Something to make you think...
Are you reading a poem - or are you not?
This website is a Turing test for poetry. You, the judge, have to guess whether the poem you’re reading is written by a human or by a computer.
We need to really encourage our student to THINK about what they read and see on the internet.
This is a great site to get your students, and your colleagues, thinking about what they read.
Something we think you'll like
Have fun with encrypted messsages
During the last few months we've all been working and teaching a lot more using our devices.
But have we stopped to think about how these things actually work?
Encrypting messages is a fun way to help students understand a bit about how the internet works. Codemoji allows us to have a bit of fun with this while also thinking critically.
You type your message, choose an emoji and then magically, your message is encrypted. You need to share the 'key' to unlock your message with the receiver - so just how will you describe the emoji you chose?
Is your school using Google Shared Drives?
If yes, then you will probably want to check out this update!
One of the biggest issues with Google Shared Drives has been the inability to share specific folders within a drive with other people outside the drive. Last week Google announced a new beta (early testing) program for this feature. If your school needs this functionality, talk to your IT team about signing up for the beta program.
Mote - Audio Feedback inside Docs, Sheets and Slides!
Mote is a great tool which makes it incredibly easy to leave audio feedback for your students. It will even transcribe your audio into text!
1. Download the Chrome Extension.
2. Open a Google Doc, Sheet or Slide, select what you would like to comment on, click the comment button and you should see the Mote logo.
3. Click on the logo and start speaking. Click stop when you are done, then click the comment button and wait for it to magically transcribe your words.
You can edit the transcription if it isn’t accurate. The comment will stay there for your students to see the text or click on the play button to hear your recording.
Mote is a great way to give meaningful feedback quickly and to connect with your learners. It’s also a great way for students to engage with you in relation to parts of the document - maybe they want to ask you a question or explain their thinking. You can even change the transcription language!
Do you want to stop reinventing the wheel?
We've mentioned Google Arts and Culture a few times in our newsletters - it's such an awesome resource to use with your students.
But did you know there are already some fantastic free lessons created for teachers using this resource?
One of my personal favourites is the dinosaur one - but you might have another.
Website of the week
Now, more than ever, it's important that we look for the good in every day. Some days this is much easier than others!
Here at UTB it's something we consciously focus on - we begin every meeting we have with a 'Good News' session. Even if we have to dig deep, it's great to be reminded there is something good in every day.
In our classrooms this isn't always an easy task task - which is where this website might help. Thankfulness For Schools has lessons and resources that you can use with your students to help encourage them to be thankful.
Take a look and see if there is something you could use with your students.
What are you thankful for today?
Skills and Seesaw
Seesaw is an amazing tool for students to show us what they know, and recently I have been investigating the Skills options.
What an incredible resource for teachers!
Skills are only available with the paid version, but they are definitely worth checking out by using the free trial that is offered. The wonderful Seesaw people have even produced spreadsheets with curriculum objectives for different countries already laid out for you to easily upload.
Skills allow you to easily tag students' work on a scale that works for you. You can filter by skill, by student or by subject. It's just a quick way to see a big picture of how students are progressing or who you need to touch base with.
NZ PLD Update
Keeping UTB busy during lockdown!
Schools are back in the swing of things here in New Zealand, with them being reopened fully since the 18th of May.
During lockdown we were able to support many of our NZ PLD schools via virtual training, utilising tools like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom to connect with them and do what we could to make remote teaching and learning as smooth and meaningful as possible.
Many teachers fed back to us that they loved this style of learning and we aim to continue to offer this style of support to any schools who are interested.
The top three benefits we heard were...
STRUCTURED, RECORDED TRAINING
Having a recorded training session adds incredible value as people can go back and review at their own pace. What an amazing resource for you and your school to use over and over again!
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Having three or four sessions scheduled across a few days allows teachers to select which training will serve them best at that time, then access recordings of others as they are ready for them. It also means we can utilise the awesome skill sets of our trainers and match the sessions with trainer expertise and passion.
SMALL BITES WITH PRACTISE TIME
Scheduling a series of training that is made up of short, sharp sessions then allowing time before the next session has been a hit for our teachers! They have been able to go and try out what they’ve learnt then come back with questions or ready to learn more! This significantly reduces overwhelm and anxiety around learning and implementing new skills.
What people have been saying about online training…
“I love online courses - I don't have to drive for hours to Queenstown or Invercargill, and as an introvert,I can just work away on the course at home. I can also reread and watch. Excellent!!!! Thank you!” - Sue Peoples, Teacher @ Fiordland College, NZ
“At the last session I wasn't sure if remote PD was the way to go for this but I've had a change of mind. Having time to play in between sessions is FANTASTIC. It allows you to not become overwhelmed and take a little bit of learning, apply it, practice it and become a bit more confident personally.” - Rachel O'Connell, Alexandra Primary School
We are anticipating an announcement from the Ministry of Education very soon which should inform us of how application will work moving forward, what the implication is on applications submitted in Term 1 and when the next round of applications will be open.
If you are a NZ school interested in finding out more about NZ PLD applications please feel free to email email@example.com for information.
Join the UTB Team as a trainer!
We have a few training opportunities to join the UTB training team in Australia and New Zealand.
We're keen to hear from people who may be interested in full time, part time or casual work with us.
If you are a passionate educator, digitally savvy and keen to explore training options fill in this form to express your interest. We'll get back to you with more details!
Created with images by Jessica Lewis - "untitled image" • Moe Kong - "untitled image" • ernestoeslava - "education people school" • Markus Winkler - "untitled image" • analogicus - "architecture building postilion" • MariusMB - "iphone 4s technology"