will draw over the top of the PDF you share with them and when they are finished they use the Save Now button to save changes to Drive.
Once complete they close the Kami window and they will return to the PDF preview window.

The main difference between the free and paid version is in Google Classroom integration. In the free version, as a teacher you create a regular assignment for your students and share the PDF (make a copy for each student). Students open the PDF as described above, annotate and use the Save Now button to save changes.

In the paid version teachers will have a new Kami Assignment option in the create menu in Classroom. Students will have a Turn In button that lets them submit their assignment without having to return to Classroom. (Nice because turning in the assignment is something easy to forget).

Kami is worth a look if you need a way to put your worksheets into assignments for remote learning.

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Keep Track of Changes in Google Sheets

This tip comes indirectly from the good folks at Seesaw who use the technique I am about to describe to keep their Seesaw Ambassadors up to date with the latest changes to the Seesaw Ambassador program which is tracked in a Google Sheets document.

A little known feature to most people is that you can enable notifications via email for any Google Sheets document. To enable the feature you use the Tools >> Notifications Rules

On the set notifications rules screen you need to choose to see when either a change is made to the form (by Editors of the sheet) or when a form is submitted (Linked Google Form). read more

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Show YouTube Videos WITHOUT Ads or Comments

NOTE: It has come to our attention that the tip we shared yesterday may not work in every district. Each school district is responsible for their own web filtering according to their district policies. We apologize for any confusion that this may have caused. You should always contact the individuals responsible for filter management and policies for any issues related to access to websites you need for classroom instruction.

Several times in the last month I have been asked if there is a way to show YouTube videos without the ads. My only solution up to this point has been to suggest getting YouTube Premium which costs $11.99 a month and there is no easy way for schools to purchase for all their teachers. read more

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Three Ways to Get Help with Seesaw

In a post last August, I recommended you take a look at Seesaw. More recently I did a tip on the 4 New features of Seesaw.

For those of you who are getting started with Seesaw this year, I wanted to give you a heads up as to where to get some help. For those of you already using Seesaw and ready to learn more, you will be interested in the Pioneer program. Lastly the Help Center has answers for all of your frequently asked questions.

New to Seesaw?

The first place to get started is Seesaw’s built-in training. read more

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